Happy TunesDay: Collection 59

I’m back in the USA and am back on track (TRACK, get it? Because music.) with TunesDay!

It was an intense two weeks for me in Madrid.  I don’t know how to explain it, but I had a lot of emotions that I just wasn’t dealing with while there.  I was too preoccupied with project development and trying to be present.  I think with all my “be present, be patient, be your BEST SELF!!!” thoughts, I was actually doing myself a disservice in not really being my critical and engaged self that I usually am.  I’ll probably, maybe, write a more self-reflective post about my time there and with the WISE Learner’s program in general after a couple more days of thinking about…life.

It’s dawning on me that I’m leaving California in less than 2 months.  And to be frank, I’m freaking out.  Time is running out and I feel like I need to do a billion and one things, see a billion and one people, and also have time to eat, sleep, do laundry, and wash dishes.

I guess that’s a typical feeling for people who are about to make serious life changes.  But, even though it’s typical and normal, I don’t like it.  What happened to being carefree and youthful–throwing caution to the wind and diving into new adventures?  I like my caution and I don’t like diving.  But, I guess I’ll have to learn to get accustomed to it.

Until then, I’ll be listening to this pop-synth-electro playlist to slow my mind down from 190320138913 km/hr to a solid 45 mi/hr, because we’re in the USA and the metric system is silly.

sending you all calm hearts and strong minds,
Christina

Happy TunesDay: Collection 58

A couple weeks have come and gone. Apologies for falling behind on TunesDays again!

This past week, I’ve been revisiting my roots a little bit and sifting through Chinese music. I’ve mostly found Mandarin music that I like, with a bit of Canto-pop sprinkled in. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a lot of the songs I wanted on Soundcloud…so if anyone has any indie/alternative Cantonese tunes to recommend, I’d appreciate it!

I used to just think popular Chinese music was bubble-gum pop goodness or really brooding ballads, but just like the US, China & Taiwan’s music scene is eclectic and varied…you just kind of need to sort through a bunch of stuff to get to the sound you like.  It doesn’t help that my Chinese is super discombobulated, and I can only read every 17th word.

For this week’s playlist, I put together a variety of Mandarin tunes from different genres. Most of them are jazzy, bossanova sounds, but there’s some other surprises in store too.

Now my next task is to actually understand what these songs are about…

my mother

my mother never stops working;
even in retirement,
she’s never retired.

sometimes tired,
she doesn’t hide it;
let’s me know it now.

tired like she never had bound feet,
but had to bind her dreams;
had to trade pushing pens and paper to pushing pills,
tired.

tired like she raised a family
out of breath and bones and brains,
tired.

tired like watching your children leave the nest,
and trying not to worry about the rest
of our lives,
tired.

my mother,
tired,
but alive.

alive like ginger and ginseng,
homemade remedies I used to cringe at,
but now long for,
alive.

alive like the trembling quake of her snore
that reverberates down hallways
through ear drums,
and keeps me awake,
alive.

alive like no man could ever hurt me the way
my mom and dad love me,
alive.

alive like they tried to stomp us out,
to make our exclusion legal,
and keep our arms empty,
alive.

my mother,
never stops working;
loves and lives
as if every hour she does
she is paid in full;
is tired,
but living and alive and loved.

my mother.

Happy TunesDay: Collection 57

This week’s playlist is a medley of pop and dance pop beats with feisty womxn singers.

It starts out a little more mellow, but the playlist works its way up in energy, then back down, then up again, just like how my mood is right now.

I woke up early, was a bit tired, got energized from starting my day with some pals, and now am feeling a bit slow…but it’s definitely because of the benadryl I took. My allergies are going a little haywire today, but hopefully my energy will pick up because I’m conducting two interviews for my podcast today! YAY! So exciting.

In the meantime, this playlist will keep me from falling into a deep, allergy meds-induced slumber.

Happy listening, folks!

Happy Tuesday: Collection 56

Another TunesDay is here.  It feels like I blinked and a whole week already passed.

My podcast launch was successful, though I’m constantly reminded my friends are always 1.35 hours late to anything I ever plan.  Next time I need to start things later than I anticipate!

Anyway, thanks to everyone who listened to & supported Seats At The Table so far.

Sessions will be posted bi-weekly, so nothing new will but up tomorrow, but next Wednesday, expect to hear an awesome new podcast!

For today’s TunesDay, I’m mentally preparing myself to see The 1975 with my dear pal, Zareen… granted the concert is still a couple of weeks away, but I always like being prepared.  So, I put together a mellow, soft rock/pop playlist with some of their songs to help me recharge while I drive around in my car.

Hope you have a lovely week, friends!

The One Where Christina Gushes Her Feelings.

I’m going to graduate school!

A lot of my friends already know this, but I felt like I should share the news again.

Look.

It’s been three years since I knew I wanted this for myself, but I kept pushing it off because I felt I just wasn’t ready.  So, this is a big, big, huge deal for me.

The grad application process (and my many, many subsequent rejections) has been a unique experience–one that has been financially costly, emotionally debilitating, and strangely humbling.  I spent many nights writing, editing, and re-editing (did I mention editing?) my personal statements, talking to faculty and graduate students at different programs, and doing a lot of research on schools.  It got to the point where I was getting pretty unrealistically attached to particular programs.  My overactive imagination had me thinking of how amazing it would be go to a certain school, meet new friends and have cool & intellectual conversations.  And so, when I was getting rejection after rejection, it was tough.  Like, questioning my entire life trajectory, sort of tough.

But, surprisingly (at least to me), I’ve made it through and am ready (hopefully) to make some sort of mark on the world around me & impact at least a little part of it for the better.  I’m tremendously excited about the research that faculty in the department are doing, and it’s really nice to know that I’ll get to be a part of it, while also doing my own research and producing knowledge–not just consuming knowledge like I consume Taco Bell in my bed at night.

Okay.  So, now that I covered me being excited and whatnot, here’s where the gushing and mushy stuff starts.  You’ve been warned.

I know how lucky I am.  I recognize how serendipitous it all is.  And I don’t take it for granted.  Whenever something sort of big in my life happens, I try to reflect, be thankful, and extend my gratitude for my loved ones to an e-abyss of sorts (aka my blog).  It’s the closest thing I have to prayer.

I am so unbelievably grateful for the people and the places that have made me the person I am today.  I couldn’t have found my place and come to love myself the way I do if it weren’t for the friends, mentors, and family I have that keep me grounded.  That sense of love for myself and my community is what gave me the courage to pursue Sociology to study activism and social movements in the U.S…especially during a time when public education is under attack and there’s actually no job security in studying what I want to study since the tr*** administration doesn’t seem particularly fond of academic disciplines that question systems of capitalism and white supremacy, but that’s a different blog post for a different time.

ANYWHO, although I am incredibly nervous and almost overwhelmingly daunted by moving across the country, leaving my home, and starting a Ph.D. program, I am super happy…like ALL CAPS LOCKS TO EMULATE MY SCREAMING INSIDES happy.  And the people in my life have motivated me, given me confidence, and encouraged me to believe in myself.

If I listed out every person who gave me hope and believed in me even when I questioned a lot of my skills & aspirations, this post would go on for days.  Even me realizing that as I’m typing makes me want to smash my keyboard in delight.  From my parents who dealt with me flip-flap-flopping through different dream careers (fashion designer, stylist, business owner, literallyanythingexceptapharmacist) and still supported me when I got straight up D’s and F’s because they “knew I was smarter than that”, to my roommates who became my closest friends, I’ve been given a lot of wonderful people in my life.  Knowing that makes it so much harder for me to leave.  But, I’m certain I’ll move on to the next chapter with them in mind, motivating me to be just as kind and loving to others as they have all been to me.

Aside from actual people, I’m also exceedingly thankful to the place I have called home since my momma and poppa made me.

California, you have been so good to me.  You’ve taught me how to straddle waves, how to climb proverbial and literal mountains, how to fall, how to close my eyes without closing myself off.  You gave my grandparents refuge, let them dream, gave them hope, cradled their family in your valleys.  I don’t know what my life would be or what their life would be if we called anywhere else our home.  I don’t dwell on it much, but when I do, I know it would be different.  You gave me a safe place to grow, not without struggle, but your stretch of land saved me.  I will always know you as “home”, even if miles separate us.

Even though I’m leaving, I’m happily confident (or confidently happy?) to know that the friendships I’ve cultivated over years are strong enough to overcome geographic distance and that the love I have for my community, my friends, and my family knows no bounds.  I might be hundreds of miles away, but I know I’ll still get a call from my mom telling me to keep warm and be careful of snow.  I know I can count on my best friends to send me memes on Instagram to keep me in the pop culture loop.  And while I don’t think it would be feasible (or healthy), I know I could get plenty of people to Fed-Ex me some boba and Chinese food if I needed.  That kind of support is what I’ll miss and what I’ll be searching for wherever life takes me.

So thank you to whomever is out there, whether it’s a deity or the universe or something else entirely, I am so grateful.  I hope I can retain this feeling of gratitude when I’m stressed out beyond belief in approximately 5 months.

And the gushing is done.

xoxo,
Christina

Happy TunesDay: Collection 55

This week has kept me insanely busy, but that’s nothing really new.

Today, my friend, Lili, invited me onto her radio show, Where’s The Chase? It’s a fun talk show about dating and relationships–why she asked me on again…I have no idea.  But, it’ll be cool to chat about how I relate to friends in relationships and me being ready for a serious relationship (cue the shock & awe).  Her show is on KUCI 88.9FM for those in Orange County.  But, you can listen online here.  I’ll be on from 4-4:30PM PST!

And in other news…

Tomorrow, I am launching my podcast, Seats At The Table!! I am way super excited to finally be sharing this with everyone.  But, in preparation for the launch, I decided to have an impromptu launch party at the behest of my friend, Meymuna.  So, I’ve been frantically cleaning my apartment and rearranging furniture, because of course that’s a great idea the day before you’re hosting people at your apartment.

It’s become an intensive spring cleaning of sorts, but it feels good to dust and physically clean the clutter out of my life.

I’ve lived in this place for about two years, and I’m just finally getting around to making it home-y for myself…three months before I’m leaving California.  I have the worst timing, but better late than never, right?

Anyway, I hope that you can tune in tomorrow to Seats At The Table.  It’ll be available on Soundcloud and I’ll launch on iTunes in the next couple of weeks after I have more sessions uploaded.

And now, to the music, which is probably why you came here in the first place.

This week’s playlist is a soothing mix that lowers my heart rate, because to be honest, my mind is moving so quickly and I need to take some time for myself to be present and focused.

What are some songs that help you relax?

Sending you all peace and inner calm,
Christina