Tag Archives: self-love

Today I am grateful for life

Right now I am curled up on the sofa, hearing the crickets chirp the lull of the crisp New England night. The sky is a darkening blue-gray and cars are driving past the window.


Today, I am grateful for my classes, for decent food (I did’t have to cook), but most importantly, to be alive. It’s my first full week of classes in my third year at university. My favorite season, Autumn is approaching, and the smell of apples and pumpkins will soon permeate the air. Just kidding. Only on the farms around here, that is. Instead, they will permeate students’ clothing palettes and pumpkin spice lattes will be available at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

As I greet the friends I haven’t seen all summer or all year, if they are coming back from studying abroad, I feel a sense of weight and guilt overtake me. Yes, this summer was amazing and had shaped me in many ways. Yes, I did miss my friends and do sincerely care about their accomplishments and where they will be headed after graduation.

What I really want to share is how anxious and depressed I have been feeling, how ashamed and fearful of not telling my friends, people I love and trust, that I am a survivor; that home is not a safe space for me emotionally. 

Part of me is so full of fear, which keeps me silent. I fear losing people I love. I fear people asking questions and having my family hear about it. I fear people not believing me. I fear them spreading details about my personal life to humiliate me.  Another part of me just wants someone to be there and support me unconditionally – something I have needed and was denied as a child and continue to be denied.


Today, however, I am grateful that I am away from home, feeling safe. For now, it is enough.

For now, I am working on building trust, and I will seek a counselor I feel that I can talk about my experiences with, without feeling ashamed and humiliated – emotions I have experienced all too often, growing up.

Healing is a long and arduous process, but one day I know I will be closer to the life that is free of shame, self-deprecation, anger, melancholy and fear – the life I deserve to live. 


“You Gotta Be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be tough”

Here’s a throwback to the 90’s with an inspirational song that I think everyone can relate to.
I’ve been putting it on replay since the terror that plagues all college students has began. Finals. It’s that time of the year.
Rather than focusing on what I should be doing (power of procrastination, people) I’ll talk about how the institution I attend aka Smith College, has shaped me in my 2 years here. Also here’s some advice for you college prospects and current undergrads (that you definitely do not have to heed).
Just my take on things, in lyric line order:

1. “Challenge what the future holds” – think about your future, what major you have to declare, the professors who can guide you, and what doing your work no matter how painstaking it is at the moment, will bring good things (but alas you’ll see them at the end of the semester, year or when you graduate). Includes more fun/sometimes troublesome things like relationships, how they will last or not, that party you can skip to study up on something…..

2. “You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser” – related to #1 in challenging yourself sometimes to not procrastinate (irony of my blogging during necessary study/sleep time), the way you think, the way others think (it’s okay to disagree and people will respect you if you present yourself in a respectable manner not to mention you deserve to be respected regardless of your opinions as long as they aren’t racist, sexist or homophobic but again, just my take on things). Be bold enough to say yes to that coffee date with that cute guy or girl, and say “I can do it” when you apply to that internship for the U.N. It’s okay to say “no” to your friends when they ask you to pregame before a party if you’re not up for it or the party in the first place, and your friends should respect you for it. Think about things in the long run and how your decisions as of now will impact you.

3. “Herald what your mother said/Reading the books your father read” – Coming from a different culture, okay, three (look up third-culture-kid for those of y’all who don’t know) as a Kiwi-Chinese immigrant to the U.S. and after undergoing that arduous process known as assimilation, I finally learned American culture and went through years of American schooling. That schooling never taught me much about my own Chinese culture, I might add, nor how parts of the Transcontinental Railroad was built on Chinese labor and many Chinese died while doing so. The U.S. government’s thank-you was the Chinese exclusion act of 1882, I might add, but that’s a whole other story I will blog about. Anyway, back to Des’ree and giving advice. I respect my parents so much more now that I know parts of their histories (perks of being an East Asian Studies Major) and reading what they read as well as more due to complications of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. Respect your parents, folks. They brought you into this world and there might be some parts of themselves they don’t share with you, such as traumatic experiences and it is definitely hard to understand them when there’s a generational gap and you are not learning the same things they did X years ago (not that parents are easy to understand, that’s another blog-worthy story).

4. “Love will save the day” – Amen. ’nuff said. Love yourself and you will love others (the others can come later) but loving yourself is an arduous process. Which brings into the question of love itself. There are many different forms of love like self-love (which I fully promote), love of God, love of mankind, love of living things, the list goes on. Everyone deserves to be loved and everyone deserves a chance at life. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. Love deeper and live fuller. Oh, and put Des’ree on repeat.

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