life

WITH MUCH LOVE, YOUR RACIST FATHER

“Study hard, only use your credit card for emergencies, and don’t bring home a Black, Korean, & especially not a Chinese boyfriend” – Dad For the most part college is a time for self-exploration and academic experiences. But let’s be real, it’s a passing reason to be physically separated from your overbearing, but well intentioned parents. More common among 1st generation Asians, especially in my household, is intra-Asian racism. From my father’s parting remarks before I left college (stated above) to the constant reminders that “Chinese people are evil for attacking Japan” and how consuming too much kimchi will somehow “make you just as stinky and manipulative as the Koreans” became all too frequent. Aside from these debasing household events, I wasn’t exposed to many stereotype...

WHAT I WISH I KNEW AT 22

In case you forgot about this fact, here is your reminder: Your twenties will be the most confusing time in your life—at least for many of us. We’re constantly being bombarded with messages that tell us what we should be doing, or what we should be working towards. “Busyness” follows us around like a stray dog, begging to be fed and paid attention to. Through all of this, it’s easy to lose sight of what is really important to each of us individually. What do you love to do in your spare time? Are you a writer at heart? Are you musically inclined? Does cooking rid your mind of stress? What about yoga? We can’t forget yoga. At 22, I moved from my hometown of Cleveland to Denver for my first big-girl job out of college. I was excited, I was confused, and I was scared. I was excited to start m...

NOTES TO MY 80-YEAR-OLD SELF

Over the past few months my brother and I (and our spouses) have been dealing with the issue of getting our mother to move out of her too-big, too-costly house into an apartment in a senior village. At 86, she’s wobbly on her feet and has a tendency to repeat things, but otherwise her mind is sharp. So sharp, in fact, that things got downright nasty at times before she was able to accept our suggestions and agree to the move. That being said, and after the dust settled, it occurred to me that now would be a good time for my 57 year old self to remind my 86 year old self (if I am lucky enough to live that long) of the do’s and don’ts of dealing with adult children. First, be nice to your kids, and not just because they’ll pick your nursing home. While I can never imagine myself saying hurtf...

TWENTY

Even though I’ve only been 20 for about 2 months now, it already feels like a weird age. You have people getting married, having kids or even getting pregnant. You have others still attending school or others with their AA’s due to them being in community college first. Then there’s me, a third year in college, trying to get closer to graduating at SOME point. However, being in your twenties in general, you’re supposed to have your life mostly together. You’re supposed to know what your future career is, know when you want to have kids by, or have your dream house. You should even be living in an apartment on your own, making your own money.   I see that with my friends, and I’m their number one support; however, it feels like I should be at that point in my l...

THANK YOU, JERRY

Steve and Gerry announce they are getting divorced in June 2004.  Gerry tells her children she’s gay towards the end of November 2004.  Gerry tells her children that she is transgender at the beginning of June 2012.  Gerry became Jerry.  I’m one of Jerry’s children.  Despite what some conservatives, some researchers and even some children of LGBTQ parents will say.  I am okay.     My Story  I remember the first time I heard about someone having a transgender parent.   I was watching the E! reality show, Dr. 90210, which told the stories of different plastic surgery patients in the Los Angeles area. One particular episode that aired in 2008 would end up serving as a major foreshadowing moment in my life.  I know you’re probably thinking, how in the world did a reality show foreshadow my act...

CELEBRATE LIFE

Take life as it comes,  Embrace the unwanted flaws,  Learn from the mistakes and failures,  Focus on the positives of life,   Practice what you like  That makes you and   people you love happy.   Those who genuinely care  will love you for who you are,  Even with all your weirdness.  Remember nothing is one hundred percent.  Even fingers you are born   with on your hands  Are not of same sizes.   Life is a celebration   that is to be celebrated like our festivals  With love, happiness, gratitude,   Care and respect.  Celebrate life. Be authentic. Have fun.   You only live once   And your time in this world   is too valuable.    Author: Anisha K Chhetri Email: anishakhadka@icloud.com Author Bio: *From Virginia. *Native American, Nepalese. *Freelance Photographer, Music Video Director, Edito...

EMBRACE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF

When you finally embrace your authentic self, you somehow wish that you would have begun the search much sooner. The desire to gain validation and my prior addiction to perfection distracted me from seeking my highest self and exploring more of my hidden potential. Therefore, the distance to self rediscovery gets shorter once we begin putting ourselves first and realize that making others proud or happy is not more important than our own well being. While it’s true that everything happens in its own good time and we cannot force personal growth, life only gets shorter with time and we unfortunately spend too much energy trying to find ourselves in the wrong places. Sometimes, we miss growing into our gifts all together because of our subconscious self-sabotaging habits. Having the clarity ...

DANCING WITH MYSELF: A TALE OF SELF-CARE THROUGH MOVEMENT

I close my door, I close the blinds, I turn on my speaker and I hit play to a dreamy indie rock song that I have been listening to over and over again on the subway during my commute to work. I am ready to move to it. I change my tight jeans and sweater to small shorts and an oversized shirt. I roll socks on and throw my hair up in a messy ponytail. I close my eyes and begin to dance. I move throughout the room like I am at my own personal nightclub, throwing my arms back and forth, extending my legs, and shaking my hips from side to side. I spin and lift and drop and look at myself in the mirror. I see me. I feel present. This is my meditation. This is how I find me.  As a choreographer, movement fulfills my soul, satisfies my creative instincts and gives me purpose, but when I’m sad or a...

HOW MOVING 1,500 MILES SOUTH SHOWED ME THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

One disadvantage about moving to another state, let alone one 1,500 miles away, is the fact that you have to make friends all over again. I must admit it can be a little scary. Yes, I am good at making friends, but I have never lived in a southern state. ‘What would the people in South Carolina be like?’, I thought. Would they be nice and friendly like I had heard about for years on TV? Was it true that everybody in the south is friendly, warm and welcoming of strangers? I am an outgoing and personable lady but I have never even visited a southern state, let alone thought about moving to one. That all changed the day I let my son move to South Carolina with his dad. Before they left, I made my son a promise. I promised him that I would move to South Carolina one day when I had enough money...

IN FAVOR OF FANNING AN OLD FLAME

Me: 15, clear braces, Natalie Imbruglia bob, dance team co-captain, all-girls Catholic high school  Him: 16, no braces, adorable, moppy-haired soccer player, all-boys Catholic high school  We met Junior year while I was waiting for my mom to pick me up from dance team practice at his school. I had seen him a few times running laps around the field, he had seen me rehearsing a few times and asked for my school photo (which I gave him only after writing something cutesy on the back that probably ended in “xoxo,” of course). He asked me to Homecoming shortly after that, and then we dated for almost three months (an eternity back then), breaking up a few days before Valentine’s Day 2000. At the time, this was the end of all life for me, worse than whatever everyone had predicted Y2K would be a...

IS YOUR BUSINESS WORTH IT? (A HARSH LOOK ON THE REALITY OF BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR)

I remember the first time I thought of my supposed million-dollar business. No, it didn’t come to me in a dream, and I didn’t know I’d be quitting my job two days later. All I knew was I was unhappy, ready for a change and knew it would be worth it…or so I thought.   Before I make big changes in my life, I always think back to a moment I had during my youth group at church many years ago. I was in middle school and just started going to youth group with my older, wiser and cooler sister. We came in late and sat near the back. I’m not sure what the actual lesson was about, but I remember how the youth pastor ended his teaching.   “You all sit silently while I share records of people risking their lives for their beliefs but no one ever asks the question that most of you are thinking right n...

SORRY ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH

To my friends, Jennifer, Chloe, Megan and Amanda: I’m sorry.   And I know, my sorry isn’t good enough.  Because up until this point, I haven’t really, fully apologized. Sure, I’ve sent some emails or text messages; nothing outright apologetic.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I wasn’t a good friend and at times did unkind and downright mean things. I’m sorry I’ve lost your friendship.  When I was younger, after a particularly heinous crime I committed (and there were so many, I’ve lost count) I’d go to my mother and say, “I’m sorry.”   Her reply was always the same: “Sorry isn’t good enough.”   She never elaborated, she never explained, she never accepted my apologies and in a misguided sense, I think the wisdom she meant to imp...

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