#SorryAsianParents

A goofy kid just trying to make sense of the world while trying to be Asian American


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Life Is Short; Cherish Your Loved Ones

I would like to share a letter I wrote to my friends after someone shared with me some words to remember after the death of a loved one:

 

Someone who I had worked with recently passed away; her name was Judy. I didn’t work with her much, but I knew the fun person she was and the energy she brought to the room.

One of her close friends, Mark, gave me some wise words that have been lingering in my mind since last Thursday. While drinking a few Titos and soda with a Titos back, he told me to cherish the people who bring joy to my life because you never know what’s going to happen or when they will leave this world.

What Mark said made me think about all the times I have shared with everyone (my friends in the ZipperSquad) in and out of this group. All of those euphoric, blurry nights at music festivals (especially at the Electric Daisy Carnival) and beyond. For some of y’ all, it was like beyond, beyond.

I’m starting to realize that we are all living our life, growing into the spirited person we are all meant to be. And, of course, with life comes death. As we continue to grow from stupid teenagers to even sillier Adults, our encounters with lost will become more frequent as time continues to do its natural thing.

Sometimes our paths in life don’t always run alongside another or intercepts often, but that doesn’t mean the time we have shared was for naught. We have shared moments of joy and, of course, we were together in times of need. The company we each provided was the foundation of happiness I felt as I attempted to mature through my 20s.

In the grand scheme of things, all the hiccups and mistakes we all have made doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the bonds we forged through nights filled with side-aching laughter alongside those grey days showered by our tears. Life is short and we never really know what’s going to happen. I wish for everyone to appreciate the friends and family you keep and hope for you to enjoy their company to the fullest.

This could all be a bunch of gibberish from a man with too much time to think. But I would be lying if I said I don’t daydream of partying with everyone from dusk to dawn, or if I forgot about those times where we would sing offkey on our way to a burrito spot, or if I did not value the countless nights where I drunkenly shared a piece of myself. However, I did tell a lie. When I felt the distance between our friendship begin to grow, I reflected a cold manner where I did not care. Though some of y’ all saw through my facade, I was selfish to do so.  My memories with everyone are endless, and so is my sincere affection for everyone.

 

I hope this message sparks a nostalgic stroll in that beautiful mind of yours. It could be tomorrow when hearing that one song causes your brain to malfunction, looping the same memory as the music teleports you to the past. Or it could be when you spontaneously burst in laughter and can’t stop smiling at some stupid meme that uncovers a forgotten moment. If you have missed your bus stop because you couldn’t help looking at festival pictures suggested by Facebook Memories, or any other moments like these, then I implore you to reshare that memory and tell them how much you appreciate the impact of their friendship.

 

(TL;DR) Sorry for rambling on. Just so I can sound like a broken record, just make sure you appreciate one another and cherish those bonds that you have formed with your friends, current or past. If someone is on your mind make sure you tell them that they have a special place in your heart and that you will always remember the times you have spent with one another. If you ever find yourself where you need a friend to talk to, reach out. Depression and social anxiety in our generation are common, and your friends are there for you. Being vulnerable is ok. Just being there to listen can be all someone needs. Life is too short for pettiness to come between love for another. Remember, friends are the family you chose; there is a reason why you selected them to be a part of yourself and your journey.

 


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Dear Andrew, My Friend Who Was Taken From Us Too Soon

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(Note: This is not a comedy piece. My friend Andrew, who was a genuine great person, was taken away from us too soon. He did not drink, do drugs, or have a hateful cell in his body. It’s a shame what happened. An accident. So be safe out there folks, and cherish the people around you. You never know what will happen. This is an open letter to the man who made me want to not only become a better Asian, but a better person of the world. I’m a man who does not know how to really handle feelings and writing is the only way I know how. Every time I try to talk to someone about Andrew, I can’t help but to fight off tears and sorrow. So I don’t speak at all. Instead, I write.)

Dear Andrew,

I really don’t know how to start this, but I’m sure not many people do. I’m going to miss you, man. You were an inspiration to my life. I remember the first time I saw you at the gym, at the Village Fitness Center. I thought to myself, “Man, who is this buff ass Asian guy killin’ it here. He must be on riods.” I was so awed by your strength that I never approached you. You also had his glare on your face, fueled by determination, which I mistook as being unkind, that scared me. Until that one day I mustered up the courage to ask you how to workout the back of my shoulders. Which you then told me to lay sideways on the bench so I can do a lateral in an upward motion. This was one of the moments that made me realize that you were not an angry d-bad gym Asian, but a kind man who was willing to offer advice. Luck had it that you were also roommates with my friend from my high school.

I remember the day Garret invited me to his room to eat the Subway sandwiches that we had bought. You and your brother arrived after we did. I don’t remember if this was during your brothers transition into the marines or right before. But I do remember me eating Subway Club and you having a Spicey Italian. It was then that you educated me on how to save money by microwaving your sandwich so you did not have to pay the extra 50 cent charge for toasting. This was the spark of our friendship that lead to many nerdy pho conversations that was sprinkled with talks of girls, sour candy induced car rides, and movies.

Even though some of our hang outs were reduced since you met Kaila, I did not mind. Despite me giving you a hard time about it, I was only joking. I actually remembered the first time I met her. It was after EDC 2013. Or 2012, I forget sometimes. But you took me to grab some pho in Daly City as I blabbered on about my misadventures and my sinful activities. I probably should have held some of my enthusiasm back, seeing how that was the first time your future wife was meeting me. But I couldn’t, I was too excited and had to tell you everything. I wanted to tell you about how I fell in love in a magical wonderland, and I could tell that day that you too had also fell in love back in reality. After many more dinner dates where I was third-wheeling it, I could tell that soon you were going to marry her. Now when I look back at it, I should have taken your invitations to go see all those scary movies that you wanted to see. But like your courage and muscle definition, I did not have the will to see movies that potentially scared the crap out of me. Instead, I limited our media pleasures to nerdy and action stuff. And hard rock music in your car.

Thanks for all of those rides, BTW. Thanks for driving me home after those nights of pho, getting me home safely after a night of drinking, and even driving Natalie home the first time you met her, despite the fact that she got super intoxicated, was uncooperative, and threw away all of our sour candy. Thanks man.

I’m not going to lie to myself and say that we were the best of friends, but I hope that you considered me to be a dear friend, like I did. In fact, I will admit that I admire you. Whenever I saw you, you gave me hope for humanity that they are people like you out there in this cruel, messed up world. You also gave me faith in myself that I can become a better person. In my eyes, you stood on this pedestal that is only shared with a select few of amazing people. You can say that I was a little jealous of you and your life: you were a great man who was in phenomenal shape, a loving wife, a great family that loved and supported you through your journey of adulthood, and you’ve built a solid group of friends that followed you as you lead them to the path of fitness and laughter, while stopping to grab your occasional bowls of pho, of course.

You were taken too soon my friend. An amazing man like you with a heart of gold that inspires all is what this world needs and we will be feeling that absent with you gone. Now, every time I have a bowl of pho at Kevin’s Noodles House (Irving or in Daly City) or maintain the proper form while I deadlift and clean, I will remember you and how you were there for me during those past moments. Even though you left me for Kaila, I don’t mind because she is an amazing woman and was your perfect match. I know that I could have made this post shorter, but I couldn’t. I could actually make this longer, but I’m not going to bore you with my blabbering, even though I could tell that you wanted me to shutup at times during pho. I just needed you to know how much of an amazing person you were. To tell the truth, you are still influencing my life. You’re the best human being I know, I aspire to be half the man you were.

I know you’re training Jesus up there, so go easy on him. See you on the other side, Andrew.