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13 Reasons Why I Watched 13 Reasons Why

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This blog is dedicated to my high school self. You were a really important part of my life.  I'm so glad you saw the light at the end of the tunnel before your self-harming ways got to a point where I couldn't be here today to write this blog.

Here are my 13 Reasons Why I watched 13 Reasons Why1. I watched this show during my maternity leave and every time the baby was napping, I would turn Netflix on and there it was, creepy dead girl voice and all

2. The creepy dead girl was gorgeous and wasn’t a bony skeleton

3. There were Asian characters in it

4. I was curious to know what teenage life is like now

5. It was all the buzz on social media at the time

6. My friend recommended it and told me she binge-watched it all in one weekend

7. It seemed dark and controversial

8. Hello, cassette tapes! (Brings me back to the radio recording days and the urgent need to press the square button when the commercial came on or the guy started talking)

9. My guilty pleasure for watching high sch…

What No One Tells You About Asian Parent Expectations

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Have you ever seen the High Expectations Asian Father meme?  Or remember Amy Chua back in the early 2010's when her controversial book about Tiger Mothers blew up around the world? Some praised her and some threatened her.

I was doing my Master's at the time and they were talking about her book on the radio and the hosts asked listeners to call in.  I really wanted to call in but I felt I could only speak of my experiences as a child.  Now as a parent, I feel I have come full circle to be able to give a more meaningful perspective. 
I am a child of Asian immigrant parents. I was that scholarship kid who got straight A's, who practiced piano, who spent Saturday mornings at Chinese school. I was that responsible, mature, always does the right thing kid...well at least on the outside.
Other parents would often see my accomplishments, manners, ambition and character, and hope that their own kid would strive to be more like me. I'm not tooting my own horn. I was that kid. Assum…

4 Simple Things to Work on For a Healthy Marriage (Part 4 of 4)

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If marriage is about Trust, Honesty, Communication, and Respect, it really doesn't seem that scary. I mean these are wholesome concepts that we were taught as kids. What's so scary about that? Am I right? I wish. My biggest fear around marriage is not knowing if I need to let go.
Quality, not QuantityQuality, not Quantity concludes my Marriage Series. 

Imagine you have the perfect relationship (yes - I am using that dreadful word but in a hypothetical situation okay?). You guys are honest with each other, have complete trust, communicate effectively and respect yourselves and each other. 

How do you actually know it's going well? You guys have date nights? You guys can talk about anything and everything? You smile when you see him calling? You get a tingle when her text pops up on your phone? You like being around each other?

For me, the best indicator of how well my marriage is doing is to assess how I feel when I'm heading home from work. 

Do I look forward to giving him …

4 Simple Things to Work on For a Healthy Marriage (Part 3 of 4)

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to me Cue Aretha, please. So I talked about Trust, Honesty, and Communication. Part 3 of my Marriage Series is about Respect. RespectAs a teen, my dad and I were like oil and water. I was never Daddy's little girl. We would often fight about cleaning my room. It always started with him moving my stuff and me not being able to find it in my room.

I would yell at him for invading my privacy.
Then he would say that I didn't 尊重 (respect) him.  Then I would talk back and say that he didn't 尊重 (respect) me.  Then it would escalate about how it's his house and I'm under his roof. Then I would be like, "I can't wait to move out."  Then he would go, "Wait until you're a parent."  Then I would run to my room and slam the door. 
Rinse and Repeat 
Where am I going with this story? 
Self-respect allows for respect to be earned from others. 
I needed to learn how to respect myself before earning my Dad's respect. I had a mes…

4 Simple Things to Work on For a Healthy Marriage (Part 2 of 4)

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So being Honest and building Trust with our partner is important. But how can you do those things without working on your Communication?CommunicationThere are so many ways communication can break down between two people:
Is there a language barrier?Even if you speak the same language, are you both speaking the same words and share the same meanings? Do you have different upbringings that make talking about certain topics difficult?Do you listen better when someone is speaking with a certain tone? Certain pitch? Certain speed? With certain body language?What about your partner? How does your partner like to communicate? Is she a texter? Is he a talking machine? Does she think out loud? Does he show his emotions on the outside or hides them on the inside? Is she a literal person? Or does she prefer to read between the lines? How well can you read each other if you didn't speak? Only texted? Or signed? How well can you read each other if you only talked on the phone?My husband and I h…

4 Simple Things to Work on For a Healthy Marriage (Part 1 of 4)

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Relationships aren’t easy. They are a lot of work. They have a start and a finish but they’re dynamic and unpredictable. They change over time.Marriage can appear overwhelming. I mean vows are made between two people that says they are going to commit to each other ‘till death” does them part.

That’s like forever, permanent, isn’t it? It’s no wonder why some folks are scared to do it.

But then there are a ton of people who take the plunge anyway.

I often like to compare marriage to a household plant. It has a health status and it needs moisture, light, and conversation to thrive. It's a simple being that needs constant attention. Sometimes, you neglect it. Sometimes, you overwater it. Sometimes, it’s perfectly healthy and sometimes, it dies.

My husband and I try to work on our marriage every day (even when we don’t realize it). We (like many other couples) have our ups and downs (and all around). 

But at the end of the day, there are 4 simple things that we continually focus on to make…

How I Stood Up to Bullying

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In honour of Pink Shirt Day, I wanted to share 2 true stories of myself standing up to bullies as a kid. Although I've met bullies at all ages, it’s when you’re a kid that you’re the most vulnerable, where the hate hurts the most, and horrible, unnecessary shit happens.I’m in Grade 4. This is the mid-90s and I’m obsessed with Clueless. (You know, because a short, shy, Chinese girl with a bowl haircut screams Whatever! As If! My Bad!)

One particular day, I was proudly channeling my inner Cher Horowitz. I wanted to wear knee-length socks with a mini-skirt and the only socks I could find were the ones I wore for Girl Guides.

It’s lunchtime and I’m in the girls' bathroom. A Grade 6 girl comes into the bathroom. I’ll call her “Courtney.” I’m sure there are a lot of nice “Courtneys” out there; it’s just a name that came up for me.

“Courtney” stares at me while I’m trying to fix my skirt in the mirror. She stops me as I’m about to leave the bathroom.

She snarls, “Your outfit would have b…

What the Luck?

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Happy Chinese New Year! I can probably write about how I celebrate it with my family (the red pockets, food, family traditions, stories etc.)
Instead, I want to talk about Luck.

I started thinking about the beliefs associated with the Chinese celebration. If I were to stereotype Chinese people, I would say we have an incredibly superstitious culture. We have beliefs about certain numbers, dates, colours, daily practices, types of food, words and pretty much anything you can think of. Depending on what they are, it will either bring you good luck or give you bad luck.

From planning to give birth/get married/engaged on a particular date...to ordering an even number of dishes at a restaurant, there is a lot of thought that goes into every decision a Chinese person makes, depending on how superstitious they are. 

I would say my parents are moderately superstitious. They pick and choose what they want to believe in and tried their best to get my sisters and me to believe in them.

My mom likes…

I Don't Experience FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) but Should I?

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The other day, I was rolling around the floor with my daughter when she picked up one of my husband’s lame CPA magazines and chucks it at me. She proceeds to grab one of her own books and starts reading. I get it...I begin reading.

I started to peruse an article about spending habits (you know because accountants love all things related to money). In it, it said that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is an actual reason why millennials overspend.

Are you fucking kidding me? People my age spend money because they have a “fear of missing out on”....what? Like that beautifully pictured cappuccino and notebook placed precisely on the edge of a table? Or that perfectly timed photo of someone mid-jump on top of a mountain, looking super cool and dangerous?

So I’m trying to wrap my head around this article (I guess the magazine's not as lame as I thought since it's making me think). That means some of us see these images and/or statuses on their social media feeds and they start buying cappucc…

Don't Tell Me to Cherish These Moments Because I Already Do

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So parents or parents-to-be, do you ever hear that piece of advice, “Cherish these moments while your children are still young because, in a blink of an eye, they’ll be all grown up”I’ll admit I've said something like this to other parents a bunch of times without even thinking about it. I’ve heard it from other parents (most often those with older children) so many times that it’s ingrained in my list of phrases to say during those dreaded small talk sessions.

Then I get the usual, “Oh time will fly by and before you know it, she’s talking back to you and asking for more data on her phone.” Or “it feels like yesterday they were in diapers and a hug would solve all their problems. It's like in a blink of an eye, they’re teenagers with so many bigger issues.” etc.
Well fuck that because, in the last 18 months or so, time has been moving the speed that it is at. It feels like it’s been 18 months, not longer, not shorter, but precisely 18 months. It’s not flying by and it’s not cr…