Intercultural Relationships

Monday, April 8, 2019

A: “Linda”...
Me: WRONG GIRL..My name is JAYME (Thinking did he really just call me the wrong name, we've been dating for a week)
A: “I was calling you pretty...Linda in spanish is pretty, cute, etc”

A: “Haina” (Pronounced Hi-nah)
Me:...DID YOU JUST CALL ME A HYENA (Thinking of  The Lion King hyenas)
A: “Haina is Spanish street slang for babe”....

This is just a glimpse of an intercultural relationship with a slight language barrier, we laugh about it now. I’ve been in many interracial relationships, relationships with socioeconomic differences, and maybe slight intercultural differences, but not to the magnitude that my person, A and I are currently in.

A is first gen Mexican, and I am a Korean that grew up in South Dakota with a White family. We were bound to have quite a few differences. There are the days when our language barrier, social norms, gender norms, Christianity & Catholicism, and about everything catches up to us. I remember we had a weekend where we were snowed in days in a row where it seemed like every cultural difference from beginning to end was popping up, including food. We couldn’t even agree on what type of food we could both make that was something in both of our households growing up.

Except pancakes. If anyone ever asks the “Waffles or Pancakes” question to me, pancakes have always been my pick. While A grew up with La Leche dripping off his pancakes and he learned to make them from his beloved Abuelita (Grandma). So that snowy weekend, Pancakes was the food item that made us feel less of a worlds difference, and it also allowed us to shop at either grocery store - because we definitely do not shop at the same grocery places...which that could be its own separate post!

So, we have made pancakes a weekend ritual. Saturday or Sunday you can hear the pancakes on the fryer, or when we don’t know what to eat, or can’t agree, pancakes come in for the win.

I still know/think/feel I have SO much to learn about the world. 30 isn’t a magic number into adulthood where I think I’ve entered this - been there, done that mindset - I hope I never feel like that. There are so many things I haven’t done, so many goals, dreams, and life skills that are still waiting for me to discover. I never thought I’d learn to dance Nortenos, or make tacos that don’t look like taco bell, or learn conversational Spanish and actually understand it. And I definitely never thought pancakes could bridge cultures and solve disagreements, but apparently, the theme of 2019 is, I am still learning :)



Choosing Margin

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Made it to Alaska to see the Bestie celebrate her 30th and to cross it off my list! 8 USA states left to visit!

"Outside of my career, I only love xyz"...this was such a common phrase for me for so long. For years, I kept saying I could only love a few things outside of my career, because my career took the biggest space in my life for so long. I hid behind it, like most ambitious (and insecure/haven't dealt with their ish) people do. As many (not all) are too scared to see if we could be good at anything else. That we could be capable of having lives that we do not feel we need to work to deserve.

Let me tell you, this is the season I've been needing for years, but finally chose to take. 2019 is a year of Rest, Roots, and Progress, and I have been practicing since December. At first it felt weird. Numerous times a week, I would tell home team member and roommate - "I feel so off...I want to rush and do 1,000 things to feel 'normal'"....and she would say, it's the shock to your system of leaving a career of stress, emotional emergencies, and high risks behind...Welcome to life, enjoy it.

And it's true. Nobody is going to force you to rest. No one is going to force you to stop valuing your humanity and self through money and achievement.

It's been such a humbling year, and now that I have 7 months of hindsight of what I was doing to my body, my brain, my heart, my relationships...I can't imagine going back to a life where I am constantly running myself into the ground.

I went from having 0 weekends free for 4 months, to leaving weekends free on on purpose. For the first time in probably ever, I can hear and see things without worry of "Am I doing / being enough". I just know I am enough. I am good enough, doing enough, being enough. And my enough may be a different measure to someone else's enough...and that is 100% okay.

Over the years, my career took precedent over literally everything. I missed my brother's wedding. My nephew's birth. My friend's funeral...All for work...for work I don't even remember, for days I can't even get back.

And this year, I've cancelled workshop after workshop. Even removed myself from a keynote speaker list to officiate another friend's wedding in May. I've declined projects to go to concerts and to attend birthdays and welcome visitors to my home. I've made time for family and the few friends I've made in Seattle.

These days, I am choosing margin. Thank God for home team members that have been blessed with words. KD, thank you for giving my current life chapter a title. I'm choosing margin. Choosing simple. Choosing little. Choosing what I do intentionally, and what I just don't care about, and not feeling guilty about it. I even started telling people who call me in crisis mode that they can set up an appointment with me through my side hustle business. I charge people for emotional labor - I am not your counselor, the person to solve your own issues, and I am definitely not your idea generator because you're too lazy to do the work yourself.

This season, I've enjoyed long drives. Walks. Reading. Writing. Attempting to learn Spanish. My work, but not the point of obsession. I enjoy sleep and water. I love, or try to love the growing pains of my home team and what it means to connect with the people we are today, not the people we were 6 mos ago or even 16 years ago for some.

Because I was "too busy" in my career, my bestie from high school / college has lived in Alaska for 7 years, and I had not visited her once, even though she has visited me twice in California. For her birthday 2 weeks ago, I made it up there. To see her home, the people who make her feel at home, and to meet my nephew kitty. I know I won't forget that trip, but that's a different post for a year when our parents won't read this blog - HA!

I just am enjoying the slowness of life.

My aunt, my friends, my family...said it's the happiest they've ever seen me and the wisest I've ever been.

And even though I am about to turn into another chapter of "busy", it's comforting to know I have a baseline of when I am leaving the margins of what I have chosen for this season.

Slow, steady, and kind. Here is to have Chosen Margin & to keep choosing it.

Open Floor Plan

Thursday, December 27, 2018

San Francisco - Spring 2018

This morning, I looked at my half full closet and 80% occupied dresser...with much space for more stuff...but also feeling like I don't even need all the space I have. A sweet reminder of how much space I've created for the unexpected and how stuff really doesn't make me any happier.

2018 has been more than enough for me, and this is how it has shown up...

I am thriving in my own skin. I listen to my body, and I am learning to rest.

I am loving God and faith without constraints of what it should look like.

Writing. I've had so much time to write and blog, and co-blog with beloveds.

Continuing sacred's and rituals - cousin facetimes, bestie birthdays, 3rd of July reunions, pageants over Thanksgiving, 4th annual Giants game, and a yearly hello email to all my former student leaders and teams.

Co working dates, daily starbucks runs, and new happy hour spots.

Got to officiate my besties' wedding; Saw Drake in concert; Traveled to Mexico City.

Hosted 26 visitors between San Francisco and WA.

Walked through the streets of San Francisco after a rowdy rooftop bar night.

Went go carting on the gravel roads passing through my family's acres on a warm July evening.

Felt the worn out moving boxes holding my belongings that are mostly gifts and the art I feel connected to.

And with who I've become and what I've done, this is where it has left me into 2019;

I miss driving on the Bay bridge into San Francisco at night. The lights were bright enough to reflect off the water and warm enough to make me feel at home.

But the green and precipitation of the Seattle sound is enough to nourish my soul, and I know I'm blooming in a season of what feels like starting over, but really it's just a continuation.

Love really does exist.

I also learned what it meant to let go of someone you have love for because that's what that person really needs...and also hoping the absolute best for them.

I like my grey hairs and wrinkles around my eyes, and the stretch marks on my thighs. It shows a well lived body participating in the life in front of me.

My smile feels so real; My heart is a direct line to my smile.

Getting to see the fridge with my loved ones holiday cards on it - each one of them drenched in memories.

I like moons, flowers, reading books that I bought so long ago, but never had the capacity to indulge in. I love celebrating. I like cheering people on. I love all the things that make others feel good about themselves.

I'm operating this next chapter of life like an open floor plan.

My family is healthy, strong, and very happy. That's probably the highlight of this all.

Experiences over things.
Presence over presents.
Humanity over perfection.

& Turning 30 this year, and I feel like life is just getting started!

South Dakota - Summer 2018
Seattle - Winter 2018
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