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Writing Love Letters

Hi friends.

So you're probably going to hate me for this... honestly, I hate me for this, but I'm centering this post around a reference made in the movie To All The Boys I've Loved Before. I'd just like to point out 1) not to be that annoying person, but I read the books first like five years ago and 2) I love this movie not only for its cinematic quality, but also for the way it made me think and feel.

At the beginning of the film, Lara Jean explains that she writes love letters to all the boys she's ever loved saying, "I write a letter when I have a crush so intense that I don't know what else to do. Rereading the letters reminds me how powerful my emotions can be, how all-consuming."

Y'all as soon as I heard that line, I thought mmm, that is a word... because I do the same thing.

But not love letters to boys. I actually write my letters to God and keep them not in a hatbox, but in a journal that sits on the nightstand by my bed.

There are ten journals in all, going on eleven. They are all shapes and sizes, lined and unlined, different and unique like each passing year. I started journaling in 2011 during my sophomore year of high school and have stayed fairly consistent since then. Growing up, every girl tries to keep a diary of events and inevitably fails because writing about what you had for breakfast is tbh boring. But when I started journaling, it became a way to keep track of my prayers and grew into my favorite way to connect with God. It has become essential in processing and controlling my emotions; and I relate to Lara Jean because I also understand and believe in the power of emotions.

Be Brave And Let Go

I am what some would call a hopeless romantic.

Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. I'm a sucker for the cheesy rom-coms, as in I will always watch and always cry. I always gravitate to the books with the pretty colorful covers in the Young Adult fiction section, even though I think I'm getting to be a lil old to be reading those. My friend, Reb, and I always listen to Sam Smith together; and recently I had tears in my eyes during one of the songs because it was just so beautiful.

But it's not just fiction that I love. I love stories of love. My first question when I meet couples is how they got together. Who made the first move? How did they know it was love? Jeez, I'm a sucker. And kind of nosy.

I have always been like that. And I think there's a part in all of us that hopes to be swept off our feet into a great love story.

But what if the knight in shining armor doesn't come? Or what if he's not who you thought he was?

Everyone always says that rom-coms create unrealistic expectations for us. I agree, and I disagree. The standard of perfection is a bit much, but it's not wrong to have high standards. We as humans are quite impressionable, so it's actually really important for media to create characters that bring a positive influence to our standards. I like that it's becoming normal for girls to look for their Peter Kavinsky (and yes, that was a plug for To All The Boys I've Loved Before hehe).

But back to the question of what if the prince doesn't come? Or actually, what if he doesn't come back?

The Celebration Of Differences

Hi friends.

Today I'm talking about something pretty personal and close to my heart. Lately I've been growing into something I didn't know I actually felt passionate about or needed to see value in...

And that's diversity.

Racial diversity is a hot topic these days, so I'm not going to claim to know all there is to know. There is no pretending to know how another person of another race feels, so I hope you'll read this knowing this is what I feel and what I know from my own Asian American perspective.

I did not grow up with a lot of diversity.

First of all, I am adopted for those who don't know. For some reason, I assume that everyone automatically knows; but I'll preface this post with that fact. I was raised all my life in a white household. My family is wonderful, and I know God handpicked them for me. We moved to Louisiana when I was in the third grade, and that's when I began to notice that I was different as one of the only Asian American students in the class, arguably the whole school. I noticed because I was constantly asked if I knew Chinese or martial arts. My eye shape and accent (or lack thereof) was mimicked by kids who didn't know better. I didn't even know better.

I noticed as I was expected to automatically be the smartest person in the room because I was Asian. It's flattering until you are in fact not the smartest person in the room and made to feel like there is something wrong with you. There were times when I was referred to as "the Asian," and I felt like I was expected fall into the stereotype of being nerdy, quiet, and meek. This was a nightmare as a typical middle/high schooler just wanting to fit in and be like everyone else.

I still notice when people don't believe my name is really my name or assume that I won't be able to communicate in English very well before even speaking with me.

My story is by no means the worst out there. I know that, and I will never play the game of comparison. But I think the bottom line is that I was made to feel different and that those differences weren't something to be celebrated.

Finding Magic In The Ordinary

Hey friends.

Recently one of my readers asked to read about coming off a "high" of happy things and going back to a regular, more simple routine, and wow I thought that was so relatable. I feel like I'm constantly walking in and out of that season of life. This is especially relevant for anyone who has had a summer full of freedom and adventure, but the return to school and normalcy is right around the corner. So here it goes, all my thoughts and experiences on the ordinary.

I like to compare the feeling to taking the best vacation ever, but dreading the long, boring drive back home. I remember in high school all my friends would go off to church camp for a week in the summer and come back on a high for a little while, but then simmer back down to longing to be away at camp. There's that feeling of wishing a moment could last forever. Life on the beach or in another country just seems so much better than regular life at school or work. 

So imagine being on your favorite vacation for six months straight, and what it would feel like to come back afterwards. That's what my story looks like. My favorite place is Disney World (big surprise), and there is a real life magic that lives there. When I came back from living there on my first Disney College Program, I came down hard. Everything seemed a shade duller than my life in Orlando, and I felt like I had taken two steps backwards. It wasn't even about leaving the physical place, but rather leaving behind a season of adventure. I discovered a wild piece of myself there, and going back home made me feel like I was going back to a less exciting, normal version of myself. I was absolutely miserable because I missed a magic that was always right in front of me, so ingrained into my everyday life. Resentment toward my current circumstances rose inside me, and I unintentionally compared everything to a "better" season of life.