#Upandcoming #Quarterlifer

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

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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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.

2014-04-11 19

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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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Welcome Back!


Well, hi there friend!

For some of you, it’s been a while! I am sorry that I haven’t been blogging as much. But, if you made it this far you already know that this new home for my thoughts and musings has been in the works for a while now and I am so unbelievably proud and excited to have my own domain just like a real grown-up type person.

If you’re just joining me…what the heck took you so long?

The past few weeks I’ve been working with an amazing designer on moving to a shiny, new and self-hosted version of #Upandcoming #Quarterlifer so thanks for all of your patience.

What does this mean for me?

Do people still use bookmarks? I’m inclined to think not. But, if for whatever reason you do, change the one for this blog to upandcomingquarterlifer.com. That’s right, I’m a big girl now so I have my own domain!

If you currently read my blog via email-only subscriptions — you’re good! The subscriptions will move over with the blog!

If you currently read my blog via Tumblr or my website — also peachy keen! I’ve re-linked everything so you should be able view my posts as normal.

If you currently read my blog via WordPress.com — might need to do some leg work. Posts will continue to show up in the reader, but you will no longer get email notifications of new posts. To get email notifications, go to my new blog at upandcomingquarterlifer.com and sign up using ‘Subscriptions’ on the right hand side.

What does this mean for #Upandcoming #Quarterlifer?

Same sassy content. New location.

…Also maybe now I can make money with this thing? What what!

Ive got a couple of blogs in the pipeline (some old, typed-drafts and some ideas floating in the noggin) so you can expect LOTS of writing from me within the next few weeks. As a little teaser, the photo shows just a little bit of what I’ve been up to lately!

All About Me: Keeping it Real in Minnesota

I know. I know.

You guys know how it is. One thing leads to another and, all of a sudden, it’s been a month since your last post.

I’ve been busy. Aside from the daily (and not so daily) grind of working at the Minnesota Humanities Center, I’ve been hanging out with my friends from Theoroi, trying to keep warm with these historically low temperatures, planning a group (20-person) trip to Clearwater Beach, FL, and putting out feelers in anticipation for some changes here at #Upandcoming #Quarterlifer.  Keep checking back and you’ll see…

I’ve got a couple more substantial blogs in the pipeline,  but in the meantime, here’s me keeping it real in the Minnesota winter. Excuse my french at the end. Mornings like this tend to get you riled up.


All About Me: Gravity – Sara Bareilles Cover

‘All About Me’ will be a new weekly (or semi-weekly, monthly, or whenever-the-heck-I-want-ly) segment on #Upandcoming #Quarterlifer where I emerge from the depths of the blog-o-sphere and come to you live! Well, as live as anything on the internet can be. I might do a vlog, a funny dance, tell a joke, do a drunk-kitchen segment or anything my (or your?) little heart desires.

This week, I have a song for you all!

This little number has been a go-to shower-singing classic for me for a while now…


Got something you wanna see or hear me do? I’ll take requests, within reason of course! Leave me a comment!