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 ❤ 🙂

KPOP TUESDAYS: Snuper’s “It’s Raining”

KPOP TUESDAYS: Snuper’s “It’s Raining”
Olivia of WangGuk

This week is dedicated to a much undervalued KPOP group and that is Snuper. They recently had a comeback surged by the song “It’s Raining” and let me humbly say that it is fire. If you need to watch the music video before you read this review (which you do), here it is:

Firstly: the song itself. It’s like 80s drums meets 90s synchronicity meets incredible ballad vocals meets modernity and freshness. It’s incredible. The vocals are everything. I mean, I love the 80s drums, disco lighting, and rhythm, but these guys’ vocals are honestly some of the cleanest out right now. Let’s take a moment to sigh in awe of SangIl’s voice. He’s the one at 0:30 who starts singing solo first after the catchy chorus intro, brown hair, sings a lot of the song. He’s the one who hits all those clean high notes and who sings the first part of the chorus before everyone else sings the rest of it. His voice is rivaled by very few voices right now for me. Not only does he obviously have incredible range and vocal ability, but his voice is unique, and in the ever-widening marsh that is KPOP, we need uniqueness. Something that stands out. His voice does and so does this song in general.

Let’s also take a look at the set-up and costume choice of this music video. I read in some of the comments that some felt that the dancing and costume was very similar to BTS’s “Blood, Sweat, Tears”, but I disagree. Not only is the style and rhythm of this song completely different than that of BTS, but I really feel like the choice of clothing and styling aren’t really that similar either. The only similarities I can really find are the fact that both groups are insanely talented, both contain mind-blowing vocals (hello Jimin), and perhaps I can see some similarities in Jimin’s “Blood, Sweat, Tears” outfit and some of the Snuper guys’— but that’s really only because Jimin sported an over-sized floppy collared shirt and a mock-choker necklace type necktie (which by the way is a trend I am currently in love with. For some reason it’s just so flattering and sexy). Other than this one stylistic choice, though, I don’t see a lot that’s similar. The choreo and dancing? 아니. I’m sorry, but no one dances like BTS…no one. I love both groups and both are clearly talented, but there isn’t really anyone who’s on BTS’s choreo level. And besides that, i just don’t feel they’re similar choreographies at all anyway.

snuper_1478790458_af_org

I am LOVING the simple stylistic choices in this video. It’s very simple but striking: plain white floppy shirts, black pants, black shoes, incredible dancing. I love that they all sport a slightly different hair color (not only is that helpful for those who are new to the group and trying to figure out who’s who— smart choice, production company— but it also gives them each an individual flair in an otherwise monochromatic look: white on black on black. I also like their other outfits in the video. Very eclectic yet sophisticated. They looked grown-up and put together, but still very simple and effortless. Nice high turtle-necks, fitted blazers, and minimal hats. Makes for an effortless chic and puts them out of risk of looking like they’re trying too hard. And again, I of course love the guy chokers. They seem to be making a stab right now in the fashion world and I love it. A touch of androgyny and simple chic. And a tip of the hat to 90s, and I love anything 90s, stylistically speaking.

I also think their choreography is on-point for the style of this song. It’s not too much, but it’s unique and passionately done. It’s just right. I have to take one moment to say that the slow-motion shots of the choreo, especially focused on SeBin, are a heart-attack. These slo-mo bits are a great way to break up the speed and fast pace of the song and it also gives us a moment to see how pretty they are and who doesn’t want that opportunity? I also think their foot work is great and well put together. Nothing sloppy about it— it’s fresh.

Lastly, I have to say, for being a very catchy, upbeat song, the lyrics are kind of phenomenal. I love the chorus and I really like how they portray love: it’s surprisingly real and accurate and not all cutesy or unrealistic or hackneyed. It’s pretty raw…while still maintaining an upbeat and quick wit and pace. I just think it’s kind of genius. The words work so well and fit perfectly together, even the English portions of the chorus. Like all good songs should be, this is poetry made catchy. A total score.
So there you have it for this week: A totally unexpected three-pointer by Snuper. I am really glad I stumbled upon these guys this month and I wish more people would because they are seriously overlooked and underrated.
I really hope that this is the start of seeing some of this group’s immense and diverse talents in the near future, because I am loving them.

Greasy Grungy Fall

Fashion Review Mondays:  Alexander Wang’s Fall/Winter 2015
This needs to begin with the disclaimer that this review is mostly full of disapproval and lack of admiration. Usually, I only post positive fashion reviews for Fashion Review Mondays, so I try to pick a collection that I actually feel positively about. But this time, I am sad to say that this collection from AWang left a bad taste in my mouth, and I didn’t think it would. There are, in my opinion, some positive aspects, but overall I was not impressed.

I would highly encourage anyone taking the time to read this to go watch the actual show, not only to— most importantly— formulate your own opinion of it, untainted by another’s slant, but also because I’ll be referencing specific parts and times of the show. To start, the show opens with an all-black tailored blazer, little high-neck leather top, wide-leg gaucho pants, and chunky platform creeper-type boots. Hair and make-up: disheveled chic? I was confused right away. Let us start with the actual clothes. They aren’t bad; they just weren’t that impressive to me idea-wise. What’s ground-breaking? The high-neck leather top is simple, modern, and versatile. Nothing not to like. The jacket, again, isn’t bad… it’s just not that exciting to me either. And now we’re at the pants. I really have never figured out the allure of the gaucho shape. It is a style that simultaneously cuts every woman—no matter how fit, healthy, or slim— the wrong way and also is just an incredibly awkward pant no matter what outfit is built around it. Now again, remember that this is my opinion and if you love gauchos and think they are the bees‘ knees, by all means, wear them to your heart’s content. I am sure they are comfy (comfort is really the only positive I can mark for them). But as far as elevated and innovative shapes go, I’m sorry but I don’t think they cut it. The shoes. Oh my word, those shoes. I’m trying to think of a really forgiving and also eloquent way of saying they are HIDEOUS. And please note that this comes from a person who really does appreciate a good creeper, even a platform one. But these are awful. It wasn’t even so much how they looked, but how they moved. The models looked ridiculous. The way they had to walk to accommodate the shape and height of them made them look incredibly awkward. All I could think when I saw them walking was “chunky duck feet.” Too bad elevated height didn’t translate to elevated taste.

At 0:55 of the show, there’s this look that is a beautifully tailored jacket paired with the prolifically over-occurring gauchos and sky-rise creeper boots. This is one of many examples of a look that could have been so beautiful, had not the weird gaucho pants and platform duck feet held it down. The jacket is gorgeous, wonderfully constructed, has an interesting studded high-neck, and is undeniably a great piece. It’s interesting but a classic. But paired with these odd others, the look just looks silly.

Another situation with a similar issue is the coat-and-gaucho combo at 1:15. I’m all for nontraditional pairing and the shape isn’t what bothers me. Again, perfectly beautiful coat; the shape is perfect. But the styling turns this look around a hideous corner. That coat, with its perfectly curved lines and its heavy structure could have really stood out, but instead, I again could only concentrate on the awful greasy tousle and the awkward gait that was allowed by the chunky duck waddlers. I mean, if I may be so blunt, the model was walking like a caveman in those shoes. It just wasn’t elevation of taste. It made me want to look away.
I will say that there were some amazing bags in this collection. I especially liked the studded leather backpack and clutch. There were also some looks that, save for the awkward duck shoes, were completely gorgeous, like the quilted mini-skirt and coat combo at 3:30. The sweater underneath is an amazing Fall piece as well. I loved that look. It wasn’t all bad, just the majority was unfortunately a bit amiss. Sometimes, it was simply the styling and weird pairing that screwed up a look, not so much the pieces themselves.

There’s another huge issue with this show that I must address: the choice of hair and make-up. I’m sorry, but… what? I read a comment in the comment section that said ‘oh are we bringing strung-out cocaine-chic back?‘ which were really my sentiments exactly. I know what grunge-chic looks like and also what bed-head disheveled chic may even look like, but this just looked like the girls hadn’t showered in a couple of weeks, had been backpacking out in the wilderness and were an oily greasy mess, but they still had a fashion show to work, so they just walked out looking like that. Their hair is literally plastered to their faces. They probably all broke out instantly after the show. It didn’t even look remotely attractive. And I do understand that sometimes, the point someone might be trying to make via high fashion does not always include looking ultimately attractive, but all this said to me was that 12-day-old hair is now in; looking like a grease-ball is all the rage. I think a statement can be achieved without looking disgusting. Plus, I don’t believe he was going for a bigger statement here; it was just bad styling. It was grease-chic. And it wasn’t working.

The real problem I have with all of this is that it didn’t feel like Alexander Wang for me. While I was watching it, if I didn’t already know whose show it was, I don’t think I could have guessed correctly. He has always been an innovator of shape and androgynous character, but has always accomplished this in a perfectly polished manner. He could make a statement while still maintaining an extremely elevated taste and impeccable craftsmanship. But this show truly was a miss to me. Where was the elevated taste? Where was his signature polished flare? Nothing looked well-put-together or attractive. It was different, but not in a good way. I’m sorry to say that, this week, my review cannot not be a completely positive one. From a great AWang fan, I have to say, I was far less than impressed.

God’s Mercy and Humble Prayer

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer. I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” Psalm 91.14-16.
I used to think that prayer didn’t really matter. I mean, I still did it. And I still believed that God heard me. But I could never square with both the understanding that God already had a plan and that God answers prayers. If His plan was perfect and He already had it, what difference could asking for something, even in prayer, really make? Especially if that something didn’t fall into His plan. I just figured it was something we do. And when people said, “Oh, the Lord answered my prayer; look!” I was always like ‘yeah I don’t think so; it apparently just so happened that whatever you asked for was already part of His plan.‘ A wonderful coincidence at best.
Half a year ago, my boyfriend broke up with me. I was miserable. Not because I thought I couldn’t find anyone else to enjoy my time with and not because our love had been this perfect thing, but because I had lost the best friend I had ever had. I didn’t feel empty or void without him, like a piece of me was missing or any of that. I just felt sad. I still had an amazing life without him; I had a lot going for myself. But whenever I would enjoy something, I couldn’t help thinking ‘yeah, but I would enjoy this more with him‘ and I’d wish I could share things with him and I no longer could. And again, it’s not like I thought ‘this is it‘ and that I couldn’t find anybody else to be with who I was compatible with. I knew I could. That isn’t really a question— everybody can find someone else to be content with; it’s a matter mostly of choice. I had been in love before; I knew it could happen again. I just didn’t want anybody else. I wanted him.
I spent a long time thinking about this. And at that point, most of my friends were feeding me lines like ‘you’re better off without him‘ or ‘I never really liked you with him anyway‘ or ‘girl, he left YOU; go out and find a man who’s gonna shower you in everything you really deserve‘ which of course always came with the best intentions but were never truly helpful. It just made me feel worse. I hated when people told me he didn’t deserve me. People don’t deserve other people; they choose other people. But inevitably, after hearing it so much, I started to think that maybe he didn’t deserve me; that he had given up but I had remained loyal. I had that devil on my shoulder sneering, ‘go demand what you deserve; preserve yourself.‘
But I couldn’t give in to self-preservation. I couldn’t just give up. I had always had this feeling that we still had hope, that we still had some unattained remaining potential to be unlocked, that we were special. And I couldn’t give up on that. So I started praying for it. Timidly at first, because I was used to thinking that God already had a plan and things happened for a reason in a certain way, and it appeared that this thing had already happened and I didn’t want to be asking God for something that was against His will. So I was afraid at first. I also had doubt in the back of my mind dictating all my thoughts while I was praying. I’d pray for us to be brought back together, and a thought would hiss by: ‘you can ask, but this isn’t God’s will so you’re not gonna get it.’ All my prayers at first were tainted with this doubt. I was so sure I was asking for something that could not happen. That it was futile. That prayer always was.

I spent six months praying for something that people told me was a lost cause and not something I should ask for. And this month, he and I are together again, for the first time in seven months. I’m not sharing this to boast, because the only thing I could boast in is God’s power and grace. And I’m not sharing this to sound like a Nicholas Sparks novel. I felt like I had to share this in order to say that God is mighty. I wrote it to praise Him for what He’s done. God works in such crazy mysterious ways, we have no idea what He’ll do. And if you feel some kind of pull to pray for something, even something that seems crazy, DO IT. Through this whole ordeal, if I’ve learned one thing, it’s to not put the God of the universe in a box. To not assume that He won’t do something. If you love Him and serve him truly, He wants to bless us with the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37.4-5). We forget that He has said Ask and you shall receive. But at this point, I do want to say that I’m not telling you that God will just toss us miracles like candy. Some things we ask for He isn’t going to do. And we just aren’t going to know why. And for many people, in many different circumstances that come to this end, this will be extremely difficult, and I understand that. I don’t want to sound like I’m saying “oh just ask for it and God’ll give it to you, no biggie” because that’s not how it is. And that’s not how I prayed either. I was a slave to prayer. I begged for it; I laid down my everything to Him when I asked for it. I said I’d do anything for it. I was desperate and relentless. But I also remembered that I was me and that God is GOD. If the King of kings didn’t want it to happen, I knew that it wouldn’t. But when I prayed, I also wasn’t a slave to my fears or doubts that it wouldn’t happen. At first I was, but eventually I moved to praying against the grain of my fears. I prayed through the doubts. And I believed that God would do this even if people told me He wouldn’t. I waited for Him to act when I felt like I should and I trusted Him to be faithful and He was. I believed in a Holy Power that was beyond me.
I hope this helps at least one person who comes across it. I’m in no way saying that if you’ve broken up with someone and you want them back, that it will happen exactly how it did for me— it won’t. Every case it different. I’m just here to say that I believe in the power of a humble prayer, because I’ve witnessed the God of the universe work in it. I’m also not claiming to know a ton about this mysterious God of the universe— I don’t. A year ago, I didn’t even believe in God anymore. All I can really offer you is my experience. And my experience is that I prayed humbly in the name of Jesus Christ, and God had mercy on me and answered me.

If you’re stuck in a rut right now, not sure if God answers prayers, these verses really helped me (along with the verse at the beginning of this article from Psalm 91) :
Daniel 9.23, Jeremiah 31.9, Isaiah 65.24, Matthew 21.21, Genesis 18.14, 22-33, 19.29

KPOP Tuesdays: Skrillex/Diplo/GD/CL’s “Dirty Vibe”

KPOP Tuesdays: Skrillex/Diplo/GD/CL’s “Dirty Vibe”
Olivia of WangGuk

     Let me begin by offering my cold, hard, personal opinion by wholly unapologetically saying that this is the WORST song and video I may have ever witnessed. Now, this is of course my own opinion, but I will explicate how I feel and why in this KPOP Tuesday.
First of all, the song itself is nothing special. The mix on it is pretty terrible and it isn’t catchy to me at all— and I realize that the song may be considered catchy by a ton of other people. That’s fine. But as far as musical creativity goes, where is it? I couldn’t find one thing about the beat, words, or structure of the song that I found the least bit interesting or stimulating. I remember a time when I actually could turn on some of Skrillex’s work and sit through it (there weren’t many examples of this, but I did have a few pieces I could enjoy at one point in time). But this? I mean, there’s nothing I can really compliment about it. The beat isn’t catchy, the mix is not creative in the least, and the theme of the song is negative, tired, and hackneyed.

Speaking of hackneyed, was this not the most uninteresting music video I’ve ever laid eyes on? Yes. Yes, I dare say it was. It was awful. For way more than one reason. This whole club-kid-from-the-90s-goes-modern-day-occult-grunge theme is so over. I’m done with it. I don’t want to see it anymore. If you’re an artist and you want to make it in the industry, show the public something they haven’t already seen a thousand-and-one times. This stupid theme with all its occult triangles, slimy eyeballs, trill this and trill that, yin yangs, butterflies, aliens— it needs to end. Or at least just leave it alone for a while, and if you’re going to make a new song, have it be just that— SOMETHING NEW. I’m so sick of seeing the same theme used over and over; it just isn’t interesting anymore and it isn’t pushing any boundaries.

I also have to say that if this was supposed to be some big great break-through moment for CL and GD to couple with Diplo and Skrillex for a multi-cultural, multi-musical collaboration, boy was this an opportunity blown. I love the fact that more and more artists are trying to break into other cultures’ music industries— what a fantastic way to share culture! But this song illustrates the perfect way to not do that successfully. It’s disappointing only because I know CL and GD are capable of way better work than this. It’s honestly very shocking to me that they put this out and were okay with it. Number one, the lyrics are so unoriginal. I mean good gravy, how many times have we heard the I’m-a-bad-girl/boy-and-everybody’s-so-jealous-of-me crap? It isn’t necessary anymore. We understand: you’re some big famous rich celebrity who loves to rap about how great you are. After a while, it just gets old. And at a point, when must we say, “Okay, well…what else ya got?” It’s ridiculous to me that we can’t put the rap on a mainstream public pedestal which actually deserves to be there. The rap in this song is worthy of no such pedestal— no such anything even close to that.

There’s also the issue of GD spitting “mother-fucker” out all over the place needlessly, while a posse of awkward, confused-looking children trail him, copying his weird unattractive gimp-gait. I’m sorry but WHAT? Call me old-fashioned, but since when is it okay to spray “mother-fucker” all over some kids who are grossly clad in matching clothing to some person they don’t even know? That part really bothered me. Not only was it unnecessary and stupid, but we’ve seen it before— hello GD’s “One of a Kind” video; same deal. Little kid dressed up just like him copying his every move. Besides being kind of creepy, has GD really no more ideas? And finally, we have CL. CL, who is only slightly better-attired than the other women in this video. This is only because she is attired at all. The other women sport neon underwear while fawning over GD and his not-so-impressive rap. Speaking of unimpressive raps, oh CL, why? Again, there was nothing good about this at all. My (fake) favorite part was her “talk shit with the prettiest lips, blow a kiss, kick a hole in your speaker then split.” No explanation necessary. Let me say that I’ve never been truly impressed with CL’s rapping from day one, but this is horrible. It isn’t even rapping; to me, it’s an insult to real rap.

So needless, to say, I was beyond disappointed with this collaboration (if that’s what we’re even calling this; it really just sounds like four people made four different equally awful songs and smashed them together and let them play over each other). I really expected more out of at least GD. After “Baddest Female,” I learnt not to expect too much out of CL, but GD can do so much better and I know it. After “Crooked” and “니가 뭔데,” I really looked forward to the direction GD was moving in as an artist, and this song was just so disappointing. I hope in the very near future both GD and CL get their acts together and produce something that’s at least worthy of the time it took just to critique this.

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 Problem with People

The Problem with People
Olivia

Today as I sat in church I realized that people REALLY annoy me. This is kind of a sad realization when it’s prompted during church, but I couldn’t help it. Enter example A: the guy sitting next to me at church. He was one of those suuuuper loud suuuuper excited people, really out-going, had to greet everyone around him before church even started, even though it was evident he didn’t know any of them. Being the ultra to-myself introverted person that I am, I was already trying really hard not to make eye contact with him and decided within the first five seconds of church that he annoyed me. So far, you might be thinking “wow relax, the guy’s just really nice and happy,”which would be completely justifiable for you to think. But for some reason, whenever someone is THAT friendly and nice, it always seems a tad overly dramatic and a bit ingenuine to me. It’s almost like these people just want other people to look at them and think, “wow, they are just so nice.” In my mind, if you’re truly kind-hearted and you have a nice spirit, there’s no reason to parade around with this overly-nice facade. It’ll just come out in your actions when necessary.
Anyway— what a huge digression— I was sitting by this guy getting perturbed when church finally started and once it did, this guy immediately darts to the aisle, slopping all over me because I’m at the aisle seat and it’s dark so he can’t see. I really tried not to get annoyed because I told myself “get a grip Olivia, he probably just had to go to the bathroom; be patient”, to which I rebutted “yeah well he could have been doing that during the last 20 minutes while he was fake-greeting people”. I know, I know, but that’s the kind of stuff that goes through my head sometimes.
During the part of service where we’re actually supposed to greet people we don’t know, the guy shook my hand and somewhat apologized that he had stepped on me multiple times getting to and from the aisle. Socially polite gesture, but for some reason it didn’t alleviate my annoyance. And after church, as I was tail-gated all the way to my house by irresponsible drivers, I thought to myself “wow, people REALLY annoy me.” And then God struck me— not with lightning for being so impatient and ungracious, but with this thought: “But you are the same.” Goodness, talk about a slap in the face, but a much-needed one. And I thought, “You’re right. I am one and the same. I am no different and I am no better. I am the same.” This was a huge realization for me.
I think sometimes— and this is an especially difficult pill for me to swallow daily because I have such a low tolerance for poor behavior— we forget that humans make really poor decisions sometimes. And we just have to deal with those poor decisions. Sometimes we look at others’ mistakes and think “oh my word, they’re so stupid/ rude/ thoughtless” without taking a moment to realize that we are all the same. No one gets everything right all the time and no one is on their best, most courteous, putting-others-first behavior all the time. I wish it were that way, but we’re not there yet. We’re just not perfect. We’re going to have to be patient with each other. And trust me when I say that patience with people doesn’t come easy or natural to me— I pray day and night for divine intervention when it comes to patience. But it’s a necessary virtue for living life to its fullest in this world.
So the next time someone cuts you off on the freeway or the person in front of you at the market says something rude or ignorant or careless, remember not to sink to the level of that behavior and be at peace. Be at peace knowing that retaliating with more poor behavior won’t do any good. Be at peace knowing you can choose to be patient and kind even when others aren’t choosing to be that way. And be at peace knowing that someday, the world won’t look like this, but for now, we’ll just have to keep asking for divine intervention.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. ~Ephesians 4.2-3.