Talk to Fa

stories

I’ve come to embrace I’m not interested in stories written by others. Films, books, shows, talks, etc. It doesn’t matter if they are written by the greatest writer in history. Simply, they are not my stories. I love the fact people create and put them into the world to share, and sometimes I relate and resonate with some. But on a personal level, I’m solely interested in the experiences and interactions that happen immediately around me. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, right here right now.

#journal #stories

I had social anxiety as a low teen.

I started experiencing it after one of the biggest tragedies of my life.

There was a boy I was into. He was the captain of my school’s soccer team. Athletic, charismatic, and flamboyant. Beautiful hair, full lips, husky voice. He had strong thighs and calves like a proper soccer player. He wore a navy and orange Le Coq track jacket to his practice. He looked like young Gael Garcia Bernal, but East Asian. I was in love with him.

He became my boyfriend for like 2 months. It felt like heaven. We would go to the local mall for dates. He would walk me home from school, and we held hands. We planned our first kiss over the phone and made it happen the next day like little nerds. I never wanted it to end.

Then all of a sudden, he told me that he liked one of my girlfriends and he couldn’t be my boyfriend anymore.

Every day felt like darkness. It went from romantic to hopeless in no time. What even is the point of living, said my 12-year-old self. I’d never ever experienced that kind of pain before. I liked him so so much, yet I couldn’t have him. It was excruciating.

I don’t remember much from the following two years. I have no memories from the period. I am not exaggerating, but I was legit traumatized. It was shocking to my whole system and altered my way of being. Social anxiety was one of the outcomes I suffered.

Up until the boy came into my life and left, I was quite extroverted. Vocal, outgoing, and social. I loved to be around people and especially to talk to people. The experience completely changed me, and it took me a few years to sufficiently recover. I honestly feel like I’m still making my way back to the old me.

Side note, I realized the impact of this experience only recently. It came up when I was doing shadow work.

#stories #love #healing

My great-grandmother was a traveling psychic and a shaman.

I learned this for the first time just when I was about to leave home for the airport to return to LA. I’d been back home in Japan for 7 months for health recovery.

I never got to meet her, my great-grandmother. She was my father’s grandmother. I was told she was loved by her children and grandchildren. She would travel all over her town and perform rituals in people’s homes. She would use drums and other instruments and props as part of her spiritual rituals.

When I learned this, I felt the dots connecting within me. The dots I’ve been collecting as I move through life. They suddenly made sense. It’s in my blood, the gift. I’ve always felt that in my heart. In my soul.

She’s been with me this whole time.

#stories #intuition #ancestors

It was a chilly winter day. The sky was gloomy and the temperature was low. I met him near the Venice canals just before sunset.

He called himself a scientist from the hood. He really was. He was a lab chemist and grew up in Compton.

It was a second date. We sat at a table in the patio of a Mexican restaurant. He talked about his upbringing in South Central LA and some very complex and sophisticated processes of his work. He showered me with a collection of terminology I’d never heard of. I remember watching the flames in the fire pit and thinking, “I’m lost.” Like, was I just given an episode of podcast about science all to myself? While sipping on a margarita and munching on stale tortilla chips on a cold winter afternoon? Maybe.

My date was polite. There was sweet innocence to his nature. In contrast to his good manners, his body, though compact, had a sturdy athletic build. His hair was as wild as his passion for science. His skin had the kind of darkness only the world's most powerful kings deserve.

We left the restaurant and started walking towards the beach, still hoping to catch the sunset. Then I immediately sensed tension in the air. There was a man coming towards us with no shoes on. He locked his eyes with me. “Oh shit,” I said.

His head was shaved unevenly. His face was covered with dirt and anger that had nowhere to go. He was screaming derogatory words and phrases at everyone who passed him. And now, he’s found another target.

“Fucking chink” he shouted. At me, of course.

The Scientist from the Hood was furious. He acted as if he was the direct receiver of the disrespect. He took it personally, to his heart.

Me, not so much. Actually, not at all. The man with no shoes kept saying horrible, nasty things to me. Even I was surprised that did not affect me. I remained calm the whole time.

Right there at that moment, I remembered the time in college I received a compliment from a man at a grocery store. “You look like Lucy Liu,” he said to me. He meant well, although I look nothing like her. But my younger self was hyper-race-sensitive and believed the praise was culturally inappropriate. I was naive. If it happened to me today, I’d gladly accept the flattery. I mean, Lucy Liu is a gorgeous woman. But back then, I found the man’s innocent yet ignorant comment offensive and took it personally just like my date.

So much has happened to me since college. A few years ago, I decided I was not to take personally of negativity thrown at me by those I don’t respect. It was a conscious decision. The experience with the shoeless man and the reaction of my date only assured me of my growth. I was happy. I was proud of myself.

Needless to say, we split for the day. We never saw the sunset. I drove home drenched in joy, alone.

And I never saw the Scientist from the Hood again. I sincerely hope he’s doing well because I am grateful for the meaningful nuance he added to my epiphany.

#stories #healing #human

When I was in my late 20’s, I was offered a full-time position at a global ad agency. It was my first six-figure salary.

I was given a glorious job title, doing creative work for renowned brands, in a posh office in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

With the money, I was able to afford to shop and lunch at nearby spots every day and live comfortably.

Soon enough, I found myself feeling out of place, totally disconnected from everyone around me in the office.

The people were nice. I didn’t receive any direct treatment that was unpleasant. But there was something off about some of them. I couldn’t really put that into words at that time.

And I blamed myself for feeling that way because I was young and unable to trust my judgment. I felt guilty for not vibing with my colleagues and the atmosphere of the office.

Every morning, I dreaded going into the office. I felt so alienated although many “nice” people surrounded me.

A couple of months after my start date, I decided to make up a fake reason and resign from the job. I was terrified about lying just to quit. I didn’t want to burn any bridges.

Years went on. I saw a headline on LinkedIn. A head of an agency was accused of harassment and was fired, along with a few other men who partook in the action. It was the agency I lied to leave.

#stories #intuition