I really enjoyed tonight. I really enjoyed all of today, as a matter of fact. It really was such a fine day. Work was busy, and maybe for the very first time, walking around, I felt like this is my office, this is my floor. I can initiate a conversation, I can approach that person, I can offer a smile. Walking back from my lunch break in the breeze of century city, I just thought I’m so thankful to be single now, it’s so easy for me to covet and desire that relationship and romance and belonging to a guy, but I’m really in a good place. I feel like I’m starting, just starting to let go of him and embrace this new life. Like my toes are sampling the water and I absolutely cannot wait until I am ready to just dive all the way in!

The best part of today was after work– driving straight to 3rd street promenade to meet up Hannah and Cat who came to visit =) Shopped for a bit first, just at urban but they had SUCH good deals. I bought 2 sundresses. I love dresses. Then afterwards we went to a margarita bar, I don’t even know the name of the restaurant, but you know one of those typical cabana bars with the straw and stringed colored lanterns for decor. It was really so much fun, drinking margaritas, eating tres queso nachos (three cheese nachos), and steak fries in more cheese. soo fatty, soo delicious and just talking about everything and anything, from love and hurts and sex to present and futures. I really love that kind of night, I feel like I’m actually living life. Stepping out of the cabana onto the promenade, I’m filled with such a sense of satisfaction. The air is so sweet as different street musicians liven up each corner and even my legs are given a good kick with the sharp breeze.

In moments like these, I feel so happy to be alive and with my girls, I feel like yeah this is what it’s like to be in my 20′s. This is what makes being young and single great and why I’m not so bad off because of it. Live it up Shaina. I felt so sex and the city-esque, and really aside from the romps and outrageous fashion the four girls are known for, the show sticks because we all want that– a sense of being in charge, of enjoying, of conquering, of living. And so tonight, I felt so sex and the city.

Just me, and God, and a whole city to explore, to impact, to overturn.

I wouldn’t have been able to say that a week or two ago, hence the absence of posts. So I am glad, I am glad because I think this season is really for me to learn to love myself again, and learn to love where I am. Today was a good start.

I really want to write lately. I want so much to get into one of those sessions where I can just pour out my heart and my thoughts and soul. I want to process, I want to remember, I want to feel. And yet, whenever I sit down and open this text field, I don’t feel like I have the words anymore. I’m not in the mood. The background music doesn’t suit me. It just doesn’t feel right or natural, and the moment slips by. I’m a finicky writer. So days and nights pass, and the right mood never comes, and when it does, when I actually get to this page, the mood has flitted on by. And I’m left with a gnawing incompleteness and yearning to do what I cannot seem to do– write and record the significant moments in my life, and there have been so many of late.

I’m in between homes right now. I’m currently staying at my previous apartment- subletting as I continue to look for a new place to stay as the Fall will bring new UCLA student tenants who will shoo my post-grad self out the door. I’ve started a full-time job in Century City at a swanky skyscraper complete with doormen who greet me every morning and wish me a safe drive home. I feel young and old at the same time. Too young in shoes bigger than I feel I should be wearing. Work is scary. Without a doubt, it is exciting and I know I am grandly fortunate, but still, I feel insecure, little, confused. As for the whole love life, any sense of stability there is also nonexistent. If anything, it’s been surprisingly turbulent. I guess that’s why I say I’m in between homes. I don’t feel the ground securely under my feet. I don’t know where to step, exactly how to do things, I haven’t found my stride yet, and that’s scary– to be put in a completely new and daunting, professional environment and beyond the workplace, a different emotional season for my heart as well. My heart, it knows not where to rest.

But I suppose, oh who am I kidding, I know, that this is exactly where God has put me and wants me to be. In a time of feeling like I am in between worlds and seasons and lifestyles and mentalities– because I need to get used to the fact that yeah, I, alone, cannot find solid ground to stand on unless my sense of security and worth is put in Him. Things will continue to change and shift and as little and frail as I may feel, He’s got me. He’s brought me here and He’s got me. And I pray that any flailing that my independent self may do or any sinews of my heart that may struggle to cling to the past, He would gently cut it all off because He’s got me. I need not do it myself.

I have much to write. Much to say. And I’ve started this entry a few times now but I just can’t seem to complete it. I can’t even start it off in the right way, in a way that I’m satisfied with it. Maybe it’s because I haven’t slept. Maybe it’s because I’m in such a frail state. A part of me just wants to shut off the laptop and go to sleep because I start work tomorrow. Full time, 9-6 pm and I have so much I want to share about the whole backstory to this amazing opportunity God has blessed me with and why I’m so, so thankful. And while I know I can use the pleasing, safe snippet of an entry I wrote already about this new chapter in my life-with the job and everything that is just so worthy to praise God for, I don’t think I would be true to myself.

Truthfully, I want to divulge the complete story of how God has given me so much with this job, and the whole process leading up to tomorrow’s start date, how I’m nervous, etc. etc. ┬ábut for now, what I want to remember is that I am in such a weak state. In the last state of being that I’d like to ideally start work in, this huge new chapter in my life with, but who I am to question the potter? His way is perfect.

I start work tomorrow. Full-time. 9-6 pm, at a company better than I could have ever asked for. I will be working as an executive assistant at Twentieth Century Fox. Everything about this opportunity, this reality, the fact that I have a job lined up for me immediately out of college is totally by God’s abundant grace and provision for me and through my dear friend who is being taken on a new journey herself. He is good to us.

I was given the offer finals week, and everything about it lined up, including being able to take a 1.5 week break after graduation before starting. The break was good, parts of it lackluster, but I have many stories to tell.

Right now though, I just want to say that it’s incredible what God is doing in my life. I can truly say that this will be a new beginning. My heart was broken anew last night. It ached. I slept little but as Scarlett from Gone with the Wind always says, tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is a new beginning in my life :)

Depending on the time you talk to me, I will tell you different things about how I feel about my graduation. I graduated from UCLA Sunday morning and had you asked me yesterday, I would’ve told you that it was a bit underwhelming. It wasn’t the momentous occasion I had imagined all these years- a culmination of glory and accomplishment, a sense of completion. I’ve always been the idealistic one.

Instead, I felt like it kind of passed me by because it wasn’t what I had pictured, sure, it was a beautiful ceremony in the iconic building of UCLA- Royce Hall. The speeches were funny and right-on, but for some reason, I kept on thinking to the past, worrying about my guests or how I would be called second when I’d much rather be in the middle, how Angelica was feeling next to me, if my ear was poking out, and so forth. Dumb things, I know, and I regret it.

If I could do it over, I would be in the moment. I would not worry about the etiquette and I would’ve looked up to all of Royce Hall, to the balcony and my family and walked across that stage with a confident presence of hey, here I am, IN this moment now, because God, my gracious Father above has brought me through these past 4 years. 4 years of indelible learning experiences, wonderful opportunities, an abundance of soul connections and shared antics, and much, much growth and hurt and joy.

When I told my mom, she was like, “Yeah, Shaina. That’s how weddings are too.” crap. haha! Either way, graduation is a milestone in my life, and I’m so thankful my wonderful family and beautiful girlfriends shared it with me :)

I was lovingly barraged with flowers, gifts, leis, and a balloon I had battles with :)

“All da senior ladies” from Friday’s commencement ceremony, courtesy of Tiffany Chen

So today, if you are to ask me about my graduation, I will tell you that it’s over, and I am loved. And I will be present today. I think I’m learning that. I’m learning to stop looking to the past, or to the side, or even worry about the future but to just be here because I have so much.

about to walk to commencement and all i can think is oh how He loves us, oh how He loves me. thank you for the past 4 years.

The thought alone of ending college makes me sad and scared this morning. I feel so vulnerable and tentative. It has been a beautiful four years with countless mistakes and precious moments of victory and glory.

I’m dragging my feet, but the rug is going to be pulled up from under me in precisely nine days, less if you consider that I end finals Monday night.

maybe one day I’ll be a famous writer. maybe one day I’ll actually post in my blog daily and have lots of faithful readers who enjoy my content. but today, I’m still plain me. And today, I am writing for myself.

I’ve been getting into working out. It’s weird. All four years at UCLA and I can literally count the number of times I’ve been to the gym on one hand, but in this last quarter, and really only in the last few weeks, I’ve really picked up an affinity for working out! I enjoy. e.n.j.o.y. running at the track. I have never uttered those words, ever, in my life. I enjoy going to the gym and getting on the ellipticals and my absolute favorite part is after I’m done, going to the sauna.

I love the sauna. I love the heat, I love listening to my ipod and praying and just letting the heat enwrap me. I love feeling beads of sweat forming on my body. That sounds gross, but it makes me feel alive, like I’m actually living.

I guess this all started when I made a conscious decision to take care of my body better. I’m always getting sick. I’m always sick. I get dreadfully cold easily and I figured running or working out would give me the opportunity to pray for my body. To pray that my body would be a worthy temple for the Lord. And so lately, that’s what I’ve been doing. Enjoying my body. Enjoying my ability to run and stretch and breathe in and out and to sweat and turn red and I don’t know. It’s so basic, but I’m thankful for it. I’m thankful for this amazing body that God has given all of us and what it’s capable of. But what I pray for most when I’m in the sauna, is that God would take care of my heart.

I feel like my heart is far and weak and distracted but the Lord reminded me that he loves me so, that He’s jealous for me.

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