Monday, October 23, 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Happy with myself, part 2


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What saves me

My brain. My rational thoughts. 

They tell me there's no reason to freak out and get emotionally carried away in that direction. They give me peace. 

They tell me the right way to do things. They give me power. 

I feel independent...strong and tough. But not hard. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ruffling feathers, part 3

Ruffling feathers, part 2

I need to:

-Be more vocal about controversial issues I'm passionate about
-Surprise people with my actions more. They think they know me...but they don't! 
-Say "no" to big stuff more 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ruffling feathers

Independent people ruffle feathers. They say or do things that make them stand out. 

Kind of in a bad way. Kind of in a good way.

Friday, October 13, 2017

New reality, part 2


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Letting go of the old, part 2


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Letting go of the old


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Changing is independence

If independence is the ability to do everything on our own, then it follows that we must be different people, have different personas, in order to do all the different things.

There is an infinite number of things we can do; there is an infinite number of people we can be and personas we can have.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

In the middle of change, part 2


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

In the middle of change



Tuesday, October 3, 2017


I don't deal well with change. The bigger the change, the worse I am.

I don't think I will ever be good at it.

But with lots of effort, I think I can be okay at it.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Embracing change, part 2

Embracing change

Not in control
In control

Friday, September 29, 2017

I don't have much to say today. The last post I wrote (I wrote it yesterday but posted it this morning), was really deep. I have to process it and let my new insights sink in.
Independence and gender 

One reason I dislike, heavily dislike, independence is because I equate it with masculinity. Being female, I feel repulsed at being masculine. On men, I think masculinity is great. Me, not at all.

I just don't like being masculine. Why should I?

But I think I need to review my idea of how independence equals masculinity. 

I think one of the reasons I have this twisted, unhealthy notion of independence is because of how it was portrayed in society, to me, during my formative years. How society's portrayal of independence, femininity, masculinity--all these concepts together--came across to me, and subsequently influenced me.

The message that came across, to me, was that women are weak. Being feminine is weak, and therefore, bad. Therefore, it is best to eliminate our femininity. One way to do this is to heavily pursue independence.

Now, I don't know if this was the message that was really swirling around me during my formative years, but this was the message that I took in and internalized.

I no longer think that femininity is weak or bad. But the idea of independence being a femininity-killer, still sticks with me. 

Independence can be very femininity-killing, it's true.

But here's a novel thought (for me anyways): Independence can also be incredibly feminine. 

How so? 

Because independence is about being ourselves--our interesting, unique, special selves. So if we're female, then being independent equals femininity.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

My old roommate/landlord in LA was pretty independent

We weren't exactly friends. I would describe our relationship as acquaintances on good or polite terms. Which was fine. Anyway, thinking back on things now, knowing what I knew about her, I realize that she was a pretty independent person.

She seemed like a reasonably capable person, in general. She seemed to have more-or-less healthy relationships in her life, on all levels (with family, significant other, friends, acquaintances). She spent a good amount of time alone (from what I saw), and seemed to be cool with that.
My dad is a very independent person

-He is ambitious and successful
-He says the truth, if needed. He is not scared to.
-He is an independent thinker. He is open-minded and has lots of extraordinary thoughts.

Monday, September 25, 2017

I think that truly independent people are the most patient people. If they are capable, capable of doing the most difficult and meaningful things in life, then they must have loads of patience to achieve these things.
Independence I admire in a man

I'm a woman. The reason I would admire and like, really REALLY like, a man would be because...I saw how independent he was. It would be very attractive to me. I would love how he was his strongest when he was completely, absolutely alone.

I can be independent, but this kind of independence in a man...would be something good and would be something I would never be able to be. I would have to admit this.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

My fondest memory of independence thus far

In my late twenties, I went to a weekend church retreat with my aunts and uncles.

I didn't know anyone there except for my relatives. Through the retreat, my aunt had introduced me to one guy. He was about my age, but a little older than me. Through him, I met a few of his friends who were about the same age as him.

The problem was, this guy wasn't particularly nice. Not a terrible person, but just, not nice. I didn't really like him for this reason.

At the retreat, I also met a group of much younger people. They felt like they were significantly younger than me. I felt like I was in a different generation than them. But, they were welcoming and fun and open-minded.

I should have hung out with that guy and his friends. I "belonged" there more.

But I didn't care about fitting in. I ended up hanging out with that much younger crowd the majority of the weekend instead.

And that felt great.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Independence going forward

I have to always be doing new things, in general. Independent people don't get stuck in a rut.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The most independent thing I ever did

If you're reading this blog, you already know.

Can you guess it?


This blog!

I am completely myself on here. I share myself completely on here. And the consequences, results, effects, of this blog...are all uncharted territory for me.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The things that made me independent

Here is a list of things that I believe significantly contributed to me developing independence. In roughly chronological order:

-Going to law school and graduating: I learned/developed thinking and analytical skills that will stay with me for life. This elevated me to being a better and stronger Donna.

-Interning at a law office for a few years after I graduated: I saw the kinds of things that I'm able to achieve in the real world, the level I can operate at. In general, not just in law (and law isn't for me anyway).

-Attending young adult fellowship at church: I experienced genuine and positive social interactions with all kinds of people who had different backgrounds from me.

-Going to therapy for unresolved childhood issues I had with my mom: I went every week for almost a year, diligently. Therapy helped me get over my past.

-Working the same job, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for several years: There was nothing glamorous about work. But I still went and stayed everyday. I developed self-control.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Taking it slow

Just because someone is independent and can do everything, doesn't mean he/she has to actually do everything.


Independence is NOT about proving how capable we are. It's just about being capable enough.

With this mindset, we surely won't be doing 100% of what we are actually capable of.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Dark days

I have an independence problem, and today I want to talk about the point in my life in which I believe my non-independence was at its worst.

It was right after college. I was in my early twenties.

I was done with my required schooling now -- as defined by my community's social standards. So, I was not to be taken care of anymore. I was responsible for myself in this world now, for the first time in my life. It was a very new stage of life. This was the mindset.

A healthy, independent person would have felt scared, yet excited, being in this stage of life.

But this was not how I felt. Instead, I felt totally unprepared. I knew I was inadequate. This wasn't just an insecure feeling. This was the truth.

Even worse, I had no idea what to do about my inadequacy. I had no idea how to improve.

The independence in my life made me feel shocked and sick. A wonderful thing, turned into a terrible thing.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Independent people I know 

-Ambitious people
-People who travel (explore) the world by themselves 
-People who adapt to new environments 
-People who challenge authority successfully 
Brave, part 2


I am many things, and brave is not one of them.

Unfortunately, I still have to be brave. Independent people are brave.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Measuring independence 

This is my own measure of independence for myself. 

I know this is my weakest area in regards to independence, and thus, the measure for me.

It is being able to be a leader among a group of friends.

This might sound like a strange and atypical measure of independence, but I don't think I'm very normal. 

As for measuring myself, I'm not there yet.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Maintaining independence 

It's not easy. It's not for the lazy. I think it's for me. 

Difficult things are worth it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Independence requires patience 

Independence is super important. Independence is super meaningful. 

It requires time and patience to develop.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Defining independence

My definition of independence is the ability to do everything on your own.

But interestingly enough, the Bible, which is the foundation for how I approach life, doesn't really mention, stress, this concept too much.

Instead, the Bible focuses on relationships with others...with other people and with God. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we are not meant to be lone entities in this world.

My takeaway is that I think independence is wonderful and necessary, but it's too easy to get carried away in the wrong direction. In the quest for independence, it's too easy to harden our hearts.

It's a delicate balancing act to be fully independent and also have full hearts.

And that's what the Bible is here to do (one of the things) keep me on my toes and remind me of this delicate, tough, balancing act.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Being a loner 

My definition of loners are people who spend a lot of time by themselves because they are different from everyone else. 

And guess what?

I think everyone should be a loner! 

I think it's cool to not fit in. I think it takes a lot of confidence.

I also think it's more fun to do what you really want to do, instead of what's considered normal. 

I think that being a loner, and enjoying it, is the heart of being independent.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Ranking how important the relationship with myself is...

Against the other relationships in my life. 

I would say this one is a top priority. I would say it comes right after my relationship with God, priority-wise.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Having a good relationship with yourself 

This is following up on my previous post about having a relationship with ourselves.

Whether we know it or not, we all have a relationship with ourselves. It just might not be a very good one, especially if we aren't even aware that it exists. 

So how do we have a good relationship with ourselves?

I'm not an expert, but here are my thoughts. These actions are similar to what we do for others:

-Intentionally set aside time for yourself and spend that time on yourself.

-Do a lot of nice things for yourself, without feeling guilty. (But be aware of crossing the thin line to becoming selfish in a bad way). 

-Look at yourself kindly. Smile at yourself because you're happy to see yourself. Literally (use a mirror). 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A relationship with yourself

To me, it's a totally novel concept. 

I'm going to partly blame society for this. I don't think we focus on relationships (general, not just romantic) enough in our society, much less the relationship that we all have with ourselves. 

What is a relationship with ourselves?

A large part of it is about feelings.

How we feel when we're by ourselves. 

How we feel about doing nice things for ourselves (without taking away from others).

How we feel about ourselves. I'm not talking about confidence. But as in, when we think about ourselves, whether we get a good feeling in our heart.

The relationship we have with ourselves is important because, we matter. Just as much as anyone else does in this world.

It also ties into the topic of independence because, a good relationship with ourselves is the beginning of enjoying independence.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Enjoying independence 


Monday, September 4, 2017

What independence all the time looks like 

It looks like a lot of giving. To your community (or communities), to your group (or groups) of friends, to your closest friends, and to the world-at-large.

It looks like a lot of time for yourself.  

But more on the first, than second.
Independent, all the time 


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Independence struggle 


Friday, September 1, 2017

Me and independence 

I'm going to come right out and say that I struggle with independence.

I feel this terrible, intense need to define myself through a man. That way I don't have to think about whether I really, actually like myself or not.

I feel this immature need to depend on my parents for emotional support. That way I don't need to face the possibility of rejection. 

I feel this very selfish need to be liked by a lot of people. That way I can justify my existence to myself. 

So this is where I am today.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Independence is love 

I've been struggling to understand why independence is so very important. 

It's important for sustaining myself, I understand. For not being a burden on others. Even for being able to give back to others. But all that doesn't seem like enough to me, not enough to explain why I think independence is so very important. 

Independence means more to me than those reasons combined. 

Independence is love. Independence is love because we care about ourselves, like ourselves, and enjoy ourselves.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I haven't used the word "independent" or "independence" in my posts lately, but I'm still on the topic of independence, since I started this series of posts on independence a few weeks ago. I've talked about, in no particular order:

Handling reality
The importance of being dependent 
Being yourself, being different 

Independence is a large and complex topic. This makes me conclude that independence is hugely important, even more important that I initially thought. 

And I'm not done yet! I still have more to say about independence.

Monday, August 28, 2017

New ventures 


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Gracefully handling reality

When I was in high school, I was required to take this class called "Health." Everyone treated it pretty much as a joke, just another thing to cross off our requirements list. I barely remember taking this class and what happened in it. I don't remember what kinds of things we were mainly learning about in it. I really only remember a few random things from this class.

However, one thing that has stuck with me from this class, firmly lodged itself as a thought in my subconscious being, is something the teacher said one day. Probably no one was really paying much attention, as usual. But for once, something the teacher said actually resonated with me.

She was talking about handling all the pressures of daily life. She gave examples. Being worried about this and that, stressed from this and that, upset about this and that, all in one day, every day. This is normal for everyone, she said. How do we get through our days gracefully, how do we cope with everything unpleasant we have to deal with in a day and still feel pretty good?

I had no idea. I wanted to know more and ask, "Yes, how?" But that would have looked really uncool of me to seem so interested in this class, and about such a personal topic, so I stayed silent. I never got my answer. Which is something I actually really need, so that's probably why this particular incident has remained in my memory for so long.

So this question is what I'm going to talk about today.

For a long time, I had this idea in my head that, one day, my life would be perfect (or very nearly perfect). Then, my life would finally be normal and like "everyone else's." I'm here to burst my bubble and declare that, this is a pretty dumb thought.

If we really care about things, if we are alive, if we have full hearts -- life is full of challenges and hardships, every day. And they are unpleasant. That's reality, if we choose to face it.

I currently have a huge list of things that I am worried about, am stressed about, am sad about, am upset about, am struggling with. It's too many things to list out.

Instead of waiting for the day that this list will be close to zero, how do I, as my teacher asked, face all these things every day and still feel pretty good?

There are many answers to this question, many things we can do to more gracefully handle reality.

And now, I'm going to offer one answer. I think it's a big one.

My answer live for others. To truly care about the well-being of others.

If other people's well-being become what we primarily care about and live for, then we feel great all the time because we're always doing what we love most - giving.

The irony is that in order to feel good, we have to willingly give up our desire to feel good.

Friday, August 25, 2017

What responsibility looks like

I have this idea in my head that, in order to be responsible, I need to be...frazzled. Constantly. From doing too many things or having too many things to do. 

I think I got this idea of responsibility from the fact that, there's an idea in society that doing a lot of things equals self-worth. I think many women buy into this idea. The busier you are, the more important you must be. Right? Being way too busy, really stressed from a giant to-do list, is all like a badge of honor.

I don't think there's anything wrong with being super busy. But it isn't necessarily better or anything. Anyway, I have bought into this idea of how busyness equals self-worth, and this has warped my idea of what responsibility looks like.

So my new idea of what responsibility looks like is that...responsibility looks different for everyone. This isn't something I should be judging in the first place.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Responsibility, part 2


Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Responsibility scares me. But it's for a reason that many people might not think. 

I think I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I always have been, for the most part. I'm smart and rational and can get things done.

But for me, for the way that I have to live my life, being responsible doesn't just mean taking care of myself. 

It also means taking care of others, just as much as I take care of myself, if not much more. 

This is central to me. 

I don't think I'm able to take care of others as much as I should. I'm being honest here. 

If I was in a position of power, I don't think I would have the heart, maturity, self-control, etc. needed to help those weaker than me. Gross, but true. 

And in general, I don't think I have the initiative and sacrificial nature needed to help others, not even necessarily those weaker than me, as much as I should. 

So that's why responsibility scares me. I don't think I'm capable of something, that for my own personal standards, I feel I need to be capable of.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Embracing fear, part 2 



Monday, August 21, 2017

Embracing fear

I look at fear like it's a really bad thing. I don't think I have the right attitude towards fear at all.

Maybe fear can be kind of an enjoyable thing too. Maybe I can like walking into fear, a little.

This is really hard for me to do since I have always been so opposed to fear, but once I'm able to wrap my mind around this new concept...things feel thrilling.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

Why I fear independence

As I mentioned in the start of this series of posts, I didn't like the idea of personal independence. I think a lot of that had to do with fear. I'm using the past tense, but maybe I should be using the present tense as well. Whew, this feels like a weight off my chest. 

I feared/fear...


I suspect that many people do as well. I think we should talk about this issue, loneliness, more in society. 

I've talked about loneliness a few times here. Most notably, here and here. But I can and should talk about it a lot more, whether in person or in written form. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

To be able to think plenty of your own wonderful, unique thoughts;

To be able to feel a wide range of emotions and feel complex emotions, fully;

To be able to meet new people and form all types of genuine relationships;

To be able to experience the thrill of adventure, big and small, on a regular basis;

Is truly a gift. 

Independence is also a skill. It takes heart, takes confidence, takes intelligence, takes experience. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017




I think that any discussion of independence must start with a discussion on dependence. 

Being totally dependent and totally independent are not mutually exclusive. They can coexist at the same time. It's just one of the mysteries of how this world works. 

So before I say anything else about independence in this series of posts, I want to stress the importance of being dependent. 

Specifically, being dependent on people. 

The more dependent, the better. 

This isn't weak. It's strong to be able to humble ourselves and to be able to trust others. 

Just as long as we're being equally independent, at the same time.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


I'm going to begin a series of posts on independence. Not in a political sense. In a personal sense.

When I was younger, I didn't like the idea of independence. Is that strange? I don't know. But I'll start here.

There's a lot to say!

Friday, August 11, 2017

I feel like I should do something nice for myself today. Something small, but nice. 

Certain people have been stressing me out these last few weeks, unrelated situations to each other. One situation was about issues that  I have with someone, that I should have dealt with by myself long ago. My fault for not doing that until now.

Maybe I'll go shopping or something, I'm not sure yet.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Guy friends

They cannot be close friends. That is the big rule. If you become close, one or both of you is going to want to be more than just friends. Then it becomes a different situation, for better or for worse.

It's good to have guy friends. Males are half the population, after all. You're bound to click with some of them, it's natural. 

Guy friends have a different perspective on things, they have knowledge and expertise in areas that traditionally women don't have, they are often really funny and entertaining, they don't get caught up in a lot of friendship dramas. 

They make life a little more full. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

After a long hiatus, I think I will start writing again (my stories). My emotions are strong and flowing! There's stuff to get out. For me, this is good.



Monday, August 7, 2017

My future 

My future is not going to be defined by what someone tells me is right for me. I'm not going to follow what my family, extended family, community, or culture tells me is right for me. The only reason I will follow something that others agree with is because it is in line with my own morals of kindness and forgiveness for everyone, justice, hard work, and letting go of control. There's nothing in my list about materialism or excessively trying to control life, which I think I often see in the environment around me. 

Also, I want to add something about filial piety, respecting elders, and respecting the community. These concepts are big in Asian culture. I'm Asian, and I totally believe in these concepts. But I think a lot of Asians would say that people need to respect their parents, elders, and community even when it's harmful to do so, and that's when I disagree with this thinking. 

Anyway, what I see in my future is: not being rich, working hard, love, and having a totally unpredictable life.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


You are cold and calculating, not caring about others. 

I wish for you to feel love and warmth. 

You are pure evil; you concentrate on doing the things that will hurt people the very most, for no reason. 

I wish for you to experience and know abundant goodness. 

You are full of a wisdom and peace and joy that I can't understand, that only comes from overcoming immense suffering.

I am thrilled for you. 

You are full of hatred and rage; this is the foundation of who you are.

I wish you the greatest peace.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Some ways to be more genuine

Being genuine is important, because then we're being honest. And honesty is important because it is the foundation of love. Without honesty, there's no love.

Anyway, we can always be more genuine. There is no limit to how genuine we can be.

-Make mistakes, lots of mistakes, in front of people (don't be afraid to)...and then admit them.

-Smile whenever you're enjoying something (wear your heart on your sleeve). 

-Show people all of your passions and hobbies.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Things I love, not just like (as in, things that make life seem so very meaningful)

Dogs. Puppies.

My short stories 
Cooking or baking for special occasions 
Being in nature by myself 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Random, late mid-year, review

I can't believe it's already August. The year is more than half over. This feels really bizarre to me.

So about this year so far, since January, I want to say that...

I have faced difficult and unpleasant truths about every significant relationship in my life. The truths I faced in each relationship were unique to that relationship.

I guess I got to the point in my life where I could handle the fact that life is really, really not perfect. Every significant relationship in my life is not perfect, far from it, and will never be close to perfect. Oh well.

I don't find this depressing either, not really. I just accept it as a way of life.

So that's a major, underlying thing that's been going on for me this year.

Going forward, for the rest of this year, I want to say that...

I hope that I fully embrace the unknown. Enjoy the unknown. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Different ways to help people, give

-Talk to someone when he/she is bored or lonely. It doesn't matter if you're not a good conversationalist. He/she will probably be grateful just to have any conversation. 

-Find out what someone's favorite food is. Then make or buy it for him/her.

-Introduce people, or groups of people, to each other who you think would get along well as friends. (For clarification, I don't mean romantically or as potential dating partners). 

-Assume that everyone around you has lots of problems in their lives. For certain people of your choosing, work on gaining their trust so that you might be able to help them with their problems.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Being a leader

Being a leader is difficult. It's a skill. I think it's a skill that everyone should have, regardless of age, gender, any life status, etc.

There are many ways to go about being a successful leader. There are many different types of successful leadership styles. It's up to each one of us to find our own leadership style. 

I think mine is about creating situations that help/benefit many people at once. My style is also low-key. I'm not going to be in front of crowds or getting major publicity for being a leader. This feels natural and right for me.
Group mentality 

I have a mentality where I become really easily influenced by the group of people I'm with. Whatever values that group has, I easily adopt them too. I follow. 

This means that I easily pick up bad thinking and habits from groups of people. Especially if the group of people is one I knew in my most formative years, as a young child.

It takes effort for me to go against group attitudes in these cases. I have to remind myself that at times, being a lone wolf is best.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Feeling more than okay 


In control

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Advice to my younger self 

One piece of advice I would give to my younger self would be to imagine me in my old age more, as an old lady. 

It would have been good for me to do this because I could have concentrated on seeing and liking myself for the traits that matter, and not the superficial ones. 

And I would have felt a lot better about myself.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Feeling okay



Thursday, July 27, 2017

I wrote a number of short stories in the last few years. The last one was about a year ago. I'm pretty proud of them. One of them, the first one I wrote actually, is on the sidebar. ("The After School Special"). I also talked about it, and my short stories generally, here.

Anyway, I want to talk about my writing process for these short stories. It was difficult and unusual. 

I wrote these short stories in a deeply disturbed state. 

I had strong emotions that I needed to release, very strong emotions. I wrote my short stories to help me release these emotions.

However, I didn't know how to release my emotions in a controlled and mature manner. Instead, I felt an intense urge to have all my emotions released right away. So I felt an intense urge to finish writing a short story right away. I wrote every short story frenetically. 

I'm proud of every short story that I wrote during this time period. I think I did a good job of conveying certain deep emotions. But I'm not proud of the way I wrote these short stories.