2015

I’ve never done the New Years Resolution thing before. I guess winter break just comes and goes so fast every year that it never occurred to me to make some big change in my life just because the world decided it was time to change a single digit. This year is different. As hard as I’ve tried to keep a positive outlook, 2014 has been a shit year. There’s really no other way to describe it. But next year, I’m starting over.

Over the past few months, I’ve found some things out about myself. I’ve learned that I’m really good at ignoring my body and basically forcing it to do things that it doesn’t really want to do. I’ve discovered changes that I should be making but haven’t because I’m either lazy or scared. And I’ve realized that as much as I pretend not to, I care way too much what other people think.

No more.

Next year, I’m getting priority. I’m going to take care of myself, mentally, physically, and emotionally. My health is not longer going to be second in line, something that I shove away just long enough to pretend it doesn’t exist. I’m going to do the hard things, because they’re good for me. I’m going to actually stop giving a fuck what other people think. I’m going to stop hating who I am. I’m going to do it so that when 2016 comes, I can look at myself in the mirror and really truly smile.

I know it won’t be easy. It certainly won’t be a smiley ride all the way. But it will be worth it.

Yes, 2015 is going to be my year 🙂

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How I fell in love with music

It happened slowly at first and then all at once.

We started as friends and I’ll be honest, it was rough at first. We fought. A lot. Sometimes it got so bad, we had to take some time off. I guess growing up competing, practicing hours on end took a toll on me. But in the end, I always came back.

And then I fell. Hard. When I couldn’t breathe, when I found myself drowning, it saved me, each and every time.

A panic attack. Henselt’s If I Were a Bird and Schubert’s Impromptu in F Minor

Lacking Inspiration. Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor and Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6

Depression. Brahms’ Rhapsodies in B Minor and G Minor

All the concertos for the papers that I just couldn’t get done.
Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 in C Minor
Brahms’ Concerto No. 2 in B Flat Major
Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 in E Minor
Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor

I could go on and on about how music has saved me. And not just classical. But all of it. Passenger, Coldplay, Kodaline, Sia, Grateful Dead, and so on…

I believe that music is the expression of something that can’t be spoken in words. And when I play a piece on the piano, or hear it somewhere, I become immersed in a world that’s safe, where I am understood. I feel the pain, the raw emotion in every single note, those same feelings I have that I can’t describe in words. And I know that I am no longer alone. It’s better than watching a movie, or even reading a book. It’s an entire world that can’t be explained in the human language, that can’t be stolen or invaded or ruined because its meaning exists within yourself. Everytime you close your eyes, open your mind, and listen.

Where Am I?

This time last year, I never expected to be here. This time last year I was comfortable, things were good for the first time in a long time. Things were turning around in my family and the fights were stopping, I had a group of friends that I really really genuinely loved being around, and I had someone by my side who taught me what true happiness was. My health was a bit of a shitstorm, as it is every winter, but this was the one time I managed to smile through it. This time last year, I was in the middle of the meditation retreat that inspired me to start this blog and to love myself a little bit more.

But shit happens. Time isn’t meant to stand still.

Here I am now, on the other side of the world, blindly grasping for something, anything that will point me back to the right track. I feel like I’m just floating, wasting away the minutes until I find it, whatever it is.

This year is such a blur to me, it feels like a dream. I don’t think I’ve even processed everything that has happened. I don’t think I can. Makes the future really fucking scary.

I don’t know what i’m doing right now. I honestly don’t have a clue. It’s a scary thing for a planner like me. But I know that this is something that needed to happen. I’ve learned a lot about myself, some good, some bad. But I also know that it’s prepared me better for the future. and its brought my family closer than ever.

I know that I can do it, whatever it is. Doesn’t make living any easier. Sometimes I still want to bury myself under the covers and stay there forever. But it does makes me like myself and appreciate myself just a little bit more. And to be honest, I think that’s the goal I set at the beginning of this trip.

I’m lost right now. Really fucking lost, but I think I’ve got the puzzle pieces in my hand. I just have to put them together.

A Model Minority… and Ferguson?

Things are happening. Things are happening in America that I don’t even understand. Things are happening across the country and at my little college in the middle of nowhere. It’s weird witnessing something so huge blow up in your face when you’re thousands of miles away. It’s hard for me to focus on anything here when I think about how something so important is happening back at home. And yet, I don’t think I’d be able to handle it if I were at home. Because things are coming to light now that people have been shutting away, pretending that they don’t exist. But here’s the thing. They do exist. And I don’t typically blog about things like this, but I have so many feelings right now and my word vomit needs to come out somewhere.

Ferguson and racism and people not understanding what its like to be seen as a color and not a person. These are the things that have been bothering me. Not so much the not understanding part, but the not even trying to understand part. Because I honestly don’t understand myself, but I am really fucking trying. Frankly, the reason its so hard for me to understand is because this whole situation has put Asian Americans in a bit of a strange place. We, being the so-called “model minority”. To be quite honest, I’m not even completely sure what that means.

I just can’t even.

The thing is, I guess if you’ve never been a minority, it would be nearly impossible to understand what its like. Growing up, I wanted nothing more than to be a white person, because that’s what was normal. That’s what was beautiful. But more than that, it meant that I would have a personality beyond being just an Asian person. You would think that as a twenty-year old, I would’ve gotten over it. But you know what? I haven’t. Every time I walk into a new setting, I find myself having to prove that “I’m different. That I’m not just another Asian.” Whatever that means. I don’t even do it purposefully, its just part of my subconscious now. And I know that I shouldn’t have to prove myself wherever I go, but unfortunately, its become such a normal habit that I don’t even think about it.

The strange thing is, I just spent three months in Japan where for once, I wasn’t a part of the minority. But there certainly was a bit of racism going on. I spent a lot of time with expats who had been living there for thirty plus years. They admitted that they could never be fully satisfied because no matter how great they spoke Japanese or conformed to the culture, they would still be just another white person, never quite accepted. Most of their social circles contained just other expats because it was hard for them to become as close to Japanese people. One of my favorite professors talked about how he hoped to retire to America because there he would at least be accepted and have his own niche; but he couldn’t because he had raised a family in Japan so he had roots there now. To be sure, as a country built by immigrants, America certainly is more welcoming to foreigners than Japan is, but some of this stuff is sadly all too familiar.

I’m in Taiwan now. And despite the fact that I wasn’t raised here, I’ve always felt so at home here, so comfortable. Because here I get to be me, not just that Asian girl that people confuse with the only other Asian girl in the room. It’s a pretty nice feeling.

But Ferguson. And whatever in the world is happening at Williams right now. I’m with you. Words can’t express what I’m feeling right now, but I have so much respect. I might not be able to understand exactly what its like to be every other minority group in the U.S., but I do know what its like to be seen only as your race.

It just pisses me off when people say that these “minorities” are making a big deal out of nothing. Seriously?