The creativity dilemma

Happy belated New Year, everyone! Recently, while pulling an overnighter at work, with no one for company but the singers on my Spotify playlist, I found myself scribbling phrases and drawing doodles in a notepad. By the end of the night, I had written a poem which is somewhat indicative of where I am professionally. I enjoy what I do for the most part, but sometimes it becomes tedious and uninspiring. Take a gander at one of my workplace ramblings.

Pearl Street Blues

I avoid the clock like a plague,
Afraid to read the hands which dictate my fate.
The night is young, but I am not.
Silence makes me all too aware.
Tinny lyrics croon of wild imaginings
As I struggle to find my creative pulse.
This costume I wear constricts its flow.
When day breaks, I will dream in color
But until then there is darkness.
Boredom is a bi*ch.

While I wouldn’t describe myself as an artist, I do consider myself a creative person. When I used to write for a local newspaper, individuality was encouraged. In my current situation, the goal is to do the job to the best of my ability, but stay under the radar of my superiors, lest I get into trouble. That’s why I’ve kept this blog [fairly] updated – it’s my space for reflection, self-discovery, and imagination. Plus, I’m trying to keep my writing skills sharp – they may help me advance within the organization somewhere down the line.

On a lighter note: something I’ve been casually playing around with for awhile now is jewelry making. I like to “upcycle” old, unfashionable jewelry items into simple, wearable pieces. It doesn’t require too much skill, just a steady hand and an eye for pretty things. Armed with an old pair of pliers I found in my mom’s house, I twist metals and string beads to my heart’s content. So that’s my flavor of the month. Who knows, maybe I’ll finally pick up those oil pastels, acrylic paints, and canvas magnets sitting in the corner of my apartment.



I’ve collected beads for years. I made these earrings as a friend’s Christmas gift.



I wore these earrings, made out of old necklaces, to a New Year’s Eve party.



A braided ring of metal wire and metallic seed beads.



The special occasion bracelet I reach for when I want sparkle, fashioned out of one of my sister’s broken earrings, and beads from an old faux pink pearl necklace.



I enter my late-20s next month, and this blog is all about doing things to get to a point where I’m comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution, so you’re hearing it here first: beginning in 2015, I pledge to be my most creative self, whether it be mentally, visually, artistically, musically, culinarily, or all of the above. My resolve will be put to the test as I help plan my best friend’s summer wedding and my own autumn wedding. Really looking forward to incorporating some of those awesome DIY details I’ve seen featured on so many blogs. Stay tuned to see if I stay true to my word. Commence the creativity challenge!


Holly after dentist

The lower part of my face has been swollen for days. I look like Quagmire from Family Guy!

The lower part of my face has been swollen for days. I look like Quagmire from Family Guy!


This past week, I took my second vacation. No trip planned this time, but 10 PAID days away from work sounded equally as appealing. So how exactly did I choose to spend my much anticipated stay-cation? Recovering from oral surgery, of course. I had all 4 of my impacted wisdom teeth removed in one visit, an intensive surgery requiring the oral surgeon to cut into my gums. I’ve heard many horror stories about the after math of this surgery, so I wanted to do it in one shot rather than splitting it up into multiple traumatizing experiences. One and done, folks!

The surgeon put me to sleep so I don’t remember a thing about the procedure, but I’ll never forget the recovery part of it. My face has been swollen for days, and at times it feels like someone punched me in the jaw. I have a hard time opening my mouth to shovel in food, but most of it I can’t even chew. I’m eating better than most oral surgery patients, though – turkey soup, congee, steamed rice rolls, hand pulled noodles with tripe, sticky rice wrapped in a lotus leaf. It makes me appreciate my Asian heritage even more. Man cannot live on bread and mashed potatoes alone!

The following is a series of photographs I found on my phone after that fateful dental visit, reminiscent of the “David after dentist” video on Youtube. My husband says I made him take these after my surgery because I wanted to see what my face looked like. I don’t even remember!



Jumped out of a plane

My cousin wanted to go skydiving for her bachelorette party in March, so that’s what we did. I’d always planned to make the jump at some point, so this was a good reason to go sooner rather than later. I was pretty psyched up until we got to the dive site and started signing all the waivers. I know the company is just trying to protect itself, but it doesn’t help anyone’s nerves when the first thing the guy in the instructional video says is, “Skydiving is a dangerous sport. You could suffer serious injury, or even die.” The first line of the document in my hand also read, “1 in every 20,000 skydiving jumps results in death.”

Looking down from the plane and realizing just how high we were, I almost changed my mind. But the cheapskate in me prevailed – I didn’t want to lose my deposit – and with a little coaxing from the instructor strapped to my back, I released my grip on the side of the plane and pushed off. The next five minutes were some of the most enthralling I’ve ever experienced. Numerous people told me there’s no stomach-dropping sensation in free fall, and they were absolutely right. You just feel weightless as you’re accelerating towards the earth, and you have to fight with the wind to keep your eyes open. The falling lasted for maybe 30 seconds, but that wasn’t the scary part. I was so relieved the parachute opened successfully, but being suspended in midair was excruciating. Objects on the ground were still tiny specks, and I couldn’t even make out which building was the skydive center. I was well aware I was strapped to someone, but didn’t completely trust the harness. All I could do was pray, squeeze the life out of the instructor’s legs, and try not to move too much. Felt amazing to finally touch solid ground.

I got a little lightheaded after learning two seasoned skydivers had a fatal accident the weekend after we jumped. And only six days ago, a dive ended tragically for an instructor who had completed over 9,000 jumps. Sometimes you forget how fragile life is; rest their souls and bless their families. As for me, I might consider doing it again if the occasion arises, but for now I’m just happy I jumped out of a plane and lived to tell the tale. That’s one thing I can check off my unofficial bucket list.