Issue 02 Next Chapter

aznzine



To the past, present, and future.


letter

from

exec

board





adeline yu


theresa lee


My Journey to

Contentment

By Nadya Azzahra

I was a meek 13-year-old finally getting the

taste of adolescence. Like any other teenager

in middle school, I was naive and had no

clue to what the future might hold. I woke

up every day for school and stared at myself

in the mirror. What horrified me the

most were the flaws I immediately noticed

through my reflection. All the acne on my

face, my dark spots, my frizzy and untameable

hair, my weight, my body, and many

more. I would do that for 3 continuous years,

thinking that it could make me feel any better.

I did it unconsciously, not realizing how

damaging and self-destructive it was, leading

me to lose confidence.


I envied seeing those who moved forward in

life with ease and certainty. Watching everyone

grow to find their own destined paths

made me feel frozen, as if time wasn’t on my

side. My insecurities took a toll on me, to the

point where it became the bane of my existence.

I refused to believe that there was

any sort of hope left for me. I looked at everything

as black and white and all the love

I had reserved for myself started to slowly

fade away. I felt stuck and motionless. Nothing

made me happy anymore. I would do the

same six things every single day; wake up,

go to school, go home, do my homework,

watch some Netflix, and sleep. It felt repetitive

and excruciating, knowing that I wasn’t

making any progress whatsoever. I noticed

how I wasn’t going anywhere in life, and that

made me frantic.

Seeing everyone’s world so bright and colorful

discouraged me to seek a new path. I

was confused and overwhelmed with doubt.

I let my insecurities define who I was and I

realized how badly it affected my life. I was

afraid to try out new things, already being

too comfortable in my own space; my safe

haven. I was blinded by the fact that I was

the main reason why I stopped moving forward.

I was too busy paying attention to other

people’s lives instead of my own. I came

to accept that no matter how hard I tried, I’d

always be flawed - imperfect in some way.

It’s been four years since I’ve seen life as a

monochromatic palette. It took me a while

to finally realize the person I was creating

in my head was merely an illusion, a dream

that felt impossible to achieve. I kept convincing

myself that there was no such thing

as “perfection”. There was not a chance that

I’d already figured my life out at the ripe age

of thirteen. The satisfaction that I was longing

for for years was never going to happen,

and I accepted that. My life felt uncertain

and although I looked at the world differently

now, there was still a missing piece that

I’ve yet to discover.

My past insecurities are now beneath me. A

hard look in the mirror has finally convinced

me that I am worth more than a pretty face

or a skinny body. I’m still on the everlasting

journey of self-acceptance, but now I

trust the process, albeit a slow one.

Nobody is ever sure when they’ll reach

the finish line but I believe one doesn’t

exist. The only way for us to move forward

is to come to terms with ourselves. It’s safe

to say that I came to peace with my past. I

feel more content and less bitter with

myself, and that’s all I ever needed.


Notes from My Last

One: Slow down, love. There

is no rush in life and there is

nothing to gain at being the

first to reach the end. You know

this; you’ve always known

this. So enough with the hustle

porn, put away the books and

the podcasts on ‘how to hack

your life overnight.’ Catch your

breath, allow your skin to really

feel the wind and the sunshine,

take one step at a time, and

savour every sound of life’s music.

Everything will be alright.

Two: Understand that timing is personal.

What you have gained, some

may have yet to acquire. What you are

still seeking, others may have already

found. Although current cultures may

insist on your competition with others,

insist on your envy and insecurity, there

is nothing for you to do but extend

compassion for yourself and others. It

isn’t easy, of course, but you deserve

that kind of peace.

Three: Simplify your life. You’ve spent

enough time with yourself to know the

truth about why you want the things that

you want. Wrestle with your desires if

you must, but never forget the things

that have truly cultivated your sense of

fulfillment. There isn’t a single object or

person that has ever brought you closer

to yourself the same way that your time

alone with your craft has. Do not isolate

and deprive yourself, but take only what

you need and do only what you must to

thrive creatively.

Four: See things as they are and

not for the potential of what they

could be. Put your glasses on so

you won’t have any excuses this

time. Let the situations, places,

and especially the people around

you, reveal who they are. It may

not be to your liking, you might

even walk away from them—do

this without judgement.

Five: Remember who you are.


name: erica dionora date: 12.02.2020

Life’s Lessons

Six: Healing is non-linear. This may

not make the process any less difficult

or bitter, but let this truth give you the

strength to face your shadows, acknowledge

your wounds, and endure

the lessons that life puts you through.

You are making progress—trust that.

Eight: Prioritizing yourself does not equate to a lack of

compassion for others. Things haven’t been easy and

I can’t promise it’ll ever be. But don’t let this harden

your heart; we are all nursing some sort of internal

damage. So find your light and share it with others—

show up for yourself and show up for others.

Seven: Listen to your body. You

have spent years sharpening

your mind, it’s only natural to

seek its counsel in all matters

of your existence. But the body

is an intelligence of its own that

must be understood and demands

to be respected. It is the

framework of communication

between the soul and the earth,

translating the memories of your

soul to share with your environment

and simultaneously interpreting

the wisdom of the world

to your innermost being. Listen

to your body, it knows more

than you think.

Serena Wu






condolences

i offer my condolences

to the internalized hatred

whispering to me

that my skin made me unworthy.

to the bitter lady

throwing dirty looks

and keeping her distance

saying our people “smelled”

to the history teacher

teaching my peers

that my culture is primitive

and full of heathens

to those who tell me

they cannot accept my differences:

i offer my condolences

because as hard as you try,

my love is more powerful than your discomfort

at seeing someone like me thrive

my skin, eyes, melanin, soul

my traditions, my future

this is who i am

and from now on

i am proud of it

- pranav brahmbhett

brahmbhatt


photo taken by alicia park


SMALL

BUSINESSES

to support

SHOP SMALL

Washington, US

YOUNY.CO

Sticker shop on Instagram and Etsy.

Mostly purposed for bullet journaling or

cute decorations.

@youny.co • etsy: younyco

HOOD FAMOUS

BAKESHOP

check them out

on instagram!

A like and a save

means the world

to them <3

Washington, US

Handmade jewlery shop with the mission

"to affirm woman of their intrinsic

worth and beauty".

@desplae • www.desplae.com

Washington, US

Casual bakeshop known for personal-sized

cheesecakes with Filipino &

Asian-Pacific flavors flavors.

@hoodfamousbakeshop


MOON RIVER

CO.

Singapore

Cute illustrator producing enamel pins.

Designs revolve mostly around kpop

with painitng commisions availble.

@moonriver.co

Oakland, CA

Fashion apparel "designed and influenced

by the Japanese-American experience".

@akashi_kama

THE GOOD

GOODS

Canada

GIKAN

Accessory shop heavily inspired the

creators' Filipino heritage, they aim to

preserve and cultivate.

@shop.gikan • www.shopgikan.com

SHOP SMALL

Toronto, CA

Baked goods (best mochi muffins in

Toronto as they claimed), and miscellaneous

boxes filled with curiosity.

@thegoodgoods.ca




ASIAN MENTAL HEALTH

STIGMA IN A TIME OF COVID

By Steve Zhang

The COVID-19 pandemic has

resulted in a sharp increase

in anti-Asian racism across

North America. In September,

NBC News reported that 1 in

4 Asian-American youths had

been a target of racially-driven

bullying over the past year.

Aside from the threats to the

physical safety of Asian people,

there are also implications

for mental well-being. Henry

Chen, a Registered Therapeutic

Counselor in Vancouver,

Canada, says being targeted

due to race can lead to a variety

of mental health issues.

“More stress, of course, is a

factor because the more that

we think about [the racism],

the more stressed we’re going

to get,” he says. “Imagine

a backpack carrying a heavy

load. If you put enough heavy

things in there and try to lift

the bag, it is eventually going

to break.”

Despite this, mental health is

a hard conversation to have

in the Asian community. Stigma

often prevents people

from openly acknowledging

their mental health struggles.

Oftentimes, people are conditioned

to respond in a way

that doesn’t help cope with

these issues. Asian people are

often told to simply “get over

it.” Chen says it can also be a

dislike of feeling vulnerable.

“I think pride is one thing,”

Chen says. “I know that around

my grandparents’ time, it was

more of an embarrassment to

have any form of psychiatric

issues than it was, for example,

to have someone break

their legs.”

For months, U.S. President

Donald Trump used racially

charged language in public to

refer to COVID-19, frequently

referring to the disease as

‘China Virus’ or ‘Kung Flu.’


Chen says this sort of targeted

language—singling out a

specific ethnicity—can have

negative impacts on someone’s

confidence and self-esteem,

even those who aren’t

Chinese.

“[That language] is giving others

a sense of acknowledgement,

saying, ‘Yes, I can also

use this,’ and that’s where the

damage comes from,” Chen

says. “You’re taking the closest

person who resembles [what

someone] thinks is responsible,

and you’re imposing that

on them.”

Chen likens the stigma to

Christmas trees, saying everyone

puts one up, but they’re

not always sure why they do.

It’s a tradition that’s passed

down and accepted.

“This is something that we

can look into breaking for the

stigma,” he says. “Ultimately,

where it comes from is unknown.

It might be something

that someone made up in the

past, or it could be something

more biased.”

Chen says the first step to

stopping stigma is helping

people better understand

what mental health is, and the

support that is available.

“It’s a lot [about] reframing

the self and self-worth versus

what others think of us,” he

says. “We do what we can—

as therapists, as counselors—

to ensure that you have the

proper support you need.

And if we can help you, we

will help you.”

“IMAGINE A BACKPACK CARRYING

A HEAVY LOAD. IF YOU PUT ENOUGH

HEAVY THINGS IN THERE AND YOU

LIFT THE BAG, IT IS EVENTUALLY

GOING TO BREAK.”


1. Make my parents proud

2. Travel to all the continents :D

3. Open my own coffee and tea shop (Meraki Cafe)

4. Be proud of myself (body and mind)

5. Get a smol tattoo


Today was a horrible day.

I overslept again and almost missed my lecture, but I made it a minute

before class started. Talk about the thrill of rushing to class ! Just

what I needed to replace my morning coffee, which I didn't have time to

get. To top it off, my stomach started growling during class. Let's just

say I was a bit hangry. So lucky Jill brought her HUGE kitkat bar to

lecture - don't know what I would've done without a bite of that.

I stopped by the coffee shop after class to grab a double shot espresso.

What can I say, I need my daily dose of caffeine to keep me a l i v e. Jill

thought the barista was pretty cute and kept bugging me to ask him for

his number. I know what you're thinking. Typical Jill. Yeah, yeah. But she

egged me on so much, when he asked me what he could get me, I replied

“your number.” Mortifying. What's worst was that he apologized and said

he had a girlfriend. So yeah, both Jill and I lost in this situation. I lost

my pride, she lost her millionth chance of finding me a boyfriend. At

least I got my coffee for free, thanks to his coworkers who absolutely

lost it laughing at my embarrassment.

nov. 24, 2020

Alright, who let me be

this dramatic. I can't stop

laughing at everything I

wrote from a year ago.

Despite the chaos of this

day, I'd honestly do it all

again if it meant I could be

with my friends, even Jill,

I guess. I'd say it was a

pretty good day afterall.

Okay, enough of that. We went to study at the library after, but even

after that double shot espresso I was falling asleep as I tried to read

my textbook. I did not have TIME to be tired - I had a midterm in three

hours. Maybe three hours wouldn't be enough anyway. I was doomed. At

that point, a short nap would have been better than trying to cram every

bit of information. But it's too late now! What's done is done. Now I just

have to wait for the terrifying Canvas notification.

The only highlight of the day was getting dinner with my friends after

the midterm, and treating ourselves for doing absolutely nothing except

being stressed. Thank you Jill for also adding unncessary stress at the

coffee shop. Of course, the only appropriate way to end the day was by

missing our bus and getting drenched in the fifteen minutes we waited

for the next one to come. At least this day was finally over now. Time

to do homework before hitting the hay.


Work in

Progress

Clarisse Lee


“What a perfect family!”

Growing up, I often heard this from friends and even strangers. I completely agreed

with them -- I had the best parents I could ask for and two younger siblings that kept

me company. We travelled the world together and made some of my most cherished

memories. People always saw us as content and happy. And though we were for many

years, they were oblivious to what was happening behind the facade of a “perfect”

family.

Though I wasn’t able to pinpoint what exactly had changed, I noticed a shift in our

family dynamic when I was 13.

I noticed my parents weren’t sleeping in the same room anymore.

I noticed my parents’ short temper.

I noticed less family outings.

I noticed a photo of another woman on my dad’s phone.

And yet, I still refused to believe that something was wrong. I cleared out any thoughts

of our family being anything other than “perfect.”

Over the next five years, I watched as my family, my very foundation, collapsed, leaving

me confused, betrayed, and in denial. After my parents separated, the “perfect”

family image was shattered. It was a sudden change I couldn’t keep up with. The relationship

between my dad and I crumbled; I struggled to hold a conversation with him

and couldn’t see him in the same light as before.

Without a father figure present in our lives, the everyday things I once took for granted

became difficult.

My little brother, doing warm-ups alone before soccer practice as other boys practiced

with their fathers.

My little sister, alone during her 5th grade project share-out since my mother was at

work.

My mother, now a single parent, juggling her full-time job with taking care of three

kids.

And me, often forcing myself to fake a smile to convince people that I was okay.

Slowly, I started realizing my life would never go back to the way things were before.

I had to take off my rose-tinted glasses, face the hardships, and stand strong.

I had to understand I couldn’t keep longing for what was already in the past.

I had to learn to accept the harsh reality and move on.

Years later, my relationship with my dad remains rocky. I still have pent-up feelings of

anger and disappointment. We are nowhere near close to how we were before. But

day by day, we’re working on slowly rebuilding the bond between us.

Sometimes I want to give up, and other times I’m determined to fix our relationship.

Many times, I think back to the happier days of a full family of five. Despite these

thoughts and feelings, I have learned and grown to understand the reality of it all - we

aren’t a perfect family, and that is okay. Things are still a work in progress - I take a

few steps forward and a few steps back, but eventually, I will get to where I need to be.


Emily Quah


DEAR Y(O)U1

You were afraid to smile

For you had squinty eyes.

You always tried to hide

For you were big in size.

Wearing boring clothes

To hide and to loathe

Your whole body and air,

Not belonging anywhere.

I am not afraid to smile

For I love my monolid eyes.

I don’t want to hide

For I found comfort in my size.

Wearing whatever I please

I now feel more at ease.

I am confident, I believe

But I had been deceived.

For I still feel small

I’m on my high and then fall.

When I look into my mirror,

I sometimes still feel bitter.

But I try to love everything

No matter what others may think.

With all my strength, I declare

Dear Yu, I belong everywhere.

1 I chose the title Dear

Y(o)u because of my Chinese

name „Yu“, so I’m addressing

myself in 3 ways in this poem.

Brigitte Gong




Life

Hi! My name is Lauren, and I’m a senior in

college. I’m majoring in Information Studies

and double-minoring in Asian American

Studies and Sustainability Studies. In

my free time, I also like singing, baking,

watching Netflix, and caring for my plants.

Since high school, I’ve had hydrocephalus,

which is the abnormal build-up of cerebrospinal

fluid in the brain. This life-threatening

condition has no cure and affects people of

all ages. It isn’t widely known either - I hadn’t

heard of it before I was diagnosed. Developing

hydrocephalus opened up a whole world

of struggles, and life is much different from

what it was before. Any symptoms I develop

are cause for concern, and I worry about how

I may be impacting my family and friends. I

also miss doing the things I was once able to do.


The year after developing hydrocephalus,

I went to my first WALK to End

Hydrocephalus in Washington, D.C.

Going to this event, meeting others with

the condition, and joining the Hydrocephalus

Association introduced me to

a supportive community that really gets

what I’m going through. I’ve led a team

of family and friends every year since

that first WALK to fundraise for research

to find a cure. I’ve also done panel discussions,

appeared in commercials, and

posted vlogs to share my experiences

and help others with hydrocephalus.

No one knows when my next surgery

will be. It’s something that my family and

I worry about since my condition could

worsen at any time without warning.

Numerous brain surgeries and long hospital

stays have also set back my education.

Classes are especially hard because

studying takes longer with my symptoms.

But I’m proud to say that I’m completing

my first semester with a full class load

this fall, which is something that I wasn’t

able to do in the last couple of years.

Even though life is harder now,

hydrocephalus hasn’t held me back from

achieving success. I’m a database engineer

on faculty research, and I’m an associate

at the 1882 Foundation, a DC-based

organization that promotes awareness of

the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and its

continuing significance today. I’m also a

Community Network Leader for the Hydrocephalus

Association and co-lead a

support group for adults in their 20s with

hydrocephalus. We connect through

Zoom every week and host speakers,

share our experiences, and chat with

each other. Some members hadn’t met

others with hydrocephalus before joining

these calls! Since starting the group

in May, we’ve grown to include over

90 members from across the country.

In this challenging time when social distancing

is needed for safety, connecting

with others is so important. I’m excited

for the future of this group, and I’m happy

that something good has come out

of such a difficult and uncertain year.

Lauren Eng

with

Hydrocephalus




30 THINGS

ginger yifan chen

7

am was once an ungodly hour to be awake. But after a month with my

parents, it’s starting to become a habit.

There was a small park three blocks away from the house. At 7 am, the grass

was still wet with dew, but the path that surrounded it was dry. It’s where I take

my morning runs, and my mother her daily walk.

She was already there. Walking slowly, swinging her arms back and forth. I

slow down to a jog beside her. For a while, we share the path in silence.

“Tell me thirty positive things about yourself,” she says.

The first thought that rose up is how much I would rather run another lap. But

the stitch in my side forced me to stay.

“I can’t think of thirty things.”

“Try.”

“How about ten?”

I didn’t want to think of ten. Not even one. All I could think of were the years

before I went to college. I had spent them hiding all the things I cared about,

and then I moved 300 miles away on purpose.

“I can easily think of thirty things I appreciate about myself,” she says.

“Okay.”

I do not have a single memory of my mother telling me that she was proud of

me. This was not a solid thought, but rather a wisp. Something thin and

translucent that always floated in the back of my mind.

“I am still struggling to come up with thirty things I admire about your father,

but we’re working on it. Thirty things about you. Start now.”

It takes me nearly another lap to begin.

“I’m hardworking,” I tell her. She nods.

We walk in silence together.

“I’m creative...”

“Good,” she says.

“I’m…”


It takes another three laps for me to get to twelve. Twelve compliments. From me, to me.

“That’s all I’ve got.”

My mother has been counting on her fingers to keep track. “Really? That’s it?”

“Yeah.”

She extends another finger, “Thirteen. You’re a good judge of character.”

“Fourteen...”

Fifteen. Sixteen. And so on until thirty. I lose track of how many laps we walked.

“You need to keep complimenting yourself,” she says, “When you come out here in the

morning, you need to praise yourself while you run.”

“Okay.”

“There’s a lot of things you want to do, I know. But you need to take care of yourself first,

understand?”

“Okay.”

“Daughter, you need to love yourself.”

I stop walking.

My mother has told me ‘I love you’. But compared to this, ‘I love you’ was

inconsequential. ‘I love you’ were words tossed at me at the end of a phone call or before

I left the house for work. This is something I can’t ignore.

I didn’t want to cry in a public park, but I also knew that I couldn’t take another step. So I

just didn’t move.

She stops too. “What’s happening? What is it?” she asks, leaning down to examine my

face.

“You’ve…”

It takes effort to get the words out. It has always taken effort to get the words out.

“You’ve never told me that you were proud.”

“Oh,” she says, and wraps her arms around me gently.

And I can’t stop it now, a sob comes out of me and I lean my head into her shoulder. For

a long moment, we stand like this. Her holding me like I was fragile and young again.

Me trying to let my tears drip onto the ground rather than into her cardigan.

“We’ve always been proud. You were just never listening.”

“But I don’t remember,” I tell her.

“You were focused on something else. Something far away.”

I finally let my hands reach up and gently grasp her shoulders.

“Were you upset? That I left?”

“Yes. But it was what you wanted to do.”

“Did I make you unhappy?”

“No. It was for the best, in the end.”

I’m not crying much anymore, but I don’t move yet. All I do is let go of her.

“Do you want to hear thirty things that I’m proud about myself?” she asks.

“Okay.”

I laugh and wipe away my tears. We start walking again.


SMALL

BUSINESSES

to support

SHOP SMALL

Washington, US

YOUNY.CO

Sticker shop on Instagram and Etsy.

Mostly purposed for bullet journaling or

cute decorations.

@youny.co • etsy: younyco

HOOD FAMOUS

BAKESHOP

check them out

on instagram!

A like and a save

means the world

to them <3

Washington, US

Handmade jewlery shop with the mission

"to affirm woman of their intrinsic

worth and beauty".

@desplae • www.desplae.com

Washington, US

Casual bakeshop known for personal-sized

cheesecakes with Filipino &

Asian-Pacific flavors flavors.

@hoodfamousbakeshop


MOON RIVER

CO.

Singapore

Cute illustrator producing enamel pins.

Designs revolve mostly around kpop

with painitng commisions availble.

@moonriver.co

Oakland, CA

Fashion apparel "designed and influenced

by the Japanese-American experience".

@akashi_kama

THE GOOD

GOODS

Canada

GIKAN

Accessory shop heavily inspired the

creators' Filipino heritage, they aim to

preserve and cultivate.

@shop.gikan • www.shopgikan.com

SHOP SMALL

Toronto, CA

Baked goods (best mochi muffins in

Toronto as they claimed), and miscellaneous

boxes filled with curiosity.

@thegoodgoods.ca


family

f


amily

Photos by Ryan Sun


A Memoir

i find myself after

each memory is made,

willing myself to hold on to it.

tighter and

tighter, forcing my brain to

relive it inside my head.

days pass and years go on, loosening

my grasp on my memories,

my mind storing each memory away

never to be seen, only

told that it did happen.

faces and words are warped and

never the same,

left in fragments of glass that reflect only parts of

my memory. some reflect

nothing after being worn and burned

like the tape of an

old film used too frequently,

burning at the seams.

i have no memories, only

the memory of being told and

holding on tight.

Anika Molino


Celine Lee



aerielle ong


Design by Cami Kuruma

@marikuruko


LETTING GO TO THE UNKNOWN

I closed the car door shut

and glanced one last time as the car drove off.

What once filled me with emotions,

made me laugh, mad, love, doubt

was leaving.

I couldn’t quite grasp it.

I stood there in the middle of the road

staring at the blank air.

What was I to do…

with nothing left?

Maybe, just maybe

it’d drive back

forgetting a piece of me to take.

No, I was empty

but ready to be filled in time.

It was quiet

so somber but melancholic.

The light slowly arose

and my feet finally took flight

Moving me to the direction unknown.

- AM


윗물이 맑아야

아랫물이 맑다


“The downstream water can only be clean if

the up-stream water is clean.”

This was the Korean proverb that constantly

weighed me down. As the oldest child of the

family, I was always expected to be the golden

child. I was told to excel academically and be a

good role model so my younger brother and

cousins could follow my footsteps.

All throughout high school, I studied for the A

that was expected of me. However, reality was

harsher than expected, and the college I ended

up in didn’t satisfy me. I felt as if I hadn’t

lived up to my family’s expectations. I

completed my first year of college,

embarrassed and reluctant to tell people where

I attended college. However, as I found lifelong

friends, and as the burden from my family

was relieved from the 30 minute distance

between us, I believed that I had grown. That I

had gotten over obsessing about the school’s

prestige. How foolish I was.

After hearing a loud ding, I checked my phone

to see a notification from my cousin. She was a

year younger than me and known to be less

academically driven. The moment I opened her

message my heart fell. She had gotten off the

waitlist for my school. As I read the text, my

high school career flashed through my eyes.

What did I work for? Why did I try so hard

when I would end up at the same school as her?

I couldn’t bring myself to say “Congrats!” but

I also hated how I couldn’t be happy for her.

The next few days were filled with tears and

long conversations with my friends. Their

comforting words only helped for a moment,

and I quickly went back to my selfdeprecating

thoughts. It was not until a call

from my Grandmother that I was able to get

to where I am now. She had heard what had

happened and immediately comforted me with

her sweet words. That no matter what, she

knew of the hard work I had put in and was

proud of me. That she loved me. How could

those simple words that I had heard over and

over again from my friends be so different

coming from her? All of my hard work felt

justified, not from the prestige of my

college, but from those sweet words of hers.

Now in my second year of college, I would be

lying if I said that I was completely over

“Asian standards” and its focus on college

name and prestige. I don’t know when I will.

However, I do know that I have changed. The

Korean proverb that once held me down now

provides a different meaning for me. It isn’t

the results but the hard work and ethics that

I wish to pass down. I am slowly freeing

myself from the grips of these expectations

that have burdened me. I am turning the

pages to the next chapter of my life.

ESTHER KIM


“If held down, I cannot grow.

To be more, I must let go.”

brandon eng


Embracing Change

by rebecca yong

change is inevitable.

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3

5

accepting and embracing change is one of the most important ingredients

for self-growth, but this can undeniably be challenging, especially

when it comes to changes in self. when we view changes as compromising,

we condition ourselves to be unwelcome to changes completely.

how can we overcome this? here are some steps you can take to embrace

your ever-changing nature.

seek out new perspectives

learn to look at situations from a different point of view. while this can

be difficult, actively search out new possibilities and try things differently.

listen to opinions and arguments that you previously may not have been

receptive to.

understand that everyone else is undergoing changes too

people may not always respond the way you expect them to; aspects of

their personalities which you had been accustomed to may also change.

learn to embrace their changes as well.

view changes positively

it is natural to react to changes negatively. however, accepting and

adapting is so much more beneficial. having a positive attitude towards

change will allow you to learn and grow more.

do not cling to fixed mindsets, personality traits, etc.

the way we think and act, our interests and hobbies - they make you,

you. these are what encompasses our personality and the way we view

ourselves. naturally, they are subject to change. when you experience

shifts in these aspects that you had grown comfortable with, learn to

embrace and nurture them.

be kind to yourself

lastly, the most important thing is to be understanding of your own flaws

and compassionate to yourself... practice non-judgment and self-love

more often.

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4


whatever ‘crowded’ means is etched onto this floor,

stirred senseless by feet & wayward wheels,

i stand, cardboard flimsy in my hand, your name

etched, your name stuck under my tongue like a pebble

&

this is an in-between space, not a step

into another country yet,

but we are close and will be closer still,

only a few more protocols left,

once we exchange our currency, our tongues,

& you are moving

& i am moving

whatever ‘crowded’ means,

you are the stillness in the center, the gravity pull,

the frayed end to a thread of fate unspooling,

the thin red that leads into a black hole

which

all

else

orbits around,

and of course,

i will be

pulled

towards

you.

G i n g e r Y i f a n C h e n


i ‘M holding up a sign

for you a t

a regional transpor t

center

photo by brandon eng


forw

moving

Alicia Park


ard

by Jasmine Francoeur

I’m moving forward, I’m sure of it now,

Or at least I’m trying to remind myself of that;

That each breath I breathe in this moment doesn’t hurt as much,

That noticing the sun has risen and looks pretty from her place up in the sky,

That smiling slightly, even just briefly, at the last autumn leaf falling quietly,

Gives me some comfort that I’m here,

That there’s some bliss in the present moment.

It’s so easy to look back and notice the ice caps in your ocean,

And scorn and feel hurt that they all blocked your ship

From moving more easily and steady in its path,

When beneath those white, snowy floes

There was an iceberg that you could never see;

You could not understand in the present moments

The entire meaning of the reason for those small struggles,

Or that in the end they brought you somewhere,

Where you’re still breathing and noticing those small, quiet pleasures

That sweetens even the hardest days.




o

u

r

Pranav Brahmbhatt

Adeline Yu

Aerielle Ong

Emily Quah

t

e

a

m

Emma Yang

Sara Lowe

Serena Wu

Theresa Lee


Shivani Manohar


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