The day of “Love”

I want to start this post by wishing everyone a happy Valentine’s Day. Know that you are loved even if it may not be in the way that you dream of or wish for. Any kind of love whether it is big or small is worth celebrating. Some may say that we don’t have to wait until this specific day to celebrate love, which I agree, but it doesn’t hurt to go an extra mile to make this a special day. Whether it’s on this particular day or any other day,  it is a wonderful reminder of the love we have in us that we tend to forget due to our busy lives.

As a little girl, I used to dream of a life in the movies where I would wake up and be saved by my knight in shining armor. I came up with many scenarios such as a long lost prince that I was fated to be with or perhaps someone from a past life that I just so happened to cross paths with again. I admit that I was obsessive with the idea of love. My way of feeling complete was to live in a fantasy world I built for myself, and for so many years I couldn’t differentiate fantasy with reality.

As I continue to grow, I realize that I don’t need saving. I don’t need to have a destiny with anyone. I don’t need anyone to love me because I have love in me all along and it shows in the love I give to others. The love we give is a reflection of the love we have for ourselves. Love doesn’t have to be with a person. It can be with the things we love to do, the places we love to visit, and in the people that surround us whether it’s close friends and family or strangers who adore you from afar.

Although love is something that completes us in many ways and it is something that many of us yearn for, it doesn’t have to be like how it is in the movies. So, if you’re reading this and you’re someone who is sad about not having someone to love, know that you don’t need a person to feel loved. You ARE love.

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2017..

As the days get closer to the new year, I made a promise to try as many new things that I possibly can, including things that may scare me. This commitment is not only for 2017, but it is a commitment that I am going to make for the rest of my life.

The reason for this is because I’ve been living my life with the same day-to-day routine out of comfort. I was comfortable not knowing the unknown. I was comfortable with shutting the rest of the world out. I was comfortable being able to predict my days. Comfort was the ultimate thing that I held onto for so long…. but it is time to change my pattern. It is time for me to challenge myself in ways that I’ve never done before, to get out of my comfort zone, and to see as many new things and meet as many people that I can.

My new years resolution is to be who I want to be without any apologies. I will no longer apologize for my mistakes that I have made in the past or even for the mistakes that I will probably make in the future. I will no longer apologize for exploring the world and for keeping my options open. I will no longer apologize for being a socialite despite what people say or think. I will no longer apologize for being myself, and I refuse to hide or deprive myself of who I truly am. I will no longer apologize for the hurtful words that people say about me because it is not a reflection of who I am, but a reflection of who they are. I will not apologize for severing ties with anyone who brings nothing but negativity and hate in my life. I will not apologize for surrounding myself with inspiring, beautiful, and strong individuals. I will not apologize for having confidence in myself. And I will not apologize for loving myself.

There are many amazing things that are coming up that I wish I can tell the world now, but I have to remain patient and keep it a secret until when the time is right. All I can say is, I am excited for what’s to come and I am so grateful for the wonderful opportunities that are waiting for me. This is definitely the time to shine, not just for me but for you too.

Who am I?

It’s normal to feel lost. Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling lost my whole life. You would think that at age 25, you would have experienced enough to have the answers to everything. Truth is, 25 is still an extremely young age. This whole time I kept thinking that by age 25, I should have my bachelors. I should have my dream career. I should have my own place. I should have my own car. I should have a serious relationship by now. I should have my life together because time was “running out.” I’m not sure where I got all of these thoughts from, but I now understand that I was basing my life off of society and others’ opinions.

I have to remind myself that although I don’t have my bachelors yet, I have a year left before I graduate. Even though I’m no where close to where I want to be when it comes to my dream career, I am at least a step closer than I was yesterday. Even though I still live with my parents at home and drive my mom’s car, at least I have supportive parents that would do anything in their power to help me succeed. Even though I’m still single, at least I can take this time now to really focus on myself and to become the woman that I’ve always dreamed of.

After going through series of unhealthy relationships, I found that the main reason for them failing was because I didn’t know who I was. I only knew myself as their girlfriend, as their lover, as their caretaker, and as their provider. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself “who am I” during those times and all I could say was my significant other’s name. Truth is, having a strong sense of identity plays a role in everything whether it’s a relationship, career, and anything else that you can imagine. Without it, it is hard to nurture what you love and care for.

This reminds me of back in August when I attended a Hmong Women Empowerment retreat. We did an exercise where we partnered up with someone random. One person would ask the other person “who are you” while the other person would state everything that they are. It could be anything from where you’re from, what you define yourself as, what you like to eat, what hobbies/interests you’re into, so on. If the person answering couldn’t answer anymore, the person asking the question will repeatedly ask the same question until the time ran out.

Today I decided to take the time to re-do this exercise and I’ve come up with more things. If you ask who I am, my answers are:

I am a Hmong-American woman that wants to make a change in how our Hmong women and girls are viewed in society.

I am a Hmong-American woman that wants to uplift all of my Hmong women and girls by helping them succeed and reach their fullest potential.

I am a daughter who isn’t perfect and I don’t always make the best decisions, but I am a daughter that my parents trust wholeheartedly. Someday, I’ll be the one to take care of them.

I am the sister that will fight alongside my siblings and protect them with everything I have even if they don’t do it for me.

I am the loyal friend that will stick by your side through everything that you do — good or bad — because I will always believe and see the best in you.

I am a lover that loves too hard and too deep, but with the purest intentions.

I am a student at UW-River Falls majoring in Marketing Communications and minoring in International Studies. I hope to further my education and get my masters.

I am a survivor of depression, suicide, and domestic violence.

I am loved by many, and I love every single one of them because I have SO MUCH LOVE TO GIVE. Love is limitless.

I am strong because I always find a way to turn my life back around… even if it takes me a little more time.

I am beautiful even with the scars that I carry on my body. Every scar tells a powerful story that I want to someday share with the rest of the world.

I am the unspoken truth.

I am me….. Gloria Yang.