Life is Short: Love Hard and Chase your Dreams TODAY

As you all know, one of my dear friends passed away this week. Suddenly, all these wonderful memories of Pa Nhia rushed into my brain; her beautiful spirit and helpful personality. I wondered, why did it take for my friend to pass in order for me to think of her. This happens all too often, but her passing made me realize a few things.

Life is damn short and you might as well live it up

I’m not saying go out, get drunk, and party hard all your life. NO. I mean take chances. All those dreams and goals you’ve been sitting on. Stand up and take action. Today is the day to start working towards your dreams. You only fail when you give up. I had a major life crisis earlier today. I wondered, what was the point in doing good works? What was the point in making this world a better place? Why does it matter? Is it just an entertainment for the higher being above to see good and evil compete over and over? I felt so empty, meaningless, and confused. But then, my nephew’s smile popped into my mind. The video of my sister and I drinking sweet sake for her 30th birthday rolled into my Facebook feed. I saw her smile and my smile, and noticed pure happiness. I wondered. That must be how it feels to live, to love, to feel finally blissful.

Love the people who love you

My loved ones are no way near perfect. They’re closed off. They barely say “I love you.” They are so busy sometimes I wonder if they even think about me. But, it’s the little gestures I overlooked. When I think back, though my mama yelled every day and stressed me out with her stress, she goes to the ends of the earth for me. My dad still shows no emotion, but his warm smile and kind spirit has always made me feel loved ever since I was a kid. Even working until 12 am, he never hesitated to stop at Cubs to buy me a bucket  of cookies and cream ice cream, my favorite flavor. In addition to my amazing parents, my sisters are awesome and are always there for me when I need someone to talk to. I’ve searched endlessly for years in hopes of finding someone who loves me, but I didn’t realize how loved I already was. Sure, they’re unsure on how to express it. Sure they can be hostile at times, but they are my family. I searched for love in all the wrong places, and the main thing I realized, I was already completely loved  AND in order to receive any love, I had to love myself.

Always say I love you and hug your loved ones

Now, as I walk out the door, I make a conscious effort to hug every one and say I love you to all my family members, because I realize, human bodies are fragile. We die from car accidents, gunshots, a fall, a heart attack, choking, anything. So, in case something happens to me or my loved ones, I can feel assured I’ve expressed my love for them.

Thank God, Thank the Spirit, Thank whatever you want. Just be Thankful!

I remember to always say my thanks for the simple things. I am even more conscious now to cherish my moments with my loved ones, and to take things slower and enjoy life moments. Human beings are natural story tellers. We learn through stories. We need to stay present when our story is unfolding before our very eyes, or else we will not learn and we will not see the magic. I am thankful for my nephews’ and niece’s smiles, and the opportunity to see my younger sister grow into a young women.

My farewell words to you is,  “Just Do It!” This day is like tomorrow, the next week and the next. There is NO POINT TO WAIT to do anything you want. Tell that boy you like him! Tell everyone you’re GAY! Apply for that dream job! Save for that vacation! Don’t wait to live life. As you sleep in your bed at the end of the night, this should be your last thought “If I died tomorrow, I would be okay with it, because I’ve lived to my best on this day.” So, my friend, LIVE.

Wabi Sabi

Where is my home? – Diary of a Hmong-Meeka girl

so, here you are
too foreign for home
too foreign for here.
never enough for both.

— Ijeoma Umebinyuo

Where is my true home? Where do I come from if not here. Ever since I looked up Laos for my sixth grade FACs project, hoping to see Hmong people pop up, owning their “Home,” I realized, Laos is for Laotian people, not Hmong? That was the first time I found out, we had no home: the first time I felt ashamed being Hmong, the start of my disconnection from my Hmong identity.

How do I describe the self-identity crisis I experienced for 22 years as I dwelled in the seams of two completely separate lives. Ijeoma Umebinyou’s quote perfectly describes my life. As a product of immigrant parents on American soil, what am I really? Hmong or American? Watching movies in my language, listening to songs in my tongue, all the Hmong words flowed easily into my ears, but when I discovered hip hop and Black culture, everything I knew shifted.

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Young Wabi Sabi

Being Hmong seemed to be “uncool.” If I spoke too much Hmong, listened to Hmong songs, or wore flip flops, I wasn’t “good” enough. I grew up seeing story cloths, the traditional clothing, the cultural rituals, but I never understood the meanings behind any of it. They all felt meaningless to me. Was it because my parents never really explained to me why things happened the way it did? There was no questioning the culture. It just was. That was the way. My young mind could not comprehend how sacred and special all these were to me until years later.

Was it because I never wanted to fulfill the role of a Hmong daughter? As young as I was, I sensed an unfairness in the culture, the way I was treated and the tasks assigned to me at parties. I came to a conclusion that I would  NEVER wait at the hands and feet of a man. I NEVER wanted to be lower, yet I didn’t know, my young mind was already conditioned to be submissive and to view myself less important than a boy. Unconcsiously, I came to hate my female identity and I chased the freedom my brothers inherited.

I remembered tagging along with my brothers, wrestling with them, and playing football with my boy cousins. But, when I was around my girl cousins, I took on the “girl” role, talking about boys and worrying about how we looked. I over-worried when I was taking the role as a girl compared to when I was hanging with the guys.

I blamed my Hmong identity for all the self-hate. The patriarchy, the silencing of my voice, my inability to play sports because my legs were not longer. So, I ran: I ran from my Hmong identity. I ran from my female identity. Yet, I still couldn’t get un-stuck from the seams. No matter how “American” or “masculine” I tried to be, there was always this emptiness inside me.

In 8th grade, I stuck closely to a big group of Hmong girls. They were Hmong. They looked like me. Maybe that would help me find who I was. I should be best of friends with them right? I knew the answer.  Just because they were Hmong did not mean I should stick with them. We had nothing in common. I knew nothing else but Hmong. That was the only thing that defined me, so when it slipped from me, I unconcsiouly became confused on who I was. I replaced my Paradise, Tou Lee Va Kou, and Lue Yaj jams with Usher, Neyo, T-pain, and Beyonce. So who was I anymore? No country, no identity.

My longing to belong has been my greatest struggle. Feeling totally alone even when surrounded by a group of people. Unsure of where I fit in the world and in my belong groups, anxiety and nervousness filled my every muscle.

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My trip to China in 2016-17 in the Red Thread Hmong Village in Quizhou Province

I continued running away for 22 years, desperately trying to ditch my Hmong identity and my roles and my emotions as a women. But, something inside of me, said “stop running and come back.” When I did return to embrace my two identities, I was relieved. Before, English did not flow easily out of my mouth, yet when I returned to my native tongue, it also did not flow easily like it once did.

As a 23 year old Hmong women now, I see the beauty in my race; the thousands of years of oppression, a people without a country, our lost written language, our people dispersed throughout the whole globe, literally making 0% of the population. These are not to cry over, to feel bad about, or to see us lower than anybody else. The beautiful thing about being Hmoob is this quote by Mayou Angelo.

 “You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”

A people without a place, yet we belong every place, no place at all.  The home we know, is the home we carry on our backs to every place we lived. The home we know, is the home we carry in our hearts to every place we lived. Home is within us. Home should never be a physical space, as how all nations want to label “home.” My home is the people that come along with me on the journey, as we again, rebuild our homes, re-cultivate our land, adapt to our new plain. I find that beautiful about my people. The world is our home.

My parents told me we are from Laos, yet that home is foreign to me. We are only travelers there who stayed for a while. Now again, we move and move. Yet home will always be with me.

 

 

Wabi Sabi

Book of August 2018: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women World Wide

recommend it

Women hold half the sky.” – Chinese Proverb.

 

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Click on photo for link to purchase book on AMAZON

Authors of Half the Sky, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, shared this proverb after the dedication page.

I have one word to describe this book: AMAZING. All the empowering women you will meet in this book from all over the world will inspire you to chase your dreams and create a life with no limitations.

I was sucked in the moment I read the first paragraph to the moment I read the last word. Reading this book truly humbled me. Though gender oppression, sexual objectifying, and disrespect to our women exists where we live, reading the stories of women in countries where there are non-existent rights for them to own their lives and bodies opened my eyes to how good I actually have it.

I’ve experienced gender oppression all my life, but to read the excruciating obstacles other women experience and overcame, reminds me that if they can endure and surpass their difficult life situations, I also can triumph through anything.

No book has fired me up so much, and no book has made me more proud to be a women than Half the Sky.

I enjoyed the authors’ structure of the novel. It felt extremely intimate as it took the reader into the personal lives of various women from different walks of life and countries. As a reader, I saw through the eyes of women who fell into the system of sex trafficking, led villages and powerful social movements, and challenged cultural and gender norms to be self-efficient financially stable business owners.

It explains in great detail the many barriers women experience such as, family planning in undeveloped countries, toxic expectations and roles, public shaming through various acts like rape, ridicule, and murder, misogyny,  and further oppression from our very own women.

Why are women underestimated? Because there is this long established male narrative that blocks women from being in the spot light. Most often, women are highly competent, but it’s the men in their lives that fear the lost of control; the fear of losing their women, so they’ve created a passive narrative for them. But as this book shows, they are not so passive. They are leaders, innovators, educators, mothers, all at the same time.

This book contains graphic content, so readers with weak stomachs and soft hearts, you may just cry (often) during this read. There were many moments where I just stopped reading because the treatment and restrictions inflicted on women angered me so much.

I want to share with you the first paragraph.

Srey Rath is a self-confident Cambodian teenager whose black hair tumbles over a round, light brown face. She is in a crowded street market, standing beside a pushcart and telling her story calmly, with detachment. The only hint of anxiety or trauma is the way she often pushes her hair from in front of her black eyes, perhaps a nervous tick. Then she lowers her hand and her long fingers gesticulate and flutter in the air with incongruous grace as she recounts her odyssey (pg. xi).

Please READ READ READ this book. It tells all the gory but real experiences women and girls endure, but also gives high hopes for a better future and suggests a great solution to increasing opportunities for our beautiful and intelligent women. Happy reading.

WANT TO PURCHASE THE BOOK? CLICK ON THE PHOTO ABOVE.

Wabi Sabi

My 7 year addiction

When you think, “addiction,” the things that pop into your mind are probably, drugs? Alcohol? Prescription pills? But, addiction runs deeper than just these. Addiction carries many faces: over-eating, video games, sleeping, shopping, coffee, and sex. And the list goes on. As for me, I was addicted to the one thing every single person in this universe needs and searches for. Love; the idea of love, chasing love, yearning and longing for love.

How do you know if you’re addicted to love? You always feel the need to see him, text him, and check up on him. When you feel sad, you run to him expecting him to make you happy, and when he can’t, you blame him.  It’s as if you can’t go a day without talking or seeing him.  You need a dose of him before anything. You let your love determine your mood, your happiness, and your worth. It’s as if the whole world ends when your “addiction” is out of your grasp. Most importantly, when he hits you, verbally abuses you,  forces you to engage in sex, cheats on you, you find yourself falling back into his arms, because guess what. Your addicted, and no matter how horrible he treats you, you are hooked.

I was in a toxic relationship, where we both physically and verbally abused each other. He cheated on me, lied to me about different girls, his whearabouts and intentions, and showed pure ignorance of my well being and safety. I was so shocked and hurt that this man can utter “I Love you” to me. But, yet I stayed with him for a long time, going back and forth, leaving when he does something wrong, but running right back, because the urge, the addiction was too strong to stay away for too long.

One or the other was not at fault, because I believe we both were incomplete, empty people doing our best to complete eachother,  but you can’t make something whole if both of the pieces are cracked and broken. Both pieces of the puzzle have to be solid and well-put together to achieve wholeness.

Every addiction gives you a temporary high and then it follows with constant lows after that. My addiction to love, well, it was the same. I was happy for the moment when they were there. I let their presence hide my incompleteness, my pain, my loneliness and my anger. I used them to mask my insecurities, searching for acceptance and validation from them. This continuous seven year cycle since 15 until 22, twirled me into relationship after relationship, all ending mostly the same: unhappy and this pounding question: Did I really love him or did I only love the idea of love? In every relationship, I felt this itch and irritation inside of me. My inner voice was always telling me, this is not for you, yet my love addiction overpowered and left me circling round and round.

This addictive ideal that love would save me, or having a boyfriend who loved me completely turned unhealthy.  I held every boyfriend by the neck. I sought to control every aspect of the relationship by morphing it into the ideal relationship I always saw in the movies (which we all know are completely untrue). Since a kid, I never felt like I was good enough, but that feeling maximized when I was in a relationship. Everytime I caught them staring at another woman’s butt, I projected that as me unable to meet up to their standards. Deeper insecurities and anger formed. I turned that anger towards them and myself, discouraging me and telling myself of how unworthy I was.

But as 23 year old Wabi Sabi now, how did I over come this Love Addiction? Simple. When I decided to put myself first. When I decided to save myself instead of waiting for someone to come to my rescue. When I realized, I was GOOD ENOUGH. When I knew I deserved better than how he was treating me. And of course watching and listening to hundreds of  Oprah Winfrey inspirational videos religously over a span of six months.

Addiction is no joke. I believe addiction should be watched and understood better, because as people observing, you think we have a “choice,” but truth is the addiction over powers the will of choice at the moment. People become addicted to things because they are missing something and they use that to fill it temporarily. It’s the attempt to reach wholeness. Under every addiction holds great pain that needs to be faced head on. You and I were addicted or currently addicted to something, but we have the choice to be aware of our decisions. Reflect: What pain are you masking with this addiction? When you are aware of the masked pain and can answer WHY you want to get rid of this dependence, you can finally make the choice to get better.

Love addiction is definitely no joke, and I believe that it is a common addiction we are all unaware of. It’s one of the most deadly addictions that leads to an endless cycle, self-inflicted pain and suicides. Please love with no chains, baggage, or expectations. Once, you stop this addictive search for love, love will come. And you will know the difference between an addiction and real love.

Wabi Sabi

5 Things You Should Know About College

It’s about that time to prepare for a new chapter in your life: College. I know. You’re probably freaking out, telling yourself, “OMG am I the only one that has no idea what I want to major in!” Truth is, you’re not. So breathe. If you’re planning to live on campus, you may be feeling anxiety moving away from home. You may be contemplating about the best prices for textbooks, what your first year will be like, if you should join clubs, or how often you should go home. College holds so many mysteries that you’ll never be fully prepared or know what to expect. So, here are 5 things you should know about the grand “college experience.”

  1. You won’t know your exact plan before entering college
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My friends and I at my graduation May 2017

I mean, it would be great if you mapped out an entire plan for your four years, but many students enter their first year undecided. And that is totally okay. I entered college with a Community Health Science degree, having no idea what it really was and what career path I wanted to pursue. I even considered joining the National Gaurd instead. Throughout my first three years, I changed my major 8 times (Psychology, Biology, Communication Studies, Finance, and then juggling back and forth between a few of them). I didn’t regret it because I had the chance to take multiple major classes in different departments. I finally graduated (in four years), with a Communication Studies major and Writing minor. Not too bad. Breathe in and breathe out. My advice is to keep a close eye on what classes you enjoy most, and go with your gut. If I could go back, I probably would have majored in something like Theater, Dance, or something artsy. That was my true passion, but my mom encouraged me to stay away from those kind of majors. No matter what anyone thinks, go with your gut and pursue it with a passion!

  1. Live in the dorms for the experience
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Activity I did my first year: Word of the year as a sophomore

If you are debating whether to dorm or not, I say “Just Do It.” It’s a great opportunity to experience independence yet your still in a safe bubble on campus. I stayed in the dorms during my sophomore year and it was quite interesting. There was more independence than I can handle, but the biggest thing I learned from the experience was how precious my family was to me. During spring semester I went home every weekend.  Tears welled up in my eyes everytime I ate my mom’s delicious stir fry. My little sister and I began our deep talks during this year. I was far more grateful for the little things after the experience. When I lived in the dorms, there was one week I lived on potatoes only. I honestly was ecstatic to be back home after sophomore year, but at the end of it all, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Maybe you will learn something totally different from the experience.

  1. “The College Experience” is different for everyone

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Some students immerse their whole lives into college activities, some involve themselves moderately, and some participate in off-campus activities/jobs during their experience. I say, everyone’s college experience is valuable, as long as you fully enjoyed it. When Oprah was in college, she never had time to involve herself in activities, because she had classes from 8am-1pm then was a news anchor from 2pm-10 pm every day. And look at her now! She is AMAZING. As for me, I was involved in extra-curricular activities during college, and I believe that helped me build my leadership skills, people skills, and a wide network that I still connect with after college. It all depends on you and how involved you want to be with activities during college, but the most important thing is to network and maintain those connections which leads us to the next thing.

  1. Network Network Network

Networking is the most important thing in college. You can be as smart as you want, but if you don’t build connections with the right people, you could miss out on great opportunities that can help you build important skills. Get to know the right people and don’t be afraid to put your face out there for all to see. One way to build connections is to get involved with clubs and activities you’re interested in. I met wonderful people and was offered meaningful opportunities because I was involved with a club, attended an event and was there at the right moment. If you do a good job and you work with different people, your credibility builds and your known in the community as someone responsible, kind, and hardworking.

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I started modeling because they saw me speak at one of my club events as President of my Hmong club.

 

  1. You probably will still have no idea on what to do with your major even after college

I graduated last year, thinking I had an idea on the job I wanted, yet, I’m still here wondering what I’m supposed to use my degree for. We honestly cannot decide what to do for the rest of our lives in four years. Hey, some people can, but for the majority of us, we don’t know. I say for the next four years, enjoy your experience, take risks, take on leadership roles, and figure out what fires you up more than anything. I made the mistake to commit to things I wasn’t truly passionate about, because I had the “Disease to Please.” But, it’s all a part of learning. How do you know you love something if you don’t try it first? Pursue anything that may interest you. Atleast you can say you’ve tried and it wasn’t your thing, or it is your long lost passion you’ve been seeking. It will come to you. People will discourage you, judge you, and bring you down while on your path to finding your true purpose, but persist and have no fear. You don’t need to follow the crowd. Know what is true in your heart and follow it.

Enjoy your journey.

Wabi Sabi

 

Your Situation Does NOT Define you

You graduated college and there are boundless opportunities. You hold high hopes and dreams for that big adult job you’re supposed to magically get after college. But, after months of looking, swiping, applying, interviewing, rejection stings. In the end, you’re a college graduate, working a job out of your field, getting paid $14 an hour.

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Busy Mom (I do not own this photo)

Or maybe you’re a mom with adorable little stinkers, a husband, a house with a white picket fence, a stable job, yet, you’re unhappy? Juggling work, tending to your kids, and pleasing your husband and other family members has left you a jumbled mess with no room to pursue your passions. Everyone thinks you’re happy, but inside, your light is slowly dimming.

 

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Incompleteness, emptiness, and constant highs and lows fill your months. You blame it on your period. You begin to blame your life situation (where you were born, the money you have, the type of parents you have) for your unhappiness. Then you begin to blame the people around you for your unhappiness. You feel lost, alone, and unsure of how to reach your highest potential in your current situation. I am here to tell YOU. Your situation does not define you. Your failures, your obligations, and your assumed limitations does not define you.

Dropping out of school does not define you. Your college degree does not define you. What others say DOES Not define you. I’ll push it even further to say, your race or ethnicity Does Not define you.

You may be thinking, Alright Wabi Sabi, if none of these things define me, what does?

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The Light Within (Photo Edited by Wabi Sabi, Original photo by David Lee, Dress designed by Patjira Thao)

Your spirit and light that shines from within IS the real you. That little voice that encourages you to push a little more, to give your all, or to get off your butt to hit the gym. It’s that passive voice we often ignore. When you begin listening to your true voice more and more, its presence and voice speaks louder and stronger, and you will feel a shift in your thinking, perspective, and habits.

We all are placed on this earth for a reason. And when you associate who you are with for example who your family is, your failures, or your culture and allow these labels to fully define you, you might be missing on the biggest piece of you.

You are crazy Wabi Sabi, you might be saying in your head.

I promise you, slowly blur those labels that has defined you for so long and you will see more and more of your true self. You are not what you’re born into or where you’re born into. We are put in situations, sometimes far from our actual purpose to see how far we are willing to go to find it. Some people stay stuck in their comfortability and some take action to seek out their true purpose.

It’s like a hot and cold game. You will feel coldness when you’re walking the wrong direction from your purpose, but if you’re on the right path, warmness will fill you. As you get closer, the warmness becomes a fire: the flame that’s been waiting to be ignited by YOU.

When you’re on the path to purpose, that path will feel warmer and warmer, you will begin to wake up every day excited to start your journey to your highest fulfillment. Sadness, loneliness, and emptiness will slip away with the cold.

No fear and “Just Do it.” Your situation does not define you, or hold you back. The only thing that holds you back from greatness is yourself. You have the power to transform your life. Be hungry and aim for the highest vision for your life.

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Wabi Sabi

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Photo Credits to
Mally Yang

Wabi Sabi is a passionate writer and performative artist, who wants to utilize her talent to educate, awaken, and inspire you to find your truest, best, positive version of yourself.

She is driven to create works that will inspire us as human beings in this beautiful home we call earth, to be happier, healthier and aunthentic individuals.

Follow her on FacebookInstagram

Book of July 2018: The Power of Now

recommend it

The power of now

If thoughts of cheating boyfriends, late bills, and failed job interviews fill your mind constantly, and you seem to have no power to control your thoughts, you may want to read this book.

#1 New York’s Bestseller, one of Oprah’s recommended books, The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle holistically teaches you to be conscious of stress stimulating thoughts and how to focus on the present moment.

It reads easily and the concepts are clear. You may find yourself having an “aha” moment every few minutes, and a feeling of inner peace when you read something that applies to your life, which I experienced often.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly – you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over” (Tolle pg. 16).

A main concept taught is how to distinguish your true self from your mind and thoughts. It compares similarly to the devil and angel sitting on your shoulders; the angel is your true self as the devil is your mind.

Other main concepts discussed are the illusion of pain, how to be free of it, and how to endure suffering and become more enlightened after. True surrender, forgiveness, unconscious versus conscious decisions are highlighted in the book.

It is eye opening. Before, I constantly worried about people who hurt me, my disadvantages, and the fear of an unsuccessful future, but as I read the book, I had many “aha” moments and realized the toxicity bubbling inside my mind. The concepts in the book truly liberated me from stressful and limiting thoughts and taught me how to breathe in the present moment. It even encouraged me to take on meditating. Reflections about my life, needs and passions deepened and was more meaningful. I reflected on what was important to me and what to focus on versus irrelevant worries and responsiblities I wouldn’t care for five years from now.

It’s a great read that will enrich and awaken your true spirit and help you breathe in the power of focusing on the present moment.

Listen to Oprah’s interview with Eckhart Tolle on The Power of Now below.

Interested in the book, you can purchase the book on Amazon here.

 Wabi Sabi

 

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Photo Credits toMally YangWabi Sabi is a passionate writer and performative artist, who wants to utilize her talent to educate, awaken, and inspire you to find your truest, best, positive version of yourself.

She is driven to create works that will inspire us as human beings in this beautiful home we call earth, to be happier, healthier and aunthentic individuals.

Follow her on FacebookInstagram, and Youtube.

 

 

Don’t allow the “emptiness” to consume you

emptyI observe how my loved ones fill their emptiness with alcohol, drugs, and temporary thrills. I find myself unconsciously going out, drinking and partying in attempt to fill the incompleteness inside of me. I see wonderful women and men fill their emptiness with the company of unimportant bachelors/bachelorettes, throwing themselves at strangers, and even hooking up with someone just to “feel” something.

Living on this earth for 23 years, I’ve experienced the beautiful and corruptness of human beings. Most importantly, I’ve experienced it in myself. There was always this emptiness inside me that I always searched to fill.

I filled it with boyfriends, alcohol, clubbing, committing to various belong groups. I’ve tried so many things to see which circle I belonged to that it honestly would take me forever to list. But at the end of it all, when I’m in my bed, I still felt Empty.

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I felt empty all through out my life, wondering where I belonged to. What was I meant to do on this earth? My college years was the best and loneliest years of my life. If you’ve ever felt this way you know exactly how it feels, to be around people you love but still feel unhappy. If you are confused and conflicted to why you feel this way too, continue reading. I’ll spill 3 potential reasons and also tell you what you can do to be more conscious in your decisions to reach your true fulfillment.

The question is, why do we feel so empty?

1. You may be trying to find fulfillment in external things

Whether it’s a boyfriend/girlfriend, drugs, those flashy shoes you bought, belong groups, or skills, if you try to find fulfillment in outside things, you will never be fully complete. Haven’t you seen famous movie and pop stars fall straight to the dumps and even ending their own lives? You wonder, wow, Michael Jackson HAS to be happy. He is extremely talented, he’s got money and fame. Yet, he overdosed on pills back in 2009 (RIP to the King of Pop). No matter how much money, cars, and talent you have, you can still be unhappy. As I will continue to stress, fulfillment starts from within yourself, not from with-out. When you try to fill your emptiness with these things, you find yourself needing more and more of it, but at the end of it, you will be left worse than how you started.

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Credits to Deviant Art

Also, don’t run into the arms of someone else, (especially someone who caused harm and heartache to you) when you feel lonely, empty, or itchy for some lovin. It’s a self-discipline to be still and run into your own arms. It is up to you and only you to be fulfilled. I believe having faith in whatever Being, universe you believe in and trusting yourself that you are capable to achieve anything and everything is the way to go. I’m not saying don’t have friends or don’t work on your skills. Those are important things to us as human beings; being skilled at something and belonging to a group meet certain needs we have, but to be complete and whole, it starts within you. Look within you. Look within for answers to your questions. You may be surprised on what you find.

2. You haven’t found your mothership

Have you ever read that book about the little duckling that goes around asking every11-07-are-you-my-mother animal if they were his mother; that’s you and me. When I mean mothership I mean finding the right group to belong. Like I said it is very important to belong to a group. You know you’ve found your mothership when you can be yourself, you feel supported, and these mentors and friends push you to be a better person. During my college years, I involved myself in a bunch of extra-curricular activities; modeling, clubs, filming, dancing, political campaigns, and because I did that, this little duckling was a step closer to finding her mother. College was the loneliest yet most productive years of my life. I was a student leader on campus, so I constantly masked a smile on my face for my colleagues, but on the inside, I was hurting, incomplete and in searching. But, it’s not an easy road when you are on the journey to fulfillment. Trust me, it’s a mountainous roller coaster. I say, no fear. If you have one itch in your heart to do or try something, like Nike says “Just Do It.” That honestly is my life motto to reach fulfillment. You can read my story here about 21 when I auditioned for my first dance company. Maybe it will give you motivation to pursue your innermost dreams.

3. You may be listening to others and your thoughts instead of your inner self

You need to distinguish what your real wants and dreams are and your true self versus what your mind and others are feeding you. Take this for example; if you ever wanted to dance or sing on stage, but your mind says “Oh I’m not good enough?” “What if people Gollumlaugh at me?” “What if I mess up?” That is not the real you, that is your EGO trying to discourage you to reach your true self. Another part is, the people around you, especially family. They may be completely different from you, but because you are with them so much, you take on their habits and their lifestyle, and you may be completely ignoring your life purpose. I challenge you to look within yourself, feel in your heart and soul what you were meant to be on this earth, and though your family persuades you differently, know what is speaking inside of you and follow that instinct. I know I’ve come a long way breaking tradition in my home. You can read my article here about all the rebellious things I did: Poj Laib (Bad) Hmong girl: Just Do Itthough some were mistakes and some were successes!

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Check out my video on  my experience auditioning for the Timberwolves Dance Team: My personal journey to advancing as a dancer and taking risks to be the best that I can be.

 

 

 

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Photo Credits toMally Yang

Wabi Sabi is a passionate writer and performative artist, who wants to utilize her talent to educate, awaken, and inspire you to find your truest, best, positive version of yourself.

She is driven to create works that will inspire us as human beings in this beautiful home we call earth, to be happier, healthier and aunthentic individuals.

Follow her on FacebookInstagram, and Youtube.

Going against your mind; Auditioned for my first dance company at 21

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Hmong New Year 2017 Dance outfit

Winter of 2016, I walked into Asian Media Access, a dance studio in Minneapolis with my 15 year old cousin and 13 year old sister. I was 21, and it was my first time ever auditioning for a dance company. I always dreamed of dancing on stage, but my mind always told me I wasn’t good enough.  Looking like a fool on stage scared me enough to stay away from the spot light. But, because of my “Just Do It” motto, I built enough courage to audition.

When I walked into the building, all I saw were significantly younger girls with innocent smiles, hair placed perfectly in a bun. My heart raced. Thoughts bombarded my mind, Oh my gosh. I’m an old lady. I probably won’t be as good. I frantically whispered to my cousin, who danced for the company last year, that I couldn’t do it. I felt like this inside.

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The main thought that crossed my mind was, What if I look like a fool? Discouraging thoughts bounced off the walls of my brain screaming at me to RUN. I was ready to walk out, but my cousin calmed me down. She reminded me it was okay and there were older people there too and pleaded me to stay. So I did.

As we walked through the door of the audition room, they gave each girl a sticker with a number and we stuck it onto our shirts. When the audition began, all 70+ girls formed a circle in the studio and we went around telling our name, age, and years of dance experience. Most of them were 16, some older, mostly younger. I felt so much anxiety as it got closer and closer to me.

The audition consisted of stretching and doing requirements such as this:

They had three rounds of choreography, eliminating more dancers each time. After thirty minutes, my nerves calmed and I gave myself a pep talk. I believed in myself no matter what. Eventually, I moved onto the third round and was quite surprised wondering, hmmm maybe I’m better than I thought. Though I didn’t nail the last dance as well, I left the auditions feeling so proud of myself that I followed through. And of course, I made it into a dance group and jump started my passion for dance.

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(Dancing Mist) Hmong New Year 2016 Dance – I am third to the right

So the moral of the story is, though your mind tells you not to follow through with something, listen to your inner self and “Just Do It.” The more you go against your mind, the closer you will be towards finding your true self and your true calling. Our mind lies to us constantly in order to stay in control. Feel that other voice telling you to pursue and follow through. That is your true self fighting your mind. Your mind is not you. If you are confused by all this “mind” talk, stay tuned for my next post. I will explain it more in depth.

If I did not listen to my inner self and allowed my mind to scare me off, I would not be here dancing with the skills and confidence I have. I have more confidence to attend dance workshops and I’m now in another dance company on top of my first one. Listen to your inner self and don’t let your mind and thoughts discourage you from pursuing your passions!

Wabi Sabi 

Check out my dance videos below.

 

 

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Photo Credits to
Mally Yang

Wabi Sabi is a passionate writer and performative artist, who wants to utilize her talent to educate, awaken, and inspire you to find your truest, best, positive version of yourself.

She is driven to create works that will inspire us as human beings in this beautiful home we call earth, to be happier, healthier and aunthentic individuals.

Follow her on FacebookInstagram, and Youtube.

Poj Laib (Bad) Hmong girl: Just Do It

As the Nike saying goes, “Just Do It.” That quote became my life motto as I took on a journey of rebellion. If you asked my parents to describe me, they would say, weird and rebellious. If you asked me to describe my family, I would say, normal and safe. We are an Asian Hmong family that lies in the middle of tradition and modern Americanization. My mom encouraged me to pursue education completely but also wanted me to learn all the duties of a “good” daughter.  Though I was never raised to wake up early to clean the house, cook, and be a care taker, as I got older, my mom stressed the importance of knowing how to do these things.  It was the golden ticket to being a good wife for my future Hmong husband and mother-in-law.

But, I couldn’t picture my life in the role laid out for me. There was a big expectation to be perfect and obedient. For so long, I listened to other’s expectations of me, but then it hit me. I needed to make my own decisions for once and take control of my life. During sophomore year of high school, I made the first decision to go against my parent’s wishes. They were not going to be here forever to tell me what to do or provide for me. So, even though they disagreed with many of my decisions since then, I pursued them anyways, because I knew in my heart it was my journey to find true belonging. I knew they would support me once they saw the positive impacts.

My first rebellious move at 16: Playing football

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My mom completely disagreed with my decision. She lectured on how it was a waste of time and that I would break my leg or arms. During the five years of playing, my aunt constantly told me how dark I was for baking in the sun and compared my muscular build to a man. But, I kept playing until my time was done. My family always told me I was selfish and said I put football first before them. I felt the drift, but I couldn’t make them understand how desperate I wanted to excel at something, to feel valuable, and belong to a friend group. I was 16 and searching for my purpose.  Despite all the soreness, pale ankle tans, and guilt trips from my family, football allowed me to work on a skill for the first time in my life, and as I kept playing I gained more confidence; an experience I can never replace.

Next rebellious move at 19: Moving into a dorm

My mama forbid it before I attended college, but campus life sparked curiosity and was Untitledan opportunity for independence. During sophomore year, I took out loans and registered to live on campus. My mom surprisingly took it well when I told her. You never know how your parents would actually react when you take the chance to act on your wants and desires. Living on campus, I joined cheer and stepped into a leadership role as a mentor to freshman students.   It was an activation year for me. But, it was a rough year, starving sometimes, broke, and car-less, but the experience made me appreciate my mom’s home cooking and my family so much more. Living away from home actually brought me closer to my younger sister and mom. My sister and I are weirdly close and if not for this experience, the “aha” moment to step up and be a big sister would have never happened.

Next rebellious move at 19: Dating a black guy

The most taboo thing to do in the Hmong elders’ eyes. Of course my parents wanted me 11412301_1856277331264533_1336344488213902282_nto be with a Hmong man, but hey, America is a place of exploration and opportunities. I am grateful to be on this soil and in this life. The two in a half years with this boyfriend of mine was like a mountainous roller coaster. It was the best and worst relationship I ever had. Though he was not the guy for me, and my family were 95% right about him, disregarding the race factor, I learned many things through the experience. I learned about real love, forgiveness, living in the moment, and being my true self. After reflecting on my relationship, my perspective on people widened and I felt more confident about myself.

Next rebellious move at 20: Traveling to Madison for a fashion show competition

My mom honestly swore to me these people were going to KIDNAP me. She literally 12482841_565375756948932_759824425_oalmost convinced me to not go through with it. I almost told the woman who asked me to participate, who is now a good friend of mines, that I wasn’t going to do it, but my soul and heart irked me to follow through. Despite my mom’s wishes, I secretly went to the designer’s house and got my measurements done and she talked me through the whole process. I felt confident and sure it would be a great opportunity. When I told my mom, she of course was mad, but allowed me to go. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I met some wonderful and talented people that I still connect with and it was my start to a modeling career that I’ve enjoyed so much. It was a boost to my confidence and it helped with my stage presence. Best of all, we won first place!

These were some of the moves I took to individualize myself. I took other bold moves like student leading a trip to China to learn about the Hmong/Miao people, traveling to Jamaica for a service trip, and going to Washington D.C for scholarship competition. I took every chance to explore, learn, and push myself to pursue life! I hope my bold and rebellious moves motivates you to pursue the unimaginable.

❤ Wabi Sabi

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Photo Credits to
Mally Yang

Wabi Sabi is a passionate writer and performative artist, who wants to utilize her talent to educate, awaken, and inspire you to find your truest, best, positive version of yourself.

She is driven to create works that will inspire us as human beings in this beautiful home we call earth, to be happier, healthier and aunthentic individuals.

Follow her on FacebookInstagram, and Youtube.