I’ve Been Profiled!

Friends, this week, my dreams of being internet famous are in full effect. Whoooo!

Anyhow, if you have ever been curious about how I homeschool in Chinese (or at all), I’m featured on Guavarama‘s blog today. She has a new series profiling Chinese homeschoolers and I’m her inaugural profile. WHOOOOOO!

So, please. Give me (and Guavarama) some love by going to her post: Homeschooler Profile: Outsourcing Schooling.

AAAH! So Excite!

You guys!! My article is featured on Post Partum Progress today! So excite! And thank you, Miranda Wicker, for asking me to try for it!

You can find my article here: How to Get the Most Out of Your Therapist

My Year of Risking Dangerously

riskWhen I look back on my youth, I am always so puzzled as to why I had such a hard time asking my parents (especially my mother) for what I wanted or needed.

I mean, we’re talking about basic needs like menstrual pads for when I was menstruating. And yet, instead of asking my mother to buy me more pads, I would just surreptitiously sneak into her bathroom and raid her supply. When she ran out, she would just buy more for herself.

Or, for instance, I am uncertain to how I ate lunch from junior high onwards. I either had to make my own lunch, or I somehow paid for lunch at school. But I always remember being hungry – or not really having a lunch. And either scrounging for change around the house to pay for food items in nickels, quarters, and dimes – or just bumming snacks off of my incredibly patient friends. In high school, I finally decided to work in the cafeteria in order to get the free lunches. (I also considered it a way to build up my college applications.)

When I mentioned this to my mother and brother, they both looked at me as if I were crazy. Why didn’t I take money out of the cash drawer when I needed money? I had no idea what they were talking about.

But now that I think back, I do recall a cash drawer. And I was pretty sure I knew what it was for. So why didn’t I avail myself to it? Was I trying to “make it” on my own? I have no idea. But it’s weird, right?

I also remember that I used to covet all those teen magazines and would want to buy them but never asked my mom if I could because I was certain she would say, “No.” So instead, I would shoplift them. Or tear out certain pictures and shove them in my backpack.

One time, I was with a bunch of my friends and a clerk caught me shoving magazines in my backpack. He accused me and I was terrified because it was obviously true. I said I would pay for them. But one of my friends said she was certain I bought magazines from another friend who was selling them for the school fundraiser. And another friend’s mom accused the clerk of racism so they backed off. Of course, I called the friend who was selling magazines to say that I bought them from her if anyone asked. Of course, they asked.

This inability to ask for what I wanted or needed followed me through college and most of my adult life. I stayed in a major I hated because I was afraid of both acknowledging my changing and evolving desires as well as possibly being forced to transfer to UC Berkeley if I were no longer pre-med. (My father had made me write a huge pro/con list as to why I should attend UCLA instead of Cal. A big reason was that UCLA had a medical school and I wanted to be a doctor.)

As a result, I didn’t tell my parents until I was about to graduate that I didn’t want to be a doctor. Turns out, they didn’t want me to be a doctor, either. They thought it was too hard of a life.

When I reluctantly became a financial advisor, I didn’t want to tell my mother (who was my partner) that I absolutely hated it out of fear of disappointing her. After I finally told her (a decade and a child later), she wasn’t as crushed as I thought.

I wasted so much of my life tamping down on my desires and needs, constantly lying and dismissing myself. It’s no wonder that it’s taken me years to finally admit what I want and grab it.

So.

This is my year of risking dangerously.

This is my year of taking my desires, talents, and abilities seriously.

This is my year of pushing through terror and fear of disappointment. Of putting my money where my mouth is.

This year, I’m acknowledging the hidden corners of my heart. I’m giving voice to the whispers that I shunt to the side, thinking I’m not good enough, brave enough, or diligent enough.

So.

This year, I’m going to risk for what I want and what I want is to be “internet famous.”

I’m going to (and have already started) submitting my work to online publications. I want to create and publish a book out of several of my Chinese series. I want to create material for and launch a YouTube channel. Maybe start a podcast.

Who knows how many of these things will succeed?

I find the process terrifying and overwhelming. That is a huge reason I didn’t want to write about what I wanted for this year.

But you know what I find even more terrifying?

Ending 2016 at the same place as I did in 2015. Yearning and wanting but cowering in fear. Fear of failure. Fear of success (and having to reproduce that success). Fear of finally taking myself seriously only to be confronted with the prospect of my possibly not being as great as I think myself to be.

So.

There it is. That’s what I want. What I most desire.

I’m done hiding.

Here I come. Ready or not.

I Broke My Brain. Again.

Oh, my poor, perforated brain.

That gurgling you hear is the remains of my skull dribbling to its ignominious end.

The sad thing is, I’ve totally done this before. Maybe this is just a side effect of using my brain or trying out new things. Like, getting old or hurting myself just breathing.

But the indignity. THE INDIGNITY!

Especially since it’s really my own fault. Also? It’s Kelby Carr’s fault for putting on such an awesome Type A Vegas Bootcamp. While I’m passing the blame around, Affiliate Summit West deserves some, too.

brain drainSeriously, I have been unable to sleep at night because my brain is buzzing about with ideas about stuff I want to write about, products I want to create, videos I want to make, and publications I want to pitch. (Oh, did I mention these are my goals for the year? More on this when I sack up and am willing to talk about it in greater detail. Until then, vagueblogging will have to suffice.)

I have become so absentminded that I can no longer drive.

(For my wise-cracking friends who think Asian female driver stereotypes are hilarious, please. Humor is in the unexpected. This is so easy I’ve basically gift-wrapped it for you. Try something more original, mmmkay?)

Anyhow, back to my terrible driving.

I rarely get lost (especially with the advent of GPS) and yet yesterday, I went to four different locations to find a dance store because Google Maps wasn’t working, I kept thinking I knew where the store was (yes, all four times), and most importantly, I wasn’t working.

Like, seriously. I couldn’t believe it while it was happening. I almost gave up and went home except that Gamera had her first ballet lesson today and needed stuff. (My mind is in shambles. I cannot even articulate beyond “stuff.”)

Then tonight, I went out to grab some late night boba and I cannot fathom where the “good driving decision” section of my mind went. I missed my turn and then I had the brilliant idea to flip a U on a busy road where you it is really inadvisable to do so. So I turned but then saw grass and got completely disoriented. Did this major road have a grassy median? And if so, was I going to drive over it in order to turn around?

I decided to not drive over grass and as I backed up, (thankfully, the road was still clear) I realized that I had overshot my arc and it was actually the other side of the road.

For fuck’s sake. Pull it together, lady!

Add that to the fact that I was having trouble peeling apples or remembering where I put my phone or my keys or whatever and for the love of all that is holy, I REALLY NEED TO GET SOME MORE SLEEP.

But I can’t on account of all these ideas and my ridiculous sense of urgency and needing to complete things all at once because I hate open-ended situations and did I mention that I also recently planned our summer trip back to Taiwan and that took a lot out of me, too?

BREATHES DEEPLY

On the plus side, I haven’t really yelled at my kids much these last few weeks. Maybe there’s some good that’s come out of this after all.

Alright friends. Brief post on account of Sleep Deficit Spending and Perforated Brain Syndrome. Also, I have to pee.

Sacking Up

Ladies and Gentlemen: I am the Worst Fantasizer in the World (WFotW). (This is also why I think I have an incredibly difficult time with writing fiction.)

Why would I say this? Because quite simply, it is true.

I can ruin a fantasy in about 15 seconds. Any fantasy. This is also why I absolutely hate hypothetical questions.

To illustrate how I ruin all things fun and imaginary, I present to you, a hypothetical Q&A between myself and myself:

What would I do if I won the lottery?

I wouldn’t win the lottery because I think it is a tax on people who can’t do math. I would never, in a million years, buy a lottery ticket. Therefore, this is an implausible (and also impossible) question and incredibly stupid. Next question.

Ok. Ok. Then let’s just say, you have a ton of money. Like, “Fuck You” amounts of money. What would you do, then?

How would I come into this amount of money? Am I celebrity? Did I become famous for acting? Singing? Those are likely the most plausible – after all, I don’t really have any other talents. Maybe writing? But writers don’t make Fuck You Money (FYM). So, likely, a celebrity. But let’s be real. I’m Chinese. Odds are, I’m not going to be famous in the US. So, did I go back to Taiwan or China to make my millions? And if so, how would I do that? Did I get better at reading Chinese all of a sudden? But the exchange rate is about 33:1 so I would need to make a SHIT ton of money in Taiwan.

OMG SHUT UP. Yes, let’s pretend you’re a celebrity. Forget how you became one. What would you do?

Wait. If I have FYM, I need to make sure I keep as much of it as possible. Let’s see… 10% to manager; 10% to agent; 50% to taxes. Would I incorporate? Hire all my family members? Max out 401ks? Set up deferred compensation? What type of insurance would I need? And would I live in a gated community (although I don’t believe in that). Wait. Would I become a celebrity before or after I met Hapa Papa? If I don’t end up marrying Hapa Papa, then I wouldn’t have my current kids. I can’t entertain that “reality.” So, I guess it would have to be after marrying Hapa Papa and then having my kids. But then I’d be old so then I would have even less of a chance of making it big – even if I went to Taiwan or China.

Ok, stop. Forget this scenario. Let’s pretend you’re in the Lord of the Rings or some similar fantasy world. What would you want to be?

I would want to be a female Legolas. (Geekcheck!) But hey, how would a woman travel? How did they provide for contraception? Or menstruation? Do elves even menstruate? Would I disguise myself as a man? But then how would I relieve myself? And all that wiping with leaves or moss or clumps of grass. This sounds very chafey.

Alright. Fine. Let’s pretend you’re in a science fictional universe where there is technology to take care of everything you just mentioned. What would you want to be or do?

Is there faster than light (FTL) travel? Are there space ships? If not FTL, and I were a space traveler badass like River from Firefly (but with less crazy) or like Zoë (but with an alive husband), I would have to leave behind all my family because quite frankly, all your family and friends would die by the time you reached any destination. I don’t think I’d be a space traveler if there is no FTL flight. I think I’d just stay on planet and live and die there like regular boring people.

OMG I HATE YOU. I DON’T WANT TO PLAY THIS ANYMORE. YOU SUCK AND RUIN ALL THE THINGS.

I can’t even fantasize without getting overwhelmed by the details.

Coming up with a plausible world build for any type of “fantasy” – even sexy ones where Damon Salvatore, Spike, Sark and I have incredibly fascinating … “conversation.” I mean, they all exist in different timelines. How would this work out? And how would they be “interacting” with me all at the same time? And could they please talk a lot because sarcasm and smirking are –

Perhaps I have said too much.

Actually, now that I think about it, I would make an excellent fiction writer if only I could get past the details threatening to derail my story and not infodump and bore the shit out of people because I can’t get past the story behind the story but I digress. Who wants to read a bunch of information that never actually gets anywhere?

This is why I prefer to write fan fiction. The world is already built and I can cheat by going straight to the story. (I’m revealing all sorts of shit today, aren’t I? Oh, come on. As if that tidbit were surprising.)

Oh, FFS. Even my blog posts are like this. It takes me at least 1,000 words of byzantine blather to even get to the main point.

I can’t help it. I delight in finding connections and I like pointing them all out in all their mind-numbing glory.

Not that any of you are again, surprised. We have known each other long enough for you to get that general sense of who I am, right? This is, after all, how I approach pretty much everything in my life – be it cleaning my house, packing for a trip, homeschooling, or future goals and desires.

It’s excruciating. But most of all, it is completely paralyzing.

99% of the time, I don’t get beyond the planning stages of ideas because, in the words of Dr. T, my plans are grandiose and as a result, completely overwhelming.

But my response to that is: Why plan for mediocrity?

I mean, why do anything if you’re only going to half-ass it? I always plan to be brilliantly successful in all my endeavors so if I plan something, I make sure I account for everything.

This is also why my posts are often extremely long because I am always anticipating multiple objections to my arguments. As a result, I never feel as if my posts are good enough because I can always come up with another objection. But then I get annoyed and impatient and settle and then say, “Good enough!” and fire off a post only to always regret it because I didn’t double check a fact or a data point or I missed some other vital thing (like consent for republishing work).

There is nothing I hate more than “Work in progress.” I’m a completist, through and through.

The unfortunate side effect? I rarely start things I don’t think I can finish.

What a sad, pathetic, safe life.

I have to remind myself of what my mentor, Mark Joyner, used to constantly tell me:

The map is not the terrain.

And also: A mediocre plan excellently executed always beats an excellent plan mediocrely executed.

Somehow, I have it in my head that unless I plan for every single possibility, I shouldn’t start at all because why set myself up for failure?

I really am quite Type-A (however failed). Dr. T always says my expectations are so high and exacting but then I downplay all the things I accomplish as if they are nothing. (But truly, anything I accomplish I don’t consider amazing because somehow by default, if something is amazing, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. After all, I only can do easy/lazy things.)

Omg.

I just realized what Dr. T has been telling me all this time. (Like seriously, for at least nine months now.)

How sad that I believe amazing and me are mutually exclusive scenarios. That if I can do something it must not be hard.

In fact, the only thing I consider worthy of “amazing” that I’ve done recently is my 5 week trip to Taiwan in July of 2014. That’s right. One and a half years ago. This past year has been a wasteland of amazing, I guess.

Whenever Dr. T points out things that I do that are “difficult,” I immediately deflect it and refuse to accept it. (For example, that I have consistently blogged around three times a week for over two years. Or that I have continued to go to counseling every week for the last year – even when I initially thought she was full of shit. Or taking care of and keeping three small children alive – even when Hapa Papa travels.)

In my mind, that is easy. What’s the big deal?

No wonder people find me intimidating and graceless. I am merciless in my contempt for people who can’t do what I can – because if I can do it, it must be easy so get your fucking shit together already, people.

What a horrible way to view myself as well as other people.

Incidentally, I really hate people who publicly cut people down (as much as I do internally, I try not to be that way as my “public” face). I despise people who give backhanded compliments or insult me under the guise of being funny. I mean what can you do about it? Especially if they are male. After all, if you take issue with their “humor” thinly disguised as a way to “neg” me, then I can’t win. I either don’t have a sense of humor (because what woman does, amiright?) and take myself too seriously, or I fall into their troll trap and try to prove my “worth” to an asshole who is a total waste of my time. And if you recognize yourself in this post, I’m probably talking about you. Why are you such an asshole? Seriously, stop it already. You’re not funny. You’re a dick. (Also, Pot: Kettle.)

OMBlergh. That was a 1,500 word preamble for a point that is at best, a few hundred words long.

So. Sacking up.

As the end of the year approaches and a new one is imminent, I find myself (like most people), reflecting on this year and anticipating what I want for 2016. All those hokey Vision Planning boards or activities ask us to contemplate and think of a word that will encapsulate the upcoming year and despite all my reluctance, for me, I think it will be Risk (or Sacking Up in the vernacular).

For 2016, I want to accomplish several items that will require a lot of effort and work with an uncertain outcome. But I really am reluctant to own these goals and desires that I have. After all, I am once again, confronted with a million details and grandiose schemes that it seems nearly impossible. And aren’t I, at heart, a lazy bastard?

Sorry to “vaguebook” and not actually tell you what I’m planning for next year. I would be more specific because commitment and consistency are real things. But they also say that if you tell too many people your goals or resolutions, your brain produces the same euphoric effect as if you actually accomplished your goal. As a result, you no longer have the same amount of urgency to finish.

Anyhow, this is just me vaguely telling you, dear reader, that I have big plans for 2016. Huge. Grandiose, even. I just need to sack up and do it. (How come we never say womb up? As if only humans with testicles can risk and risk big.)

See? I can’t even end a post without digressing. Oh, look! Shiny!