First Encounter: Racism

The first time I encountered racism, I was five. I was in kindergarten and it came from a fellow classmate whose ethnic origins hailed from Spain. We were in the cafeteria eating lunch and there were tensions at the time between China and the United States. She turned to me and said “Go back to your stupid China!” 

Stupid is a big, bad word for a five year old. (And for any primary school student up until they learn the other bad words.) It cut deep, this hurt. To be rejected for something completely unrelated to me for something we as five year olds didn’t even understand. And to be honest, I’m not from China. 

I was born in the United States, but by simply looking at me, you wouldn’t know this. Yes, I am of Taiwanese descent and I look Asian and that’s the first thing people see when they look at me. People take all sorts of assumptions when they look at someone of color and presume to know if they are American or not. I’m American. I was born in the United States and regardless of the color of my skin, it is how I identify. 

The lesson in this, is that there are witnesses to our actions everywhere. This first encounter hasn’t stopped me from loving people who are different from me, and learning to love my enemies and wish them well. But we need to be aware of the behavior we model in our society, in front of the children. They mimic behavior and repeat words that they hear. They see the antagonism at home and they project it out towards others. Family is a big influencer in our thought processes and our values. When we speak ill of others and wish them harm, someone is witness to this, and we perpetuate this cycle of negativity, hatred, and discord. The innocent can be harsh mirrors of our reality. 

Think before you speak. Think before you act. Ask yourself, “Is this the kind thing to do?” 

Advertisements

Empty Shell

Before you knew your Father’s love for you, you sought love in all the wrong places. You sought to be seen and recognized by your peers in your classes but you only existed as a wallflower in the shadows, someone to be relied on to get the work done. People didn’t strike up conversations to get to know you – you did it to get any semblance of normal. You can’t control being born with a face that at its natural rest looks terrifying to the eyes of the passerbys, but they’ve told you over and over again to adjust your body language and smile to be more friendly, more approachable. You did it when you tried, but it wasn’t natural, especially not in the midst of the sadness.

The 19 year old you placed too much value on determining love from being included in social events and was heartbroken each time the fraternities on campus celebrated National Women’s Day by passing out carnations. The you now, hates carnations, for they remind you of the number of times that even though you are female and old enough to be considered a woman in societal standards, you weren’t pretty enough or dolled up enough to be noticed and given a flower. You’d listen to the pledges and the brothers recite their creed on why they were passing out those carnations, wondering if they would notice you to the side and thank you for existing. You cried in your senior year when you finally received a carnation but then you took it and trashed it because it brought up so many regrets of why you never loved yourself.

The you right now cries for the lostness of your 19 year old self, never knowing how to love you as you were and cries harder now thinking of the fact that the current you truly isn’t so different from the 19 year old you. You still don’t know how to love yourself and you get noticed now, but it’s a hollow feeling. You wear makeup, just enough everyday to be somewhat noticed and to not fall back into the wallpaper but you still don’t truly love yourself. You’ve been forgiven, and you know that in the depths of your insecurities, your Father loves you through it all. 

BLOG-TEMBER DAY 2: An Ideal Day

Hello all!

Wednesday, September 2: Describe your ideal day.  Where would you go and what would you do?

My ideal day would start with me waking up from a great 8 hour nap followed by a relaxed morning routine that culminated with a light refreshing breakfast.  If the weather is nice, I would take my dog on a long walk before coming back to my desk to work on my journal, planner, or pen pal letter. I would not have work that day, and food would be magically prepared and available right away.  I would be able to easily multi-task and watch several crime procedurals on Netflix of Hulu as I accomplished my tasks, and the room would also be capable of magically putting itself back in order.

With my return to living home alone and my part-time jobs, I have been so much busier and worse yet, exhausted from minimal sleep, long hours sitting in traffic, and a non-existent diet because I am very unmotivated to do any sort of cooking.  When classes were in session, my ideal day would’ve included riding horses and taking care of them.  But times change, and so do our goals and desires. What would your perfect day be like?

BLOG-TEMBER DAY 1 : Meet Allys

Hello to all of you who have stumbled across my little blog!

It’s been about a little over half a year since I’ve last written on this blog and it’s been an honest challenge to find balance in my life.  (More on that in a later post.)  To get back into blogging, I’ve decided to jump into Bailey Jean”s (from Brave Love Blog) annual blog-tember challenge!

Tuesday, September 1: Introduce yourself however you like! Pics, collage, vlog, your choice!

I’m a 21 year old full time student, working towards my bachelor’s degree, and working my butt off to fund all the adventures I want to embark on.  I’m majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business, and a minor in Chinese Studies.  I work multiple jobs at a time to off set the costs of my desires and the #BobaAddiction I have.

I’m an advocate for mental health awareness and the LGBTQ community because it is a part of both my and my loved ones’ daily lives.  I am open about my bouts with depression because #WeAreNotAlone.  I openly share my experiences, negative and positive, because honesty and truth will help us all reach our goals in life.  I believe that lies set us back, and that it takes far more courage to be honest in the face of maintaining a relationship.

I struggle with being a binge eater and impulse control when it comes to pretty things that catch my eye like planners (I have a love for analogue), washi tape, pretty handwriting, calligraphy, ephemera, photo-polymer stamps and more.

I am an INFP/INFJ (trust me, the test couldn’t decide which I fit best), and I am motivated by helping others. I believe that we should all serve and protect, and that we should leave this world a better place than how we entered it.

I will take the lead when need be, but the spotlight brings up some anxiety for me, and I can’t accept a compliment graciously because it unnerves me.  I prefer to work behind the scenes to get things done, as long as I get to fulfill my goal of helping others.

Please join me as I set out to blog with the #blogtemberchallenge!

Five for Friday – Random Goals for 2015

Hello Wonderlanders!

I’m late, and I apologize, but I’ll be sharing 5 random goals from my list of 20+ goals.  I prefer the term goals instead of resolutions because goals are ideas that we work towards with a positive energy.  A resolution just sounds way too stuffy and solid with no inspiration.

With help from random.org, here are my Friday Five Random Goals for 2015:

  1. Stop stifling your creativity! Let it all out!  (#15) Too often we get enraptured in our everyday lives without taking time to pursue our passions, and that was a huge problem for me in 2014.  I stopped doing the things I enjoy most and it came out with a vengeance in the form of money spending.  I ended up buying lots of planners and crafting supplies, so now, to make the most of it, I’m going to use all of what I’ve bought to make creative things that I hope to share with others.
  2. Find a full time job. (#11) I’m a full time college student working part time.  If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be graduating December 2015 – right in time to go job hunting for my starting career.  I don’t think I have the means to turn blogging or my soon to open store into a full time profession, so I need to go and find a job that will help me establish my career.  I know the job market is hard, but if there’s a will, there’s a way.
  3. Enjoy technology, but don’t let it take over your life.  Know when to put it down/away.  (#19)  I was born into the tech generation, the generation of humans whom get to enjoy the fruits of the labor the baby boomers.  It is a privileged life saturated with rich technology that makes everything fast and at the tip of our fingers.  But what happens to that social connection and learning to socialize when we’re too busy staring at our screens and twiddling our fingers?  Will we just get awkwarder as a society?  Dumber and dumber?  I want to know more about the people around me by being able to listen to their stories out loud, actually seeing them before me so I can understand their emotion in the expressions they bring.
  4. Make mistakes.  Then learn from them.  (#13) I’m the child who needs to touch the fire to learn that it really burns.  It doesn’t matter what I’ve heard or seen.  I have to do it myself.  But I don’t like to think of mistakes as negative experiences – there’s so much to improve from making them.  The more I make now, the more prepared I will be when confronted with the same or similar situation.
  5. Love more, live more, and regret nothing. (#1)  Sometimes despite our best intentions, we spend so much time planning and thinking and worrying that we forget the big stuff – like living in the present.  Looking at the past creates depression, looking at the future too often creates anxiety, so live in the present.  For me, this year will be the year of new beginnings, crafting, pen pal letter writing, opening my own crafting store, blogging, and graduating from college.  I’m going to make mistakes, but I’m not going to let myself regret them because they are little lessons in their own. Regrets just weigh us down.  (Quoted from my Instagram: @allys.n.wonderland)

What are your goals for 2015? Share them below in the comments!

Thoughtful Thursday – 2015 New Year’s Brain Dump

Hello Wonderlanders!

Happy New Year!  I hope that everyone starts the new year in good health, and with a fresh start.  Not that you can’t have a fresh start on any other day, but to be cliche, new years are always something exciting.  This post is more like a collection of multiple vignettes from this week that snapshot my thoughts and emotions.  I’m really worried about spamming my subscribers’ inboxes, so I try to collect these.  Eventually when I get better at this coding thing and making everything work, I’ll create an option for people to only receive one newsletter a week.  Count that as a goal.  😉

Since I’ve utterly failed 3/5 days this week to keep to my posted schedule, I’ll be attempting to use the theme for next week.

It’s getting closer to the time for me to move back to the suites and I always get moodier and more anxious when I do so.  This break was, for the most part, relaxing.  But it was overshadowed by anxiety and moodiness, and fights with my mom, and spurts of inspiration among other things.

Nostalgia – My Mom

I love my mom, and we’ll probably never see everything eye to eye, and as crazy as I think she is at times, she’ll always be my mom.  I listen to the advice she gives with a grain of salt, because I know it’s good advice, but I’m stubborn and I’ve got to touch the fire to learn that it really burns.  She knows this too, and she laments that I’m not like my oldest brother who listened to almost everything she said.  But I’ll be okay.  Because I’m different from them.  My oldest brother, in my most recent birthday card wrote,

” One thing I’ve always admired about you is tenacity – you pursue what you want and don’t back down.”

I don’t think I’ve ever quite realized it’s called tenacity.  I’ve always called it sheer stubbornness to my mother’s despair, and her graying hair is evidence of it.

Spoiled. Unproductive.

This week, I wanted to do a lot.  And I did very little of it. I had ideas for what I was going to write, but then I didn’t follow through.  I got sucked into this mood of neediness and insecurity and wanting to spend time with my parents even though I wanted to be away from them already.  My time slipped through my fingers like grains of sand and very little was accomplished.  I still owe my penpals their letters, and my dear dad got me stamps.  He always spoils me in little ways, sometimes behind my mom’s back like when he comes to my suite at 6:30 in the morning to drop off some food for me, or to bring me my jackets because I’m freezing and it’s raining and my roommates like to keep the suite cozy at 70-74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gifts

My mom gave me three big gifts this season.  They are also from my dad, but he doesn’t usually find out til after the bills come in.  I got running shoes from Sketchers from Costco.  This isn’t a big deal, but to me, it means a lot to me that my parents still pay for things that I can afford, especially because I know that they are financially stretched.  My mom, like my Amah (grandma in Taiwanese), likes her lipstick for when she goes out of the house.  If she forgot it in her purse or can’t find it and there’s a beauty department nearby, she’ll sometimes buy a new one.  Which is how she ends up with a small collection of them.  She gave me a really gorgeous Yves St. Laurent lipstick in what I think is their color “Fetish Pink.”  The last gift was her Michael Kors Jet Set Logo Tote in white.  Yes, she’s used the lipstick, and the tote, but it still means much to me to have them.  I’m not trying to brag.  I’m just sharing something that means a lot to me from my parents so that days down or years down the road I can look back at this to try and remember the good from all the negative.  I received many other gifts from friends and family, and they too are cherished items.

Xoxo

Allys

Delay of Post

Hello Wonderlanders!

I apologize for the delay in posting – I’ll still be doing a ManiMonday post, but it’ll be in conjunction with Tuesday Tip & Review as I haven’t been able to take care of my nails yet.  I’ve got some house cleaning to finish that will ruin my nails so I’ve decided to finish it first before starting a new mani.  I have other nail stories that I could write about, but I’d like to do something for New Year’s Eve so I’m delaying the post. 

Xoxo,

Allys

Five For Friday: 2014 Christmas Edition

Hello Wonderlanders!

Today’s Friday Fives will be about “Things I Want to Do For Christmas In the Future.”

  1. Have everyone who is present on Christmas morning drinking hot chocolate with candy cane and marshmallows melted into the chocolate.  This just sounds so yummy and even though I’ve yet to try it, I’m sure it tastes awesome.  If you’ve tried this, let me know what you think of it below!
  2. Open one gift on Christmas Eve, and the rest on Christmas Day.  This doesn’t happen in my parents house because my 35 year old brother’s birthday is on the Eve and he’ll throw a fit if his day has to be shared with Christmas. I get that December birthdays suck for many people because their family and friends tend to clump everything into one gift given on Christmas, but there are ways to point this out politely without fit-throwing.  We also have started to open gifts later on Christmas Day for some reason.  When do you open gifts?
  3. Stick to one color theme, ornament size, and type of lights on the tree.  The definition behind the terminology of Obsessive-compulsive disorder does not apply here, it’s more an aesthetics thing for me – I like things to be coordinated and matching.  Things can also be coordinated and not matching, but it really depends on how well coordinated the mis-matching items are.  We don’t use a normal fluffy evergreen.  We have a tree in out background (it’s an evergreen, I’ll update the name later as I don’t remember it right now) and it has branches spread out and spaced out.  Which means there are distinct 6-12 inch gaps between each layer of branches.  We had mini ornaments on them, but then my mom bought large glass ornaments and put them up.  It just looked so darn odd.  We had to purchase some new lights as well but the type of light (white versus warm yellow) was mismatched so our tree was lit up at different lumens.  Plus, coiling the light up just didn’t look as nice and clean as on a full, fluffy pine, which brings me to point 4:
  4. Stick to fluffy pines in the future if putting up a tree.  I don’t care if it’ll be a real tree or a a fake tree at this point, but it needs to not have huge blatant gaps that drive me crazy.
  5. Either go all out for Christmas (house lights, decorations all around & other traditions), or do nothing at all.  I don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons.  I do it for cultural reasons, and the culture I live in is based on Christianity, but it doesn’t mean I am celebrating for the same reasons the founders of this country are.  So if I choose to not celebrate Christmas, it can be easily done.  For the past 8 years my parents have been half-assing Christmas with just the tree.  No more lights, no more full house decoration.  Nothing else gets put up or done so it really looks out of place to have that Christmas tree.  I love you mom and dad, but all this yo-yoing has got to stop.  Pick a side and stick with it.

What are some of your family traditions?  What are some, if any, traditions you’d like to incorporate with your family?  I’d love to hear back from you!

Season’s Greetings,

Allys

Thoughtful Thursday – Holiday & Christmas Edition

Hello Wonderlanders!

This holiday season, when you meet with family, try your damnedest to see things from other’s perspectives when you beg or fight to disagree.  Say “I love you” to the people that matter to you and mean from the bottom of your heart.  Treasure and cherish the moments you have together.  Put down that phone, that tablet, and that computer or other electronic gadget and be in the moment and present with your family and friends.  Create memories of attentiveness that will last a lifetime instead of missing the little things in your haste to document everything on video or photo.

We are too often confined and addicted to our gadgets and social media that we forget to live in the now.  Breathe.  Stop. Look around, smell the air, feel your environment with all of your senses and really try to mentally pay attention to what Uncle Bob is saying instead of staring down at your phone, nodding your head and saying “Uh-huh.”  Memorize people’s faces as you talk and really think about what they’ve said, what they’re trying to say, and what’s to be read between the lines.

Stop with the distracting accessories and really spend time with your family.  You’ll fall in love with them all over again as you pay attention to the genuineness of your interaction.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! May the day bring you peace, love, and joy for the year to come.

Sincerely always, 

Allys

Whatnot Wednesday – A Merry Christmas Eve

Hello Wonderlanders!

I hope that you are having a wonderful time with your family(ies) wherever you are.  It’s the season to celebrate the good, and rejoice over the triumph of the less fortunate things that have happened in your lives.  I was going to do a post under Wedding Wednesdays under Christmas weddings, but then I realized that I didn’t really have any friends who would have a wedding at this time of the year that I know of.  This post is a bit more personal than my other posts, because I’ll be talking about my life at home and the things I experience.

I’ve wanted to write to pen pals for a long time, but never really had anyone to do it with.  Finding pen pals online was not an option because my internet use was limited as a child and throughout high school.  I never thought about it until I was on Instagram and started seeing a whole community of snail mailers who keep the art alive. After reading over several pen pal wanted ads, I finally responded to maybe 20 of them. By the end of day one, I had agreed to exchange letters with maybe 8 people.  By the end of day two, 14.  Tonight?  I’m on my 15th.  This is my cap for now.  It’s already a bit overwhelming thinking about how many people I have to start letters to, but it will be so worth it. I have 5 Stateside, and 10 international now, ranging from ages 16-36.  I think there is lots to be learned from people of different ages and from all over the world.  Learning is one of my passions, and letter writing will definitely foster that passion.  I’ll write more about the letters as time goes on, but I am definitely excited to be making new friends and seeing the world in a different way.

*I am writing this here as a bit of a warning that the rest of this post will be a bit of a downer.  If you want to maintain your holiday cheer, I’d like to bid you adieu, and enjoy your time with family and friends.*

It’s been a little bit of a rough week due to family issues.  In previous posts I had mentioned that home was a major trigger for me.  My mom has control issues and me being a round peg and not fitting into her square box personally is driving her nuts.  Her going nuts translates to me having various mood swings and wanting to be alone.  The person who patiently suffers through all of this is my dad, and I cannot thank him enough for his support.

Today is my brother’s birthday, and it sucked.  He is on parole and may possibly be incarcerated for violating his parole.  There are many ways he could have circumnavigated or prevented this instance of violation, but it occurred anyway which will be casting a dour mood on the rest of my holidays mainly because my mom is now uptight and anxious about what will happen to him.  He’s the middle child and my mom still babies him because he’s her natural born youngest, and he also did a good job blaming her for most of his troubles.  Not everyone who gets incarcerated is guilty, nor are they all innocent, but deep down in your heart when its someone you really know, you know what the truth is.  It doesn’t change that I love him, but I am angry at him, and respect him less, for the way he has handled things.  It’s a point of contention between our mom and I, but I know she’ll always choose him and that’s alright with me.

If you make the conscious decision to complete an action, take responsibility for the consequences, good or bad.  By doing so, you are truly being an adult.  When your words say a separate thing from your actions, no matter how mature you think you are, you aren’t.  It doesn’t matter if you have mental health issues – somewhere in your head, in your heart, deep within, you know right from wrong.  Accept your decisions as your own, and shoulder your responsibility instead of making it someone else’s cross to bear.

Wishing everyone the best from the bottom of my heart,

Allys