Do You Like Me Now?

I started to ask myself this question after a short but rather deep conversation with a friend recently. The first time he asked me if I liked myself, I answered “yes” with no hesitation whatsoever. Then a state of ambivalence engulfed me. I don’t know, I am not so sure anymore. Would I hang out with me if I weren’t myself? Maybe, maybe not.

The benefit of being a 20-something-year-old and single is that I have more than enough time to “work on myself”. It sounds so cliche. But in reality, I can’t possibly ask another person to love me when I don’t even love myself. Before anything, I do however, wanna give myself a big pep talk.

  • I have an amazing job with amazing supportive colleagues
  • I have a decent sizable apartment in the neighborhood I grew up in
  • I drive a pretty sweet car
  • I have awesome friends. Not a lot, but the ones who stick around are more than amazing. And I love them more than they know. Shhh….
  • Jesus!!! He never fails to love me
  • I have amazing mentors
  • I have a couple of mentees and they are doing more than great. Lovely! #soproud

As many of you guys know, I got sick in the beginning of this year and needed surgery. From there I felt like I wasn’t really taking care of myself that well. I have terrible eating habits and I always stress myself out over nothing. Thus, I’ve decided to make some life style changes as an effort to make myself healthier. It’s really difficult, but I think with the support of friends, prayers and dedication, I could do it.

Here is the list:

  • drink more water, less beer/spirits
  • eat out less, cook at home more
  • follow appropriate dietary guidelines
  • 70% healthy/30%cheat
  • small frequent meals
  • cut down sugary drinks as much as possible
  • exercise in moderation
  • improve overall budget planning/meet savings goal
  • be quick to listen and slow to speak
  • be a little more social
  • be more organized
  • be more assertive
  • read more
  • decide on a new language to learn and stick to it
  • go to fewer concerts, be a little more selective ='(
  • travel more! YES!

This is the path to gain my composure as I am waltzing from mid into late 20’s,  not a cry for help. But I do appreciate it when a sister or brother offers a hand to keep me accountable. Yes, yes, yes.

If you care enough to read to this far, I would like to open my arms to anyone who might need someone to talk to at any point. We all have moments where we feel down and even depressed. Sometimes, not everyone has the courage to speak up, to say “hey, I need help. I need someone to listen.” Maybe it’s our pride, maybe we are afraid. We don’t have to be best friends. I firmly believe that you and I crossed path for a reason. I mean, I am not a shrink or anything close to that. But I am willing to be there for you, listen to you, do everything in my best ability to help you get through something. It would be my great honor to be a part of your journey to somewhere else. In memory of 2 young lives I know of but passed away this month, I’m asking you, my friend, to say a prayer for them and their families. (Sorry, I can’t dive into details of the deceased. Privacy…)

And lastly, you do you. Don’t blindly try to “fit in”. It’s so overrated. At the end of the day, you only have to answer to you own conscience and God. People suck, not all of them, but many do. Jk. Not really. Now I sound crazy. Haha.

God Bless!

 

In Him,

Jiawen.

 

 

 

 

 

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“Dear Human”

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I read this poem/paragraph/letter to all human beings over and over for the past couple of days. It really touched my soul. I hope some of you guys would take a minute to read it, digest it and be inspired by it. 3,2,1 and go!

It’s okay to mess up; it’s okay to fall. Really. At the end of the day, there is God to pick you up. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “unconditional love” among human beings. I know, I know. You don’t believe so. I’ll give you an example. This poor girl I’ve encountered last week was calling her families whilst in her most vulnerable state begging them to come and to be with her because she was just a scared teenager in so much physical pain. Well emotional as well. Her background story made me so sad. I asked myself what else can I do for her besides holding her hand and possibly giving her a hug? (Obviously not a huggy person here.) What has happened in the past that her parents decided to forsake her when she was wailing in agony? My heart was aching for her. But what else can I do to help her? I prayed and prayed for several days. Is that enough? Probably not. Unfortunately, parental love is not unconditional. They love you because you came from them AND you act like a somewhat appropriate human being sometimes. Are they still gonna love you if you were involved in some major criminal activity? I know for a fact that if I dared to even try using drugs (cannabis included), my dad would just disown me and never speak to me again. He hates drug addicts and he doesn’t think anyone can ever get clean PERIOD. Unconditional whaaa?

The world is scary place, but it’s also okay. Jesus Himself showed us true agape love by dying on the cross for us and made us whole again. The walk with Jesus makes me brave. I struggle and fail almost every single day. Somedays I’ll be stuck in a funk and can’t seem to snap out of it. But God always comes around and shows me how much He loves me in His ways. Having theology as pure knowledge isn’t enough. The beauty of Christianity is that you get to experience God. The work is done for you, the salvation is given to you by grace. Say “yes” to Jesus and His kingdom is yours.

I am one flawed sinner. But God loves me regardless. Thank you Jesus for your blood! You are awesome!

With Love,

Jiawen

Am I an Evil or Angel?

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In other words, women must kill the aesthetic ideal through which they themselves have been “killed” into art.

 

So I finally finished watching the episode where Cristina Yang decided to take the job in Switzerland. In other word, it’s bye-bye Dr. Yang. She was always my favorite character from this show. From a feminist point of view, I resent Shonda Rhimes for not giving her a perfect happy ending. Part of me thought Burke was gonna ask her to be with him again and work side by side in this awesome 3D printing project. How amazing would that be? But, nope, he just had to be married. The wife was another surgeon, yet she gave up her career for their family- a path that Yang would never ever choose. Cristina strived to become the best of the best throughout the entire show and she was penalized for her choice in another aspect. At first, she was left at the altar because she couldn’t give Burke what he wanted. Cristina would never become a house wife nor will she ever have kids. And the same thing happened with Hunt. What a surprise!

Fact: women are either portrayed as angel or the devil. It’s so hard to break through this preexisting binary on television or in literature. “The Madwoman in the Attic” is a good read that examines this particular notion. It’s interesting that even female writers tend to confine female characters into the two extreme categories. Many would not agree, but I personally think that Cristina was portrayed as evil in the show. Seemingly, it was her fault that she couldn’t make her man stay because she put her career over everything else. In a patriarchal society, men would be glorified for making the very same choice in life. They’ll probably marry some gorgeous trophy wives in the end and it’ll be recognized as an accomplishment. But Yang was being penalized for being very focused in what she does. Yes, she’ll accomplish great things in her career but every night, she’ll go home to an empty bed. Why does this happen to women? It really upsets me. Growing up in a big city, we were taught to compete with boys and we were embedded with the mind set that we had the capacity to achieve anything. If boys can do it, girls can do it too.

I, myself am a big dreamer. I have a lot of plans for my life. Becoming a nurse is step one of my career. I’ve always wanted to become more and achieve more. There are a million things I want to do. I want to become an activist, I want to become the medium of change and empower other women… Will I be able to achieve all that before I die? I don’t know. As a feminist, I want to encourage my sisters to support one another no matter what. Living in the 21st century as a woman is no better than the 18th century. I think it’s worse. Back then, men provided for their families and women only had to worry about domestic things. Now we have to do the same thing men do and the society still expects us to take care of everything in the home. If you don’t, then you’ll be condemned. I really wanna raise my middle finger to all these unfair societal rules sometimes. They really do suck.

It’s okay to be who you are. You are not a devil because you make certain choices that don’t necessarily follow the modern doctrine of “how to be a woman”. And hopefully you are not this perfect little angel that rests under the wing of your man. haha.. The world is not black and white. We have many shades of gray in between. (Get your mind out of the gutter. ;P) It’s perfectly fine to screw up sometimes. Don’t go so hard of yourself. We are human beings, we make mistakes and we are not perfect. Only God is perfect. But still, go chase your dreams! Make things happen. Don’t be afraid to stand up. Being a conformist is the saddest thing in a persons life ‘s be honest. You are doing a lot of things for no reason. Don’t ever catch yourself in a situation where you go, “Why am I doing this? Oh well, I am doing this because everyone else is doing this. bleh, no biggie.” Learn how to say NO and know that peer pressure has nothing on you. I always encourage the ladies in my life to think and evaluate things with their own brains. I sound like a bitch for saying this, but a lot of times we don’t utilize one of the greatest gifts from God – a free mind. It’s hard to break through and set yourself apart from the crowd sometimes. We are bombarded with tons of ridiculous messages that make absolutely no sense. Thank you, consumerism! FACT: you’ll never become pore less no matter how much powder you put on your face. You’ll never have perfect shiny, bouncy hair like those in the commercial. Only a small percentage of women can be 5’10” and fit into a size 0. Sometimes, it’s genetic, nothing you can do. I see every woman as an unique individual. You are beautiful the way you are. Don’t chase a digitally enhanced image the society created to further oppress women; essentially, it’s an invisible corset of the 21st century that is slowly suffocating us. It’s an unrealistic goal and there are so much other things in life you can achieve. Being an outcast is uncomfortable sometimes, but it’s rewarding. At the end of the day, you have something to reflect on. Your life will have meaning and you’ll have answers to your own questions. Don’t let anyone or anything  confine you into a little box. Girl, you have so much potential. I’m telling you.

Love can’t conquer it all

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First of all I have to admit that I am an overly-sentimental woman who whines too much. Oops. Haha. So I dated this guy starting the first year of nursing school. Not sure why and how, But I fell madly in love with him. We had issues and we were on and off. Bleh bleh bleh. None of my girlfriends liked him and I didn’t care. Yes, I’m that stubborn. I had this mentality that love was gonna conquer it all. I was stupid enough to think if I try hard enough, I can make someone love me back, maybe just a little bit. But it’s not true. Truth: if a guy doesn’t love you, he doesn’t love you (period)

So I finally took the courage to call it off. He invited me to a wedding as a plus one weeks before the big “storm”. One day, I got a call from him and he told me that we aren’t going anymore because he thinks marriage is stupid and it’s for “pussies”. Suddenly, I realized that there was never a “us” and we had no future. And that was that. Oh Lord, my heart aches as I’m writing this.

The point is, love cannot conquer it all. Especially in my situation. It was always a one way street relationship. I poured my heart out and received nothing in return. It’s silly to be with someone who doesn’t share your values. The ugly truth? Love doesn’t always lead to marriage, love can’t buy bread, love can’t conquer it all. However, There is always a take away from something bad. I’ve learned my lessons. And I realized how important it is to listen to The Lord. I don’t think I would ever date a person who doesn’t share my faith again. I’m praying to God that I will encounter a man who fears and serves The Lord like me. A true man of God who lives as a Christian, not just someone who attends Sunday service as a regular.

Every path we’ve crossed in our lives has meaning to it. Therefore, i have no regrets. I’ve loved this guy so much and I feel like I will always love him no matter what. Even though my heart is still broken and it still brings me to tears whenever I think about him. But one day, I’ll be stronger and wiser as I grow in Christ.

Only God’s love can conquer it all. Because only His love is perfect.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 2:4-6 KJV)