Thursday, December 30, 2010

That's Embarrassing...

Oh and as I was working on my headbands... or maybe I was mending a shirt... anyway, I got my thread and needle caught on my nose ring.

My parents thought it was hilarious.

It really hurt.

2011, I'm Comin' For Ya

As I pack up my things tonight, getting ready to board the plane and head back to LA on New Years Eve of all days, I've been thinking. 2011 is going to be a good year.

Today, when I went to visit Lala and Pa (seen wearing red here) for the last time before I depart, I had a healthy conversation with my wise and youthful grandmother (she's 88, but looks not a day over 60). I suddenly realized that for the first time since I have graduated college, I will know where I will be living and what I will be doing for the entire year. Shocking, right?

That's what I call security. Safety. And she said, "That's one of life's important necessities - security. One of those things that many people struggle in living without."

I'm grateful and am able to breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing that I have one year left (that I know of) in the sunny state of California. I have to make the most of it because who knows what will happen afterwards.

So, as I celebrate the New Year with a little bit of jet lag, friends, and a few drinks, I look forward to what this next year will bring. New challenges, new perspectives, new conversations, and new friends. And I want to learn how not to lose touch with all the "old" that is so dear and treasured to my heart.

Happy New Year, all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Etsy Shop Opening!

It has finally happened. After months of saying I'm going to do this, I've done it. Put some of my simple crafts up onto Etsy. Visit and, please, tell me what you think! Click the link below:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

hey, jane.

It has been so wonderful to be home. A little rough around the edges, but it always brings great clarity and challenges me to new heights as I return to my new comfort zones back in California. These are some of my favorite parts of being home...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

To us, Generation __ , never stop dreaming in color.

Friday, December 10, 2010


5 months ago, I was telling goodbye to two of my coworkers. As we spoke to them, we told them about the size of the shoes that were left to be filled, the expectations they set for us, and the nervousness with which we carried on the torch. At the end of the night after we lauded them for the sacrifices they have made for LiNK and shared how much we will miss them, one of them turned to us and spit some truth.

She said, "Defend justice in all that you do. Not just in regards to North Korea, but in everything you say and act. Speak up and out about the injustices you see in your daily life. Always defend justice."

It resonates fluidly within in my head every day. How do I fulfill this? How do I find my human voice to speak forward with this? How do I address injustices that are personal?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

MMM, I found my creative side again.

A friend of a friend (at what point does she become my friend..) had a benefit show this evening to raise money for a mission trip to India that she is going on next month. I heard crafts were going to be sold, so I thought maybe I could help out. I made some headbands and broaches out of fabric flowers. I sold all of the headbands (yay!) and one broach. So exciting! I'm thinking of heading over to etsy and setting up a little store.

Get a load of this little cutie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Never accept and be content with unanalyzed assumptions, assumptions about the work, about the people, about the church or Christianity. Never be afraid to ask questions about the work we have inherited or the work we are doing. There is no question that should not be asked or that is outlawed. The day we are completely satisfied with what we have been doing; the day we have found the perfect, unchangeable system of work, the perfect answer, never in need of being corrected again, on that day we will know that we are wrong, that we have made the greatest mistake of all."

--Vincent J. Donovan (quoted in "A New Kind of Christianity" by Brian McLaren)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Much to my mother's dismay, I've gone and done the worst. She asked today, "Do you feel like a rebel?" Ohhhh, that generation. I don't hate it, but I don't love it yet. I think I'll love it when I can finally get a hoop up in there. My roommate said, "Our children will probably think nose rings are lame and are for moms..."

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Once I get the right kind of glue - the fabric kind (go figure), I will be making these to make headbands for Hannah and maybe a matching one for Sarah. I kid, I kid. That's what dress patterns are for. Matching mother daughter outfits!!

I miss being creative. I have looked into art classes here in Torrance and I've found one... I'll call in for that free Introduction class soon.

I was going to take SCUBA lessons with some of my coworkers, but for now I've decided I'd rather not spend a whopping $400 on myself. But soon enough I will take those lessons so I will be able to have a little piece of paper that says I can scuba dive anywhere I want in the world. I will then say, "hello, remaining 70% of the world I haven't had access to."

Proaction, here I come!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

In a Rut

We had a Halloween/Costume/Pumpkin Carving party at the LiNK house the other night. Everyone came over in their costumes that we had all worn to work that day and just relaxed with snacks and drink. Man, it was the first time in a long time that I unwound.

We split up into departments for the pumpkin carvings. We were over by the hammock and my boss/friend (it's all blurred these days) laid down in the hammock. He asked if I hung out here all the time. And I said, "No." He asked why and I didn't have an answer. All I could say was, "I'm in some sort of rut."

And I am.

I go to work. I come home, eat dinner, and don't really do anything very productive. How do I cure this? Proactivity, I believe. Taking risks and putting myself out there. It's one of the most fear provoking things for me -to go into an uncontrolled social situation and not know a soul.

But I guess that's what beer is for. And friends. I think I have 2 solid friends here that will do things with me and invite me to do things with them.

I'm starting to feel more at home here. California has started its season of fall, whatever that is. It doesn't get above 75 or 80 on most days and now that I'm acclimated to the weather, I find it chilly. There aren't enough orange and red leaves, but when I do find them, it's exciting.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Ohhh, emails. It's amazing how such a small click of a button, a letter sent my way via the complexity that is the internet, can make my heart pound so much or lift my spirits in such a way.

I wish I could just respond to an email with, "Well, if that's the way you feel, then so be it. Best of luck with your life. Please know, that your disinterest and disgruntled attitude will inadvertantly affect the freedom of North Korean refugees living in China."

Maybe that's drastic. Maybe a little irrational, but it's all honest. It's the way I feel. Because every little bit counts. Every 2 person screening, every 200 person screening will transform and change the lives of North Koreans living in hiding half way around the world.

And all of this is caused by a sorry excuse for communication. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I painted!

I wanted to create a small sanctuary in my life, so I painted my room, much to my landlord's horror. Oops!

It's called "Liberty Gray" and it's lovely. Paired with a crisp white duvet, greenish floral sheets, a soon to be white dresser, and an old leather chair I found on the side of the road, I'm excited to call this home.

This is the color:


Similar to the print of my sheets:


My duvet:


That's all.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Demands and Respect

I think I've had my first taste of what being a mom is about. It's truly just a small taste. Just the tip of my pinky. But here it is: Lots and lots of being asked and lots and lots of wanting the best and most perfect outcome, but having to shed grace. Lots and lots of grace.

This job is so freaking interesting. I hate that I am that girl who always writes about her job, but let's get real honest for a second on a side tangent.

I don't have much else going on.

I basically eat, sleep, and breath work. When I'm not physically in the office, I'm either on the phone with nomads or on my email working to book screenings or at some event on behalf of LiNK or at the house that I live, which is LiNK housing.

Riding my bike, is the only true escape I have. No access to internet, no LiNK coworker by my side. So, the reality is very real. Work is my life.

So, back to the lesson that I have been learning. Demands and respect. Not an ounce in my body wants to fulfill demands placed upon me when there is little respect being garnered. I can only imagine this is what my mother must have felt on those days when I was being the brat I was great at being. Why should she fix me dinner? Why should she scratch my back? Why should she help me find my missing sock?

If it was any one else. A stranger off the street, a next door neighbor, another Girl Scout's mom. She would have no reason to do things for someone who blatantly gave her no respect.


But it was me. Her kid, her daughter, so of course she did those things for me. She blessed me with grace, forgave me for my horrible mistakes, and scratched my back when I was scared to sleep in the dark.

Unconditional love. I need to learn this stuff.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's a busy, busy week flying by. I wake up at 5.50 everyday, work until 9 pm and find some rest at 11. I'm not complaining, but just letting you know why I can't write a longer post right now. It's 11.03 and I need some sleep.

But, when I return from this small non-hiatus, I'd like to talk about 2 things. One, "The Stoning of Soraya M" and two, the convictions I have felt in regards to relationships.

I hope all are well. Emily, I want a nose ring too. Keep an eye out for my new profile picture with it. Eventually...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's so interesting to be a grown up.

In almost every encouraging or appreciative note my sister has every written to me, she has always said how much she admires my intolerance for the unethical and my vigor to speak out for what is right and good. Being in high school and college, it's so easy to do that (when she we were closer in proximity). High school is the time for teenage rebellion in every context - the immature lashings-out that take place are mostly understood and socially accepted as part of the teenage phase. Talking back and speaking up for your fairly under-processed ideas is seen as just what being a teenager is all about.

College is the perfect atmosphere to question everything. That's the point of a 4 year degree: to teach how to question the efficiency and effectiveness of all aspects of life and to teach the problem solving techniques it takes to reach idealism. Professors are there to make you think, to make you be introspective and to figure out the way the world currently works and how it should be altered. We were taught ideals and to follow those ideals.

But when you get to the real world, to the working world, these ideals aren't quite so welcomed. There is structure and bureaucracy that mandates every organization. Being an adult and speaking out for what you believe within a pre-established form isn't quite as understood and accepted as it was in the about 8 years prior.

So, how do young people these days work within this system when the 8 years in preparation have been teaching them to think outside of the box, to push the envelope, to be creative in approaching "protocols" and organizational structure. How, then, do we uphold those ideals that have started to dictate our character and our approach to the world? Do we lower our standards and work inside the system, never challenging it or questioning? Do we maintain our job security so that we can pay the bills and be comfortable or do we sacrifice our own comfort in pursuit of those ideals?

It becomes survival of the most ideal. I don't know if I'll make it and I wonder if my sister wrote a note these days, if it would be true.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's an interesting concept to live with the people you work with. To become friends with the people you live with. And to work with your friends. It's an interesting teaching method. Thanks, life.

In the last few days I've had a realization about "humility." It's such an integral part of being in relationship with people and it's the source of grace. I am not humble enough and I do not extend enough grace on the people I am with and around. I hold grudges and I internalize anger and frustration that form a giant chip on my shoulder.

It's so weird to me sometimes that these are things that create my faith, whatever my faith is. These are the things that I believe will make the world go round and will soften hearts and eliminate much of the pain that exists in the world. Do I need a source of these characteristics or can I just formulate them on my own, whilst in relationship with others? I think it can't be done alone, but I think humility and grace extend from knowing and loving others. It's not a religion or a spiritual framework which should mandate or inspire these things, but rather an understanding and awareness of how relationships need to be fostered and upheld.

It's also a beautiful feeling that transcends my body when I concentrate on believing in humility and grace. In finding the silver living around people who are frustrating to be around, who are discouraging, who are self-focused.

I need an accountability partner to uphold me to the highest standard. How can I teach something if I don't act myself?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"My family's relative wealth was due not only to my grandparents' social status but also to the fact that they had once lived and prospered in Japan. My grandmother was the first to exile herself there. She was born near the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, on the island of Cheju, famous for its windy weather, its horses, and the strong character of its women. To this day you see them on television wearing wetsuits and diving into the ocean in search of shellfish, while their men stay home minding the children."

Excerpt from The Aquariums of Pyongyang by Chol-Hwan Kang

You can view those women here:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

be free

This past week has been a bit of a roller coaster. Earlier when I posted that Radical Face song, it's because it stirred some ripe emotions within me. It made me miss home like I've never missed it before. I've always been the girl seeking independence and autonomy from family, from home, from people needing me. And now I have it.

I'm here in California, by myself. My closest family member is 2,000 miles away. While I am building a surrogate family here, one day at a time, remembering what I'm missing out on this weekend is painful.

After 19 years, my dad is retiring from the ministry. All of the Garrards are converging in Hickory this weekend to celebrate a life of dedication and sacrifice. All but one. It's so strange to be missing out on this. I was prepared for it and knew I wasn't going to make it home for it, but for some reason I didn't know how to emotionally prepare for it.

This weekend is as much for dad as it is for us: my mom, brother, sister and I. Our lives circled around him our whole lives. We moved when he moved. We packed when he packed. We cried when he cried. We were hurt when he was hurt. We got involved when he got involved. I am who I am directly because of what my dad is. The fact of the matter is, when I go home it will be very different. He will be home during the day and available at night. His stack of magazines he never has time to read will be much smaller and all the leaky faucets will be tight. He will sit with us in the pew at church and will ride home with us afterwards.

I wish I could be home this weekend to share a story about him. When I think of my dad, I don't think of him as a pastor. I picture him in his dirty, ratty clothes working on a car. However, his character is definitely one of a pastor. Much like a shepherd. He guides, pursues, engages, and cares. Every person is important. Every person deserves a look in the eye and a hand shake, no matter your age, race, or stature. We were never an experiment or a task or a member of his flock. We were his family. I am his daughter, not a project.

He deserves every accolade that is going to be given to him. Every kind word. Every round of applause. He's done good things on this earth. Great things.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Human Condition of Mixed Emotion

Radical Face - "Welcome Home"

Monday, June 21, 2010

In a rejection email from a man at a church, I received this as his reasoning for not wanting to host a screening for us.

"We are committed to taking a rifle and aiming it at a few movements that God wants us to participate in, versus using a shotgun and spreading ourselves too thin."


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

a boost to the joy level

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

year and a half

Looks like I'm 3 hours behind most of you. It makes all the difference in the world - our schedules don't align and we don't even eat breakfast around the same time.

It's been a hard transition being out here, joining a new team, living with 17 new roommates, dealing with the same old identity and social issues, etc. I'm interested to see what will happen and who I will become by the end of this commitment.

Sometimes I wonder if I purposefully put myself into really tough situations or if I create the stress and difficulty which surrounds tough situations. Maybe the experiences I find myself in aren't as bad as I make them out to be. Maybe if I just put on a brighter smile and had a better attitude, I wouldn't feel so strained and beaten and deserted.

I've realized many, many things about myself in the last week. Put me on an island by myself for weeks on end and I would be happy. Put me in a crowded room with people all the time, I wouldn't make it. I love being alone. But I also really value the friendships that I have - those friends that I feel comfortable with to hang around and not speak. You know the kind. I feel as if since August of last year I have been working hard to make friends, but have only escaped with a few. I've been committing small talk for the past year. On the road, every day new faces, same questions. I'm so tired of talking and asking questions and being the friend. I want to be pursued by a new friend.

Goodness, I wish I could play God. I do. It would make my life so much more simple.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Beach House - Heart of Chambers

This is the jam.

Let's Keep In Touch. I Mean It.

It's the time again, where I'm lying in my bed in my parents' house with suitcases packed and that christmas-eve-night anticipation running through my body. But it's really different this time, you know.

This time I have friends "out there" that I already know. I won't have to small talk. I know where they are from and what their laughs sound like and the music they enjoy. It's nice. But at the same time it isn't the relaxation I feel when I return to my Greensboro friends - the people I've known for 5 years now and can successfully sit in complete silence with and not feel awkward.

Sometimes when I think about this move to California, I get overwhelmed at the thought of a year of small talk, a year of awkward sarcasm and mere attempts at deep, meaningful relationships. The self-proclaimed introvert gets tired just thinking of having to be an extrovert in order to make friends.

I think I will be okay. I know where some parks are. I know where to get a bike. I know where I can find solitude and respite and recoup when my community art classes and scuba lessons (all hopefuls) give me too much people time. But I also hope I don't find too much solace in these things. Being alone is where I feel most comfortable and most energized, so I'm begging myself to not fall into that cycle. Discomfort has always brought great fruition into my life, so hopefully it'll be the same.

PLUS, I am banking on some celeb sightings. I'm hoping for Natalie Portman, though I think she resides in NYC, and Zooey Deschanel. I bet if I just camp out at LAX, TMZ will lead me straight to 'em.


In other news, I just learned that "ya'll" is not spelled that way at all. It's "y'all." I feel so disrespectful to my Southern roots for all the years.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I know I never use this thing anymore and for that I apologize, but I figure it's a great piece of social connection with a few old friends out there, so I thought I'd clue you in on the next chapter in my life.

Let's recap. For the past 3 months, I was a nomad for LiNK (Liberty in North Korea). I was put back into prairieland on the Heartland team and travelled for 10 weeks with Pat and Kat. Yes their names rhymed. It was possibly some of the hardest days in my life. I was somewhat miserable for the better part of the journey, but I wouldn't change it for the world. It took me a long 10 weeks to learn some of life's most important lessons: how to love people who you wouldn't normally love, how to let go, and how to accept.

Fast forward to today and I am now going on staff with LiNK. I am going to be a regional manager, which is someone who works in the headquarters and manages the teams while they are out on the road. I'm pretty pumped. I have signed a 1.5 year contract and will be living right outside L.A. in Torrance, CA for that time period.

Who would have ever thought that I would be living in southern California? Not me. Definitely not my mother.

I'm home for just a few weeks to visit family and friends and recoup and be in dear Brittany Jackson's wedding. How am I old enough to have friends getting married and for me to have a real job? Crazy.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

I am being challenged on a daily basis and my well of inspiration and commitment is running dry.

May I ask a favor?

My social justice minded friends, would you mind responding to this post with stories, documents, articles, quotes with commentary that might inspire me and remind me why I've decided to sacrifice? I'm becoming selfish-minded and am in a cycle of negativity. I need this, deeply.

Thank you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I want to have lots of daughters when I have children. Obviously, this is something I can control.

I just finished reading Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and it is basically research in narrative style about various ways organizations have worked to empower women living in oppressive societies all around the world. It is mind blowing and greatly life changing.

I've always greatly identified as a woman and am proud of my sex. I'm quick to stand up for the respect of women and will rarely let a sexist comment slide. I writhe when women say sly comments about other women or even just in general about women - about how women are "supposed" to act or how they don't want to have daughters because girls are annoying.

Thus, I WANT to have girls. Women are powerful creatures because they are still the underdogs. Women still make 75% of what men make in the same position. Yet, they have so much influence in society. Ugandans say, "when you educate a woman, you educate a nation." They bring life into this world and when mothers are the ones who have a huge play in the finances of a family, the income goes towards more sustainable, less consumable items (so says Half the Sky).

My daughters will be strong and will not be second class. They will not believe they are inferior, nor will they believe that they can only do certain things because of their sex. They will choose what types of extracurricular activities they want to do, but education will always be a priority. They will be compassionate and caring as all people should be and will look to serve others, no matter who they are.

To my future daughters, don't back down. Stand bold and with your head held high. You're going to do wonderful and influential things in life.

Monday, February 15, 2010

This woman is amazing in so many ways. She is full of grace and humility.

LiNK is in a competition to win $250K from Pepsi, so that we can build a physical home for North Korean refugees to come to when they resettle in the United States. Community is important - I think we can all vouch for that. Community in the midst of seeking protection and safety is imperative.

Would you all vote for LiNK to win this money? As well, tell your friends to do the same. You can vote once every day! Thanks, friends.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I'm gonna be a nomad.

No, really, not just in theory but as a job, I'm going to be a nomad for an organization called Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) come February 1st. I'll be sailing back to California next weekend to continue my volunteer ambitions.

Check out this organization. It's legit. They do secret underground stuff in Southeast Asia where they hide and protect North Korean escapees until they can receive refugee or asylum status in another country.

The magnitude of human rights that are being violated in North Korea is astonishing. It's horrific. And the worst part is that we turn a blind eye to it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I woke up to this on Saturday morning:

It's from my 6 year old cousin Zach. It was 9.45 am and he was worried I hadn't set my alarm clock, but new he couldn't come into my room. Next best thing? An illustrated note under the door, obviously.

It made my day.

Reflect and Relax

I met a woman last night who, at the ripe age of 60, is taking time to reflect, relax, visit with family, and figure out her next career move. Okay, so she wasn't just any woman. She was my dad's cousin, but I had never met her until yesterday. In preparation for her visit, mom and dad both told me about her using words such as: nomadic, traveler, and never married. They told me I had a lot to learn from her. They didn't realize that I would become so infatuated with her that I would want to have coffee with her to pick her brain. How do I become you?

This is a woman who wore boots that looked like they could tell stories for days. A woman who has travelled all over the world and written for travel guides. She has had experiences that I can't even imagine and has called New York City her home or her home base, rather, for decades. This is a woman who can't imagine living without her bicycle and looks for good public transport in a new home.

And she's never married. But she's content. She enjoys her life and you can see it in her eyes when she recounts memories and stories long lost that she wouldn't have it any other way. Her bohemian, nomadic sojourn through life has made her who she is.

She has a free spirit. A simple bliss and freedom. She has spent her life meeting people and following life at the drop of a hat, wherever it may lead. Fearless.

How do you capture that? She had dreams and she raced after them. She travelled alone all over the country and the world. She has a beautiful community of friends, colleagues and family.

As I realize more and more about who I am, I think that's my greatest flaw. I'm full of fear. I think if there was an audible track to my thoughts, people would understand just how paranoid I am. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I don't have anything funny to day? What if I don't know what they are talking about? Was that a joke? I didn't know to laugh. Oh, man.

There are so many things I want to do in life and maybe that's why I'm sitting still here in my parent's guest room. So many "buts" in between my dreams and me.

Solution: Have coffee with my new hero. Coffee conversations solve most things.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Zooey or Dennis?

I'm back on the good ol' East Coast, snuggled in my bed (or the bed that is in the room that used to be mine), trying to avoid the responsibilities that are present before me: finding a job and figuring out a plan for my future.

But first let me back track a few weeks. Being a roadie: my experience is finished and I am now moving forward into the light or darkness or whatever is ahead. It was a beautiful and rich time, though challenging as hell. 2 and 1/2 months on the road, dozens of home cooked meals, 1 teammate left, 3 weeks in Canada (without the teammate who had booked this part of tour) without cell phone or internet, 1 new teammate joined us, 1 traffic accident, 1 "hit and run," 1 hospital visit, 1 almost-got-robbed-by-a-gang incident, hundreds of beautiful and outwardly centered individuals, 1 naked bass player, 1 ethiopian meal at 1:30am, 1 mom who made the 3 of us 9 sandwiches for lunch the next day, several extremely awkward contacts, and thousands of memories that I can't even begin to explain.

It was beautiful. Hard, but beautiful. And now I am prepared to begin whatever is next. But what is next is the question? So, I thought I'd just blog it out. Blog it ooouuuttt.

I've always thought it was necessary to have a job with meaning - of working with purpose and responsibility. That's a main reason I did Invisible Children - to fulfill my responsibility of a being a global citizen and I don't think that responsibility will ever wither.

Here's the bump in the road: I want to travel, like really, really travel. Like backpack across Europe on a sojourn for a few months. My roadie friend, Sean, has invited me (literally invited me on Gmail calender) to join him on a trip to Europe. You have to have money to do this, and I don't have much right now - health insurance is such a drain. So here's the predicament:

I need a job, but I also want to quit said job around summer time to galavant across the Atlantic. Thus I don't want a job with meaning because with meaning comes commitment and I want to be able to leave the job at a moment's notice. Working at a job without meaning means not living in the moment, which is annoying. I was watching Angelina Jolie get interviewed one time and she was asked, "If you found out you only had a week left to live how would you live it?" She replied, "Well, I already live in the moment, as if I had limited time left, so I don't think I would change anything." And then she riddled off being able to adopt children, going to Africa with the UN, go skydiving, blah blah blah. Then I realized you have to have money in order to live in the moment - on that caliber at least.

So here's where I'm at.
a) Dennis: I would love to work on an organic farm (WWOOF) for some time. Live and work in community - it's my thing. It stirs my bones. And there is just something natural about working with the Earth. But it doesn't pay, but, man, it would be amazing. (This is the Dennis reference - Dennis Quaid has always been the epitome of a farmer in my mind)

b) Zooey: I could prepare for living in the moment. Haha. I can live at home, get a job (say as a receptionist somewhere), and save up for my 2010 adventure. I could wear cute blouses and high wasted skirts like Zooey in 500 Days of Summer. Right?

So, it's just a matter of deciding what I want to do - what's more important. I've never been good at making decisions...