Just keep swimming

I have this discussion with my cohort all the time.

Being a writer for life is hard. The rejection, the humiliation, the “you will never ever get there” self-doubt, the looming red in your finance chart.

I have a LA Lakers #8 Kobe Bryant jersey hanging on the rack. It’s the shrine of my daily faith and inspiration.

How did he get there? 
How did he become who he is today? Well, he wasn’t born this way. 
Where did he get this monstrous GRIT that all the great masters have? 
How did he overcome the physical pain day in and day out for the better part of his life? 
How did he challenge doubt when he failed?

Those might be the questions I want to grill him if I have the chance to meet him. I think I may have the answer already as everybody else does way before you read this rambling post.

You probably know it already when you watched Finding Nemo —

Just keep swimming.

So at the beginning of another gorgeous day in LA, I will breathe in and breathe out.

And write on.

A Chip on Her Shoulder

It was me.

I thought the world owed me. And I had every right to manifest that rage. I had few friends then. I never wondered why. I took it as a sign that I was simply too good to be in league with mediocrity.

In truth, I was just jealous; jealous of people who were born with good looks, good fortune, good family… In a word, the whole package. What they had was what I had been trying so hard to fight for. Maybe a Mulberry bag. I would calculate how many meals I should skip until I got it. I was hangry the whole time. I let stuff define me.

But what am I really?

Does owning [X number] of Balenciaga bags make me a better person, a happy person, a person of meaning and weight? No.

You see, I live with two younger gals who can afford expensive cars and luxurious cosmetics and clothes. They dine often at posh restaurants. Every day there are packages at our doorstep to be signed. The old me could get easily jealous toward them. Now I don’t.

Because I don’t, I see beyond those materials and see who they really are. They have great manners. One gal had her parents stay over during the Chinese New Year. Her parents always cleaned up the mess after they cooked. They even bought me a new bottle of olive oil since they used “quite a bit” during their stay here. They closed the door when doing the laundry. They kept quiet when in the common area. They invited me to dine with them on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Now I see where she inherited her well-groomed manners. The other gal’s only “vice” is her loving and enjoying the best things in the world. But she also possesses the best of the heart. We share an amazingly great deal of outlooks toward life. We can talk for hours non-stop on random things.

Now, if I were the old me — the gal with a chip on her shoulder, could I have made friends with those two beautiful souls? Absolutely not.

Be open. People surprise you, always.

All I did was loosen up. The world hasn’t changed. Just my attitude. That is all.

La vie aux Amérique

It’s easy to get laid en Amérique. Not that I am a sexpert, but the environment here seems so much more tolerant. The pressure back in China about women wanting to relax and have fun is mind-boggling. Plus, you almost live right around the corner to, if not at, your parents’… An immediate turn-off.

I haven’t yet found my way around Chinese men. Or maybe it’s simply because I’m not their cuppa tea. All the guys I’ve been with are non-Chinese. So I really won’t know what the Chinese fellas are thinking. I find guys in America won’t judge you (or so I assume) if you two are just having fun. But, there is a price to pay. It hurts when the guy doesn’t contact you as often, or at all, after you’ve been this sizzling close. I try to be cool about it now. If dudes can handle it, I can too. Or so I think.

I was seeing a guy. We had a good time. I then came to realize that I did not dig him that much after all. His attitude towards love is the biggest bummer — He was dumped thrice comparing to the five times as the ‘dumper.’ That three times he claimed that he was in love. It took him the longest to recover, and it hurt (Duh). He now decides that no more love for him, ever. He’s only 27; I just turned 28, and I barely started — See that? The gap between China and the United States. Then and there my crush on him was squashed. And poof! It evaporated without a trace. I just can’t be with a love cynic.

Most girls get men in bed because they (sort of) like them and probably want the men in question to like (aka. love?) them back. On the other hand, guys often get women in between sheets just for fun and nothing else. I find this particular sport a good tool to observe the true quality in a man — whether he’s generous, whether he’s tender, whether he’s thoughtful, whether he’s creative, whether he’s energetic, whether he’s bold, whether he’s seasoned, whether he likes to be dominant, whether he knows about women, whether he’s a good listener, whether he’s patient, whether he’s a good communicator, whether he really exercises as much as he claims he does, whether he’s sans judgement with his partner’s kinks and etc.

Those intel could take girls a much longer time to gather if they persist to just observe their men’s table manners.

At the end of it, you will know if the man is a good fit to start a relationship, or you should just get it over with and get on with your marvelous life. I delete and shred their contacts once my guts tell me that they’re not the boyfriend material. Women, observe cats. They are our role models.

Having fun is one thing; hanging around is another.

After all, life is too short to dance with wrong guys.


Yours truly,

Happy Birthday to Me

XX. Yes, I have lived and survived in this world for XX years now.

It could have sounded like a huge deal in ancient times.

Okay. A pat on the back.

I tend to feel melancholy and cranky on days like Valentine’s Day (when I don’t have a Valentine, which I never do), New Year’s Day and of course, my birthday. It is an unbashful reminder of how single I am — XX bloody years, and haven’t dated once. If I died today, I couldn’t even cross off the item that says “Boyfriend.” Because I never had one. Ouch.

But I confess that I fall in love frequently. But the person that I am in love with never seem to respond positively or continuously. A clue maybe? A hint maybe? They simply vanish in my life without a trace. At least tell me what I have done to piss you off so I can score better next time? Maybe, just maybe. I will always remember you, your kindness and your grace.

So, apart from my pathetic love life (or do I really have one?), what have I done (a more posh word: achieved) in this XX years?

I revamped my life last year. Now I am in LA studying screenwriting. It’s a tough business. I am enjoying it even though I am a rookie knowing nobody in the business, and most of the time an underdog.

I used to dream about being rich and famous. I don’t think about the odds too much now. You see, to me now, happiness and doing what I believe is great work is what’s more important.

Now I am officially XX, what I should do to make me a better version of me?

I need to take more risks. I will push myself more out of my comfort zone. My finance is in red. I will start looking for jobs after the Winter Quarter. Most of all, I will spend most of my time writing, not whining about writing, or thinking about writing, but to really write like a professional writer.

I admit that I am not THAT gifted. Nor do I have great story ideas. But I know I have something. Or the school wouldn’t have admitted a Chinese in its screenwriting program that writes in English. I know that seeing my work gets rejected hurts. But now I know better the pain of “what if” will haunt me even more if I don’t give it my best shot, every single time I try. At least I can say, man, I tried; not the “I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” crap that I used to deceive myself into.

I also learned that comparing with other people only give me more headaches and make me loathing myself more. Why would I do that? The single thing that I care most about now (apart from my lovely parents and my kitty Michael), is —

Whether I am learning, improving every day, and living a fulfilled life.

One can only have so much control in life. Although I consider myself a bit of a control (freak?), now I know that what I can control is my attitude and my reaction to what has happened. And most of all —

how hard I put and push myself to work.

Everything else is secondary. So write on.

Happy xxth birthday.


Yours truly,