Strive.

We strive and we strive and we strive
But what are we striving for?
When the world’s too poor
To open up new doors
We fall and hit the floor
It happened once
Like a random act of kindness
But it was a planned act of hurt
Never would’ve left him if he told me he loved me.
Soon the rain will come
It will wash everything away
Streets will strive for cleanliness
We’ll strive for better days
We’ll strive and we’ll strive and we’ll strive.
No longer will we hurt
We will be the best we’ve never seen
The dreams and the dreams
The dreams and the different teams…
Everyone is on a different team.

Why do we idealize childhood?

I can’t help but stop and wish I was a kid again when my world feels like it’s falling apart. I believe that we all have those “fantasy” lands we go to in times of hardship. Why do we tend to idealize childhood? Because in the moment it seems like a much simpler and more peaceful place to be, almost like an escape.

There’s a line from a Tupac Shakur song ‘Changes’ in which he says, “I’d love to go back to when we played as kids but things changed, and that’s the way it is.” Not only do things change, but they become more realistic. As a child, we aren’t mature enough and knowledgable to know about the “real world.” A child’s biggest worry can range from the flavor ice cream he/she wants to monsters under the bed.

If I really take the time to think about how simple and carefree my childhood was, it turns out there was more to it being “simple” than I thought. I remember there were endless nights when I couldn’t sleep because I thought there was a clown in my closet. I wouldn’t enjoy going in the pool for fear of my older brother playing “shark” and drowning me.

So sure, as a kid our responsibilities and stressors are less mild than when we become adults, but we’ll always have our plates full. As children our parents tell us to grow up and stop acting like a baby, and then we wish to be a baby all over again. It’s almost like a cycle. We can idealize childhood as much as we want, but even children don’t have it as easy. Every once in a while, we’re allowed to dream and escape to that “fantasy” land, and then it’s back to reality.

Never Judge a “Book” by it’s “Cover”

As a kid, I would constantly hear that simple phrase, “never judge a book by it’s cover.” I always thought this referred to an actual book, so I’d always give books a chance. Then as I got older I realized that phrase has much more meaning to it. It stuck with me throughout the years because I’ve always been the one to try and give everyone a chance. I mean, why not?

The other day at one of my jobs, I experienced a perfect example of never judging a “book” by it’s “cover.” I’m sure I experience this all the time, since I meet some amazing people at my job, but this one instance stuck with me and I had to write about it.

These two men came in and they were dressed in all black with extremely baggy pants. In my opinion they looked like “thugs.” I felt that I needed to just give them a chance because for all I knew they could’ve been the President’s nephews.

They walked around and stared at tea pots and then began to walk around the housewares section. I had to bring something to my boss and one of the guys were in my way. I politely said excuse me and he replied, “you’re excused baby.” I found myself having to bite my tongue before I flipped out on this man. Calling a complete stranger that’s a woman “baby” to me is derogatory and out of line. I regretted even giving them a chance and realized my quick judgment of them being “thugs” matched up. I walked back to the register and overheard the two men complaining about the cost of a key.

“Man I don’t got $1.79 let’s go.” They walked out the door and I was able to feel relaxed again. I didn’t want to tell myself that my initial judgement of them being “thuggish” was correct, but I had to.

A few hours later another guy came in who was dressed exactly like the men who came in before. I felt as if he was going to have the same demeanor. He asked me where keys were made and I told him to head towards the back to the service counter.

Apparently he had to wait for ten minutes for someone to come and make his key. I felt terrible and I apologized when I rang him out. He was on the phone and didn’t hear me, so I waited until he was off. I apologized again and he said, “don’t even worry about it you’re fine.” He started talking about how different it is being back in Providence. I asked where he was from and he said a small town in New York.

We continued to converse about his town and the differences he sees in Providence. He told me that everything is open all night in New York whereas in Providence, for example, you have to decide by ten o’clock if you want alcohol, or else the answer is a bar, and he hates bars. He also mentioned that he was shocked at how much can change within a three year period. He told me that three years ago, in Providence, people were so against homosexuality, and now people are way more accepting. “It’s hard being a gay African American male ya know,” he told me, and all I could do was feel exactly for him. Because it’s hard for me to be an adopted Asian American.

Anyways, we proceeded to talk a little longer and then he left. I told him that I hoped to see him again soon and he replied with, “this is definitely my new hardware store home.” I smiled so big knowing that I had just made such a unique new friend.

The point is that I wanted to make a snap judgement on the second guy because of the two men who had come in previously, but without a doubt, he proved me wrong. It goes to show that you can’t judge a “book” by it’s “cover,” until that “book” gives you reason to.

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The Illusion of Christmas

We’re told as children that there’s a man, also known as Santa Claus, that comes down our chimney to give us toys. I always wondered how he got inside my grandparent’s house, since they didn’t have a chimney. I also wondered how he knew where I was located each year for Christmas. He was never in my grandparent’s house and he didn’t know where I was, because Santa is a figment of our imagination. I still admire my imagination, but it’s no longer the type in which I can imagine and have no realistic worries.

As we get older, our excitement for Christmas clearly fades away. It’s the “norm” to be happy and cheery during the holidays. Stores are filled with decorations and gifts. Television commercials are all holiday related with over-joyed people. All anyone hears for music are the jingling of bells and different descriptions of Rudolph. It’s about how society portrays the different holidays.

When December hit, I was stressed. I made my list of presents I needed to buy for friends and family members. I’m a procrastinator, so of course I waited until mid-December to really put my list into action. As Christmas came closer, I decided that I wasn’t excited for it. It’s just another holiday. Sure, as a kid I was ecstatic, because it was all an illusion. Now that I’m older, I find the holidays to be bittersweet.

Christmas reminds me of my grandparents, and especially my grandma. As a kid my family and I would go to my grandparent’s house for Christmas in Massachusetts. My grandma would be in the kitchen the entire day on Christmas Eve. She was Italian and would make her own ravioli and sauce for dinner. My grandpa would help me write a letter to Santa and leave him cookies for his visit. My brother and I shared a room in my grandparent’s study. We would stay up and wait for Santa. He would quiz me on basketball players and basketball shoe names. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and sneak downstairs to see if Santa had come yet. He had. He was the coolest guy I had never met and I believed in his existence.

Christmas makes me miss my grandparents more than ever (both passed away three years ago near the holidays). My brother no longer spends it with our family but now with his wife’s family. I no longer find myself becoming excited and joyful around Christmas time, but rather stressed and angry.

Today, Christmas Eve, I woke up and decided not to be angry about the holiday, but instead to be thankful and open minded. Thankful for the family and friends that I do have around to spend time with. Open minded about how everything could always be worse. Some people may be alone on Christmas and others may not be able to be with friends or family. Sure, I could complain and whine about my missing certain people, and spend my time sad and depressed, but will that make me feel any better? Fat chance.

We all need to remember what the holidays are about. Christmas is about giving back and volunteering. It’s about ridding away the bad memories and making brand new ones. Let the children believe Santa’s coming to town. Let their imaginations run wild until they crash into reality.

Regret me not

We all tend to lean towards the word “regret” when trying to fix a certain situation. It could be a small and easily fixed issue, or a bigger one.

For example, the other morning was very brisk. I didn’t heat my car up before work and regretted it, but then I looked at the situation as positive, and I didn’t regret it. I may have been cold on the way to work, but I was on time and not late. Such a small situation to fret about, but it did come up in my mind.

Another example happened when I was younger. My ex boyfriend was an illegal distributor of marijuana. I had dealt with him and his “work” for about two years. I was attached to him. We were stopped one night by law enforcement and he had lied to me about where his stuff was. He had put it in the trunk of MY car, and then told the police it was all mine. I had never felt so betrayed. Of course though, I told them he was lying and to check his record. He admitted to his lie and began to cry. In this bigger situation, I could’ve regretted ever being with this guy. I could’ve regretted letting him ever live with me or use my car. But instead, I learned from that experience. I take that experience as a major factor that has shaped me and made me who I am today.

We need to stop looking for the “easy” way out. I ALWAYS lean towards regretting a situation. In my mind at that certain moment, regretting what happened seems to temporarily patch up that emptiness inside my chest. Then the patch tears and becomes empty again. Instead, I look at the bigger picture and the positive outcomes that come from negative happenings.

Learn from your mistakes. Learn how to handle a situation differently than before. Leave yourself satisfied. Inside of the negative is a positive, you just need to find it and believe that it’s there. You’re not alone, everyone does it. ✌️

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Thanks for adopting me momma & dadda 💚

We all think of different things to be thankful for when thanksgiving comes around. What came to my mind this year? If I’m thankful for being adopted. I’m not sure why it was the first topic to pop up. Let’s just say, I’m extremely ambivalent on my being adopted.

I came to America in August of 1991, and have lived in little ol’ Rhody for all twenty two years of my life. Adoption was an issue for me growing up. I knew my birth mom gave me up so that I would have a better life, but I couldn’t put my finger around it. I didn’t want to believe it. I hated her. I wanted to find her and tell her how much I hated her. I always knew I looked different from my parents (who are Caucasian) but wasn’t quite aware of judgements made, until fourth grade. My mom had come into my school one day for show and tell. My classmate asked my mom why she didn’t look like me. That comment wasn’t even close to what I’d encounter in the years to come.

I’ve always dealt with racial comments/slurs. In middle and high school, kids would point out how my eyes were different than theirs. In sports, the other team would label me as “chink.” At first I took these comments personally, but as the years went on I began to make fun of myself. I felt comfortable doing so because it made other’s laugh. It’s pathetic I had to feel that way, but the more I did it the more I began to feel accepted and “white.”

Sophomore year, my English teacher felt comfortable enough around me to tell another student he, “hated Asians, especially Wendy.” This all happened when we were watching a film on different poets, and he fast forwarded an Asian poet. My classmate asked why he was skipping this particular poet. To my surprise, and the class, that was what my teacher responded with. I laughed it off as the class stared at me, but I really felt angry, sad, embarrassed, and defenseless.

I went through a phase of blaming my parents for all of my problems. Pshhh … What teen doesn’t? But mine keyed in on being adopted. I would scold my parents for adopting me. I believed that if I was still with my birth mom, I’d have no troubles or worries in my life. No matter how much I seemed to hate my parents, I couldn’t break off. I had to go through a lot, but little did I realize it wasn’t my parents…IT WAS ME!

I needed to be comfortable and proud that I was adopted. I needed to embrace that I am an Asian-American adoptee and no matter how much I hated it, it was going to stay that way. I also had to accept that I would deal with abandonment issues and that that was my attachment to my parents, and others who came into my life.

Today, I can honestly say I love being an Asian American. I mean, I am somewhat of an attention-whore, so why not have something to brag about? I don’t hate my birth mom, and would rather not find her. She gave me up so I could have a better life. My family today is my family today, and that’s all that I need. My mom is my only mom, my dad my only dad, and my brother my only brother. Unconditional love trumps all.

So am I thankful for being adopted? Yes. Why am I ambivalent on my being adopted? Because I wish I could just let people easily leave my life. I feel I have a harder time with people “leaving” because I was technically abandoned at birth. But fuck it, I’ll get over it ;-).

Happy Thanksgiving my dudes!

Unknown Path

Frigid walks go along with endless talks.
He decided to stop in the middle of the path…
Only to look at her natural beauty, illuminating from the moon.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispered in her ear. She cringed as a chill ran down her spine.
“The moon simply adds to your beauty, don’t you see?”