Fighting My Obsession with the Distance of Blue

It’s so hard to find what I want inside. I wanted to hide from the bitterness of the cold, the frozen tundra in my mind. It’s intricately part of who I am. Trying to run away from the mountain peaks, the snow drifts, the red wind-stricken cheeks, the dry skin from the cold air that falls upon me as I watch the sun rise over the horizon of glaciers.

I am and have always been mesmerized with the distance of blue. Rebecca Solnit describes the distant of blue in her book “A Field Guide to Getting Lost,” as the want for something that is not there. You can see it in the distance, the air particles casting a hue of blue in the distance. It could be a town, a mountain, something on the horizon, but once you reach the destination, you find that the place you were seeing was not real. It is the emotion that can never be explained. It is the place where you can never go. Places you will never arrive at. I see the future that seems so bright and full of meaning and when I live through it, it just seems so mundane and not how I thought it would be.

But then there is how I feel about it afterwards. Because I have left that place, that time, that moment, it is now again in the distance of blue.

The snow was always a pain, a loneliness that blanketed the Earth and all who tried to travel through it would be blocked by it’s silence. But now I long for those quiet moments in the silence of the falling snow. The warmth of the inside. The closed in emotions that are released in a starry chilled night drive when you can see the entire sky opening up, the pressure of the daytime clouds dispersing. And I miss it dearly.

I don’t think moving any particular place will solve my problem regarding the distance of blue. The hues of blue will always be where I am not. I think the solution is within. But I am scared. It is within my passion for writing. I am scared of what I will sacrifice, what it will take to learn and master the craft, how I will learn to connect people to my writing. Writing is not an easy task when doing it well. To do it well, you must be able to transport your audience to that moment and engage all senses so they will feel and understand the meaning of your words.

The distance of blue is what attracts me to traveling, and sometimes I forget how vast the travel within the mind can be. I can be anywhere I want to be in my mind. Those who cannot think like a child will have a hard time. The people who have been hit so hard with reality that they cannot imagine their inner world. I don’t want to forget about my inner world. That is where memories and imagination is skewed, travel is possible, and from where the greatest inspirations grow from. The next step is writing those inspirations down.

Nicoco

OOTD: It’s Still Summer

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OOTD: Top – Korean Thrift | Shorts – Mossimo | Bag – Zara

MOTD: Foundation – Urban Decay Naked Skin | Setting powder – Tony Moly | Blush – Benefit Dandelion | Lashes – MAC mascara | Brows – Daiso pencil in Natural Brown and Hourglass’ pencil in auburn | Lips – MAC Huggable lip color in Origami Orange

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Well, I have been wearing loose clothing due to the hot weather still, and this thrifted shirt from Plato’s Closet is perfect for this damn hot weather. Who said it was fall, huh? The one thing I liked about PA seasons was autumn and we don’t really have an autumn here.

This is kind of just an update post, really. I dyed my hair darker because I couldn’t stand the blonde-copper tones, but of course I couldn’t get rid of it completely, as you can see. I have also recently gotten a stomach ulcer, so I am on a strict diet and Chinese herbal meds, and it started last weekend and I actually am feeling a lot better after a few days of the treatment. I’m really going to use this to jumpstart my health journey (again).

I made a goal that I would be fairly in shape by the time I went back to PA to visit. I have now about four months to lose the weight I put on and to grow out my hair. I think using this strict diet and slowly adding things back in will help me a lot. This stomach ulcer has had a silver lining. I got off caffeine, refined sugar and alcohol, which was an absolutely terrible experience. I had a migraine for three days straight, chills and back pain. I did cheat a little when I went to a Yelp Elite event, I had a fourth of a glass of wine and a bite size brownie. Sigh, I’m so bad. Tsk tsk.

But seriously, I didn’t realize how bad my habits had gotten until I had this ulcer. I was drinking every night at least two glasses of wine, and kind of also got into drinking beer (after going to a Yelp event in Fort Worth…), I was drinking black coffee twice a day, and eating basically whatever I wanted, in between meals and such.

After getting into Traditional Chinese Medicine more and more, I see how important it is to take care of your body. Now, I do not agree with my TCM doctor who told me that anything that tastes good shouldn’t be eaten because its probably bad, but I do agree with him on the fact that eating healthy has a LOT to do with health. And eating at the right times in the day is also a key to eating healthy. I’m thinking of doing a whole post on that subject.

Anyway, hope you like the outfit even though I’m sure y’all are rushing to get out your jeans and sweatshirts and scarves and whatnot. But unfortunately, its still “Texas” summer for now. Let’s just say I cannot WAIT until October!

Nicoco

Wake Up

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As anyone who knows me would understand, it was hard when I moved to Dallas, Texas from my hometown in Pennsylvania. And I remember it was one of EDEN’s songs that got me through that transition.

EDEN, formerly known as The Eden Project, is an Electronic-Indy artist from Ireland. I’ve been following him since he started music. A lot of people assume that people who like EDM are trance lovers and people who go to raves, but for me and my sister, we are the type of like to listen to EDM, or any music for that matter, in solitude. The feelings of the music are what we are connected to. And my younger sister is the one who introduced me to EDEN.

It was always a little harder growing up 8 years apart for me and my sister. It was hard to find common ground because we were always going through completely different stages of life. For that reason, I think both of us were closer to our brother, who was the middle child. But the last years that I was in PA, we became very close. It was a bittersweet relationship: two sisters who grew up in the same home but at different times. She saw me go through all of my older trials and hardships, I saw her go through things I’ve already experienced. And it was only the last few years that I was in PA that we were able to finally talk, find out that we are actually more similar than we thought, and connect.

We used to go on many adventures even though our town was small. And EDM was the background music to our lives. EDEN definitely brought us together a lot, through different struggles at the same time, but being able to sing his lyrics together always made us feel like maybe even though we were going through various things, we weren’t so different, so isolated, as we had thought. We had each other.

One of the most difficult things about moving to Texas was leaving her behind. It was something I needed to do because I was not growing as a person in PA. I needed to come out of my comfort zone, so I took the plunge and took a job here in Dallas. It was a smart decision for my career and my personal development.

But it tore my heart apart because I think it hindered my relationship with my sister, or at least distanced us to what we were before. We no longer talk everyday, or go on adventures. I don’t know what she’s doing right now, but I know we are living separate lives.

I remember one of the last nights I was there. We were strolling down the streets of Carlisle at night, as we sometimes did on the spur of the moment, and we were taking turns singing EDEN’s new song, “Wake Up.” We both interpreted it as EDEN needing to leave to make his career his priority and him leaving his hometown to follow his dream. And even though I am not by any means doing the same thing, it really hit me. I hope it hit her heart in the same way. It made me realize how painful it was to grow sometimes. It would be a long time until the next time we might be walking and singing together. It would be a while until we would meet and act like nothing had ever changed.

Who would I be when we met again? How much will she have changed until the next time I would see her? Would we still have that connection? Or would we be like strangers, not knowing anything about each other’s lives?

Even though I’ve written so many times about how I was stuck in PA and happy that I moved here, it was something that hit my heart very heavy. EDEN’s music holds that connection still between us, I know it. I know it because every time I listen to “Wake Up,” I still to this day, almost a year later, burst into tears, because all of it comes flooding back. The times we took random road trips when I was heartbroken. The times we had sleepovers when I was an adult and we talked late into the night. The places we went, the pictures we took (she is a very good photographer), the fun we had, even through all of our individual troubles. And it reminds me of the last night before I left.

I was staying at my parents’ house because we had cleaned out the apartment. She was lying on the floor next to me, we were talking about how weird it was that it wasn’t going to be this way anymore. It was unreal, and I’ll never forget that moment.

If you’re reading this, Abby, I really hope we can go to the EDEN concert together. Then we could sing “Wake Up” together again.

OOTD: Hiatus Outfit

OOTD: Dress – Rue 21 | Bag – Calvin Klein | Bra Straps showing – VS

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I guess I ended up taking a break and I really didn’t mean to. I’ve been busy sulking about my health. I could’t understand why I just can’t lose weight even when I eat right. I recently was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which explains the weight problems. It also explains the chronic fatigue, inability to sleep at night, and digestion issues.

So I’m on a treatment plan now, and I’ve been too depressed about the way I fit in clothes lately. Another excuse is that its been ridiculously hot here. I know, I should expect that.

I do plan on getting back on track once my treatment ends. I will continue my healthy lifestyle plan and cut out more sugar. I think the biggest habits I need to stop is snacking in between meals.

I know some people swear by the eating small portions all day thing, but seriously, it’s bad for you. Going by the Chinese body clock, there are certain points during the day that you should try to avoid eating. Those times are 9 am to 11 am, 1 pm to 3 pm, and 7 pm to 7 am. During those times, certain organs are working the hardest in your body to process what you have put in your body during the other hours. It’s important to avoid eating so those organs can work without interruptions.

Anyway, this has become a rant, and I’m actually tired at the time Im supposed to be tired, so everyone have a good night, day or afternoon.

Nicoco

The INFP Contradiction

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Being an INFP is rare. Understanding us is a lot of work. We definitely have our downfalls. We value the creativity and intuition that we naturally have, but at times we long to have the organization and logic that other have.

We like making lists, but we don’t confine ourselves within them. We go with what we feel is best at the time. But we like to make lists to feel organized, no matter how much of a lie that is.

We like to make routines, because otherwise we would float away in the stories of others that pass us by each day, beckoning us to follow them. Routines are hard to follow but they bring us structure and allow us to fit in with society.

We like to start new projects to feel productive, but then get pulled away by the tides of life, making choices on the whim because we are following our intuition. It’s a fault, yet still it works for us.

We sometimes are in the mood to clean, and when we are, we clean and tidy everything, letting go of all of the things we collected based on feeling, because we know if we don’t, clutter will build up and envelope our minds, subconsciously causing stress. We tend to miss the mess around us if we don’t consciously make cleaning times, which we hate.

We become obsessed with certain things, trying to achieve perfection while doing it with the least effort, making us lazy perfectionists who care so much without actually caring, and it gets confusing.

We get lost so far into our minds that we forget to take care of ourselves, even when we want to. Maybe it’s because we don’t prioritize mundane tasks. We’d rather go on an adventure looking for a new type of wine we’d heard about than clean the dishes we just made from dinner.

We’d rather follow the emotions deeper, even if it means hurting, because without emotions, we feel empty without a purpose. We want to know how it connects with the rest of the world, the reason for it, the way to heal pain and spread happiness. We are connected to our feelings even when we pretend we can separate emotions from actions or thoughts.

We avoid conflict because it interrupts our curiosity. It forces us to deal with real tangible problems and use logic. We are escapists and will do anything to avoid the problem.

We have great extroverted intuition, meaning we intake things and understand them. But we often forget to voice our opinions because we feel that telling them won’t make a difference.

In a way, our downfalls are almost poetic. Nothing we do is usually logical. It can really cause us problems. But when we see it as the story that is unfolding that we call our own special story, we can still see the beauty in it. Maybe a lot of others will find this just irresponsible, but without a doubt, the INFP can find the romance in the way someone forgets to clean their house while they are lost in the passion of what they love to do.

When You’re an INFP

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When you’re an INFP, you remember memories that never happened in real life. So detailed that you can smell the asphalt after the rain in that memory. You remember the depths of feelings you had only in your own world inside your head.

Your mind consumes time and space as creative muses, building upon what you can intake. Perfection is only attainable in our minds, and when we have those rare moments in real life where everything is perfectly how we imagine, it only feels like a dream.

You hesitate to build your life outside of your mind because you know you cannot control the outside like the world you hold only in your mind. You wander into these thoughts daily, drifting in and out of your real surroundings. They call us the ‘idealist,’ the ‘dreamer,’ but all we really want is to find the places we’ve been dreaming of, the world we have created in our minds. We thrive on finding common ground, finding similarities between every part of our lives and the world within, and this is what others don’t see about us.

Our memories are always a blur between real events and ones we only experience in our minds, fabricated from fragments of our reality that we have collected from fleeting moments throughout our lives.

Our greatest asset is our imagination. An INFP can look out a window in Manhattan, watching the winter storm brewing in the distance, menacing one the city’s horizon and will not think things such as “Will we be safe?” or “I better check the weather for the ride home.” No, they will be transported to a time and place in their mind with that same storm in the distance, but overlooking a cracked desert. Was it a memory? Was it a fabrication? Was it a combination? Not even the INFP will know.

If all INFP’s were to be given the privilege of traveling often, the best stories, the works of art, and music would be discovered in our minds and transferred to tangible sources for all to share.

A word to all INFP’s: Don’t suppress the feelings, don’t try to be realistic. This is your talent. Keep the world in your head. It’s the key to your happiness.

Nicoco

But I Will Never Be That Girl

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OOTD: Dress + Cardigan – Forever21 | Bag – Calvin Klein | Shoes -Coach

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I’ll never be the girl who I’m envious of because I don’t see myself from afar. I won’t be the girl who has it all together and chills at cafes. I know surely I am not the girl who knows how to unlock her motivations to be better everyday. I’m not sure I’ll even be the girl who always has blended make up, elegant movements, and a bag that she’s happy with wearing for more than a week.

I wonder if that girl even exists? Will you find her strolling through these university halls, smiling to herself? Will you see her at the beach, wearing a Triangl brand bikini, with her flowing scarf trailing behind her in the ocean breeze? Maybe she’s in a high rise building, sipping on her morning coffee in downtown Addison.

I think it’s a bit of both. Maybe I’m not that girl, but I’m just traces of her when I feel confident. Maybe the moments that I see others are captured in the right fleeting moments when their confidence is brimming and they understand that no matter what, they have to love themselves, because if they won’t who will be able to see what they can do for this world?

It’s never all the time. I will never be that girl. But maybe sometimes, she will be me, and through all of my clumsiness, all of my faults, all of my mundane routines, and through all of my hardships, she will spark at certain moments. And maybe others will see her through me, even when I can’t.

 

Nicoco

Living with a Cat


I never thought that living with a cat would be difficult because I have always had a cat growing up. I was born into a family of three; mom, dad, and a cat named Jackie. I had a kitten named Storm from the time I was 6 until I was 21. My family even adopted a kitten named Nami when I was 22, and I was attached to her until I moved to Dallas, TX last October.


Recently, my husband and I adopted a ‘teenage’ cat from the animal shelter. We named her Missha. And although we thought we were avoiding most of the headaches by adopting a slightly older cat instead of a kitten, we didn’t realize the transition would be such a hassle. It’s different when you are the sole supporter of the animal, rather than just a family member. Here are a few things I have learned and would recommend if you are adopting a cat from a shelter.


1.) It takes time to adjust to your night routine, so don’t be surprised if you are awake for a few nights while your cat gets used to it.

We had the worst time adjusting her to our schedule. She would cry in a meloncholy meow at night when all was silent and the world was sleeping. Cats are nocturnal, and chances are, if they were living at a shelter (or even somewhere else with other animals or wilderness), they are used to being loud and active at night. Your cat also might feel a bit lost at night because you are not interacting with the cat, so they feel like they need guidance for the first few nights. But don’t worry; after a few nights, the cat will understand that night time is quiet time, and they will adjust to your schedule.

2.) Buy your cat a laser pointer.

Missha would not play with any toy we got for her. She would become bored of string, treat a mouse toy like a kitten, and not even care for feathers or cat toys. But as soon as we took out the laser pointer, she went crazy. Based on past experience, the laser pointer is a good investment. Plus, you can sit there calmly in your chair while your cat runs like a maniac around the room.


3.) Invest in good cat food.

Our cat would not stop begging for food, and whenever she got a refill of her bowl, she would immediately inhale the food like a starting child. We then began mixing the generic pet store food with a higher quality, high protein food, and she calmed down a bit and is now adjusting to a healthier diet. High protein food will keep your cat fuller longer. It will also help avoid future diabetic problem as well as other health issues.

 

Overall, it was a handful to help her adjust to her new home, but it was completely worth it all. She now has a loving home, and we have a great pet! Cats are much easier than most other animals because they don’t require regular baths and they can use the litter box. I will probably do a post on how to keep a pet with a small apartment, because I have learned a few things about living in a small space with an animal, but that is for another time (basically when I move in September!).

 

 Nicoco

Because You Never Know

  
It’s easy to say you’ll do it later. Just as easy to say it won’t happen to you. You think you can just put off things because you’ll have time. You think you can send that text while you’re driving because it’ll be ok. You think you don’t have to remind your S/O that you love them because you’ll be talking with them later in the day. 

You don’t realize how beautiful the sky is because you are stressed out and don’t have time to look up into the sky with hope. You forget to cherish the taste of your lunch because you’re in a hurry to get back to work. 

And even if you do, it can still happen to you. But you’ll feel grateful when it’s all ok. 

It was a Friday. March 4th.  They were on their way from a public library because they had gotten there to late before it had closed. They had wanted to read a book that was only kept at that library, so they drove 30 minutes out of their way to find it. But the library closed early on Friday and they were out of luck. 

They were driving away from the library, sipping their green smoothie. She was in the passenger seat, bent over her smartphone, looking up directions to a grocery store that her work friend had told her to look up. The street light was green, the road barren. 

It happened lightening fast. It was a split second when it hit. Metal crushing against metal. Her body snapped back and up. She hit her head on something, whiplashed from the sudden crash. She felt a sudden feeling of complete hopelessness. A feeling that you feel in the pit of your stomach. It feels as if the world is crushing down on you and all you can think is why is this happening right now?

Her husband opened his door on the drivers side. He helped her out. Her mind was blank except for the feeling of doom. The smoothie had exploded everywhere. She was covered in green liquid. Her husband went to the car who had hit them to talk to the driver. The driver admitted fault. 

There was a ringing in her ears. This can’t be real. This is a dream. I’ll wake up. She stumbled out, sobbing. She couldn’t even hear her own cries. Smoke rose from the cars, the worry of how much this would cost ran through her head. She frantically looked for her smartphone to call her parents, and found it smashed into the dashboard inside, cracking the windshield. 

It was a mess. The hotel owners came out because the driver was a valet, and the police came. The driver lied to the police, saying he had a green light. The ambulance came and treated her head, advising her to go to the hospital. She refused, but later went because she felt the pain shooting through her head, down into her spine. 

She remembers the sirens ringing in her ears. The unsympathetic policemen. The feeling of walking into the hospital covered in dirt, sweat and curdling avocado smoothie. 

The fear of sleeping that night. 

And the relief of waking in the morning, next to her husband. 

It could have been a lot worse. She could have had internal bleeding. He could have been hurt. But they were okay. 

Don’t lose your sense of awareness. Be aware that texting while driving can kill. Be aware that this could be your last hour on the earth. Be aware that anything can change in a moment. Be aware that your mind and perception is best when focused on the present moment. 

Don’t let feelings get in the way of living. 

Because you never know. 

Wild, Love, Dream

It’s been rough these past couple of weeks, and rough times call for comfy clothes. 

  
While I am getting ready for that summer weather, it’s been surprisingly cold out here in Dallas. Well, cold for the spring. I picked up this super cute and comfortable sweatshirt from Rue21 in Frisco. Paired with shorts, it’s a good layered spring outfit. 

  

Being able to let go of weights that hold me down had been my biggest help lately. I’ve added a few new additions to my indoor plan family. 

  
We also went outside the city this weekend to visit a friend. It was peaceful and inviting. 

  
And I’ve been keeping up with my art too:

  
Mandalas take up a lot of your focus and allows you to let go of negativity. I find it meditative. 

  
My last piece of update is my phone. I traded in my 6s for an SE. I’ve been waiting for this moment for literally two years, and finally I’ve got my smaller phone back. It’s got the same specs as the iPhone 6s, but in the frame of an iPhone 5s. I’m just glad I can reach my thumb from one side of the screen to the other. 

  
I promise I’ll be more regular with content as these problems in my daily life sort themselves out. I’d love to do a post soon on food!

Nicoco