2 of Pentacles · 2 of Swords · 2 of Wands · 4 of Swords · 9 of Pentacles · Cycle of Healing · Hermit · Introspection · Knight of Pentacles · Moon · Queen of Pentacles · Queen of Swords

my life is magic

So many thoughts and feelings…. and so I will start somewhere, anywhere, and circle through as many of them that I can.

Actually I just realized that this will be a series of posts, and that’s okay. Might even be better.

I’ve been sick for a while. Another super strong cold that just won’t leave me (I’ve been coughing for about 1.5 weeks now). And also really busy — with a series of job interviews and other big life necessities that really cut into my sleep schedule. I didn’t sleep enough, and that meant I didn’t heal.

And on Saturday, I got really sad. I had a Wondering Time. Wondering if this was the next wave in my release, part of how I need to go deeper into Buddhist faith.

I”m not sure if I do or not… but I was definitely sad. Feeling lonely.

Going back to that old wound of…. counting up the people who might care about me, “deciding” that there wasn’t anyone who cared about me… feeling alone and unloved.

I know part of this was the full moon coming to hit me hard. And also me beginning to stress about money and income and job stuff (generally a point of pride with me — that I am self-sufficient). And also that Grandfather left me in the last new moon and so he was not with me. Also around the same time (Saturday)… my other ancestor and spirits left me too. They just removed themselves from me, and I felt very alone.

If you’d asked me a year ago how I’d feel if my ancestors and helping spirits left me… I wouldn’t have even known what you were talking about. But they have been so close and so present with me for the last 9 months… and I don’t know how I lived without them before. And living with even their temporary absence (they all reassured me it was temporary and I believed them) was hard.

I knew I was cycling downward when I didn’t want to study Korean.
I knew I was cycling downward when I didn’t want to reach out to people I know care about me.
I knew I was cycling downward, I just knew.

And I am happy about a few main things:
1. Even though I was so unhappy and lonely, I did not turn to drinking my sorrow away. I continued to drink water and iced tea in the evenings.
2. I knew that silly computer games would take my mind off of it, so I bought one and then distracted myself for most of Sunday.
3. I did self-care in letting myself sleep like my body needed to after the busy-ness of the week before.
4. I did self-care in making myself eat. Not enough food, but I ate. More importantly, I ate instead of drinking alcohol.
5. I did not make myself do a full moon ritual on Sunday night. I was too desolate. I just went to sleep.

And all of these self-soothing and also self-correcting behaviors helped. And when I woke up on Monday morning, I felt better. Not back to 100% but better.

And on Monday night, I did some magical things and when I woke up today (Tuesday), I felt even better.

A lot of this is reminding myself — in a Buddhist way — that these moments are transient. They do not last. I can just observe my feelings and accept my feelings and valid and do what I can to make myself feel better… and I usually will. Time is on my side. Time heals me.

PS I find it funny that I tried to make a short post and it still turned out to be very long. Hahahahahaha.

PPS I still have the post about the magical rituals from last night… but maybe this is a sign to not post about them? Not sure. Maybe I will sleep on it and see how I feel when I wake up. Maybe these things shouldn’t be said.

2 of Pentacles · 4 of Swords · 6 of Swords · Introspection · Page of Pentacles · Queen of Swords

copy editor mode… postponed

Welp, I went through and reread old posts that I’d published from my phone. Two things that annoy me —

1. Photos are in reverse order.

I suppose it’s kind of deconstructed to show the result and then the steps for how I got there, especially with the cooking photos… but it feels weird. I will let this sit and if it still bothers me in a week then I’ll edit. But I think I can get used to this… and also learn that wordpress posts in reverse order from the numbering system it purports to use :/

2. Lots of typos! Lots of autocorrect! Augh. This bothers me MUCH more as a former copy editor. And I will definitely correct them.

… Just… not now. Not when I have a bigger post of new feelings and thoughts. So it’s on my list but I also recognize in a self-care way that I don’t have to do it now. It’s really a relief to have this voice on self-care in my head now. ❤

9 of Pentacles · Hierophant · Mission · Queen of Pentacles · Roots

Fish cakes!!

I wanted to offer food to my ancestors and helping spirits yesterday. Partly for the lunar eclipse and partly bc it has been sooooo long since I had made offerings and spoken with them. (The latter bc whenever I check, they say no no don’t bother.) More on the conversation in a later post. 

So I made fish cakes!

And then when I ran out of egg to coat the fish filets, I dived the fish and mixed it with pancake flour and thread scallions to make fish patties!!


They were very tasty (the trick is to salt and pepper the beaten eggs) and my ancestors and helping spirits ate well and I ate well. Nomnomnom!!

9 of Pentacles · Queen of Pentacles

More cooking, more mini pancakes… and why all the mini pancakes

Summer salad: cukes, fake crab, thread scallions, reconstituted seaweed, plus a vinegar dressing and sesame seeds. This is super Korean composition


Fish cake soup: fish cake balls, turnip/daikon, thread scallions plus mushroom flavor packet. 


More mini pancakes!! Turnip/daikon (the local veg is 무– a cross between turnip and daikon and it is among my favorite vegetables), thread scallions, fake crab, and barter 


So why all the mini pancakes? I still find it hard to eat sometimes. I’d taken to eating ice cream during those time (bc Korean ice cream is delicious! Hah NYC good snobs, ice cream in NYC never called to me like ice cream here). But almost a decade of minima dairy consumption and I developed lactose intolerance 😞. And really it doesn’t offer that much in he way of calories and nutrition. 

But I can always eat 전. Even the ones that aren’t that good, I will still eat them.  Case in point: the tofu 전 I made a few days ago. They were bland and boring… and I still ate them. I know how to deal with my reduced appetite– eat what I can eat. Most of the ones I cook have vegs in them so they have some nutrition. I also started taking vitamins today (my mother gave them to me). 

So if I’m honest, I will likely eat just 2-3 of these 전 tonight and that’s okay. They will solve the problem of “what to eat” tomorrow. Which is important bc I have a job interview tm!

3 of Pentacles · 7 of Pentacles · Hierophant · Page of Pentacles

Korean study… hits a Korean wall

LOL. I’d been doing really well in Korean self study. Memorized like 500 new words! Got a couple of books that covered the gap between intermediate and advanced. 

It’s a known thing here that the jump from intermediate to advanced is tough. Why? Bc most books are focused on the beginner levels. By the time you are comfy with intermediate, they assume you need the high powered advanced level… never mind the fact that intermediate is it’s own level…  

For example, in the set I was using before, I already knew 1/2 of the words in the intermediate books.  But when I opened the advanced books, I knew *none* of the words. Or maybe 1 in 10. A far cry from knowing 1/2… and also the book jumped to giving a word and all of its 5-6 different meanings. Whoa, that’s a lot to handle in self-study!
So I found a couple of books to bridge that gap. Yay and hooray. I was happy. I plugged along in the noun section and memorized and memorized and memorized. Reading newspaper articles became possible, woot. 

And then I got to the verb section. And strangely… my brain had a really hard time parsing and memorizing Korean verbs. It is SO MUCH EASIER to parse and get to be root term and therefore memorize Korean words based on Chinese characters. 

So now my memorizing is slow and frustrating. I get words mixed up a lot. It’s disheartening. But of course I continue. I am on #7 of the word cards!!

3 of Pentacles · 7 of Pentacles · 9 of Pentacles · Strength

my deceptively muscular body

CW: body image, exercise for weight loss

So, what most people don’t know about my body is how it is a lie. I appear to be incredibly muscular and fit, even though I’m not.

I constructed that sentence very carefully — I mean that I appear to be muscular and healthy and fit… when my body has major weaknesses at the basic level.

Case in point: I have clearly defined abdominal muscles. I really do. In photos you can see them. And I know that a large part of why people who don’t have PT backgrounds view me as healthy is because of my defined abs.

But I can’t do a single sit-up.

I know the reason why I can’t do a sit-up — my abdominal muscles were cut and torn apart in surgery about 8 years ago. The fact that I can even do partial sit-ups is wonderful and I am grateful. But I would really like to be able to do a sit-up.

This vague whininess was prompted by me searching my apartment for something to hold down my feet so I could leverage against that and do a sit-up. I couldn’t find anything 😦 but it’s okay. I do crunches when I use the exercise equipment at the park and it’s okay. There’s a bar that I brace my feet against. But I would love to be able to do a sit-up.

Similarly, my biceps are fairly well-defined. I do work on those; it’s important to me. And my legs are tight and muscular. But I still have tricep flab and I still can’t do a sit-up.

So, don’t be fooled by people who appear to be fit. I’m sure most of us are hiding these secrets too — muscles for show, muscles that look good but don’t help us with actual fitness.

I can only attribute this muscular body type to genetics, as I certainly haven’t done much to deserve it. I have my father’s genes — I gain muscle easily… and when I don’t do the upkeep, it turns to fat easily too. Part of my exercise regime is to keep the muscle from turning into fat 😛

I’m a size 2 (or maybe 0 now that I’ve consistently hit my target weight of 115 pounds) but don’t be fooled. A lot of my appearance is the complement of being thin enough combined with being muscular enough. Evidently I have the genes to make it show where it counts (where people care about) but that doesn’t mean that I am fit or healthy, just that I am favored in the body lottery.