Category Archives: lifestyle

8Tracks, and new music finds to share

not mia, just focused

September 18, 2016

I remember there was a specific time frame in college, where I was busy doing me, and I got a lot of shit from other people. Shit like:

Why you so MIA? 

I was just focused, obsessed maybe, with doing well in all categories in my life. That meant excelling in my academics and graduating by my goal-date, contributing to organizations, my internship (which did catapult my fashion career), and working part-time at the student recreation center, all while trying to obtain some fitness regime.

I rarely had time to go to social gatherings – or what I used to say: “fuck shit up” with my friends. I just had different priorities then, and I still do now. But back then, I carried this guilt with me. I always felt bad that I couldn’t attend a mixer, or participate in fun things because I obviously knew I had to study, work, or take a trip back to Pomona to visit my family. Trust me, I had a strong case of the FOMO before the term was even established.

I remember going to Downtown Fullerton while there were deadlines and other pressing matters to attend to. But I was young, wild, and cared too much about peoples’ opinions of me then.

But what is much different now compared to then is the guilt that was with me is utterly gone. Now, when I am working on something for thecnnekt, but missing on the latest party in Brooklyn, I don’t feel bad.

The great thing about growing up is giving less fucks. Seriously. 

My desire to go out and stay out late is nonexistent. My priorities have changed a lot, and my ass is more on the line than my wild college years (Circa 2009 – 2011) because well, I am adult now. There is no guilt and shame when I say, “I can’t make it” or “I don’t want to go out tonight.”

I am doing me – just focused on being a better version of myself right now and tunnel vision about my goals.

So, I understand why people are being MIA – they’re just busy doing them. S’all good.

 

 

 

 

balance & gratitude

August 16, 2016

I am having difficulty with finding balance with life right now along with other details that I am not ready to share. While I try to compose my emotions and thoughts, parts of me want to give up on adulthood and chasing this dream. 

I think it is easy to run far away from your problems. Parts of me think it’s cowardly, to be honest. To keep fighting for whatever you want takes a lot of guts and resilience. I know my Mom taught me better than to do the Kayne Shrug and walk away from what I’ve worked hard for.

In moments like these – what I like to call Darkness (I know, this is so broad, but trust me it’s filled with so many dark emotions), I like to reflect on the things and people I am grateful for and how amazing my Humid Summer has been.

Then, makes me think about the bigger picture – it ain’t so bad. Calm the eff down, Chary. 

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These are just some highs of Summer. My takeaway from this Summer is spending time with loved ones – family and friends, and is finding focus in certain things like my current project thecnnekt. 

So family and friends, whether you’re having a shitty ass day, week, month, or however long this Darkest Moment is for you – don’t forget to look at the good shit that is happening in your life. It will change your perspective and attitude – especially in your life.

Like let’s be honest – it ain’t thaaaaat bad. 

In the words of Albus Dumbledore: Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times. If one only remembers to turn on the light.

– C

i’m not a blogger

July 8, 2016

This draft has been sitting in my inbox since February. It is now July and I have not wrapped my head around to why I have not decided to make this live. But in recent news, there is so much shit the World is facing and I thought I share the root of why I feel the way I do about this topic. 

I get insulted when someone calls me a “blogger.”

Why would I? It makes sense – I have a blog, and I write blog posts.

In my world, the title “Blogger” has a connotation, as naturally as some words do. After working in two agencies, five NYFW seasons, breathing fashion, and meeting so many “bloggers,” I have developed strong feelings for the title.

A strong distaste that is.

They are now called “influencers.” As much as I hate to give them such a title, they shaped the direction of how brands approach consumers. Brands utilize these figures to excel in overall exposure and sales growth.

I understand this completely – it’s a business, right? But here is my rant with these digital influencers:

There is so much noise. I see so many of these “bloggers” who aspire to be the Song Of Style or Sincerely Jules. Bloggers with that unicorn hair. When I take a closer look at these style mavens, their styles somehow overlap and blend a little – it happens, I guess. Everyday I work on finding these stylish people all over the country, and the more accounts and personal style blogs I explore, the more they all seem the same.

Ultimately, #basic.

I begin to question brand loyalty or if this digital influencer is a total sellout. I think about authenticity. 

Putting personal style posts aside, when it comes to the things they share on their social media, I do not find anything noteworthy. I am certain that these people are real and care about other things than what they wear on their backs. But instead, all I see are pictures and the glamorous life they paint on social media. It’s cool – do you, but honestly I have no desire to follow up with all things superficial.

I want real shit. I crave substance. 

I am being too blunt and probably insensitive, I know.

Now I hope you can imagine why I would be offended when someone would call me a blogger.

Also note, if you’ve been with me since I launched my website and/or know me personally, at the end of the day, I am not trying to be a fashion blogger. 

I moved to New York to become a writer in the editorial space. While my background is fashion focused and I slay in my day-job, being some fashionista living in New York is not my life goal.

I want to be a successful, frequently published writer (and editor) talking about things that pertain to the more important matters in life rather than the shoes that I am wearing.

So yeah, ask me if I am a blogger, and I will correct you. I am a writer. 

/ end rant and thought.

– C

PS: shout out to the bloggers who ultize their Voice in sharing the heavy subjects with your audience. We need more of you representing in the fashion space.

 

 

 

 

why i don’t date asian men

June 17, 2016

If you read my last post below, then you’ve noted my comment about not dating Asian men.

So when friends asked me to elaborate on why as an Asian woman who doesn’t like to date Asian men, a part of me felt obliged to tell my story and thoughts on this matter.

For the record, I’ve dated Asian men before – Cambodian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, and Filipino. You name it. It’s not that I don’t find Asian men attractive, because I do, sometimes. But for me, it’s one of those experiences where it is a “been there, done that” and you’re seeking something new and fresh.

Here is a simple analogy: I used to be obsessed with Passion Green Tea in high school – it was my go-to. After adventuring to many boba shops and exposed to a variety of flavors, my taste palette developed and expanded. Now in recent years, I’m all ’bout that Taro Milk Tea.

That is precisely where I am. 

To argue against the societal myth that they (Asian men) are incapable of having emotion, maybe this is embedded in the general Asian culture where we do often lack emotional intelligence. However, there are a few who defy the so-called “stereotype.” I’ve dated Asian men who were more romantic than I expected – more than I was (and I’m totally a romantic-type), and woo’ed the shit out of me. So there is such thing about Asian men having emotion and being affectionate!

Asian men are often labelled as effeminate, meaning they are not “manly” enough. This has to do with gender roles, and frankly, the lines have blurred between what is considered masculine and feminine in my point of view. I am tired of this gender roles bullshit, too.

As far as the penis size – sizes vary as it would for all men. The color of your skin does not justify how enormous or tiny your penis is.

So Dear Society, shut the fuck up and quit shoving these myths about each race in the media and our minds.

What drew the line for me when it came to dating Asian men was the different mindsets we have. The morals and beliefs didn’t align, and this is certainly important to me. As you all know, I am a woman of many strong opinions and just the way I carry myself.

Similar to stereotypes of Asian men, Asian women has a set of their own – being submissive, delicate, and often labeled as “exotic” by Western (and Asian Societies). I challenge what you call “normal Asian girl.” I have known this growing up, but did not know how to vocalize and articulate how I was not similar amongst my Asian-American women, then.

But to my point, I later discovered not only Asian men, but some men in general, cannot handle a women who obtained a set of modern ideals and vocalize them, passionately.

There will be certain men (traditional values, big penis, effeminate) in all races, so why did we specifically target Asian men? It is all so stupid.

So, to answer your question to why I don’t date Asian men – I’ve explored the Boba menu and right now, Taro Milk Tea is my jam.

Those are my thoughts. Happy Friday!

Tiff + Adriana, if you are reading this – hope I didn’t spoil our Sunday convo, but will be more happy to hash out dirty details over dimsum (; 

– C

 Edit: June 18, 2016

A friend pointed out that I stereotyped Asian men as “traditional.” I had to reread what I wrote, and ultimately, I did. I am sorry about that – I ended up contradicting myself as opposed to what I was here to do – defy stereotypes.

But this goes back to the original theme of this post – everyone, every race, can be this-or-that and not solely Asians.

Thank you all so much for reading!

 

marriage and race

June 12, 2016

“You have boyfriend?” 

One of the daunting questions at family gatherings. Yikes.

Although, it has never phased me, the pressure gets real when I am surrounded by family (and sometimes, peers) who are embarking this path. I know you’ve probably faced this, too, when your Facebook feed is comprised of: engagements, weddings, and babies.

I totally get it. 

We are in this modern era where our first marriage doesn’t happen until our late-twenties, pushing towards thirties, and some may not even wedded at all. This is common now. There are things we are still trying to solidify in our lives, like our own identity and grasping adulthood – how can we even figure marriage?

Here is the twist, the ongoing conversation between my family is not about marriage, but it is the fact that I don’t want to marry within my own race. I have relatives and family friends (you know, your “aunt”) who have been fixated on this. When they asked me if I have found a nice and wealthy Cambodian man, and I respond with an obvious “No,” followed by, “I don’t date Asian men” I’m flooded with questions to why not?

For the record – I used to, okay. 

I grew up in Pomona, where the demographic is predominately Hispanics. Now, living in New York, I am bound to meet people from different backgrounds and ethnicities. I am surrounded by diversity, and I cannot help who I like! It’s 2016, where interracial couples are common, right?

Also, note that Asian men don’t date Asian women like me. I discovered this through my college years – I have strong opinions and some men aren’t very fond of that. If you have not seen Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra Stand Up comedy bit, you need to watch this. She nailed it!

Although, I know my relatives’ intentions are well and they don’t mean any harm, they come from a time period when you are 22, you are already married with your first-born while trying to make something of yourself if you are presented with such an opportunity. I understand to why they’re asking me such questions – what’s next, Chary…?

I’m in this age bracket when one is “supposed to have” X, Y, and Z. Read: marriage, buy a house, and have kids.

Trust me, I do want to get married and own a home, but my timeline and preference is just a little different that’s all.

– C

PS: thank you for all chiming in to ready this – I have been requested to write a follow up to answer all of your questions. Be on the look out (:

it comes in waves

May 6, 2016

I am human, and I forget to acknowledge this sometimes.

Just like you, I battle with insecurities. One day I may feel super confident about my shit, then tomorrow, not so much. We have our days. I am not always killing it in New York. Sometimes, I get beaten up so bad, that I wallow for days at a time. But I always bounce back. Always.

Overall, I am a confident woman, but my insecurities comes in waves. This is totally normal, right? I think so.

I have written about my doubts and not being good enough before. I always felt like I will never be a great writer because of the content I choose to produce. I have not mastered the art of articulating my thoughts into words for newsworthy articles. As in, the topics I write about are more on the “softer” side of things.

This is not to say, I don’t give a shit about the GOP, Women’s Rights (do you not know me?), or understanding bigger things happening in the World. I do care!

Recently, I learned to accept that the subjects I choose to write about does not justify my competency as a writer. Sure, the topics weigh differently, but I am good enough. With continuous practice and knowledge, I can become a stronger writer. I need to stop fucking comparing myself to the next writer, to the next woman – to anyone for that matter! (And I know this…)

Truthfully, these past few weeks have been serious internal battles with my insecurities and lack of inspirations, but today I received something that moved my spirits:

I just thought you should know that writer to writer, woman to woman, what you say and put out there is deeply appreciated, and heard. I’m very confident in the writer I am but what I lack is your willingness to be vulnerable and just lay it all out there. Keep doing that. The world neeeeeds that! I needed that! I needed to see girls my age doing that and the people around me that weren’t “famous” doing that. I respect so much what you’re doing, your blog, your ups and downs with PR- everything. I admire you’re transparency. Basically lol thank u.

Thank you, Casey, for sharing this with me! Such a heart-felt message, and seriously, made me feel good about my craft.

I guess I am doing something right, after all. Not bad, Chary!

– C

 

 

brb, i’m too busy

May 1, 2016

My mom never calls me because she thinks “I’m too busy.”

It hurts my feelings, but she doesn’t understand how or why it does.

I don’t know what I project, verbally or in my actions, that makes me seem so busy. Yeah, I got shit going on, as I am sure you do, too, but it’s not as if I don’t make time for the important people and things in my life.

There is this whole “busy” culture and/or lifestyle that annoys me.

We’ve been so conditioned to excuse people when we hear, “I am sorry, I’m busy,” when they fail to commit to plans. We brush it off, but that’s not cool. In my opinion, this whole “busy” line is just an excuse to not take any action, especially making time for someone or something.

Simply: it is a fucking excuse.

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Because in the end, if you wanted to make anything happen, whether time to hang out or go to the gym, you do, right?

It bothers me, that people fail to reach out or shoot a text, because we’re all “too busy” for one another. Yet, we have the time to utilize our phones for selfies, snapping mindless videos, and random shit. Why? Tell me you don’t get upset when you text someone, there’s no response, but they just posted on social media?

Trust me, I am no Saint – guilty of this, too. I check myself before I wreck myself in these type of situations though.

Aside from the lack of efforts to sustain any kind of relationship, there is this small thought that comes to my mind…

The feeling of importance – because I am so busy, my workload is superior than yours. Sure, that may or may not be true, but it’s a lack of respect in the bigger picture. Just because I am not launching a business does not mean my work is irrelevant or lack some importance.

It’s belittling.

We shame on the receptionist because all she does is answer phones and make copies, but I am sure there are more dimensions to her role than just fucking answering, “This is Becky speaking, how can I assist you?”

Have you acknowledged that before? Food for thought.

I hope you can connect the dots on how this whole busy culture affects us in how we communicate with one another.

Disclosure: I am understanding, but I am also honest. Like any sane soul, I will only tolerate a certain amount of excuses. After “x” amount, then I’ll interpret it as bullshit, and off you go…disappearing from my life.

 

post-grad regret

April 7, 2016

It is graduation season, y’all. Meaning the pressure to find a job is on and so real. I am familiar with this.

Our interns have been inquiring about any opened opportunities. And well, while I advise them there are endless opportunities in the Big Apple and being an opinionated woman that I am, I also threw in the whole landing-your-first-job-is-going-to-take-time comment. This conversation made me instantly reflect on my past decisions.

My last college semester was Fall 2012 and all I can think about is securing a full-time job. I was always in a fucking rush. With everything. Maybe that is why I am anxious all the time and when people tell me to “relax,” I do the polar opposite: not relax.

No one advised me the job hunting process would be months until I landed an “okay” job and it will not be my immediate dream job. That is the reality my soon-to-be-graduate-friends. Don’t let that shiny degree paper fool you. Unless you are very fortunate (or worked really, really hard) and you finish school and get your dream job right away, which makes you an exception to the damn rule. Lucky you.

What I wish I did differently was to take time to travel instead. Get lost somewhere.

But then, I was conflicted because with what money? No way my parents were going to fund a trip for me in any way. Yeah, no job equals no money. And we all know: mo’ money, mo’ problems and same goes for no money, mo’ problems. (Too cheesy? Eh, I tried).

Fast forward to now, adult-ish stages, even with a somewhat stable income, I can not find the means to travel due to time – in addition, to all the responsibilities I have now. Work is demanding at times, and I am constantly nervous about calling too much time off.

This is when I often think I should just work low maintenance jobs so I can have the freedom to roam whenever and wherever I want. Ugh, this is a whole topic in itself…

I told myself that when I am older that I will make traveling more of a priority, even if it is within the States. Enrich myself with new sights, people, and of course, food. When friends talk about exploring new countries and speak so excitingly about their past and future adventures, I am here sitting, thinking – I fucking wish I can do that, too.

Guess what? I am older now. So, it’s one of my short-term goals is to save smarter and more, for upcoming travels next year. This is me attempting to make up for loss time in my twenties. Wish me luck!

I made a board on Pintrest about places I’d like to visit in the future – aspirational board. Find it here. 

– C

PS: thank you for all the lovely birthday greetings! I felt so loved and sad at the same time…don’t ask me why. But a week in, 26 looks promising. My boss said it will be a pivotal year. I shall wait and see!

0 – 100 mph real quick

March 13, 2016

So, this may sound a little bit strange, but I don’t know how to slow down.

Believe me, I love New York and its addictive energy. It is an energy that I cannot explain and you need to witness yourself. But for a every “good,” there is also a “bad.” Did anyone tell you that the same energy can consume and drain you, too? That gets exhausting maintaining the hustle 24/7.

Time is money. And well, New Yorkers walk pretty fast. Like you, we need to get to places and don’t have time to stop and smell the flowers. Often, we are impatient. Or maybe that is just me.

I recognized that all this rushing and shit has heighten my anxiety levels and well, that is not good for anybody, especially for sanity and health purposes.

February was a hellish month for me, filled with long work hours. I was constantly looking forward to Friday because the weekend awaits. I’ve become those people who waited for Friday on a Monday. And truly, I am one of those who wake up Sunday and Monday with the blues…tumblr_o3m988fRzH1ralhjko1_540

image from here

Lately, I have been practicing to take my time with things and not rush. I am always trying to be efficient. It is just the way I am built, okay?

Usually, I pick up my coffee to-go and jet to my next destination. I never just sit and enjoy my coffee.

I do not know how to do nothing. I know that is grammatically incorrect, but you get the message. On top of that, I feel guilty if I don’t complete a task especially after knowing I have a free weekend to do productive things. I need to be more unapologetic about wanting to indulge in nothingness.

But it does take conscious efforts to slowing down. It’s real – I know I’ve expressed this to my friends and they’ve agreed.

I have to mentally address myself, “Chary, you have no plans tomorrow, why are you rushing to get out of the door? Take your time.”

Typically Saturdays I am up by 9a, get dressed, pick up coffee, and off to gym. 9am is considered sleeping in for me, but the last two weekends I have been waking up a little later and indulge in a slow morning.

Slow mornings is one of my favorite feelings. Especially Sunday mornings, where I try to refrain from moving. 

I have gotten better about my whole new approach, and I find it very satisfying not having to speed walk everywhere out of habit, or rushing to get somewhere when I really don’t have to. If I am not mistaken this is me practicing mindfulness.

I am looking forward to stop and smelling those Spring flowers coming our way. You should, too (:

– C

 

personal: stay true to yoself

February 14, 2016

One of my goals this year is to stay true to myself. 

What does this mean to me? Well, it is about to get personal here.

I went on a date a few weeks ago. We laughed, drank, and enjoyed a nice walk in Brooklyn.

He is cuter and shorter than what his Bumble profile led on. Yeah, I care about height. A man in tech with a great sense of humor. We talked about random things, good things, but not anything that blew my mind. Let’s just say, I have had better stimulating conversations.

He’s smart, cute, and funny and our evening was fun and filled with silly laughter, but…

I was not feeling it. There were no sparks flying or fireworks booming, loudly in the background. Nothing.

Sure, he may be looking for a relationship as am I, but is that it? There has to be more than having the same intentions, for me to invest in.

I have been in a similar situation before – with my ex-boyfriend.

If you are baffle with my thoughts here, let me compare it to shoes: would you purchase a pair of shoes because it is on sale? There are so many variables involved, right? The biggest ‘pro’ on your list is, you will be saving some money. The ‘cons’ are the size is slightly bigger and the color is definitely bold for your signature style – like a metallic purple.

If is not to my exact liking, then I rather save my money for something I want to be jumping and screaming about – like my Adidas Ultra Boost.

I am not crazy, right? There is logic in all of this.

I need to not convince myself that certain styles, people, activities, books, and scenes are me. Yes, I will be open-minded and try it at least once, but I am not going to keep continuing doing whatever it is, wearing whatever pieces and brands, or hanging out with whoever it is, that doesn’t reflect my true essence and my wants and needs.

I know this sounds all too familiar or basic common knowledge, but easier said than done, my friend. I am sure we all have faced these situations where we remain in the middle, or uncertain how to proceed forward, so we stick it out. Or we tolerate it a little – we begin to compromise our wants and needs for something that may potentially work out. This applies to all spectrums of our life.

This is what I mean by staying true to myself. I need to be more diligent about listening to my inner voice about things, especially when it comes to dating.

Yeah, I want the butterflies and sparks. Can’t help it, I am a hopeless romantic masked as a realist and part-time cynic.

– C