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Everyone has a story.

I have been learning through my BSF studies that times of suffering and trials helps us to loosen our grip on this world and our illusion of control. This season has definitely heightened my awareness of my complete dependence on others but more importantly, my complete dependence on God. - Teri Edillon One week Post Chemo

Happy Wednesday everyone!

First, please go to sleep if you're reading this on a Wednesday night, it's very late!

I'm already exhausted from a long week. Perhaps you feel this way too and can't wait until it's the weekend? Or you wish you could go on a vacation like some of my close friends are doing this coming weekend. I hear you. Thankfully, I'm about a week away from flying out to the East Coast to see my Atlanta family. It's been too long. Let's meet up if anyone is free?

Feeling this way is usually my queue to write something down, either here or in my private journal. This blog can sometimes be an escape from reality. It's easier for me to write about reality than face reality.

I don't like to feel exhausted. Well I'm sure no one does. I'm not even really working out that much so it's not a good kind of exhaustion that comes with endorphins. It's more because I just have too much on my mind with work, figuring out "my purpose" (let's blame me and E40) and some anxious thoughts about getting to the one year mark of Teri's passing. It was a really rough time for us a year ago, during this time.

Thanks Arian and Gilberto for the birthday presents!

I guess right now I feel more mentally exhausted than anything else. Today I got up at around 7:30AM and started my morning routine, 2.5 hours later than planned. I'm blaming my inability to set my alarm clock properly. Then at around 8AM, I went back to bed so I could spend more quality time with Mayo. He insisted. I'll blame Mayo for the extra time in bed and now feeling wide awake now. I very rarely go back to bed in the morning. Maybe sometimes on a weekend after I wake up and I see that it's raining which means my bike ride with got cancelled. I just wasn't ready to start the busy day. I'm glad it's the end of the day now and I'll be going to sleep after I finish this post.

Earlier this week, I was reminded about Teri when I saw this quote on my friends instagram account:

Thank you Jasmine for the thoughtful post

This quote both inspired me and discouraged me. I'm inspired because God gave me the privilege to marry someone as wonderful as Teri that lived out so many of the positive attributes of this quote. On the topic of finding "my purpose" it gave me a bit of a vision of what I want to be remembered for.

  • I remember Teri as usually being relaxed (unless I wasn't relaxing and I started to stress her out)

  • I remember Teri as a compassionate, joyful, pleasure-loving woman

  • I remember Teri working very hard (did fantastic at her job)

  • I remember Teri resting deeply (she loved sleeping in)

  • I remember Teri loving fiercely (especially loving me)

Photos Teri posted of her in her One week Post Chemo blog post

Here is the relaxed, smiling Teri that I will always remember. I first thought she was crazy that she was even thinking about her hair in the first place as she was in the middle of a stage 4 cancer battle. Come on Teri, priorities! But that was what was important to her, and it made her really happy when she found that wig. Thank God it was reasonably priced (~$400). Now the story just makes me laugh and smile. I just wish she had the opportunity to actually wear it.

I'm still really inspired by her and wish you all got to know her better. I really wish there was more time with Teri on this earth. Everything happened too fast. I wish this was all still a dream and get sad that I see her in my dreams from time to time. Then I wake up to be reminded that it was just a dream which makes me even more sad. Thankfully we will meet again in heaven.

I feel discouraged because I also don't want to be remembered as someone who is always exhausted. Most of the time, people can also describe me as:

  • Always stressed

  • Always busy

  • Always rushing

  • Always holding [myself] together and pushing through

It is true. I'm working on it, but easier said than done. I'm trying to work on this with my colleagues at work. This rushing happens since I wait until the last minute to finish everything since I like to work under pressure, just like I did at E40. Did you guys know that all the presentations I made on Friday and Saturday were started and completed ~2 hours before I left the house? Ridiculous. Talk about unnecessary stress.

It's pretty obvious to my colleagues when I am stressed. The work never ends. I know that and that's that I usually tell all my friends who work too hard. Hopefully this year I can do a better job leading by example.

Time for Lunch

Anyways, today I had lunch with my siblings and Dr. Baron, a very close friend of my dad. I felt a bit anxious since it was in the middle of the workweek and I have meetings all day.

Here's a nice photo of us after we finished eating lunch:

I didn't over order (I just got one Philly Roll) and also drank some green tea

Side note (that contributes a bit to my anxiety): I'm not proud of my Outlook calendar and having very little time to do "real work." The ironic thing is that I am scheduling even more meetings these days since I'm trying to help run the department more efficiently, which requires buy in and alignment from the other leaders. To get to fewer meetings, I need more meetings. Crazy stuff.

While I've seen Dr. Baron a few times over the past several years, I've never really had a chance to talk to him. When he proposed that we meet up for lunch in West Covina to talk about my dad, I was thinking, "Does he understand how busy I am and I work a full time job?" Or maybe I can be exempt from this lunch since my other siblings can represent me. Or better yet, I'm sure we can sort out things through text messages or perhaps a conference call like I do with everything else with work.

Then I also remembered that this amazing guy is a doctor, almost 80 years old, and must have a good reason to want to meet up in person. I have no idea what it means to be busy, as I've only had to stay up past midnight once in the past several years because of work. My life is very easy come to think of it. But even if he didn't have a good reason to have lunch, why do I feel so busy to even think this way? Easy: My Pride.

I also remembered my that his daughter Stephanie is currently battling cancer. Here's her Caring Bridge website that I've been following. He shared that usually Stephanie is the one who has been taking care of him and his wife, but now it's back to Dr. Baron taking care of her.

Reading about Stephanie's story has also inspired me, as I do struggle with how I would handle cancer or any sort of similar illness. I honestly don't know.

Anyways, just like being married to Teri was very humbling, lunch with Dr. Baron was also humbling. Dr. Baron goes on on a Medical missions trip to the Philippines every year. Those trips involve seeing 50-60 patients, per day! More crazy stuff that I don't understand how someone like him has the time for. I haven't even been on a short term missions trip and I've been going to church for a very long time. I find it easier to just send money and pray for people. It's all about efficiency, right? But Dr. Baron gets it and is living with a purpose. He is also taking the time to take my dad to church, something I also don't have time for since I'm too busy at my church and it's too far to drive to West Covina.

I'm so thankful for Dr. Baron and look forward to future lunches with him when his schedule permits. A great reminder that life isn't about efficiency and to be more open minded. I hope to hear more of his story. And yours too.

MBTI Stuff

I'm getting sleepy. Before I go, let's talk about Myers Briggs since it sort of relates to purpose. I'm embracing my new "ISFJ" life instead of being an ISTJ.

Some personality types lose steam in the face of a tedious, multifaceted task, but not ISFJs. Their attentiveness to detail is among their greatest strengths. Consequently, detail-oriented fields like law, accounting, data analysis, and research can be right up ISFJs’ alley. What’s especially notable, however, is how they stay connected to the human dimension of this work, rarely forgetting the impact that their spreadsheets and memos might have on real people. - Career Paths | ISFJ

I really like this quote from the webpage. I love analyzing stuff (accounting, data analysis) and need to remind myself that my spreadsheets do affect real people.

Thank you Teri and Muir Rock for helping me figure some of this out.

Regarding the MBTI, there are two areas that I would say I probably won't flip flop like I just did with being a feeler instead of a thinker:

  • I feel like I am a strong "I" for Introvert (explains why I like training for triathlon by myself so much)

  • I feel like I am a strong "J" for Judging (explains why I love planning and organizing, but also why I can be very judgemental with others

I keep thinking these days that everyone has a story. All the people I would judge have a story that I just don't know about. When I go to work and people don't follow my procedures that I think are excellently written, I don't know the whole story and there's a reason why things are the way they are. I want to get better at slowing down and not judging others because they don't do things the way I think things should be done.

On a brighter note relating to stories, a friend of a friend reached out to me via the Contact Form. I was encouraged by the message, also because everytime someone fills out the form, it's spam. This person is also a widow. It made me wonder what her story is and if I can read about it, since everyone has a story. I wish more people would take the time to slow down and share their stories. Perhaps this is why I want to write my story down and resort to blogging when I feel anxious.

Commercial: New Online Store (Selling Mayo Stickers)

I also made dinner for myself, Salmon Sushi bowl (it's all I make these days)

Now I figured out why I am exhausted.

After a busy Monday, I spent unnecessary time spamming a bunch of you after I finished adding a storefront to Muir Rock with the secret hope that I could make tons of money off the "Mayo" sticker I passed out at E40 since I find them to be very cute. You never know right? Here's the link to the store, also at the top of the page. For some reason, no one has bought a sticker..... I don't get it. Maybe the price is too low?

Okay I should go to bed since nothing I am writing seems to be making much sense, thanks for reading and dealing with the emotional roller coaster. Lets hang out soon so I can hear about your story. Good night everyone!


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Great job, Erwin. I love hearing you share your story. I think not a lot of people are as in tune with feelings, thoughts and emotions like you, so it’s probably a little tricky to share our stories. You are an inspiration to me though on my journey in life, so thank you. I love that you spent extra time with Mayo. That makes me so happy. I love how you share the beautiful things you love about Teri, so touching. I love that you took the time to have lunch with Dr. Baron. That was sweet of you to give up your time, and I’m sure it made him so filled with joy to be with you. I’m prou…

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I found our Mayo sticker! He is happily gracing my water bottle now; it needed an upgrade because it is old and worn out :) And also, taking a lazy day here and there is really necessary. That's why God commanded us to keep a Sabbath - it's for us, not for Him! LOL So take those lazy days when you need them. You will be more refreshed after than if you hadn't taken them :)

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