Project bedroom decor

My sister called my old bedroom “depressing.” She was right. In my eight months there, I never put anything on the walls. And that apt tended to be dark and empty, lacking in natural sunlight and furniture to fill up the large space. It never had the warmth of home. So with my new bedroom in my new apt, I don’t want to just say I’m going to decorate. I’m doing it.

First up, a gallery wall. Today I bought some frames from Ikea. Now I’m working on getting the photos, art prints and such. A small frame will showcase this gem:

Only my favorite gif cause my friends and I saw this on our way to Yosemite. A bearded old guy in a plush blue wizard’s hat and tie dye shirt was riding his bike, pulling along a chihuahua past a McDonald’s parking lot. Something about the  ridiculous sight was hilarious amid the ordinary moment of leaving McDonald’s. He was also biking slow-ly as one might imagine for the chihuahua to be able to keep up.

Hopefully, it adds to a gallery wall  as cohesive and striking as this one:

(designed by Emily Henderson; photo taken by Jess Isaac, found by me on Cup of Jo, http://cupofjo.com/2015/07/how-to-hang-art-best-tips/)

Life-changing Must-Reads

I want my blog to have content beyond my own writings. Since I have some authority on what’s worth reading, I’ll share a highlight reel.

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The Defining Decade informed my decision to go to Northwestern right after bible school. I thought of teaching English in Spain for a few months instead. The chapter about career made me realize that doing so would be a waste of time for me. It’d make more sense to go to Europe as a journalist, working towards the career I want to have. More lightbulbs went off reading the relationships chapter.

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The power of vulnerability TED talk pushed me to take risks with people. Being vulnerable is scary, so I avoid it too often, more than I’d like. I learned that it might not be so bad to be the first one to say how you feel in a relationship. Opening up or being vulnerable is what makes connecting with someone possible. It takes courage, but it’s so worth the result.

My weirdest running encounter

Do not take this inaugural post as emblematic of my new blog. Marianna reminded me of this incident. She was there in our apt, #302 on Benvenue Ave in Berkeley, when I first told it, still in shock.

Running eight miles on a Saturday morning down to 24th St. in Oakland was nothing to me in college. It was something I did.  Someone once mentioned a shooting in Rockridge, the safe part of my route, but it didn’t register. On Fridays, a long run was what I needed to get me moving and out of my apt. Otherwise no class on Fridays meant extended lounging about and restless indecisive energy.

Reaching the Korean market on 24th St was my goal. After a straight shot down College Ave from my apartment, I didn’t know where I was going. I was running, without a smart phone or any phone in Oakland, an infamously ghetto neighborhood.

At the market on 24th and  Telegraph, I could relax, usually. I’d made it. Homestretch from here. If I was really tired, I walked. And I wasn’t one to walk. While I was walking, finally back in Berkeley near nondescript businesses a middle-aged bearded guy spoke to me. I was still on my runner’s high, where even my shoes don’t hit the ground, but what feels like pockets of air.

“I’m a Nike shoe designer. Can I see your shoe?” the guy says. I lift my foot up, so the sole of my purple Nike shoe faces him. He slides two or three fingers in my sock. There is no transition into this. I see it, but it can’t be happening.  My memory blacks out here. The seconds his fingers were in my sock, on my sweaty foot are blocked out I guess.

I run home. Later, I begin feeling violated. But right after, all I feel is shock. An ordinary guy, whose face I cannot picture, did this. I’m sweaty from eight miles or more of running, red-faced and also wearing Nike shorts. I’m thankful he didn’t claim to be a Nike shorts designer.