#Upandcoming #Quarterlifer

Reclaiming the quarter-life crisis, one hashtag at a time

5 Reasons I Love Social Media for Social Justice

Well hello again!

I really have to apologize for the lack of updates. Life has been a whirlwind as of late. Applying and getting into grad school, preparing to move out of state, wrapping up work-related projects, saying goodbye to the place I’ve called home for the last five  years can really make it hard to sit down and put thoughts on paper. However, with my new school schedule I hope to be able to get you updates in a more timely fashion.

If you follow me on social media at all, you may glean that I can get pretty passionate about certain issues of race, culture, feminism, social justice, human rights, de-colonizing the mind, and the like. And, while posting and tweeting and blogging about the things you believe in and  causes that you support only does so much, it’s still a great way to stay informed of all of the sides of a social justice issue and hear traditionally marginalized voices.


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Defining American

Sometimes, when I hear a word, images and stories immediately come rushing into my head.


Betsy Ross sewing stars and stripes. Laura Ingalls running across the prairie. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed kids watching fireworks. The Oregon Trail. Hands on hearts screeching out the Star-Spangled Banner. A picture of Uncle Sam.

“Hey, you!” Uncle Sam says.

I look around.

“You!” He barks. “I want you!”

“Me?” I ask nervously. “For what?”

His index finger points at me accusingly, even though in my culture pointing is a gesture for dogs. I imagine he’s calling me out, saying: “You don’t belong here.” I look into Sam’s eyes at his white hair and beard and creamy skin and realize he’s right. As a mixed race, Chinese-American woman, these stories of America, quite literally, don’t know the half of it.  

Defininf american This  entry also appears on the Minnesota Humanities Center blog. 

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10 Cardinal Karaoke Sins

Does anything beat the feeling of screeching out your favorite nostalgic hit and becoming your own rock star?

Ok…well , besides cheese.

I’ve loved to sing for a long time. Along with choirs and musicals in school, as an adult I’ve always enjoyed karaoke. When I lived in China in 2007, I discovered KTV–the delightful private room karaoke where you can drink, eat snacks and sing until 4 in the morning. In the states, I’ve more commonly heard it referred to as Noraebang and it is sort of my go-to fun thing to do whenever I get together with a big group of friends.  Now that I’ve had the exclusive treatment it is so so hard to go back to “plebian” karaoke. However, every once in a while, if the occasion calls for it, I’ll brave the crowds and have throw down some tunes in public.

With my experiences with these different types of karaoke, I’ve encountered all sorts of things. And, the more experiences I have with it, whether they be public or in private, there are definitely a few cringe-worthy actions that will always send me (and any other karaoke veteran) reeling.



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The Myth of Perfectionism

*looks around bashfully*

In my long absence from blogging I’ve been doing soul-searching. Doing a lot of thinking. A lot of day dreaming. And a lot of deep-dives into myself with the help of a therapist.

Something that has come through all of this, something about myself that I’ve never realized before, never had a name for is something my therapist calls paralyzing perfectionism.

When she first told me that I just had to laugh. Looking at my grades in school, my weight, the state of my room I would have never classified myself as any sort of perfectionist. Me? A perfectionist? No way. Shouldn’t perfectionists be…well, perfect?

Or at the very least approaching perfection y’know? Like one of those asymptotes that you look at in Calculus class. The kind that  you know INTELLECTUALLY never actually touch the X-Axis but gosh darnit it get’s so close, even your Calculus teacher tells you to just just solve for X=0.


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#Quarterlifer How-Tos: How to Plan a (huge) group trip! (And not want to kill everyone involved)

Why hello there, friends! I feel like I sound like a broken record every time I post here, but I bear the same message: it’s been a while. Gosh, what have I been up to since last we talked? I moved, the bee eff moved in, had to soothe the poor traumatized no-longer-man-of-the-house kitty, weekend-long workshops to plan, leadership seminars to attend… Whew! And oh! The topic at hand: …HAD THE MOST EPIC GROUP TRIP EVAR!!

A little back story if you don’t know: I’ve got this pretty excellent group of friends.  Because we’re spread out across the country (ok, and Canada) it’s pretty rare (though maybe not as rare as it should be given the state of some of our finances) that we can get huge groups of us together. And, even when we do, it’s usually crashing on floors, sleeping 3 to a bed, only to be traipsing off to our respective homes a short few days later. So, for the last couple years, we’ve made a point to take time off around Memorial Day to get together and split a beach house with gorgeous views, random games, drinks a plenty and y’know, actual beds for most people. This year, I decided to take the role on planning the shebang.

Now, mind you, despite the fact that I love my friends and that most are PRETTY easy to reach online and via all forms of social media– planning a 5-day, 4-night trip to a location that none of us are from or have been to is no small order. And, as anyone who’s lived with friends can attest to, trying to balance the wants and needs of many different friends can be hard. I definitely learned a TON through the experience and just wanted to share some of the tips for planning a huge group trip — and not want to kill everyone involved.


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Becoming Leaderly

This post also appears in a slightly abbreviated form in the May 1 edition of  YNPN Twin Cities’ online newsletter: The Bridge. 

On night one of the inaugural EPIP-YNPN Leadership Institute, we experienced a World Café discussion for which I offered to play table host (mostly so that I wouldn’t have to switch tables, but anyway). After hearing the amazing thoughts of my fellow cohort members I was so humbled and weighed-down with the immense responsibility of capturing, and then harvesting their oh, so insightful nuggets. When it came time to share, I turned to my tablemates, silently asking their permission to share.

I was met with nods back:

“Go ahead.”

Even now I feel this immense responsibility to “say it right” and fully capture the gratifying two-day experience. And, as I’ve learned through my work at the Minnesota Humanities Center: words matter (and doesn’t that suck). However, I’m going to imagine all of my new friends nodding at me and try to do justice to all of our experiences.

Also, for the record, I know leaderly isn’t a word. Sue me.

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All About Me: Why my daughter will have blue hair

Okalie dokalie everyone!

So, I know I promised a weekly/semi-weekly/monthly/whenever the heck-I-want-ly segment of “All About Me.” While I will always use my own experiences to illuminate my opinions and views on things, these segments will be more focused inward: something that I’m thinking or feeling or experiencing or doing in my own life. Or, maybe sometimes I’ll sing a song. Y’know whatever.

hair collage2

Don’t worry y’all. I’m not pregnant. 

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#StitchFix Review: Fix #4 and a mini rant

Sooo, here’s the thing…

I started this post on January 31. Yikes! Talk about tardy. So by now, I’ve already worn most of the pieces and you’ll probably be able to tell what I got and what I didn’t get. Still, I think it’s important to give credit where credit is due and wanted to give Stitch Fix a mini shout out after some flack that I’d been giving them for my last couple fixes.

I’ll admit, I went into this fix with a bad attitude. After Fix 2 and Fix 3 I said to myself, I’m going to give this thing ONE. MORE. CHANCE. and it BETTER not let me down again. And, to be honest, I had to take a second look at some of these items before I gave them the ultimate thumbs up. Throughout the whole experience I just had to repeat my Stitch Fix manta: remember the red pants.


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