There is an unwritten mandate that your success is gauged by two things: your age and your reputation. Hustling is key. Rank is key. Money is key. Youth is key. There are so many keys, frankly, and some people are lucky to have them. I’m not bitter against those who got it together at their young age — I’m thinking of the Stoneman Douglas High School kids now, a group of brilliant deviants who are trying to overthrow a great wall that is NRA, screaming for better gun reform after 17 of their beloved teacher and friends died at the hands of an armed 19-year-old. 19. That person did not have it together.

Now, back at success. Two of my cousins suddenly dropped by yesterday afternoon, when I was chasing my dog for our regular play (you know when you start baby-talking to your dog, and you’ve been found out? That’s damning). They arrival, plus their next jumps, quite took us by surprise that honestly we didn’t get to feed them properly (who would offer small bottles of Yakult to their guests, at the absence of juice, anyone?). On second thought, we were quite busy yesterday, since our backyard was a breeding ground of cement (my mom had a restroom built there for her workers). Sorry, Jon and Dana. We hope to make it up to you while you are here.

Speaking of cement, I had some realizations this week and that cemented many of my beliefs. Like, I’ve known this verse and what it’s all about, but it’s the arrival of that real-life epiphany that gets me, and it got me hard. I am thankful that God is showing me how to live, in a life less extravagant, in a life more good.

Here is how my week went.

Monday

Let’s start with a strange dream, because that’s what’s making up my life as of the moment

The thrill of Black Panther spilled over this week and I’m still glad to be bearing this joy.

Tuesday

THIS NEEDS NO EXPLANATION. But Lupita and Michael, what’s with the chocolate cakes?

Me to myself:

Wednesday

When you can, stay kind. You can be smart or sassy or brave or unapologetic, but kindness is a blessed level that pulls you up, always, may it be from the inside or out. STAY KIND.

This is a really weird but wonderful dream

Thursday

I find no meaning in this dream:

The construction in the back part of our house started by this time and yes, my parents have had small changes made here since two years ago.

Friday

嵐!嵐! FOR DREAM!

Would you look at that? A strange dream *somewhat* coming true!

Saturday

Of course, we’re ending the week with another strange dream!

So we’re old. And broke. And broken. We can find so many flaws in our lives enough to drown us. But every day, grace meets us anew. Every day, love sustains us. Maybe we should stop looking at the things that hardly mattered, at least to our innermost being, and start nourishing that seed of joy and gratitude that always, always whispered, “Every little thing is worth it.” You’re worth it.