My Little Things

Little Things #41-50

Happy Monday! Hope this helps kick off your week to a great start!

Story Behind Featured Image (#42): This is Henry. He’s a french bull dog who loves food and loves to snuggle on people’s laps. His pouty face and whines makes anyone smile.

41. The feeling you get after you sneeze
42. Receiving a dog’s unconditional love
43. Hearing someone refer to you as their friend for the first time
44. Finding out there isn’t a back side to a worksheet
45. Turning on the TV just in time
46. Feeling accomplished at the end of the day
47. Finding out that someone likes you
48. Andes mint chocolate
49. Hearing people cheer for you
50. Finding out that something is cheaper than you thought it was

Check out/follow my Instagram for more updates. Click the Little Things (Master List)tab on the website header for the Master List.

Do you have any little things in your life? Comment below to be featured on the list!

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My Little Things

Little Things #1-10

Whether you worked Sunday and still have to work Monday, Monday will always be that Monday. But I believe it is extra important to kick off a new week on a high note so I’m introducing a new hashtag and blog series called #littlethingswithmo. or The Weekly Little Things

What are they? Basically things or moments or feelings that happen throughout your day that makes your day better, but you may not consciously recognize it. I’ve been compiling this list of little things for around seven years so it’s quite long.

So every Sunday, I’ll be posting 10 little things from my e-mail list + my related photography. My hope is that after you read this list, you will walk away feeling inspired or feeling more uplifted! 🙌

1. Coming home after being away for a while
2. The fresh feeling after washing your face
3. Getting in line just before it gets long
4. Being in the car while it is going through the car wash
5. Finding out that you’re having your favorite meal for dinner
6. Accomplishing something people thought you couldn’t
7. The look of vacuumed carpet
8. When someone wants to take a picture with you
9. When everybody’s in a good mood
10. Immature moments with your friends

 

 

Check out/follow my Instagram for more updates. Click the Little Things (Master List) tab on the website header for the Master List.

Do you have any little things in your life? Comment below!

Happiness - Abstract

Delight

04. Leaves

You can point and laugh and call me one of those pathetic girls, but nonetheless, I don’t care. So what If I watch The Bachelorette? It inspires me and shoves me into the world of romance for my stories and plot lines. Don’t judge. I never believe in reality-show inspired couples [just take a look at Hurricane Jake-Vienna], but the places and the dates the producers put together never fails to make me smile.

Ali Fedotowsky is the new bachelorette this season, but last season on Jake’s epic failure to find a wife, she was one of the twenty-five bachelorettes trying to win his sensitive heart, but alas she went home because she couldn’t lose her job. There was one particular moment I loved during Jake’s season which has been on my mind ever since. It was during a home town date when Ali said that when she catches a leaf, she makes a wish.

This simple moment on this hopeless reality TV show threw my mind into a spinning tornado. It gave me the basis I needed for the medical school romance series I was writing.

Leaves.

I think for most children across America -and maybe the world-, leaves are one of the images a teenager would say if someone was to ask the question, “What objects can you describe from your childhood?”

The different colors of the variegated leaves are one of my reasons why autumn is my favorite season. Gold, brown, chocolate, crimson, orange, tawny. The winds blowing and ushering the leaves to cascade down the trees, littering in gorgeous patterns across the light green, crispy, uneven grass. They are many things to people. Memories of leaves being raked, laughing, jumping into proliferating piles, and having pictures taken with friends and parents. They are old happiness encased in nature’s cookie-cutters. They’re everywhere; always ready with a storage of optimism for people to draw from. Me. You. Anyone.

In my story, the protagonist takes a leaf from a nearby tree and marks it with the date and gist of the memory when she wants to remember something beautiful or monumental that has happened. Then she stores it away in several boxes.

Excerpt:

It all started when I was a miniscule girl of five years old running around in pigtails and dark blue overalls. Even back then, autumn was my favorite season, and while usually my parents never let me raked the leaves, that special year was going to mark my first. I was given a toy rake that day to help my parents, and with that magnificent tool in my hands, I pushed myself to become the rake expert, trying to outdo my even smaller brother and his growing pile of leaves.

When we were done and the backyard was left a plateau of dying yellow with random mountains of variegated leaves all around, our parents directed us to gather them into trash bags so we could ship them off to a “leaf collector place” the next morning.

As I shoveled my leaves with my shiny, red rake into the black garbage bag, I came upon one especially bright leaf with a shiny exterior and a perfect mix of scarlet, bronze, and saffron colors. Inspiration of some sort struck in my head. After looking over my shoulders to make sure my parents or my brother weren’t looking, I proceeded to shove that special leaf into my overall’s pocket. Pretending to whistle, I continued my dutiful work.

That fond memory was over fifteen years ago, but a tradition started that day.

Every moment that I considered special or something worth remembering, I would pick a leaf from a random tree nearby, etch the date and a brief gist or quote of the memory onto it, and place it safely into my odd leaf collection. Along with journal entries, I kept a large black crate with two pastel colored boxes inside, labeling them as Friendship and Family. Inside each box were colorfully decorated bags labeled with a special person’s name.

Leaves are memories. It’s nature’s gift. It’s the one thing on a bleak day I can draw strength from no matter where I am. Dallas. Waco. Cambodia. China. Maastricht. California.

It doesn’t matter where the location is because, well, it’s everywhere, resting, hanging, and dancing whimsically.

I do not own any of the photography.

This is my last ‘small ounces of happiness’ blog before my trip to China. Hopefully from the beautiful oriental country, I will be able to do my first travel blog.

Happiness - Reality

Content

03. Father

This is for all the fathers out there who stood by the silent commandments of parenthood. This is for all the dads who unconditionally love their child and their family no matter the circumstance. This is for my special dad who works incredibly hard so I can sit here today and breathe, smile, and write.

Remember the time when I thought I knew it all? The skies, the galaxies, the moral lessons, math, history…you stood by and patiently took in my annoying know-it-all tendencies and childlike arrogance and gave me a look that never failed to silence me. Never failed to teach me the beauty of silence and the wonders of just opening my ears and listening to what really, truly happens around me.

Remember when I used to pout and groan and mutter when I never received what I wanted? You taught me discipline. You taught me the actual meaning of respect.

Remember when you lifted me up to the essences in the Khmer temple and taught me how to bow and bend before the gold Buddha? Before the everlasting God. Remember how right after you would take me to an American place later so I can munch blissfully on their food? You showed me the world I come from and how it’s significant to never forget one’s past. You taught me how it’s important to incorporate the culture that surrounds you as well and become a swirl of colors and understanding.

Remember when you danced in front of me and sang those Khmer songs on karaoke? The colors, the costumes, and the lights. They taught me how to dance internally. To smile.

Remember when you always checked out books for me in the library and turned them in because I was too short to reach the return box? Patience was a seed that grew. Love for knowledge came next.

Remember when you held my hand and laughed at my frightened face as we ice-skated the first time? There I was taught bravery and how having the right people can straighten your legs and make your back strong.

Remember when you opened up and told me those stories of your horrific past? They humbled me like no other and haunted me into a world of ‘ifs’. They made me wonder and pray for the starving children and poverty-stricken villages around the world. They made me into a worldly person who dreams about doing greatness for the poor villages across the globe. They made me write.

Remember when you took me to my appointments? Little did you know that I was soon enraptured by the medical world. Remember every single time you expressed your curiosity for the workings of science? Little did you know that it shaped me to be the girl I am today – striving and shooting for my medical dreams.

Remember when you spoke to me in the beautiful language of Khmer? I always smiled and took in the richness of each word.

Remember the few times I actually woke up super early and had breakfast with you? The conversations never failed to leave me in a pensive mood.

“Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” You taught me to be ambitious and to be the best I can be, and no matter what, there’s always something greater out there than I think there is. To never give up. To never let anything get in my way.

Laughs. Big Eyes. Christmas Gifts. Coffee. Starbucks Gift Cards. Ties. Dress Shirts. Camcorders. Cameras. Cell Phones. Making Asian food on a BBQ. Ice Skates. Science Channel. DNA.

All these remind me of you.

Fathers around the world. This love. It’s unspeakable. Indescribable. Unconditional. Untouchable.

Your child may not be able to express creatively or even simply that they love you. That they appreciate you.

…But know they do. We all do.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. [[Papa.]]

Current Song: The Listening by Lights

I do not own any of the photography.

Happiness - Abstract

Cheerfulness

02. Origami

Origami is a Japanese art of folding paper that goes way back to the 17th century AD. The most common form of this beautiful craft-making we all see today are paper cranes, but there are other forms. While we were all sitting apathetically in our high school chairs, once upon a time, many of us made paper airplanes or the annoying “paper footballs.” With poorly-constructed airplanes buzzing around our ears and students hollering and hooting whenever games of paper footballs were in session, many of us forget that origami is an art. We forget the word.

It’s amazing what people can do with mundane pieces of paper. Swans, different geometric shapes, elephants, roses…so many choices. They are beautiful.

Being the over-analyzer, I noted a connection these paper creations held with our lives one random day while I stared and shifted through online photography.

It’s bewildering and admirable how each piece of origami can be unfolded and made into something else. It exemplifies that no matter how different our culture is from the person standing  next to us freaking out over raw meat or the fellow friend who always calls at awful hours, we are all the same inside. We all have synonymous souls and the equivalent capacities to do anything.

Humanity just needs to embrace this thought more.

Inter-racial marriages. World-wide adoption. Global mission trips.

And we have done so. The degree of the acknowledgement of this theme is growing. Proliferating enough to give me a modicum of tranquility at night.

But moving forward, origami represents something else I find college students will be able to relate to more.

A sheet of paper. Your life; your vast horizon. The end work of art. Your destination.

People have different views about how fate, destiny, and God play into our lives. As for me, I firmly believe that everyone has a destiny God has created for us. We do not have fates which, to me, resemble a permanent path we have no control over. Instead, everyone has an end point we are all supposed to reach, and it has been established by God before we were placed on Earth.

How we get there is up to us. We carve the road, and we make the choices. The choices we make are influenced by the personality God has given to us. Although He does not lay before us the direct path, He guides us there. All humans are born with magnanimous destinies. The environment around us is what changes us and directs us away from our intended ends. Some sadly never reach the goal God wanted them to reach, and some arrive at their destined spots faster than others. Our destinations or our destinies are the places filled with the righteous people and the honest occupations and the virtuous…well…everything. It is the place that gives us fulfilling peace.

It’s kind of how origami is like. Each piece of paper is intended for something. It’s just up to us to fold it and bend it into a resplendent creation. Every paper creation is different and special and when placed together, it represents the Earth. Many colors…many ethnicities…many purposes…many destinies.

Paper is light and fragile, and that’s how I feel many times when I receive and breathe disheartening news, vexing results, and tormenting auras. But seeing how delicate paper can undergo metamorphosis into an object or a shape with the ability to astound never fails to tug a tiny grin onto my lips. Because the transformation and battles the paper goes through to finally fall into the correct angles is just a snow globe version of what I go through every day. Of what every one clamors through.

It’s comforting to see how the end will be alright. The end will be glorious despite the extremely large hills and rumbling avalanches.

But.

The end. The end. The end. It will be triumphant. We have to have faith in that or we won’t achieve it, of course.

So therefore all my friends, focus and absorb the process/path/road. My eyes are only enraptured when the person is spinning the construction paper.

After all, the small tears and pokes that paper swan battled stubbornly through only makes it more enchanting.

Current Song: Lions by Lights

I own none of the photography.

Happiness - Abstract

Bliss

01. Bubbles

When I was a little girl, I was completely fascinated with bubbles. Once upon time at my old house when the backyard ground was not marred by a pool, my mother used to take my brother and I outside, and we would blow bubbles, watching them float into the horizons. When a pool settled into our earth several years later, I would lay comfortably back in a buoyant chair, letting the cool, cerulean water cascade over my legs and watching my own blown bubbles soar upwards towards the sky.

Bubbles are captivating.

There are liquid bubbles, and there are air bubbles. While a liquid bubble is merely gas in liquid such as the materialized carbon dioxide in soft drinks or sea foam, air bubbles have an aesthetic quality to them.

Most people run around popping bubbles and giggling in delight seeing a large one explode before their eyes. When my brother used to enjoy destroying them with his fingers, I relished the extraneous process of catching them. My goal always when I see a bubble is to see whether I can balance it on my finger and how long I can keep the bubble in existence around me. I always became rather upset as a child when my bubble burst.

I still am charmed about bubbles to this day. Every time I wash dishes or walk around a park and I see a random bubble floating through, it makes me smile.

They have the ability to reflect a multitude of colors, and upon looking through them, I see a distorted, frothy version of the world. They reflect images. They merge. They sail tranquilly minding no one’s business and move heavenwards. They are created by simple water and soap, and the soap does its duty by stabilizing them. They leave pink, yellow, and green plastic blowers as contorted shapes but submerge as a perfect sphere.

They are childhood innocence.

Bubbles remind me of humans. We are shaped by our environment and other people, and then we are let free to fend for ourselves in this harsh world where people are always going to poke you and break you apart. But everyone has a protective shell; some may be more fragile than others. We merge together to stay strong. We all float around, trying to figure out what life is and why God has placed us on this Earth.

We question. We float. We constantly think.

We are all different colors, and we all reflect different histories.

But like bubbles, we ascend as a human and as humankind.

As we grow in our education and morals, we become wiser. We learn what’s important, and hopefully we start to treasure what precious life we have. To understand happiness does not mean being in a bubble of blithe, it means we understand what is given to us and we promise to expand our understanding in order to reach peace within.

What about the kid to the right of you in class who always jokes around and gets in trouble? We scoff and we say, ‘He can’t possibly become wiser. If anything, he’s getting dumber.’

But we all are. Everything that happens to us ascends us higher; it’s just whether the human learns to embrace it. The knowledge is always accumulating inside of us. We just have to learn to tap into it.

The custodian. The trashcan man.

We are all bubbles trying to reach the top. Trying to be the best we can be. The circumstances and the opportunities [the wind embracing the bubbles] are what makes all of us different.

It’s why I choose to always catch bubbles, blinking and staring into them, trying to see what colors and images I can see while all the while determined to make the bubble last as long as it could. I try to support people and to help people as much as I can. I love learning about people’s pasts. It’s what we must do if we desire any illusion of world peace. Like a friend of mine said, learning others’ personal histories makes them feel appreciated, like they actually count in this often lonely world! We are changed by what others have to say. But sometimes we run too fast to care.

Maybe I’m an over-analyzer. I think too much. I’m definitely not trying to preach to humanity. These are my thoughts. These are my outlooks on how I view things. I’m never completely right. Like I said earlier, my goal of this blog is to sort out my thoughts, refine them, and hopefully touch one person or so. Take it or leave it.

So bubbles. What are you going to do next time one floats by?

Cherish.

Current Song: City On Our Knees by tobymac

I own none of the photography.