I have commitment issues.
With my hairstylist.
I know we’re around that age where we should have someone that we continuously go back to and trust with our tresses but I haven’t found that special someone just yet.
I’m not sure what the reason is for my lack of committing.
I say it’s because I’m lazy but actually having a solid hairstylist I go back to time after time would save me the hassle and stress of finding a new person, worrying about their service and technical skills and having to hunt down the location of the salon.
I say it’s because I’m fickle but honestly, there have been haircuts and coloring jobs I’d received in the past which I’m perfectly super duper happy with.
I think the real reason is because I’m scared.
Not of the cut, which is fine.
But I’m scared about committing to the hairstylist as a person.
Everyone knows that a good stylist is a little bit about the technique but a lot about the chemistry. Whether you can click and get along with that stylist. Whether you can trust them with your relationship, life and work problems.
But I am extremely wary about entrusting a hairstylist with that aspect. (My hair on the other hand? Do whatever the hell you will with it) The whole idea of opening up to them, telling them about my day, my family, my friends… *shudder.
So anytime a hairstylist tells me, “Next time you come back, we’ll try that new highlighting technique,” I can’t help but think in my head, “It’s not you. It’s me.” and “This is not see you later. It really is goodbye. Forever.”
Do I want to eventually settle down with a good man and woman and live out the rest of my life with a blissful domesticity and a warm “Nice to see you back again,” everytime I re-enter the shampoo-scented salon? Sure… maybe one day.
But until then, I will let my hairstylist-selecting choices run as wild as as free as my long, untamed hair.
Oh wait… actually I just got a haircut. So scratch that.
Well, not really…
I don’t know.
The past few years, my presence on The Media Maid has been dwindling. As more and more bloggers sprout up over the internet, more and more “look at me” social media mongers clammered for likes and comments, I’ve all but pretty much disappeared here on my beloved blog. Sure, every once in awhile, you’ll be treated to an emo heartbreak post or a random pop culture piece but most generally, I cannot say I’ve been the most active of bloggers.
Not because I haven’t been writing, you see. I had a stint for awhile at a magazine, I still contribute and help out with some other sites and I still put pen to paper the old fashioned way all the time in my journal but in a weird way, the more I had to write professionally, the less I wanted to write blogically.
Well, here are just a few of the reasons:
Being a professional writer sapped my creativity
I know this sounds a little bit idiosyncratic. After all, shouldn’t getting paid to write be the dream of any writer? Shouldn’t the accessibility to a computer and blank Word document throughout most of the day as well as being in an environment with like-minded individuals actually help boost my writing prowess?
Well, it did back when I was writing part-time. Because the other parts of my days, I was able to spend it daydreaming and conjuring up weird content to put on my own blog – stuff like being afraid of trees and hate mails to mosquitos. When I started writing full time – 10am-7pm 5 times a week (but usually much longer than that), the last thing I wanted to go home and face was my computer screen. Again.
I faced a lot of big, scary critics.
Granted, most of them were in my head. I had gotten to a point where I kept listening to everyone else about what I should do with my blog. Ebert over there is muttering about how I need to quit sharing all the goofs and mishaps I get myself into while Roeper all the way down there is yammering about how they wished I would be less wordy. It started creating a major writer’s block in me because I just didn’t know what to write about that could please everyone who read this thing. I stopped listening to that voice inside my own head, that gut instinct that told me what was cool and what was not, what was worthy to write about and how to write about it.
I was trying to kick my bad habit.
I’m a really bad big mouth. This bad habit could be as harmless as sometimes I just don’t think certain pieces of information are that big of a deal to share with other people but I didn’t really consider other people’s feelings and sensitivities. This bad habit could also be as grave as I grew up having a serious void in my heart and a need for attention and my way to get that attention and fulfill that void was to share gossip. These past few years have been a gradual but intentional purging of my big-mouthedness. Not blogging regularly on my personal blog about the comings and goings of my life has definitely helped with that process so yes! Some rainbow finally popped out of that dreary old thunderstorm!
As my Instagramming habit increased, it just became easier to take one or two pictures that stuck out to me during the day and share a little bit about my musings on it rather than plot out a whole entry that has a succinct beginning, middle and end. I succumbed to my generation’s need to share everything right now, right away and became too lazy to work my brain muscles out with the sometimes painful process of brainstorming and marinating on a good, long, in-depth topic or theme and then actually typing that out.
A lot of the past two years has been devoted to some serious soul searching. Drawing out where my identity lies and how it defined my actions and behaviors in positive or negative ways. So much of my life has been about doing something to carve out that identity. I’d somehow believed deep down inside that if I portrayed a life that looked pretty and sparkly and just charmingly slightly disarrayed, then that was who I was inside. Or also that my identity was based on how well-received my blog was or how many people would email or comment or like each blog entry. I didn’t really want to be beholden to that anymore. Even if I don’t write regularly, I’m still Janice… beloved by my Creator and made for greatness and freedom in ways I can’t even fathom (also created for a bit of big-headedness, huh?). No funny entry, witty anecdote or eye-catching photo can ever make up for that.
So yea… in a nutshell, I guess those are most of the reasons for the lack of life found on The Media Maid. I think most likely, I just kind of got annoyed by myself and my excessive sharing. Funny enough, to the right of my blog’s homepage, this is my writer’s profile, right underneath a eager beaver smiley photo of me in a bubblegum pink t-shirt:
I have this problem. I have a need to share with the world my passions and interests and hope that they will also enjoy it. Hence, this blog is born- to showcase some of the things I’m most fascinated with. Most of the posts relate to the media as it relates to me. (Blame the early twenties neurosis of thinking the world revolves around you)
The late-twenties Janice reads those sentences and think, “Oh god, how utterly annoying, naive and young this chick is. (Cute smile though)”
So after aaaaaall the reasons why I didn’t want to blog on The Media Maid anymore, why this post?
Well, I kind of missed this old friend. I was looking through old photos the other day and I thought, “Wow. I’ve made some incredible memories over the past few years. I’ve had some great people in my life and some grand adventures.” But because I hadn’t been blogging that much these past few years, I’ve sadly almost forgotten about these good times (and some bad times).
Keeping my memories afloat on The Media Maid has given me a most valuable gift – treasure troves of stories and incidentals and thoughts and musings that can help me reflect on my past, present and even what I presumed my future would be. And now that my knowledge of my true identity is more firm and in place than ever before, I feel I can write and share from a place that’s less beholden to my critics and bad habits and fears.
So who knows? Perhaps I’ll be updating more frequently from now on? Perhaps I’ll be shifting how I write and what I write about? Not sure what the future will hold but for here, for now, here is a post.
As a creator (hey, someone’s gotta create these blog posts, right?), I’ve found myself at crossroads many a times over the type of themes or underlying messages my writing should have.
When it comes to writing on this blog, because all of it is personal and my point of view on certain things at certain points in my life, I just try to go at it with a point of trying to make it as honest as possible for myself and for those who may happen to read it.
However, when it comes to plotting what type of art I should create through my writing (whether it’s screenplays, novels or children’s books), I always have a bit of a harder time. On the one hand, I would ideally want my art to reach as many people as possible, making it pleasing for them. On the other hand, my faith has colored my view of the world and my reality in so many ways that I want to share that aspect as well. But how to do it without making it too preachy or with stereotypically cheesy Christian undertones?
So with these conundrums constantly at the back of my mind, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this interview of Diablo Cody this morning.
Now, I love my girl Diablo. Always have since Juno popped out of her belly (er, brain?) years ago. Her rags to riches story of making it in Hollywood – as a woman, a newbie writer and a former stripper – is so unusual, so near unbelievable that the tale itself almost seems to have been crafted from a Hollywood writer.
With a stage name like Diablo (which actually means, “devil,” did you know?), it’s interesting to hear that Cody actually writes about all her personal encounters, thoughts, feelings and experiences in her dealings with faith and religion and in such a way that – from the plot line of her new movie, Paradise - it actually seems like it has an aspect of the gospel in it. I mean, I’d have to watch it for myself to really assess it but just take a look at this answer from her interview with the Daily Beast that addresses this:
“I had moments where I was really close to believing that there was really nothing to live for, that there was nobody looking out for me. That I wasn’t loved. I think everyone has been through at least one major personal trauma in their loves that causes them to question things, to rethink their identity.”
And at least for me, that has been truthful to me in my journey coming to Christ. Moments where deep down inside, I felt some sort of un-want, un-love, un-need, that I get to a place where I really needed to reaffirm where my place in the world is.
Not sure where Lamb’s (that’s the character’s name in the movie! Oh, Diablo) identity reassessment in the movie will take her but in my own personal story, it’s always taken me to a place of deeper understanding to where love comes from, what it truly is and why I can’t can’t can’t take it for granted (even though I often do because, well, I’m a sinner and nowhere the perfection). It’s a daily understanding, believing and recognizing of John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 13 and 1 John 4:11-17 and more.
Of course, Cody’s God-damning, Vegas-partying, Russell Brand-lovemaking plot lines will probably also shock many church-goers and Jesus-lovers but I think it’s important to also allow people to realize that
A) Movies are works of fiction crafted out of someone’s imagination, personal experiences and personal agendas. They’re not the absolute truth so don’t get butt hurt about it not reflecting your view of your faith. And that:
B) The film – like life – is not about each scene or each line but about the overall journey and what themes and grand views of the world one can receive from it by the end. It’s a process. It’s a road. It’s a journey.
Thanks Diablo for giving me some great thoughts to think about when I craft my own works of art.
Thanks Christina for sharing the article.
Kids, I’m going to teach you a neat trick about life.
You ready to listen?
Sometimes, life sucks. (Holy epiphany!) Sometimes, it’s the crappiest of crap (I know, I’m a genius). Sometimes, you will have to suck on a whole lot of lemons and then you don’t even get lemonade after all that but rather, you get some sort of cheap knockoff lemon spit. Sometimes, you will step in dog poop. Sometimes, you will lose someone you love or that someone you love won’t love you back. Sometimes, you’ll be so sucked into and contained into your own self absorbed world of misery that you think there’s no way out of the black hole.
There is, though. That way?
I swear to you. Every time, it always seems to work. For some reason, looking up and staring up at the sky during my darkest moments have always given me the brightest of hope. The vastness of the sky overhead punctuated with the curly clouds (on a pretty day) or the ever-changing hue of a sunset just does something to one’s soul. Kind of settles it and wraps it up in a big hug while saying, “It’s gonna be okay.”
Staring at the sky gives you a perspective of who you are in this world. Unlike that little worm of a voice inside your head that keeps muttering over and over, “This problem is HUGE. You’ll NEVER get out of it. YOU SUCK, YOU SUCK, YOU SUCK,” staring at the sky reveals that you’re so tiny in this big big world of ours. Just an itty bitty speck. Remember those times when you were younger and letting a balloon fly into the sky, disappearing into the universe? Where does it go? Where does it end up? I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation and solution to it but the romantic in me is just going to say I don’t know.
But I do know what I see when I stare up at that sky. I see with certainty that my problems are not merely my own. Nor are they the end of the world. I see possibilities. I see hope. I see faith.
Look up. Do you see it too?
I realized I don’t got a lot of it.
Sure, I’m okay with waiting in line most of the time and I’m alright with traffic jams. I would say, I even find it fun sometimes to wait as I always manage to find things to preoccupy my time with. And knots? I can untangle those, no problem, because I just patiently pull it apart.
But when it comes to really being patient with the hard stuff – with waiting for things, people and situation to grow, I lose heart and I lose faith a lot. I wish life would only be filled with all the fun Instagram-worthy stuff like cute puppies frolicking in the grass or babies hiccuping (why so cute?) or winning the lottery. But nope… more often than not, we’re faced with craptastic things like getting gum on our shoes, waking up with headaches and waiting.
I know the only way to strengthen my patience is to wait it out. So heart, be still, my dear.
And let’s see what the future unfolds.
You know how sometimes after a long time of not doing something, you’re not even sure how to start it back up again?
Yea, that’s kind of the feeling I have right now. The wonder of what topic would be a good one to get myself back in the swing of things, what is impactful enough, important enough, well worded enough to actually make it a relevant first post after a long hiatus?
I thought about all the things I wanted to tell you, all the impressions I wanted to make…
And then I scratched all of those ideas and just decided to go with this one.
You see, someone very dear to my heart told me recently that when I write – especially for something such as this personal blog – I shouldn’t really worry about what the readers would want to read, what would get the most comments, what they would like because with all due respect, as important as you are in my life, my writing should also be because I have something to say, because I want to say something. Or even just that I want to write. Even if it’s about nothing at all.
And I did want to write tonight. I wanted to say hi to you guys. That I’ve missed you. I’ve missed the witty (at least to me) words that flowed out of my brain every time my fingers touched the keyboard. I’ve missed the long ruminations over what would make a great blog post, I’ve missed the interaction about honestly baring my souls sometimes just for the hell of it.
“What took you so long?” You might ask. (Or you might just be asking, “you still own this blog?)
Well, my hesitation came from many different forms.
There’s that very creepy man who still sends me creepy emails and messages and diamonds every time I make a remote blip on social media. There’s my job that sometimes sucks all the words (or at least the energy to be on my computer for more than I need to) away from me. There’s the decrease of a need to share what’s going on in my life with people other than the ones that I actually care about. I think as social media expanded (Twitter, Instagram, Kik, WeChat, etc., I’m looking at you all) I’ve started to shrink my media presence. I became more concerned about nourishing the few close relationships that I actually have in person and via one on one communication rather than sending out a mass email or picture to the world letting them know what pair of sneakers I have on. Hey, I’m not saying that’s bad if you’re someone who still does that but it’s just not for me.
But deep down inside, frankly there’s just a feeling that you probably don’t really care about my life or my thoughts of my words enough to want to read about it on this blog.
“Oh no no no, Janice! We care about you! We really want to see you update your blog!” You might say. (Or you might just say, “Seriously, you still maintain this thing?”) But it’s okay. Whichever your reaction is, I’m working on not really caring about the response I get with the work I write, more about keeping the reasoning for myself. Asking questions like, “what do I want to say? What do I want to share? Why do I think this is important?”
And that is enough.
Hope you’ll still keep reading
PS. Shout out to Alex and Jess who keep pushing me to keep this blog going. Thanks guys
Wow! I’ve been in Hong Kong for a year now! I had been planning to update you all here on what’s been happening here since I’ve been and what I’ve experienced and observed and lived through but I’m heading to Cambodia for the weekend so it’ll have to wait. But wow! It’s been a year!
Another year, another birthday.
I’ve never been one to be super big on my birthdays but have been super blessed by family and friends who celebrated with me with fine company, cake, balloons, birthday blessings and lots and lots of love.
This year was no exception. I got to get all warm and fuzzy with my family over a hot pot meal, thanks to my mom and dad. My sis orchestrated an amazing day of bowling, beers, best cupcakes and belly laughs. My amazing family (aunt, uncle, cousins Cissy, Donnie, Irene, Chris) blessed me with beautiful wishes and very generous and *ahem practical gifts. My friends lent their hands with helping out, getting me awesome balloons, writing heartwarming cards and just blessing blessing blessing me with their presence and smiles (and drinks). I feel so loved especially because I’ve been here in Hong Kong for a little less than a year, away from the only home I’ve ever known and yet, people are making me feel so welcome.
When people talk about birthdays, it’s usually associated with dread over turning another year older. I’d have to disagree. Save for the one year when I turned 21 and had a mini-panic attack, I’ve always been okay about turning another year older. Even looked forward to it sometimes. The way I see it:
I’m not turning another year older, I’m turning another year wiser.
I’m not heading towards death, I’m heading closer to eternal life.
I’m not decaying, I’m just learning to treasure my body more.
I’m not getting more boring, I’ve become more certain of who I am and what I want out of life.
I’m not becoming more jaded, I’m becoming more appreciative of all the good things in this world.
I’m not becoming less popular, I’m becoming more selective over who I value enough to spend my time with.
I’m not regretful I’m still stuck making the same mistakes sometimes, I’m grateful I’m picking up the pieces faster after I’ve made the mistakes and lessening the frequency in making them.
I’m not leaving the good ol’ days behind, I’m getting closer and closer to the best days of our lives.
Not only am I 26 years old, I’m 56 years wise, 16 years strong, 6 years innocent, 16 years adventurous, eternally joyful.
I would never want to be the person I was 1, 2, 3 years ago. That Janice was naive, selfish, quick-tempered, on shaky grounds, cared so much more about the little things that won’t last, cared so much more about what other people thought. This Janice… because of Him… so much better
Thanks to everyone who’s wished me a happy birthday and helped me celebrate!
Now that I have been in Hong Kong for a little over half a year, I’m finally experiencing that dose of what they call homesickness. The LA sunshine. The chill, laid-back people who are all, like, ‘whatever’, and, ‘just chill’, and, ‘dude’, and stuff. The burritos and quesadillas and KBBQ and pho.
But I think what I miss most about LA is the dreamers.
LA is a land of dreamers.
It’s a place where stories are longing to jump from the brain onto a paper (or Word Document) and onto the big screen or small screen or stage. It’s a place where an actor has fallen in love with creating characters and is willing to wait on tables for years in order to make that dream a reality. It’s a place where (wannabe) producers, writers, talents, directors, costume designers do what they do in order to make the impossible a possibility. It’s a place where people are okay with money not being the means to everything so long as their souls can create, produce, emote.
Hong Kong’s a more practical city. It likes to look at the odds, the chances, the likelihood, the possibilities, the numbers a bit more. Oh yes, the numbers. It definitely likes to look at the numbers.
I’ve never been a numbers person so the odds (hah!) doesn’t bode well for me in a city like Hong Kong. Yet, I’m a doggedly persistent dreamer and my optimism and faith is at a staggeringly high percentage (well, what do you know, I just may be a numbers person after all!) so I think this–combined with the acceptance of the personality of the city I live in– will help my chances at thriving here. Plus, it’s good to have Hong Kong’s go-getter attitude rub off on me a bit. I need that to make things happen, right?
This was just a small shout-out to all my dreamers out there. You’re not alone. And your dreams are going to become awesome realities!
I have this problem. I have a need to share with the world my passions and interests and hope that they will also enjoy it. Hence, this blog is born- to showcase some of the things I'm most fascinated with. Most of the posts relate to the media as it relates to me. (Blame the early twenties neurosis of thinking the world revolves around you). (More..)
- I Have Commitment Issues
- Why I Haven’t Been Updating Here
- Faith in art
- Look up
- Revving up the engines
- 1 year later…
- Another year, another birthday
- Life is Funny…
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