Thursday, April 22, 2010


Waiting for a specific day to come can be torturous.  I am eagerly waiting for my brother and his lovely lady to arrive on May 9th. 

But in the interim, I have a high-tech MRI scheduled for early Saturday morning in Taipei.  It's been chaos this week with doctors visits and trying to reassure my boss I'm not dying.  Apparently it's difficult to obtain an MRI here unless the doctors think it's absolutely now I set up an appointment at an International hospital.  I'll have to foot the bill but it's still a lot cheaper than it would be back home.

So my brain will be scanned...I'm pretty nervous.  I'm afraid of what they may find.  But no matter what, I know God is with me. I came across a really cool quote today which says:

"No matter how steep the mountain - the Lord is going to climb it with you."

And with that, I have the courage to venture forward.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

seeing auras...what next....?

My plans for a magical weekend in Taipei have to be postponed until I see the doctor and figure out what's up with the magic show in my brain.

I started feeling funny while teaching yesterday.  Intensely stressed, and then kind of out of it.  When I stood up to leave class for break, my vision became blurry.  By the time I got to the office I could hardly see with all the crazy activity taking place before my eyes.  Spots, snow-spots (like when you turn to a blank channel on tv), rainbow colored zigzags twirling around and lightning flashes.  I could hear my co-workers but it felt like I was in a tunnel...first thing I thought was "I'm having a stroke."

Felt very weak, co worker had to lead me back downstairs.  Two of the women I work with took me to the hospital.  The magic show subsided after about 20 minutes and came back briefly later.  However, I'm still feeling a little out of it and I have a mild headache as well.  It was the most terrifying thing I ever experienced and I hope it never happens again.

At the hospital I had blood and eye tests.  They tactfully told me "Oh, it's a problem in your brain."  They did a CT scan.  Said everything appears normal and they're going to send me to a neurologist next week.  I feel like a boss called me while I was there and asked me questions about hitting my head when I was younger...since the doctors told her it must be a brain problem too. 

So it's not a tumor.  That leaves blood clot, migraines with auras without the headache (really weird phenomenon) or insanity.  I'm truly worried this is a slow descent into insanity.

However, the event scared me so much that it kinda put  things in perspective.  I need to really crack down and prioritize what needs to be done in my life.  My anxiety needs to get under control once more.  Yoga, acupuncture will ensue.  I need to stop worrying about useless things like what other people are thinking.  I need to avoid all potential romantic relationships right now because it seems they just interfere with my healing process and inject more stress into my brain.  I need to take those classes I want to take.  Most of all, I need to get back in tune with God.

I also have not studied Chinese seriously in almost two months.  While it can be stressful, I was happier back when I was trying to memorize flashcards and not dwelling on stupid things.

Life is short...yesterday reminded me of that.  We only have so much time to make things right and to make the best of our lives.  It's something all of us need to experience now and then.  While I hope nothing serious is going on in my body, I'm grateful I've been given another day.  And a reminder that NOW not later, is the time to change.

Monday, April 12, 2010

mission accomplished

I miss driving. I miss pressing my foot against the accelerator and listening to music; driving used to help ease stress. So I decided to get a little aggressive with the scooter...

I've been thinking about visiting the dragon temple a little ways up the mountain for awhile now so I figured what better night to drive there than tonight? I hopped onto my bike, maneuvered my way through the scary tunnel, ventured forth. One of my favorite smells (aside from the smell of the sea) is the smell of mountain air. It's especially grand smelling it while riding a scooter as the wind brushes against your body.

I didn't have to drive far before I caught the outline of the colorful dragon heads in the darkness. The place was eerily quiet and vacant and one could easily imagine all sorts of ghosts lurking about.

It's much more impressive by daylight but here are a few photos:

Emboldened (and feeling quite sexy as an attractive Taiwanese man slowed his bike down to greet me) I climbed back onto my scooter and headed further up the mountain, though somewhat cautiously as it was my first time going around such sharp turns.  To be honest, the mountain isn't very big at all so it wasn't that much of a challenge.

I drove for awhile and tried to find the swimming pool in the shadows.  No such luck.
I'll have to go back again soon.

Driving in late evening or early morning hours seems to calm my nerves. It's also giving me confidence to venture out further and further on the scooter. A month or two ago I was terrified of driving down the street to do my laundry; now I'm making my way up mountains. It's amazing what people are capable of when they put fear aside and step forward with faith. While I still have a long ways to go, I'm proud of myself.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

me, myself, and I

I had a feeling I shouldn't but I went ahead and did it anyway. Another birthday celebration tonight—this one for a friend of a friend of a friend. Since it was a grown up “dinner dress up” party at a posh hotel in Taiwan, I thought it would be fun to attend.

Not only did I find myself in a corner most of the three hours that I stayed (though I did look pretty good if I do say so myself) I felt completely uncomfortable from the start. I realized I made a huge mistake between one acquaintance telling me I need to relax because I'm intensely wound up and one of my coworkers exclaiming quite loudly, “What the hell is wrong with you?!”

Even so, this is not why I chose to up and leave the party and I'm sitting alone in my bedroom at 11 pm on a Saturday night wearing heavy eye makeup and questioning my life yet again. No—I chose to leave because looking at all the people in the room and noting those genuinely having fun and those pretending to have fun just because they felt obligated; I realized that I've never been good at feigning anything and it would have been pointless to stay.

Why am I never comfortable in group situations and why is it that, especially lately, I seem to mess up any kind of social interaction in general?

More importantly, should this matter? Should I brush it off and continue living a solitary lifestyle? Or should I use these incidents as signs that something in my personality is severely flawed and needs to be fixed?

I want to be comfortable with who I am but no one else seems to be comfortable with me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

champing at the bit

Sometimes I don't want to write in this blog. Sometimes I want to give it up. Because the words don't come out right. They don't portray how I really feel or what's going on over here. I can't explain the transformations taking place nor can I truly explain my life in this land of contradictions.

I haven't written anything I've liked in years and somewhere along the way the talent I thought I possessed dwindled down to writing without passion. It is a garbled mess.

I'm hoping that one day I can be the writer I aspire to be. Until the switch is flipped, I have to make due with scattered thoughts and empty sentences.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

flower children

On Tuesdays most of my younger class is in Chinese school for the day.  So I'm left with three students.  After Phonics, we usually do an art project.  Today I had them make flowers and write words with long or short vowels on the petals. Aside from the student on the left abusing his flower, breaking the stem, and crying about it; the project went over smoothly. :)

I went to Costco today and a lime colored bag of green tea wasabi peanuts caught my eye.  As I waited for the cab outside the store, I shoved a handful into my mouth.  Big  mistake.  I thought I was going to choke but after my throat stopped burning and my eyes dried I decided that they were quite tasty.  One of my new favorite snacks in fact...:)

Monday, March 15, 2010

puppies and bunnies and...

orchids.  At the Hsinchu flower market.  I almost gave in, but now is not the time to adopt an animal.

So instead, I bought myself this beautiful plant...

I always wanted an orchid but my mom said they don't live long.  We'll see how long it survives.  Lately I've been missing having plants around.

The flower market was a cool place.  I hadn't been to the Hsinchu market before.  Lots of food and clothing vendors.  A bad place to go for someone like myself, who is always tempted to buy things.

I went to the market with the two new teachers (who are super nice) and we also went to the Hsinchu zoo.  Not too fond of this zoo.  The habitats are crappy and I felt really sorry for the monkeys who were going nuts.  One monkey kept flinging himself at the bars/walls of his cage in agitation.  My favorite animals were the ultra cute sunbears though I also felt sorry for them in their poor living conditions.

People here are obsessed with feeding the fish which inhabit the man-made lakes that dot the city.  These fish are enormous beastly things and one can buy containers of fish food for them pretty much anywhere.  At a lake near the zoo we tossed pellets in and watched as some prehistoric looking creatures surfaced and chased all the smaller fish away.  I'm thinking the fish food is full of hormones.  Will have to take pictures next time!