Another year, another journey

I usually write a long, handwritten letter to myself on my birthday – but this year, I’ve decided to write it publicly. My birthday just passed, and I am more thankful than ever for another year to put under my belt. Many young people are so terrified of embarking into their late twenties, their thirties, any age past twenty-one. This post is for all of you.

There is nothing terrifying about getting old. The only terrifying part of aging is simply this: We are all afraid of not meeting some sort of societal standard dictated by our age, or we try to maintain a standard of who we used to be by living in the past. Fear of aging is simply the suffering caused by wanting to maintain something we once had, or wanting something we haven’t yet achieved.

Every moment we wake up on the right side of the dirt – that is our opportunity to grow, have more experiences, and work towards all the things that we want for ourselves. There are just some things that we can’t possibly learn until we have experienced life and its simply this:

  1. We learn to love ourselves despite what others think. Naturally, we want to be accepted. We all have done some incredibly stupid things to fit in. It isn’t until we grow into our skin and realize we are good enough just the way we are, what we don’t like we CAN change, and we can be surrounded by people who accept us.
  2. There are no regrets in life. We are human, we make mistakes, and whatever mistakes we have made… it’s ok. Why? Because at that very moment in time, that is what we wanted to do. The timelines that other people lived – it worked for them, and by no means should we EVER compare our own life to someone else. We will never walk in that exact path with their exact pair of shoes. Don’t beat yourself up for not graduating when everyone else did, or the fact that you’re single and everyone else isn’t. It’s all OK!
  3. Stretch marks and wrinkles – don’t stress over them! They are the battle scars of how far we all have come along in this life! Some were made in happiness, others in time of distress, but all of them have made us to who we are today!
  4. There’s beauty in the breakdown. Frou Frou said it best, and it’s so true. It’s the difficult parts of life that we learn to cope and deal with that make the sweetest moments in life that much more sweet.
  5. We learn to set boundaries in all aspects of life. We don’t really learn how to set boundaries until we experience life. I’m telling all of y’all right now – it’s OK to do so. It’s ok to say what you will and won’t put up with. It’s ok to ditch anything or anyone that doesn’t serve your goals to be happy and healthy.
  6. We learn to enjoy our own companyIt took me a bit of time to reach this point, and I honestly can’t believe I didn’t learn this sooner. It’s ok to go to the movie theater alone, or have a “me” day without having company. It is when we are truly alone that we learn how much we are worth as human beings, and we learn what it is that truly makes us who we are. There are no clouded judgements and outside opinions when we are alone. We can embrace our uniqueness and thoughts and go into the world with everything we know we have to offer.
  7. We learn to cope with life, let go, and move forward. No one can ever teach you how to deal with a breakup, getting fired, losing a loved one. When things get difficult, we know there is light on the other side. We only suffer from the couldashouldawouldas when we hold stop holding onto good moments in life and we fail to embark new chapters of our life. Do I wish I still have my figure when I was in highschool? Sure. Do I wish that I had a different financial situation? Sure. But I am learning to deal with all of my insecurities and find every new day as an opportunity to build something new. What has happened, happened – and I move forward. Life isn’t always daisies and unicorns, but I learned to let go of how things used to be, and I embrace what will be.
  8. We learn to be a better judge of character. Fitting in is usually the primary goal when we are young. However, for the sake of fitting in, many of us at one point or another surround ourselves with people that aren’t good for us. We let people into our lives that are toxic. It isn’t until we encounter these people that we learn all of the “red flags” of people we need to avoid. We start to consciously choose the people we want to be around that let us grow. We start surrounding people that are good for us at every level of existence.

Next time y’all start stressing over age – just remember, you’ve made it this far, and you’ve made it this far for a reason. Not only have you aged, but you have gained so much wisdom that could not have happened without age.

 

Treasured and not played with

When I was a little girl, my dad took me the park every day to play with the other kids in the neighborhood. Often times, many of the kids didn’t want to play with me. The few girls that did play with me always had their dolls to play with. One day, they decided we were going to have a tea party, and we would select a doll that resembled us to be our guest. Unfortunately, none of the dolls looked like me. I didn’t have blonde hair, blue eyes, and the brunette dolls all had colored eyes. None of them were tan. None of them had almond shaped eyes. I remember asking, “Why don’t you have a doll that looks like me?”

Then, the girls all answered, “It’s because you’re not pretty enough to have a doll like you. Only pretty people have dolls that looked like them.”

I quickly got up, and ran to my father crying. “Daddy, why am I ugly? Why don’t they make dolls that look like me?”
My father shook his head in disapproval at the parents of those girls. He picked me up, and I sat on his lap, rested my head on his chest and wailed. He wiped away my tears and said:

Pretty things can be toys and played with. And no, you’re not pretty. You’re beautiful. Beautiful things are not toys to be played with. Beautiful things are treasures that people cherish and adore, not something you play and throw away later.

Beautiful things make your heart smile,  and little one, you make so many people smile.

Lately, I have been feeling physically inadequate. Much of this stems from my dating life in which guys leave me for prettier, thinner girls. My father’s birthday was a few days ago… and as I was driving home from work,  I felt his presence,  and I remembered those beautiful words he told me when I was a little girl. Although many may not believe I am pretty, I have to remind myself I am beautiful. I am beautiful and I am worth treasuring. I am not a pretty toy that can be thrown away later when I am tarnished and worn out.

Today, remind yourself that you are a beautiful treasure.

Mirrors and reflections


You look at me and you see what I see
Because your looking in the mirror
When your with me there’s no use in hiding
Because you’re looking in the mirror

I had a friendship end recently, and this person… parts of him mirrored who I was, but he had negative traits that I did not want to mirror or have in my life. I did not want a flaky friend. I did not want a “friend” that only contacted me when they felt like it or when they needed a favor. The more I spoke to this person, the more disingenuous I found him to be. After countless arguments and my refusal to enable poor behavior, we stopped being friends. Before ending the friendship, I do recall him telling me that his friends were the same way, or that his friends didn’t care that he acted this way. The people he surrounds himself with are a reflection of who he is. I am unwilling to reflect such behavior or traits.

We were created in such a way that we cannot look at ourselves without the assistance of an object or person. Even with all the soul searching that we do within ourselves, there is that part of us that subconsciously wants to physically see our innermost characteristics and traits among those we spend time with. Have you ever noticed that people who are negative and dramatic often have friends and company that are negative and dramatic? Or how successful people have successful friends? Our souls tend to want to gather and group among others who are like us physically, spiritually, and mentally.

Today, look at all the people in your life. They carry energy that is representative of who you are, where you are, and where you will eventually be. If the people you associate with have traits and behaviors that you dislike, chances are, you have those traits too. Work towards making the necessary changes to be around those who are representative of you.

Strange…

What a strange series of events since my last post…

It just makes me appreciate life that much more.

 

Love and give thanks

 

Mommy Loves Me

Every conversation I have with my mom ends with, “You are my daughter love you.” She leaves me voicemails almost every day to remind me that I am on her mind and heart, and she loves me. She makes time despite her crazy schedule of working out and nannying my niece, she finds her way to take that 2 hour drive to see me more than once a month. When my father was still alive, I remembered he would stay up late although he was dead tired to tell me, “I love you, tell me about your day.” He was let go of more than one job because it was more important to see my recital or take me kite flying than it ever was to earn a paycheck.

I learned from both of them is simply this, if it someone or something matters to you, there is no such thing as being too busy, or not having enough time…. and ALWAYS remind others that you are grateful for them, and that you love them. And if there are people in your life that you do not love, or are not grateful for…. disassociate yourself with them because energy outside of love and positivity is energy wasted.

I am thankful that I learned these things from them. It has allowed me to build solid relationships with the friends I have, and the ones I will have. They know that if I ever need them, I will always find a way to be there for them. I constantly express my gratitude for them, and there’s never any doubt how much I love them. It also made me realize who truly wants me in their life versus someone who wants to be a parasite and only stick around when they need something.

Today, look at how you can show your gratitude to your loved ones and make time for them.

Is your makeup making up for something else?

May 2014 - No Filter Selfie

May 2014 – No Filter Selfie

I am extremely low maintenance. I find myself less and less inclined to buy makeup or put on makeup, or even invest in a haircut or hairbrush. I haven’t dyed my hair in many years, and it is extremely rare that I will ever blow dry, brush, curl or flat iron my hair. There are the few moments that I choose to “doll up,” but if it takes longer than five minutes, I usually say, “Fuck it!” I only invest time in brushing my teeth, flossing, bathing, and yoga… you know the “essentials.”

Being home-schooled, I never really got into the trends that plastered magazines. However, when I was finally thrown into the dangerous jungle of high school, the images the other girls lived and suffered by started to affect me. There was a very short period of my life where I had an eating disorder, and I chose to wore makeup – but thankfully I got my shit together and realized I didn’t need to be ANYTHING like what the other girls were like. I most definitely did not need to be anything like the Euro-alien women that graced magazine covers. All the torture of not eating, putting myself in the hospital, and having my skin erupt with acne was enough for me to start loving who I am. I am thankful that I was able to break away from the mental bondage of poor self-esteem. However, after a decade of being away from that jungle, many of the girls I went to school with are still trapped behind their own hair and makeup.

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Rewind, deflate, and grow!

T-Rex Hug

T-Rex Hug

Everytime I see this photo, I can’t help but giggle. It also reminds me that often times, it’s our big heads and egos that get in the way of ever obtaining things that are meaningful to us.

1. Sometimes,  it’s best to work backwards. Take a step back and peel away the layers!

At one point, I was very depressed with my life and all I wanted to be was happy. I felt like happiness wasn’t an option for me. I lived every day with the mentality that I couldn’t have it.

It wasn’t until I looked at the problem as the “big picture” that I realized there, were so many factors to my unhappiness: unhealthy friendships, and relationships, displaced values, drowning my sorrows with alcohol. It wasn’t until I started to dissect myself, that I realized I needed to peel away all of the external things that caused my unhappiness.

2. Check your ego.

After I peeled all the layers that needed to be removed, I was still a stubborn bitch that didn’t need help rebuilding my life. There were many times where I thought I could just fix everything myself, and by asking for help, I was agreeing to my own failures and weaknesses.

Then, I got a HUGE reality check from a friend:

A single carpenter cannot build a house alone to meet a deadline. Does he or she have the know-how? Absolutely. But they still NEED help. Having help or getting help isn’t acknowledging failure or being incapable. It is about having a support system aiming for a common goal, having input from a different perspective, and keeping you on track for your goal.

I would not be the person I am today if I didn’t accept help from others. I am grateful for my friends and family that always reminded me that there is light at the end of the tunnel, always picking me up every time I fell, and giving me advice I would have never thought of on my own.

3. The solution to what you want isn’t always the road most travelled.

In the photo, the two cute T-Rexes want to embrace each other, but their big heads get in the way. All they want is to hold each other… and they go about it in the most common way, straightforward for a hug. In reality, all they need to do is lay down, rest their heads on each other’s shoulders, and hold onto eachother with their cute, little arms.

It’s okay to do things differently if it means you obtain what you truly want. Being Asian, I was raised that I would need to have my Master’s degree by 24, a husband and baby before I was 30, and own a home before I turn 35. However, if I followed that path… I would be MISERABLE. I wouldn’t have learned so much about myself. I would have re-created a life that many of my friends have that I wouldn’t want.

It’s okay to blaze your own path to what matters to you. Afterall, it is YOUR life to live, no one else’s. What will work for you may not work for everyone else… and guess what, it is 100 bazillion to infinity percent okay!!

Today, take some time to peel away the layers, accept a helping and supporting hand, and run and get lost and find your way again!

You have a purpose!

Petition

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. – Jane Goodall

There are many people on this planet that still wake up in the morning asking themselves, “Why am I even on this planet?!” I’ve been there, plenty of times – and don’t get me wrong, I STILL have my moments where I ask myself this. Despite our negative thoughts that swim in our minds, I want to tell you this: You will make a difference, you have purpose, and every little thing will be alright.

It all seems so complicated. Some feel that purpose is financial success or climbing that career ladder. However, real purpose is unselfish, giving, loving, empathetic, and compassionate. ONE true purpose that we need to fill is to love one another and love our Creator for granting us another moment to breathe and create change. The second we wake up in the morning, we were giving purpose to LIVE. Live life to the best capacity that you can!

We all will have our moments when we do not know our purpose. However, its very uncomplicated to find it again if we truly dig deep to a few simple things:

  • The best way to feel purpose in this life is to have purpose for others.

This act can be more time involved, like volunteering, or something as simple as smiling and sending positive vibes in the direction of someone who truly just needed to see a friendly face. Little acts that we do throughout the day can and will make a difference and they will serve its purpose. Good or bad… however, we have the ability to CHOOSE.

  • Reminding ourselves what we are grateful for will place us back onto our path to knowing our purpose.

Every morning when I wake up, before every meal, whenever I have a moment to myself, and before I go to bed, I remind myself of ALL the things I am grateful for. When I enjoy a beautiful day at the beach, I am grateful for the amazing weather and clean water. It gives me purpose to maintain our planet so my future generation can enjoy it to. When I am thankful for a healthy meal, it gives me purpose to be good to myself so I can be alive and well to help all that I care for.

Purpose is everywhere if we take the time to think simply and think presently. Everything you do and think… it mattered, it matters, and it will matter.

Today, take the time to reflect on what you did today that made a difference, no matter how big or small.

 

 

100 Happy Days – Day 14

wpid-img_20140505_153228.jpg

I forgot to post for 2 days… but oh well.

Going to hot yoga every day and to the gym 3-4 times a week makes me so happy. It is the one and only thing that I truly do for me. It’s time that I want to spend alone. My selfish pleasure. I don’t go to lose weight, or make myself look better for someone else. I go because I want to see how far I can run, how heavy I can squat, and how much did I improve since yesterday. I go to get my mind right by treating my body well. My entire life I was told by doctors I would never be alive to see myself at this age, it makes me all the more grateful that I am able to push my body the way I do.

It’s very important that we all have that selfish pleasure that we do for ourselves every day. We all need something that we can treasure for ourselves, and ourselves alone. Maybe its baking cookies or reading a book, but be sure to do something for yourself each day!

100 Happy Days – Day 11

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I joined Purple Yoga‘s 30 day challenge on Monday. I made the commitment to practice every day to raise money for All the Arts for All the Kids Foundation. The weather in Orange County, CA has been very hot and dry. There have been moments where I ask myself Am I really about to walk into a yoga studio where the room temperature is 10-20 degrees hotter than it is outside? It has been exceptionally challenging, but I am so thankful that I am doing it. The more I go, the more mindful I am becoming, and the most relaxed I’ve been in quite some time.

I haven’t burned that many calories since I was running track and swim in high school! I am really proud and happy of what I’ve accomplished so far this week, and its motivating me to do even more!

If you would like to sponsor me for this challenge, please email me for details!