Struggles

Been feeling tired all week and mind has been a bit sluggish. Have a few challenging cases at work and that seemed to have kicked my brain into overdrive. Feel like a zombie walking around the house most of time, but no matter. I got something on my mind to share.

In the past three or four weeks, I took open communication to a whole new level. Was always honest in what I say, but I’d always keep my deepest and darkest desires to myself. I was afraid that if I were to express them, I’d be judged for the horrible person I was. But in reality, when I finally blurted those out to Hubby and Gru against my will, I felt loved instead of judged…

It was extremely uncomfortable for me to be that open. It was filled with trepidation that I’d ruin relationships so wonderful with my own selfish desires. There is this saying in Chinese that people offer themselves up as sacrificial lambs for others to butcher and tear apart. I felt like that sacrificial lamb. Stuck in a limbo, not sure what was right or wrong…

But I kept talking. I kept on communicating my feelings and some times triggers behind those feelings. First time around felt impossible, second time around felt a bit doable, and third time around I just talked. It was liberating in a way. To shed all of those judgments I had of myself. Feelings are feelings. Those I don’t have controls over. However, I do have control over my cognizant self. Instead of burying those feelings and let them stew, I chose to share them fearing for the worst…

During that time, it was hard to control my temper. Don’t think I had any full blown outbursts, but I did got snippy towards Hubby and, to my horror, Gru. I recognized my attitude soon after, but damage was done. Got nailed to the wall, lesson learned and I shall try harder come next time…

With all of my struggles, I actually came out all right. Hubby helped me with His loving care and support. Gru guided me with His wisdom and a firm hand. I feel comforted, relieved, and loved. I am in good hands and I feel I can finally let go of the control have over myself and trust that I’ll be loved no matter what. So, thank you Hubby and Gru for loving me and trusting me. I promise I’ll never stop being me =D!

Emptiness

I remembered the time when mom was struggling with cancer. Her friends would come over and chat with her. Many of them were Buddhists and they often mentioned about the concept of Emptiness. Don’t truly believe any of them knew what that meant and entailed, but they talked about it anyway. Back then I figured they were referring to letting go of everything. Material things, status, and money. Those I could understand but friends and family?! I always thought it was an ludicrous idea, but if that’s what made my mom feel better, Emptiness it was. At least she tried to grasp at the concept. Don’t think she’d succeeded.

Time to time again I thought back to their conversations. What does Buddha really mean by Emptiness? And as weird as it may sound, I thought about the titles that we often assign to ourselves: mother, daughter, wife, sister, and so on. Those titles compartmentalize us into neat little boxes. They define who we are and thus we conform to them. When my mom was in her final life stage, I could sense fear. It wasn’t fear of her own death, but it was fear that I may stop loving her if I were to found out I was adopted. So she kept the secret into her death bed. It was years later that I found out about the truth, but that’s a story of another time.

What if we strip away our titles and lables? We will then become individual entities that’s a bit more nebulous. While individual entities are unique, certain similarities and differences often create the bond that ties two entities together. Her and I were just individuals brought together by fate. Although flawed, she loved me, protected me, and cared for me. She taught me math, she encouraged me to persue my career, and she wanted me to succeed. Adopted or not, daughter or otherwise, I’d still love her as I do now. I am just an entity that’s reciprocating the love and care she had given me years ago. Maybe if she could overlook the nuances of her title, she’d be able to focus on the love instead. She’d feel the love and care I’d given to her when she struggled. She’d find her peace and happiness in the end.

I don’t think Emptiness means a complete void. Think the overarching concept is to let go of things and titles that define us. A bit of scary thought because without those, then who am I? It forces me to focus on Buddha’s other concept of Not-self. The body I am currently in are not mine, beccause it will age, die, and decompose. The thoughts in my head are not mine, because they are fleeting, transient, and often brought on by something else. The soul I have is not mine because it bounds from one entity to another thus the concept of Karma. Having said all of that, does not mean I can do whatever I want with this body because it’s not mine, nor let this mind run wild because it’s not mine. No! as a steward of this body, mind, and soul I have the responsibility to cultivate them and care for them. How? Take care of the body by eating right and exercise. Take care of the mind by focusing on the present. Take care of the soul by loving and giving instead of hating and taking…Think…that’s part of the message that Buddhism is trying to convey. By no means I’ve figure it all out, but felt like I’ve gotten closer…

Just one of those weird things I think about at 4 in the morning…

Feminist vs Femininity

There is a difference between feminist and femininity. I feel people now a day tend to get the two confused. Take my mom for example, she was the very definition of a feminist. My grandmother, on the other hand, was feminine. Two very different tempered women who were important in my life. Both of them had taught me lessons that I am just beginning to grasp.

In my mind, my grandmother was undoubtedly the matriarch of our family even though my grandfather was head of the household to the outside world. She didn’t acheive that status via shouting nor competing with my grandfather. She did it with elegance and grace. She supported my grandfather in ways he’d never realized. Yet she never flaunted her way of being her. She was an quiet individual, but she was very observant of others. Ask her what each of her children’s strengths and weaknesses were, she’d nail it 100% of time. She never played favorites and she’s always fair. She treated people with kindness and had helped a lot of people without grandfather ever knowing.

We weren’t super rich, but rich enough to have 24/7 help whom I often refer to as my nanny. To many, my nanny was just a servant and was treated as such. To my grandmother, my nanny was treated with decency and respect and that’s what I love about my grandma.

There were many flaws in my grandfather as I came to know. Yet growing up, my grandmother never raised her voice to tear my grandpa down. So I was oblivious to his flaws until I mature and was able to judge a character through my own eyes. The way she carried herself, the way she spoke, and the way she dressed. Everything about her was the epitome of femininity. I wanted to be like her one day and that desire has never changed.

My mother…oh! I love her…I really do! However, I do not love her feminist way. Everything was a competition to her. She wanted to be the best, the number one in everything. She used that in her arguments aginst my father numerous times and she would teach me to be strong and independent. When my father would mention about something he did, she’d follow with “I can do it, and I can do it better”. Sounds familiar? That irked my father to no end, and that attitude was one of the many elements that contributed to a doomed marriage. Of course my father was no better at being a husband and those two butting heads was like a bomb going off in our house. Our neighbors several houses down could hear them fight. Whats the point with all those huffing and puffing?! It really does not matter who was right and who was wrong. A relationship was torn to pieces because both of them were too stubborn to admit their wrong and apologize! I never wanted to be like my mother, yet at one point in time I was exactly like her…

Now I’ve regained my balance and was able to look back as an observer. Everything is clear to me of whom I want to become. Without either one, I would not have known the good from the bad. Life has a weird way of showing me the lessons that I needed to learn. But going forward I shall. There’s still lots to learn!

Contemplating

I had most of today to relax and do nothing but contemplate. It’s very different from being lazy mind you. Yes physically I was not doing much, but my mind was going 100mph thinking, just… thinking. Ever since we called off M/s, I did a lot of soul searching. During which process, I spoke to both Hubby and Gru about relationships ad nauseam. Felt like I’ve talked my head off and I still have a lot more to cover. One rabbit path lead to other and I still don’t have a cohesive thought. So I decided to come here to just write and share. Maybe it will help clear my mind a bit.

I don’t really see our halt in D/s as a failure. Not really upset by it either. Looking back, I didn’t have a clear thought or direction as to why I need D/s in my life. I knew it wasn’t really the kinkery or sex that drew me in. It was something else that’s a bit intangible. During our trial phase I felt like a blind leading another blind who was my Husband. I didn’t know what I really needed, so it was impossible to convey my unknown needs to Him. I got frustrated that I felt that way, thus I wanted to stop and reevaluate what I truly need to flourish in a relationship so that I can give back in ten fold…Love, safety, and freedom I concluded.

Love and safety I have. I have two men who love me unconditionally, and I know both of them will fiercely protect me from any harm. Freedom is something I struggle to find. Of course I am free to do whatever I want and free to speak what’s on my mind, I am talking about freedom from myself. We’ve often hear the phrase that we are our own worst enemy or critics. I can absolutely attest to that. Take the painting I paintend the other day for example. Myself critic was saying that I could’ve done better. The painting was only half way finished. It’s not done, it’s not finished, don’t look! I recognized all that and I had to tear myself away and silence the inner critic so I could enjoy rest of the day. Sometimes, I just don’t have that level of self awareness and control. I can get so worked up in my mind that I could no longer help myself. I’d loathe myself for things I had done or thought. It can be absolutely debilitating at times and those are the times that I am furthest from freedom and peace.

I feel like I really can find that freedom with the help from a dominant. Someone who can promptly recognize a change in my thought process and judge if that change is for good or bad. While I do not wish to constantly rely on the dominant to recognize those changes in my mind, I do want some form of guidance when I feel lost or when I am beating myself up so badly that I wanted simply to disappear. A simple command of kneel can sometimes pull me out of a spiral just as effectively as a spanking. In those moments, I want a sharp reminder that the thoughts I’ve constructed in my head are not real and not true. That those thoughts are just transient and will disappear with time. Think that’s what I truly needed in a D/s relationship. Is that sense of freedom and stability. Rest will just naturally fall into place when I am not constantly bogged down by my “inadequacies” that my mind tends to make up.

Don’t know…still thought in progress. No, I am not in a negative spiral. I am just extra contemplative today.

A Long Lost Hobby

Today hubby and I went to one of those Sip and Paint event with my coworkers. We met goal at work a few months back, so we were treated to paint our pets for an afternoon fun together. Initially hubby was reluctant to participate, but we had two no shows so he graciously agreed to join. It was our first time painting together and it was surprisingly fun!

While I am no stranger to painting, hubby on the other hand, had never touched a paint brush in his life. To see him trying and having fun really meant a lot to me. It’s a different type of emotional support. A feeling of security that he was there for me and with me sharing the moment together regardless what the end product looked like. Granted it was after several glasses of wine on his part that he was able to relax and paint. He never complained and was really into the whole experience! Shall post here for a little show and tell. Here, he really did an awesome job on his horse! Don’t you think?! I am super impressed!

For me, I felt like I was walking down the memory lane as today’s event unfolded. Before I had my mind set on being a vet, I actually wanted to be an artist. An animator to be exact. I had my portfolio ready and required courses taken to gear myself for Passadena Art Center. Changed my mind in the last minute, because I didn’t want to associate art with work and work with art. Art, I came to realize, required inspiration and it simply do not follow timelines. Felt I’d hate drawing for deadlines, so I switched my focuse to science and medicine.

I completely lost my sense of time as I sat there and painted today. I thought about all those hours I sat in those art studios just sketching and painting away when I was small. It was my happy place, a place I could escape to. I didn’t need to think or worry about anything else other than the painting right in front of me. My art works were one of those very few things that my parents were legitimately proud of me for…And one event lead to another, I stopped painting all together.

Although extremely rusty today, I found that many of my muscle memories were still there. The motions of loading brushes with paint and mixing colors were all there. The feel of dragging my brush against the canvas felt extremely familiar. My painting skill is still somewhat intact! It’s a huge relief for me, because I was a bit apprehensive that I have regressed in these past 15 years. Four hours of painting and I present you this.

I had fun. A lot of fun with hubby today. Would love to do that again. Shall suggest it for our Christmas party this year!

Hubby, thank you soooo much for today! I love you and hope to have many more paint-togethers with you in our future!

Kit

Introducing Gru

Was going to write about something else today, but one thought lead to another and my mind just want to focus on Gru.

Love Despicable Me when it first came out. Love the father-daughter relationship between Gru and his daughters. Love even more that he was so kind to adopt those girls as his own. A happily ever after story for me to find a father like him…

Years later, I am now granted with that life long wish. I am adopted once again. This time into the arms of someone who is proud of me, loves me, and sees me as his little girl…

I was kept in the dark of my adoption status growing up. Everyone knew except for me. When I was living with my grandparents, I had always wondered what my father would be like. Was he kind, was he strict, was he caring, was he scary? I’ve always had those questions swirling in my head, because I only interacted with him once or twice. One of which involved him dragging me down the streets of Shanghai, going through department store one by one, looking for a bicycle with training wheels. We walked and walked and walked because he was too cheap to use public transportation. I remembered I was tired and exhausted, but he was relentless until we found a bicycle he liked for me. That bike sat in our mud room for years after. Think I rode it once or twice, managed to get a nasty scraped knee, and that was pretty much my memory of my interaction with my dad in the early days.

Before moving in with my parents, my wish for a good father never waned. Always saw children hand in hand with their father in parks and zoos, or kids riding on the back of their dad’s bicycle morning and night to and from school. I want a father like that I thought. I hear stories of fathers spanking their children because they care, I secretly wish that my father was of the same. I saw fathers in aprons cooking for his children, I too wanted a father just like that! There were a lot of wishes that were never fulfilled with my then adoptive dad. He was quite the opposite as I later found out.

Coming here to America was not an easy feat. I internalized a lot of my fears and uncertainties. New language, culture, and friends. The hardest thing for me to adjust was living wth my parents. Their relationship was volatile, something I’ve never experienced when I lived with my grandparents. Sometimes I could see and taste the tension between them and those were the moments I cower wishing I could somehow disappear. My father was not the father I had imagined him to be. Instead of building me up, he would tear me down. I feared and disliked him most of the time. I lost my voice and myself living with him. At times I wondered if he truly was my father. If he truly loved me… The answer was loud and clear when I got abandoned after my mom passed. My dream for a good father had died with it.

For years after, I was bitter and angry. I was depressed and numb. Didn’t know why, but I suppose my father had a lot to do with my unpredictable moods. Marriage was strained and work was stressful. It was an unsustainable life style until Gru showed up unexpectedly.

I call him Gru because he pretty much is one with his annoying girls in tote. Oh the suffering! Adopting a girl such as me probably had shortened his life by ten. Woe is him! *sticks my tongue out!* Secretly though, I know he has a lot of love to give.

All jokes aside, he is now the rock in my life. He is everything I had wished for in a father and more. He is teaching me life lessons that I wished I had learned decades ago. He is kind, he is loving, he is funny, but he can turn dead serious in split second to get my attention. He is not my friend, he’d say. He has no problem nailing me to the wall for things I’ve done wrong. When lesson learned, he’s back to his goofy self and fun is to be had for all. He is the guardian of my marriage. When things goes wrong between hubby and I, he’d be our arbiter. He’d walk us through our shortcomings and safely guide us to reach the other side. He is intelligent and knowledgeable like that of a Renaissance Man. He’d read me stories or share me articles that’d make me think. He’d walk me through the world to satisfy my ever quizzical mind. I can go on and on about him to make him blush. But in the end though he is simply my father whom I love and respect. I will always be his little girl though, his pride, and joy. I’ve finally found my father and his name is Gru.

Slow Day…

Having a pretty slow day at work again. Educating myself on diseases that I don’t often encounter here in California. Needing a small break, so I am back here to share my thoughts on being a veterinarian.

People often ask me why vet not human doctor? The immediate gut response is doing rectal exams on other humans, or looking at some nasty skin diseases, or seeing an open fracture… Nope! Nope! Nope! Hard limit! As much as I love medicine and physiology, I just don’t have the guts to deal with human medicine. So there is that. I can deal with animals because there is this level of disconnect between them and me. Four legged fur baby come in with an eye ball dangling out? No problem! Would you like me to push the eye back or call it a complete loss and remove it? Some fluffy white dog comes in from a coyote attack with a giant flap of skin hanging off of one side and intestine hanging out the other. Fu…….k….(let me recollect myself…) okay onto the surgery table we go and hope for the best. A dying dog with maggots filled to the brim in its eye sockets?! (@%$@$#!!!) Okay that’s too much. Yeah, I want to strangle you, you stupid human! See? I have no problem being a vet when it comes to being squeamish and such.

Hindsight 20/20. Would I choose to be a vet now that I have worked for more than 5 years? That’s been a question I’ve been going back and forth on. Was it worth it to get into 100k plus student loan to get a job that pays less than that at starting? Was four additional years of training worth it for a job with many open ended questions? The more I mature into my position the more I feel it’s worth it. And this may sound extremely bizarre to some of you that one of my greatest fulfillment was actually through those really sad euthanasia appointments. A peaceful euthanasia appointment can relieve suffering and give owner the closure they needed. There had been one or two bad euthanasias…I don’t talk about those often.

As a general practitioner, I see dogs and cats through all of their life stages. I am not in the field long enough yet to experience putting an animal down that I’ve grown found of since puppy or kittenhood (I am specifically referring to those healthy ones that live to their life expectancies). I can name a few that’s on my mind that I am thankful that they are well and healthy. But, that day is going to come eventually. Knowing I’ve provided care for those animals and am the one to put them down is in a way a weird closure to me that I did what I could to help them live the best lives with their owners…

The other aspect of vet med I really like is just the broad range of things we can do to our patients. Ask any human physicians if they juggle between interenal medicine, surgery, dentistry, ophthalmology (the list goes on) on any given work day? We are kind of jack of all trades doctors who practice on patients who can’t really talk. Oh yeah the not being able to talk part…

You as pet owners when visiting a vet office, please do provide as many information as you can to what’s happening at home with your pet. Because I can tell you, I make 50% of my diagnosis through getting history from you. For example. A pet is having diarrhea. Watery, patty shaped, or soft formed? What color is the diarrhea? In small amount but increased frequency or large amount twice daily? Any flatulence issues at home? Type of food you feed? Any stressful event in past few days or weeks? On any regular dewormers? The questions can go on and on and on, and by the end of my questioning, I can most of the time tell you if it’s a small intestinal verses large intestinal problem. If it’s food intolerance issue or something more serious without ever running diagnostics. The reason we run diagnostics is to either confirm or rule out our list of suspicions. So there, pay attention to your pet. You are the one who can talk not them.

Okie time to go back and read some more. Wooo I see someone coming in with a dog!

Reality Check

Got sick…again! In just two months?! No idea… Anywhozzly, out in the living room isolating myself so I won’t disturb anyone with my cough. Only good thing about being sick is that it gives me the excuse to take bunch of cough drops. I really like those especially the lemon flavored ones…luckily today is my day off. Get to rest up a bit and recover before going back to work tomorrow.

Been doing a lot of thinking, soul searching, reality checking, and what have you. Came to realize that M/s is not working for the two of us. It’s a major failure at this juncture, but a victory in a way that we are now willing to face the reality. That was a shock to my system and boxes of tissue papers later, I feel physically ill as well. As much as I crave to be taken in hand, my husband is not that type of person. To push Him towards being the ideal Master in my head is cruel for Him. Yes I have my needs and wants, but ultimately my need to see Him happy and well trumps everything else in life. So officially we are calling M/s off.

Having said that though, I’ll still refer Him as Master. “Master” “slave” “pet”…we’ve been using those for almost two years now, they are endearing to us and hold a different meaning. I think of it this way. People adopt pets. Those people see themselves as masters, owners, parents, best friends, adoptee, servants or even slaves to their pets. The human animal bond never change, just people’s perception changes as their self proclaimed lables change. For us, we’ve adopted eachother to be husband and wife. I like being called “pet” simply I work with dogs and cats all the time and to me “pet” just holds a special meaning in my heart. By calling Master “Master”, I get a smile. It’s kind of like us calling eachother “bitch” all the time. It doesn’t mean anything, yet with the back and forth bantering we always get to have a laugh at the end. Yes we are weird, but I don’t care.

Having called off M/s had, in a strange way, gave us a sense of freedom. There isn’t any lofty expectation for Him to be my “ideal” Master whom I don’t even know the definitions of and I no longer have to subconsciously push the envelope testing Him to see if He is on top of His game. While the past two years have been really fun with lots of ups and downs, we still walked away with new life long friends. We are a lot more mature now, and we can communicate openly and honestly. Feel like the last part is the biggest gain from our M/s experiment. So in a way you win big and lose big. In the end it all balanced out.

So what now? You ask. Well we are still husband and wife. Nothing is going to change that. I’ll just focus on being the best supportive wife in my goofy ways and He will be the husband who will care and protect me. This blog will still go on, because I do enjoy writing, sharing, and being philosophical and all that. Master has His way of writing to make me laugh. And don’t worry, we will still write about our fur babies. Can’t leave them out of the picture least Chug cries his eyes out.

So that’s all for today. A cup of hot chocolate do sounds good just about now…=)

Ghost

Had somewhat of a tiring week this week. There are several cases at work that have me somewhat bothered recently. It’s one of those week that makes me think of aging and death more than usual. Both of which are inevitable yet people deal with them differently. It’s almost been a year since my boss passed. Yesterday the subject was brought up again and the OM and I sat down recalling that fateful day. It was a shock to us all. Even now it feels surreal for someone so seemingly healthy and vibrant to suddenly just drop dead. To this day we still occasionally think that he’s just overseas doing what he does best and will be back the following month. Nope he is gone and we think his spirit has found it’s way back to our clinics.

There are three accounts of different people seeing him now. Two accounts at one clinic and one at the other. I stayed behind after work with my coworker yesterday to keep her company. She got freaked out when she saw an unnatural shadow floating around in our pharmacy area the other night after work. Telling you this, as much as I miss my boss, it still gave me the chills. OM said if she were to ever see him in his ghost form, she’d punch him in the face for leaving first. That certainly had lighten the mood, but don’t know what I’ll do if I were to see him. To be honest I was not really surprised that he’d find his way back. We’ve always joked about him breathing down our necks and yelling at us for being slow or inefficient even after his retirement. He’s a workaholic. What can you say. What I miss the most about him was his laugh. At least I can still remember that, but I can’t remember my mom’s. Depressing.

Anyway, will be working half day at the other clinic with the same doctor later today. I’m just a backup. Will be there more as an emotional support than anything. Master said he will come with and see if He can sense any presence. I’ll just be in my office reading up on my cases…but what if he haunts the office too? Things that keeps me up at night…

Octopus Sausage

Okay just put it out there I do not have an octopus fetish. Seriously MX. If you are reading this, I really don’t like octopus that much other than their intelligence…Anyway! Back to the original post. Ever since Master started working back in July, I’ve been preparing most of His lunch in these nicely portioned bento boxes. His daily commute is no joke, so I thought I should do something really nice to help with His stress at work.

Month of September and later part of August have been a bit rough on me. Think some of Master’s stress had finally trickled down to me and I got a bit under the weather. That and our AC broke so I stopped preparing lunches for Master for about three weeks…saw an empty jar of coffee can sitting in the cabinet this morning, and I got some what depressed that I didn’t serve Him as much as I’ve wanted to. Told that to Him on His morning commute and He just chuckled and said I’ve done plenty around the house to make up for the missing coffee. That had lightend up my mood a bit aaaaaand I did started back on cooking as well.

Got my latest cooking idea from Netflix original Aggretsuko. It’s a really cute japanese cartoon that depicts the life of an office worker in corporate Japan. As Master can relate a lot to that character, we started watching it together with lots of insights for me. After all I work at small animal clinic, corporate environment is very strange and foreign to me. Anyway, there was this dish that the cartoon showed. Yakisoba, a type of japanese fried soba noodles with veggies and sausages. They cut the sausages in such ways that when fried in a pan, they turn into litte sausage octopus. Well hexapus considering I only had the skill to make 6 legs instead of 8…surprised Master on Tuesday with my hexapus sausage yakisoba. He love it! Took His lunch box to work and He texted me that His coworkers loved the sausages as well!

Hehe… I do enjoy hearing Master is doing okay at work and that people look to His lunch box with envy. What I cared most about though is that at noon, He can take a break from all those stress by eating a meal I’ve prepped Him. A little sanctuary if you will knowing that He has Kit waiting at home at the end of the day…=3