Love and Relationships

WHY CAN’T WE BE SINGLE?

The other day, I was sitting on my couch, fumbling through websites trying to find movies to watch until I stumbled upon a very bad romantic comedy which was supposedly trying to teach women “how to be single”. After wasting a good hour and a half of my existence watching it, I was left contemplating the blank screen on my laptop as it rested upon my stomach and wondering why, why, why is Hollywood trying to instill this belief that we ought to be in a relationship to survive, unless we want to be some moronic person that tries to fill this penis-shaped void in our life with some activity or other—by work or partying or what have you. Now, I am a woman in her twenties, surrounded by other women in their twenties who, as soon as they find themselves being single, get into this crazy frantic...

UNSEEN, OR WHAT A CAR CRASH TAUGHT ME ABOUT PEOPLE

One night you plan on going to sleep when 11 PM hits and then you’re hit with something else. Your uncle, only 7 years your senior, is in a cab and on his way to your apartment with the intention of sake bombs and karaoke somewhere secret and still open in these late hours of Japantown. I get my jeans back on and grab my keys to head out the door and into the uncertain night where we end up singing Journey with Australians, enjoy half a dozen takoyaki, and mistake Bump of Chicken as a menu item at Mogura rather than the name of a prominent Japanese band. It wasn’t a Wednesday night I was expecting, but for a small chance to immerse myself in the closest way I can to a late night in Japan, I was up for some more fun. So when I went out to San Jose last weekend I was expecting many things. A...

WHAT “THEY” DON’T TELL YOU ABOUT LONG DISTANCE

“Thanksgiving break is when they usually end” they said. “He’s a football player? Oh, good luck” they said. It’s no secret that long distance relationships have a stigma. Believe me when I say that they don’t all end – because I didn’t believe it. Without the tears, mileage on my car, blow-up mattresses, and breakdowns our relationship would be different. Weaker. No doubt about it, but I knew it was him and I know it’s him, because I wouldn’t trade a moment of heartache. The mountain top trumps the time exhausted in the valley every single time. All the sappy quotes and failed experiences forget to mention the bliss of two hour long FaceTime calls with your best friend. I’ve spent uncountable nights on my rug laughing until my stomach hurt because of 2 am delusions and pointles...

GRANDMA’S RULES

It’s 12:00 noon and I’m still here in the kitchen. I estimate I’ve been sitting at this wooden table for about 2 hours. My pencil-thin thighs are stuck to the vinyl, floral cushions that accompany each dinner chair and the whimsical sounds of a Wheel of Fortune re-run echo from the living room into the kitchen, which now feels like a jail cell. I unleash my thighs from their sticky state and scoot my butt to the end of my chair to peer into the living room, careful not to let my grandma see. She’s nose-deep in a crossword puzzle and drinking her third cup of coffee, ensuring her breath to smell of stale coffee beans all day. Past her tiny head patched with random tufts of thin curls, I see my sister. Brightly colored notebooks and crisp loose-leaf paper are neatly arranged on the cream car...

BOUNDARIES OR BEEF

Over the years I’ve made decisions to dissolve friendships with some pretty significant people in my life. While doing this is never easy, and despite what it may look or feel like, arriving at said decision is an arduous process (to say the least). There’s an old adage, “people are in your life for a season, reason, or lifetime.” I think there’s merit to this. It’s tough breaking up, though! Especially when you’ve shared so much of yourself and your time with someone. As I write this, I’m reflecting on one friendship in particular. There was no way I ever imagined this person would no longer be a part of my life. Our lives were so intertwined and intentionally so. She was my right hand! At the point in which it became obvious to me it was ti...

WHY ARE WOMEN HARDEST ON EACH OTHER?

I like to watch a lot of bad TV. Really bad TV. I’m talking 90 Day Fiancé, Real Housewives, Kardashians, Vanderpump Rules — basically, anything on E! or Bravo. In other words, Andy Cohen and Ryan Seacrest play larger roles in my daily life than I’d like to admit on a public forum such as this website. Ah, but what a glass of Ramona Singer’s pinot grigio will do. On one such afternoon, whilst watching yet another episode of Vanderpump Rules, I noticed some pretty typical girl-on-girl hate. She can’t come to my party. You can’t be one of my bridesmaids. She broke up someone’s marriage. Don’t talk to her. She’s a whore. Blah blah blah. Admittedly, none of this is abnormal for the show, but it got me thinking. All the men on the show have screwed up at one point or another — usuall...

THE DEEPER THE FEELING, THE GREATER THE PAIN

I couldn’t have said it better, Mr. Davinci. To know great joy, we must experience great sorrow. To feel love deeply, we must also be willing to open ourselves up for the same depth of hurt. All things in life have a light and dark side; such is the opposing nature of the universe. Just about a year ago, I felt the deepest, most crippling pain I’d ever felt. It crushed my chest and shoved my heart into my throat. It stole my breath. Pervaded my dreams. Tainted everything I saw, heard and did. Tortured me for months on end. Quite frankly, I don’t know how I made it to the other side with my sanity intact. Hell, I’m surprised I made it out alive. Dramatic, maybe. But was that pain I felt real? It was the realest pain I’d ever known…and I’ve had some messed up shit happen to me over the years...

DO YOU REALLY LOVE YOURSELF? DO YOU REALLY LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH?

How can you love anyone if you don’t love yourself first? I am searching for myself and have set out on a quest to truly, whole heartedly love myself. My passions, my callings. I’m lost as hell and sometimes I don’t think I want to be found, but I recently started wondering why I thought I loved the men in my past relationships. Most recently I came to terms that I was not really in ‘love’ with them. At the time, I had love for them but in no way was I really in ‘love’ with them. You want to be loved, so you cling to things that make you feel loved. Even crappy men! I’m sure we all have at least one, if not more ‘what the hell did I date that [insert your own word here] for’ moments. I actually cringe at the ‘boys’ (th...

HUSBAND AND WIFE BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP: CAN IT REALLY WORK?

HUSBAND AND WIFE BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP: CAN IT REALLY WORK? No, you can’t work together, you’ll kill each other. You argue all the time, how can you possibly work together in the same business? Or, you are very opinionated and don’t do well taking orders from him/her, let alone run a business together? It won’t work. Are you crazy? You will kill each other. That is what I constantly heard from people, who heard we work together seven days a week. There is no secret or magic formula to succeed as a husband and wife team running the same company. Let me explain. When we started out in this country we had no experience whatsoever, not in business and not in communication with each other. We just got married which meant we argued, a whole lot. Maybe because each of us cared about our ego more t...

FIGHTING IN ALL THE RIGHT WAYS

FIGHTING IN ALL THE RIGHT WAYS Frustrations come from unmet expectations. I overheard this the other day and thought wow, preach. These unrealistic expectations for myself come from insecurities, society, and deep wounds. My insecurities say that I need to be as skinny as the ones in his past. Society expects my naked face to be rid of all impurities. The people that have cut me the deepest in my past spell out the words not enough with my tears, one after another. Each one less sorry than the last. The expectations I have for him come from the same three. My insecurities shout out “defend yourself, never let him win.” Society whispers foul suggestions that could only come from the darkest of evil. My past says start building your wall (no trump, walls aren’t the best in every situation.) ...

UNDERSTANDING TRUTHS AND WHEN THEY PROMISED FOREVER

UNDERSTANDING TRUTHS AND WHEN THEY PROMISED FOREVER We want to know the truth. We want people to be honest with us and to never be lied to. This desire to be aware completely of the true situation is what destroys us. The idea that truths are constant is what gives us a false perception of protection. Believing that the truth will always be so is what buries us under our blankets when it is not. Our thoughts and actions in situations are often controlled by this concept of truth. The concept that the truth will always be as we see it now. Unfortunately, it is this misunderstanding of truth that affects us the most. We take in what other people say and promise as the everlasting and undeniable reality, and we survive on this with no time frame considered. Whether they say that they love us,...

FINDING PRINCE CHARMING

FINDING PRINCE CHARMING I was a little girl who couldn’t stop dreaming, whose ideologies were pretty much shaped by the stories of Disney Princesses and who let herself believe that finding a Prince Charming, amongst all other pursuits in life, was an important task. I tried finding an Aladdin, or a Prince Eric in every guy I found interesting, and to my little self’s unfortunate disappointment, none of them showed any signs of trying to move out of the comfortably established friend-zone (looking back, neither did I). Yet, full of hope and determination, I didn’t give up. But my big, hopeful heart and my dreams were shattered when a classmate of mine pointed out that I was ugly and fat. The Princess in me died that day in ninth-grade recess. The mirror became an enemy, and my body became ...

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