What’s Still Missing In Television for The Asian Narrative.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and my brain started dissecting the show “Friends From College”, a new netflix tv show about friends heading into their new life in their 40s.

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THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS POST.

Now the director is Nicholas Stoller, a British American filmmaker. So yes, he is white. But you know what, thanks for putting an Asian American into the mix. I really do appreciate that. Jae Suh Park, Marianne is an actress, artist who owns a rabbit in the tv show. She is a side kick, again not the main protagonist.

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As I was thinking about her role in the show, I started noticing a few things that are true about a few shows that contain Asian actors in. 

They are always a little off, like they are portrayed as sub-human, not human, quirky, has a strange or weird personality or they have to be really short and have an accent (Hans of 2 Broke Girls) and are constantly the butt of the jokes.

Han of 2 Broke Girls.

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Elliot Park (gay and flirty) from Young and Hungry- again he is not the protagonist and I get that because most writers are white….and directors are too, so they are telling their own narrative by making a white guy the protagonist and tell their VIEW and PERSPECTIVE of an Asian person.

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These characters seem to have to have some kind of quirk that makes them “not human”, making viewers laugh at them, unable to relate to them. They don’t have personal agency to their own emotions (their fears, hurt, anger, sadness), but instead have their emotions inserted through other peoples’ judgement towards them. 

They are often told by their white protagonists what to do or how to think.

The 2 broke girls often make fun of Han and tell him who to be and how to think. Elliott often makes a mess of things and is reprimanded for his actions and desires (corrected by the white man).

In Friends From College, Marianne is seen as incapable but repressed as you see her act in a play which all her friends doubt to be good. There is one scene in which she acts as the man and rapes a tall white man (who acts as a woman in a dress). This scene is a huge portrayal of the repressed Asian consciousness.

She is the responsible one as she drives the party bus for a “white man” who partakes of wine with the friend group and falls asleep even though it was his job to drive the bus.

For some reason, yet again, she does not seem to have her head on her shoulders, there is something off about her. Yet, the rest of the crew are portrayed as sane and knowledgeable even though they are having affairs with their best friends’ spouses, has drug problems but can somehow get away with it.

And of course she owns a cute rabbit because Asians own cute things like that.

But I notice all these things because I am Asian myself.

I want to see shows that portray who I am, human with real fears, emotions, vulnerabilities…but sane, not subhuman. I want to tell my own narrative and not be told to be a certain way because a white person (or any person) is telling me how to act or feel.

Until then, how can anyone take an person of Asian ethnicity serious if all they see is people who have no agency to their own emotions and personality? 

 

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The Benefits of Healing The Mother Daughter Relationship – It Will Change Your Life and Relationships

I woke up early this morning with revelation of my new and improved relationship with my mother. It has been a year or so since I moved back and lived with my mother. My relationship with my mother used to be toxic and full of tension, I felt unworthy of love and strove to win of approval most of my life.

But I know God is real when I tell you this- my relationship with her has dramatically improved. What changed? I allowed myself to be vulnerable. It started last year and it was a difficult journey of letting my guard down. I basically told her how I had been hurt and harmed by her words. I also humbled myself enough to say “sorry” when I lashed out. Moving back with her was also an action of humility, an act of “I do need your help and I do want to be in your life”.

Until then, I moved out after college and never wanted to live with her again. Our relationship was so toxic that every time we disagreed on something I just felt put down, unworthy and “not enough”. I felt like I needed to achieve the great career, the successful appearance in order for her to love me or approve of me. 

And thank God I didn’t. I basically failed epically in the world’s eyes.

It was God’s saving grace. When I felt God leading me to sell everything and follow Him, I wasn’t reliant on my own power, talents, will, ability anymore…I would go wherever He led even if that meant letting me ego go and allowing myself to seem “powerless, weak”. And yes, I went through the seasons of accusations…accusations and comparisons. And Yes, I battled the lies of “not being enough”…but now I feel stronger than ever in my identity.

I actually understand what a truly healthy mother and daughter relationship is supposed to feel like. You shouldn’t constantly feel like you have to prove yourself….a healthy relationship is one in which you actually enjoy each others’ company. You shouldn’t have constantly prove your worth through a big paycheck or a title.

And then this revelation hit me.

I was looking back on all my friendships and analyzing why I felt the way I did about each one. A lot of my friends are Asian females and they seem to also have tense relationships with their mothers where they feel like they are constantly trying to prove themselves to their mothers as well. 

What does that equate to?

They consequently (and I’ve walked the same path here) feel like they have to prove themselves to their female friends. 

It also makes sense why I had to cut out certain female friends from my life because in a weird and strange way, they were putting the responsibilities of their birth mothers over me as if I needed to approve of them, help them, love them the way their mothers never did. 

Because I grew up with a single mother, it was more than natural for me to take on these responsibilities that weren’t mine to bear….in fact I was used to bearing the emotional burdens in the home. So in fact, I never really had a childhood.

Until recently, until these 2 years where I learned to be a child, a daughter, worthy of love. And in these 2 years I’ve learned to receive.

I cannot remember one time where I actually received allowance of money from my mother. Since 3rd grade, and even younger, I was making my own money by selling toys. I just wanted to help out at home but didn’t realize this pattern would overtake my consciousness. I hated seeing my mom struggle but in this way, I took on the responsibility of a parent. I parented myself. I provided for myself. 

I took on responsibilities that were not mine.

Eventually I started attracting people that also had holes in their hearts. People who were codependent, people who had a mother or father wound, people who wanted to blame someone for their problems, people who weren’t heard by anyone and consequently couldn’t STOP talking and didn’t understand social cues.

I attracted people who needed a mother or father.

But now I know, it’s not my responsibility to mother or father anyone. That is God’s job. I can definitely guide and help them and show them the way to God of course….but it’s not my responsibility to be their mother or father.

With this new revelation, I am seeing my friendships and relationships in a new way. I finally understand why some relationships didn’t work out in the past, why I had to cut some people out.

I remember one relationship where this woman was trying to speak into my life as if she was my mother and I said “I already have a mother, I don’t need another one”. It was strange because I really spoke from the truth in my heart. Why was she trying to be my mother? She also grew up in a single mother home and bore peoples’ burdens….people who grow up in single parent homes often feel like they are not enough and need to take on peoples’ burdens as they took on their parents’ burdens.

As a result of that….people often enter codependent friendships, romantic relationships, mentor relationships and sometimes they become destructive, unhealthy, manipulative, controlling….people seeking validation from others that they never received from their parents. 

Unhealthy boundaries are crossed when people don’t know what boundaries look like with their own parents….we then allow the wrong people into our lives or we allow the wrong people to speak into our lives….we form marriages or relationships that are based on seeking approval and acceptance….we form friendships that reflect our inner dialogue of “I’m not enough because my parents never approved of me” and it makes us feel even worse.

But on this journey I have seen a huge change in my life.

I no longer allow the wrong people into my life. I know and can sense manipulation. I understand what love is supposed to look like, it’s not a trade, it’s not a business transaction. I shouldn’t have to prove myself, I know that if I love someone, I can enjoy their company without thinking “what can I get from them”.

I know when to say no because my yes isn’t going to make them love me more. And if they love you more because of your yes than maybe it’s not a real friendship.

Peoples’ love for you shouldn’t be based on your YES to their request. 

I hope you have benefited from reading this and if you have please share this life changing post to your social media, facebook, instagram, email. Share the love so that our world can be more conscious and less blaming.

The Value of Trying

Today I met with a publicist. She was incredibly nice and kind- unlike the many people I have met in LA. She offered me advice on putting together a media kit and showing companies my numbers on social media and blog.

To be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed. Because I’ve done all that before. I’ve put together media kits before. I’ve tried to show people my value….but at the end of the day, if people really truly know WHO I AM, I wouldn’t have to try so hard. Because I know what I have to offer- me. 

Not the numbers, not the views.

Me. The authentic, the imperfect, the enough me. 

Instead of being gripped by fear, I did approach some of the past opportunities that I felt like “it wasn’t the right time” to pursue last year….and even though I knew the “numbers” weren’t there. Yes, I don’t have 80,000 followers on instagram. I have over 1,200.

So I got no’s. 

But I felt relieved. 

I felt like “you know what. I actually don’t want to go down this path”.

Because I know what I have to offer is greater than numbers, followers, views.

It’s about authenticity.

I write and live out authenticity. 

I am not better or less than. 

I am who I am and I want to write about the imperfect, complicated and simple life that I have. I want to write about how I get rejected, how I get no’s, how even though my numbers and qualifications don’t add up, God’s grace is enough for me. 

And so if God’s grace doesn’t open that door for me, I know God’s grace isn’t on it. 

I want to write about the fear that is so real and makes my arms numb, about the belly fat that I sometimes loath, and how I try to do yoga at night but realize I just need to love myself for what I look like now, fully and completely. That NO I can’t get abs in one week.

Self- care.

Self- love.

Self- acceptance.

Take it or leave it. That’s me.

I’m not going to figure out how to get more followers so I can go on a press trip, because I’m more than that.

I write to change lives, to tell people, it’s okay to be authentic and imperfect…to speak your mind, to speak the truth, to be politically incorrect, to be insecure, to make mistakes. 

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I’m going to keep doing what I love and what I’m good at.

I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole of trying to be good at something I don’t like doing.

Trying and getting a “no” is better than not trying and living in fear.
Because when you get a “no” or a rejection letter, you feel relieved.

You know you can move on and no longer have to be thinking about it. You know something more SUITABLE is ahead for you.

It’s like closing a chapter and knowing that another is coming.

What doors are you leaving open that needs to be closed?

Sometimes those new doors won’t open until you say NO firmly to the last door.
If you claim it’s a new season, why are you still flirting with the past. If you claim you don’t want to, why do you keep doing it. Do your words mean anything if you don’t stick to your own intention?
Half ass intentions leads to half ass results.

Let your no be no. Let your yes be yes. And last of all, say absolutely YES to yourself.

This is me. All of me. I believe that if it’s meant to be, God will open the door. It doesn’t mean you just wait on your ass for manna to fall down from heaven…you still try, but you try knowing that rejection is just an open door to the next good thing.

Let the spirit lead. Everything has already been completed.

Embracing “Badness” In Ourselves

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(photo from the internet)

I had a dream last night. I was in a competition but the leader expected perfection, I was having an argument with my mom and yelled “SHIT”…the leader immediately canceled me (or outed my from the competition. I was eliminated completely. The leader in the dream used to be a leader in a christian group I was in.

I was so angry when I got outed. I couldn’t believe that just by being authentic I was outed. Then in my car outside, I saw a few other members of the competition come to my car. They sat in my car and I asked “you got outed too?” Yah they replied. I started driving but reached a beautiful land where I actually had to carry my car because no cars were allowed and we had entered from a side that didn’t have a parking lot (the wilderness). 

I believe this is a prophetic dream about where I have been, the wilderness and in the beginning being outed for revealing my “badness” or imperfections especially in the church, or in my previous hidden persona of “always being the positive one”. 

Imperfection wasn’t really accepted in my household, I was the strong one, you know the rock that people leaned on…even in my group of friends…and perhaps the institutional church encouraged perfectionism even more. So when I started to say no and started to show weakness, I was outed. The thing is I have always been different, I always had differing opinions, but for some time I pretended to agree, I tried to love the unlovable, I pretended to be patient when I was a boiling pot inside. 

I woke up from the dream with a knot in my heart and a strained neck. Yes, perhaps I had been hard on myself as well…being polite, not knowing how to say no, forcing myself still to go to things I didn’t want to when in reality I needed to accept and embrace the badness….

The badness we all have:

Being judgmental, mean, harsh, bitter, angry, sad, depressed, ego-centered, selfish, sly, manipulating, lazy, lustful, indulgent, unforgiving, loveless, discouraged, unhealthy, etc.

The badness represents a part of ourselves that wants to be loved but we often hide those parts of ourselves because we have not met people who have had enough grace to love us in spite of our “badness”. I have found that God completely loves and accepts us in our most baddest self…in fact we have to acknowledge and love ourselves in our baddest self in order for grace to heal us.

Because if we continue to hide our “weaknesses”, we will actually starve from love-malnutrition. 

I remember one time I was feeling really shitty and my ex said “I thought you were the positive one?…You are supposed to be the positive one and I’m supposed to be the negative one that you encourage”. It hit me. I hated that.

I don’t want to be the positive one.

I’m tired of it. I want to be able to be the weak one. I want to cry, I want to be weak. I want to be sad. I want to be angry. I want to hate someone. I want to feel those authentic emotions because it is relieving and it is real. 

When your real emotions are pent up, you feel tension in your body. I have been experiencing late periods and now dealing with healing my low thyroid (hypothyroid). I quit caffeine 4 days ago and have also realized that I used to block out negative emotions, tiredness or spiritual weariness by drinking coffee.

I have been learning to love myself through it all. Because grace is sufficient in our weakness. Living the authentic life means being honest with yourself. Find people that can love you despite your differences. 

In our culture, we are applauded for being good at something, but when was the last time you embraced your badness?

You Deserve Happiness

you-deserve-happinessWe are all a little fucked up.

We have issues.

Even the most put together people have issues, they just don’t parade them around Instagram.

Recently I received this revelation that I was basically believing that I didn’t deserve happiness because of my past, because of bad decisions in the past, in my relationship.

So no I don’t believe in karma, I believe in forgiveness. If I believed in karma, then I really don’t deserve happiness and actually all of us are doomed. I believe in grace and forgiveness.

But see I didn’t dig that deep before, it was too painful.

I realized that my unforgiveness of self had caused me to close myself up to all potential suitors. It’s not because there aren’t suitable mates (and obviously there are plenty of unsuitable ones online), it’s because I didn’t think I deserved to be happy.

Do you need to forgive yourself for somethings in your life? 

Sometimes we do things out of our brokenness but we don’t realize we are basing our truth on a lie.

“Why won’t this part of my life WORK ALREADY!” you try to work everything out externally but it just won’t give….maybe it’s finance, maybe it’s your relationship with your parents, maybe it’s your relationship, maybe it’s your health, maybe it’s your career, you’ve exhausted all your options, you’ve tried everything….

I dare you to look within. 

Look back to your earliest or most recent memory of when you heard a lie, even if it was self-made “I’m not enough, I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve this”…..

Did someone tell you you’re not enough by disappearing, by neglecting you?

The answer isn’t outside of you, it’s inside.

It’s within your soul.

You deserve happiness. 

PS- we make decisions based on the condition of our hearts so often our decisions are fear driven because we are looking for stability. That is why it is so important to forgive ourselves and love ourselves because our actions are simply a reflection of the condition of our hearts at that moment.

 

 

You Have A Clean Slate for 2017

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In 2016 I was healed of FOMO (fear of missing out). 

I had probably read too many travel blogs and was hoping my 2016 would be non-stop traveling and well, it wasn’t. In fact, I rested, wrote and painted a lot. I actually stayed in LA for a consecutive 3 months. Yes I did fly to Paris to film a travel show, Morocco to backpack, and then to the Philippines for another show…but when I came back from Cebu in June, the most out of state traveling I did was a cruise to Mexico.

Also the last few years, I happened to be traveling during the holidays. On my birthday 2 years ago, I traveled to Catalina Island and spent a few days alone.

Instead of the “hoo-haa I want to party and dance”, I did not feel that way this year. I was okay staying in and watching Netflix. I was comfortable with the peace of just being with God. Peace was something I attained more of in 2016 and I realized it was better than the crazy drunkenness that comes with partying.

Peace was better than dating guys that messed up my peacequilibrium.

Peace was better than forcing myself to attend family events where I would be attacked verbally.

Peace was better than spending time with people who were constantly striving because they don’t know their worth.

Peace was better than the struggle of speeding into other peoples’ lanes because of jealousy. You see, there are dreams that people have that are not YOURS. Know your vision, know your dreams, know what you want and don’t go hopping into other peoples’ lanes because you have a minute of jealousy.

Shut off your phone, laptop. Unplug for a minute. Sync with God. You are enough, here and now….not when you achieve something else, when you attain something more, or when you meet the right person…you are enough now.

Stay in your lane, focus on your life. Don’t go “but they’re doing this or that….”.

I learned that if it is God, it feels peaceful. I learned that if it was the right way to go, it is peace. Yes, new paths might be scary, but deep down there exists a tremble of excitement. A scary excitement. 2017 will bring new levels of promotion, love and joy.

I see your past wiped out, you have a clean slate for a new life. Forgive yourself. Let the past go. Let’s move forward together. Are you in? 

Don’t Let ”What Is” Prevent You From Going After ”What Will be”

dont-let-what-you-fear-losing-prevent-you-from-going-after-what-you-wantI woke up with this phrase in my spirit- “Don’t let what you fear losing prevent you from going after what you want”.

Life is full of change. In fact, life is progress and without it, we are not truly living. We go from being a baby to a kid to being a teenager to an adult. Our teeth grows, our hair grows, etc. But sometimes we need to let go of what is, what was to go after what will be or what we want to be. We need to pull a few wisdom teeth out, we need to cut our hair, get a trim, we need to chop those highlights because they start to fade.

I have been feeling a weirdness in my heart. It’s like my heart wants to progress but there is also a fear that I can’t handle the new season….that I’m not good enough, that I’m not truly ready for it. I am reminded that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

When we reach a new territory, it takes our hearts some time to adjust. WE struggle with letting go of “WHAT WAS” and eventually “what is” so that we can keep moving forward. 

You may be in a “good” relationship, but you are not growing with your boyfriend/girlfriend, in fact, you feel stagnant and most of the time you are pulling him/her up to your level of spirituality or intellect. People are proud of your relationship, but deep down you know there has to be something more but you are afraid of letting go of what is. 

You may have lost everything once, twice, three times and you have finally rebuilt yourself, but you are not doing what you love…you want to go ALL IN on your passions but you are afraid that you will lose everything again. Trust that your heart is worth investing everything for because authenticity and returning to WHO YOU REALLY ARE will bring joy back to your heart, even through pain.

You may have good friends but they are not supportive of your dreams because they don’t have the courage to do what it takes for their dreams. You fear losing them, you remember all the good times you had, but you know you have to choose yourself. New levels of friendship will arrive when you take that first step to go into your next level. 

Today’s post reads like a fortune cookie, but I believe these are prophecies and specific words God has released into my heart.

“Don’t let what you fear losing prevent you from going after what you want”.

What do you want and what are you afraid of losing? You are enough.