Wednesday, 7 December 2016


She is the loudest kid in your school. She is often late for the first-period class and came into your class with sleepy eyes and messy hair. She sometimes got some bread crumbs around her mouth. She is so clumsy that she hits against tables, chairs and sometimes even doors and gets little bruises all over her body. She laughs a lot, but she does not like showing her tears. She gets cranky when she faces something heartbreaking incidents. She always ends up taking jobs or responsibilities that nobody wants to take, but she does her best for the others. She always the one who raises her hand when nobody else does in class because the teacher looks troubled. Yet she does not turn in her homework on time unless the teacher forced her to do.  She forgets all the important notifications from school. She is a pain in the neck when it comes to organising. Her room and mind are always messy. She is so forgetful that she always forget helps she offered and the money that she lends to her friends. But she never forgets the helps her friends gave her and hates to borrow any money from her friends. If she does not have enough money to take a train, she will walk even it takes more than an hour. She gets carried away like a little child and her laughter can be annoying. But she is the one who stays with you when you are in trouble. She also listens to her friends even when she is extremely busy. She might look aloof from time to time because she is also a teenager and got some problems that she can't solve. She might look a terrible student with attitude in class because she sees something unfair and unreasonable in her eyes. She is Not perfect at all, but she has a warm heart which adores others and always tries to see things in your perspectives. She is quite slow and makes you upset when she replies to your question so late. But she often has sleepless night trying to find the best answer for you. She often stays up all night thinking the best birthday present for her friends and her family. She keeps all the letters and postcards she has ever gotten. Her desk drawers are filled with those old photos, letters, postcards and even notes. She still sleeps with the stuffed animals and dolls she got when she was little. She packed a hair dryer, irons and other "essentials" (cosmetics) for girls to her school trip leaving no room for her underwears. She spent all of her first salary from the part-time job to buy presents for her family. She enjoys giving Christmas presents to her family. She never forgets birthdays of her family even her dad she has not met for 15 years. She never stops thinking about his happiness. Yes, she is the one who stands in front of the classroom with beaming smile on her face and sits at the back of the room with watery eyes when unfortunate events take place on her classmates.

Her name is Momo. She always wishes to get to know you and become your friend. Your smiles and appreciations fill her heart and keep her going forward when she is in trouble. Your presence comforts her heart when she misses her dad who left her 15 years ago. She has no brothers or sisters. She is a warmhearted girl who can make a best and loyal friend. She deserves love like you do. She deserves to be loved not only by her mum but also by so many of you. She really does.

Friday, 16 September 2016


On my first day in Fall semester, I felt refreshed and ready to go back to work. I looked forward to seeing the familiar faces of students. But something was different in me. Suddenly, the familiar views on the street, in the train, teacher's room, and classroom looked surreal. Then I realised it happened again. It is a recurrent weird experience I have from time to time. As a child, I often had this surreal feeling and got so scared on the way back home or on the way to school. The sky, the air, and the whole familiar neighbourhood looked somehow different and foreign to me when it happened. It was nothing but surreal. I loved it when I could view the whole town in a dreamy perspective, but then I got scared because of the confusion I felt when I tried to make sense out of it. It never made sense at all. I have no idea where this strange view coming from. I can function as whoever I am supposed to be while it is happening. I can walk, talk, and act like myself while it is happening as if the interactions with familiar people bring me back to the reality. But when I am surrounded by unfamiliar faces or alone, everything looked unreal and foreign. The shapes are the same, yet the sizes and colors look different. Everything looks wider and vague as if I am dreaming while it is happening.

After the surreal day, I was exhausted and desperate to see the familiar faces, my partner and daughter. I know when I see their faces everything makes sense to me again. The anchor used to be the face of my grandma. I used to feel so relieved and safe when I saw her face and the big smile with the "Okaeri" (Welcome back home). At the exit of the station, I looked for the familiar face which was supposed to meet me there. But I was a little bit earlier than he got to the station. 


I needed to calm myself down because of the intense anxiety this surreal day brought to me. 

"Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. He will be here in a second."

I tried to go into the bakery I usually go at the station, but the freshly baked awesome smell of bread could not be the anchor. So, I rushed out of the bakery and found the familiar face in the England shirt, hesitantly smiling and waving at me. 


Everything looked familiar and real again. The same shape, size, colour and smell. 

"Home again."

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Mama challenge on my 50th birthday

Yup. I won't hide it. In fact, I tell ya with a certain pride. I am officially 50! Half century I have survived. In the 60s when I was born, the life expectancy was about 50 years old according to Wikipedia. So, the rest of my life is like an extra gift. This thought liberates me more than ever. Of course, I need to survive for at least 3 years until my daughter officially becomes 20. 

Anyway, when my daughter was in a primary school, I read this book about homeschooling and learned Jewish wisdom. Master another language, one sport and one music instrument to lead a fulfilling life. It sounded convincing. I haven't mastered, but English is my second language. Yoga can be considered as a sport. I used to play the piano as a kid, but I failed to continue and I am not interested in starting to play again. the guitar has been the one I wish I could play and tried numerous times to learn how to play. But my life has been way too interesting than learning how to play the guitar so far. Learning a new trick like that takes time and perseverance. I did not have what it takes before. But now, I started seeking how to entertain myself on my own and I believe it is time to try that again. 

After hours of research, I found this ideal model for this inpatient absolute beginner. This guitar was specifically designed for a person like me. I truly hope this will be a lifetime friendship with acoustic guitar, one of my favourite musical instruments. With all the tools, I gotta set up a stage for myself to keep my motivation. I've got some ideas right now, but this idea will be another story to tell. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

At the end of summer 2016

Summer 2016, for the first time in years, I took a full month off from work, except Mama duties. Mama duties are usually housework including preparing bento lunch for my daughter. But this summer I had to drive her to the nearby station and pick her up around midnight a few times a week for her dance gig rehearsals. Oh, boy! It was physically and financially demanding. I am so glad that I've got a job that can support her doing what she really loves. In Tokyo, you can get pretty much every product, but nothing is free of charge. Even maternal love can cost a high expectation. I have no question about the value of my daughter's presence on this planet. I believe she's got some missions to complete like I do. Not so many people are aware of their missions and she has not found it yet. But I have no question about she's here to share her precious life with people she loves. I'm not sure how big her mission is, but it is something unique and something Momo will love doing. When she does it, she would feel fulfilled and right. As a mum, my ultimate goal is to support her when she needs in order to find it, her mission or a purpose of her life if you like. But I admit I expect too much sometimes. I sometimes forget she is who she is. She is a unique individual. She is not me. We share so many common traits as human, yet she is not me. Especially when thigs are heck tick, I get stressed out and forget one of my essential missions in this life: Momo's mum. Someone who loves her unconditionally no matter what. I do love her but sometimes unconditional part can be distracted by my own ego or unreasonable expectations. I remember as a teen, wondering how come my own mum loves me unconditionally like my grandma did. Perhaps she did but she was worried about me and thus tried to overprotect me. This kind of behaviour can be mistaken as denial. It took me quite a while to get over or realise she does not deny my existence. So, for my daughter, I try to support her as much as possible without overprotecting her. I admit, I have not found the best middle ground between protections and freedom. All I can do is to hope that she will understand my intention. Perhaps she does and the birthday present she bought for me was a token that she understands my struggles and appreciate my presence in her life as well. Let me believe that. Let me indulge in the thought for a while since it is the end of summer.

Being a mum is such a challenging experience for me because I was spoilt as a kid and became very self-conscious, self-absorbed and self-destructive. Especially, the last trait got me in so many troubles and took me so long time to realise what my mission might be. Thanks to influential people in my earlier life, I became aware of the negative traits and tried to overcome them. I still have a lot of faults, yet a bit better than I used to be. On top of my personal struggles to be better, fulfilling mum's role is not so easy. I am far from my ideal mum who is so understanding and compassionate, yet fun to be around. The failure to be the ideal mum got me irritated and stressed out from time to time and ironically say and do something mean-spirited to my beloved daughter. I wish I could take a deep breath before I cast such words. Well, in spite of my faults, she is becoming a person who is capable of seeking the purpose of her life and doing her best to get it done. I am sure about this much more than before now.

Last night, in my car, as I drove her back home from her dance practice around midnight, I heard her mumbling, "Ah, it was a great summer." At the moment, I felt fulfilled. Such a moment empowers this silly mum to be the best she can.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Mary and Tooth Fairy

Once upon a time there was a girl, not so little anymore. She was rather big. More like very big in terms of her age. In fact, she had lived more than a half-century. More like she was in her seventies. But she was a girl at heart and thought, "Finally, I am in my luckiest age. 70's! I wonder what is going to happen! What shall I do? "

When other people in her age talked about illness, forgetfulness, hopelessness, depressions, and other issues they had on a daily basis, she did not say a word but thought to herself, "My teeth are getting loose and my memory is getting more selective. But I still have heaps of wishes." With the thought, she could not help smiling. People looked at her, saying nothing but as soon as she left, they went, "Did you see her smiling? She is a nut case, isn't she? She needs to be checked. She has been a bit awkward, but now she is really out there."  and laughed so hard that she could hear them. Guess what she thought? She thought, "How sweet! They are laughing. They must have found something amusing to talk about."

Oh, yes! She was a happy girl. I mean she was a jolly ol' girl. In fact, she never had a question about fairies. For her, they were one of those "normal" things that others talked about. They were as real as things like the air, water, the sun, the moon and love. You may not see or feel all the time, but you don't question about their presence, do you? I am not certain about the fairies, to be honest. Well, this is a story about this big girl, not me. She believed the presence of fairies so much so she could see and feel them. When others called her a liar, she didn't say a thing, but thought to herself, "Poor things. They can't see the fairies, can they? I am a lucky one." and smiled. They looked at her, saying nothing, but as soon as she left, they went, "Did you see her smiling? She is a nut case, isn't she? She needs to be checked. She has been a bit awkward, but now she is really out there."  and laughed so hard that she could hear them. Now you, the smart readers know what she thought. Indeed, she thought, "How sweet! They are laughing. They must have found something amusing to talk about."

One day, she had mixed nuts for her after-dinner nibble. She loved nuts and often thought she could live only with nuts. But then the list of her favourite food went on and on. "Oops, I should not forget the ice cream...oh...chocolate...veggies...cereals...oh!!!cheese! I can't live without cheese. And curry, fruits..." Yes, she was a big fan of food. Anyway, as she nibbled on her, more accurately, one of the favorites, she felt something strange in her mouth. She touched one of her teeth and it was loose. She got annoyed by the change and touched it again. That was when it came out. "Oh-oh," said she. "I gotta tell this to the tooth fairy."

She became forgetful, but she still remembered what her mum had told her when she was a little girl.
She knew all it takes to call tooth fairy was to call. "Hi, Tooth fairy. I know it's been a quite long time since I talked to you last time. I hope you remember me. of my big teeth came out tonight. Not those baby teeth. Would you please tell me what to do with it? Shall I put it underneath of my pillow like I did when my baby teeth came out?" said she and waited for the tooth fairy. She waited for a couple of minutes, but nothing happened. That's when she realised one thing, "Oh, I don't mean to ask you for a coin. I have my pension coming in monthly and got a small and cosy house. I've got my little garden and books to read. I got some lovely friends. I've got everything I need. So, I don't need a coin from you anymore. I don't mean to upset you with my demand or anything. " said she and waited for another minute. But she heard nothing and at the moment she gave up on talking to the tooth fairy, she heard this little bump and a little voice, "Auch!" from her bedroom. She rushed in there and there she found the fairy under the bedside lamp. The tooth fairy was stroking her head. "Are you okay?" asked she.
"Oh, hi, Mary. Long time, no see." smiled the fairy.
"Oh, you even remember my name? How sweet of you!"
"How can I forget my favourite little girl who always tell me a story of each baby tooth you lost!"
"Did I? ummm...I don't remember telling you stories at all."
"Of course, you don't. You were a little girl." giggled the fairy.
"Could you remind me of the stories?"
"Well, that's the thing. I am getting forgetful as well and I don't know if I remember all the stories correctly. But I can tell you the one. Poo poo one because it was so cute and funny that I laughed all night long."
"Emm...poo poo one? Well... I think I will skip it. Thanks."
The fairy was a bit cheekier than she expected.
"Ok. Then, I will tell you what you can do with the tooth you lost today. " The fairy stretched her back and said more formally in a good ol' fairy tone.
"Sweet!" smiled she.
"Well, first of all...ah...wait a sec...first of all...what was it?"
The tooth fairy looked up in the air and mumbled some phrases as she shook her head in disbelief.
"Something wrong, Tooth fairy?"
"Well, I become forgetful about things like what to do with the big tooth. People hardly ask me this question. Perhaps a century ago, a big girl like you asked me. So, I haven't thought about it for a long time." said the fairy and looked up in the air for a while.
"Aha!" screamed the fairy and went, "Ok. A big girl like you can make a wish. You are not so unreasonable like those little ones. You can wish something reasonable thing. "

Well, the readers, I did not know if even fairies get forgetful. But I guess living centuries, they also need to get rid of some memories.

"A wish!" she thought, "What do I wish? I have everything I want..."
She thought about it for a while and said to the fairy,
"May I think about it for a while? I will let you know when I have a wish. Is that ok?"
"Of course, girl. Let me know when you have a wish." answered the fairy and went out.

She thought about a wish for days and months. The fairy was right. It was not an easy task to have a wish when you were happy with what you had. She thought about it every single day and when she met others at the market, she asked, "Do you have a wish?"
"A wish? well, I got heaps of WISHES. I'd like to have my health and youth back. I'd like to go travelling around the world with this gorgeous ship. "
The wishes seemed endless and she thought to herself, "The fairy was wrong in this matter. Big girls got unreasonable wishes as well." and smiled. People looked at her, saying nothing but as soon as she left, they went, "Did you see her smiling? She is a nut case, isn't she? She needs to be checked. She has been a bit awkward, but now she is really out there."  and laughed so hard that she could hear them. My smart readers should know by now what she thought.

Yes, Indeed. She thought, "How sweet! They are laughing. They must have found something amusing to talk about." Then "Aha!" screamed she, "I wish others found something amusing to talk about!"

then she called the fairy, "Tooth fairy, I got my wish! I wish my neighbours got amusing topics to talk about! I love their laughter. It would be  nice to hear that more often!"
"Oh dear, girl. You don't change. You are always my sweet girl. Please stay who you are. You will have your wish, girl."
She heard the words of the fairy and smiled, "Thank you so much!"
"My pleasure as always."

Well, my lovely readers. Probably you are thinking like me. I would have asked the fair a world travel by a gorgeous ship or something. But you know that's why I may have lost contact with the fairies now. If I can ever think and look at the world like the big girl did, I might be able to find the fairies again. Wouldn't that be nice to see them?

Friday, 19 August 2016

Summer Challenge

I never imagined my girl would enjoy this style of dance. She took up piano lessons and cheerleading class when she was 5.  She always enjoys performing arts but it took me by surprise when she decided to join a street dance club at high school. "Street dance?" Back in junior high, she belonged to a brass band club, playing the trombone. She was called, "musically gifted one." from the coach of the club and won some awards at some contests. But interestingly she did not join the same club at high school saying, "I wanna do something different. Something I can really enjoy." It was a completely unexpected comment for I thought she did what she loved. Later I realized whatever you do, you need to face challenging stage to be brilliant at it. She must have been burned out due to the exsessive amount of practice and the strict Brass band club discipline.

Like mother, like daughter: She loves her freedom in life.

It takes a lot of practice and faith in my girl in the time of decition-making for her. As a parent, I wish nothing but the best for her. But what is best for her? Who decide it? Who really knows? From all the stories I read or heard, nobody really knows. Life is interesting due to the uncertainties.  There are certain paths which look safer or conventional than the other choices. But as a teen, I refused to take such a conventional path that my mum suggested.

Did I struggle because of my choice? Yes.
Was it easy? No.
Do I regret what I did? No.
Am I happy? Yes. More than ever.
Why? Because I am in control of my life path and I don't have to ask myself, "What if?"

I had a lot of supports from my family, friends and others. I could not be enjoying my summer vacation without any supports I had. I admit I have been extremely lucky and I have no idea if my girl can also get supports and lucks. But now I can be a bit of support for her to follow her heart. To do something she feels passionate about. She will struggle and might regret what she decided at some points. But it would be nice if you can say, "I've done the best I could!", wouldn't it?

If there is any motherhood or parenting skill test, I might get low grade due to my temparamental and inappropriate behavior as a mum. But my girl keeps finding her passion and live fully depending on her age and circumstances. She may appear as F student at school, but she never given up on living fully and finding the meaning of her presence in this life. As I look at her, working so hard to make the best stage tomorrow with the members of her dance team, I find extreme pride, contentment and happiness in her actions. So, that's enough. More than enough for me.

Momo's summer challenge will be over tomorrow and I am sure she will find absolute pride, contentment and happiness in what she has achieved.  I am glad that I could take part in her challenge  as a supporter.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

A story of a boy

I started teaching children at home from 1999 when my daughter was born. It made perfect sense to me at that time. I could work and look after my baby at the same time. All the kids and parents were generous and understanding of my circumstance and provided amazing supports for my daughter and this new mum. We were and are blessed.
When Momo became 3, she started joining one of my classes. There were two other 3-year-old boys in the class and we just played in English.
As they became the 1st grader, one of the boys moved out of the town and other kids joined the class. We enjoyed reading picture books and played more activities.
As they became 5th graders, some left in order to study for the entrance exam for private junior high schools they wished to go including Momo. But this boy stayed no matter how his mum convinced him to leave. We started reading much longer books and played much more complex activities.
Over the years, children joined and left for various reasons. Yet he stayed no matter what. Now he is a sophomore at one of the prestigious private high schools in Tokyo, playing baseball from the early morning till the late evening. The massive amount of homework and hard practice wore him out yet he kept on coming to the class. Sometimes he falls asleep, but I can not dare to wake him up because I know he gets up at 5:00 in the morning and comes to the class after school and the hard practice at 8:00 in the evening. Lately, his grade radically dropped for the obvious reason, the severe lack of sleep.
I wish I could give him more options, but I won't be able to offer him private lessons right now. I won't be able to offer extra hours for him, either. But I know he just won't quit because it is NOT his option. No matter what his mum and his teacher at school say. With his awesome perseverance, intelligence and personality, I am sure he will success in what he wish to pursue. What he really needs is time to sleep and relax. So,I announced finally the most difficult and heartbreaking decision last night to him: Closing the class by the end of July. Other learners in the class can come to a different class but I knew he could not due to his excessively busy schedule (he also goes to juku). I don't really know how he really feels about this decision because he did not say a word.
On the very last day, I wish I could thank and wish him the best luck on his future without busting into tears.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Piece by Piece

As a mum, I believe in the strength within each one of us to lead fulfilling happy life regardless of our past negative events. I believe we are capable of cutting the chain of negative events that might have occurred in our past repeatedly. Once we realise that it is up to us to control our lives, our choices and actions would be more self-righteous or self-fulfilling. When you own your life, at least you won't be so destructive...will you?

Happy Mother's day to all the mums whether you are ideal ones or not!!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Insidious bullying: struggle to be "Normal"

Sudden silence. Apathy. Cold eyes. Whispers. Giggles. Everlasting nightmare.

For a teenage girl, conformity, being a "normal" at school or the sense of belonging means a lot. Perhaps the crave for the sense of belonging accelerates online communication among the teens. I see kids desperately try to reply someone's comment on LINE everywhere. It may look ridiculous to ones who have already passed the phase. However, for a teenager, being a member of a group is her priority in her school life. It can be the way of survival from constant parental and peer pressures. I admit that this crave for human contacts is not only for teens. We all do no matter how old you are. But when you are young and inexperienced, living in the tiny world called a school, those classmates or schoolmates matter more than they should be. So, who can stand strong amongst total apathy in a classroom where everyone seems to pay no attention to your presence? Who can possibly say, "Be strong! or Hung in there!" when the person struggles to breathe every single second in the classroom? Having being a victim of insidious bullying in school days, I certainly can not say that but to cry with her, my sweet girl, knowing my action will only aggravate the condition and no words can comfort her. 

Back in high school days, I eventually gave up on going to a university due to insidious bullying. Nothing physical, nothing apparent, no teachers can understand the underlying meaning of the constant giggles and whispers among those girls. No school policy of anti-bullying works. No one including those bullies know how and when to stop such cruel and cowardice actions. Breathing can be a struggle in such a condition. Lunch break is the worst hour to cope with. The world looks full of dark mallice. The worst of all, you feel absolutely ALONE. Then the helplessness falls and covers even in the slightest light you see. All the senses will be paralysed and you feel stuck in the hell. Sometimes it takes only the shout to the boss bully, "F%## off, You hideous bitch." But it is impossible to do that when you can not even breathe. I survived by skipping classes. It was the hardest and darkest time I have ever experienced and I have no interests to go back there even if it means no wrinkles and spots on my face. 

Here I am, expressing total respect to my own daughter. Because she has been fighting against bullying on her own from the beginning of the second semester until the end of the academic year without any supports. Only the bravest of the brave can do that on her own. Her grades are dropped to the bottom and her eyes lost her blinding glitterings. Yet she has fought and survived without telling anyone. To me, she is nothing but a champion, the coolest and bravest girl I've known. For her honor, I will breathe deeply and suppress my rage and the strong temptation to give the same amount of psychological pain to the bullies. 

Bullying in any forms including psychological ones DEPRIVE someone of pleasures, motivations and energies to live. A life is precious and also connected to each one of us. Each life is valuable regardlessly. Once you realize that we are all interconnected to each other like a big family, it will be impossible to treat others unfairly. Yet, there are so many young and precious lives destroyed because of irrational hideous actions such as bullying. Bullying can start from just a bit of misunderstanding, jealousy, insecurity, hatred or rage which is from nothing but your own darkness. For teens, the world looks full of contradictions and inconsistency. It must be overwhelming and intimidating. Life ain't easy and solvable like a math equation. That's why we need others. That's why we crave for connections. That's why we need to help each other. That's why we must develop our empathy and compassion. One has to get over numerous hardships and unpredictable disasters. How can you be strong enough to survive when you feel alone?  How would you feel if you were this girl eating lunch alone at the corner of a corridor ? How would you feel if nobody talks to you all of sudden for no specific reason you can think of ? Can you really say it is nothing to do with you? Can you really say you are not one of onlookers? And what would you do if you were the girl standing alone? What would you do ? 

Friday, 18 March 2016

Spring: the season of changes

I had the last meeting at the city hall with the other ALT yesterday and paid my school lunch fee as my last task to complete as an ALT at primary schools.

This morning as I got up sneezing ( Hay fever), I said to myself, "Ok. Time to reflect." So here I am at the morning table trying not to nag my teen daughter but to focus on reflecting on the days at primary school.

In 2013, the first year past so quickly as I struggle to figure out the most comfortable and effective ways of team-teach with homeroom teachers. Lesson planning and preparation were nightmarish in this period since no teaching materials or instructions were provided. I had to figure out where teaching materials were stored, what to do and where my classes were. I run around the schools like a chick without its mum, feeling totally lost and panic. I remember the exhaustion after work.  I was also on MA program at Aston university, studying research skills A to Z for the weekends. On top of that, I tried to look after my own private classes and troubles that my teen brought. I would not have survived without losing my mental sanity if there were no supports from my family and mates. The motto I have acquired from some of the wise mates, "One step forward at a time and keep forwarding." worked really well when I needed to push myself to complete all the tasks within a day.

The second year, I felt more relaxed as an ALT due to all the lesson prep and familiarities I built with co-workers. I also knew which classroom I needed to go and what to do by then. I got used to the heck tick lifestyle and even managed to find time for some yoga sequences. Plus I started to gain confidence to finish my MA within provided period of time (Three years without paying any extra costs). Due to the Action Research I did with my private classes, my practice improved and I learned a lot about theoretical aspects of TEYL and essential background information of my private students.

In 2015, as soon as I heard that I would be awarded the Master of Science degree from Aston, I started wondering what can be the better role for me to improve English education at primary public schools. Private schools usually have their own program hiring specialists for English education. But I strongly believe reforming public education system will help more children develop language learning as well as social skills. If language learning is an area of social science, all the children should have the equal right to learn. But private schools can not offer learning opportunities for all the children due to the financial burden for their guardians. My urge to do research on some troublesome features of teaching practice at public elementary schools increased over the three years.

On March 18th 2016, I am here in the kitchen feeling anxious and thrilled at the same time in the face of my new challenge. From April, I will go back to the classrooms in primary schools as a researcher and observe English classes for a year. I'm not sure what kind or when but I will get more stories to tell.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

2016: The Year of Monkey / Changes has started

In the last few years, at the beginning of new year, instead of making resolutions that I most likely don't accomplish, I started reading a new book, more manageable small step goal. Some books were not exactly what I expected and didn't finish reading. Some I enjoyed reading till the end and helped me to form the way I see the world. Among those inspiring page-turners, Bird by Bird has been listed in my best ten in the last ten years. This year, 2016, one of her book reviews caught my heart,

“Lamott’s …most insightful book yet, Stitches offers plenty of her characteristic witty wisdom…this slim, readable volume [is] a lens on life, widening and narrowing, encouraging each reader to reflect on what it is, after all, that really matters.”

Stitches. How catchy and interesting title is this? It is appealing to me anyway. So, this will be my first book to read this year. According to the author, Anne Lamott, my guru, witty and sarcastic spiritual leader,

“Some people have a thick skin and you don’t. Your heart is really open and that is going to cause pain, but that is an appropriate response to this world. "

She continues,

"The cost is high, but the blessing of being compassionate is beyond your wildest dreams. However, you’re not going to feel that a lot in seventh grade. Just hang on.” 

Since I am going to deal with more high teens, the freshmen at some universities, this quote will be a good one to share with them. The book might add more insights to my perspective on a fulfilling life since this year looks like a year of some big changes: my career change, Momo's first part-time job, and lifestyle change of my parents. How would I "stitch" the gap between the comfortable past and the exciting present? Well, it has just begun. To be continued.