Blog

From C to A.

Can we ever understand who we are if we never understand where we came from?

It’s a beautiful day and my dad, sister, and I were just having lunch.

Though our family always eat together, meals have unwittingly become interruptions rather than breaks. My sister and I usually polish our plates quickly, eager to return to our computers or books.

But today, we had some tea and talked about my family’s immigration journey.

My grandfather’s younger brother came to America first to escape the Cultural Revolution. He was detained at Angel Island for a year before stepping foot on American soil. When he finally entered, he brought over his older brother. My grandfather brought over his three children. A wedding and two years of romantic letters later, my mom then brought over my dad.

You know that your parents have had it hard – it’s a fact of life. Rarely, however, do my parents complain. When I was younger, I was upset that they didn’t show me affection the same way American families did – with hugs, I-love-you’s, and packed lunches.

But

they moved across an ocean for us. Left all that was familiar for the chance that future generations would have a better life. They didn’t go back to China when life was unbearable.

Can any sacrifice I make ever demonstrate that level of love?

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Weekdaze

Weekdaze: hey sunny!

Spent a wonderful weekend in LA & checked a few things off of my SoCal bucket list! I may be a Bay Area girl through and through, but no one can argue SoCal weather superiority.

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From the Bay to LA; highlights post 6-hour drive:

Skipped through the LA Flower Market,

They have glorious sunflower bouquets for $2.50!! (Of course I bought one.) I’ve been to the SF Flower Market as well and I must say that while the LA one is cheaper, the SF one is definitely better*.

*More choices, more flowers, more vendors.

browsed the sweet macarons of Bottega Louie,

When my friends had gone to Paris, I desperately wanted macarons from Laduree – entirely because the box is the loveliest thing ever. Unfortunately, they didn’t get one, BUT LO AND BEHOLD I found the next best thing at Bottega Louie.

Gold painted earl grey macaron: check ~

got our culture on at the Getty center.

Coolest thing! I had a huge deja vu moment and realized I had been to the Getty when I was in seventh grade! I was touring with the Great Wall Youth Orchestra (fun fact!) and we performed in LA. Can’t mistake that garden and those walls.

high-fived Mickey at Disneyland & California Adventure.

& went HAM on the Tower of Terror – success!

Bye LA, smog you later~

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Blog

Dessert & details.

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“Ok, now laugh!”

Without ice cream, there would be darkness & chaos.

This past week, my friend David Leong invited me to hang out with him as he did an Instagram shoot!

Armed with a camera and darn good ice cream, we began our journey –

Walking through Hayes Valley, he taught me how to find quaint and joyful details in every sidewalk. (glass windows! blue doors! flower bushes!) I really loved his perspective on everyday colors and objects and I hope you ladies & gentlemen might like his work too!

(He let me be his model for the day – so here are some fun portraits~)

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Blog

It’s just how I talk.

Even things that are meant to empower, might cause harm.

A while back, my friend had shared this article on how a former Google exec noticed that women use the word “just” significantly more often than men. She called this a “subtle message of subordination, of deference” and encouraged women reading the article to change the way they talk to show confidence and assertiveness. Empowering.

I guess.

Similar to how female candidates running for office are commented more on their appearances than their campaign, articles like this one focus more on teaching women how to talk rather than what to talk about.

“Women say ‘sorry’ too much.”

“Women need to speak up more.”

“Women overuse ‘like’ and ‘just’.”

When I read these type of articles, I initially think them empowering. But I start becoming self-conscious – am I projecting weakness when I interact with my peers?

Frustration replaces anxiety: do my ideas and opinions become invalid so easily? This is not how I enjoy interacting with others, why do I have to assert myself like an alpha-male to earn respect?

Why can’t people focus on what I say instead of how I’m saying it?

“With men, we listen for what they’re saying, their point, their assertions. Which is what all of us want others to do when we speak. With women, we tend to listen to how they’re talking, the words they use, what they emphasize, whether they smile.”

– Robin Lakoff, Linguistics Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley

I want the right way of talked be my way of talking. If I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t, I rather be damned being myself.

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