Letter to myself

My heart silently trembles from anticipation for the short moment I can stop time to live in the moment with you. It feels like it's been quite some time since we sat, closed our physical eyes from the distractions of life, and allowed our soul to take the lead. 


So they say // Rawness

They say the two most important times of your life is:
1. When you are born
2. When you figure out why you were born

Hm. Gonna add to that. Living out the "why" part should be included as the top three most important times of your life.


In other news. I am approaching 30. This one word, two syllables, this number...has got my mind racing in knotted circles. I know, yes, it is whatever we want it to be. It is just a word. A number. A label. But I can't help it from prompting thoughts of my own humanity. My past, my future and their crossroad, the present. It's become a rabbit-hole of thoughts - a journey into my own heart and psyche.

Are you ready to jump in with me? Let's go.
30 makes me think of what I've done so far, the choices I've made and who I've become, which then leads me to thoughts on my accomplishments, and then I wonder how one measures the success of these accomplishments - is it measured by how much of a positive impact I've made in people's lives around me? And how am I to know that? Send out a survey? Lol. Who sends out a survey? Why do I need to measure anyway? If I'm happy and the people around me are happy now, isn't that all that matters? Where do I want to go from here? What does the better version of myself look like, think like? When did my thoughts all become questions? What are my answers?

Okay, I'm exhausted. And I haven't even scratched the surface. Welcome to a glimpse into what usually goes straight from brain to pen (journals). I normally like to sort out my thoughts a bit more before I bring it here. Eh, here's to rawness!

Here's to 30. 30! I'm so ready for you. I will freakin' rock 30. Until then, you're pretty awesome, 29.


Happy Face & Valentine's Day

So I've been using this new app called Sleep Cycle and every morning, along with its beautiful tunes, it asks me what mood I am in. I have three choices: A sad face, an indifferent face and a happy face. I used to press the button that correlated to how I felt waking up. But then I realized that these buttons were choices. Choices. That I had authority over. My mood can be an active decision that I make. 
So every day from that point on, I click the happy face. 

morning juice + yoga

And whoa, what a difference that little choice makes.


In other YFT news: 
I've been going through my journals, and though I haven't fully formulated my thoughts on how I feel about it yet, I can say it's not time wasted. For now, let's just say it's entertaining. 

Turns out my 1996-self got more chocolates on Valentine's than I have in the past 5+ Valentine's days. *jealous* And look, it says Feb 13. It wasn't even Valentine's Day yet. Hey, I get it. Some people reach their peak earlier than others.

Sorry, Jenna, cat's out of the bag


Journals are my friends

I recently watched "The Fault in Our Stars," and it hurt watching it. It was one of those complex, good hurts though - the type that makes you feel a deep sense of gratitude towards the life that you have along with the privilege of time, of being able to make mistakes and grow from them, and so forth. 

It also made me think of my own humanity. My thoughts drifted towards my eulogy, and that I wouldn't want a flowery one. I'd want a honest eulogy from my very own Speaker for the Dead a la Enders Game. Yeah, if you haven't read it yet, go read it. And then let's high five to celebrate the awesomeness of the book and the shared experience we now have of partaking in the same story. I will give you one of those fake-out high fives though if you've only watched the movie.

Going back to the point of this post...
I guess, in a way, I see my journals as my eulogy, my Speaker of the Dead. They contain my life, my pains, triumphs, my moments of confusion and enlightenment. And I think I'd like to mix it up a bit and start sharing what's in my journals - on here, on this blog. Is that weird? I dunno. I think so. But weird can be good. Yeah, let's do it. As part of my journey to being more vulnerable to life, because so far, it's worked out pretty well.

So with that,

Hi! I'd like to introduce to you to my dear companions. I guess you can say that they are more than companions. They are a raw extension of me and the most direct account of my existence (it is directly coming from me afterall) for the past 19 years.

journals I've amassed since 1995.
I'll go through them and start sharing bits and pieces. The ones between elementary and high school are hilarious. They even include some insightful commentary specially written by my then-nosey older brother.

Here's to honesty, vulnerability and self-discovery. And to making most of what we have.



The act of giving. 

Something happened in my life recently where I revisited what it meant to give. 
Does it mean an act of service? Time? Skill? Which is better than the other? What matters more? The heart behind it or the effectiveness? Is it a case by case basis? Is giving to your family or friend any less meaningful than let's say, giving to a stranger in a lower income neighborhood? Is a person who donates a million dollars to a charity in Africa a more generous person than a person who spends their free time at a children's hospital connecting with a handful kids? 

Tonight, in a conversation among loving friends of many shared experiences and bridges, we spoke of the the different levels of involvement (ranging from misguided slacktivism to involvement that produces hard results) in the Asian American community. The conversation was heading towards the direction of being jaded by and criticizing those who aren't doing anything or those who think they are doing something but aren't. BUT. One of the friends at the table pointed out something that struck me ever so awesomely. It was heart-blowing. Like mind-blowing but it happened in my heart. He brought up privilege - that some of us are blessed to have the knowledge, support and guidance to be able to be involved more deeply than others and give more than others - and that we need to be more patient and understanding.

Being involved in the community or the act of giving is a very subjective thing, like all other things in life. I always like to take it back to nature (nature provides a lot of my life lessons). The sun, rain, soil are such different elements, but they all play a role in giving to a tree. Even the bird that pooped out the seed that eventually became that tree played a role. And neither is better or worse than the other. And as such, we all give in different ways at different times. But we each play a role. And instead of comparing roles, we can acknowledge, understand, learn to work with and celebrate them. 

That's not to say we shouldn't strive to improve ourselves and the way in which we give. We should, but in the ways we are each best at. :)




As I was talking to a familiar acquaintance a couple days ago about where I lived (Pasadena, btw) I realized this year marks my 10th year in Los Angeles.

It's been a crazy ride, I must say. I first hated LA, then loved it, then I got claustrophobic when it felt too small, then it felt like I could do anything here, then I loved it again. The city is chock-full of opportunities for adventure and learning.

I think that calls for a celebration! 10 years! That's hardcore commitment yo, coming from someone who went to three different high schools in three different countries. 


My first journal, Christmas present from my parents, in 1995:

I am no writer, but I write all the time.
It comes from a place far beyond where my fleeting hobbies and musings reside. Beyond the valley of likings and the sea of duties lay my life-long bond with writing.
I write because I have to. Writing is breathing.

I write to dream, to dissect, build and search.
It helps me figure out why the world looks the way it does. Why it smells the way it does. Why it moves and reflects light and casts shadows the way it does. 

And most of the time, it helps me align my heart with my brain.
It's a way of life for me, and I'm glad I chose the pen.

the post that prompted this post.