Remember

By no standards are my Chinese skills any more than proficient. After moving away at the age of 12, things started to fade for me very quickly. After six months I forgot how to write; after a year, my reading; then finally, my identity.

By the time I entered the eighth grade, I had been thoroughly white-washed. Granted, I am only half Chinese, but I was raised to embrace my Chinese background, to be proud of my heritage. But it was slipping away.

I went back to China the summer before I entered my Freshman year of High School. I wasn’t able to handle the street-food, my 8-year-old cousin was speaking better than I was, and I had lost a connection with the country that raised me.

Before I left my Grandmother repeated something to me that she had told me before I moved away. “Remember,” she said simply, “Remember where you come from.” When she said this, I realized it was a plea for me to clasp onto my cultural identity that was on the cusp of being extinguished. I had a life in China, friends, family, and a part of myself that never seems to board the flight to LAX when my visits end.

So I listened to her, I pushed myself to retain the identity I found in being Chinese, I acknowledged the comments of being only half, being unable to communicate, but they don’t bother me. When I listen to songs from my childhood, when I go back to visit, when I speak my native tongue, no matter how poor it is, I feel like myself again.

There are certain things in everyone’s life that hold invaluable, unspeakable significance to their sense of self, to their state of being, that without it, they feel like a bulb without its filament. To me that is the ability to speak in Chinese. As soon as the words escape me, I feel that connection again, I remember the people, taste the food, experience the culture. I am eternally grateful to my Grandmother for what she instilled in me because I know that at my lowest moments I always have something to lean on.

Happy Birthday Derek

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panic

Of course it happened while I was walking up.

Every breath of O2 coming in through my nose leaving with more force than the one before.

I wondered what it was that boiled my blood.

I know everyone thinks mind over matter but what about when your mind is the problem?

What do you do then?

The silence down the line only made my heart beat louder

With every step I took my thoughts raced a little faster

How did I paint myself this?

For what is the world with no one to share it?

Breath

Heart

Girl

Boy

Breath

Heart

Girl

Boy

Breath

Heart

Breath

Flight

For what is the world?

The silence broke and mended me all in one 

Thank you

Headspace you’d like to call it

I see it differently

I know everyone thinks mind over matter but what about when your mind is the problem?

Extraordinary

This world is beautiful

I love this view

photo credit: pinterest.com

homecoming…

After three months wandering around back home, we went back to campus for a brand new school year. 

After more than one year recovering from the Thomas fire, we finally had an all-school camping trip in the first week.

After the protracted and exhausting travel from the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the busy packing unpacking and packing back, putting everything in order, meeting new people, I got so tired but still tried to make myself look energetic.

An opportunity came up, a chance I could escape from all of this. 

Then I was on the bus with my day pack which had my lunch sandwich in it sitting beside me, my huge camping bag with a sleeping pad, bag, clothes and almost everything I need sitting under me in the luggage hold. 

3 days without my phone, what a challenge. My phone became a part of me, like an external organ, it stayed with me every single moment during the summertime. 

“I will be fine,” I kept telling myself before we departed. 

But as it turned out, I was really more than fine without it. I really enjoyed the time spent with my friends. We played card games, went to the tide pools, played volleyball on the beach, watched the sunset, ate s’ mores, brushed our teeth in the dark and so on. 

These days, with no phone, feeling isolated from the rest of the world, but closer to what is really around me. 

photo credit: trailhead.gsnorcal.org

looking back

tonight i have been feeling extra reminiscent.

i saw a picture from where i used to live and i couldn’t help but think, don’t get me wrong i am so grateful to be where i am and to have met the people i have, but i can’t help but think what it would be like if my mom never got re-married.

what if i still lived half with my dad and half with my mom? if i never came here at all?

i’ve never thought about the house since we moved out, but now that i am, i miss it.

i miss the holes in the walls separating the living room and the hallway where the old buddha statue sat on the ground.

i miss the CD player in my sister’s room and i miss when she would make me dance in front of her cool high-school friends.

i miss when my siblings would get along and when my grandma would still cook for us during the holidays.

i miss the little cabinet in the hallway across from my dad’s room that held all my shitty clothes he would find for me.

i miss the trampoline and my brothers old drum set that was in the garage.

i miss when my dad would take me to blockbuster, when he would let me ride my sisters’ electric scooters, and when we would sneak into the elementary school down the street to play handball.

i even miss the pasta he would make every single night, the scratchy popcorn ceiling, and being forced to sit on the floor in the living room and watch avatar with my dad.

i miss my family, i miss my old neighbors.

i miss my family, my sisters, my brother, my dad, my grandma and her boyfriend (rest in paradise by the way, marvin). like i said, feeling a little extra-reminiscent tonight.

i miss being young. shit! one day soon, i’m going to miss being the age i am now.

how do i make the time stop?

photo credit: pinterest.com

 

My Favorite Feelings

I’m in a really good mood right now, but there are honestly so many things that makes life feel so much better. So, here’s a few things that never fail to make me happy.

  1. The tiredness after being at the beach in the sun all day
  2. Driving down PCH with the windows down during sunset
  3. The lights turning off at a concert and knowing the show’s about to begin
  4. When the singer stops singing and everyone in the crowd continues belting the lyrics on the top of their lungs
  5. Listening to ocean waves before falling asleep
  6. Having the air conditioning on while sleeping, but being wrapped up in warm blankets
  7. My horse coming up to me
  8. Hugging my favorite celebrities
  9. Having dance parties alone in my room
  10. Waking up and having a good hair day
  11. Wearing a cute outfit and feeling confident in it
  12. Good conversations with friends at dinner
  13. Waking up early and having energy to take on the day
  14. Sitting outside when it’s hot, but a perfect breeze keeps you cool
  15. Hot chocolate after snowboarding all day
  16. Being spontaneous
  17. Being carefree
  18. Blasting 2000’s throwbacks and singing along to them while driving
  19. Reuniting with friends I haven’t seen in a while
  20. Dancing
  21. Singing with my friends without caring about what my voice sounds like
  22. Having motivation to clean my room
  23. Being told my writing is good
  24. Swimming in the ocean for hours
  25. Running
  26. Hanging out at the fair in the summer
  27. Finding out I did better on a test than I thought I would
  28. Jumping into a freezing pool on a hot day
  29. Listening to a song for the first time in years and still knowing all the lyrics
  30. Mastering a verse in a rap song
  31. Wearing oversized sweatshirts
  32. Going to the movies while it’s raining outside
  33. Getting invested in a new book and forgetting about everything else around me while reading it
  34. Being around a camp fire
  35. Opening gifts
  36. Giving a good gift
  37. Having a breakthrough while horseback riding
  38. Writing freely without writer’s block getting in the way
  39. Talking with my friends on the phone for hours, and though I rarely see them in person anymore, still having our friendship be stronger than ever
  40. Loving life for the way it is and currently not wanting to change anything about it

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

A reflection on past reflections

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

If anyone was wondering, I made the sun come up faster.

I’m not sure how or why or exactly when it happened, I just know that a few weeks ago I was running in the dark at 6am and now I am running in the light at 6am.

I don’t have the time or energy right now to figure out how to read the stars or alter the path of the sun or anything like that, but if anyone out there has any insight to offer, I would love to hear it.

Looking back on my past thoughts, it’s funny to see how much changes and how much stays the same.

A few months ago, it seems as though I was fascinated by time and weather and all sorts of things. I still am now, of course, but I guess that I just already got it out sort of artistically, so it’s not as much of a pressing issue anymore.

It’s cloudy today and it rained a little bit in the morning. It feels like everything is clean. I still miss the sun, though.

And I think I will always be fascinated by the weather and the sky. I just always will be.

 

Interstellar

I like space and planets and the stars. It amazes me and it’s its nice to know that there are some things that no one understands. I think it’s humbling in a way.

I get caught up in my own life; my problems seem so big and overwhelming. When I’m trapped focusing on my life, I forget that I am one person out of eight billion. I forget how small I really am.

It bothers me so much seeing people who think they are better than everyone: better than other people, better than animals, better than everything. People destroy nature, kill animals, and hurt others all because they think they can. They think that they’re above everything.

I wish I could tell them. I wish they could just understand that they are just one letter in a thousand page essay, one raindrop in a ten hour storm, one frame in a five hour documentary, one out of 8 billion tiny insignificant people.

The stars are a good reminder. As big as you think you are, as big as you think your problems are, there is always something bigger.

 

Photo Credit: Festim Kelmendi