January 10, 2013
**I made a resolution to blog at least once a week (either here or on my cooking blog), so…here’s to a late start!**
On a drive to Columbus, I looked at the sun setting and I thought “I really wish I could capture that in a photograph.”
I realized a few years ago that I didn’t want or need to photograph everything anymore. There just isn’t a point. Photographs are taken to create memories, or preserve as much of a desired memory as possible. But when it comes to emotions and smells and feelings of awe, those memories can’t be preserved in a photograph. Sure, pictures can help provoke those things, but I feel that my most precious memories are usually in more than just photographs.
That being said, there was something about this picture my brother took the other day of our mom.
There’s something about it that I just love (other than my mom and La Victoria). I posted it on Facebook, and my cousin commented “I love that it’s your grandfather’s face with your grandmother’s expression!” I’m not sure what it is about that statement, but I totally see it. I don’t know if it speaks to my past, my present, or my future, or to any memory I sort of have of either grandparent, but I like it.
I’m not sure what the point is of this post, but I just wanted to share all that.
July 8, 2011
Something else I’ve had on my mind lately is marriage. With all the gay marriage up in NYC and some of my friends getting married, it’s just been weird. I guess the main thing I think about is how conflicted I feel about potentially being married to the military. My manfriend can testify to how much it freaks me out – pretty much every time I get really drunk (due to tequila), I start crying about how I don’t want to be part of the military.
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January 13, 2011
My roommate’s friend stayed with us for these past couple of days. She grew up around Philadelphia, lived in San Francisco, and now she’s traveling around the world until she decides what to do next. She’s got a camping backpack and a couple other bags and that’s it.
It used to be a lifestyle I wanted to pursue, partially because my ex-boyfriend was similar: he grew up in DC, and before attending NYU, he lived in San Francisco for a year and traveled a bit. I wanted that hippie, bohemian, nomadic lifestyle. I wanted to travel around the world and meet random people and make art and live a colorful life, like Auntie Mame (which I watched last night).
There are a lot of choices I’ve made that led me away from that dream. I left NYC. I left the Bay Area. I walked away from some amazing job opportunities and comfortable lifestyles, and for what? To follow an Army boy? To have a job completely unrelated to art? To live nowhere near my family?
Oddly enough, it was all for love. I moved to Atlanta with nothing but my savings account. I knew no one, I had no job, no connections, nothing. I just moved here because I’m 22 and in love. It’s certainly not what I dreamed of doing, and it’s not what I thought I wanted to do, but here I am. And life is good when you have love. Except for when it lives 400 miles away.
November 12, 2010
Whenever I talk about finances and education with people, I always bring up the allowance my parents gave me when I was younger. My allowance started at $6, and it was divided into three piggy banks: spending, savings, and giving. Each week I’d get $2 that I could spend on anything I wanted, whenever I wanted (which I could also save up if I wanted to). My savings piggy bank was for something big, like buying a Madame Alexander doll or a Gameboy pocket. And last but certainly not least, my giving piggy bank was for the holidays when we would buy toys or food to be donated to Viola Blythe, a local community service center.
The lesson I immediately grasped was that it was important to save, and I couldn’t buy anything if I didn’t have the money in my piggy banks. The lesson I just realized five minutes ago was that it’s also important to set aside money to donate, and not just around the holidays. I remember I used to volunteer at Viola Blythe at least once a month because, as my dad put it, people need food all year round. The workers there used to complain about the sudden surge of people wanting to help out around Thanksgiving and Christmas. As much as they appreciated the intentions, they would ask them “Why don’t you volunteer at other times during the year?”
So while I’m giving you this message at the beginning of the holiday season, just please keep in mind that this isn’t the only time you should donate food or blankets or toilet paper. Try to make an effort to donate something year-round, whether it be canned food, a warm coat, cold hard cash, or your time. There are always people out there who need help.
October 4, 2010
So to follow up my previous post, I just have to say I’ve met a lot of cool people. I haven’t really met anyone younger than I am, and so it’s almost difficult to be around people who have more life experience than I do. I’m constantly changing my opinions and evolving and growing and whatever, but I currently just feel overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge and thought-provoking discussions I’ve had today.
Well, not just today, but within the past few days. It’s hard feeling so grounded in one thing (like love) but feeling so lost on other things (like how to be in love). I think when it comes down to it, I have to do what I always do – stick to my gut and just live my own life. I know people offer their opinions and beliefs and stories to guide me, but at the end of the day, no one holds my hand. It’s OK for me to disagree with or dislike something someone says or the way they judge me.
As this buddy of mine said earlier, when we interact with each other, we’re interacting in this present moment, but both of us are made up of millions of other things that have already happened. It takes a while for other people to understand who we are and possibly what we will become. And when it comes to love, no one can tell you or teach you or guide you. You just have to take the leap on your own and hope you land on your two feet.
August 30, 2010
My dad is first generation Chinese American. In the car ride home today we talked about my decision to move to Atlanta – how scared I am because I don’t know anyone, don’t have connections, don’t have a job – and he started telling his dad’s story. My grandfather came to the United States when he was 12 years old. His parents bought him a name and social security number and sent him by himself. Both he and his parents knew that they would never see each other again. Occasionally they might write, and if they’re lucky, a phone call. But at 12 years old, he had to accept that he would never see his parents again, and his parents had to have faith that he would live a better life in the US.
Fast forward to the future to me, the second generation of this family. This is one of the reasons behind my tattoo. I have a responsibility to be the best person I can. I have to reach for the stars and work hard and believe in myself and live up to the greatness of my name. I believe I feel these responsibilities because my family’s struggle to come here is so tangible. I’ll admit that I feel less connected with my mom’s family because they’ve been here for generations. I have no sense of her history. But because I knew my grandfather and my grandmother, both of whom left their families for a better life, and saw their struggles, I feel more connected to their cause. I live a great life now, and I’d argue probably better than most. Every day I appreciate the sacrifices my parents made, and the obstacles their parents encountered.
For anyone out there who thinks that immigrants can’t/don’t/won’t contribute to America, you’re wrong. You’re completely wrong. If anything, those who can trace their heritage all the way back to the Mayflower are the most out of touch with what this country is about. My grandfather cheated the system to create a life in America. My grandmother memorized the sounds of the questions and answers to the citizenship test, which I’m sure most natural-born citizens couldn’t even pass. My grandfather worked every day of his life in America until he went to the hospital. Though my grandmother never learned English, she raised two brilliant children and worked until she couldn’t.
Those who witness the struggles or bear the burdens of freshly immigrating here are the ones who bleed the brightest, most American red blood.
July 18, 2010
Since July 1st I’ve been spending quality time with my lovely manfriend/boyfriend/thing. Today he left and I’m sad. Very sad. And now I have to continue my job search.
I feel conflicted. Most people say to me “These are your best years! Do whatever you want to do! No regrets! Blah blah blah!”, which means they don’t think I should go to Atlanta where my manfriend will be posted. But if these are supposed to be the best years of my life, do I really want to work a 9 to 5 job? I’m lucky enough not to have any loans or debts to pay back, so…why should I?
I’d really love to go to Atlanta, hang out with my manfriend, get a part-time job, and work on my photo project. Wouldn’t you say that’s a great way to spend the next year? I would never consider going to Atlanta if it weren’t for him, but isn’t trying new things part of all this?
On the other hand, do I really want to be in Atlanta? My connections are in NYC, I have friends in NYC, and I love the job opportunities in NYC. It’s all very confusing, but that’s what I hope to figure out in the next couple of weeks. I may or may not continue to stay incommunicado, but I just needed to say my piece for now.
June 25, 2010
I can’t believe my last post was last Friday. It seems like months since I last said anything. The Film Festival came to a close tonight, which was amazing. If you get a chance to watch Presumed Guilty on POV/PBS, do it. The film follows the story of an innocent man in jail in Mexico, and explores the flaws and injustices of the Mexican penal system.
But more importantly, at this moment, I have 6 days and 12 hours until I leave NYC. I was thinking about that today. I went to MoMA to see the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit, and then to Le Pain Quotidien for a pot of coffee and coconut macaroons, and while sitting at the communal table drinking from my bowl of coffee (yes, a bowl), I realized just how short my time here has been. Four years of my life – four significant years – I’ve spent in NYC. Whether or not I’ll come back…who knows.
May 28, 2010
Yesterday I realized something that makes me different from the rest of NYC. (Maybe not all of NYC, but a good portion of it.) I realized that New York City is for people who can’t be themselves anywhere else. And that’s simply not the case for me. More often than not, I have to return home to remember who I am. Sometimes I feel NYC confuses me, gives me things I can be but nothing I want to be. Sometimes I lose perspective.
And for me, that’s what home is for. And that’s why I have to leave. I have to go home with no distractions and figure out what I’m supposed to do. I believe that someday I’ll come back to NYC. I’m not done with it, even though it may be done with me. So…that’s my plan.
February 26, 2010
In my Human Rights in Latin America class, we discussed liberation theology. I’m now reading The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?, which also focuses on the Catholic church and religion. In all of these classes and books and films I watch, I always (somewhat selfishly?) think about how it relates to me. For some reason today it all makes me think of my dad’s mother.
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