A Beautifully Painful Mess

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The Ruins of Rome. Summer 2014.

Strange. The door was ajar, a moment ago. I knocked, then pushed it open.

I had expected my patient to be on the phone. Instead, she sat on the exam table, her young daughter standing at her side. The little girl’s left hand wrapped the blood pressure cuff over her mom’s arm, and the other hand squeezed the inflation bulb.  Startled by my interruption, she hurriedly put the cuff away.

“When you grow up, do you want to be a doctor or nurse?” I smiled, reaching for a pair of gloves.

“A nurse,” she replied. Continue reading

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It’s Not About Chivalry

My hands were full.

Clutching a syringe, alcohol swabs, bandaids, and loose leaf papers, I approached the double doors with my filled fist towards my sternum, and my right arm angled outwards, ready to push the lever forward with my forearm and elbow.

Then, through the glass, an older man started towards the entrance, on the opposite side.

Continue reading

It’s a Good Calling, then…

One panel featured during the "More Than a Number" Exhibit featuring the stories of Cambodian Genocide Survivors. 2012.

The “More Than a Number” Exhibit featuring the testimonies of Cambodian Genocide Survivors. 2012.

“We live in a world where bad stories are told,
stories that teach us life doesn’t mean anything
and that humanity has no great purpose.

It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story.
How brightly a better story shines.
How easily the world looks to it in wonder.
How grateful we are to hear these stories,
and how happy it makes us to repeat them.”

― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

To Spend Christmas Alone

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a giant wooden bear. Harajaku, Tokyo.

It’s not so bad, you just need a plan:

1) Start a few weeks early, mailing out cards and gifts in advance. (Just because you can’t be with your friends and family on Christmas Day doesn’t mean you don’t send your season’s greetings.)

2) Go grocery shopping before Christmas Day, because on the day of, the stores will be closed and you’ll be left hungry. Since you’ll be alone, there ain’t no one to cook for you but yourself. (And if you don’t know how to cook, maybe it’s a good time to start learning..)

On Monday and Tuesday I had to work as usual. It was a cold and rainy evening commute. Without an umbrella, I couldn’t walk to the full service grocery store (aka ‘Whole Paycheck’) so I walked to a nearby store and picked up ham, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Unfortunately they didn’t have real potatoes or fresh green beans so I was obligated to buy boxed potatoes and prewashed green beans. Don’t judge. =P  

3) All the love you would have given to your friends and family- give to your neighbors and those around you instead. 

The reason why I couldn’t spend Christmas with my family is because Continue reading

Versatile Blogger Award / Dona Nobis Pacem

Last week’s tumultuous weather really dragged me down… (winter storm from last week? watch for the upcoming blog post on it!) Is there such thing as emotional jet lag? Cuz since I returned from Asia, I have been jumping through one hurdle after another…

So I interrupt all this funk to share my excitement in being nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award! I’m a former xangan for over a decade so certainly not new to the blogging community.. but after migrating to WP I definitely felt like a small fish in a giant pond. This award reminds me that perhaps we are more connected than we think.. =)

A big thank you to HongKongFong for the nomination. She’s a talented photographer and blogger who captures the beauty in the everyday –  in her life and all the colors, cultures, and cuisines that compose Hong Kong. (She’s also a fellow oboist! YEA oboes!)

7 random things about myself… Continue reading