An Anniversary Poem


the road runs underneath us
and orange lights pass
through the windows of our car
as we drive home

you sleep in the 
passenger seat

and i drive and drive 
and think about that day

we wore our best -
a tux and a white dress

and we stood before 
a crowd of people

i told you that 
i'd love you
for better or worse

i told you that i'd love you
for all the days
of your life

and you held your 
left hand out to me

and i slipped a golden ring
around your fourth finger

you smiled 

(i think the whole world 
lights up when 
you smile
by the way)

and as we drive down 
this road

i think about that smile
and all the smiles 
and tears and laughter and anger
i've seen since then

i will drive and drive and 
i will wait eagerly

to see that whatever comes
when you wake


for my parents, who have taught me that love requires dedication, patience and sacrifice, and that there are no limitations to what love can do. happy anniversary!



The Things That I am Thankful For

I have 10 minutes of Thanksgiving left, so here it goes.

I am so very blessed with many gifts.  A comfortable home, a college degree from a top university, and more than enough stuffed animals – enough to last through my children’s lifetimes.

But when I think of what I’m grateful for during the holiday season, I think of all the people that share my life with me.  I realized that I am most grateful for LOVE.

“Love” is a word that gets tossed around a whole bunch these days.  Sometimes we say “I love so-and-so” because it just feels good to say it, even though we don’t know if we mean it or not.  Or sometimes we just really have strong feelings for a certain song or certain person or certain whatever and cannot express it without the word “love” because I feel like “love” is the strongest kind of “liking” there is.

My definition of love has changed throughout my lifetime, so today, when I talk about being grateful for love, I think of times that people have shown love to me through their actions: my parents, brothers, best friend, boyfriend…

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There are so many people who have given me a reason to be thankful everyday, and I want to show them my gratitude for that by being the best that I can be and for giving love back to them.

So, THANK YOU for reading :)  I hope everyone had a great day filled with family and with love.

Real Versus Fake: What Does it Take to be a “Real” Anything?


As I try to break into the field of writing, I have thought a lot about the tools and experience I would need to be a “real writer.”  Real writers seem to spend a lot of alone time.  Real writers have awesome cameras.

After seeing a call for submissions on a local magazine, I thought about writing a piece about Pacific Coast Highway – my boyfriend and I had driven down it the a few weeks ago on our way home from Santa Monica.  It’s beautiful and would be a great subject for writing because of its familiarity and beautiful scenery, but I couldn’t imagine the spread without some great pictures of the water and local tourist traps.

As I imagined myself driving down and taking some great pictures, I thought about the shots I could take, but for some reason, I felt limited by the camera I have.  It’s a Canon Powershot, a digital, point-and-shoot camera.  I received it as a gift from my parents on Christmas a few years ago after I expressed the desire for a camera.  They bought it specifically because it takes great close-up shots – I was really into taking pictures of flowers at the time.  It takes really crisp, clean shots and is a great little camera, except for a couple of things.  It’s a bit on the heavy side and I feel as though the lighting is off a lot of the time (which might or might not be a camera issue).

However, when I think of “real photographers,” I think of people with DSLR cameras who know about shutter speed and aperture and lighting and Photoshop stuff.  One of the things I thought I needed to be a journalist was a good camera and maybe more photography experience.  I have always wanted to take a photography class, so I looked into taking a class at city college during the summer so I could get my bearings.  I even shopped Craigslist ads for DSLR cameras.  In my mind, to be a real photographer, I had to get a camera with a real shutter.

I called someone who was selling a Canon Rebel and talked to him about potentially interning for his event photography business.  It seemed sketchy – I called him about a camera, he started asking invasive questions about why I wanted the camera, and then he was directing me to a website about his business.  I still wanted to do it anyways.  It meant doing “real photography” and becoming more than an amateur.

My mom was really worried – not just because it seemed like a total stranger was looking to take advantage of my naiveté, but also because it seemed like I was jumping at any chance with some desperation.

“Just take it easy,” she said.  “You have plenty of time to get where you want to be.  You don’t have to resort to Craigslist.”

And she was right.  In just the last two days, I’ve gotten the opportunity to take loads of pictures through my current internships.  And I’ve done just fine with the camera that I have.

In my last post, and even the one before that, I have talked about taking risks and slowing down. It’s clearly not easy for me.  I still have that vision, that goal, and I am hell-bent on achieving it.  I’m desperate, even.  I’m slowly learning that It’s not really about the tools that I have, but the experience that I am gaining.

So, I don’t need a new camera – it would be great to get one.  But, my parents bought my camera for me to take pictures with because they knew I had an interest in taking pictures and they thought I had an eye for it.  Just this alone gives me the opportunity to be a real photographer.  I’m not going to say that I am a real photographer – I don’t think I’m even close to it.  What I can do is take that belief that my parents had (and hopefully still have) in me and use it to add it into my life’s work.

I’ve got a lot under my belt – I just took some pictures at a fancy charity event, and I’ve got the support of my family and friends.  I don’t need to be a real journalist with a real camera and everything else.  It’s actually more simple than I ever imagined.  I just need to do my job with the tools that I have.

Crying over lucky charms

Tonight, my roommate came to me in tears.  She has lost a special K-pop charm that was on her necklace.  I offered to drive her to campus so we could look for it where she was last, but we weren’t able to find it.  She kept saying “It’s bad luck.  It’s bad luck.”

I lose things all the time.  My keys, my ID card, my phone… those are the essentials for regular function.  But what about those things that are absolutely necessary? We all have that lucky item that we keep in our pockets for an added sense of security. For me, it’s one of the first gifts I got from my boyfriend – an Eco-Citizen watch.

Seems materialistic, but I like to think of it as a reminder that there is someone out there who cares immensely that I know what time it is for every second of the day.  If I forget, I’m missing that part of me.

So, is there a K-pop charm in your life that is absolutely essential to the success of your day?