How do you answer the question, “where are you from?” I always have trouble with this question nowadays. And even though I remember it was easier for me to answer this question when I was younger, I can’t remember what I used to say.

I bet I automatically assumed it meant I have to tell people I’m from China. I bet I thought that’s what people meant, like you don’t look like us so where are you from exactly? Then it turned into tell people the last place I lived like it would go something like this:

“Where are you from?”

“Baltimore County.”


“Not Baltimore City. Those two are different. That’s what I tell everyone…”

After this exchange I just sound conceited or something so I feel defeated because that’s not what I want to come across as at all.

Nowadays it becomes a conversation like this one, where I’m trying to figure out how I’m supposed to answer the question so that’s what I say and I end up giving my “life story” about where I was born to where I grew up and where my family has moved across the States. Then I feel like I’ve given TMI too soon and that leads to feeling defeated again.

So now I’m just left with the question hanging in the air and me a deer in the headlights. Awk…ward…


tears form behind my eyes

What will it take for all people to get along? Is that even possible? Or are we all so self-centered and needy we are totally incapable of truly getting along with one another? I feel like we live in a society where it’s the norm to not even know your neighbor’s name. How did this happen? I feel like that part in “The Break-Up” when Brooke is crying and asking Gary, “how did we get here?” No lie – that’s how intensely I treat this problem. Well, maybe treat isn’t the right word here because I feel like I haven’t done anything yet. More like think about, if you will. It sounds silly, I know, but the fact that the world is so messed up breaks my heart. I know it’s to be expected, but I can’t get over it, even when I seem to be numb towards it. Numb because I know it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Numb because I’ve always believed there’s no such thing as world peace. But even if world peace is truly impossible, there has to be a solution.

There’s that famous quote everyone’s heard of, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” I never remember correctly who said what, but I don’t think that really matters in this case. I think action in this case matters. Actual action. Not the spoken kind. Not the kind where you say you’re going to make plans to hang out and then nothing. Not the kind where you complain about every little thing wrong with the world and then offer no solutions. You can discuss anything to death, but in the end, something’s gotta be done. The question is, who is going to be first? I know, I know. It’s not that simple. Where do we begin? Well…

If every single person in the world focused on one thing they are truly passionate about improving in the world…Walt Disney couldn’t even imagine a world like this.


Yes, guys, believe it or not, in this world post-Florida shooting, there is still some good left…

The other day I was driving home from work and I stopped behind some cars at a stoplight. I saw a guy pointing at the car next to him, as if to get the driver-of-the-car-he-was-pointing-to’s attention. I had no idea what this was about, but I kept my eyes on him, hoping to find out. He waited a second, but realizing the driver wasn’t going to get his message, got out of his vehicle and walked to the car he was pointing to and shut the trunk of that car. I didn’t even notice the trunk was open, but I did notice the guy after that random act of kindness. I got chills, like they were reminding me there is still some good left in the world. I drove behind him for a few more blocks, then another car butted in and then I wasn’t behind that guy anymore. I don’t know his name and I don’t really know what he looks like. But I don’t think I will ever forget him.

I can’t even tell you why this moment stood out so much to me. I’m sure lots of people all over the world are doing acts of kindness. Maybe it’s because of the timing of all the shootings happening lately. Maybe it’s my PMS. Who really knows? The news reports mostly bad things going on in the world, but often misses the good. When I witness something good like this it’s like I’m good-shocked or something. So much so the right words to describe it fail me…like right now…but no matter…I hope you all get to witness something good and not let anything bad happening in the world rob you of your joy. Because if you’re reading this, you deserve all the joy in the world.


“Fatal” by Fred Colton


If you don’t know who Pace Warner is, you are seriously missing out. If you are like me and have always wondered what it would be like to put action scenes into words, this is for you. Colton has some sort of sniper experience for sure. Only someone who has been one or observed one or talked to one can describe it from the first person point of view. The only downside to this book is it is so short. You get to the last page and you’re like, “Nooo, that’s it?! Tell me more!” The length is not really a downside at all though, as all good things must come to an end and it leaves you wanting more. I’m not going to say anyone can enjoy this book, but I will say anyone who’s watched an action/thriller film or is in any way remotely interested in this genre will enjoy this book. As previously mentioned, I haven’t read nearly as many thriller books as the average thriller fan, but I don’t care about numbers. If you are a thriller fan, you have got to check out Colton. Plus, if you have read The Colony, this will give you the backstory. Who doesn’t love backstories?



The lady at orientation made it sound so good, like it would be so much fun and fun was as far as I could look as a recent high school senior. So here I am, a month, not planning the future like everybody else. They all are fast-forwarding to attending. Eating good food and sleeping in the most comfortable mattress and watching Disney movies because I got time to grow up. First semester didn’t go so well, but at least I didn’t fail out, not that I think it’s funny someone failed out due to a video game addiction. WOW is it? I know nothing about video games, only everything about every shade of snow. The ‘rents are away at work and I have the whole house to myself. It’s a lot of room for my thoughts to get out of control. The snow is beautiful and so are the robins hanging out on the bare branches, but that doesn’t change the fact up to this point I had been training for the Olympics and once I got in, the Olympics was over and I’m on my butt trying to figure out what my next move should be. Except I have no idea. All I want to do is be a Sheryl Crow song. At the end of this month it’s back to another semester of I don’t know. Another semester of stress beyond any freshman can imagine. Maybe I’m exaggerating, maybe I’m not, but the only ones who get it are the undergraduates of this school. They say I’m at the age where my whole life is ahead of me. I’ve heard my whole life “life is short.” So why does it feel so long?





Don’t procrastinate. Stuff You Have To Do will just build up like plaque in between your teeth and then you’ll have to figure out how to tackle all of it at once like an ant bathes in a drop of water. Believe you me, that is not fun. If you care about the SYHTD, you may end up sacrificing your health to get it done. Usually that consists of staying up late and not eating three meals a day or substituting cooking with take out or instant microwavable meals like Ramen or Easy Mac. But that’s OK. It’s a quick gradual fix to reset if you want to reverse the effects of procrastination by replacing it with not-procrastination week by week until you are back to SYHTD like refilling your gas tank with 91 several times after it empties to bring the engine back to optimal function to replace the 87 you have been filling it without realizing the damage it may do to your engine. Don’t procrastinate. It takes more time to procrastinate than to actually get done what you set out to do. You’ll start typing a sentence then suddenly glance down and see how dirty your keyboard is and grab a can of air. Next thing you know you’re hungry from all that phalange movement so you go make some pasta, but it’s too boring watching water boil so you turn on the TV in the kitchen to keep you company and all of a sudden Sheldon is trying to cheer Leonard up by offering to beat him at a game Leonard cares least about losing. After you eat you feel like you deserve a little break so you go take Fifi for a walk. When you get back, it’s time for a nap. When you wake up you need to fit together another piece of that 1,000 piece Simpsons puzzle. Don’t procrastinate. Like backwards Nike, just don’t do it.


NYE 2017 Reflection



“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” — Mark Twain

On New Year’s Eve. I went to a party where I didn’t know the host and I didn’t know most of the people there. My best friend took me and the party people were her friends. Actually, she knew the host and some of the people there. I don’t know why, but it made me feel better knowing I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know everybody either.

I don’t know what it is about parties like these where I don’t know everybody, but I’ve noticed myself lately going into situations like this and reacting kind of shy I guess. The guy who opened the door had a “who are you?” look on his face. But we powered through, came in, found an empty sofa and sat down to a NYE game night. I didn’t have the best time. I shouldn’t say that. I didn’t have the expected best time. I shouldn’t say that either. I had a good time, but not the best in the way I had anticipated. Maybe I best just describe what happened and you can describe it to yourself.

The games were fine. In fact, they were exciting and a lot of fun. They were right up my alley what with guessing words, captioning meme pictures and the like, and I appreciated the fact that our host wanted to check to see if we would be OK with expletives in one. (We weren’t, based off the fact there was questioning involved and mumbling and such.) The party people knew each other, thus they were their funny entertaining selves and while all the other guests kind of look confused with our showing up, one girl had a friendly face on and she ended up being the only one I connected with all evening besides my best friend. Everybody else had their game faces on. (Haha.) I think my brain was slow. I think it had been a long day of fun, but in a good way. Not a long day in the typical sense of the word. Or maybe I just reverted to my old self. But my fear of embarrassment took over and I was suddenly not shy exactly, but not my college self who would have handled the situation with popularity and coolness and boldness.

All of a sudden every game that required me to talk was awkward for me. One of the first ones we played required me to describe a tool I needed to fix a spaceship and ask for said tool and hope someone had that tool on a card that could trade a card with me. For each card I got, anything that had specific instructions on it like “pass all your cards to the left” was easy for me to announce to the players, but anything that I had a tool on it I needed to quickly describe I remained mute in my seat. Time was of the essence, but my brain didn’t get the memo. Our host called me quiet and later labeled my best friend as such. Inside my head I got defensive. I felt my face burning up a little, but I didn’t say anything. (Ha!) My best friend couldn’t hold it in. She got vocal with her defensiveness. I knew the feeling, but I didn’t see the point for me to waste my breath on people I didn’t know. They don’t know me and I don’t owe them an explanation, and it got me thinking people get defensive when they are called quiet. Quiet is seen as a bad quality. I disagree.

I don’t think quiet is a bad thing. It is not automatically a negative trait. Why is it by default seen that way anyway? Quiet is what makes us good observers. Quiet is how we observe the loud ones, the ones who are in love with their voices and end up saying stupid things as a result. Quiet is not a bad thing. It means we are thinkers. It means we are processors. It means we actually think about what we are going to say before we say it. It means we are good listeners. It means we have good ideas and possess enough patience to wait for the right moment to do something and get lucky.

At the same time, I think there’s no need to get defensive if someone calls you that. Once you do, you validate the idea that being quiet is a bad thing. The best thing to do is remain calm, observe, form your opinion of them, and know secretly in your heart that you are better than this, better than what they label you. Who you are is never defined by a single moment. It’s just not that simple. We are all walking kaleidoscopes. As long as you know at the core who you really are, it doesn’t matter what people label you or say about you behind your back. After all, they need you more than you need them.