Same Rapunzel, same.

Most of the time my head is swirling with thoughts as I’m constantly trying to translate feelings into words. These past couple months I’ve been trying to write a blog post on something, anything. Time and time again I’ve deleted half written posts after rereading them and seeing that they don’t satisfy my standards. I have so many endless feelings about where I am right now in life. Senior year is now coming to the halfway mark and it’s terrifying.

I haven’t written all summer or even this fall because I can’t seem to translate the fear, anxiety, hope and happiness that consumes the finality of senior year. I’ve grown used to reporting on the facts with clarity and in ways I expect the same out of these posts. While there is truth in what I feel, nothing can be laid down as fact with an unbiased view.

Though most days these past couple months have been filled with stress, ultimately I’m pretty content with where I am in life. I’m happy to be with the people I love, earning a degree in something I’m passionate about and just being alive. I’m not one for negative thoughts, but in the moments where I feel the most alone, they creep up on me unexpectedly.

A lot of what I feel in these moments is fear. Surprisingly, fear is a difficult emotion for me to capture in words. As most writers have come to conclude, pain is the easiest emotion to translate, at least I think it is. Even happiness is easier for me to translate then fear. There is something so unknown and dark about what we cannot predict.

I would like to say that I’ve devised a plan to conquer my fears regarding failure, in my life and where the future of the world is headed. Usually, I want to end things on a positive note and write something uplifting about defeating fear. This is where I’ve struggled the most these past few months with updating this blog.

Sometimes I just have to admit that I don’t know the right words because I just don’t quite have a plan drawn up yet.

Bloody hell and best wishes,



Picture proof to show that this was indeed a real school project I did. Please ignore the fact that I had grown out of my cute phase by then.

Picture proof to show that this was indeed a real school project I did. Please ignore the fact that I had grown out of my cute phase by then.

When I was nine years old we did a project in school where we filled out a real application to our dream college. At the time I chose Harvard (funny enough I would end up just across the river instead) because I really only knew that one and Stanford. Harvard seemed like an exciting far away place where I could do anything I wanted. A year later my favorite cousin at the time moved to New York City and my new dream college became NYU.

Fast forward a couple years to the end of middle school and my parents already in full college mode. They brought me to the Big Apple as a graduation gift and a way to motivate me to do well for the next four years. Before I knew it I was really applying for college, entering in real SAT scores (which I’m proud to say the ones I made up when I was nine were much lower) and almost a decade later NYU was still my number one school. I was set on busting out of my small town and into the big city.

After months of stressing out and rewriting my application, I got wait listed. Weeks later it felt like my dream had died in that email they sent telling me their final decision. I was rejected. Since then New York once again felt like a far away dream. I’ve had professors, parents, and friends give me all the same response when I say I want to move to New York; good luck trying to make it there. Of course that’s always followed up with an “I believe in you!” or “You’re great, so it’ll work out!” I can’t say I blame them for their reaction. But recently there’s a voice in the back of my mind telling me something different.

Maybe, New York isn’t the dream anymore.

I’ve spent the past four months living abroad in the beautiful (and very expensive) city of London where I tried my best to explore every market, cider brand and afternoon tea deal. I’ve traveled to fifteen different cities, ten different countries and learned how to pack for a weekend trip like a pro. I’ve seen the Stonehenge from less than ten feet away and climbed 500 steps for a view of Florence that made it look like it was a tiny model built for a snow globe. For the first time I was on my own creating whatever adventure it was I wanted. It felt like I had all of Europe in my hands and it was incredible.

Funny enough the only other experience I could remotely compare it to would be the first time I set foot in New York City when I was twelve. Being abroad gave me back that same wonder I felt about being somewhere new and busy with life. I thrive off the chaos of cities that hustles and bustles, where I can be anyone and no one all at once. For so long I’ve thought the next destination would be New York City but of course with graduation less than a year away, it’s no longer clear where my next adventure will lead.

Bloody hell and best wishes,



Tina Belcher understands me on a deep emotional level. Credit to Tumblr.

Back in high school when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my career, I thought about being an event planner. I had already filled that role in my friend group and there was something about seeing an event come together from start to finish. I loved compiling lists, setting up schedules, filling blank spaces; I enjoyed having a plan.

When it comes down to it, I’m all about a good plan. If you don’t believe me, somewhere in an old notebook of mine I have a detailed write up of what my funeral should be like. Before anyone panics, I don’t plan on dying until late into my nineties when I hopefully have a handful of grandchildren and stories worth telling.

But, that’s just the sort of person I am. I’m not good at not having a plan when it comes to big picture things. I can go with the flow when trying to figure out things like where to go for dinner or what to do on a vacation. However, this is not exactly how I am when the matter is something like my career.

Lately, I’ve been in a panic not because I don’t have a plan. I’m in a panic because I don’t know where my plan is going anymore. The last couple weeks has been a flurry of applying to internships and interviews mixed in with stress and anxiety. Some days I feel insane from checking my email every five minutes for a response and other days I would wake up terrified from a stress dream I had (most of my stress dreams involve me getting rejected from a job and being enveloped by a black hole).

I know this may seem crazy that I’m so stressed out about something that will probably be so trivial in the long run. Yet, right now from how I see it, it isn’t. Everything that we do contributes to the bigger picture. Everything we do matters in one way or another. In my mind, whether or not I get a great internship this summer will have a domino effect on my career as a journalist.

I think this way due to the fact that I’m constantly aware I am the event planner of my life, that I have a show to run successfully. Having a plan matters to me because my plans have always accounted for more than myself. I want to do well for not only myself but for my future kids and my aging parents. As much as I’m responsible for my own happiness, I’m also aware that I’m responsible for a part of their well being too.

Trust me, I’m fully aware that plans change and that flexibility is necessary for success. I’m slowly working on trying not to put too much pressure on myself and only enough to keep the drive needed to survive this tough business that is journalism. At the end of the day, I’m writing this post since I can’t figure out a better way to work out this mess inside my head.

If nothing else, there’s at least one thing I can be sure of, writing will always be a part of the plan.

Bloody hell and best wishes,



The transformation via Tumblr.

I grew up watching Disney movies from Jungle Book to Toy Story to every one of the princess movies. I’m sure that somewhere in my garage I have dusty stacks of VHS tapes of all the Disney classics.

It’s fair to say that in the last few years Disney has been trying to reinvent itself by putting out movies (and remakes) that display their female characters in more heroine like positions. Disney princesses are famously known for playing into the damsel in distress character, needing a charming prince to swoop in and save them from their troubles.

I commend Disney for trying to change that and modernize their movies with pieces like Frozen, where the main relationship focuses on sisters rather than romance. Films such as Brave don’t even have a romance element to it, purely diving into the relationship between mother and daughter.

Their latest film remake of Cinderella is a different story. The original tale of Cinderella, first made in the 50s, in no way really allows for her to be a powerful female character. She is in the end waiting for her prince charming to come with her glass slipper and be whisked away to the kingdom.

This time around, Disney tries to twist the story by giving not only the prince a backstory but also putting more value into Cinderella. It repeatedly brings out the theme “Have courage, and be kind” over and over, trying to pull the audience to feel almost pity for Cinderella.

Though I understand the movie was trying to have Cinderella seem more proactive, her actions displayed the opposite. There is a fine line between being nice and allowing yourself to be a complete doormat. Certain moments in the film were cringe worthy due to the complete lack of respect Cinderella had for herself.

In addition to the problematic characteristics that the characters brought up in the movie, there was the issue of body image. The scene where Cinderella receives her magical makeover, the dress she wore (with a corset) made her waist look absolutely non-existent. In fact, I think the cartoon version may seem more realistic.

The Cinderella cast and crew have to deal with this backlash and they’ve come up with some pretty good comebacks. Things have been said like “Corsets were of the time period”, “the actresses were just naturally very small people” and “the dress itself is proportioned to make the waist look even tinier”

The most compelling reason I’ve heard so far is that the movie is not about the waist size; it’s about the character. Basically, it is what’s on the inside that counts.

But is it?

There are three flaws I see with this way of thinking. If it’s what’s on the inside that counts then why couldn’t Cinderella still be more proportioned? Yes, I understand the corset and the time period, but you are presenting this film to modern day girls.

And in comes the second flaw I see. You cannot simply say that girls do not care about appearance. As a small child, my favorite princess was Sleeping Beauty. She had long flowing blonde hair, a thin stature and a beautiful dress. I wanted nothing but to be her. Yet, I was a chubby Asian girl with short black hair and it seemed like the only princess I could aspire to be was Snow White because we had similar hair.

Young girls see these princesses and want nothing but to be all of them. They want to be kind and brave, but they also want to be beautiful. They want to wear the pretty dress and have their own happily ever after (with or without a prince). So, yes the size of Cinderella’s waist does matter to a certain extent.

The final flaw I see in this is that Cinderella’s character just isn’t strong enough for you to justify ignoring the possible negative body image Disney is creating for young girls. Sure she’s kind and courageous, but is she really?

Throughout the movie you see her barely fight her evil stepmother. Even at the very end, she doesn’t even attempt to escape the attic she’s been locked into. Instead she sits singing with only her mouse friends to swoop in and save the day.

I’m not sure exactly what message this sends to kids. If Disney wanted to reinvent Cinderella, presenting it with a modern day look, then they should have had her character be more strong willed and less so a doormat.

This all may sound very cynical, but at the core of it, I do enjoy Disney. While watching Cinderella, I couldn’t help but feel giddy about the moments between prince charming and Cinderella. Just like four year old me, I love a happily ever after even now as an adult. This time around I just want a happily ever after without a damsel in distress.

Bloody hell and best wishes,



Taken at the East Side Gallery in Berlin.

Taken at the East Side Gallery in Berlin.

The first time I realized I loved history was when I was in the fourth grade and went into the woods to pan for gold during a school field trip. The stream rushed by as we waddled in slowly with our borrowed rain boots. The old man teaching us the ropes of gold mining wore a bucket hat, sleeves rolled up and shouted over the rush of the water. As much as I was afraid of falling into the stream, I was thrilled because I was recreating history.

After that, I think my love affair with history continued when I realized that it was all just one big never ending story. It was a bunch of stories weaved in and out with other ones, and the best part was that I too would be a story. Plus, I was really horrible at math and science, so I stuck to English and history. As I grew up, I learned that history is written by the victors. It wasn’t that the losers didn’t have a story to tell as well, it was just that many thought that they didn’t deserve to tell it.

But, they do.

A couple weekends ago I visited Berlin, Germany for the first time. For years I had studied about World War II, the Holocaust and the terrifying reign of Adolf Hitler. From seeing it in textbooks in class to fictional books to television and onwards, I’ve learned about it from every point but the Germans. I’ve met Holocaust survivors and been taught how about how the United States played a role in winning. Last semester, I even learned how World War II was seen from a journalist’s perspective.

However, being in Berlin was something completely different. The city itself gives off a different vibe than most other modern day cities do. You can feel that something terrible happened there, but it’s also a place that’s rebuilt itself over and over again. It’s a city that wholeheartedly embraces all of their history, the good and the bad. Now that is something that you don’t see everyday.

I’ve visited other places where this isn’t the case. Even in the United States where I live, I’m not often exposed to how we’ve terrorized our people. History that doesn’t portray us in a good light is swept under the rug, erased. In Berlin, I did not see that. Instead, I saw people who acknowledged their history, choosing to accept it and move forward.

My tour guide in Berlin said something that I will never forget as we walked towards where the first of the book burnings occurred. She said that many people forget that Germany is more than just the 13 years that Hitler ruled for. In my opinion, she’s right. Germany has produced some of the brightest minds and creative thinkers, from scientists to writers to philosophers, but they will forever be overshadowed by a man who ruled with force and fear.

This is not to say that we should forget about the suffering caused by the Third Reich. It is a constant reminder that we should never allow fear and ignorance and power and greed create a genocide that would wipe out millions of people. How Germany has embraced this horrible history is a lesson to us all about how we should approach our own.

History is not always a grand story because it has heroes and victories. History is a grand story because it tells us the truth, the whole truth of human beings. Most times this truth will be ugly and there will always be losers who will never tell their side of the story. I can only hope one day that will change. To me history is about learning all sides of the story. To me history is about accepting both the brutal and beautiful ways humans operate. To me history is about how we endure these triumphs and hardships as a society, pushing forwards, understanding the force that moves us along.

Bloody hell and best wishes,



A shot I took while at the Natural History museum on an empty Tuesday afternoon.

I’ve always been pretty good at being alone. Growing up as an only child, I was great at finding independent activities to keep myself busy. Reading, drawing, watching television were all things I excelled at as a kid (two of those three still apply).

Over the years I’ve been spoiled by good company, whether it be family or friends. Especially in the past couple years, I’ve been constantly surrounded, and alone time was precious. I loved the late night drives home and the days where I could live on the couch, with nothing but a book for company.

Then, I came to London and experienced a whole new feeling of being alone. I made the treacherous journey (which took over 24 hours due to plane delays) by myself. I moved in by myself and for the first time in a long time, I was somewhere where I really didn’t know anyone.

It was terrifying.

I think in the first two weeks here, I spent more time by myself than I had in the past six months. When I realized that I didn’t absolutely hate that fact, I began to wonder whether something was wrong with me. Had I become some sort of weird loner?

The thing is that I think I was really enjoying being alone because it was quiet. Well quiet in a way that I have never experienced before. I wasn’t exactly lonely, I was just alone. I spent a lot of my first week wandering around museums by myself, either for class or just for leisure. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve actually never done this before and now that I have, I’m angry that I didn’t do it sooner.

I walked through every exhibit at my own pace and for once, I decided to go headphone free. No music, just the sounds around me. Also, I still hadn’t be able to unlock my phone that week yet, so no cell reception, only spotty museum wifi that never quite worked. It was simply just wonderful.

I heard snippets of foreign conversations. I watched videos on how artifacts were found. I sat and stared at the paintings of Raphael for twenty minutes, distraction free. I felt like I was in another world.

It was new kind of quiet I had never found before. In the past year, I spent most of my alone time being stressed out, overthinking and often being upset. This sort of alone time brought peace and the museums I were in made me feel wondrous to be such a small part of a large world.

Of course, since the first week I’ve began to make some friends (so not totally a weird loner all the time) and I spend less time in museums by myself and more so with other people. Regardless, I’m sure in the next couple months I’ll find more quiet time, hopefully next to some Van Gogh.

Bloody hell and best wishes,



Oh Hermione, how you’ve always been right.

Once again it’s come the time for another year to end and a new one to begin. My oh my how things have changed since last December. I ended 2013 feeling a bit bitter and upset with what I had gotten out of the past 365 days. I cannot say that 2014 has been the same. In fact, if anything 2014 was the exact opposite.

This was the year where I embraced being a little braver, being more open and most of all being much happier than the year before. This year I discovered how much love I have to give and how much love I receive on a day to day basis. Love came from every direction of my life, from family to friends to work. It sprang from hidden corners and at times it felt like my heart would burst from the overdose.

Love fueled a lot of things this year, and most of it went into journalism. I fell passionately in love with trying my best to tell great stories in order to be the journalist I want to be. So much of that went into learning new techniques, failing horribly and learning that caffeine can really be your best friend. I became a columnist and wrote about what I love (and believe in). I took classes where I felt engaged (suddenly tuition seemed more worth it) and curious. My work felt important and real and in turn, I never wanted to stop doing it.

With a lot of my drive focused towards journalism, all the attention I had left was given to friends and family. They’re there to make me laugh until my stomach aches, comfort me when I fall (figuratively and literally) and listen (and support) to my insane dreams of making it as a writer. I am so lucky to feel such sadness every time I have to leave, whether it be San Francisco or Boston. Every place I’ve gone to or left, I know I’m either coming back to or leaving people that I love. Not everyone can say that and because I can, I am eternally grateful for the people in my life.

2014 has brought me more happiness than I could have ever imagined and 2015 isn’t looking so bad. As per usual my goal for the upcoming year is to be happier, but I think I’ll add one more thing. I want to love more in 2015, whether it be loving new books, people or places. I find that this year has taught me that there are two things in life that we can always take large doses of; happiness and love.

Bloody hell and best wishes,