Just as King Herod beheaded John the Baptist, either you two are going to behead me or I’m going to behead you two. There’s a beautiful double-blindness to life, and the dual(sic-duel) unfolding explanation to it all.

At this fork in the road, I need to choose repentance and love.

But love is not necessarily parties and dances and laughter. I think King Herod could afford that, but he was still distressed and guilt-ridden

To some level, I know I need a desert foundation on the standard of truth.

Jesus loves me. my mom loves me. Lewis loves me. Jeff forgave me. Wing and Ginny and Jane, Vanessa, Jess^2, Victoria accept me.

“I”ll be fine”

But you need to stop lying to me. Please.

  • After the hottest summer, it’s certainly a chilly autumn. I cannot get myself to come out from under the covers in the morning because it’s so cold. I know it’s really cold because the toilet seat is always cold now. Also, I’m sniffling incessantly
  • Family: My dad’s fine. He had an oral extraction done today (not his first and not his last), and it wasn’t covered by his insurance and I think it was ~$1000, but he’s not complaining. What a trooper. He’s the best, not only for what he does (wake up before anyone else to check the weather and wake the rest of us up; never fail to pick any of the rest of us up from the Stop+Shop near the bus stop), what he says (the guidance and example he gives to the NHP kiddos; by reading his Bible and Bible books with devotion all the time but especially early in the morning and with the dream/goal in mind of going to be a missionary in China, short-term asap but long-term as soon as he can retire safely knowing Chris and I will be fine with our futures; the career/life he gives me when I want to give up–and my mom, and Chris, now that I think about it), but obviously for who he is. I think Lewis kinda thinks my regard for my family and especially my dad is really heavy/weighty–and he probably notices it more clearly than I do because he can hear the words that come out of my mouth.
    My mommy’s tired, but enthusiastic enough to always tell me encouraging things with a smile and promise to study with me if I need her and does Chris’ physics problems for fun but also just to stay in the living room with us to keep us company as we do HW. She’s running for Stuy 9th grade parent rep, which is interesting because she hasn’t been super involved in the PTA (beyond donating) since I was in elementary school and she participated in the Chinese PTA. My mommy loves me and Chris so much. And I actually can’t say with much confidence that anyone loves me equally as they love someone else comparable to me (which is all sorts of horrible for me) , but I actually believe that my Mommy loves us equally and that makes me heart gush and swell.
    Chris is surviving Stuy. The kid’s commute…sigh. It’s all sorts of complicated because he has to coordinate with my dad afterschool. He has friends; more friends than I do, really, and goes to Seekers and some other extracurrics. But, man, the amount of back and forth and going from place to place is such a waste of time (in econ terms, high transaction cost? maybe actually opportunity cost if i think about it some more). on saturdays he has chinese and computer and something else back to back. This man is obedient, considerate, also funny. Thank God for him.
  • Other people: I just haven’t been talking normally. I think it’s normal to be able to laugh when someone tells a joke, respond when someone expects a response, and just generally be a social human being and engage in social interactions when they arise. I haven’t been able to express myself because “I don’t know how” but as I bury things deeper they really get covered and unrecognizable and I end up not knowing what’s wrong anymore. But anyway I have weird trust issues. Didn’t talk to Lewis even when he reached his hands back and clapped them together again and again to reach out to encapsulate some part of me. I’m stupid. I didn’t make any eye contact and couldn’t coherently answer Jeff’s question about “who helped me become Christian” even though he was listening and even expressedly wanted to hear my answer. I said some horribly garbled thing about once upon a time Jesus made my heart hurt. and then, when i tried again and was closer to target, once upon a time my parents met each other. what i really wanted to say was once upon a time someone told me “Jesus loves you” and I believed them. and once again. and once again. but as of 10/9/12, i can still count on my fingers the number of times I believe it when I hear it. I invited Jeff and Michelle to watch the Rumble with me and then cancelled on them and just offered them my email and pw so I could go home early with Lewis out of habit. I did nothing at home and felt horrible.
  • I talk to Karen, my bible study buddy, and I love her a lot. I love the time we spend together and I love that we read four verses and talk solely about just the Gospel for 2-3 hour blocks at a time. She’s a great friend. Even though I only meet with her once a week, I trust her so much that I don’t feel that neediness that I yearn from so many other people to be there for me at other times. It’s because I know and I trust that on Thursday afternoons, that time is for us and she feels the same way. She’s never distracted and she always listens. She’s not perfect or the smartest or the kindest or the funniest or anything, but she’s smart and kind and funny and so she’s perfect to me. So’s Homy. I’m sad she’s leaving. I’m also just kinda like blaaaah, why do these people have to be older than me?, which is such a silly question. But maybe it has to do with those trust issues. I trust them.
  • Yet I didn’t choose to go to body worship practice on saturday? so then i have no right to get jealous later. and i’m not–victoria and jane and the jesses and annie and vanessa texted and called me and taught me everything on sunday. and ginny bought me bao on sunday ^^ but gee. if i think i want to hang out with them, then when the opportunity arises, i have to do it, duh. this decision dissonance is something i’ve thought about and talked about before in regards to growing up. but i haven’t exercised it AT ALL. it’s so gross. because in my head and heart i want to be closer friends to them so badly. but my will is missing. i don’t think this is a textbook case of the needy friend from the four loves, btw, because i don’t believe i want friends for the sake of having friends. but it’s only one step removed which makes it pretty much as bad–i want to be friends with them because i perceive them as such great friends/friendly people/nice people to me. so, yea, i want to be friends with them for who they are, but maybe still for selfish reasons
  • selfishness: i can tie everything i do to selfishness now beyond generalizations. not just the email I sent Jeff and how i behaved at fellowship and how i walked home after fellowship and basically fibbed to julie to do so and how i keep crying for help (and literally tearing, too) and [just everything i do], but also my specific thoughts and my limited specific plans. feeling more wicked than i ever dared believed, but only as loved as i ever dared hoped for.
  • lots of things relate back to the Bible and Jesus for me these days. school, classes, lessons. every sermon i listen to when i run makes total sense and i can even apply and extend some things. i just can’t accept and believe them readily.
  • i’m so scared of Jesus. letting him love me is like letting a super buff good looking guy love me. or something like that. analogy in the works until I meet Him face to face. but since there’s always that circular reasoning of “He’ll deny me unless i really love Him,” this claim is easier to make in my heart and harder to make on paper without sounding flimsily feminine.
  • money woes: real estate tax hike, metrocard fare hike, time warner added fee, i take the express bus to sleep in later and avoid the morning 7 train which reminds me of last semester, i’m considering a new laptop that i can actually bring to school to do work and dorming and/or studying abroad. this all equates to more money going out while very little money comes in. i needed to stop fbc chinese school even though the teacher and the kiddos and the principal liked me a lot and they really grounded me every saturday morning–as you know, little kids can do that for you. spent money on a wedding gift for homy. and i’m committed to most of the costs of the care packages.
  • This weekend: we’re making the care packages, but michelle yeow decided she doesn’t want to help pack them anymore so that’s disheartening but completely understandable (and anyway, she’s been totally supportive and provided great guidance). but it means we have no car to go buy the stuff. so need to lift that and its costs up. also i wont even be at hope center friday cuz im helping with homy’s decorations. so i need to figure out how to get stuff where they need to be. wedding on saturday. im also doing ppt but that’s neither a blessing nor a curse but just a matter of fact that affects, but only indirectly, my happiness, which may be more dependent on my courage to be “myself”. body worship right after. then care packages.
  • midterms soon. 5 in 2 days. “no time to study”
  • stine is full of excuses.
  • dropped the Mad Love course (i liked the plato readings a lot but i really really didnt like the lectures because all the professor did was summarize, and his quirks started to bug me when i kept attending >< i have quotes and observations in my notes ><“) i’m going to try to take a bible literature course again next semester–again, because im hoping it’s like the ind study i did with dr mozes
  • thank God for metamucil.
  • so i guess the winding down whines would be: how is it that my family can’t afford the monetary cost and time to have enough/real food and why doesn’t our house have sufficient heat.
  • my brother needs pants to sleep in so he doesnt have to sleep in jeans.
  • i need more than $10.63 in my bank account so i can actually withdraw funds.
  • but ending on a happy note, cornea, mary, serena are all women who have recently saved me.
  • PTL for salvation, even lesser salvation.
  • being in a position to be saved is the more optimistic position than being in a position where you have to choose whether to die. #referring to that korean girl

Christine

I was listening to “From The Ground”(song) a lot because it’s so cute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb9ByWrXOlk

In the first verse Lisa sings

“love can happen easily / but l*s* when it’s done purposefully

It can make a heart feel free or captive by its boundaries”

One of the first few times I listened to the song, I was a little surprised by the word “captive” because I didn’t expect it.

I’ve heard variations of “love can make a heart feel free,” but I haven’t heard about love’s boundaries in quite a while.

We sing about being “captivated by love,” though, so it took me a second to realize that’s not what her lyrics mean.

I know enough to know that boundaries are not “bad”; people just don’t like the idea of being restricted.

How about you, though? Have you thought about the boundaries of love at all?

Now that you’re thinking about it at least a teeny tiny bit from reading my question,

What do you think they include?

If you love someone/thing, you can’t hate them?

If you love someone/thing, you shouldn’t hurt them?

It can’t be that simple. I just don’t know what determines the lines. lalala.

I know that in that line of the song,

“captive by its boundaries” serves as a contrast to “a heart that feels free”

As indicated by the word “or”

But, just extending the thought some more,

I can imagine an untethered heart that feels free but is actually captive to selfish desires.

I can imagine a bounded heart that is perfectly content

I’m reminded of the ‘fish outside of its fishbowl’ metaphor from Reason for God

I know that boundaries necessarily form borders

And that, again, it’s not “bad” to be within the borders of something.

I can imagine there are love-analogies for

Country borders vs. town borders, maps,

Borders that change over time due to natural change of the landscape or because of politics and war

Border patrol and illegal immigrants

The line from later in the song, “is it true that love is done when the line’s crossed over” then becomes more nuanced.

Anyway, the other interesting thing about the song I want to share would be the “l*s*” thing you probably noticed.

The first million times I listened to the song, I really thought she sang

“love can happen easily, but less when it’s done purposefully”

And that would have made lots of sense to me.

First of all, more and more I see that “it’s not unusual to be loved by anyone”

But, also, from my perspective as someone who has never been in a relationship,

it seems like every relationship starts unpurposefully

It’s always a coincidence, an unexpected blessing.

And anyway, it’s not like I haven’t been affected by Disney and Asian dramas.

So, again, I was pleasantly surprised to find out the lyrics are really

“love can happen easily, but lasts when it’s done purposefully”

This made little sense to me at first, but then I thought about it and realized

-my parents love me unconditionally but purposefully; I wasn’t an accident baby as far as I know

-I’m easily impressed by people, but the people I truly love (to different degrees) and not just admire are people I do things with, people with whom I share common goals (regardless of whether they’re explicit goals)

I don’t love them because of the purpose, but I couldn’t love them without the purpose.

-also, the triangle thing

 

Why does God love us?

I know it’s part of His nature

I know His love never fails, that it’ll last

But that means it’s probably purposeful.

Even though he’s a prodigal God,

I don’t think He’s reckless about His love.

That He loves me is more than enough for me.

But if I knew why He loved me,

I’d understand Him that much more.

My self-centered nature makes it so difficult to grasp that

He loves me not because I’m me but because He is and He loves

If I don’t get this right, though,

I’m going to want to run away and be replaced again and again.

I don’t really know where my theology starts swerving.

(I emailed this to Mike, btw)

since my previous post got wiped out, write a new one?

“This isn’t the first time. My dad can always make me feel like crying. All he has to do is use this certain tone of voice and whatever he says hurts so much. “

my dad can make me cry really easily too. he has this face that he makes that’s part disgust, part condescension. and it drives me INSANE when he makes it. there’s so much evil on that face >< it sometimes really makes me think some demon is making it. i think it only started to bother me after i came back from college. something about that face disturbs me a lot a lot a lot.

i don’t know why but reading the rant section made me realize you have human problems like me. and by human, i guess i mean family.

lately, despite all the transparency, it still feels like i dont really know the vulnerable side of you. your responses and reactions to things are too put together to make me truly comfortable with telling you what’s bothering me /: 

anyways, brief recap of what i had written before it was deleted?

so in short (because i need to prepare my lesson plans for the week lol), i had been worried a bit yesterday about who would actually be at my future wedding since I havent really reached out much and i remember what we’ve said about me and everyone at hope center. [mike said he’ll prob have about 5 people at his wedding but that he’s fine with it…oy vey]

but today, I realized that things aren’t as bad as i think they are and i got to have some interesting interactions with a lotta people today lol

– Melina: we exchanged contact information! and she called me by accident later lol…

– Tyler: my ear had very intimate contact with jess’s stomach

– Wing: he was disturbed by my hand rubbing with Anna 

– Justis: was so confused when i suddenly said that he had nice teeth, which cracked up Wing lol

– Victor: told him that i wanna meet Emmy and i think we decided on a possible double date in the future? for now, he’s busy learning how to dance for his wedding haha

so why did i list them all? i think to remind myself to be grateful (: even though im making slow progress, it is still progress.

 

random insertion of thought,

so a lady from a chinese church in the neighborhood visited me a few times this summer to evangelize. when i told her that i was christian too and that i was thinking of trying to get my parents to go to church too, she was very excited and gave me her phone number. when my mom saw her a few times (some of which i wasn’t home for), she got really mad and basically shouted at me to get rid of her one day when she came to show me an article from the Watchtower. my mom said that she didnt care what religion i was, but if i brought that woman into our house or tried to evangelize to her too, she would flip. 

What bothered me was through it all, i was never comfortable with the woman. even when she visited me when my mom wasnt home, i never invited her in. needless to say, when she came when my parents were home, i never said much to her and always told her that i was busy. afterwards, i would be grilled by my parents, who’d accuse me of intentionally bringing random christians to our house even though i’d had prob one encounter with the woman beforehand and she’d just been going around the neighborhood looking evangelizing when she came to my door.

today she called me and told me she had another article for me, but i turned her down.

ive always been praying that one day, my parents would believe in Christ too. so why am i turning this woman away? I feel like a coward because I fear my parents’ wrath. i realize i dont have faith that God will open their hearts and that no matter what they say, i’ll be okay.

I need to live out the Word. I need to be brave. But I’m weaksauce. 

My supervisor told me about this lost historical beauty today

Pennsylvania Station (1910-1963)

  • Station in 1911

  • The concourse and steps down to the tracks

  • The concourse in 1962

  • The East (7th Ave.) exterior facade

  • Main Waiting Room

  • The Corinthian columns of the Main Waiting Room

    The sprawling concourse in 1962 – demolition was two years away.

    Interior of Penn Station, ca. 1935.

    Pennsylvania Station in 1962

    View from the northeast, circa 1911. The sheer size of the structure in comparison to the surrounding buildings is notable. Very little of this scene survives in modern Manhattan.

I want to be able to just say what I think without filtering or censoring it because I know what I’m saying is wrong/horrible.

I say (and people around me say) that I suck at communication, as evident by the way I’ll say one sentence but the grammar or the word choice will be so such that no one follows. And then I start gesturing and getting muddled and can’t communicate at all anymore. By then I can only make sounds.

But I’m not actually hopeless, dammit. Like you said, I suck at hiding my feelings. That means I do somehow still express my feelings. And it’s not like it’s engrained in my personality that I don’t talk. Quite the contrary: I can talk a lot.

I just suck at communicating clearly.

And so much of it is because I’m confused about a lot of things.
Also, I just want to protect myself.

Even though I confuse a lot of people, I make sense in the very, very end of the day.
But I just don’t want to keep confusing people. It sucks for them, and it’ll suck for me in the long run.

I want to be transparent with you.
That means not just letting you know that I wrote a letter to Mike or talked to him or hung out with him, but telling you what you need to hear about how he and I interact.
I just don’t know how to do that without making it seem like I’m asking for your permission to hang out with him (but maybe it’s supposed to feel that way?) or like I’m reporting to you every single time I text or IM him. I might as well just forward you all my exchanges with him or make them three-way calls. Obviously that’s not the solution, but I don’t know how else to make you more aware of my friendship with him without feeling awkward.

I want to be transparent with Mike, too.
I think he knows it, but I want to stay friends with him, regardless of whether he wants to keep talking to me or stop talking to me or whatever. But being transparent with him means he needs to know that I’ll be talking to you more often about my friendship with him.

I don’t know how to be transparent to myself. I didn’t know I cared about Mike, I just…did. And now, I don’t know whether I really like Mike…but if it’s something I can somehow control, I don’t want to get hurt and I don’t see how I could not get hurt if I like someone who I can’t be with.

I know that transparency is important because it’s honesty at its core, and if we’re not honest, lying really hurts God and hurts us. But I didn’t and don’t want to say these things because…yes, they’re the sorts of things I’d say to you as my best friend. But how can I say them to you as Mike’s girlfriend?!

When I pray with you and give you advice and talk to you, I’m talking to you as YOUR friend, NOT as Mike’s friend.
But when I don’t tell you something, on purpose or accidentally out of ignorance, it’s because I’m selfishly thinking only of myself and not of you.

The point of my resolve to be more honest and open to you (and Mike, but to be honest, I’m mostly just focused on you right now) is so that I don’t hypocritically create different identities for myself such that Sisi’s-friend-Christine is not the same as Mike’s-friend-Christine is not the same as me-Christine.

I’ve been at peace because I’ve been delusional of what I, Christine, have been doing. But I bet Christine wouldn’t have gotten therapy or run to Lewis so often if I, Christine, were okay with what I’ve been doing. I kept thinking it was external things affecting me. But no. Of course sin is always from within yourself. I knew and know that. I just can’t stop thinking and caring about the external circumstances.

Lots of people think I’m going to be okay, and of course I believe it too. But the people who really care about me (and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but holy shoot, that includes Jonathan Su) want me to be more than okay. They want me to know what I want and be better at managing myself. Maybe, actually, it’s not that they care about me as much as the fact that they’re just smarter and more mature and they’re just explaining to me the way life works.

I’m still so confused about lots of things, but I’m not confused about wanting to be transparent to you and Michael Ren. I’m going to do it because it’s the right thing to do. I swear, though, (even though it’s “bad” to swear) it’s going to be tough and take lots of resolve and courage.

If I ever want to wimp out, I guess I’ll think about how I want to stop bothering Lewis. I owe him so much wasted time already.

Honestly, I want us to be friends, too. But I haven’t changed at all. I still get uncomfortable seeing you two together. You’ve actually been a tried and true friend and told me about spilled milk on your carpet and lack of sleep and korean class professor and IV life-changing, heart-wrenching experiences and when your boyfriend hurt you. And I told you about my college experiences too and tried to show you Barnard and shared with you about my life.

One thing I have to deal with, though, is not fearing that you two won’t tell me the things I need to hear. I’m going to try to tell you two the things you need to hear, but I fear you guys won’t do the same for me, in order to shield me or something. It’s hard for me to trust you two as a couple because your relationship started with not telling me what I needed to hear. I trust you, Sisi, more than I trust you, Sisi and Mike, because you actually have trusted me and called me to be your friend when you were going through academic decisions or had emotional/spiritual questions…but also when Mike hurt you or needed help. I feel like I can only be a friend to you if you trust me enough to let me. I can only care about you, and offer comfort from Bible verses and advice, and offer my room if you need a place to sleep, and offer whatever else you need that I can provide…when you let me.

I guess we all have bad track records, but we of all people should also know that people can change. So one last time: I, Christine Yuan, resolve to be more transparent to Sisi Huang and Michael Ren to the best of my ability, in order that they may hear what they need to hear and the integrity of our friendship is maintained by honesty.

Dear Christine,

I have a feeling that this post’s gonna sound random and all over the place, but bear with me? Probably very repetitive too.

I don’t really know where to start. I think I had some things in mind just earlier when I was helping mom cook dinner, but I have a horrible memory, as you know.

I’m lazy. Proof? I have a bunch of relatively important emails in my inbox that I haven’t replied to. One is from April I think. A few from about 2 weeks ago. I wonder if the people who sent them are still expecting a reply. 

Or maybe I shouldn’t use my laziness as an excuse for everything that I do (or in this case, don’t do). I’ve also promised a lot of people that we would hang out this summer, but I haven’t followed through in them.

I’ve turned down lots of offers to hang out with people from my fellowship too. Lazy? Perhaps. I think at this point, they’ve mostly given up trying to contact me. Which I completely understand. I’m not exactly reciprocating.

What is my point in mentioning all this? Let’s think.

I guess we can start with why I haven’t been on top of replying to emails or hanging out with people. I think I’ve told you pieces here and there before.

I don’t find anything exciting anymore. A lot of times, I question why I do the things I want to do. Like hang out with people. Sometimes, I find it tiring to carry on a conversation. Or maybe I’m just too lazy to get my butt out of the house.

Actually, scratch ALL of that. I think the main reason that I haven’t followed through with staying in contact with everyone from my fellowship is that I’m a coward. I really really don’t want to face my parents’ wrath and disdain for whenever I go outside for whatever reason. Mom and dad think that I’m at a stage where I’m rebelling (doesn’t that sound familiar? Did I tell you why my mom didn’t want me to be Christian?) and wasting money. They also think that i throw myself at Michael because they assume that every time I step foot outside the house, I’m meeting Michael. It doesn’t help that that’s mostly true, and it also doesn’t help that when I am out with Michael, I tend to lose track of time or any desire to come back home. 

Sorry for the tangent. I’ll come back to it at the end, I promise. 

So yeah, my parents think I’m wasting money. Interestingly though, whenever I’m out with Mike (which, like I said, is basically 99% of the time), I rarely spend any money. He takes care of it all, even my metrocard rides sometimes. 

To my parents, I waste money, which is relevant right now because my family’s in a relatively bad financial situation. And I mean, RELATIVELY. We have enough money to cover our monthly expenses, but I guess we’re kind of using up our savings. The other day, I found out that my parents had used all of my savings from high school to pay the mortgage and other stuff. I didn’t mind that the money was used, but it made me realize that maybe my family’s finally feeling the effects of the recession too.

So my wanting to go outside doesn’t really fare well with my parents. They also think I spend Sundays just chilling with Mike. That church is where I go to have fun with friends. My parents have a lot to say about me. Lots of insinuations about my moral character and my values that’ve made me cry a lot of times. It really really hurts being called a liar by your own parents every time something goes wrong.

I know that I’ve lied a lot growing up, but it was mainly because I was really afraid of my parents. I’ve told my mom that too, one of those rare nights when we had a heart to heart you could say. She wishes we weren’t all so afraid of each other in this house. I’m afraid of angering my parents and my mom’s afraid of being too controlling and thus incite hatred from me.

That’s prob why I have chosen to stay home a lot. Because I don’t want my parents to criticize me. I don’t want to ask them if I could go out. I want them to know that I care about this family too. So I help out with chores without being asked to (which sometimes backfires because my dad is very traditional (i.e sexist) so if I don’t do the chores one night for whatever reason, suddenly I become useless and not caring about this family, according to my dad) and I stay home so I can show them that I’m not all about hanging out with friends. 

Interestingly, that’s exactly what Lewis told me NOT to do in an email about what it meant to honor my parents. I’m still trying to decipher what he wrote, because I guess I was hoping he’d tell me exactly what to do, but of course, many things he says are in broad terms, or maybe they aren’t. Maybe my heart’s just refusing to listen.

On a seemingly random note, Mike and I have prayed out not worshiping each other, which is becoming more and more apparent through our inability to be away from each other, among other things. We’ve kind of shut ourselves off from the rest of the world, and most importantly, God. It scares me. So when you talk about transparency, yeah, I agree. But I really don’t know where to start.

When you said Christian Mike and Christian Sisi don’t seem much different from non-Christian Mike and non-Christian Sisi, I had to agree too.

I told Alan once that whenever Mike has his withdrawals, he stops caring for God and Jesus stops making any sense. I can only get him to talk to me again by appealing to his emotions, if that makes any sense.

Me, on the other hand, I wonder a lot if I’m actually Christian. I question myself a lot about whether I truly believe God exists. I have to, right? Because I always give thanks to him to whatever happens. It wouldn’t make sense if I didn’t, no? That’s probably flawed logic but still, God HAS to be real. Otherwise, nothing that has happened since I came to Cornell makes any sense at all.

I really don’t act like a Christian either, though I’m still wondering what that even means? What does it mean to act like a Christian? Do I always pray before meals? Do I always read my Bible? Do I always try to evangelize? Do I fund mission trips? Not care about money? Am always happy? Are those marks of a Christian? 

How much does my upbringing affect me and my relationship with God? So theoretically, I’m supposed to be new person? God should have given me a new heart, right? But am I still supposed to be me? And if I’m me, how am I supposed to shy away from my upbringing? For instance, I’ve never been comfortable just talking to people about myself because that’s just not how things are done. How am I supposed to approach Lewis? or anyone who cares, for that matter? I can share my testimony, sure. But now, I need to pour my guts out. First of all, my pride won’t allow it. Second of all, I’ve just never done such a thing before. Definitely not to an adult. 

If this post makes no sense, I apologize ><

I have to write those emails. I just got a new one, and I realized how selfish I’ve been by not responding.

I’m watching youtube at my desk here at my Alliance Bernstein internship because it’s Friday and I’ve asked three people for work but no one has anything for me to do, and the three of us had a long week anyway, so I’m going to feel fine just relaxing today.

I enjoyed reading through this blog today. I’ve shared a lot with you, Sisi, and though I wish you’d share with me too, I understand why you haven’t. We’ve both grown a lot, and we’ll keep growing regardless of how much we bother to tell each other. Maybe that’s most important.

Lalalala. Love you lots<3

Dear Sisi,

      Congratulations on completing your first year of college(: And congratulations to us for being friends for 7 years now.
I think so many people are proud of us, and even if people aren’t super proud of us because so many people already have
preconceived or otherwise conceived high expectations of us, I think we should still be proud of ourselves.
It wasn’t weird or wrong for you to want to stay on the Dean’s List; I think achievement does drive us to do a lot of what we do
and labels (like titles and awards) and measurements (like grades) are how we tend to qualify and quantify our achievement.
I know you wanted a long email about what’s up with me, but I honestly feel like I told you everything, or at least, a lot throughout the year.
I’ll still try to write as much as I can before I’m too tired to keep writing, especially since I tend to always find ways
to go off on tangents, but how bout youuuuu? I don’t want to ask you specific questions because I think that’d limit your
range of answers. If you wanted to just reflect on the entirety of freshman year, what would stick out to you?
 And what have you learned? How do you think you’ve changed?
We’ve done this kind of reflection before on our wordpress! So I know you can do it! I don’t want to be the only wordy one >.<
      So…let’s see. What’s up with me…
      Well, I think the past month or so I’ve become complacent in my relative “success.” After dropping my Micro class,
I thought I was doing well in the four classes I had left, so I started slacking. And that came back to bite me: 60s and 70s
dropping like bombs and discouraging me. My defense mechanism was (as it often is) rationalization: I got that AB internship
completely by luck and grace, and even though it’s unrelated to my grades, I used it as an excuse to rationalize why it’d be okay for me to
get B’s and just improve in the future. I told myself I get one semester to mess up, and this will be that semester. I guess it’s
better than if I broke down emotionally because that probably would’ve made me give up entirely. It’s still not the best mentality to have…
     I’m taking Ethics next semester, and I wonder whether it’ll teach me about how to live “better.”
      I know there are things about myself I can improve, and now that school is over and the pressure is off and I’m in a pretty good and
motivated mood, I actually want to improve. Of course, the first issues are what and how to improve. Going to the airport and cancelling my
flight and then calling the travel agencies and booking the new tickets today…I definitely learned a lot (though, I don’t know how strongly
I learned the lessons since, even though it was a big decision and change of plans, it wasn’t a huge emotional experience,
and it’s also pretty isolated…so probably forgettable as well). I learned how much my parents love and care about me. This wasn’t a
relational understanding of love as much as it was a matter-of-fact; it wasn’t like, “look, they reacted this strongly, and on the spectrum,
it corresponds with a strong level of care.” It was more like–“WOW. It’s not okay for me to be so inconsiderate and not realize that
even if i didn’t care if something happened to me, my parents would care…and they care because…they just do.” I learned how well they
know me. It’s pretty scary. My dad was just reacting and talking about how selfish and inconsiderate I was for hiding the full truth from them
and thinking I could take care of myself already–in this instance. But, listening to it, I knew that everything he was saying was true about me
all the time–not just this time. I love my dad. Ever since I stopped translating sermons for him, I haven’t been able to help him…but I wish I could
again. My mom kinda went off on tangents and started lecturing me about helping her with chores and helping our own family and striving to live
a peaceful life, and wanting me to be more like her. I love her too; she’s cute and has an amazingly wide heart. Something else interesting
my parents brought up was how my friends influence me. Last night, my dad brought up Jessica Chen and asked if
I got the idea of traveling by myself from her example, and whether I learned to not care about my parents from her example, too. I have to admit that I
did in fact think that I’d be okay in HCMC in part because Jess did it while she studied abroad in HK.Regardless of whether I’d be okay, I heard loud
and clear the principle behind what my dad was saying once he phrased it that way. So that was interesting. They used to talk to me against jealousy of you and Vivien; now they tell me not to be impulsive like Jess.
 I also learned how to get things done. I had a lot of help: from my dad, from this amazing and great travel agent, from my H4H team leader–
but the idea is that together we found and booked the new tickets and I didn’t have to just drop the entire thing and give it all up.
Mike and Lew have both noted that about me. I’m really grateful that they told me, because in turn, my fickle nature has been something I’d really like to work on.
Reaffirming that idea: I organized my old journals while cleaning my room today and found out that these aspects of my personality that people really hate
have been noted to me as early as 2008 (earlier, if I include times my parents have chatised me about irresponsibility and selfishness). Dipping my feet
into the past is always a tricky experience, but I definitely saw certain of my memories in a new perspective today, and I think that means I’ve
learned or grown or at least just-plain-changed. And I’m going to go ahead and say that that’s good, because I had been praying for a change in perspective
for years.
       I’m just cleaning my room some more tomorrow (and sneezing and dealing with my runny nose. I literally JUST developed allergies TODAY because my body
reacted to the dust from moving things around…and now it won’t stop reacting to dust ever again T.T)  so if you want to call, feel free.
But please also write back or think about reflections! I wish you’d share more with me!

Nightynight!