From this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…
So, it’s going to be my birthday tomorrow.
My life had a 180 degree turn when I decided to study in the US. I knew it was a long shot for a working-class kid to do screenwriting in her second language in the pricy Tinseltown. And sure enough, when I did living my dream, cynicism bit me hard in the ass. My last years as a twenty-something and as a thirty-something freshman, I’m burning on anxiety and uncertainty. The knot in my stomach hasn’t loosened since I set my foot in the US. I always set my eyes on the prize. And it has always worked until I decided I’m actually an artist…
None of my grand plans came true. I can’t remember the last time I had a big win. I’m talking about a shouting-on-top-of-the-roof-esque big win. No, I haven’t got anything like that in a long while.
Let me stop myself right here right now. I’m done bitching and moan tonight, because I want to jump off the bed tomorrow to give myself a proper birthday welcome.
When was the last time that I feel I’m unique and worthy of love? I simply donno, but I feel strongly that I have a reason to be here. The universe has big plans for me. I still believe that. (If I didn’t, I’d already got myself a day job after I came back home.) So, enough of disservices I’ve done to myself.
Tonight, I just want to say:
Thank you for bringing me on this incredible journey.
Three years isn’t enough to be great at what you set out to do. But you’re trying the best you can, even if sometimes it involves binge-eating and binge-watching TVs and movies especially when you’re stressed or depressed.
But girl, you’re so brave. You know that? You defy the gravity, the reality, and the inertia of Hollywood as a non-White, non-male, non-Trust-Fund, and non-US-citizen person under Trump’s new immigration regulations.
You shake you head and tell me you ain’t there yet. Your there ain’t my there. Just think about colored female writer’s odds in Hollywood. And who’s the Asian-Female equivalent of Aaron Sorkin? You don’t know. Me neither. Despite the odds and not because of it, you say you want to change the status quo. And you just ran with it. That was just dumb luck to get into UCLA, you say. Maybe. Maybe not.
Look, I admire your resistance, your resourcefulness, your persistence, your badass attitude and your kickass aptitude.
Girl, you’re going places. I’m tellin’ you. And If you won’t start believing in yourself, why should the rest of the world?
But what if it’s just a delusion. I hear you ask.
Just look at you, look at what you’ve accomplished so far!
You’ve written four quality shorts, one feature rewrite and one feature treatment (which got dropped but it ain’t your fault!) in a span of three months. And you’re keeping working on new materials, and sniffing new opportunities non-stop.
Day after day, you are closer to become the person you set out to be, the writer you dream of being even though you still sleep in, and stay up. What’s the hurry? What’s the worry? Your body and your mind need time to adjust and evolve.
If I physically can, I will give you a hug.
I’m just so proud of you. I love you. Unconditionally. Not just because you’re brilliant, but you’re a loving person who has immense empathy for the people you care about. Those who don’t know you enough might label you as a shameless taker. But you give. That’s the truth.
I should tell you more often how much I love you not just for the sake of your birthday. Because I want to.
Listen, you’re a most beautiful, intelligent, considerate, fun-loving old soul in a young sexy body.
And maybe it’s worth it for a word of caution here. You’re in for the long haul. Don’t worry about those shiny objects whose sole purpose is to drag you off the course. Make it count. Don’t wait till it’s in the past to be your hindsight. God doesn’t give us the ability to see hindsight, because what’s more fun than surprise?
Just remember, if you build it, they’ll come.
And here is my vow to you: From this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.