8/31 – The Power (and confusion) of Introversion

Over the last ten years, I’ve learned to come out of loneliness as I understood more about myself and how to take care of my mind and body. Through Megan, Maika, my photography, friends, and teaching I’m more able to find my zen. I’ve made better choices, and been more comfortable with those choices. I’m (99.9%) not ashamed of myself anymore. Being alone is not the same as being lonely.  Continue reading “8/31 – The Power (and confusion) of Introversion”

7/31 – The Good Kind of Stress – Photography and LEGOs

Thank you for all the wonderful people who have supported my art. Hobbies are meant to be stressful, because they’re your passion. And in doing what you love, you have no choice but to challenge yourself to become better than you were the day before.

In 2007-2008, when I made more money than I ever had, I bought 3 different cameras. A cheap Samsung that I lost, then a Nikon D60 and a Nikon D90. Over the years I’ve then invested about another $4,000+ in camera equipment. At first, I was taking pictures of everything, downloading the photos to my Macbook, and uploading them to Flickr. I’m a shy guy, so there’s not many photos of people. However, what was wonderful was to be able to spend time in my own tiny studio playing with lights and little plastic men and woman and monsters. I didn’t have to worry about running these little guys’ patience! Continue reading “7/31 – The Good Kind of Stress – Photography and LEGOs”

6/31 – Apologize like an Adult

An apology is a very emotional mature state of development that I feel not many people are at. I don’t want to say I’m the best at it, but I try my best and I expect that of others. I make sure I teach my 5 and 9 year old nieces and 11 year old nephew to practice how to apologize to each other. Continue reading “6/31 – Apologize like an Adult”

5/31 – Jealousy was an Opportunity

**Please note, this blog project is about lessons I’ve learned and my growth. If you have an inkling of who the other woman is, please refrain from mentioning her at all. 


 

There was a summer when Megan was working extremely hard as an administrator for her school. Her work became her life, with every waking moment attending to her duties to her job. That left very little time for to spend with her husband. She would only see me a few minutes a day, and during those times she was exhausted from stress. Normally, my wife keeps much of her emotional dialogue to herself and communication has been learned over time. This distance led to some marital conflict as the following story illustrates. Continue reading “5/31 – Jealousy was an Opportunity”

4/31 – Love is a Verb

There are so many books and buzzfeed articles on love and relationships and stuff that I’m not even gonna try to one up them. This will be a long post, and hopefully a fun one. Long because there’s going to be lots of multimedia and fun because — Megan and I are fun. I’ll just speak from my experiences in my marriage with Megan, starting with some help from The Oatmeal.  Continue reading “4/31 – Love is a Verb”

3/31 – Friends are an Extension of Me

People are time consuming life sucking money burning leeches. That’s how it feels to be an introvert sometimes. Unaware until my early 20’s, I had some level of depression in high school and college because I thought of myself as not normal. Our culture values extroverted qualities. Introversion is another topic next week. In this post, I want to speak to the value of intentional friendships.

Here’s some difficult truth for today: I wish I have more friends, and more time for friends. And sometimes I wish friends who have more time for me, or lived closer to me, or didn’t call another country home. Sometimes, it’s been so long since we’ve talked I can’t pull myself together enough to break the silence and say hi again. Lost opportunities.

Continue reading “3/31 – Friends are an Extension of Me”

2/31 In All Relationships, Communicate

**Note, I use the term my mother, not our mother just out of sheer habit. My mother said someday she and my father will go kapootz, and all we’ll have is each other.

This post is for my little brother. I am proud of him and the intelligent man he has become. He was a skinny kid. The good kid. My mother’s favorite. He’s still a skinny kid. He’s still a good kid. But who am I kidding? I’ve always been and still is my mother’s favorite! In my opinion, these are all facts 🙂

Growing up, I hated my brother. I would beat him up in fury and rage while my mother would always come to his defense. Life was unfair as the first child of an immigrant mother who would use harsh discipline on me, and not him. He was a smart kid who didn’t cause trouble like I did. I remember confiding to an adult in high school, Ms Rustom, and she told me someday I  would understand the bond of a brother. I told her she lied. But today, I can see her truth.

I think my brother and I have a great relationship. It’s because we communicate with each other and for each other.  Continue reading “2/31 In All Relationships, Communicate”

1/31 – Love Your Family

A few months before the wedding, my father and I got into an altercation where 27 years of internalized conflict literally spilled into the streets. My throat hurt that night from all the screaming. You would have thunk someone was being bloody murdered. I refused to communicate with him for weeks thereafter. Just a few months ago, frustration reached its tipping point and I walked out of dinner at his house, and rejected over 10 calls in 5 minutes from my mother pleading me to return.

My father never actually taught me much, at least that was the way I needed it. All my life, he would tell me what to do, but never actually walk me through it. He expected me to fulfill his wishes but never explain what he wanted. In simple house hold chores such as sweeping, washing dishes, setting the table, mopping… I was a failure. He would push me aside and take over in the middle of my chores because I wasn’t good enough or fast enough or effective enough or whatever enough. And he never encouraged me to practice to get better. And to this day, I have a difficult time beginning and completing chores.

But I don’t hate him. I know he loves me. Love just means something different in Chinese.  Continue reading “1/31 – Love Your Family”