Self Portrait – 27




Dear Future Jenn and significant reader,

I am currently at work, sitting in my Aeron chair with a frown that I cannot seem to take away. This is my most personal thought, but I realize it’s important, as a writer, to reveal the deepest thoughts and feelings out loud, because that’s what’s important.

One of my co-workers came to me and asked, “are you okay?”

First of all, although I appreciate the kind gesture, I cannot express how aggravated I feel and bothered I feel when I am asked that. Do I seem like someone that needs to be — I just realized I maybe going onto a strange area. A toxic area. A part of myself I do not wish to encourage to grow. Perhaps my writing will help relieve it?

Okay, here I go.

There are those that come to me with a question that they clearly have an answer to, and if my response to their question does not match their answer, then they think there’s something wrong and keep on asking the same thing as if I haven’t given a good thought about the issue at matter.

Those situations bother me, because it’s not productive, it’s a case of validation. I am guilty of this, too. But it really bothers me that this type of behavior/thinking exists.

Then I’m left to think that I’m the psycho because I’m the one that found out about their — ugh.

Okay, I’m going to stop. I’m probably not going to post this, but dang. This writing is happening while I feel the frown on my face, which makes it a fresh piece of writing. The first fresh piece of writing that gave birth from anger. yeek.


Two valids make…

Hey Future Jenn,

It’s been a long time since I’ve last expressed my instinctual need to write, think, and feel publicly here. Hi!

Before heading to bed, I want to capture this dichotomy I find myself under. If I’ve used that word incorrectly, please let me know.

I find myself thinking about this issue again, the issue of two valids in one reality.

If one party believes x and another party believes y in z reality, then what and how can you make of z? x and y are both valid, each on its own reality and experiences. Everyone has their own realities and experiences based on the spectrum of their own realities. But if this had to do with reality z, can both come to an agreement, or of any understanding despite one being x and another being y?


x = all members who are responsible to pay for said items each month should be able to be updated on the status of said items because it is efficient and transparent

y = all members who are responsible to pay for said items each month do not need to be updated on the status of said items because it hinders one’s ability to think of other things

z = reality

both x and y are valid because they are based on the individuals’ experience of the world.

x’s argument is valid because they support efficiency and productiveness.
y’s argument is valid because they support the emotional and mental stability of members involved.

neither one of them is invalid, or wrong. 

With that said, how must we resolve this dilemma?

Both parties are upset, hurt, and at a loss. Is this really the case of ‘oil’ and ‘water’, where they both cannot mesh together?

Typing this out helps me think about how maybe they don’t mesh well because we haven’t gotten all of the factors out from each reality of the individual. Perhaps there could come an agreement, or an inclusion of each other’s realities with a further investigation of the individuals’ realities.

With that, I will say goodnight.

Welcome back, Jennifer. Welcome back to writing for the world, thinking with the world.



Spontaneous Dot Connection

Dear Future Jenn and Significant Reader,

Maybe the reason why I am a part of BOSS and the reason I took another AC class (despite the fact that I already completed an AC course– linguistics) was because I had to learn how to transcribe interviews. Maybe the reason why I was so persistent to take the Sociology of Entrepreneurship class was because I had to again learn how to transcribe a two-hour long interview. Maybe all that was necessary because I had to learn how to type super fast. Maybe the reason why I was sitting in that class and was added to the class on the day of the start of class was because I had to work with Nicole and Yesil on G.R.O.W. which also helps me with starting non-profits and enrolling people from hotels and big corporations for silent auction items.

Maybe the reason why I am working at the City of Oakland Public Works Agency as a Front Desk HR assistant, a secretary and receptionist is because I had to learn how to navigate through different departments to direct someone to the right place or person. Maybe it also was supposed to allow me to learn how to answer phones in a formal way. Maybe the reason why I had to work with Kristine again this summer was because I had to learn how to work in a fast pace environment and with really detailed fast directions. Maybe another reason why I had to work with Kristine was to learn how to do Records Management. Maybe all this scattered interest stuff that I am doing is supposed to prepare me to be a researcher. Maybe God is allowing me to be prepared for something… Something that involves all the skills that I am acquiring. The reason why this sparked to me is because I realized I’m using the skills that I learned in my workplace and in my classes like… now. Lol everything is being used.

For instance, I have to write out my thoughts for my paper (acquired from transcribing). It’s difficult for me to do that because my grammar is all over the place when I just free-write. But it’s an essential part of writing a paper. You shouldn’t proofread as you go– well if you’re trying to meet a very close deadline, yes. Which… I kind of am.. but it’s different. I have more time than I ever had for a paper I had to turn in– Yeah, I’ve become a major procrastinator. Through chapters in self-help books and through talking with older people, I learned that procrastinators are often the perfectionists. I am a perfectionist, a major one, a neurotic one. No wonder I’m a Linguistics major. I don’t start, not because I don’t want to, oh boy. I really want to start, but it’s just that I know that I may have an epiphanic moment some point in time for me to jot down all that needs to be said.

I feel so energetic inside. But, I sense that I’m being very distracted by the girls next door. They are so loud when they talk. No, I’m blaming them. My bad. It’s the thin walls. Oh wait, my door is kind of propped open. Totally my fault. Anyways. Where was I again? Oh yes, so the energy inside. It’s like my fingers are typing away and I feel a sense of relief that I can actually type as fast as I am thinking… I type faster now so I guess that’s a good thing lol

So, the reason why I felt the need to explode my thoughts onto this notepad was because I rarely get this now. Sometimes I miss these feelings– these feelings that empower me to get my thoughts down onto paper so that there is an output where I can share my energy.

Anyways, yeah. So I feel and sense that things are being connected. It’s not even like I’ve purposely thought of how I’m living right now. It’s just a thought that crossed my mind, “Oh, you typed at this speed for that transcription that you were writing for Sonja this morning at your internship” or “Oh yeah, you were reporting to Sonja what just happened and who just came into the office while Sonja was at a meeting JUST like how you do when you’re at work in Oakland!” or “Oh yeah, you’re organizing your reciepts (finally) like you’ve learned from Kristine and Detra from work!”

These are the legitimate thoughts that crossed my mind as I was performing tasks in my daily life. Things like that.

And, I also watched a movie called Super (I just realized that I have a unique OCD, I feel the need to burst onto paper if I feel like I have a profound thought, or even a thought at all that I think is worth putting down– so I guess something new that I can articulate in words or feelings. UGH I have to write my paper. I have work in the morning. Gotta catch the bus at 7:30am which means I have to wake up like at least 30 mins before so I can get ready… then I have a final after work. Tomorrow is my long day so I end work at like 4pm then I have my final for Soc Psych at 5:30pm UGH SOOO this means that I have to finish writing this paper [which requires me to read three whole journal articles AND analyze AND compare and contrast AND think of how to write all of that…] AND study [which means reading through all of the chapters 1-14 AND go through all the lecture slides AND go through my notes] for soc psych. Dear God. These challenges aren’t challenges are they? These are just… duties, right? I don’t even know why I said that.)

I think I was copying something or someone from a movie. Anyways. Wait. I was talking about watching a movie called Super. Okay. So, where am I going at with this…

“Super” ended by (Oh my goodness. It’s 10:39pm. Dear Lord.)
Super ended by the protogonist narrating what he learned from all of his experiences: losing his wife to a drug dealer who becomes his enemy and provokes his superhero stage and go through major cognitive dissonance because he was fighting for evil but really became evil instead. He summarizes everything that happened and said something like “Maybe I wasn’t God’s chosen one. Maybe my wife had to go through all of that to realize that she has to study Anthropology which leads her to a job that allows her to be an expert and help others who were once in a similar situation as her. She meets a husband who is there to understand her and support her and then she has four children. And then he shows a wall full of drawings. Drawings of the people in his life. The fullness of his life.” This makes me realize something.

That’s the same case for me too.
I think deep down I knew that I was the main character of the story. I was the one that needed the help. I was the one that gave help. I was the one that transformed. I helped someone transform. I was the one that was having miracles. I was the one that witnessed miracles.

I never realized how profound all of this is. This this thing. How do I explain this? It’s profound in that I am also a part of others’ stories. I can be that helper. I knew this but not the same way I understood it after I watched Super. It’s a lot deeper. Let’s say my ex-boyfriend. Maybe the reason why we even met was because he had to learn something about himself through me. Maybe the reason why we moved on was because he already got that from me. Same goes for me. I’ve learned so much from him.

All of this. There’s so much. So much.

The illustrator of life. The painter of life. The creator of these days and nights. Ugh so majestic. So profound. So deep.

I have so much to write. I want to write, but I have to write my paper, not this writing. Haha

I have to write my paper now.
I’m debating whether or not I should make this writing public on my WordPress. It’s really personal for me. But, I sense that it’s a part of the trans-formative and maturing process that I wanted to capture through the art of writing. The art that I wanted to share with others. The art that needs to be out there because it’s a real process in life that not many share. Why? Because there’s much at risk. The risk of everyone knowing too much of me. The risk of being naked. The risk of being stripped of my soul because writing for me is in a sense a huge part of my soul. The identification of my soul. I’m willing to take the risk for my art– God’s art. God’s work at hand in this child’s heart and mind.

Okay, I’m getting back to my paper.

Break a leg, Jennifer. Exert that energy by using all of your brain cells and neurons! Fire them up! Have fun! Always enjoy what you do. Excel. 🙂

Mental & Physical Renewal

Future Jenn & General Public,

***Disclaimer: My page will be heavily updated in the next few weeks!!***

It has been more than a couple months since I’ve updated my site.

I have been very very busy. With what? LIVING! Haha.
Did you miss my blogs about my thoughts, feelings and experiences?

Here it goes! 🙂
Here’s my somehow cohesive rambling of my pursuit, experiences and thoughts:
Enjoy the ride through my head!

I find value in the consciousness and awareness of the process of growing up and maturing.
Yes, I believe that we are constantly being molded and crafted into our own selves.
I want to continue this conscious journey and keeping myself in check with you all.
Why do I have to publicize my life with the general public?
It’s a form of art. I believe my life is a work of art.
I don’t mean art as a boastful and prideful comment, but rather I see my life and others’ lives as an art of process.
This is my form of art. I don’t know others as much as my own.
I am going to focus on myself. My art. Perfect my art my being conscious of the process– the phases, the ups, the downs, the revelations, the relationships, the experiences, the perspective– what makes me me? It’s beautiful.

I can’t quite articulate what I mean, but I do see it as art.
I want to capture my process (my life) through writing, photographs and vlogs.
I’m sharing it because it’s not valuable until it is shared with others.
It’s that much more powerful and impactful. Well, at least in my perspective it is.
It’s not because my life is better than your’s or that mine is much more interesting.
I want to share an individual’s process. I want to share this art.
You may not want to share your art of life, but I do.
I want to be a resource to others. Period.
I have to do this. This form of art, record-keeping, being mindful type of thing.
I have to do this. I want to do it.

We are all on this journey of life together. We are all going through struggles, moments of awe, moments of gratitude, moments of confusion, moments of frustration, loss, failure, success and so much more. We are all going to face death. We are all living. Because we share this, I want to share my life. Haha, this is totally illogical to many (I have tried to explain my hobby of writing to my future self and record-keeping to my friends), but to me it’s something I know I have to do. This sounds like I have OCD in writing and record-keeping, haha. Possibly. But, I still find value in it. I don’t feel trapped. I actually used to in the past. Ever since I was in elementary school I had this need to keep all the receipts and small items that can help me remember an event or help me remember a person I just met. It escalated to me writing down most of my experiences with the encounters I have had with other people and places in my school planner. It may possibly be an OCD. I think there’s beauty in it though. This is a beautiful OCD. I cherish this Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. By the way, I don’t know if I have it– I was never diagnosed with anything.

Anyways,  the reason why I am posting this blog entry is for a public service announcement.

I will be reinventing my website. It’s one of my projects this summer– to re-create my website to be a human resource. I want to share my expertise, weaknesses, strengths, networks, art, writings in one place. This is the place.

I just thought of this during the past week as I was working as a Human Resource Management Intern at the PWA in Oakland. I am so grateful I am working amongst such encouraging, mindful and intelligent people.

I’m relieved. Things are starting to connect. I’m starting to connect all of my experiences…
I’m seeing a pattern. I was listening to Steve Job’s Stanford Commencement Speech the other day because it was saved on my iPhone and one of the many things he said was that you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect the dots to your passion from the past. I disagreed when I first heard this when I listened to his speech back in 2011, but I cannot agree more now. It makes sense. How can you possibly be certain about your passions (unless you already know for certain) by looking at the future and connecting the dots with the future? Yes, I did look in the past to connect the dots– but not to the extent that he was emphasizing. I need to do more soul-searching and dig deep. What am I a part of now? Why do I love going to work? What makes me greet people with a genuine smile? Why do you hang out with the people you hang out with? Why do you talk to the people that you are curious about? Who are you attracted to? Things like this!

Mental and physical renewal.
I’ve become much more open minded.
Open minded meaning, I am not sticking with the conventional ways of thinking anymore.
I’ve enhanced my ways of taking on life… yes. EVEN MORE.

I’m trying new things, approaching people rather than having aversion responses, being conscious, appreciating
seeing opportunities, being mindful of others’ perspectives, changing a challenge to an opportunity…

I aspire to be a healthy woman both in the body, mind and soul.

To sum things up:
I love this.
I love this ability to track what’s going on. It’s amazing.
It’s profoundly mesmerizing,
and I hope I can enhance the way I articulate/illustrate my art of life.
Beautiful life.
Disconnected events– are all connected.

Don’t expect too much. Just know that I’m turning the tables around.
I am going through a major change in life.
I am going through something much more bigger than I can articulate.
I know it.
I feel it.
I am witnessing so many people change as well.

Here I go.

Welcome to my art.

Empower Thyself


**Disclaimer: Cliche alert. 😛

Doors will only open if you are prepared.
Be prepared, and empower yourself.

Start with yourself and the rest will follow.

Your actions, your decisions, your speech, your body language, your thoughts, your opinions, your values, your principles — will radiate towards others. Be wise, but free.

Believe in yourself. Run. Run around in the grass. Run around in the sun. Smile.
You have much to offer and receive in this world. Be your best self.

In times of grief, frustration, hopelessness, and failure– endure by reflection and GET UP/WAKE UP! Life GOES ON. There’s a lesson to be learned in EVERY situation. Live each day as your last. Yes, please do. GROW.

Have fun. Enjoy life. Make the most out of all your relationships. Connect.
Share. Listen. Collaborate.

The world is your playground.
There are no right or wrong ways to live.
Just be your BEST SELF.

Good night.

Courage to BE

Dear Future Jenn and Anonymous (yet significant) Reader,

Normally I would start my blog like this:
“Finally, tis a new year full of new starts, new goals, new friends, new everything! Fresh start, fresh start!..
My new year’s goal are […]”


This year it’s going to start on a bitter note.

Yes, it IS a new year. Yes, it IS a time when you can make new habits, make improvements, be more of this and be less of that
but you know what? All of that doesn’t matter on new year’s. A new year is just a new year. A dot in a finite timeline.
You could make a new habit now. NOW. NOW. NOW. It doesn’t have to be on new year’s. It doesn’t have to be on Chinese new year’s.
You can start NOW. You want to be better? BE BETTER. You want to succeed? SUCCEED.
Be fully present should be your goal every second of your life.

Easier said than done.
I agree.

But, my point is that I used to be one of the x number of individuals in the world who celebrate the new year and interpret the day as a FRESH NEW START, but I see no point in doing that.
“Happy new years!” Yes! I totally agree. Happy new years! BUT, yay new start, new goals, new me!… NO.
We can be “NEW” now, too. Or even in 1 minute. We can always have a fresh start. We’re just accumulating new experiences and becoming a more molded version of ourselves.

You’re probably wondering what my title implies… “Courage to BE.”
First, I have to tell you about things I’ve experienced in 2012. It’ll be a bit vague, but at least I’m sharing this much with you. 🙂
Something different. 2012 presented me with a new set of challenges. I really really really really had to think about how and what all my skills, education, and talents equate to.. I still haven’t got it. I’ve changed majors. I’ve gotten new friends. I’ve broken friendships. I’ve become depressed, confused, frustrated, and exhausted.
(I feel like I’m on the verge of becoming an adult. I’ve been an adult since I was very young because of illness in the family, financial difficulties, family instabilities… I’ve known to think about others. I’ve known to take care of others more than myself. I don’t know, friends, family, and peers told me I am really mature for my age since I was a very young age. But, now it’s different. I’m beginning to think MORE and MORE practically. I don’t want to think of life so practically because it’s scary to know what you can’t do and what you can do… It’s scary to calculate. I’ve realized this during the past few weeks at home. I think that’s why I’ve been having problems. I’ve been chasing something without a concrete goal. I have no time, no money, no luxury to chase something that does not exist– I used to believe that I would get something as long as I am running, but you know what… no. That may be true for individuals with $. But, you don’t. You know that VERY VERY well. You’ve known that, but you’ve always told yourself and knew that $ will be taken care of by another entity. You knew someone would come to the rescue. They always have. But when you graduate, you’ll have to work. And, for you to work, you need to have the RIGHT education. What if your degree doesn’t do you any good when you want to become ____? Problem here is that you don’t know what you REALLY REALLY want to do. No, it’s not even that.
Why were you born? I was born to serve. I was born to lead. I was born to make change. I was born to influence. I was born to be a role model.
I only chased after virtue, not real jobs or careers…)
Virtuous jobs in my mind while I was still in high school till now:
Teacher, diplomat, news reporter, writer, ASL and Korean interpreter, ASL and Korean translator, family lawyer, consultant, nutritionist, pharmacist… list goes on.
I’ve always wanted to be a teacher of some sort since I was very very little.
When I got into high school I wanted to be a broadcast journalist or news reporter…

I guess this is what happens when you burn out and really… really start to think about how to live in a practical manner.
What caused me to think like this? What caused me to be burned out?

Thinking that I have EVERYTHING under control.
Feeling as though EVERYTHING will work out as long as I give my 100%.
Thinking of what I can only think about and about what I can’t think about (yes, very exhausting)
Taking more than 20 units of upper division classes with an internship, job, and debating to go to church…

Sounds like complaining? Haha, yes it is.
But, what I am about to do is not complain– I want to share my past experiences with you.
There’s definitely lots to learn from what I’ve gone through.

Because I encountered:

  • New feelings (that I did not know existed, or that I did not know I can feel)
  • New challenges (that I did not know were challenges in the first place)
  • New friends (that I did not expect to be affiliated with)
  • New conflicts (balancing my activities, health, academic & social life was DIFFICULT, relationships)
  • New dilemmas (balance, identity, goal, dream)
  • FINALLY REALIZED and INTERNALIZED that I have NO financial stability after I graduate Cal

The insanity challenge.
THIS was my insanity challenge for the year 2012.
Knew my problems, but couldn’t find the answers.
It’s like a year long test. Just one test full of open ended questions left for only me to answer.
It came to the point where I had a list of things to do (calendar and all), and I was still not able to think to execute them.
My body shut down. My body was always tired.

I felt guilty going to church, I felt guilty meeting friends, I felt guilty going to class, I felt guilty not going to class, I felt guilty eating————–I felt guilt everywhere I went.

I only felt content when I was on my bed telling myself “you deserve to shut your brain and relax your body. So, don’t think, just be”.
It takes a lot of courage to be yourself, especially when you have a very loud conscience and awareness of your actions and speech.
Courage to be. It takes a lot of courage to even exist. Do you know how difficult it is to just exist?

2013 already presented be with a new something.
New conflict. My father got very VERY ill. He’s been in the hospital since last Sunday morning.
It’s making me come to my senses… It scared the crap out of me. He will be okay with proper care, but still…
I literally have to take care of my family financially now.
I am the first so I have to take care of my family.
New conflict presents urgency to yet another conflict which I have struggled with for the last few years… my career.
Money didn’t matter to me as long as I find a job that will make me happy.
But, now.. money is my priority..
I’ve been looking up the U.S. Air Force. I couldn’t believe I was able to even consider that option.
Since my dad is in the Army I wanted to stay away from the military business…
But, yes. Cryptic Linguist or nutritionist…
I think it’s extremely interesting that I resorted to the Air Force.
Last year, my sister resorted to the Air Force ROTC at her school so that her education for dentistry can be paid for..
I didn’t think I would…
Anyways. It’s been difficult emotionally… luckily I texted the president of the korean ministry at the church I went to in Richmond when I freaked out about my dad. She let others know and they all prayed for my dad and my family. It was so nice of them. 🙂

Be. Be. Be.

Following the other individuals in the world who set a list of new years resolutions… Here’s mine.
Be courageous and BE.
Show, not tell.
You can tell, AFTER you show the world what you’re made for.
Bigger heart.
Dream BIG.
Don’t fear fear.
Use what you already have.
Be humble, yet know what you’re capable of.
Again, be courageous and BE.

Cheers to a practical, yet optimistically practical new year.
You can do it. Believe in yourself and MOVE.