Walking In Faith Always Requires A New Level Of Trust

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(Catba Vietnam)

Whenever a new challenge comes my way and I have doubts and feelings of lack, I remember how God delivered me.

For one, as I was walking home, I thought about how whenever God called me to something, I never actually had the finances or resources for it. It required faith and trust and follow through. I had to obey and walk through the steps. I don’t know why God has given me this kind of faith or why He has required it from me, but maybe because I was born into situations that required me to have faith.

When I went to Thailand I had a one way ticket and $1000. The paycheck I was “relying” on never came through and as much as I chased down that client, I had to learn to let it go and forgive him. 

I would hear a country, a city, and go. One way tickets. There were times I pretty much ran out of money and then something would show up like the idea of selling an old tablet, which afforded me one week at a 10′ by 5′ prison celled size room.

Or how I would be dancing at a bar and a Vietnamese lady would offer to pick me up at the train station the next day and I would learn about their lives while I lived with her.

Or how I would forget but randomly mention my blog and be offered rooming for my marketing and writing skills.

But at the end of the day, God always called me to people.

He never showed me exactly what would happen, but He would tell my heart to trust Him. And I would be petrified, but I would walk forward, trusting that I wouldn’t be stranded on an island.
And that has almost happened too.

But then I’ll be eating my last $2 and then a group of travel agents would join me and ask me to drink with them. And then somehow I would become friends with people I would have never met if I wasn’t out there eating alone at Catba Island, Vietnam.

MY life is full of stories like this.

And so when I am feeling challenged, I would remember, God did this and that….and I would never fail to be in awe once again.

So whatever new challenge you are facing today, remember how God delivered you then and how our whole life is a series of trusting for the next level. 

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My couchsurfing host in Hanoi, now a sister.

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Saigon, Vietnam

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Biking in Melaka, Malaysia

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Dancing at the temple, Melaka, Malaysia

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Catba Islands, Vietnam

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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? 

 

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.

Planning a Vancouver, Canada Trip

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2 days ago I saw a really great deal on roundtrip flights to Vancouver and immediately texted my mom. It was $195.11 per person. I know! RIGHT! Anyways, I subscribe to Airfarewatchdog, Tripadvisor and several other sites for good flight deals. I input cities I want to go to and watch my inbox as the year goes along.  I get flight deals sent to me so I don’t have to search. 

The great thing is that my mom is just as spontaneous as I am, but we’ve been wanting to go to Vancouver for a few years.

I know that deals like this are rare. I hopped onto American Airlines directly since it was the same rate and I heard customer service is usually better when you book direct (also complaints are heard). While I was waiting for my mom to reply, and every SECOND MATTERS WHEN IT COMES TO GREAT DEALS, the best return timed flight WAS TAKEN. I was left to book 6am RETURN flights, which is a bummer because you have to wake up at 3 am or even earlier. And I HATE waking up early because I feel like throwing up but I can’t. 

We are leaving in about 2 weeks. That is the reason I NEVER tell people where I plan to go, BECAUSE I really don’t know! It’s true.

My mom wanted to go to the rocky mountains and lake louise, but now I had to do my research.

When I backpack on my own, I usually book one night at a hostel or hotel and then wing it from there. Since I don’t usually have time restraints, I ask around the hostel what and where I should go to. To be honest, when I was healing from some heart wounds, I literally walked around the city, wrote in my journal and drank coffee. Sometimes I would make friends with people and travel with them. It was very laissez-faire.

I started by googling “how to get from Vancouver to Rocky Mountains”. This led me to several tour sites. One was deceiving well-priced at $354 for 4 days. I knew immediately, “this is an ASIAN TOUR”. Of course, when I plugged in the dates it was actually $700 or so.

I HAVE HORRIBLE experiences with ASIAN TOURS. I hate them. I really do. I don’t care how cheap they are….the only thing I remember is HOLDING MY BLADDER YO!

They won’t let you piss on the bus!!! Every two hours you get a bathroom break, but as a paranoid bathroom person…the whole time I’m on the bus, I’m thinking about the bathroom (I think it’s a safety thing for me). Even though there is a bathroom on the bus, they don’t want you to taint it with your smelly piss.

And then you are rushed like a herd of cows. Last time I went to San Francisco with my mom, we had like 30 minutes to eat and look around at Solvang. I literally waited 10 minutes for my food, ate for another 10 and was rushing back to the bus afraid to be left behind! LOL. Also we usually had to wake up at 6am or 5:50am and some of the stops were not vital for us to see. We finally had enough and told the tour guide we wanted the afternoon off and NO we did not want to go on the city bus YO! 

I think the most enjoyable moments of our day was going to Philz Coffee.

I will continue this later….I haven’t eaten breakfast and I’m getting hungry.

SO far, I have decided renting a car is the best, easiest and most affordable way to travel to the Rocky’s. I google mapped it and saw that there was a HOT SPRING PLACE so WE ARE DEFINITELY GOING. HOT SPRING IS MY THING!

I hope you look forward to everything I’ll be writing about for my SUMMER EDITION!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back  Get $10 when you sign up! Enjoy!

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Ecuador, My Life In The Jungles- The Sequel 1

This day brings into remembrance of my time in Ecuador. I wrote about my first leg of the trip on Kiss From The World but of course, time and perspective holds even more colorful stories.

As I lay in bed trying to go back to sleep because it’s 7am on a Saturday, I suddenly saw myself on a truck riding to the jungles of Tena. My mind replayed my trip in vivid details as if to remind me of all the adventures I’ve had in my life. For some reason, people accuse me of my inexperience and youth because I look young….but if they heard what I’ve been through. But it’s really none of their business.

So here goes.

Backpacking solo as a women.

  1. Do research, but don’t RESEARCH TOO much. Don’t ask too much of other peoples’ opinions. It was my first time backpacking in a “3rd world country”. My last backpacking trip before Ecuador was Australia. I asked a few Asian women and was filled with more fear than excitement. My boyfriend at the time gave me pepper spray and told me to hold onto it at all times. My experience was contrary to those opinions…I met the kindest, most welcoming people I have ever met.

A kind man offered to help me translate, my Spanish was quite broken. I finally arrived at a local hotel, it was $10 a night with 2 beds. One for me, and one for my backpack. The plastic walls separated me from the grandma who owned the hotel and was watching some drama. I could see the technicolor bouncing to my wall, as if to welcome me. My bed sheets were thin and crinkled from the 1970s and hot red florals covered my second bed. Please excuse the quality, I don’t think I had an Iphone back then.

My days in the city of Tena was a blur but after visiting my sponsored child, I roamed the streets and attempted to eat street food without getting sick. I was successful. Ecuadorian salsa is BUENO. Almost as good as Mexican salsa out here in LA. They also love animal innards, and as a Taiwanese person, I could get with that, no problemo.

I decided to visit the jungles, there was another $10 hotel over there. I asked my new buddy whether he wanted to go with me. He was hesitant as he was very American, even though Ecuadorian American…and also he had gotten robbed once at an Ecuadorian bar. Oh I meant, he got roofied and robbed, and woke up in the bushes without his Iphone or wallet. So he was pretty petrified at the thought of going with a strange Asian woman to another city hours away.

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First we were to wait in front of my hotel for a yellow taxi. We waited. 1 hour, 2 hours. Wow. Okay, we called a few times and finally taxi came.

Second, we were dropped off at a bus station where tons of people played volleyball or was it basketball, I can’t remember. Now, we were transported into a truck but we had to wait for the tour guide. Now, this was another hour or so.

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The trip took 2-3 hours, riding on dirt, rocks and rickety paths. Towards the end, we were pretty much off-roading and the sky was getting dark. We finally parked and the tour guide took out his flashlight. In these photos I think they were carrying gas into the hotel.

We walked into the jungle and I thought “that’s it, I’ve met my time of death”. (No, actually I was a lot more positive back then since I was young and inexperienced (LOL)). A huge castle jungle house appeared before my eyes.

I was in heaven.

The individual rooms were not fancy, but it was enough. Mosquitoes roamed around me as I quickly sprayed myself. The bathrooms had concrete gray walls and straw walls surrounded me in the bedroom. All I could hear was birds, bugs, snakes and whatever else was out there. I could feel my soul spreading into the jungle and saying hi to each creature. I was becoming one with the earth. 

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The one part of the jungle that had reception was on this outdoor patio on the second floor. You had to put your phone on one point of a statue.581041_10151770635875603_255176119_n

The next day, I was expecting my friend to be there but after some looking and asking, I found out he had left. YEP, I am not kidding. My new friend left the jungles early in the morning, I think he was SO scared by the whole journey that he decided to leave. 

And yes, he was a male person. And yes, I am a female. And it just so happened I was the only person staying there. So I had a whole castle to myself. SO please LORD, do not judge people based on gender.

“hey what the fuck? you left?” -me on the phone.

“yes, well my mom needed me for something, so I had to leave right away”

“oh okay, whatever. Have fun!”- me

So my friend for the next few days was the tour guide, who I was not paying because I did not want to go on a tour. However, as a friend he still showed me a few things like how to cut down cocoa.

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He had escaped from a life of American gang -hood to live in the jungles. He saw friends get shot, and the most horrific of all, children being trafficked in crates. There was nothing he could do about it because he could get gunned down right there and then. This was no Narcos, this was real life. Then we talked about Jesus and I showed him how to hear from Him directly. Jesus and gangsters all in one day.

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To be continued…..

Overcoming The Fear of Failure

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I believe it was May 1 when God gave me the go ahead to start pursuing opportunities again. To be honest, I was hesitant. I had been in a year of waiting season, healing and restoring brokenness in my heart and allowing God to take away the lies and fears that had boggled up my being.
And the biggest breakthrough in April? My dad asked me for forgiveness for not being there for most of my life.
I needed to hear it. I needed to know that he cared.
And somehow his caring broke open a part of my heart that had been closed off for so long.
It wasn’t my fault after all that my dad neglected his responsibility to care for me.
It wasn’t my fault that my parents divorced, it wasn’t my fault that I lived my early life full of fear, desperation, depression, striving, toil. Even writing about this again causes tears to well up.
I didn’t realize this but I lived in a way where “God if I just do this right, if I just make the right decision then my life will be good. If you just tell me what to do, if you tell me what is good and bad, then I won’t screw up my life more than it is already.”
I was scared of making mistakes, I was scared that I had truly ruined my life somehow with the decisions I had made.
Perfectionism.
Pressure.
Condemnation.
Those were things I felt and lived under.
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Grace says “you are enough”, your decisions don’t affect my plan for your life. You are not under judgement anymore. You are in relationship. Trust your gut. Trust that I will never leave or forsake you.
As I venture into new territory, reclaiming the things that was barred from me, reopening lost opportunities, I am learning to trust that God is truly with me. I won’t be afraid of rejection anymore because I know that these rejections only say “something better is waiting for you”. Just this morning, my previous commercial acting agent told me they won’t be able to sign me again. I am relieved because I know God is working a whole new thing for me and I can trust a better thing is waiting for me.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
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Photos by Patrick.
I took these photos a few years ago in Hollywood Hills and I knew God had put a calling on my heart to thrive in the entertainment industry. Somehow I went to auditions after auditions for 2 years and the opportunities I did get were reality and travel shows. I felt like every door was shut to me and as hard as I tried, doors were locked. 
Then I was called into a season of rest. May 1, 2017- we are finally out of the waiting room and into the big arena. Yesterday I finally got to see my neighbor’s music studio. His name is Joseph. I am reminded that Joseph had to go through the prison to go to the palace. But he never lost his dreams. 
May we carry on knowing that every dream in our heart is a dream from the maker and that we were conceived to actualize and manifest those dreams into reality.