A Year in Selfies (Part 1)

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Started Grad School in Ohio

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Golden Hour selfie with the cohort buddies

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Road trip to Geek Fest in D.C. #gradschoolisaboutthecarrides

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Lived in a co-op

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Went to A’s wedding in D.C.! #kindergartenfriends #madeitjustintime

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Favorite Fancy Shoes

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#Bowtiesarecool

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Bought a bike before I bought a car. #ofcourseidid

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Rest Stop on the way home from Thanksgiving Break with S. and K. on the East Coast. #friends

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Started anti-depressants. #documentingdepression

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Spent a lot of time being depressed because #gradschool so decided to start taking pictures of the experience. #documentingdepression

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Finally Bought a car. Walk home after taking it to the shop for repairs. #arttherapy

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End of Semester 1 with a day at the art museum #designtherapy

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Winterbreak in S.F. with the Dad. #Ileftmyheartinuniqlo

Why is Rumi just soooo good?

Throw away the passion, envy, and grudges from the heart. Change your bad behavior and bad thoughts. Denying everything harms you, deny little. Affirmation is, on the other hand, useful. Increase your affirmation.

~Rumi

Why is it that often Eastern and Middle Eastern texts are just so much easier to read than Western texts? I’m talking about Rumi. I’m talking about Thich Nhat Hanh. Their words are just so simple and concise. Their words pierce my soul and vibrate like piano strings in my heart.

Sometimes western texts are just too wordy. It’s ironic because in the west we are raised on the western texts. We are raised on white authors, white philosophers, and white theologians. But sometimes their words bore me and I just can’t get through the stuff.

But give me a Rumi poem. I could read it over and over and over again. And never stop smiling. There’s a reason his words get memed all over Facebook with pretty pictures. His stuff sticks.

I’ve recently begun this path of minimalism. And I have a theory that the reason the non-western guys are so good with words is because they’ve got the minimalism thing down. Less is more.

I think there’s also another element. Sometimes I feel like they’ve connected with their heart more. There’s a feeling that comes through their words that is often lacking in the western texts. It’s like in the west everyone is too wrapped up in their heads to really feel with their heart. And poetry isn’t an intellectual exercise. #halfthoughts

New Year, New Semester

It’s the start of a new semester in Ohio. I’m taking a more manageable load this semester, so that I can really focus on my most intense photo class and still have time to breathe. Here are some other changes I’ve implemented to help myself have a fresh start:

-I moved rooms in my co-op.

-I rented a locker in the gym.

-I don’t have any classes that start before 10:30am.

-We are painting a giant zen tangle art therapy mural on the living room ceiling.

-Oh, and I finally took a self portrait today. I haven’t taken one in a while.

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Alternate Path. Self Portrait. #withoutdisguise

Everything is Fixable

This week, I finally began taking antidepressants. I’d been thinking of starting them for the last 6 months, but it took a while to get an appointment with the psychiatrist.

I also kept going back and forth on committing to starting. I would have a few weeks where I felt fine-ish and think, maybe I’m getting better? But then I’d dip again or have a panic attack and think, nope I was wrong.

I waffled back and forth like this for  several weeks after returning to the states, before I finally committed to making that first psychiatrist appointment. And then when I finally made a decision, it took another month before my doctor had an opening.

They say that it usually takes several weeks for antidepressants to kick in and up to a few months to figure out the right dose and find the medication that works for you. Some people claim they start working from day one. I’m convinced I’m one of those people.

The first few days after starting I felt somewhat lighter. I caught myself smiling more throughout the day and during conversations. I found myself saying hello to my roommates and classmates just a tad perkier than usual.

But I know depression doesn’t go away completely with one pill. And I still have days where I sleep most of the day, or am unmotivated to do work, or have bouts of crying for seemingly mundane reasons.

On the first day I got my prescription, I had an anxiety attack in class, noticeable enough that my professor checked on me after class to ask if I was ok. The first thing she said to me was, “Everything is fixable.”

I had a chat with her in her office and revealed that I’d been struggling with depression. And she was very supportive. She said not to worry about classes and deadlines. I can always finish assignments later, even if it has to be after the semester is over.

It’s good to know that I won’t fail. That’s one less thing to worry about.

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Transition

It’s been a while since I posted on here. Since I last wrote, I moved out of my apartment in Korea, mailed 9 boxes to the states by boat, moved back to America, and then moved across the country to start grad school.  Now, I’m already 5 weeks into my first semester!

Grad school is exciting. I’m meeting awesome people, I have classes with awesome faculty, and I’m being challenged regularly.

But I still don’t feel settled. I keep having to remind myself that I didn’t just move states, I moved countries. On top of that, I’ve implemented several life style changes recently.

I’m still getting used to everything and it’s simply going to take me awhile until I feel like I’ve fully transitioned my life to being here.

I’m still in the process of purchasing possessions like a car, auto insurance, new camera equipment, furniture, bedding, and SPICES. I don’t think I’ll feel fully at home until my pantry is complete. Looking forward to that day. One bottle of tumeric at a time. #intransition

First Gig

That potential gig I mentioned is actually happening. Performing next week at a bar in Itaewon called Link. Super stoked!

I have a whole 15-20 minute set to myself. I have 5 songs picked out to play, all but one of which I’ve written in Korea. So it will be a good send off for myself. And it will be good to burn some karma, and leave it here before I go.

The Countdown Begins

Ack! I’m leaving Korea this month.

It’s officially July, and I feel like there’s so many things to do before I leave. Sell stuff, give away stuff, pack, mail stuff to Ohio, meet up with friends to say goodbye.

I had a serious flu for most of June, so that and my depression kinda set me back on leaving prep. But now my flu is mostly gone and I’m ready to start the packing frenzy.

I bought my first box from the post office last week, and went back the next day to buy two more. And I posted a couple things on craigslist to sell. Baby steps.

Selling stuff is always the most annoying thing, because people always want free or cheap things, so I never get to sell things for as high as I’d like. But hopefully I’ll be able to pawn off most of the big items for a decent price.

Excited to be leaving Korea and returning to the states. It’s been a long 4 years, and I’m ready to move on.