All posts in: ME

20 Oct 2018

Issa Milestone (Almost!)

Happy Saturday y’all! After having an active morning of brunch and spending some time outside at the Ferry Building this morning, I returned home to catch up on news and write. I haven’t had this solid chunk of time in awhile. Since having Yow Yow! I always wished that I could have more of a balance with writing and work. In my head 50/50 seemed inappropriate. In college, it likely was 75/25 – 75 being this blog. Since starting my new job, I’ve become immersed in it and in a way, it has been giving me a new kind of energy that I haven’t had before in my previous roles.

At the end of my work days, I have the time to write, but it’s easier to just work instead. That transition for me is easier. And I often feel like I just don’t have the mental capacity or energy to be as creative as I need to be. The way I started out this post doesn’t sound happy, but I promise we’re getting there!

As I reserve myself some time today to write, I think about what’s ahead for us. In just a couple of months, we’ll be celebrating 10 years of Yow Yow! Did anyone ever think that I’d be keeping this alive for this long?! Definitely not me! However, when you’ve had something as a routine for so many years, it’s hard to quit. Not to be confused with an addiction though. It hasn’t been an easy year. I migrated to WordPress.org. I hired someone to help me do that and that had its own set of challenges. We also weren’t recording my stats for some time. Every problem I didn’t need on my plate happened, but we made it!

We’re not quite at 10 years yet and while I’m thinking about how we should celebrate, I want to just add a quick thank you! The first readers of Yow Yow were my peers in college and they spread this blog by word of mouth like fire. It was so fun and as cringeworthy as those posts were, I love having 10 years of archives to look through. They are filled with not only personal moments, but pivotal moments in history, culture, and trends across music, fashion, and food. I wish I could say I had a grand plan for Yow Yow! but for now, surviving and staying afloat feels just as good.

29 Sep 2018

Believe Us

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this was one of the most frustrating weeks I’ve had in a long time. There’s not many people that would say they liked Brett Kavanaugh to begin with, but after this week, it’s difficult to find just one reason why you could. I wish I could be on the sidelines of this and say that I didn’t let this consume me, but it did. I found myself being distracted at work, catching up with what was going on in court in real time through Twitter and hearing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s opening testimony. That last one was from my ride share on my way to work and I wasn’t okay the rest of the day.

The #metoo movement is overwhelming to this day still. For anyone that has gone through sexual assault, it can be overly triggering. It reminds us over and over again of our own stories or the stories of those close to us. I want to remind everyone that it’s absolutely okay to have an opinion about this; to speak out and share your thoughts if you’re personally affected. However, those that stay silent and have gone through it – know that it’s okay to sit these moments out because it’s hard. There are enough people speaking out on behalf of you.

No one believes that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is lying. No one. If these individuals choose to vote him in, it’s because they don’t care. Her details of that incident are so specific and clear. Because you never forget. She had nothing to gain by showing up and sharing her story and hearing our leaders commend her for her bravery is still emotional for me. I hope that the right thing is being done from this.

 

16 Sep 2018

Back Home By The Water

Sweater – Zara / Purse – Forever21 / Pants – Aritzia / Sneakers – Adidas

You guys, how good are these photos taken by my Instagram Dad?! I returned home this past March and we did brunch in Edmonds. It’s not quite Seattle, but it’s a cute and quiet neighborhood that feels homey to me. We’re also not upset about this backdrop. I love this mini shoot because we were having a big family brunch, but before going in my dad was game to shoot and I happened to be borrowing a chic Zara sweater from my mother. One of the best parts about returning home? Never needing to pack a full suitcase because Mom and I share the same size. That means I can leave my jackets behind since they take up the most space in my suitcase and pull from her closet instead. Not seen in this shoot, my dad shouting at me to “smile” and me giving him these looks instead. I’ll cut him some slack; it was the first time after all!

09 Sep 2018

Ash’s Last Bash

I almost called this post “Spring Breakers,” but decided to go with one of our hashtags instead. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to be in Palm Springs twice this year – once for NYE and again to celebrate my best friend before she got married at her bachelorette party. Ashley gathered all of her best girls and we took over the prettiest home in the desert for the weekend. I’ve been to a handful of bachelorette parties now, but each one has always been true to each bride’s personality. Ashley’s was full of pizza, relaxing, and being in the pool for days. Curious to see how we spent the weekend? Click the cut for our mini photo journal.

Read more “Ash’s Last Bash”

30 Aug 2018

Treasure Island Gem

Dress – Aritzia / Chambray shirt – Madewell

I can count on one hand the number of times I have visited Treasure Island. Once for the Treasure Island Flea Market and twice for the Treasure Island Music Festival. It’s an interesting San Francisco quirk, but sometimes it’s hard to tell where exactly it fits in to everything. It’s not exactly in the city so it isn’t easy to get to, but at the same time it isn’t far away either. During one of Winny’s last visits I asked her if she had any interest in exploring the island with me. Honestly, we were there for a few hours before heading back, but I can appreciate that the island is developing and trying to have their own personality.

We had brunch at the quaint Aracely Cafe that also doubles as a wedding venue! From there, we went to another fairly new spot called Mersea for the drinks and the views. The layout of the restaurant is all shipping containers so that adds to a fun vibe.

26 Aug 2018

You Are What You Eat

I want to start this post by getting something out of the way. A year ago, I wrote a piece on Yow Yow! sharing a difficult childhood moment that I faced that had to do with my identity – my ethnicity. It was challenging for me to write to begin with. After it was posted, I received backlash (from an individual), which resulted in me having a panic attack on my way to work. It was yet another moment in my life where I felt isolated and even having this platform for nearly nine years at the time, I was made to feel like I had done something wrong.

In the last few years, I’ve started to share more about my life when I can muster up the courage. It is never my intention to offend anyone. With every sensitive post I consider writing, I send a first draft and sometimes a second draft to Veronica before posting. I want to make something clear. I’m not a journalist. No one currently writes on Yow Yow! except for me. I’m not trying to push my opinions onto anyone else. You can choose to not read Yow Yow! ever if something I say upsets you. I never come in expecting my experiences to resonate with anyone. I consider myself lucky if I get just one person that can relate, but it is okay to walk away from this and not feel anything. We all process experiences and feel emotions differently towards a variety of things and that is fine.

That one day of backlash from one person wasn’t great. I was only able to get over it after receiving messages from people that thanked me for sharing my story because it is often stories from Asian Americans that get overlooked because we don’t fit in. At its core, Yow Yow is here to share the stories of others, which we’ve done so many times and mine when I feel brave.

*****

I started a new job a couple of weeks ago, which is never easy. The other night, I was invited to dinner with my coworkers and a question that was thrown out to the table was “what were your lunches like growing up?” In this moment, I was appreciative that my coworkers expressed curiosity because what that time represented for me was shame. In my first few days of Kindergarten my parents sent me off with leftovers from dinner the night before – a standard of rice with marinated beef or chicken prepared by my mother. Delicious, but what some may consider “potent smelling”. My attempt to blend in wasn’t working. I needed a meal that smelled more like a bologna sandwich.

I often times wonder to this day if my parents were hurt by me asking, “Can I please just have a Lunchables every day?” “Can I have a Capri-Sun?” “Can my peanut butter jelly sandwiches be cut into 4’s or at the very least halves?”

A lot of “Can I’s” in an attempt to feel like everyone else. I’m certain that it wasn’t much more work for my parents to adhere to my requests, but likely more expensive. They wanted me to be happy and we all wanted to fit in, right?

For the longest time, I used to say that I grew up mostly never having Asian friends or identifying with that part of my life. But I wasn’t really trying, was I? I wanted the things that everyone else had: A normal lunch, to run for student government, to be decent in school, but nowhere near an overachiever because that would put me in a stereotype. I longed to be good at sports, but that was never going to happen.

At the same time I was confused. I didn’t have the idols that everyone else had. I loved the Spice Girls and Britney Spears, but I couldn’t relate to them ever. For me, there was Lucy Liu, Mulan, Julie from The Puzzle Place, the yellow Power Ranger, and Kimi from Rugrats. As I got older, I admired Lisa Ling and Suchin Pak. I sometimes get annoyed at the articles that are saying that we are having a moment now, but the truth is, everyone has been hustling. We’ve always been here, but never truly seen.

*****

This chapter in my life is called embracing. Leslie, Tommy and I got tickets for Crazy Rich Asians the night that it opened and I had been looking forward to it all week. I laughed at the jokes that I knew my family could relate to. I smiled from my nearly front row seat looking up at Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) because she was a heroine in this film. By the last quarter of the film, my entire face was wet and the tears were flowing. I couldn’t articulate why, but I knew it meant something powerful to me. It was this idea that even though Nick’s family looked like Rachel, she was a stranger and could never be seen as anything close to family. It’s so hard to talk about the film without giving spoilers away, but there are many themes within that resonated with my upbringing – the standards that are held for us, the shame and disgrace that you can bring upon your family, and the pursuit of happiness vs. expectations.

For weeks, I continued to hear this phrase, “representation matters”. I couldn’t say it myself because I didn’t know what it meant until I felt it. This past week has been overwhelming for me, full of emotions, a sense of accomplishment and solidarity. For those of you that connected with Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Asian or not, it meant the world to me to hear your praises and how much it resonated with you. Please continue to be curious and to seek these stories. The ones below are some of my favorites and paint an even clearer picture than I am able to.

 

26 Aug 2018

Wall Cuddles And More

Top – Madewell / Cardigan – Oak + Fort / Pants – Uniqlo

Ashley and I had stepped out of the office that day to run some errands across the street. I’d never seen this wall before and immediately was attracted to the color. Adjacent to this was another wall that was covered in a black and white design so we had a chance to use both. The best part about living/working in San Francisco is that your next backdrop is just steps away.

12 Aug 2018

My Time Off and Everything That It Taught Me

I might be known for being someone that often makes big decisions without thinking them through entirely. Isn’t that what keeps things exciting though? I recently decided to leave my job and as I was figuring out my next move, I knew one thing for sure. I wanted some time off for funemployment. It wasn’t quite clear to me yet if I had enough “rainy day” money saved up, but I just knew that I would be okay. The other thing that I had wanted as part of my time off was to take a mini vacation. It would have been so easy to go back home to Seattle, but I wanted to use this time to explore an area that I hadn’t been before and get out of the city.

The time off was a rollercoaster. It flew by incredibly fast, but it taught me so much in so little time. I can’t wait to share with you below just what those lessons were. One thing I will say though is that this felt like a true vacation versus being employed and having a vacation which are two very different things. In my career, the work never stops and I’ve been known to respond to emails and take urgent calls at all hours of the day even while on vacation. I’m happy to report that some of my biggest decisions that I had to make during my time off were mainly around what I was going to have for lunch or dinner.

1. Back Pocket Money

Let’s revisit that money thing again, shall we? When I was working, I roughly knew about how much I was spending a day for my daily latte, commute, and lunch. On my time off, I thought I could save more because I would be eliminating the commute, but naturally, that budget got rerouted to other things… like clothes, snacks, random things I thought I needed. Since I wouldn’t be working, I also thought I could eliminate coffee, but that proved to be more challenging than I thought. My body was so used to it every day that not having caffeine gave me a slower start to the day or required an afternoon nap. I had to keep a close watch on my budget which meant no excessive spending and being weary of the bills I still had to pay without a check coming in. Even with that in mind, there are some things you can’t predict! That thing was dropping my phone and shattering the screen even WITH the glass screen protector I had on it. It happened right before I was about to leave for my trip and I knew I couldn’t go on it without a phone, but as you can imagine, it was not cheap. My heart sunk having to go through with this, but what other choice did I have?

2. Thinking about nothing is relieving

Every day was a new day for me and not every day came with a challenge. Each morning I woke up with somewhat of a plan of what I wanted to tackle, but I wasn’t on a deadline for it. For the first time in my life, I felt very much in control of my own decision making. My brain felt relaxed and that was a relief. In the moment, it may have felt like mindless activity for the duration, but I knew that this time off was actually preparing me to start work again. If I had left my position and jumped into something immediately, I wouldn’t have had the time I needed to decompress. This may be the recruiter in me saying this, but I do think it’s important to have some space between jobs so that you can properly close the chapter on one story before opening another. On my list of favorite decisions to make: deciding on lunch or dinner, picking out floral arrangements for my vase, and deciding which series I wanted to binge watch on Netflix.

3. Yow Yow! got to have its moment

For years, I always said that Yow Yow! had to take a backseat to the rest of my life because it always came in second to my education and career. It made me wonder for the longest time if I could ever cut it out as a full time writer/blogger. Now that I had this time, I wanted to give it a shot. I wanted to wake up every day and have the space and time to come up with the content I wanted to share. I wrote more posts in this span of time than I ever have during a normal vacation or winter break. The most important part for me was that I never felt rushed. I could spend time with my words and if I could have this all the time while juggling a career, I would be perfectly content. It was incredibly fun to do, but it led me a bigger revelation I had for myself.

4. When it was time to go back to work

One discovery that I had was that as much as I loved working on Yow Yow! I wasn’t having the same impact with writing that I had had in my career with recruiting. Yow Yow! was peaceful, but isolating. It also led me to more creative blocks; something that I don’t face in my career. I started to miss the hustle and bustle of being back in the office, juggling a dozen things at once and having a day that was completely unpredictable. I needed the break sure, but I knew I wasn’t ready for retirement any time soon. Funemployment showed me that there was more growth to be had in my career and new challenges that I wanted to hit.

 

Tomorrow is day one again and it feels exactly like the first day of school. I know I won’t be able to sleep tonight. I’ve got “eagles” in my stomach (virtual high five if you can nail that reference) and of course, I feel unprepared! One of my biggest worries is that even though it was a short amount of time in some people’s eyes, that I’ll feel rusty going back. Here’s hoping that I can pick up my LinkedIn Recruiter again like a bicycle!

08 Aug 2018

A New Work View

When I was a student, I loved the idea of working out of a coffee shop or a cafe. However, I was never actually good at it. Naturally, I wasn’t productive. I would get distracted people watching or inviting friends over for a chat wherever I was. Veronica, on the other hand, was great at it. She even met her real life husband through this!

I decided to give this a second chance a couple of weeks ago. I had a lot of open time on my hands and because I wasn’t “working” the only work I had was writing for Yow Yow! Normally when I’m writing posts, it’s from my couch at home (like right now!) There are many positives on taking this route: I can wear whatever I want, I’m comfortable, and it’s free. Did you know that coffee shops and cafes not having WiFi in San Francisco was a thing? My top two options were thrown out because of no WiFi! My motivation for choosing a new setting though was because I wanted a new view. I wondered how I might feel writing in a different place. Would it remove some creative blockers that I had? Could I be inspired by something I saw happen at that moment?

The result? I had the most delicious cinnamon raisin bagel smothered in butter for less than $5. My spot was seated at the window facing the street and staring directly at the new Loving Cup on Divis. Not having a protected screen meant someone watching me write a post about my outfit could have seemed awkward. I didn’t meet anyone, but the alternative is that maybe I didn’t seem approachable.

Working out of a coffee shop or a cafe is one of those ideas that I want to love, but in this day and age, it doesn’t seem like the most feasible. It puts me outside of my comfort zone sure, but it didn’t make me more productive, and it wasn’t free. If I’m this close to home, I don’t think it’s an option I’ll choose again, but if I’m traveling for work and want to get out of my hotel room, I could see myself giving this another shot.

01 Aug 2018

Where the Scale Belongs

The scale in my bathroom appeared broken this morning and I had two choices to make. Do I throw it out or do I throw it out and replace it? The whole thought process went down in the shower. It made me think of a recent episode of “The Bold Type.” Sutton and Jane are best friends and roommates, but in a previous life, Sutton used to shoot recreationally. After discovering that her gun was in their apartment, Jane was naturally, uncomfortable and wanted it gone. The best friends go back and forth, but one thing Jane asks Sutton is “have you ever thought of why you’re trying so hard to keep it?”

About six months ago, Mandi was over and we had a chat about the scale. She encouraged me to get rid of it and while she didn’t ask me “why” I was trying so hard to keep it, I realized I didn’t have a good answer as to why I needed to. I’ve always grown up with having a scale in my bathroom; even in my family home. Because it’s something that I’m used to – is that a reason to keep it? If I’m being honest, I just wasn’t ready to let it go.

About ten years ago, I was in college and going in for a yearly checkup. The doctor told me that I was “severely underweight.” I didn’t bother to really look into what that meant, but I took it as I’m not where I’m supposed to be for my age range. What I know is that I was in another flight or fight situation. My reaction upon hearing that was to give myself a number. This was the number that I decided then that I would never go over for my weight. I never did. I embraced being small and enjoyed it.

Friends and family that spend time with me know that I love food, but sometimes this disorder isn’t just about food and pounds. It’s about control and it’s very much a mental thing. My scale was a part of my daily life and I held onto it for so long like a crutch. It wasn’t just a scale. It was the tool that let me know if I was right on track or not. I’ve been thinking about the scale all day and it’s still sitting in my bathroom awaiting its fate. I just thought of another option. Keep the broken scale exactly where it is.

Instagram

  • Found a wonton soup spot that makes all problems go away. I’m never eating anything else ever again and for $6 it ain’t bad.
  • Fun Size
  • Saturday afternoon x Ferry Building
  • Striking the balance of cozy and silkiness 😌
  • Keeping it 💯 and tropical
  • Today was mess and Winny saved me from getting hit by a car in the city so onwards to tomorrow!
  • l u s h
  • 🆙
  • Quit playing games with my tots @tacotimenw #KandHdoTT

Follow Me!