To All The Homophobes…

I have a question for you. Yes, you. I have a question. Why are you homophobic?

Do you think we’re disgusting? Do you think that two men or two women should not kiss, make out, hook up? Do you think that it’s wrong for two people who love each other to express their affection physically, rather than through text messages and heart emojis?

You may think that two men or two women kissing is uncomfortable and ungodly. But how do you know that you’re scrunching up your face in revulsion because two men or two women are kissing? How do you know that you’re not just cringing because two people are displaying their affection, publicly?

Because a peck on the lips is a peck. And if you ignore the sex of the two kissers, it’s just two lips meeting each other. That’s it. Lips are all lips. Some are big and some are small. Some are darker in color and some are lighter in color. But lips are all equal. So why can’t there be universal lip suffrage?

Some of you may think that two men or two women kissing or being in a relationship is wrong because it’s just wrong. Just like how killing a man is wrong. You may denounce this glorious warm, rainbow-blooded act as a crime against humanity, or a crime against you.

So are you saying that two men or two women should not kiss because it’s against the status quo? But the status quo changes, does it not?

50 years ago, the American Psychological Association’s DSM (a handbook that diagnosed and described basically every psychological disorder) said that homosexuality was a mental illness. The status quo at that time was that homosexuals needed to be treated in mental hospitals for their “sickness.”

But the times have changed. No longer is are pure, rainbow-blood tarnished by false accusations and persecution; we can party and play all night.

So if the status quo does change, shouldn’t your opinions change as well? If of course, you obey the status quo, which you do.

Some of you may think that God (or some divine deity) specified that only one man and one woman could go together. I mean, you kind of have a point; a man’s Richard seems to fit nicely into a woman’s Bowl to form a complete whole. Yin and Yang.

But that’s pretty exclusive. I mean, a rainbow includes every colour and everyone. Inclusion is fun and no one likes to be left out.

But that’s far from this point. Imagine a box. A box has a cube-like shape, does it not? Does that mean that only cube-like objects can go inside a box? Of course not. We can put bananas in a box. We can put pizza slices in a box. We can put apples in a box. If the box is big enough, we could put a giraffe in a box. And if we fill the box up to the top with giraffes, apples, and bananas, the box is full, is it not? So if we can put objects of assorted shapes and sizes into a box, why is a man’s Richard the only thing that can fit inside a woman’s Bowl to make the Bowl full?

To say that you’re missing out is a huge understatement. You’re missing out on days of giggling and gossip. You’re missing out on the feeling of being included, accepted, and supported. You’re missing out on a fabulous community of rainbow-blooded humans, though you may think we’re animals. Because 60% of giraffes are homosexual. So with your logic, we must all be blonde, tall, long-legged giraffes.

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Mirrors.

Imagine you are standing in front of a dark brown, mahogany door. It’s the size of a normal door and has a shiny, recently-polished gold doorknob on the righthand side. You reach your hand out, turn the doorknob to the right, and push it open. You take a few steps, turn around, nudge the door closed behind you, and face the rest of the room.

The room is normal-sized; the door that you just walked through is normal-sized. But the room is anything but normal. Instead, it’s a room of mirrors. There are floor to ceiling mirrors on the walls, mirrors on the floor, acting as tiles, and mirrors on the ceiling. No longer is there peeling wallpaper or fresh coats of new paint.

You look at yourself through one of the mirrors on the wall directly across from the door. Your hair is the same as it was yesterday. You’re the same height as you were yesterday. You are wearing the same clothes that you wore yesterday. Your eyes, nose, lips, teeth, hands, legs, and feet are all the same colour, texture, size, and shape as they were yesterday. From one mirror, you can deduce a lot of information.

And if you can ascertain this much information about yourself from one mirror, imagine how much you would learn about yourself from a room made up of mirrors. But that’s where you’re wrong.

You only need one mirror.

A mirror is not a tissue. You don’t snatch one up from the box, sneeze your day’s worth of snot on it, and toss it casually into the nearest garbage can. A mirror will last a long time, so long as you spend time to clean, repair, and polish it. A room full of mirrors is no different from one single mirror because you don’t have eyes on the back of your head. You don’t have eyes on your legs, your feet, your hands, your knees. You have one pair of eyes on your face and you have to train both of them on something to get a clear picture. So what’s the point of having so many mirrors, when one is really all that you need?

And maybe that’s why you don’t need 1000 Facebook friends. Because a friend isn’t a tissue. Your friend is a mirror.

Am I Going To Continue To Blog?

Tapping my fingers against keys on a keyboard, writing tales of trials and tribulations, and reflecting on the futility of human existence, I have done all of these things before.

Throughout my life, which so far has amounted to just over 16 years, I have started 5 blogs (including this one).

First, there was my rant blog that I made when I was 12. I was an angry, temperamental 7th grader and I didn’t have enough friends to whom I could dish out my anger, so I turned to the good old Internet, started a Tumblr account, and out came pages upon pages of scathing insults and sarcastic commentaries about everything that I hated about the world. Eventually, I made some friends and stopped posting because I finally had some poor humans to whom I could complain. And also, that blog was way too pessimistic.

Next, there was my beauty blog. As embarrassing as it may sound, I started a YouTube channel when I was 14. I had recently come out of a 5-year-long “tomboy” phase that consisted of flannel shirts, khakis, and high-top, black Converse shoes; I was sick of the same old same old. So I stuffed my piggy bank into my knapsack, hopped on my bike, whisked down to Target, and came home with a backpack full of foundations and concealers that I thought matched my skin tone, pans upon pans of dark black eyeshadow, and dry, clumpy, red lipstick. From that day on, I began 5 months of intense study: I watched many many makeup videos on YouTube and took detailed notes. I perfected my makeup application skills with endless practice. I made sure that I knew Target and Sephora inside out. By the end of those 5 months, I was ready. I filmed my first YouTube video, uploaded it, and started a blog, devoted to writing about new makeup trends and other shenanigans. In the end, I deleted my channel, all of its videos, and my blog upon realizing that most of my classmates had seen those videos and were now making fun of me. Who knew that 9th graders had access to the Internet and YouTube?

After that, there was my short-lived baking blog. It consisted of exactly 1 post: a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Then, I lost interest and closed down the blog after a week.

And after that, I started my “literature” blog. This blog is still accessible, but I honestly do not know what it is. It started off as a blog for book reviews, but then I started publishing posts about my life, my attempt at learning Korean, and philosophical musings about humble brags and respect. Eventually, I stopped posting because the blog had two major flaws: I wasn’t posting anything about literature on a “literature” blog and my parents were literally reading every word I wrote, analyzing my commentaries, and saying that I should or shouldn’t do certain things because “universities won’t like it.”

And because I believe those flaws are the main reasons why I quit writing on that blog, I started this blog to fix those mistakes and start fresh. First, this blog will not fit into any category. Just look at the things that I have posted already: something about rejection, some random poems about bed bugs, and a quirky didactic musing about eggs and respect. I do not plan to label this blog as anything because I want this blog to reflect my life and, ultimately, me. If I were to label this blog as a lifestyle, literature, food, beauty, or fitness blog, I would be pigeonholing myself into a tiny, narrow box. I would also be pretending that my life only has one or two facets, and that’s certainly not true. Second, my parents do not know that this blog exists. And I don’t want them to know about it; if I knew that they would be reading every word on this blog, I wouldn’t be able to write honestly.

So the answer to this post’s title is: this blog is not my first, but hopefully it will be my last.

Eggs.

Most people eat them for breakfast every day. Scrambled, poached, fried, omelet-ed, eggs are pretty diverse.

And yet they seem to be the most “boring” of all breakfast foods. You can slather a crispy, crunchy piece of toast with sweet orange marmalade, chunky raspberry jam, or smooth honey glaze. You can add basically anything to oatmeal to make those brown, drab, lumpy kernels seem less brown, drab, and lumpy. And then you have pancakes and waffles, which you can combine with any fruit on the rainbow and they will taste amazing. But you can only do so many things with an egg, and even then, an egg will always taste like an egg.

So perhaps that’s why eggs receive so much criticism.

Or maybe eggs are so under-appreciated because they can’t fit into any category. You, pale white circular object sitting in those little brown cardboard vehicles in the dairy section of the supermarket, why are you in the dairy section? You don’t have any lactose in you. You don’t belong here. And with that, those poor little eggs are exiled from the dairy section.

So perhaps that’s why eggs receive so much criticism.

Or maybe eggs are always condemned for being weak. You can crack all 12 eggs just by dropping a carton of them on the conveyer belt.

But you’re wrong. Eggs look weak. But that’s all a ruse. Hold up one of your hands. Fold down all of your fingers except your thumb and index finger. Now curl your fingers into a “C” or backward “C” shape and pretend that you are picking up an egg, your index finger sitting on top of the tip of the egg, and your thumb grasping the bottom tip of the egg. If you hold an egg like that and try to squish the egg with your fingers, that egg will be too strong for you to crack.

And yet you can violently slam the side of the egg down on your mixing bowl, and out comes those pearly, glistening whites and creamy, fat-filled yolks.

Think about eggs again. Are they really all that weak? Whenever you crack an egg, a tiny little piece of eggshell almost always ends up in the egg itself. While those sharp, hard, little bits may be a nuisance to you, you should know that you have just witnessed the power of the egg. The egg is telling you that you can’t just break an egg like that. Either you break the egg cleanly and quickly, killing the egg painlessly, or you have to spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to scoop up that tiny little shard as it floats just out of your reach.

Think about eggs again. Now stretch your squishy, moist little brain a little bit and think about humans.

Are humans diverse yet boringly similar? Yes. We have different races, different skin colours, different languages, different… But in the end, we are all humans.

Can humans fit into a single category? No. We’re kind of like apes, but we’re also part daffodil. So what are we? Animals, mammals, plants? Could our ancestors have been those potted petunias sitting outside the dollar store?

Do humans have weak and strong spots? Yes. If you slice open my neck, there’s a high chance that I’m going to die. But if you slice open my pinky finger, there’s a high chance that I’m not going to die.

And do humans possess defence mechanisms? Yes. We kick, snarl, bite, scratch, and tear at those who try to hurt us. We threaten them to make sure that they will never try to harm us again. Sometimes we fight our adversaries and sometimes we flee.

So we aren’t that different from eggs, are we.

And next time you saunter into the supermarket, head held high, ready to assert your influence on and belittle every shopper, cut-up animal, vegetable, processed food, or egg in the store, remember that you’re not all that different from an egg, or a daffodil.

 

Hangry.

I do not like many things in this world: asparagus, cold, windy days, blisters, and dates (the fruit). But above all, I hate bed bugs.

It all started in January when I and my fellow classmates piled onto a sleek yellow school bus and drove for 4 hours out to a ski resort in the middle of the wilderness.

I’ll spare you the gory details, but in short, the bed that I slept on was infested with bed bugs. Lots of them. So after the first night at camp, I refused to sleep in any bed at that resort ever again.

Now, this was a 4-day camp, and I had realized the unfortunate existence of these bed bugs on the 1st day. So what do I do for the next 3 days? I pull 3 all-nighters in a row (72 hours with no sleep). I’m sure that’s not healthy at all, but I was really really scared of those bugs.

So while my courageous warrior friends tucked into their beds at night, I sat on the floor with my phone. But there were only so many games and I did not have Wi-Fi. So what do I do at 4am when my friends are all sound asleep and I have nothing to do? I write poems.

I think this experience is a perfect example of how good things can come from horrific experiences, but pushing this philosophical discussion aside for later, I am going to share these poems with you on this blog.

But first, some context/disclaimers:

  1. These poems were all composed in the middle of the night.
  2. The selected poems that I will share today are all written by a tired, scared, bored me.
  3. These poems have been chosen from a collection of other poems written during this uncomfortable period of my life. While I could share the entire collection with you all, I don’t think you will want to sift through pages upon pages of random musings, so these few will suffice for now.

Hangry

Stomach growling

Face scowling

It’s one thing to be hungry

And another to be angry

But when it is 4:59 in the morning

And you have not eaten since yesterday evening

And it’s too dark to find your Ritz

You feel like pummeling everything into bits.

 

Bed Bugs

Wretched creatures that roam the beds

Just thinking about them makes me need my meds

While I could be sleeping

Instead, I’m reading

And screaming

Because the room is teeming

With y’all.

 

The Window

In comes sunshine

Out goes heat

In comes bugs

Out goes wrappers and pop cans

In comes wind

Out goes breaths

Paradoxes reside in

The most pedestrian places.

 

Winter Wonderland

Snow is falling

Happiness is dropping

Smiles are disappearing

It is the end.

 

I Got Rejected. Yet The World Moves On.

Rejection is difficult. We wonder why we weren’t chosen. We wonder what we did wrong. We wonder what we can do to improve. And none of those questions are answered.

A few weeks ago, I got rejected from the Medill-Northwestern Summer Journalism Institute, a camp for aspiring journalists and budding writers interested in dipping their toes in the journalism pond for the month of July.

I’ll be honest here: I really wanted to get into that program. I had never taken a journalism course, but I was intrigued. Also, I have always loved writing, so I wanted to attend this summer program to see if I really wanted to pursue journalism as a career. If I wanted to be a journalist, I would want to start ASAP, as in freshman year university.

But after brooding in my room, deleting all my “Flights to Chicago, IL” tabs on my laptop browser, and binge watching Scandal for nearly an entire week, I decided that I had to pick myself up and move on. And I did.

First, I looked that rejection letter in the eye. Way back when I had received that unlucky letter, I had seen words on the page, but had never truly grasped the situation; upon reading “I am deeply sorry,” I had slammed the letter face down on the table and whisked off to the confines of my bedroom. So now, I picked up the rejection letter, read it, calmly, folded it up, and tucked it away under a nearby potted plant.

Second, I took my mind off of this disappointing incident. I opened up my laptop and began to research places I wanted to go this summer; if I had an entire month gaping open at me, I needed to fill in this gap somehow. I polled my parents and asked where they wanted to go. In a few short hours and lots of forwarded websites and emails, I had decided on Italy. I was going to Italy this summer.

Third, and arguably the most important, I reflected on my experience. I didn’t see this incident as a pitfall that would swallow me up whole and drag me down into the abyss. I didn’t see this incident as an attack on my character. I saw it as an opportunity. Not only an opportunity to go to Italy, but also an opportunity to grow as a person.

I had been rejected many times before, so this was no rare occurrence; as an actress, I have faced many many rejections. But this time, the rejection felt different. While I put my heart and soul into every acting audition, whenever I was rejected, I knew that the casting director had found a person who would embody the character even better than I would be able to. So I never felt cheated because, in the end, we all want to produce stellar films, TV shows, and theater performances.

And because this rejection was different and especially hard on me, I saw it as a chance to test my resilience and mental toughness. I changed my irrational and emotional thoughts from “they hated everything about me” to “there was a reason they didn’t accept me into this program, but that reason is not personal because a 3-page application doesn’t tell my whole story.”

And that’s true. Think about it. A 3-page application with a 500-word essay and a few short answer questions is nothing compared to the rich lives that we all live. We can’t possibly convey all of our thoughts, feelings, and ideas in that short space.  We can’t tell our story, all our ups, downs, and plateaus. We can’t even share our failures or show our multifaceted personalities. So I couldn’t see how this rejection could defame my character when all I mentioned to the admissions committee was the fact that I really liked to write in my free time and that I had killer SAT scores.

I also didn’t see this as a once-in-a-lifetime missed opportunity. I’m 16. I’m supposed to live until I’m in my late 90s or early 100s. I have literally more than 80 years of my life ahead of me. That’s a lot of opportunities of which I have never heard, yet.

And this incident wasn’t end-of-the-world-life-changing at all. The melodious birds still chirp, smiling children still frolic down the streets, carrying backpacks full of jam sandwiches and washable markers, and leafy green plants still produce oxygen for us to breathe.

So next time you feel that you have been rejected, I want you to look outside and see that the world moves on. And so should you.