Tag Archives: community

Floating Life

Floating Life: Sunday Thoughts
Olivia of WangGuk

This week has been one of floating. I’m floating currently. I have goals and dreams, but I also don’t really care if none of them work out. Not in a depressing way haha— in a contented completely full kind of way. I would LOVE to see any number of the many dreams I have for my life come true. But I also welcome the idea that none of them may be for me— that my life may actually include a bunch of dreams I haven’t even dreamt yet. Floating, but not aimless.

Having a floating life feels rather free most of the time. But sometimes it can get heavy. It only gets heavy when I start to feel ill-contented. When I start to get anxious, like I need for something to happen. If I remain just simply grateful for whatever happens to be in front of me at the moment, I’m fine. More than fine: I’m not worried about anything in particular. And that’s a good feeling; a state of mind to be envied. Anxiety is a constant battle— a stifling kind of paralysis— one which, if you let it completely take you, is like putting a cup over a match and watching the flame die slowly.

The opposite of complete anxiety is complete Peace. The holy kind. The kind that sweeps like a salty breeze from the ocean through a dusty house. It is hard to let that holy breeze run through you completely and constantly. For most of us it is fleeting and we live simultaneously craving it, but not willing to totally let go of control in order to let it in again.

A floating life is a scary thought for a lot of us, especially those of us (like myself) who have a really difficult time not craving control. But floating is not actually scary. It is, yes, unpredictable, but in being unpredictable, it’s a completely open life. Ready for anything, and accepting of everything. Once a floating attitude is achieved, you’re never really scared or disappointed. You’re just you. Waiting for more of you to evolve and develop, whatever that includes. Floating, but not aimless. Waiting, but not anxious. Anticipatory, but not specifically expectant. Content, but ready for any challenge.

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 ❤ 🙂

The Orchestra

The Orchestra:  the Kingdom as Song
Olivia of WangGuk

I have been really behind on posts here lately; please forgive that.  Life gets so complicated sometimes.  Instead of a Fashion-Review-Monday, this is just a general post that I meant to post yesterday because it’s more of a Kingdom-Thoughts-type post.
Over the weekend, I was able to drive down to LA to visit my family— one of my cousins is a really talented classical musician and I got to watch him play as a part of a local orchestra.  It was an awesome experience for a lot of reasons— I’ve never seen him play classical music before, so that was great, and I got to see my family and that’s always awesome.  But as I was watching him play, I started thinking about what playing as part of an orchestra actually means.  At first, I just watched my cousin playing, since he was who I was there to see and support.  But as the music flowed onward, I started looking all over the stage at each of the different players.  It was amazing to me that each one of these people was so gifted, so talented on their own— yet each of them was also part of a bigger picture.  Each one of them played a different part, but each one of them was necessary for each song.  Each player’s part was unique and different, but each was necessary and each was beautiful.
I think the Kingdom is like this.  We are each talented in different ways, but when working together, we suddenly become this bigger picture, this greater good.  And each one of us is vital to that greater good.  In an orchestra, if one person is missing, the other players feel the loss, even if the audience doesn’t know the difference.  And each person plays a separate part of the same song, but when meshed together perfectly, all of the different melodies makes a masterpiece.  In life, we each have different roles, but I think in a perfect, working Community, each person’s unique role fits perfectly into the web with everyone else’s special role.
Another thing I noticed while watching the orchestra:  if someone messed up or played a wrong chord, there was no discord to be noticed.  Everyone simply moved on and kept playing, for the sake of the song.  I think this is how the Community should be as well:  if we focus too long on any one mistake made by either oneself or another brother, how will we finish the song?  We need to keep moving forward so that we can finish the masterpiece, keep running the race.  Mistakes will happen; they are inevitable, they are necessary— and choosing to move forward after mistakes are made must be necessary too, for progress’s sake.  If we each keep playing our unique parts and keep holding each other up after mistakes, we’ll be part of a big beautiful song— how awesome.
The Kingdom is our Song.  And God’s the best Conductor I can imagine:  He’s there to remind, He’s there to suggest, He’s there to guide and encourage— but He won’t force a player to play right.  He will strengthen, but we have to want to keep playing to make the Song a reality.  I think that’s a pretty cool working, breathing Kingdom— a Song perfected is what to look forward to on this beautiful Earth.

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.