Author: Mo

Thawing Out

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

So I do this thing

I record voice memos. I press “record” on my phone, set it down in front of me, and I just start talking.

After a few minutes, I actually forget that I’m recording and just talk and talk and talk. Some are 5 minutes, and some have gone for as long as an hour. I have about 25 voice memos on my phone and if I were to visually display the emotions in them, it would look like a rollercoaster. Some are full of energy and pep, while others are filled with silence and sniffles from crying. At first when I started doing this, I thought I was crazy – literally talking out loud to myself and rambling on and on about things that were probably meaningless at the time…but also having the audacity to actually record these meaningless thoughts! But once I go back and listen to them, I am grateful for every second. Every up and down. Every moment of raw emotion. That’s when I start figuring things out about myself. Turns out, nothing I’ve talked about has been meaningless and I’m reminded that clarity comes with time.

I find it odd that I have barely written or read while in Chiang Mai. I used to write in my journal or read every single day! For some reason, it’s just not happening these days. But then I realized, my voice memos have been happening more frequently. So really, I have been journaling, just in a different medium.

I recorded a voice memo tonight. It’s Sunday night and I have a full week of teaching and tutoring coming up. I have a couple hours before bedtime, so the possibilities of what I could do are endless! But then I sat on my bed and just looked around at the journals I haven’t opened, my books that are tucked away, and my dream journal that has been sitting on a blank page for weeks.

Where has my creativity gone???

I sat there staring. This is what I long for all the time: time. And here I have it, and I’m wasting it by doing nothing.

So I start going into my self-ramble mode and ask, “Where has my creativity gone? I know it’s in there somewhere – why has it gone away, and how can I bring it out again?” This is something I’ve actually been wondering for quite some time. When I was in what felt like my prime, I was writing consistently, creating vision boards, drawing, painting, coming up with big ideas that could change the world (or so I thought), and dabbling in photography. These days? My creativity consists of a weekly Microsoft Word newsletter for my class aaaaaaaaand that’s about it. I teach my kiddos yoga every now and then and we have some fun lessons each day, but it’s nothing to rave about.

I decided to press “record.” I asked those same questions out loud. And it turned into a natural spewing of thoughts and frustrations. And then I looked at my miniature book case and picked up one of the few books I brought to Thailand. Living out of a suitcase meant I was extremely limited with what I could bring, so I had to leave a lot of things that I love back home. A book I brought with me is one I haven’t cracked open since August of last year – but that little voice in my head told me to bring it anyway.

“Women Who Run With the Wolves.”

The last time I had read from it, I was in the middle of a chapter. So in my voice memo, I grabbed this book, opened it, and started reading out loud everything that I had underlined so many months ago. These words come from the chapter titled, “Finding One’s Pack: Belonging as Blessing – The Ugly Duckling.”

When writers, for example, feel dry, dry, dry, they know the way to become moist is to write. But if they’re locked in ice, they won’t write. So what is the solution? Do as the duckling does. Go ahead, struggle through it. Pick up the pen already and put it to the page and stop whining. Write.

Generally, stop talking.

Do your art. Generally, a thing cannot freeze if it is moving. So move. Keep moving.

I stopped recording, and I started typing.

I couldn’t really believe the sequence of events in this voice memo. I was frustrated about my lack of creativity, and the one page I decided to read addresses this exact frustration. So here I am, moving my little fingers, struggle and all.

It’s going to be a good week, I can feel it.

Can’t wait to run with my beautiful little ducklings tomorrow…

Joy

Sunday, January 20, 2019

I don’t have much of an update right now…..I take that back – I don’t have the energy to write out a detailed passage right now. It’s a lazy Sunday morning and I’m sitting in the sun at a corner coffee shop watching Old City slowly wake up. Being a teacher is very tiring, so I appreciate these mornings of chilling, wandering, and taking in my surroundings. But as exhausting as teaching is, it is worth every single minute.

Things are going really well. 🙂

Hugs to you. 💙

Settled

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

Holy moly, I’ve finally found the time and energy to sit down and write a little bit. The past few months have been go, go, go, go, go! No time to slow down. But now that I’ve officially started working, I am finally feeling a sense of routine and balance. I normally haven’t been a fan of the word, “routine,” but I’m discovering that it’s important for me to have some sort of consistency with my time. The past few months I’ve gone from road tripping down and up the West Coast, moving out of Seattle, visiting home, traveling to Vietnam, getting my TEFL in Krabi, traveling North to Chiang Mai, looking for a job, going back home for the holidays, and finally settling in with a job and a home. I’m tired just writing that…

But I’ve made Chiang Mai my home, and I’ve started a job at a beautiful international school. I’m so excited to say that I’m a kindergarten teacher to 20 hilarious and precious children. Finally reaching a goal I set a very long time ago.

I’m finally feeling grounded, centered, and stable. I’ve loved traveling around and finding my way – but it feels so good to know that every day I’m going to my classroom and helping these kids grow in this wild and crazy world.

Life outside of school has been beautiful as well – Thailand is a lush and adventurous country with so many things to do and places to explore. Last weekend I went with a group of friends to a beautiful campground – even though I had my $12 tent, the conditions were so perfect, I actually slept outside. I was laying in the middle of a big field with a clear view of the bright stars everywhere I looked. It was warm, dry, and no bugs. It was perfection. After the sun rose, we went to a natural hot springs and then a beautiful temple on a mountain tucked away in a cave.

I like it here…

And then there’s school… My heart expands whenever I think of my students. Not only is it amazing when things I teach my kids stick with them (I taught the word “mountain,” then Danny ate part of his sandwich at snack time and held it up and said in his cute Korean accent, “Teacher Andrea – mountain!” His sandwich did indeed look just like a mountain. Ahhh!) – but I want to cry each time a parent tells me that their child loves me and doesn’t want to leave after school. These kids are giving me so much purpose and inspiration. My creativity is also coming back and I’m so thankful for that.

Friday was Children’s Day and all the kids dressed up as their dream career. My classroom was full of doctors, soldiers, ballerinas, teachers, policemen, and even a couple of Supermen. One of the challenges at my school is a vibe of negativity – I won’t go into detail, but I’m working really hard to avoid the drama and focus on the positivity. One person looked at my kids and said, “The sad thing is that the majority of these kids won’t become what they want to be right now.” Why do we kill the dream??? I look at my students and I cannot wait to see what they will become – and I believe in them. I remember in elementary school, I dressed up as a forest ranger. That was my big dream when I was a child. Although I’m not officially a forest ranger, I spend a lot of my time in Nature and with the trees. Then in high school, I wanted to get into film (I was obsessed with the idea of directing music videos). I wasn’t in Hollywood, but working in production and marketing at a TV station for 8 years fulfilled this passion. And now my dream is to be a teacher and make our future a better place. My dream has come true – and I plan on guiding my students into believing that their dreams will come true as well.

I can’t wait to spend each week with these kiddos and keep teaching them new words, concepts, and morals. But I’m also excited to continue learning from them. A teacher and a student at the same time – this is what life is all about.

Can you handle the cuteness?? I can’t either…

Feeling so lucky.

I take back what I said earlier… I don’t like it here – I love it here.

Thinking of you all and sending you Thailand love!

xoxo

Welcome Back

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Where do I begin?

It’s been almost 5 months since I’ve written here… Oh the journey that has been had these past few months. Time flies…

It would take all of my time, energy, and battery power today to write an entry that shares all of the life lessons and memories I’ve had recently. I loved it when I was in the habit of writing here consistently, but these days, my focus has been on the twins and prepping for my next journey. So today, I’ll ‘dip my toes back in the water,’ and maybe more entries will follow…

I’m sure I’ll one day write about my amazing experience being a nanny to 3 amazing kiddos, but to do this, I’ll need to find a day when I have nothing planned (does that even exist?). I’m feeling very rusty with writing so I’ll keep this post short. I’ve been writing almost every day in my journals, pen to paper, but the blog feels a bit foreign to me.

As Stephen King recommends when it comes to writing: just start.

So here I am, starting again.

Why am I picking it back up again today? Feels like a fresh start in the story of my life. After driving 12 hours yesterday, I made it to California where it always feels like a perfect Summer day. Vitamin D is underrated.

While I wandered through a Redwood forest, I hit a symbolic reset button. This West Coast road trip is a journey of connection, self-exploration, and making my visions come to life. It’s good to be back…

Now off to actually go dip my toes in the water…

Pause

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Last time I wrote was in March and, well, a lot has happened since then (big surprise). I’ve been thinking about this blog (ugh, I really don’t like the word ‘blog’) a lot and how I want to write about SO many things. Over the past 2 months, I have enough content to write a book, truly. Maybe one day I will actually find the time to sit down and share some photos and anecdotes from my busy life in West Seattle.

I just wanted to take this time now to share a little story that happened recently. Before ‘work’ (by the way, I LOVE MY JOB, but I’ll save that for another day), sometimes I stop in one of the local Starbucks – what can I say, my white mocha addiction has not faded. There are two men that sit in the comfy, leather chairs every morning and they’re always chatting up a storm. They speak really loudly and sometimes I can’t help but eavesdrop. The other morning, they were talking about people who have been influential to them.

“One of the most important people in my life is my wife, Sue. What about you?”

“Definitely my Mom.”

Then the man with the slightly higher pitched voice who adores his Mom paused and said, “You know? I just want to say that you are really important to me. I really love our mornings together and you have made my life better. We don’t tell people enough how much we appreciate them, and I appreciate you.”

I almost cried when I ordered my drink…

He’s totally right – we go about our business, meet with some friends and family consistently, others not as often, and swiftly make our way through each day…without stopping to pause and acknowledge the connections we have built and the life we have created.

Right now, I’m sitting in a bustling coffee shop filled with people chatting. The four women in front of me look like they’ve probably been meeting weekly for years. A dad just pulled out a coloring book for his daughter and she just screamed with excitement. 3 pairs of girlfriends are gabbing at the window tables (all oddly wearing pink…). Two older men are laughing and have been sitting at their table since I got here an hour ago.

I’m the girl sitting in the middle of it all and (probably awkwardly) observing the relationships around me. It just feels like there’s a lot of love here on this Friday morning and it’s making me smile.

I wonder what the two men at Starbucks are talking about right now…

All forms of relationships take effort, time, and care. Seems like these days, everyone’s schedules are packed to the brim, mine included (fortunately and unfortunately) and it’s getting harder to create quality time with people consistently. But I’m starting to recognize the relationships in my life that are unconditional. No matter how much time passes or how many ebbs and flows we have in our connection, the love is always there.

Anyway, that’s my really long and loopy way of saying, I really appreciate you. If you were sitting across the table from me right now, I’d pause and tell you that I am grateful that you are in my life.

I’ve been feeling an unbelievable amount of love and support recently and there are some magical things being set into motion…hoping this translates into more writing (feeling a bit rusty!) and more adventures to write about! The energy of Love is far more powerful than the caffeine in this white mocha… 😉

I hope you all have a great day and a happy weekend with the people that you love. And if you happen to see any dandelions, don’t hesitate to make a wish. It just may come true…

Tortoise or the Hare?

Friday, March 30th, 2018

In my dream journal, I’ve noticed certain people, things, or events occurring frequently. Green VW vans, visiting my childhood, problems with technology (very apocolyptic), transformation, dogs, beaches, and so. much. water.

I tend to have recurring themes within this blog as well…I haven’t read all the way through from the beginning, but every now and then I come across my links or random posts and can see how I bring up a lot of the same thoughts and phrases without even realizing it at the time.

“Everything happens for a reason.” “Go with the flow.” “Keep going.” “Anything is possible.”

My mantras. I say them all the time and I believe them…well, for a reason. They keep me going!

Last year, I wrote about Notes from the Universe and they are also mentioned frequently in View From Mo. They’re my daily pep talk in the morning. They are all wonderful, but there are a few that stick with me weeks after I read them. At the beginning of March, I read a Note that reminded me of a dream I had a couple years ago. In my dream, I was riding this strange contraption that was a mixture of a bike and a scooter. I was trying to move my feet really fast to move along the trail quicker. The ‘narrarator’ told me to be more consistent, slow, and not rush it. I slowed my feet down and became more intentional with my movements and the scooter-bike (scike? booter? 😂) started lighting up and flying along the trail!

This is a Note I’ve been thinking about all month while driving, working with the Twins, and really, doing anything throughout my day. There is plenty of time for everything…so why rush it?

Have you noticed that the more you hurry, the slower you go?

The more you wait, the longer it takes?

The more you worry, the less you dream?

But the more you live, love, and laugh, Andrea, the more you live, love, and laugh.

Weird?
The Universe

So let’s keep living, loving, and laughing. And maybe try driving in the right lane. 😉

And just like that, the sun starts to shine…

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday.

Who Are You?

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Recently, I’ve been trying to justify who I am and the interests I have. Before telling people certain things about me, I’ve noticed I give them disclaimers: “I know this sounds weird…” “So this is not super normal…” “This sounds hippy dippy, but…” I wouldn’t say I’m ashamed of who I am, but I do worry that people will judge me for my interests and beliefs. But I worry because I know it happens. I’ve worked so hard on accepting everyone for who they are (which if we’re all being honest, this is really hard to do and I still struggle with it). We all have a past, an upbringing, and reasons for who we have become. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we lived in a world where everyone was 100% authentic 100% of the time? I’d be dancing everywhere I go!


While I was in Bali, it was a euphoric feeling because I could be 100% myself and I didn’t feel like I was weird. Instead I felt like everyone on that island was weird with me. Being weird was normal…does that even make sense? Now that I’m back in Seattle, I’m still doing my best to be completely myself, but the fear of judgment does create a sort of block. I put my books faced down so people won’t see what I’m reading. I make sure to tell people where I used to work, so they know I’m capable of having a ‘real job.’ I sometimes play mainstream music around others so they don’t judge my taste in the music I truly love. I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this, but I hide who I truly am for fear of not being accepted.

So here’s my metaphorical mountain top that I’m going to scream at the top of my lungs who I am. I don’t want to hide anymore – I want to own my identity – I will no longer be ashamed – no more disclaimers!!

I AM MO!!! I AM WEIRD!!! WE’RE ALL WEIRD!!!

I initially wanted to write a list of all the little intricacies about me…but if we know each other and you have been reading along on this journey, you already have a pretty good idea of who Mo is. And to the people in my life who have embraced who I am and stood by my side, I am always grateful for you. And I love all the little things that make you you. Props to all of you who don’t hide who you are – you inspire me! Our weirdness and quirks make us unique individuals and we should showcase that to the world!

And I just now received a picture from a friend of her hand next to a teeny, tiny pistachio. “The smallest pistachio,” she wrote. YES! This is what I’m talking about!

Okay, I’ll stop now… About to go pick up my favorite twins and go PLAY!

And what song just started playing in my ear buds? “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff.

It’s gonna be a bright, sunshiney day!

Who are YOU and what makes you weird/awesome? What are you feeding your mind?