Missing My Sister | Life’s Impermanence

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My younger sister, Jade

Today, I miss my younger sister Jade.

When we were growing up, our rooms were right across from each other. She was never too far away.

When it was time for everyone to go off to college, I stayed behind, commuting to a nearby University, while she went to one a few hours away.

This was the first time we’d really been apart. It was a pivotal part in my young life. My siblings going off to University was when I truly began to realize the impermanence of life.

Of course, we’d still visit each other but things had changed. Our lives were evolving in different directions.

When I left the country for a few years, we said our goodbyes. We were already living at a distance from our previous endeavors.

Finally, I came back from my adventures abroad and decided to settle back down in the USA.

We met infrequently for the next two years.

A couple of years ago, I (pregnant with baby and with my husband) moved back to Virginia to be close to my parents.

However, this time, it was Jade’s turn to have extended adventures abroad. Away she went and I wished her well.

But that doesn’t stop me from missing her today. So, I wanted to write a little something about her in my little Adventurer Diary:

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Dear Jade,

I haven’t always been a good sister to you. But I have to say, you’ve always been a good sister to me.

Supportive and loving.

In your own way, you have always been there for me when I needed you.

When I was down and out, you helped bring me back to life. Giving me advice and some tough love. You helped to guide me out of the darkness when I was running out of places to turn.

Now, here we are. Far apart. So far away from the place that we started.

That short step to your room, now oceans away.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to hug you again but I do hope that I will be able to soon.

Sometimes, I see you in my dreams. There we share time together.

It’s funny how everything changes. Nothing stays the same.

I was so lucky to grow up with you.

Now, we’re far apart and it makes me sad. But just as you loved me enough to set me free to explore the world, I, too, must set you free. To be happy, to live your own life.

Today, my heart is broken. But, at the same time, happy because you’re happy.

I love you, little Jade. I hope to see you again soon. ❤

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My father and younger sister seeing me off before my big flight.

Together, We Can Find Peace

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This morning, I stumbled upon an old email that I had written to my father. It brought back a flood of memories and inspired me to write this blog today.

In 2012, my life was heading in a downward spiral. Not only did I NOT feel any love or motivation for life, I also lacked love and motivation for myself.

To make a long story very brief, this diary was started during a critical time.

I had changed the trajectory of my life and decided to teach ESL abroad. This brought some much needed excitement to my very mundane, uninspired life.

Now, that I have given some context- Today, I stumbled upon an old email that I had written to my father. It spoke of my current situation at that time:

“The mortgage won’t be getting paid.

Foreclosure is the only option I have.

I chose to move to Indonesia because I wanted to commit suicide.

I chose to move and save my life…

So what if I lose my home and good credit standing.”

I had been suffering for so long. I was ignorant about so many things. I didn’t realize that we all have a purpose on Earth. We’re all here to do something bigger than ourselves.

What I am trying to say is, and I am talking to you – Person that feels worthless, person that feels hopeless, person that feels like you don’t deserve to live, person that feels like there is no reason to live and you’re just another face in the crowd, person who is bored out of his/her mind, person that’s wondering why you’re here… please let me tell you:

You are an individual. Unique. There is only one you.

Don’t give up hope. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

If you find yourself dreading waking up in the morning. If you find yourself actively participating in reckless behaviors in hopes that you don’t live to see another day-

Remember, you’re not alone. Life is hard. How do we move forward? We put one foot in front of the other. One…Two…

You have a life purpose. You may not realize it now but you do. What’s your hobby? What do you love to do? If you could, what would you do for the rest of your life and not mind doing it for free?

For example, I love to write and draw! However, instead of just writing my own thoughts down and drawing simple, pretty pictures, I expanded my love for writing and drawing to writing/illustrating Positive Character Books for children. Therefore, not only am I doing what I love, I am HELPING someone else in the process.

That’s the key. Help yourself, while in turn helping others.

Helping is the ultimate display of love. When we help others, we are showing them love!

If you’re feeling down and out, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Update About My New Adventures

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It’s amazing how things change…

It feels like just a few months ago I was in Busan, South Korea teaching ESL, eating gimbap and hiking in the mountains. In actuality, It’s been almost 2 years since I moved from South Korea to California to be with my then fiance’ and now husband.

Life is a grand adventure. Sometimes the adventure is fun, scary, crazy, hectic, chaotic, boring, surprising and everything else in between. However, that’s precisely what an adventure is; something unpredictable.

I left Virginia in 2013 to embark on a new chapter of my life: teaching ESL in Indonesia. With that journey, my entire world was flipped upside down and forced me to do a lot of self-reflection. I spent a lot of time alone. It was a transformational time in my life.

In Indonesia, I hit my rock bottom and learned how to dust myself off and pick myself back up.

In Indonesia, I also learned how to meditate, teach young children, self-reflect, be humble, quit drinking, stopped partying, tried out vegetarianism, experimented with veganism, and became celibate.

Indonesia was a whirlwind of an experience. I’d love to share the whole story with you one day.

***Before I posted another pretty picture of a flower or mountain range, I felt it was best to let you know about this new adventure in my life. The journey of a new family.

I got married to the man I love, changed my last name, and now, we’re expecting our first child. Her name’s Rose.

I’m scared, elated, overwhelmed, and everything else…

I’ve decided to embark on the adventure that motherhood brings. With all of its joys, struggles, heartaches, and laughs, here I go… into a place I’ve never been before.

And Rose, She will be loved. Her mother and father are excited for her arrival. There’s so much to teach her. There’s so much for her to teach us.

In this life, if we’re lucky, we wake up to another day, and within the new, we have the opportunity to be better than we were the previous day. This is my understanding of it. We fall, we get back up. Our only choice is to keep moving forward. The saying goes, fall down 8 times pick yourself up 9. Keep moving forward. I believe that quitting isn’t an option…life can be excruciating for us all at times… but it can also be beyond amazing if you allow it.

So, I’m ready for the beyond amazing adventure…and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the experiences with you along the way.

Thanks for reading.

Love, Leslie

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Girl, Felicity!

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Felicity is a beautiful girl; she is hard-working, kind and thoughtful!

I have been drawing and illustrating coloring pages at Starbucks. Interested in partnering up with the company to sell my unique, hand-drawn coloring pages. I’m passionately seeking the opportunity of my dreams. To get out a message of positive character, self-worth, self-love, fun, creativity and following your heart!

I was fortunate enough to be drawing in Starbucks on Mission Road in Fallbrook, California when I was introduced to a beautiful lady from L.A. She was at Starbucks with her husband and two children taking care of some business. I asked her if it was alright if I gave her children a coloring page to color in Starbucks. And after they finished, I asked if it was alright to take a picture of their completed work of art! The children’s mother cheerfully agreed and the rest is history.

I went to Starbucks this morning with hopes of simply recording my drawing and coloring, as I had the days before. But this time, things were different…in a good way!

I was blessed to meet Beautiful Girl, Felicity! She is in the first grade and loves to draw and color, she told me. She gladly colored the coloring page and posed graciously for the camera.

It was such a rewarding experience meeting Felicity and her family. They were a kind family full of awareness and passion for the betterment of our great nation.

Felicity and I spoke about how she worked hard on the coloring page; Felicity is hard-working. Hard-working girls are beautiful girls. Felicity’s mother also informed me about how she is kind and thoughtful in the classroom; she thinks about other children’s feelings during class! Thoughtful girls are beautiful girls.

I’m so proud of Felicity and her positive character! She is a kind, hard-working and thoughtful beautiful girl (among so many other things).

I feel excited and privileged to have met such a wonderful family.

To All the Beautiful Girls out there! May your hearts be filled with joy, ambition and love for yourself and love for others. May you shine and prosper! May you be guided to be a guiding light that in turn guides others.

Love, Leslie

Links to my book, “All the Beautiful Girls”: This book is all about a girl who learns positive character from ten different ladies teaching ten different positive characters in her dream.

all-the-beautiful-girls-jpg-coverhttps://www.createspace.com/6862992

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1542558484

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1542558484

 

Spending Time With Family

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In the picture you will find nana, Aunt Debbie and myself (nana is 96, by the way and looking gorgeous).  The books that nana is holding are the children’s self-worth books that I wrote and illustrated; I aspire to get them published and have them distributed to schools all around the world.

Leaving home to go home…

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I remember when I first started on this Adventurer Journey. I was tripping all over myself with dreams placed firmly in my hands, running towards the airport gates…

That was over a year ago and things have changed.

Indonesia is an excellent mother. She has taught me a lot about myself and her beautiful land.

*I went back to the familiar and discovered that many things were no longer familiar to me.

They say, “Home is where the heart is” and now my heart resides in many different places.

How to piece it back together again?