LC's New Year's Resolutions

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Tl;dr - More love, more life. 

1. Critique and engage from a place of radical empathy and compassion. 
If you know me, you probably know that I'm a pretty angry/passionate person, like, all the time. *Hopefully*, you also know that, whatever its final form, my anger usually stems from a deep sense of injustice or wounded empathy. For example, I have a lot to say about Asian Americans artists who perform their "otherness" for mass consumption, but it comes from feeling deeply protective of our parents' cultures. I have a lot of reservations about dating Asian American boys, but it has nothing to do with how I perceive their masculinity/sexuality and everything to do with how boys are raised in traditional Confucian families (and my complete refusal to nurture them in ways their parents didn't). That also comes from a place of understanding about the ways our communities hold onto our various toxins and griefs. Listen, I love my people. I am extremely defensive of my people. And that is why I want to open up dialogue about the ways we harm each other -- and other communities. It's 2019! Let's stop normalizing fear-based parenting! And colorism! Etc!

Okay, so with that being said, sometimes my "critique" also comes from basic envy/pettiness, so I'd like to do away with that in 2019. Put more eloquently by Alok Vaid-Menon, "stop using politics to legitimize my feelings." And so forth.

2. Contribute generosity, love, and light to the human experience.
Be a better friend and ally. Show up. I'm like the biggest introvert I know, so I very rarely *physically* show up and tend to be pretty shy about checking up on people I care about (though I am at excellent at sending snail mail love letters and will happily do so for anybody who expresses the slightest bit of interest.) I want to be compassionate when people are needy and vulnerable and imperfect. I want to recognize the cries for help, and never, ever accuse anyone of performing their pain without due reason. I want to protect them as much as I want them to learn. I also want to be more patient with familial relationships that are full of tension and frustrations but still worth protecting. I lose my temper pretty easily, and deeply regret every (not literal) house I've ever tried to burn down in a bit of rage. Life is horrible and precious and fragile, I want to be part of the good we'll need to survive it. MORE LOVE. MORE LIFE.

I've been thinking about AJV a lot lately, and how we were mostly dumb kids who didn't know how to treat each other better but loved each other silly anyways. I got to grow out of that teenage angst and grow up. He did not. I want to be the person he needed at his worst. (Not at all implying that a partner can "save" another. But I know I could've been better. It will haunt me forever.)

3. Write more about triumph, joy, and all that survives, somehow. 
We will always need to write about epigenetic, ancestral trauma. There will always be more hurt that needs reckoning with, generational griefs still unresolved. But there should be more to our narratives. More light. More love. More life, and more to life.
I guess I also want to feel less guilty about reading books that aren't so horribly sad and heavy. Like, I want to give myself permission to read The Nanny Diaries or something decadent and frothy in between diasporic poetry about Korean comfort women and a comprehensive history of the preschool-to-prison pipeline. We should contain multitudes! (And in that lineage, I want to recognize how others are as complex as I believe myself to be! No more dichotomies!)
Finally, I want to complete a second, more mature collection of poems, but that is my little secret and I still have a bit of growing up to do before that's ready.

More love,

Also wanted to do a quick recap of my favorite pieces I've written for OCL in 2018. May there be many more in 2019!
Combating Jealousy in Friendships
Self-Care for Caregivers
What Pixar's 'Bao' and 'Crazy Rich Asians' Meant To Me
How My Friends Helped Me Grieve
Asian Americans & Mental Health: Part I
Getting Over A Breakup

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