Little Mai Sunshine: 2017 Twists of My Heart - Part I
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Friday, January 12, 2018

2017 Twists of My Heart - Part I









Finders Keepers top // H&M blouse // Topshop jeans // Mango boots // H&M earrings

This past year has been a year of new awakening--shedding to reseed, breaking down to rebirth, disengaging my self to relearn a sincerer self. 

It was the year of heartbreak, depression, and absence. It was the year where I lost my way so deeply in the woods that I no longer recognized the eyes staring back in the mirror. Where I found comfort in emptiness because feeling anything hurt significantly. Where the days muddied themselves together until it was a withering stretch of emotional decay. It was the year I learned the way depression evoked its silent slither into my body and I was too absent to care.

But it was also the year of better beginnings, beloved discoveries, and baring mindfulness. It was the year I decided to truly learn myself--to be on my own and stir a new melting pot of my natural identity that felt hidden under my need to satisfy everyone else around me. I made it my mission to inherit sincere mindfulness where I was actively and intentionally aware of my surroundings--taking each experience, sight, sound, conversation--as a destined force meant to enter my life for an opportune purpose. It was the year of charming firsts:
  • First time I sought out professional help to address my mental demons and to understand that therapy didn't mean there was something "wrong" with me or the way I thought, but that it was an outlet to learn new perspectives of my ever-intricate mind. 
----
  • First commitment to a physical activity other than dance to work on getting my dream body. And it wasn't solely a physique goal but also a mental goal to relieve stress or anxiety in a healthy way and strive towards something I can completely control for myself. I was learning to take tangibly take care of my lifestyle and understand the matters that are possible to discipline at a easier pace.
----
  • First time attending a concert on my own and indulging in the music for myself. Music has been a huge therapeutic escape for darkened times and I felt trapped in struggling to express my feelings. It articulated the words pitted in the unsettling abyss of my mind that I was too afraid to open up. Going to my first concert alone sanctioned an intimate connection between my sense of self and the little moments that made me purely happy. I learned that I really love the things I love and how much it could be "mine".
----
  • First trip with all my college roommates to the most romantic place I always loved from afar. And that was huge. Not only because none of us thought we'd ever take an overseas trip with all of us there within a few years of graduating together, but also because Paris wasn't exactly up there on my travel priority list. I used to think it was too cliche and overdone for me to emit a deep connection to it the way I did with Colombia or Peru. But I was blatantly wrong. Paris was everything I had an affinity for and more. And if I hadn't given it a chance, I wouldn't have learned that I am a Parisian at heart and the city epitomizes my personal character.
----
  • And speaking of travels, I made it my 2017 mission to explore new places every month of the year. 12 months, 8 cities, a multitude of solitary NYC/Jersey City explorations later and I feel empowered in my victorious discoveries.
----
  • First time dating absolute strangers.....lol. I've only been with people I had met through friends or from my involvement in dance. But your social bubble can get suffocating, especially when everyone is in your love life business. It's exhausting, stressful, and emotionally taxing. Thus, my extremely intimidating and out-of-comfort experience of dating in the real, adult world. Enter: Bumble. What started out as a joke with a friend became a curious case of romantic possibilities. I wasn't looking to get into a relationship, I just wanted to meet completely unlinked guys. (I could get into more of the experience but that would take away from my commitment to romantic privacy.) But I am proud of this particular venture because it meant I was confident enough in myself to put myself out there in a new environment. 
----
  • My first promotion and becoming a manager. After 3 confusing post-grad years, 5 distinctly different jobs, and relentless hours of working to work rather than to grow, I finally found a place and a job where I felt properly valued and exquisitely passionate about, doing work I could consistently excel and master in. Knowing that people noticed my hard work and rewarded that value made me believe that I was destined for not just this career but also the certainty of my professional security supporting my work.
----
  • My first friend wedding and I'm the MOH. Remember when you were younger and you'd view weddings as an entirely differently world? The idea of it being part of your own was too far-flung to comprehend. Until the day your best friend gets engaged and you are her right-hand woman to ensure this memorably beautiful event. It officially marks my new chapter of adulthood, simultaneous with my promotion, that represents the inevitable but equally exciting personal growth.

My emotional dignity inescapably cycled between sunken lows of alarming blackness and euphoric highs of divine magic. 2017 was turbulent. Enduring. Absolute. But I have never felt more empowered by the chances I bravely partook, the risks I uncomfortably ventured, and the tiny, plentiful victories I claimed for myself by myself.

To be continued...

Photography by Steven Chen

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Friday, January 12, 2018

2017 Twists of My Heart - Part I









Finders Keepers top // H&M blouse // Topshop jeans // Mango boots // H&M earrings

This past year has been a year of new awakening--shedding to reseed, breaking down to rebirth, disengaging my self to relearn a sincerer self. 

It was the year of heartbreak, depression, and absence. It was the year where I lost my way so deeply in the woods that I no longer recognized the eyes staring back in the mirror. Where I found comfort in emptiness because feeling anything hurt significantly. Where the days muddied themselves together until it was a withering stretch of emotional decay. It was the year I learned the way depression evoked its silent slither into my body and I was too absent to care.

But it was also the year of better beginnings, beloved discoveries, and baring mindfulness. It was the year I decided to truly learn myself--to be on my own and stir a new melting pot of my natural identity that felt hidden under my need to satisfy everyone else around me. I made it my mission to inherit sincere mindfulness where I was actively and intentionally aware of my surroundings--taking each experience, sight, sound, conversation--as a destined force meant to enter my life for an opportune purpose. It was the year of charming firsts:
  • First time I sought out professional help to address my mental demons and to understand that therapy didn't mean there was something "wrong" with me or the way I thought, but that it was an outlet to learn new perspectives of my ever-intricate mind. 
----
  • First commitment to a physical activity other than dance to work on getting my dream body. And it wasn't solely a physique goal but also a mental goal to relieve stress or anxiety in a healthy way and strive towards something I can completely control for myself. I was learning to take tangibly take care of my lifestyle and understand the matters that are possible to discipline at a easier pace.
----
  • First time attending a concert on my own and indulging in the music for myself. Music has been a huge therapeutic escape for darkened times and I felt trapped in struggling to express my feelings. It articulated the words pitted in the unsettling abyss of my mind that I was too afraid to open up. Going to my first concert alone sanctioned an intimate connection between my sense of self and the little moments that made me purely happy. I learned that I really love the things I love and how much it could be "mine".
----
  • First trip with all my college roommates to the most romantic place I always loved from afar. And that was huge. Not only because none of us thought we'd ever take an overseas trip with all of us there within a few years of graduating together, but also because Paris wasn't exactly up there on my travel priority list. I used to think it was too cliche and overdone for me to emit a deep connection to it the way I did with Colombia or Peru. But I was blatantly wrong. Paris was everything I had an affinity for and more. And if I hadn't given it a chance, I wouldn't have learned that I am a Parisian at heart and the city epitomizes my personal character.
----
  • And speaking of travels, I made it my 2017 mission to explore new places every month of the year. 12 months, 8 cities, a multitude of solitary NYC/Jersey City explorations later and I feel empowered in my victorious discoveries.
----
  • First time dating absolute strangers.....lol. I've only been with people I had met through friends or from my involvement in dance. But your social bubble can get suffocating, especially when everyone is in your love life business. It's exhausting, stressful, and emotionally taxing. Thus, my extremely intimidating and out-of-comfort experience of dating in the real, adult world. Enter: Bumble. What started out as a joke with a friend became a curious case of romantic possibilities. I wasn't looking to get into a relationship, I just wanted to meet completely unlinked guys. (I could get into more of the experience but that would take away from my commitment to romantic privacy.) But I am proud of this particular venture because it meant I was confident enough in myself to put myself out there in a new environment. 
----
  • My first promotion and becoming a manager. After 3 confusing post-grad years, 5 distinctly different jobs, and relentless hours of working to work rather than to grow, I finally found a place and a job where I felt properly valued and exquisitely passionate about, doing work I could consistently excel and master in. Knowing that people noticed my hard work and rewarded that value made me believe that I was destined for not just this career but also the certainty of my professional security supporting my work.
----
  • My first friend wedding and I'm the MOH. Remember when you were younger and you'd view weddings as an entirely differently world? The idea of it being part of your own was too far-flung to comprehend. Until the day your best friend gets engaged and you are her right-hand woman to ensure this memorably beautiful event. It officially marks my new chapter of adulthood, simultaneous with my promotion, that represents the inevitable but equally exciting personal growth.

My emotional dignity inescapably cycled between sunken lows of alarming blackness and euphoric highs of divine magic. 2017 was turbulent. Enduring. Absolute. But I have never felt more empowered by the chances I bravely partook, the risks I uncomfortably ventured, and the tiny, plentiful victories I claimed for myself by myself.

To be continued...

Photography by Steven Chen

Post a Comment