Another swell January.
Day-to-day it is easy to get caught up in our mindless fluctuations between stressed out and relaxed, waiting to be stressed out again. There are many things on all of our to-do lists, and each day it might seem like we don’t finish everything we sought out to.
But if we thought about the past week, the past month… Hell the past 21 years!
We would realize that the moments of joy, connection, wonder, awe, and realization surmount to such a life that we might shudder in gratefulness. Our worries about now, next, or in a few years might melt away.
We might realize that life is every moment – and to only enjoy these moments when looking back at them would be to throw life away.
It’s probably pretty obvious now, but I am feeling extremely grateful. To be in the place that I am, surrounded by people I understand (who understand me too), and to have the opportunity and privilege I do.
The usual motions of the university are up and running, things are busier now with my honors thesis picking up on the workload, job applications screaming to be done, and a proper portfolio of visual media (which I hope to work in) pleading to be improved.
But I am so so so so so so grateful.
Because I would not be here, I would not have this, I would not relish in the luxury of worrying about these things that are important in our scope but trivial to others’.
I have so much privilege, and I am realizing this more now than ever – with our country being run by a cast of bigoted, ignorant, hateful morons. I don’t tend to dislike anyone, but I spare nothing when it comes to the Trump Administration. Fuck them.
When I think of my grandmother, my parents, the people that lived before me without the rights and comforts I take for granted now, it almost makes me want to drop out of school and fight for the rights of others – because others did that for us, for my family.
But it would be as equally ignorant to do that with just a few months left until graduation.
A promise I have to myself and this world is to start showing up 100% – to the causes and movements I support. Because saying you support them is not the same as legitimately supporting them.
This means being at protests, attending every event I say I am, utilizing my privilege and personal skills to voice the communities that require a fighting force.
I think I struggled a bit this past week with how, exactly, to cope with our current politics. Because SO MUCH SHIT IS GOING WRONG. So much hateful, ignorant, brutally, heart wrenchingly, painful stuff is happening.
I feel so strongly as if I am living a kind of inauthentic, illegitimate happiness – when there are so many things to fight for, yet I find myself on the front lines of none of them. I honestly think my heart is too responsive, but how can it not be? Our world is made up of good and bad, to delight in the good and remain passive to the bad to me seems like its own version of fraud.
I want to fight for refugees. I want to fight for immigrants. For Muslim communities. For our environment. For indigenous communities and native land. For women’s rights. For a genuine world in which people are fought for and oppressors stripped of influence.
I became too engulfed in the things going on, when my friend reminded me that we have time to contribute – sustainable contributions are better than suffering from our own demands.
Which is such an important reminder, that living in joy and comfort during times of adversity is not inauthentic or illegitimate – it is human, and it inspires us to keep fighting. If we felt disheartened, heavy, or sullen at every challenge posed to us, we would never overcome any of them.
Change and triumph is sourced from strength, solidarity, and a vivacity for living.
I plan to roll out a few projects to help voice the opinions of our generation through visual media, in addition to showing up to the organized protests.
Slowly, but surely, I am also learning how to creatively edit photos and videos in the ways that will help me express creative campaigns and visions in the future. It’s what makes me happy and what keeps me inspired. Someday I hope to not only work with it, but make a positive, meaningful difference through it.
Anyways, this month has been a good one. Turning 22 felt amazing as my friends threw a surprise party for me – and the hometown homies Rachel & Grace came down from SLO. Rachel and I also got to explore Yosemite a couple weeks before (remind me why every national park in the U.S. is not deemed a wonder of the world?). And, well, Isla Vista and UCSB are as magical as ever.
The study abroad squad is about to have a little reunion up in Monterey/Big Sur, so I should get on to finishing some work before starting the weekend.
Here’s to a phenomenal February, and continually growing every month of the year.
Jan u a r y 🗣
- Tahoe, seeing old great friends, lunch and drives home with Rach & Jacob, snowy roads!!! Cozy cozy cozy
- Seeing La La Land with Maia & Kev, such a beautiful and outstanding movie
- *I want to work in movies, in videos, in media and art that gives rise to emotions as strong as life can give
- Stopping by the bars and seeing Lee & peeps, driving home on the roads I’ve driven on for so long …!!! Remember driving down them before graduating high school, before leaving for college
- Walking through the front door of the house with the Christmas lights gleaming and the stars overhead, the Christmas tree glimmering in the doorway
- *Wow after being sick for a couple days locked in my house it feels SO GOOD to get out and see friends, do things… It’s a daily necessity for my health & happiness
- Spending some time with Dad & Mom
- Cooking and having dinner with mom & Dad, special moments with the rents and just talking and eating
- *Dad and Mom really love each other and show it in funny ways, they joke around and lowkey argue and bicker but it’s clear how much they mean to each other, and how much I mean to them in these moments we’re together
- Going with Ah-Mah, Suzie, & friend from Hawaii to the Women’s club Chinese banquet…… The things I do for the people I love… Hearing about stories of elderly women and theIr Chinese parents that created their futures, a Dad who used to work as a dealer in the illegal gambling districts & would take thrown out fish fins and dry them and sell them… Meeting a variety of wonderful people, Connie Yu who writes short films and whose daughter works in videography & film, another lady who told me “find something you love and everything else will come to you”… Watching Ah-mah’s friend from Hawaii fall in love with a lady at the dinner table 😂
- *Doing things you wouldn’t normally, going places and meeting people outside your age group or circle, can give you so much inspiration
- *My grandma is always giving away stuff, makes me remember that you don’t need so much stuff in our life, that you won’t want things when you’re older, all you want are the experiences, people, and memories that give and gave you joy. There’s a whole new hip minimalism movement going on – I think that’s just realizing this before most people do, after they’ve accumulated a lifetime of things
- *Grandma always talks about other people and their stories, never about herself. She has an undying interest in others, in places, in learning about the lives and things around her. Reminds me to stay interested in the world we live in and the lives around us, instead of just our own
- Visiting Mallory and her fam with Shauna, giving Ruth & Keiji a gift… Going out to dinner at a DANK AF Taiwanese restaurant (Taiwanese food is so good)… Hanging out on Mal’s bed… Seeing Imani at a “bar & grill” that turned out to be a lit, turnt, ratch dance floor, spending time with Imani before he parts for Barbados… CVS/buying 4 liters of wine & peanut M&M’s… Watching TV at Mal’s and sleeping over
- Eating the best donut of my entire life… Caravanning back to IV… Shauna throwing peanut M&M’s into my car… Getting back to a happy house & immediately biking to Goleta beach for spike ball and happy hour at Beachside Bar & Cafe 🙂 missed these people so much without realizing it… HAPPY announcing my decision to pursue videography… Showing the fam the new clothes I bought hahaha
- *I LOVE COLLEGE I LOVE UCSB I LOVE ALL OF MY FRIENDS HERE SO MUCH
- Getting back to the house and drinking more, Jack & Hannah coming over, playing games on the deck, playing Smash Bros with Sean & Drew & Tarah… Reading Hannah’s abroad blog
- *I LOVE ALL OF MY FRIENDS, from home from UCSB from abroad… I’m so damn lucky. Especially for going abroad, and meeting the best friends I did abroad. It’s something entirely different to share so much with them and know them completely. I love them so much…
- Aaron gets home! HE HAS A DRONE!
- Going for a run… Isla Vista is clouded in fog and the lagoon over flooded making an unbelievable river at Sands! Biking back to Sands with Aaron, getting some drone footage and GoPro footage… Talks about videography and plans for projects… Going over to Shauna’s and being fed lunch, going to study… Dinner with Mals and hearing about her interview with JET… Concert at Ben’s, seeing all the friends, shenanigans… Getting home & watching Chef with Drew, Meg, Loy, & Nug… Singing HBD and waking up Kat for her birthday at 12 + an ice + Sean’s death stare face
- *I love UCSB so much, what a time to be alive and young and loved by all of our friends!
- A long boring class but filled with good people… Biking home in the rain and putting dry warm clothes on, cozy life, reading a book as it pours outside… Celebrating Kat’s bday with great people, dinner at Chili’s
- Good meetings with Dr. Kim, catching up with the Psych advisors, so friendly and considerate to know and remember my needs & travels… Living in a great house with great people… Wishing Katie a hbd and seeing Olive, Han, & Jack :)))
- Waking up early to a great house 🙂 Nug & Kat… studying with Ash… Being home with great people (Aaron, Drew, Tarah, everyone)… visiting Lee with Shauna… Surprising Hannah with a bday dinner with everyone, spending time with Hannah and Jack and Olive and Ben and Katie and Jackie and Rebecca and Alise.. Seeing EVERYONE at Sharkeez, Grayson and Art! Jess! Angie! Going to Sandbar and seeing some peeps… going to James Joyce and dancing to live music with peanuts on the floor, so much better than the other crowded bars… Riding home with Lee/Jackie/Olive
- *I LOVE MY FRIENDS SO MUCH. So much… SO MUCH I CANNOT EVEN DESCRIBE. I feel so comfortable and happy and loved with them, with my friends from abroad especially and my friends from home… wow I know such amazing people
- Dropping Hannah off at class… Having breakfast in the morning with Meg, Drew, & Loy… Picking Han up from class, waves crashing outside my window :)… Hiking with Jack & Olive
- *I love Isla Vista so so so much, I am so happy this is the place I lived for 3 years. People out in the sunshine walking the streets, living and loving and laughing, so many people celebrating their youth. Also surprising there aren’t any car crashes or collisions considering the amount of people living here – this place is just amazing
- Driving to SLO at night and seeing Rach, Grace, Hannah, Shauna, Ian, Kian, going out and seeing Chris, Lee… Getting back and munching on some grub… Waking up with the fam
- Yosemite with Rach! SO BEAUTIFUL, great walks, hikes, and talks, getting terrible pizza lawl… Hiking up a treacherous icy path… Fog and snow and sun and straight up outdoors beauty… Grabbing drinks at the Majestic Hotel bar… getting overcharged for my Green bell pepper lawl… drinking beers at lower Yosemite falls and great conversations
- *There is nothing better than living real, than being outdoors with your best friend(S) and experiencing the world in its wholesome form, than adventuring and reminding yourself every day why the lives we live are so lucky
- Driving home from Yosemite with Rach + special chocolate + bomb lunch + milkshake and fries, laughing ridiculously hard with Rach
- *We’re all going to miss being in college more than we realize, with our best friends all around us, going on trips together, getting ready to go out together, listening to music in a house full of young adults dancing around. All of it!
- Hanging out with Ash & getting some filming done for WWNC
- Working on videos at home with house watching TV… Hanging with Drew & Meg
- Seeing Olivia & Alex, talking and laughing
- Filming WWNC with Ben & Monica… Costco with Mon, tea soup with Ben and Mon… Bowling with squad and other friends
- Waking up and biking around to get my stuff from Mom’s house and print some stuff at Olive’s
- *Going to miss being able to bike everywhere, to every friend and house, in less than a minute’s time. IV is incredible
- Movie + snacks with Shau… Sending her off to her Irvine interviews
- Seeing Nat Lefkoff & others play at Connor and Paul’s place with Lef, Jenny, Maia, & Ben… Having dinner with Maia + watching the 13th documentary
- Having dinner with Ashley & Maia
- Painting with Ashley
- Working out with Shau, having dinner
- Biking on my own around the lagoon area… Sitting down, thinking, taking a hot shower
- *Life is silly, you’re up and then you’re down, and when you’re up everything makes sense, why you’re happy and why you’re content, but when you’re down it’s harder to see, but you have to work to still see it
- Game of Thrones with the house… Talking with Kimin (Dr. Kim’s student) about grad school, reaffirming it is not for me at this moment
- Going over the Ashley’s new place on Sueno and talking, hanging out… Spending time with Drew & Meg, head in the clouds + TV and snacks lawl not doing work is great if it’s with your friends
- Morning Game of Thrones session with Bridget, Aaron, & Sean… doing work with Olive… getting my first tattoo with Shauna
- Brunch with the house + Olive… SURPRISE PARTY AND CHAMPAGNE AND CAKE AND EVERYONE and grace and Rachel, partying on the deck during the day with the best weather in the world, staying up and planning to see the sunrise but then eating toast and falling asleep at Sunna’s
- Waking up and walking home on a beautiful Monday in IV… Still drunk, thinking that life is so funny… Hanging out on the couch with the house fam + Ashley… Shauna coming over and picking up the keg… Aaron got me a beer trolley for my birthday gift! Dad and Mom called, Dad offered to send envelopes so I could give them to my friends and housemates to celebrate Chinese New Years (I have amazing parents)
- *I am going to miss college so, so much, all of these people in one place, drinking, smiling, hanging out, creating our visions for the future… After this, where will we all be? Quite odd to think, but also so joyous in a weird way – we are all here, together, in this moment, for one reason or another, and we might not be in the future, just so many reasons to enjoy it now for all that it is