I am a teacher and aspiring writer, and keep a blog to keep up with writing and document the daily moments that make up my life. Working with my students & travel writing are my biggest passions. People, art, food, wine/spirits, and culture are other writing interests. Thanks for coming by!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Speak Your Truth and Set Yourself Free

It would be an understatement to say it's been a rough year for me when it comes to family relationships. I'm not going to get specific as to who I'm talking about, and it has been different family members at different times, to tell the truth.
However, due to these challenges, I've had some revelations.
I already knew that I hated confrontations.
But what I didn't realize, until tonight, was how much I held inside because of it.
And what has holding it in done for me? I believe it's one of the reasons that I've gained weight, because I internalize the feelings of anger, sadness, and disappointment that I feel. It has caused me health problems and kept me up at night worrying.
I was so afraid to communicate and speak my truth that I would have conversations in my head about what I would say to someone I was upset with, or what I was going to say, but I would never say it. What was the cost? All of the things I already mentioned, and so much more. The disentegration of these relationships because I could not speak my truth, yet was harboring anger or resentment at the way people treated me.
But tonight, all of that began to change. After a VERY upsetting exchange with a relative, I wrote to her and told her everything I was thinking and feeling. It wasn't derogatory, it wasn't awful or horrible, but it was honest. Honest about how I really felt about the way she treated me. And I didn't hold back. And it felt SO DAMN GOOD!
It felt good because instead of being the constant people-pleaser (look where that's gotten me - nowhere!) I finally spoke my truth. I honored myself. And I don't think I've ever done that. Ever. And I'm 34 years old.
I always cared way more about everyone else's feelings, but kept stifling and squashing my own.
Well, not anymore. I am one of those people with a very long fuse. I take a lot before I reach my limit. And it used to be that when I reached my limit, there would be an implosion. Those days are over. There's going to be an explosion, and everybody better look out. Because I am going to speak my truth from here on out, and I don't care what anybody thinks or says anymore.
Life is too short to waste it walking on eggshells hoping everybody is happy or wondering "why aren't they happy?" or wondering if it was something I did or said that made them unhappy.
I want people to be happy, but I also think that everyone is responsible for their own happiness. It's not my job anymore. It never was. I was just under the very false impression that it was for a very long time for some reason.
I'm going to be real and speak my truth and I don't care about who cares or who listens.
All I know is that I'm being true to me, and that's all that matters.
For the first time in my life, I feel free.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Latest and Greatest

It's going to be a brief post tonight because I am tired! But wanted to write about a few great new finds before I forget about them.

GOOD EATS: For starters, the East Sac/Midtown corridor just got what we've been missing for far too long: a neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant! The new place, located on the corner of Alhambra and Folsom Blvd, is called Star Ginger.
Icing on the cake? Our favorite soup, Thai Kao Soi, is served there. Rob gets it with chicken, I get it with tofu. He gets it spicy, I get it mild. Either way, it's super tasty! And...we used to have to drive half way across town to get a bowl of Kao Soi! This place is clean, spacious, well-priced, and most of all, yummy! From what I hear, the owner, Mai Pham, also offers cooking classes.

A GOOD READ: The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific, by Paul Theroux. The author begins his kayaking trip as his marriage is ending, so there is an emotional depth to this book that is provided by this devastating life event. As the book begins, it is clear that the author living between two worlds: his old life and his new life. His new life begins with this kayaking trip through the South Pacific, which provides a world of insight and discovery in and of itself.

GOOD TO KNOW: Sacramento is definitely not at the top of the list when it comes to dog friendly cities. I am always wishing there were more places that I could bring Coco. Imagine my excitement when I found out about this site, Bring Fido. All of the dog friendly restaurants in town (or most of them) are listed here. Perfect!

FUN NEW SPOT: Summer is just around the corner, which means we get to ride bikes to our favorite frozen yogurt stand. We've tried a few places, but my favorite one at the moment is Yogurt-A-G0-Go. With unusual flavors like Lychee, Red Velvet and Taro, there is always a fun selection. And it's good too!

Have a happy night!

Xo, Jeneka

Monday, May 9, 2011

Neat Things that Neat People are Doing

Ok, so it's been awhile since I did one of these posts, so I figured it was time to dust it off, and bring it back! It's been long enough that I've gotten a chance to collect a few little tidbits on people, places and things worth mentioning.
So here goes...

THE RECENTLY DISCOVERED DO GOODER: While in Half Moon Bay a few weeks ago, I met a man named Lewis Edwards. From what I gathered, he was a business man who had done well in life, and wanted to give back in some way. So he started a private school in the Phillipines with a focus on college preparatory classes, so that these students would have a great chance at a bright future. He soon realized that many of the families in the school were having trouble paying tuition, even though tuition was not very high. So he began offering night classes for free for elementary through high school students. He also made sure that all of the students who needed reading glasses got them. His grandson even fundraised to get the students at the school sports equipment, as they had none. I would love to go there one summer to volunteer. I was awed by this man's dedication to helping these families in every way he can to ensure a brighter future for their children.
You can visit his foundation at: http://www.abetterchancefoundation.org.ph/

BEST NEW BLOG: I don't even know how I came across this blog. It must have been through reading another of my favorite blogs that I came across it. But this blog is damn good! She is awesome, I'm sure you will love her too. http://youaremyfave.com/blog/

BEST NEW DISH: My neighbor Corina is starting up a fish taco stand, and O.M.G! I have lived in San Diego, and I know a good fish taco when I find one. She went to culinary school in San Francisco, and this girl knows what she's doing! Her fish tacos consist of deep fried cod drizzled with what tastes like a creamy cilantro lime sauce, and are topped off with some purple cabbage and pineapple salsa. Her fish taco stand, called Carina Corina, is going to be set up at the Concert in the Park every Friday all summer, located in the beer garden. After that, she's permanently setting up camp downtown. Her new restaurant, "Blackbird," will be located at 1015 9TH ST, in Sacramento, CA., and will open in the Fall. She will serve fish tacos there, and is also planning on including an oyster bar too! She doesn't have a website up yet, but in the meantime, you can follow her on Twitter@CarinaCorina.

BEST WAY TO QUENCH WANDERLUST BY LIVING VICARIOUSLY: Julia & Yuriy got married last Fall in Seattle. For their honeymoon, they decided to, oh, just travel the world.
When they aren't traveling the world, they work as wedding photographers, so on top of great travel stories, you get incredible photos too.

BEST FUN NEW HANGOUT: One of my favorite Sacramento Summer traditions is heading down to the Concert in the Park every Friday, and it just started back up last Friday! We meet up with friends, have a beer or two, and listen to some good music. We always ride our bikes there, and we ALWAYS have a good time!

Hope you all have a lovely week!

Xo, Jeneka

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mama Love

Happy Mother's Day dear Friends! I want to take a moment to wish a wonderful day to all of the mamas everywhere. From what I hear it is simultaneously the hardest but also most rewarding and meaningful job ever. I truly feel that I won the mom lottery getting the mom that I did. She has always been endlessly supportive to me. When people talk to me about having problems with their moms, I can't relate because I've never had any problems with my mom, ever. Sure, we go through little disagreements about trivial things: she tends to rush everywhere, I hate to rush. She drives fast and weaves lanes, I like to drive slow(er), and am a very cautious driver. I am a worrier, she is not, therefore finds it hard to understand how I can worry about so much. But for the most part, I feel like I got just the mom I needed, and definitely the mom I want. She is my best friend, and to know her is to love her. She is so full of joy, and her happiness is contagious. She truly enjoys life and lives in the moment, and is an inspiration for me to be more like that. She loves to help people, and her whole life revolves around taking care of people. She takes lunch or dinner to my grandpa several times a week, babysits my niece constantly for my sister, drives all over the state to visit friends who need help or need a friend due to the death of a spouse, illness, or other life challenges, has taught homeless women basic life skills, teaches art to preschoolers, and generally lights up people's lives wherever she goes.
She is such a special lady and I am BEYOND BLESSED to be her daughter. I love you to the moon and back mama! Thank you for EVERYTHING!

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Friday!

It's Friday, and we're drinking Moscow Mules with our neighbors, some of the nicest, coolest people you could ever meet. In a few minutes, we're riding downtown to the Concert in the Park. Rob and I met at a Concert in the Park way back on August 22, 2008, so this is a fun (and special) tradition. I love Fridays! And it's almost summer time too, I have just 2 weeks until summer breaks. At this very moment, I am feeling like life is very very good.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Made It Into Islands Magazine!

Ok, ok, it was just a post in response to a question that Islands magazine online asked, but still, I feel so lucky that they chose my response to publish in their magazine! What were the chances? To see my post about why Kauai is the most romantic island, go here.