I’m almost 25 years old. In that time, I’ve put a lot of things in my mouth (what an unfortunate way of wording things). I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing dozens on dozens of different cuisines. Of the restaurants, eateries, cafes, and food trucks I have been to, I’ve had many delectable eats and some not-so wonderful eats. I’ve always wondered about the food industry. How does the magic happen and how do the pieces of the puzzle fit together? What differentiates a good restaurant from one that fails to meet expectations?
When I read your writing, I forget to breathe: I’m caught up in a whirlwind of imagination; Longing for more character, and more of what you have to offer. victim and slave to your own mind and thoughts, every "flaw", carefully scrutinized, although unwarranted. You’re strong - capable of anything, but you don’t believe; only looking at weakness, perpetuating the self-doubt; understand that you are the best version of you right now. We all doubt ourselves, but when you ONLY listen to that voice, you become a reflection of your worst self. I know that is not true. I can see the confident, proud, and self-sufficient girl inside, when I look into your eyes. Why else would I shy away from looking into them? It is too much for me - my ma always said "never look at the sun." She also told me to say what I feel. The way I feel about you is written into this piece. Strong, like the first letter of every line.
Contrary to what I posted on Medium, this was written with someone in mind. It was a little white lie that I’m sure no one will believe. However, everything else in that intro was true and on point. I love to write because it is therapeutic, but I also have a nasty habit of keeping some things in at the expense of my sanity, emotional wellbeing, and physical health. Sometimes life gives you a lot of things to deal with all at once and writing helps me ease the pain and find clarity in a way that I can’t find anywhere else. It’s not that having a heart to heart with friends doesn’t help, but friends are only there a part of the time. Best friends will stick around a little longer than your acquaintances, but when push comes to shove, how many people will truly be there? WHO will always have your back? Who knows your every thought better than…yourself?
And so I sat down one day with a nothing more than a cup of tea, my trusty pen, and my notebook. I let it all out. Rather than generalize and then get specific, I decided to start specific and apply it generally. People who know me well, and by well I mean we talk on a weekly basis, will undoubtedly know who I had in mind. Those who don’t will be lost, but don’t you fret, because this piece is for you as well. There are common strains in humanity and if ever you’ve felt that you’ve loved someone for a slew of reasons, then you know these feelings and thoughts.
It’s about love, it’s about seeing someone for who you believe them to be, whether that is a correct assumption or not – whether they prove that to you or not, and it’s about loving unrequitedly so that you may be forced to love unconditionally. It is not naiveté, but rather, faith, trust, and a belief in yourself that fuels the fire of love and keeps it burning bright even when you want to put it out and go to sleep.
So without further ado, I present to you:
10 Things I Love About You (and you should too)
by Vincent Tang.
I spent all yesterday afternoon and yesterday evening fiddling with adding a search bar to my website. I was pretty tired, but I still wanted to try and change it up. I’ve gone through many phases. In the beginning, all I wanted was to have a relatively static site that I could control all aspects of. That’s why I went with Joomla. Then I discovered WordPress and decided that I would go with that as a CMS because it was so aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.
I hopped on the Tumblr bandwagon, but never fully embraced it because it was not feature-rich enough for me. If my website was to be my face on the web, I wanted it to be something I was proud of and could control. WordPress hit all those spots for me. I had a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, but not PHP. Still, I went for it and jumped. I’ve been self-taught all my life and that’s how I like discover the world around me. I find that as a hands-on learner, doing things and jumping right in helps me understand the fundamentals and gets me hooked. After a few tries I usually show massive improvement.
We should all dream and we should, at some point, all dream about love. We’re not setting high expectations or even idealizing relationships. We’re just using our imaginations because sometimes, the imagination is all we have. We’re all just dreaming of love. This brings me back to what Victor E. Frankl says about finding meaning in life. When the odds are against us and we come face to face with immense suffering or unbearable grief, we dream. We dream of better days ahead and hold onto hope. Hope is the intangible force that keeps us hanging on and moving forward, with faith driving our feelings and actions. I think most people have a vision of what love looks and feels like, even if it is based on unrealistic fantasies. Fantasies, hopes, dreams, and visions of love are simple manifestations of subconscious erotic and neurotic desires. It shouldn’t be surprising then, that media turns our desires into a dramatic visual on screen. In effect, as a society, we’re taught to believe that love should feel a certain way and that certain actions are romantic while others are not only unromatic, but hindrances to love and budding relationships. I have my own dream and vision of an “ideal” love, but read it with this in mind: an ideal love is not necessarily a happy one, nor is it always the right one. It is the fictional one that we can escape to in times of need, when our lives become inundated with stress, responsibilities, expectations, fights, and synergistic effects of everyday troubles.
Years ago, when I was an undergrad at UC Davis, I took a class (my last class during my stay) about refuse in American culture. The course was titled: Objects and Everyday Life: Garbage, Junk, and Refuse. It touched on themes of garbage, refuse management, recycling, up-cycling, reuse, thrifting, second hand, and nature. If you’re interested in the lifestyle concerning secondhand and thrifting, because there is a thriving culture in it, I implore you to grab a copy of Second Hand by Michael Zadoorian. It is a novel and a great read, delving at lengths into the spiritual side of thrifting.
I blame the television for my sometimes overactive imagination and meandering mind. Early in my childhood, I spent hours glued to the tube, watching anything that mesmerized me. Just to name a few, I often caught episodes of Barney, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Power Rangers, Relic Hunter, and StarGate SG-1. I can attribute my love of sci-fi and history to these shows. They opened my mind up to new stories and new possibilities. It didn’t matter if they were unrealistic, fairy tales, or of lands full of magic, because they all reflected the values that I hold dear to the core of my being. This constant buzz in my head has never ceased and I don’t believe it ever will. It has forced me to incessantly wander whether I want to or not, but I’ve grown to enjoy it. Through it all, I’ve come up with a clearer understanding of this beast. The beast that holds me hostage and now, I also now know how to control it.
What happens to us when times get tough? People always say that the only constant in life is change. Things are always changing, although not necessarily in good ways. Sometimes it’s good, but every once in a while we encounter the bad, and who’s to say what is positive and what is negative? I think we have to agree – and it certainly shows in all of my writing – that we understand nothing. We try to make sense of the world as best we can, given our limited resources, knowledge, and wit. There will never be a day, at least in the near future, where we understand all that there is. Tough times call for thicker skin, right? It’s what everyone I’ve ever met tells me. But I always force myself to remember that tough skin makes us immune to all the rest of the stimuli in the world. Building yourself to be tough is not always good. Take it from someone who has spent almost half of his life doing just that. I wouldn’t say that it’s hopeless, but it most certainly isn’t necessary. Why do we feel the need to create this impermeable exterior while inside, we’re slowly crumbling under the pressures of being human?