my friend, the developer, was at a bar in koreatown a few months ago. she was with another friend. the developer set her purse on the ground as there was nowhere else to put it. her friend was smartly wearing a crossbody bag, so she could keep it on throughout their night out. a few minutes later, an older, asian woman (owner?) walks by, grabs her purse, hands it to her, and exclaims, "take it easy!!!"
the developer is surprised, takes her bag back, and starts to set it down on the floor again. when the bag was halfway down to the ground, the lady grabs her purse and exclaims once again, "take it easy!" the developer and her friend are quite baffled, feel like they may have committed some sort of faux pas against this woman's mother culture despite being the opposite of disruptive since their arrival, and return to their drinks.
not long after, the friend's boyfriend shows up. he sits down with the girls, casually draping his jacket over his chair. after some time has passed, the asian woman comes rushing at them again, grabbing his jacket, which has since somehow slipped to the floor, practically shouting, "take it easy!!!" it was then that my friends realized that they had a very different definition of "take it easy" than their hostess.
and why am i telling you this random, secondhand story? because that is my motto for 2010. take it easy. my friends' understanding of the phrase, that is, not the crazy asian lady's. it's not a resolution or a goal, because everything in my personality goes against this simple concept, so i am most definitely incapable of doing it on my own or achieving it to any sort of successful degree. plus it's not exactly quantifiable anyway.
the first half of 2009 was fine for me. i was doing well in school, enjoying my friends and family when i could manage to see them between all the schoolwork, and received some palpable recognition for my hard work. the second half was not so fine, and not just because of the added stresses or external circumstances that came along in that second half. it was mostly because i can't take it easy. i got in my own way even more than usual, which in turn hurt my grades, hurt my creative process, hurt my enjoyment of this amazing opportunity to attend grad school, hurt my productivity, and hurt some of my relationships. and so the majority of 2009 was so, so difficult and unhappy for me. hence my avoidance of any sort of reflection, even via blogging, throughout the year's end and even more than a week into the new year.
the other night, i finally had a good time of reflection while looking through old journal entries, especially those from during other stressful times in my life. i had a lot of good quotes, devotions, verses, prayers, and thoughts jotted down. i daresay me a few years ago is wiser than present me. while reading and praying, something that i could not understand in the midst of the stress, sleep-deprivation, and struggle, even if my brain knew it and kept telling me, became clear. i have been depending too much on me and consequently expecting way too much from myself. everything that's been driving me nuts stems from just that.
so i can't do it all on my own. and that's ok. in fact, it's normal. we're social creatures designed to need others.
and learning to take it easy. i've tried and tried before as my journal reminded me. it's obvious i can't do it on my own. i need the help of the bear (who has been so patient and supportive despite frequent meltdowns, emo episodes, etc.). help from my family, with whom i'm not so close with right now because of happenings in late 2009. my friends' help. my studiomates' help. perhaps professional help. and most of all, His help. because it's just not in my nature or nurture. but how many times is that which is not within my nature just what i need? many.
take it easy.
after all, it's not all up to me anyway.