Category Archives: Thursday

Appreciation: The Dying Art

Appreciation: The Dying Art
Free-Thoughts Thursdays
Olivia of KingdomClothing

This compilation of Thursday thoughts seems to be bursting out of me. We live in a world of both instant and constant gratification. We’re therefore a bit lacking in the appreciation department. It sucks. I see it at work, at school in my little kids, at home, in the attitudes of my friends, in relationships, in myself. We’ve become a thankless society. And you know why? Because we never have to live without. We’re never really without anything we need— or even anything we really want. It’s just there. No need to be thankful for something that’s always around, right? That’s the attitude. That saying, “You don’t know what you have until you’ve lost it” is remarkably true and so relevant today. We’re so lost. So wound up in ourselves. No one is thankful just for breath anymore. I’m guilty too; I’m not exempting myself. We’re lost. It’s that inward curvature of the heart. Sometimes I think everything that’s wrong with us can be rooted back to self-centeredness. Pride. Pride kills a lot of things.
Please remember also that this is too true where I live. You may live in a completely different corner of the earth where appreciation and thankfulness are woven into every moment, and that’s wonderful. But not here. Here, it is a dying art. And I miss it.

Passion Fruits

Free-Thoughts Thursdays: Passion Fruits
Olivia of KingdomClothing

Hello all friends, old and new. For whoever still reads, enjoys, follows, and comments, THANK YOU. I took a long hiatus for so many different reasons, but the root reason— the real reason— is that I wasn’t committing myself fully to this work. And by “this work”, I don’t mean just writing here in this blog arena, but I mean I wasn’t fully committing myself whole-heartedly to my passion, which is my business (www.etsy.com/shop/wanggukclothing).
Today’s post is going to be about this kind of devotion to our dreams and why I think some people, like myself, shy away from pursuing their dreams fully. If you have been following us from the start (again, thank you), you know that this blog was intended to be a kind of sister-site to my shop on etsy (wanggukclothing). Here, I share a bunch of my passions with others who like the same sorts of great things: KPOP, fashion, fashion history, occasional brief free thoughts or opinions, and culture questions. This week, as I was staring at my instagram account profile, I noticed my press website (this) was still in my profile, and I felt a tinge of guilt mixed with my usual anxiety triggered by things I feel like I need to do but haven’t, and I thought to myself, ‘Why haven’t I written in so long?’
Well, the surface answer is simple: I’m busy. We’re all busy. We all have “things to do.” In Southern California, where this blog takes place, this is even more true than most other pockets of Earth, I feel. Busyness is a drug for people, coupled with an obsession with productivity. But what I’ve noticed, sadly, is that a lot of our busyness doesn’t really result in productivity. A lot of people, especially here, think they are the same thing: busyness and productivity. But they aren’t. You can be busy with anything. Being busy doesn’t equal being productive. For example, I could be really “busy” eating chips on the couch so when someone texts me and says “sushi?” I have to tell her “sorry girl, i’m BUSY tonight.” I could also be busy painting my nails or shopping at the mall for things I don’t need or trashing up my room and not cleaning up my mess or looking at stupid (or non-stupid) videos on instagram for hours. I could also (as a rather more extreme example) even be busy out slicing someone’s tires or egging a house. Are any of those things directly productive? Minus some arguable grey area, NO. None of them are. But I could be busy doing any number of them, possibly for hours. Many people refer to time as they do currency: spending it, wasting it, saving it. But what I think is the missing ingredient for so many people I observe on a daily basis is enjoying it— making it really worth something.
And don’t get me wrong, wasting time sometimes and not being so productive is healthy. It’s good to just forget about building and kind of just let yourself be for a moment. Days like that are good for us. (Note: days, not whole stretches of time where we do absolutely nothing good with ourselves). And also, sometimes we have to be busy with things that are productive and do matter, even if we don’t enjoy it that much…like a day job that we have to work to pay our bills. That contributes to busyness as well, and it may not be enjoyable 100% of the time (or sadly, for some of us, even 10% of the time), but it’s a necessary busyness.
But I have noticed, in a lot of my friends’ lives after we got out of school and joined the “real” world, they didn’t really enjoy what they were doing. Not all of the people I know are like this, but honestly, a vast majority are. They either accepted the job they’re at now because they liked the benefits, the “security,” the paycheck, the convenience. But when I meet up and have lunch with some of them, they never sound like they actually love— or really even like— what they’re doing day-to-day. I’ve been at jobs like that too; I know what it feels like to be making money or to have some sense of “job security.”
But here’s the thing about lots of money or employer-provided benefits or “job security”… none of it really means security. You can still lose it, your bank can still fail, natural disasters still happen, and benefits most of the time only go so far. Yes, if you have a family already and you’re providing life for someone other than yourself, then you really do have to think a little bit more about your job than just “hmm, but do I like this?” But, if you are still wondering what to do with yourself and you’re tempted to choose a job just for the paycheck or the supposed security you’ll be reaping, I’d advise you to not do it; at least not before you’ve considered what loving your job really feels like. No, I don’t spring out of bed in the morning at 6:30, ready to mold minds at school or drive all groggy to go shoot photos for the shop or help my friends with disabilities. I don’t wake up without an alarm (or 5). But once I’m there, I’m loving myself for choosing my jobs based on how they make me feel inside instead of the steady fatter paycheck I could be making.
The fruits of our labors should be more than just money, benefits, or supposed security. If you’re not absolutely loving what you’re doing or loving the difference your job makes in the world, why do it for years upon years? I think some of us just get stuck. We get comfortable. Whether it be financially comfortable, comfortable within a certain lifestyle or routine, comfortable enough to think “yeah I don’t really need anything else.” I’ve been there too. I know what it feels like to be just comfortable enough not to change. But that kind of comfort is dangerous because it leads to complacency. And then it’s really hard to change your lifestyle, or job, or whatever, once you’re there.
I know I’ve talked about chasing passions in the past, but I kind of want to reopen this conversation. I’m also planning on talking about this again in my next Free-Thoughts Thursday or on future Tuesdays where I kind of just talk about whatever I want. Chasing dreams is a subject that I think a lot of people think about and maybe even talk about, but that the realities of which are sadly overlooked. What do you guys think? Leave thoughts, if you please ❤ 🙂

Post Office Manners

So today I went to the post office to mail a package out for WangGukClothing. A sale is a success so I was in a good mood. When I got in line, there were two people in front of me and then a mysterious pile of packages on the floor, which I stepped over to stand in line. The guy in front not-so-surreptitiously said to the woman in front of me, “I thought she told you to hold her spot in line,” to which the woman said, “Oh that’s what she wanted me to do?” to which he said, “Well I guess it really isn’t your responsibility.” My eyes started to roll but I refused to get bent out of shape by a person who wasn’t even in the room.
Enter the mystery sender: a woman with bleached-out wispy hair, botox-filled lips, and more face make-up than a high-school party cat. She comes back to her pile of boxes on the floor, looks at them, then turns to me, leans in super close to my face (yay because I really love explicit invasion of personal space) and says, “Umm, you know, I was right behind her,” to which, after a split-second decision to implicitly make a fool out of her rather than be completely non-confrontational (which may or may not have been the best way to react), I said, “You know what, if it means that much to you, you can be in front of me.”(Which was my socially acceptable way of saying to a 60-year-old woman “YOU’RE A CHILD.”) And before she could finish blubbering about it (“I—well, I mean—well I just—”), I stepped over her place-holder pile and stood behind her with my package. After this, the woman who had been in front of me, and who was supposedly the old lady’s priorly assumed BFF for today, said to me, “You know what, you can be in front of me.”I was caught a little off-guard and thanked her several times for her thoughtfulness, which she brushed off, saying it was nothing.
Moral of the story? A pay-it-forward, mature attitude always prevails over a childish self-preserving one. If someone sees someone acting right, they’re 100% more likely to also act right. A little bit of a continuation of my lesson in patience with people.  Guess I also need to remember that, sometimes, perhaps silence is golden.  …1Corithians.13.11//Philippians.2.3-4,15-16

The Financial Flood and the Dream

I just got home from work.  And something struck me today. I realized that I shouldn’t really be working where I currently am. I have multiple jobs. It’s how I make ends meet. But one of them is a job that I have simply because I need money and it’s convenient. Many people have this type of job. A job that was chosen for necessity rather than love. I used to love most aspects of my little job. It pays okay, I get a paycheck every week, I get to help people, I’m good at it so I get bonuses, and I get to work with my wonderful boyfriend (and if I never took this side job, I would never have met him).  But today, I realized that, while all of these are reasons to thoroughly like a job, I don’t really enjoy it anymore. Today wasn’t even a bad day.  Completely average day, and the customers I helped were all super appreciative and polite and pleasant-spirited (no verbal harassment). It’s not that it’s a bad job; it’s just not a great one, not for me anyway. And although I know, like most people in this world, I need this job to stay above the water in the financial flood, I have to give my two cents to anyone who is at the point in life (maybe a little younger than me) where they are job searching. My advice would be to stop job searching and start vocation seeking.
In my mind, there is a stark difference between what a job is and what a true vocation is. I’ll use my two day jobs as an example: my first job is teaching. I am a substitute teacher for the local school district near where I live. I absolutely LOVE this job; I never thought I’d be good at it and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’m actually pretty okay at it and I really enjoy it. My second day job is a retail job that I work on my days off teaching. I only took this job because with teaching, I only get paid once a month and my schedule for subbing was too inconsistent and I needed another source of income. (And my third job is running my small online business which yields haphazard financial profits as well.) The difference between these jobs is basically what I see as the difference between just a job and a vocation. My retail job is just a job. I do it to get paid. There are some aspects of it that I enjoy, but it’s really only a convenience and a source of income. My teaching job is more than a job. It is a passion. And that’s the difference. If you want to find a job that does the job— aka, allows you to survive financially, then any job is fine. But if you want a job that allows your talents and natural gifts to thrive and flourish, and you want something so enjoyable that your job doesn’t even feel like a job anymore, it just feels like where you’re supposed to be— then choose your vocation. A vocation is a passion; it’s something you can move up in and thrive in. It’s a healthy and growth-sparking environment and it’s definitely something that you are MADE to do, not merely something to get you by. A vocation is life; a job is just a job. A job is just survival. And obviously, yes, these necessity-type jobs fill a purpose and financial stability is a necessity and that’s why just-a-jobs exist. That’s why I have all of my jobs. Even the one I don’t like as much as the others. But passion should be goal, I think. If you aren’t at least shooting for passion and growth, then think again. Don’t short-change yourself; do the just-a-job for as long as you need to and then get out. Don’t waste yourself. Push onward and upward. Do what you’re made to do.
So anyway, if you’re reading this and you definitely have the opportunity to choose a job that’ll be more than a job for you, then do it. Don’t choose something that’s easy or an environment where your valuable and unique skills won’t be fully appreciated. Try not to simply look at survival, because we were made to thrive, not simply survive. In the perfect world, when it comes, I imagine that all of us will be doing exactly what we were made to do; no one will be just scraping by with a job that doesn’t suit them. We’ll all be flourishing and enjoying life to its absolute fullest. So, if you can, choose vocation. Choose passion.
Choose life.

How to Say “Moschino”

Free Thoughts Thursday: How to say “Moschino”
By Olivia of WangGuk

So today is a Thursday. That means that this post is about whatever I want. Today, I want to write about an incredible discovery I just made: the correct pronunciation of the late Italian designer Franco Moschino’s name.

So I have always pronounced his name something like, “Mo-shee-no.” Apparently, this is incorrect. The proper Italian pronunciation of this name goes something like, “Mo-skee-no.” The fact that I’ve been pronouncing his name incorrectly for who knows how many years might be of absolutely ZERO interest to you all, but for me, it was a pretty big deal. I mean it probably ranks up there with the day I found out what “P.O. box” stood for (yeah okay, OBvious, but I just never really thought about it).

Why is this important enough to me to write about? (Haha, well why is anything, really?) Franco Moschino is one of my favorite designers— if not my absolute favorite— of all time. To me, he was an irreplaceable fashion innovator, a creative thinker who not only took fashion risks, but really spoke through his clothes. In my eyes, he is probably one of the greatest minds to have ever lived. Therefore, it’s rather sad for me to find out that I have been pronouncing his beautiful name incorrectly for the entirety of my love for him. Not that this in any way means I loved him any less by not knowing the proper way to say his name. I suppose ignorance does happen. It just struck me as very odd that I never ever noticed this until now. This long-familiar name suddenly sounds funny and strange. This “skee” doesn’t strike that familiar pang in my ear. It’s weird. I have to relearn something I feel like I’ve always known.

So anyway, boring post for some of you haha. But if any of you out there are Moschino collectors and lovers as I, then perhaps, like me, you may not have been aware that this beautiful fashion legacy’s name is in fact “Mo-skee-no” and not “Mo-shee-no.”

The Emergency Room

Free Thoughts Thursday: The Emergency Room
By Olivia of WangGuk

Tonight I’m sitting in the emergency room. I’m here with my best friend and her mom. It’s going to be the middle of the night soon and her mom and I have work tomorrow but we’re here because we have to be. It was one of those situations where I really didn’t have to go— in fact, my physical presence in this situation is probably fairly unnecessary— but something about me not going would have been wrong. So I’m sitting here feeling useless, but I’m sitting here because she’s my best friend and I know she’d be here if it were me, no matter how useless she’d feel.
I think a lot of things are like this in life. A lot of the time, we can’t do anything that will actually solve the problem, but just lending our presence to someone does so much more than we think it could. I think people were made for people— we were made to care about each other, to live in community with one another, to simply be with one another— and I think just being with one another is medicine enough sometimes. The presence of another being beside me is often so much unspoken comfort that I feel like it’s all I want some days. I used to experience this with my dog. Sometimes, I’d have the worst day ever— I mean like literally nothing went right in a day— and no one would be home for me to vent to, so I’d change into some boxers and go and sit on the ground in my backyard by myself. Except, I wouldn’t be by myself for long because my dog would hear me or smell me and she’d come waddling out of her house and come and maul me.
I would sit on the cracked patio and tell her to stop sniffing me and to stop touching me because I had had a bad day and I didn’t want to be touched, I just wanted to be alone. And then she’d keep smelling me and wiping her wet nose on me and climbing all over me because she always still thought she was small enough to stand and sit all over people no matter how fat she got. So I’d let her lay on top of my lap with my legs out straight. And then I’d just start crying or yelling or doing whatever I needed to do to get it all out. And she’d just lay on me and listen. She’d just be still while I wasn’t. It was weird. She couldn’t speak the same language as me, so I knew she could never say anything to make me feel any better, but just her being with me made me feel more calm. Eventually I’d calm down and stop crying and I’d just sit with her and pet her or do whatever. We’d just be together and we’d be fine.
I think togetherness is often such an overlooked cure to our illnesses. When I think of the human condition and the illnesses of loneliness or selfishness we sometimes face as humans, I quickly think of togetherness and what a cure it is to so many of our ailments. I think of what a miracle togetherness is in a world like ours. We were made for one another— people were made for other people. I think that’s why togetherness is so vital to life worth living; I think sometimes we forget how to just be still and be with one another.
So that’s what I’m thinking about as I’m sitting here waiting for my best friend to come out of the back room. I’m sitting here in my favorite light-blue, light-as-air Alexander Wang T shirt, my sister’s widest-cut Zella sweats, and my slippers; and nothing else really matters except that friends are together tonight.

My Story

This is Me
By Olivia

Hi everyone. I need to start out this blog in gratitude and also in honesty. So first, thank you for following and/or reading. Thanks for taking an interest in either me or my business. Second, here’s my story.
So I live in Southern California, in Ventura County. I live in a little town that is perfectly halfway between Santa Barbara and LA. I have lived my whole life here (besides living in Santa Barbara with all of my friends for a few years), and it’s a good little place. I like it. But it is small and it’s difficult to do certain things here…like find jobs. So, I am planning to move to downtown LA within the next six months, where I hope to somehow support myself doing some kind of church/non-profit work in the area.
So, I hope this clears up any confusion there may have been about the location of my business— if that’s what brought you here. Technically, my business has no physical location because it is a shop I run online via Etsy. In case you are reading this and you don’t know, I have a shop on Etsy called WangGukClothing, where I sell unique fashion finds and vintage clothing, and this blog is kind of a sister site that supplements the store. Here is where you’ll find kind of the juices behind the shop—behind-the-scenes stuff from our photo shoots, and extra things like our themed every-day posts. So anyway, yes I do live in Southern California, but no I do not live in downtown Los Angeles yet, which is what it says on my Etsy site.
My shop is something I started because I had just graduated from school, I wasn’t working yet, I had no idea what to do with myself, and I had a bunch of cool clothes that wouldn’t fit in mine or my mom’s closets anymore. Setting up a shop on Etsy is fairly simple (it’s the upkeep that’s the work), so I started it one day in the middle of summer and was shocked when I started selling things. Soon, I began to actually shop separately for things to put in the shop, and I would go on thrifting trips around my area or comb eBay for stellar finds. Pretty soon, I fell in love with it. I loved the customers, I loved being able to make money doing something I loved, and more than anything, I felt like I was doing something I was made to do— almost like God was like, “This is for you.” So I kept at it.
But business is a fickle thing. Anyone who has their own knows that it’s an extremely difficult way to live. One week, I’ll have six orders and the next week I’ll have zero. It isn’t steady. So, there came the time when I needed to find a semi-regular income so that I would be able to buy gas and food. So I started working at one of the thrift shops I frequently shop at so that my income would serve as a supplement to the shop. I also substitute teach, which is good money, but also kind of hit-or-miss because you never know when you’ll get called.
So anyway, this is my life. I graduated from college with good grades and a double major in English and Environmental Biology, I couldn’t find a job, I still can’t afford to live on my own, I don’t really know what I’m doing, I’m constantly trying to be a real adult but I don’t really know what that looks like yet, and I pray every day that God guides me in the right direction. Because I have no idea where I’m going. One day, I’d love to have my own little apartment that’s crappy but incredible because it’s mine, work in downtown LA doing something I really love, and somehow expand my shop in a way that brings me joy and brings glory to the Kingdom of God. I don’t know how to do that yet, so I’m still here in no-man’s land, trying to figure myself out, but I do feel like God’s giving me little nudges here and there that keep me on track. So for now, I’m at His good grace, not quite floating but not quite running in any particular direction yet. I have a dream and I have high hopes, so thank you for taking an interest in this journey and thank you for letting me share it with you.