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A Bit About Family

November 7, 2016

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One of the most important aspects of visiting Kuala Lumpur was reigniting family ties. Growing up, we were sadly never that close to our father’s side of the family in Los Angeles, so big familial gatherings were never a regular thing. It was just something we were used to. And it was never a big deal because my father, my mother and my sister were always enough for me. It was all I ever needed. Family can be a very difficult thing. Differing point of views, a reluctance to go out of the way to catch up on each other’s lives as we head in new personal directions, arguments that can easily get blown out of proportion, etc. There are multiple reasons why the idea of family is a hard one. Growing up, I started to understand this more and more. And I show no bitterness to the side of my family that I hardly keep in touch with due to personal matters. But at the same time, I started to realize the importance of the side of the idea family that stands tall and strong. The parts of family that love you unconditionally and that give the most support (even in my case that support comes from hundreds of miles away). That even from miles away you can feel that love is still there. It’s important to grasp onto these things, and fill in every gap as much as you can. I filled a lot of internal gaps on this trip to Kuala Lumpur. And I found joy in seeing how much my mother’s side of the family has grown and developed in the most positive of ways after the past seven years. And it gives me joy to know that there will be even more good things to wrap myself up with the next time that I go.

Of course, no family is perfect. And this truth stands for both sides of my family. I have noticed and come to learn about a few broken pieces leftover from the past that still hurtfully resonate today with my family in Asia. Of course, this isn’t something I will go into detail here, but it is something that I have honestly been thinking a lot about lately. That at the heart of it, acceptance is one of the most beautiful and important things that come along with the familial territory. Without it, family doesn’t work the way that it should. I’ve opened my eyes to this multiple times. Take for example siblings. Most are complete opposites of each other, seeing eye to eye on the most rare of occasions. But at the end of the day, the contrast between them is what it is. It’s something that should be cherished and accepted. Something that promotes openness. I’ve always believed that family should be the first and foremast example of the act of opening your mind to different perspectives that closes the gap of narrow mindedness.

I felt lucky to go home to a place that I don’t go to that often, but to feel at the same time instantly a part of something. I cherished the time I got to spend with relatives I haven’t had the chance to get to know as much before. I got so used to the feeling of being surrounded by these familiar faces that it was hard to leave. But like a friend just recently told me, it is something that will always be there waiting for me whenever I need it.

So here I am with my some family members at the Thean Hou Temple, a beautiful Hainanese temple in Kuala Lumpur. Hainan is the southernmost and smallest province of China, where the roots of my family is from. I’m always so inspired by parts of my heritage, even if it’s just taking in little bits and pieces at a time.

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6 comments
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A Million Reasons Why (It’s Good to Be a Girl)

September 23, 2016

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Vera Bradley Small Ella Tote in Modern Lights
Citizens of Humanity overalls
Jill Stuart blouse
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Today, as people of modern times, embracing equality of the sexes is a no brainer to us (thank goodness). But the point I am trying to make with this post is that still, I’m not going to lie, but being a girl is pretty dope. Sorry boys, but we got it good. I’m teaming up with Vera Bradley to prove all the millions of reasons why it’s good to be a girl (btw I’m writing this while I’m on my period, so you know that I am being very, very honest here). And I’m realizing these reasons more and more each and every day. My birthday is tomorrow actually, and accepting who I am as an individual, and most importantly, as a woman who proudly can say “This is ME,” resonates so strongly with me at this moment.

I love that as a modern day woman I can be multi-dimensional. I can be both a creative and a businesswoman. I don’t have to ever pick one or the other. I’m not afraid to wear many hats, and I’m probably more headstrong than many of the men who only wear one. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a girlfriend, a writer, a photographer, a visual content creator, a perpetual dreamer and a hopefully someday mother. I’m a supporter of women with goals like mine that extend beyond the limitations that we felt around us when we were younger. I’m confident with my body even though it has changed so many times throughout my 28 (almost 29) years. I’ve even hated it before, but with age I’ve come to learn the needs of my body and have never loved it more than right this second. For a girl, that is quite a big statement to say. Still today, our bodies are always prone of objectification, especially when we least want it, but I feel strong to take a stand to protect my body’s rights and values. My curves, my scars, and all the things that make up my body are mine, and together they create my temple. The least I can do is treat it with the most love it can get, and especially every flaw because those are the things that make us unique . . . . femininely unique. And for that reason they are beautiful.

I love being a girl because I can play dress up and wake up to channel anyone I want. Fashion goes so strongly hand in hand with femininity. It is so much a part of me, passed on from my mother and to her from my grandmother. It’s an expression of my personality, and for us girls, it’s the most fun and accessible way for us to express ourselves. Much like how this Vera Bradley Small Ella Tote ups the ante of my black overalls and white sheer blouse ensemble. It’s bold and striking like how my personality is when I want to get things done. When I want to tackle challenges. When I want to blow my own expectations of myself out of the water. I’m stylish, charming, daring and sweet. Because I’m a girl, I can be all of these things.

Growing up, us girls always had to work harder to be better at the boys it seemed . . . at sports, at science, at bringing in the money . . . when really we were always just as good. But society just made it seem like we were born to not be as naturally good at these sort of things (what does science really know?!?). But with time, we have proved them wrong. We aren’t just good enough, we can also say that we are better and not be ashamed to hold onto this claim. And today, I finally feel like I have every right to be anything I want, and motivated to be proud of  my strengths, not influenced to hide them. Like science does say though, as women we are already more passionate and nurturing than the other sex (hehe), so letting these strengths of ours roar is the only thing we have left to do now. Thanks Vera Bradley for allowing me to reflect on why being a girl is so dang awesome.

Shop more from this Vera Bradley collection:

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11 comments
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Sister Got My Back

September 22, 2016

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It might be the hardest thing to explain . . . one’s relationship with a sister. It’s a fascinating dynamic, that’s for sure. Years of entangled memories that seem to stick more than anything else as the years flash by. So many bruises, so many inside jokes, so much name calling, so much of what can feel like hate and annoyance, but most of all . . . so much love. Together, sisters can take over the world, but there are moments when the momentum goes far to fast for its own good that all there is left is to crash and burn . . . only for the cuts and broken pieces to be mended back to brand new in just the next day . . . maybe in the next few hours . . . but even more likely in the next few minutes. Unconditional love is a real thing when it comes to the stories of sisters. Take my sister Natalie and I. We’ve seen each other at our worst, but we’ve seen each out at our best, and our moods are a steady pendulum that swings between these two extremes. But every little moment in-between counts for something special, as well. Together these little moments are a steady beat with bumps and leaps that is exciting to say the least. A reminder that our lives are like a song. There’s gotta be a break somewhere. A repeated chorus. A verse that stands out the most. A fade that lingers in our mind for what seems like forever.

There hasn’t been anyone before where I could be my total and complete self. Unafraid to show my vulnerabilities, my confidences and strengths, my deepest and darkest secrets and my biggest dreams (most of which we share). It’s quite an an amazing thing to read the mind of someone and not even know you are doing it, and they can do the same thing back. It’s almost magical. With sisters, this feeling is just normal. Involving work into our relationship may seem like too much of a strain on something that can be explained as the strongest and most endless of friendships, but somehow we balance everything out perfectly. It’s also the biggest challenge, but who ever said things always have to be easy? Our biggest challenges, our biggest fights, our most frustrating of days . . . they all remind us to take a step back and realize that beyond all of these there, there exists something really simple and bared down . . . the fact that we will always have each other . . . each other’s trust, forgiveness and reliability. And that is all that really matters. The bare bones of it all. The most loveliest of bones. Love ya lil sister.

We are both wearing Zimmermann dresses and M Missoni purses.
Photos by GenStreetStyle

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14 comments

Makes Me Believe in Something

September 6, 2016

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“Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you’re in love or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.”

I’m still trying to find out who the originator of this string of words is, and I may never ever find that out, but whoever that person is . . . they understand this certain feeling. These type of people, you might meet once, or maybe they will stay for just a little while, or maybe just maybe they will stay forever. But for that time being, when you are with that person, it’s like having that feeling of a little red string that delicately ties around your pinky finger and makes you feel like a floating balloon that will never get lost.

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