Thursday, May 12, 2016

#StarringJohnCho

I had heard recently about this movement and was interested of course because as a Korean-American,  I am of course proud that John Cho is Korean as well.

While driving home today, I caught the tail end of an interview that NPR was doing with the man who started the hashtag. He was very insightful and reminded me of feelings I had back in high school and even into my adult years.

As the youngest of three, I was at an advantage when I was applying to go to college. My siblings could give me tips and tricks on my applications and essays so that I could get into some UC (University of California) school. I have never been the best, typical student so I had to really rely on my essays and all the extracurricular stuff I did to set me apart from the intensely competitive class I was in. Luckily I got into UC Davis but that's not the point. While I was applying, I saw many questions regarding being a minority. I was pretty sure I am a minority but I remember asking my older sister and her explaining to me that no, we are not really a minority any more... in terms of college anyway.

That was really frustrating for me. My thoughts were, "So what just because I'm Asian, I'm automatically supposed to be good at conventional school and get extremely high standardized testing scores...? And if I don't, it's a shame and I don't get in anywhere since against my other (Asian) peers I don't measure up?" I started to get so angry at the fact that yes, I am good at math and I wear corrective lenses. I wanted to yell, "HEY! I have contacts/glasses because I sat too close to the TV not from pulling all nighters" just to prove that I wasn't your "run of the mill" Asian girl.

But that's the thing. I'm not your typical Asian girl. I'm tall, not skinny by any means, play/coach water polo, and am "too loud." When I was in grad school, this one woman had the nerve to tell me that I'm not Korean... I'm only American. Who was she to tell me how I identify? (Sorry that was a total random tangent).When people think of Asians, we are what's called the "model minority."

Honestly? I fucking hate that phrase. It creates this false identity that a percentage of Asian Americans may actually be, but it gets blanketed to all of us. When I tried to apply to medical school, I again felt the sting of being a part of the "model minority" and could not get fully accepted. I was wait listed twice but just didn't make the cut.

I'm feeling it now as I apply to nursing school because I still want to work with patients who are underserved. I have applied to the same school three times and have been rejected three times (obviously I've applied to other schools as well and also have gotten rejected).

Anyway, I think #StarringJohnCho is amazing because not only does it show the harsh reality that Hollywood is severely lacking in diversity, but it shows that Asians shouldn't be pigeon holed into "those characters." And not only that, more and more people should realize that not all Asian women laugh quietly behind their hands, are meek, are "exotic" (another thing that I HATE) and love being told what to do... Not all Asian men are totally asexual and are not well endowed (I don't know this personally but just like any other ethnicity, there are variations). Asian men can be sexy too. Trust me. Oh and we don't always have to have an exaggerated accent.

Maybe another hashtag can be #stoppigeonholingme .... or can that have another connotation? I don't know. Kids are weird these days and I don't know how to use hashtags.

You should listen to the whole interview. It's great. http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-05-12/fed-hollywoods-diversity-problem-guy-recreated-movie-posters-starringjohncho

Monday, May 2, 2016

No buenos

So I started to watch a new show called My 600 lb life... and it really is not good for me. Because I can't help but to think that's what people think of me.

And all I want to do is to stop eating so I lose weight. But I love food too much. But that's what these people say... "I love food" ... I'm conflicted, angry and sad with/at myself. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lenten season and realization

Yesterday I realized something pretty important... but before I get there, some background.

When my friend passed away, I was overcome with the need to make sure all my friends knew how much they meant to me to try to ensure if, God forbid, something like that happened again, my guilt would be less severe. So being a good friend was something that I strive for all the time....

When I feel like I'm not being a good friend, I am consumed with sadness and disappointment with myself and become overall very negative towards myself and kind of everyone else as well. This may be a childish reaction, but unfortunately, after dealing with my previous experiences, this is what happens.

Last night I finally realized that since a friendship is a relationship that goes both ways, the person I consider a friend should reciprocate and try to be my friend too. I can't keep going on blaming myself for not being a good friend when in reality, I am being a good friend it's just that the other person, doesn't want to receive it.

That's it. I can be a good friend and a good person, but if the other person doesn't recognize that, then nuts to them and I can move on.

That being said, during this Lenten season, I will recognize one positive thing in my life everyday (and also try to give up cursing). My positive thing today: I have friends who do care about me and check in with me and I am forever grateful for that.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Accomplishments

Today I had my first session with a new therapist. As first sessions go, it was actually pretty okay. I was nervous but when we started talking, it got easier. She finally asked me to ask her questions about her, which I have never had. She said, "Do you want to ask any questions about me? To see if you think we're a good match..." That alone made me so happy. She mentioned she's does mostly somatic psychology so I had her explain that. Instead of explaining it, she had me actually do it.

She had me think of three experiences from birth til now that were supremely positive and after each one she had me stop and examine my body to see what my body felt like. It was nice because even though I do Headspace, I never reaaallly know what I'm looking for. But she talked me through it and it was so cool. I told her that I don't like to mince words and that's why I pause a lot because I try to put a lot of thought into each word I'm saying so I make sure what I say is received the way I want it to be received... no more and no less meaning as I want it to seem. Of course, that doesn't happen but I know that and I try to let it go.

So I've done one of my sort of New Years resolutions and I finally found a new therapist. I'm seeing her again Friday and hopefully it's the same goodness... I hope I can just finish my "homework" by then.

***IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE*** My very good friend has an amazingly encouraging blog at sadrunner.com and this week's post was particularly awesome. Even if you don't like running, he provides some really interesting and provoking insights into depression and anxiety. Go check it out!

Monday, December 14, 2015

A phrase that doesn't help

So like a hopeful goober, I have been applying to nurse practitioner school because I still feel like I am meant to be on the side of practicing medicine rather than the business side of medicine. The problem is that most schools, don't agree with me. I keep getting rejections which is really getting to me. I'm getting so tired of hearing "no," that I'm on the verge of giving up. Maybe I'm not meant to and that's why I keep hearing no...? Ugh whatever.

But to the point of the title of this post... When I tell people that I got yet another rejection, a common response I hear is, "Oh but that school is really hard to get into" or "That's like the Harvard of nursing schools"... I know that those phrases are meant to be encouraging, but to me that just means that those people don't think highly of me that I could even get into those types of schools. Yes, I probably couldn't get into Harvard but to have an external person tell you that they also believe/know that I cannot get into a really good school, is painful.

I've talked about this before I think... but by now if you read this blog, you know that my self-confidence is very low. I don't think I'm good looking, a good friend, nor that great of a person in general. But the ONE thing that I feel slightly more confident about is the fact that I am not a dumb person. Yes it takes me a bit to process something, but I do have a Masters degree and I feel like not everyone has the ability to sit through all the classes, pass the classes, and write a thesis to get a Masters. And I did that (even with a month of almost dying).

So when someone tells me, "Well that school is super hard to get into" all I want to say back is, "So? You think I can't get into that school? Do you think I'm not good enough? Would you have thought they made a mistake if I did get in?"

Ugh. Sorry I know that's a super negative way of looking at what is supposed to be an encouraging statement but right now, that's how I hear those statements.

Friday, November 20, 2015

I did it.

I finally told him of the stress I've been in and why. I don't like the response but at least I told him. I feel sick to my stomach and my hands are trembling but I hope that at least part of my heart can be at peace now that I told him...

I don't know if I'll ever feel comfortable again until circumstances change... but I'll be praying for a change ASAP.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Water Polo Coaching

This past few months I got the opportunity to coach the Girls' Water Polo team at Terra Nova HS. I took the position knowing that I would be basically exhausted every day and would have to come to grips with certain fears/feelings I associate with high school. At least it wasn't my own old high school... then I think I would've had even worse anxiety about it.

Now when I was in high school... Whenever I heard about Terra Nova, they were a force to be reckoned with. So of course, my first thoughts were, "Oh crap... I've never coached water polo before and I bet they have a crazy good record." But apparently, that was only the football team because my coworker (who informed me of the position and whose kids go there) gave me some history about the program. When I officially got hired, I looked more into their history to see if what my coworker said was accurate (as she can be pretty dramatic). And.... She was right. Their record was pretty abysmal and they hadn't had a JV team since 2009. They had 16 girls last year but this year my turnout was 24. Definitely enough for two teams... and most of them were pretty young.

So, my nerves were calmed and I started my first speech. They were super receptive! I told them how I played in high school and played for a second in college. They could not stop jabbering about how excited they were about having a coach who actually played. It made me wonder who had been coaching them for the past few years. I told them my huge thing was making sure that people stay positive and that even though we have JV and Varsity, that we are one big team and we support each other. I emphasized this because I remembered how much I loved the camaraderie I had in my high school team... and how much it helped me through feeling pretty excluded from people who I thought I had more in common with (the Asian girls).

My Varsity girls ended up in 5th place but with twice more wins than last year and my JV girls ended up in 2nd place! I could not have been prouder of the girls... but what they don't know is how much they helped me during those short three months. I haven't felt that fulfilled in so long. They filled a void that I've been feeling for so long.

I hope that I can come back next year and do it again.