Overcoming a fear doesn’t feel that great sometimes

I have been thinking about fear . It’s probably the biggest theme of my life the past few years. I’ve thought about it in terms of speaking out, but there is also another kind of fear. It’s plain phobia and it can feel symbolic–will you overcome it? Are you a brave person? But what if overcoming doesn’t matter as much you think it does?

I haven’t seen a lot of writing on this topic so I was glad to come across this one. Continue reading

Zines!

I really love all things DIY and I keep finding inspiration for them. These are some of my favorites.

  • Hallmark has a wonderful blog called Think.Make.Share. I want to do everything on here! I will be reading this blog all the time.
  • Oh so beautiful paper has a DIY section that’s perfect for papercrafts.
  • Babble has a DIY section that’s geared towards parents but great for gifts.
  • The Creative Independent has amazing guides on balancing daily life and creating.

A creative hobby that ties together the things I love–writing, drawing, sharing, and having an opinion–is zines!!! I had heard about them before. Now is the time to make one! Here are some resources I’ve gathered about making zines:

Excited to embark on my zine adventure!

A Writer’s Craft

I’ve been reading Ottessa Moshfegh’s newest book, My Year of Rest and Relaxation. I was an instant fan when I read Eileen and she hasn’t disappointed. Her writing is so distinct and I’m noticing some of the things that make it read like Ottessa. The one I’m going to talk about today is her use of similes and metaphors. As a literal person, figurative language has always evaded me, as in I can’t come up with them! So, I’m a big admirer of writers who can pull it off well. Exhibit 1: The narrator talks about feeling “both relieved and irritated.” That could have been the end, but she compares it to how you’d feel if someone shows up in the middle of your suicide (!!!) I find that to be so skillful because:

    It is a highly specific situation
    It describes relief and irritation perfectly
    After this bomb, she continues like nothing is out of the norm

Exhibit 2: The narrator describes how her older sort of-boyfriend pays no attention to her, and she knows it. To him, she is the “mac ‘n’ cheese or marshmallow cereal” at the grocery store. Again, she could’ve stopped there and we would know what she means, but Moshfegh takes the metaphor and runs with it by going on:

    She was kids’ stuff
    She was nonsense
    She wasn’t worth the calories

By this point, we know exactly how little Trevor values the her and how well she is aware of it.

👏👏 As a reader, I’m always in awe of writers’ craft and the ways that they make writing their own. More to come!

Gulu’s Guide to Eating Out

Welcome to the first issue of my guide to eating out! I’m not a James Beard anything but I do love eating out. It’s such a treat! My rules for eating out are:

  1. The food is something I think I will like.
  2. The price is budget-friendly! $5-$12 for singles, no more than $25 for AYCE.
  3. Bonus points for non-chain restaurants.

Here are some examples!

1. Lobsterdamus @ LA Smorgaburg / Lobster noodles! Pretty cool that they take fancy-eatin’, lobsters, and combine it with garlic noodles for a food stand affair at Smorgasburg. Who said you need cloth napkins and seating to eat lobster?

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2. Spoon & Pork @ LA Smorgasburg / this was super yummy! My favorite sources of protein might just be fried egg and pork belly. This is “modern Filipino food” and I’m a fan. Also, jasmine rice can be the base for everything, please.img_2431.jpg

3. Mighty Bowl @ NYC / You might notice that I really love bowls. Mighty Bowl is basically pan-Asian Chipotle and pretty tasty! It made me wonder, if I had all these ingredients and prepped them (chopping, dicing, make them cook-ready) at home, perhaps I would never need to eat out… Once again I got pork belly as my protein. img_2315

4. Uji Time Dessert @ DTLA / I got tofu ice cream with kinako, or peanut powder and it was so good! It really does taste like tofu! Japanese flavoring is MAGIC. Tofu ice cream, yum. When it comes to ice cream, I lose my words.img_2433

5. Minus Celcius @ NYC / It was cool to see the mega-dessert / Frankenstein dessert trend taking place on the East Coast. I went with puff waffles, rolled ice cream, and fruity pebbles. You could be as extra as you like on these ice cream creations as you’ve surely seen on Instagram. The puff waffles are super chewy and good.  I had this in lieu of my birthday cake!img_2314

6. Ai Pono @ Costa Mesa / This is a really Hawaiian cafe! It’s hidden in an industrial kitchen near the airport in Costa Mesa. You get a bunch of food with each order but it is a tad more pricey than your poke joint. I had pesto chicken here! It was super tasty and I love green beans and the side of veggies. You’ll never be hungry after eating a Hawaiian meal.img_2268

7. Jan’s Health Bar @ Costa Mesa / Acai bowls have been a thing for years but it doesn’t get old because it’s pretty tasty. Trick me into eating fruits in the form of smoothie and shredded fruits, please! Coconut flakes optional.img_2267

Hope you enjoyed and found something you might like to try! More to come.

We opened shop!

I haven’t been writing or reading as much lately because…

 

I started my own business!!!! I want to sell the things I love and create a literal brand (lol), and I’m starting with something portable and compact, which is greeting cards! You can see them here. Eventually I hope to collaborate with other creators and expand to other gift items. I’m inspired by book covers, plants, nature, kpop teasers, music videos, and basically all the nerdy things I love.

Yes, it’s true. I’m slowly fulfilling my bucket list.

  • write & illustrate a comic book
  • work and live in NYC
  • open my own shop
  • go to a salt mine
  • have my own art studio
  • learn to play an instrument
  • be a publicist
  • go to book meetups

It’s been a lot of work and a great experience opening my business. I’ve done the following for the 1st time for Lu and Light:

  • write product descriptions
  • set prices
  • run sales
  • graphic design! (this has been my fav)
  • make social media posts
  • make an elevator pitch

It’s really been a fun experience and I’m excited to see how my business will grow.

*chef’s kiss*

 

Research projects

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I’m very fortunate to be able to have a lot of downtime at my job (which is the opposite of teaching– ZERO downtime!) This is perfect for me because 1) I needed to recover from the chaos of teaching, 2) I love reading, and 3) I get to start pursuing the projects I’ve never forgotten about. By the way, I’m currently a receptionist. I’d like to think I’m a grown-up Mia Tang from Front Desk! One of these is little research projects.

I made a list of possible topics I’d like to research. Basically, these are just topics I want to know more about. I’ve always been interested in writing reports/mega-posts/Ted talks. But I don’t have an audience or purpose to talk about chickens or Hawaiian food. But now, I do have a purpose:

  • To practice informational writing
  • To practice research and fact-finding
  • To further knowledge in a topic

I wrote the topics I’d like to research on a little slip at work. I will be doing that from time to time. Other things on my To-Do list:

  • Organize the greeting cards and gifts I’ve received and write thank-you notes
  • Start spring cleaning and paring down my belongings (more on this later)
  • Start saving aggressively!!!!!!! I need to get some frozen meals from TJ’s
  • Start my mailing project

Hello Readers!

I am so honored that there are people reading my blog! For a long time this was personal and I thought I’d be mortified if my real-life friends read this, but lately I’m becoming more honest and true to myself. So, HELLO READERS!!! Maybe you found me from Goodreads or Twitter? I love the people I follow/talk to on there too!

This week, I feel more true to myself than ever. For a long time, I had been feeling guilty and not myself. My parents have always given me a hard time about not being accomplished or failing, and giving me shame about not having a stable career at age 30. I had also been teaching for about 3 or 4 years, but I’ve always struggled with it. In addition, I haven’t felt good in relation to guys because they always tell me I need to relax more or I’m not brave/strong enough. I guess they like pretty tomboys.

I know I am not these things:

  • Authoritative teacher who is great with all kids
  • A cool and chill girl who’s physically active, yet feminine
  • Successful career woman who is married and a homeowner

Whether by my own choice or unintentionally, I kept being in situations where I was expected to be these things. I pretended and try but of course, since they are not me, I failed. It finally came to a point where I could not take it anymore. I was done putting in effort that wasn’t worthwhile. I didn’t want to fail at something I didn’t even want to do.

Plainly and simply, I wanted to be myself.

I am not doing anything bad. I don’t have any “misbehaviors.” (I never have!!!!!!) There is no reason I need to be feeling guilty for who I am. Even if I am not smart or accomplished, there is nothing shameful about it. Without shame, I am able to live more openly, hopefully, and joyfully. I can start to embrace my life.

I know I am these things:

  • Silly, nerdy, and weird
  • A singer (I want to be part of a glee club!)
  • A total bookworm
  • Accepting and loving. Diversity rules!
  • An introvert and comfy nerd
  • A creative person!!!
  • A loyal and trustworthy friend

Because I know I am these things, it doesn’t matter anymore whether I have a 6-figure job, whether I am a cool girl, whether my parents accept me, or any of those things that used to make me feel uncomfortable about myself. I’m really happy to be in my own skin and live the life I have always wanted for myself <3.