Warrior Princess

Little girls were watching 'Mulan,' the only Disney Princess who actually isn't a just Princess but a Warrior Princess.
I realized that I want to be Mulan.
Not Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White...

I want to be Mulan because she can grapple with her insecurities and expectations of her family and life and do the right thing by following her heart. She deals with the consequences of her actions, and never looks back. And she doesn't wait for some cocky boy to save the day; she saves the day.

Disney did something right.

I hope the little girls can see that.

And I hope that I can follow my heart and make the right choice for me.


I talked with Naomi about our issues with the world, the problems that seem to hinder our way of life. We expressed how difficult it was for people to just sit there and listen, that just lending their time for a while was as helpful as they could get. But she also thought that it was so difficult to release her troubles to someone else. What if they become disappointed in me? What if they see me in a negative light?
The fear of being unaccepted was clear.


Heard what I heard. Can't forget it. Saw what I saw. Can't go back. Know what I know. Can't deny.

Done what I did. Can't erase it. Am what I am. More than enough. Got what I've got. Nothing compares.

Said what I said with no looking back, have what I have and giving it up, did what I did with no guarantees.

Something on my road cut my soul and changed my world.


This Christmas, I've never felt so lonely in my life.
So I painted a smile and pretended to be happy
Because no one wants to know if you're truly
fine or not.

{Photo: Shlomi Nissim - QualityPeoples via Tumblr}

23 - Compare and Contrast

"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it."
Maurice Switzer

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

But I think it is better to live than to just exist... it's just so hard on the heart and heavy on the eyes

{Photo: PMMPhoto Flickr}

22 - "Me, too."

The greatest comfort anyone has given to me in my time of struggle was when he said, "Me, too."
Even if it was said out of sympathy, and even if it was only for just a moment, I didn't feel alone anymore.
I don't know if it was because I was so desperate for some company (internal laugh), or if I needed a sense of unity, but hearing those words made me feel a connection to pull me through. It was enough.
I wish to be the person who gives strength and light for that one moment in the future.

21 - I wish

I wish I could understand myself.
I wish there were no expectations.
Maybe then I could truly be free.
No holding back.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; 
after that, fear has no power,
 and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. 
You are free.” 
Jim Morrison

20 - Voices in My Head

When Father asked me what I thought about him divorcing Mom, I wanted to smack him. I was sitting in the backseat of his car, so I couldn't reach his face. Wasn't he supposed to try and keep the family together? Betrayal at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

But to be honest, I wanted him gone. It's true that hating someone is a lot easier when you can't see them. Yet, the kids needed their "Daddy," the guy who was a role model who was on one side fluffy like a teddy-bear and on the other, strong as a rock. So I said, No. No divorce. The kids need you. He smirked, as if he had already known my answer.
I proceeded to get out of the car and hightail home, trying my very best to forget his reply: That's what I thought, too. I couldn't have said it better myself.

To myself, I thought, You're such a self-sacrificing hypocrite. I couldn't have agreed more with the voice in my head.

19 - "After a good dinner one can forgive anybody."

It starts out all right. Everything is bright, friendly and cheery. Nothing is dark or somber. Relatives you've never seen before come over, and being of Asian heritage, it means that there are a lot of relatives to bow and scrape to. Raucous laughter bangs a cacophony over and over my head as the ladies sneak peeks at the latest handbags of those who married rich while the others sniff disdainfully of whatever decorations are put up in the house. The men size each other up in terms of money and success in life; then they get together to talk about whatever news is blaring on the TV. Normal. Fake.

Of course, I do not despise the essence of it; Christ Jesus' birthday is supposed to be celebrated, after all. But the tawdry fakery, the grey slushy snow, and the beady eyes of money-sucking businessmen makes me want to crawl in a hole. Dinner at home is even more vulgar. The awkward silence that fills among cousins, the snide insults that are passed to each other over the table -- do they think I will not notice? 

They pick apart their children's life as if they were taxidermists, revealing everything to bare. They pick apart mine especially, mainly because I am with them but I am not one of them. My mother tries to galvanize my decreasing faith in what is known as family. They'll be gone soon. She lays a quick kiss to my cheek before I place my armor, take up my sword, and plaster a smile to meet family.

I hope it will be different this year. Mom's side of the family isn't coming, so the snide insults will not be present. Mom's mother passed away, so that means no spiteful glares are directed toward anyone. But my Father is coming, which means everything will still be awkward.  But I've been told that, "After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations." I wish this to be true.

18 - Falling Apart

My father is a peculiar person. Not too friendly, and not too shy, he is the epitome of the working man. His rugged beard and East Asian culture never stopped him rebuking a stranger to defend his integrity. His accented English would always ring through my head as it was he who  told me to dream big and to dream loud, for if something is impossible, it is all the more fun to achieve it.

Our relationship can only be described as the father-daughter love so keenly dissected apart on TV shows. He was my hero, flaws and all.  I was his little girl no matter how old I was. I am -- no, I was -- cherished, respected, and above all, loved. And like all relationships, ours fell apart.

It was subtle and came with a bang. His words and actions that was spoken to me meant nothing because of his one action at that one time. It shattered everything I held dear.

Now, conversations are used with only the necessary words, and eye contact is non-existence. I haven't seen Father in 2 months.

He's coming for Christmas, and I'm really starting to hate the apprehension and fragility.

Cemetery Sunday

I was walking through the graveyard today, seeing the stones that marked the places of those who have been loved, those who have been forgotten, and those who have finally been laid to rest after a long life.

I can't really describe the feeling I was getting while passing through. I wasn't sad, but I wasn't happy. I wasn't depressed or confused...

I was content.

Then I started remembering all those who have left my life, physically and spiritually. All those memories filled with love and laughter, the sorrow and tears --- I'm just so thankful that I was able to be with them for whatever short time we had together.

So as I walked down memory line, I had one thought and one thought only:

I hope they still think of me as much as I think of them.

You have been a stronger wind
The guiding of my right
The ever present confidant
A light in these dark eyes

I want you like no one else ever could
I want you like no one else ever could, do you?

Leave Behind a Legacy

Sometimes I get this irrational fear that when I die, I will think that I was not enough, that I didn't do enough, that I didn't say enough. I fear that I will not be remembered as someone who changed things, someone who took chances, someone who lived life to the fullest, someone who loved.

On the outside, I hide these fears. I show an indifference to all things; I pretend that I'm a rock, but that is so far from the truth. I want to be more than I am, give more than I can give, love more than I should, and say nothing more than what is necessary. I want to laugh in a funeral, witness a solar eclipse, have an amazing one night stand, and fall asleep in grassy pastures. I want to be with people and interact with them and be part of their lives. In fact, I want to be life. Then I'll be prepared and ready to not feel the fear of being forgettable. That way I'll leave behind a legacy.

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I have four siblings. As the eldest of 5, there's a huge age gap of 13 years between me and the youngest, John. He's capricious and annoying, but kind and gentle. I'm pretty sure he'll be a favorite among the ladies.

We were walking home together while it was quite dark. He and I had left home to buy ice cream. He held my hand so tightly I thought something was wrong.
But he said with those big brown eyes, "You'll protect me. If I don't let go, I won't be scared."

My heart broke in two, which caused me to make a foolish, stupid, and irresponsible promise.

I promised I would never let go.

I promise

If happiness were mine...
       I wouldn't share it, but keep it for myself.
             That way no one can know why they feel so alone.

If love was mine...
       I wouldn't give it, but lock it away.
             That way no one can feel the pain from heartbreak.

If laughter was mine...
       I wouldn't make any noise but keep silent.
             That way no one can understand why their cheeks are wet from water that flows from the eyes.

That's the kind of person I am.
Can you still love me? Accept me?
I can't.

So I try to be Happy in loneliness,
Love when I'm scared of denial,
and Laugh in the midst of tears.

That way, I'll appear normal 
So you'll be able to love me when I can't accept myself.

So please.
Love me to your fullest,
and I Promise I won't cry when
I Leave.

#2 - I'll forget the first

I had to use my special gift just recently. If you've been following, you would know what it is.

The scenario is still inside my head, and as I re-run the words exactly, each facial expression is noted down to a T.
I hear the background murmur of voices, I see his mouth wording the sentences, I see his eye rolls, awkward hand motions.
Abrasive. Hostile. Immature. Angry. Defensive and offensive at the same time.
That is he, not I.

Despite the fact that I was surprised at his aggressive attempt at a conversation, I responded cordially and with reserve. A lady.
I shut down his child-like venture to draw me to anger, to get under my skin.
I told him to wait, because frankly, I had better stuff to do than converse with him.
When he tried to undercut my authority as a girl, as a woman, I told him to sit down because I was the leader.
Only I would get to do anything; I would do things in my own time.

He left. I mentally collapsed from the strain of keeping it together while I continued talking to those who really needed me. I had a job to do, and I was going to keep on doing it.

He came back, and this time, he tried to simper and smile, trying so hard to look good in my eyes. Pitiful.
With a regal air, I turned away because my gift allowed me to keep back sharp retorts.

I don't remember anything good from this relationship, and probably because there were none.
I can't believe I was with you in the first place.
I'll forget the first.

I don't care...

I have a special gift. Almost a superpower, really.
I use it everyday as I converse with the people of my life, and I smile and weep in their souls.
It's a pity, really.

My gift is that I can convince myself that I don't care. Not only can I convince myself, but I can convince you that I don't care.
I don't care about missing out, about being ignored, about being not loved, about not being cared about.
I don't care that you put me down because of what I look like, that your words don't affect me.

I repeat this like a mantra over and over in my head until I believe.

All of a sudden, you are nothing. A blip in my radar, a flower just withering away.
I can live the way I want, be foolish and be Happy that I'm a fool.

Now, I just don't care about you.