In Retrospect

I’m in the restless state of eagerly awaiting summer and dreading the coming of my Finals before I am even mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to tackle them. It’s a place that invites procrastination via funny movies, bohemian songs, and daydreaming.

Last night I had decided to write a bit in my journal since Sunday, the Lord’s day was nearing completion and I realized that I had not made time for active reflection/prayer. For the last couple of months, I have been drifting back and forth among school, my own personal life, and my on-the-side etsy business. I needed to take the time to “know myself [thyself]” and get a good bearing of where I stand in all of this jumble we call life.

When you’re close to the ending, you typically remember the beginnings. Things come full circle. While much has happened in the last year (even two years), I focused my thoughts on something that is ongoing, hopeful, and still has the capacity to exceed my expectations in ways I cannot possibly fathom. Looking back on it, I was able to make what I found to be an interesting observation and one that I hope you don’t mind me sharing.

In June of 2014, I opened up my first indie business via etsy. It was an idea that I pursued as a fun, crafting, and self-enriching project; I just wanted to have fun learning new skills and maybe make some small spending money every now and then. Since then, simplytwee has taken on a new dimension: mission work from home. Simplytwee has developed into a tangible dream in progress, an informal source of income, and a means and conduit for partaking in mission. By taking a step out of my comfort zone and starting something that I had no experience or knowledge of, I found new doors had opened up before me. Beyond these doors were opportunities to serve my community, locally and internationally. Last summer and fall, I started with Orange County’s Children Therapeutic Art Center. Then, it was Bastian, whom I wrote about it New Life Goal. Just a little over two weeks ago, it was Vietnamese Martyr’s Children Ministry. Lately, as I anticipate revisiting Viet Nam, I recall the orphanage that is frequently displayed on one of our channels. After dinner yesterday, my mother had presented another opportunity taking place next fall at my childhood parish and school.

Collaboration with Loving Art Exhibition and Fundraiser (Summer 2014)
Vietnamese Martyr Church’s Annual Crawfish Fest Fundraiser (Spring 2015)
Bastian 🙂  I just received the first letter from his family a week ago! He’s only 2 and can’t write  :p    (Winter 2015–present)

I just think to myself: Wow! I never imagined that my hobby would allow me to play a greater role in shaping my world–slowly yet surely. It was my plan to finish school, get a high-paying job, get married, and then be able to give back to my roots and to those in need. Either that, or I needed to give everything up and leave home to be a missionary. I was caught in the struggle between wanting to help myself and my family and wanting to help those who had not the basic necessities. When I commit to something, I want to be fully and wholeheartedly dedicated to it.

Now, I realize that I can actually fulfill both endeavors. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You give what you can. I may not be able to reach those less fortunate personally, but I can help to provide them with some of the resources they need. I may not make much, but I have enough to share. I can continue studying and working towards my career and, at the same time, explore my hobby and be active in my vocation. I no longer feel the need to rush myself through the “benchmarks” that my colleagues have met or are meeting; at the same time, I do strive to achieve in a timely fashion and accept that those “benchmarks” can mean entirely different things for me, in comparison to the other individual. Yay!  🙂

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