some panic going on + random thoughts about positivity

No one got anywhere difficult without commitment. Commitment is the driving force behind nearly every decision. If a person is committed to doing well in school then studying and working hard in class is a nonissue. They’re going to study hard because that’s what it takes. Similarly if a person is committed to losing weight or getting in shape — they’re going to go to the gym and follow their workout and diet regime until they reach their fitness goals.

But commitment is hard. It’s easy to back out. It’s easy to sit on the couch watching House of Cards on Netflix and choose to no study for that biochemistry test. It’s easy to make up an excuse about not being able to meet your friend at the gym.

How do you make a commitment an actual commitment?

Put more skin in the game.

This idea isn’t novel. We do it all the time with small things, casually putting in more effort so we’re less likely to back out down the road. Like putting together a longer grocery list so there’s more incentive to go to the store.

I’ve found my issue with finding my skin in my own creative career is there isn’t anyone to keep me accountable. There is absolutely no skin in my game. There is no publisher harping on me to get another book written. There is no editor calling me nonstop about getting one more source. Everything I’ve done so far has been purely motivated by my own personal drive.

With writing or designing are there just a lot of *hard* choices to make before it becomes a habit? Does routine ever take over and make it easier or is it always a struggle and a fight some days? Am I committed enough?

I have gotten past the “should I pursue a creative career?” questions and I’m now asking how am I going to make that possible?

How do I raise my own personal stakes? How do I commit to writing and creating everyday?

I feel like at some point, I just have to buckle down and do it — I can’t keep making excuses for myself. But I’ve come to the realization that I can’t keep trying to motivate myself with criticisms — I always just end up feeling like sewage afterwards. At some point I have to understand that I’m a human and a human can’t be perfect.

While I do need to make creating every day a habit, I shouldn’t see mishaps or mistakes as shortcomings or failures. And I also need to attach encouragement to the times I am creative — so I don’t become discouraged.

It’s strange. This is such a mental 180 from my old motivation practices.

Thoughts about tissues and tears

This winter, my lovely friend Madeline introduced me to the ‘sad girl theory‘ by Audrey Wollen. I find this idea to be a lovely new face in current feminist discussions.


Underlying messages in feminist rhetoric have always encouraged a form of defemininization of women — through valuing and encouraging action, strength, success and individualization.

Self-identity is a very masculine concept. Simone de Beauvoir points this out in the introduction of The Second Sex where she says something to the effect that even males have created the female identity — the female identity is constructed through the eyes of the man. Women have been told what to do, who to be, how to act for centuries. The whole reason the didn’t get the vote was because they were to be the same as their husbands. I think this lack of a female-constructed female identity plays a very strong role in the development of feminism.

By advocating for equality, many feminists advocate for a form of sameness between the genders. But just as racial colorblindness neglects the immense prejudices and violence people of color experience, this type of gender equality erases prejudices and violence women experience. Feminist rhetoric has created is this transformation of women into men.

Feminism often requires women to abandon the suffering and pain they experience as a woman to adopt a the more masculine and political action.

I feel like girls are being set up: if we don’t feel overjoyed about being a girl, we are failing at our own empowerment, when the voices that are demanding that joy are the same ones participating in our subordination. Global misogyny isn’t the result of girls’ lack of self-care or self esteem.

Women have started objectifying men as a way to “reclaim” their sexuality. They embrace sex work as “just another profession” when historically (and currently) sex workers are overwhelmingly exploited and abused. Women must adopt agitation techniques, like street protests, that were created and perfected by male dominated social movements like the civil rights movement and other civil and social revolutions. They demand actresses to be asked something along the lines of their male counterparts on the red carpet.

That is exactly where sad girl theory comes in: it provides a “permission slip” for the emotions, pain, hysteria and self-hatred women experience and have been condemned for centuries. Rather than rejecting this universal despair, sad girl theory takes this vastly powerful and persistent experience women have and changes it into fuel.

Women are never going to be men — why try to act like one? Try being accepted by one? Embrace your bathroom breakdowns, self-harm scabs and empty tissue boxes. By existing as this volatile human being, the epitome of femininity, you are already miles ahead of the curve.

Race isn’t just black or white

I couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old, on the way to the park with my dad, when a neighborhood kid asked me if I was adopted. That was the first time someone had brought to my attention the disparity between my complexion and the one of my so-called biological father’s. Another time more recently, when my mother tried introducing me as her daughter to another woman, she paused for a moment, looked at me and laughed, “You’re not her daughter!”

We hear it all the time that race can’t be divided into nice boxes to check. But this is rarely the reality.


Multiracial identities should be included in racial inclusion discussions, not silenced.

In many well-meaning discussions about racial inclusion and racial diversity, mixed race identities are completely left out. I’ve been told countless times that I can’t talk about racial discrimination, or Asian racial issues, because I’m not brown or Asian.

People who are mixed race always end up somewhere in between. According to Pew Research Center, 6.9 percent of American adults are neither white enough, brown enough or black enough. We don’t have a cultural or racial identity, because we identify with aspects of several.

This lack of identity manifests itself in many harmful ways.

“White passing” is considered a form of white privilege because it means being able to navigate through life without having to worry about the stereotypes associated with darker colored skin. But white passing is also a form of erasure. White passing removes all cultural heritage associated with a non-white or mixed race person. This means that when I pass as white, I lose my — and my mom’s — entire South East Asian heritage.

And on the opposite side, mixed race people are constantly misidentified. I’ve been mistaken as white, Filipino, Chinese and even Mexican. Racial stereotypes are powerful; this misidentification means that people don’t know how they’re supposed to treat me because I don’t fit into their binary racial system.

As racial inclusion discussions at UP continue, please keep in mind the less obvious and more nuanced aspects of racial diversity. Multiracial people also have unique perspectives and experiences that should be vocalized, not silenced.

Something a little different

It’s been months since I last posted. School has been (and still is) absolutely hectic. I’m glad there are only three weeks left. Today I wanted to talk about something a little different. When I was in California over Christmas break I visited an occult shop and purchased my first tarot deck. I’m like Uncle Vernon in that I’ve never been one to buy into that magick and spirituality nonsense, but the tarot have always intrigued me.


After I purchased the deck I did some research. The tarot came from a deck of playing cards called “tarocchi” in France and Italy way back during the 15-century. It wasn’t until the 18-century that the tarot really began to develop into a divination tool.

It’s my understanding that tarot is something like a self-development tool. Sure, maybe psychics can use them to peer into the future, but in my very casual experience pulling cards, they seem to be much better suited for applying various life lessons to your life.

The card meanings and artwork are complex and profound — rich with symbolism. If we trust in the journey of the fool as a parallel to our own journey through life and maturity then there is so much to be learned.

I feel like the high minded, rational and academic world often scoffs at religious and spiritual studies that defy logic and science. While I trust in the laws of physics completely, I’m pretty sure people who spend their life meditating and trying to understand human nature can do a pretty good job, too.