Dreams and Sunday Morning

I had several bad dreams last night. I kept getting hot flashes but both my arms were cold. I dreamed over and over again that I would walk into a chemistry class and get harassed by my science teacher who I hated. Floyd grew his hair out to look like Michael Jackson, he got braces and was more effeminate. He was my safety net. He was watching this film based in Oakland/Berkeley about scientists exercising a coup and defending some discovery. There was a full on war. The film’s activities were synced with this three dimensional map that showed the activities from a view from the top. It was so amazing. I wasn’t sure if I was in the future or now. The things Floyd said felt good. And I wondered if I was in the future or not.

I dreamed that Pharrell and Nicki Minaj had sex and Nicki let me touch her booty. We were making out. And we were going to do Pharrell too. I wasn’t into Pharrell and maybe there wasn’t chemistry. He stopped me and said I was doing stuff like a white person and I got offended. Then I watched the two of them fuck and it was so erotic. I came from touching myself in my dream.

I woke up thinking about acceptance, popularity, and safety. June Ambrose’s daughter has this picture of her slightly chubby self carrying a fashion purse and her chin tilted up. I relate to her often. Not perfect but very confident. She’s so beautiful. I wondered how I could emulate that in my life. I constantly feel I need to be fixed and that I’m a work in progress. Could I just be perfect where I am? Could I make myself believe that and not feel like such a loser?

I’ve never felt like a loser my whole entire life until right now. I want to know why. I want to know how I can change it. In my dream, Floyd said you always want to know “how” things are.

I started having this goal since yesterday that perhaps I don’t want to learn massage and hair but I just want to manage a salon that includes all of those components. So that said, I just need to fund the space, manage the staff and think about how I develop my work further. Thinking about things from this angle, what do I need to do to be successful? How do I make it scalable? How do I manage it well?

Time to get up and get moving. No time to really sort these questions out. I gotta keep moving.

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V – O – I – C – E || A – G – E – N – C – Y 

Today I got inspired. Maybe I should do this more often. Meaning, go to shows. With Southeast Asians. Today a friend of mine said to me that I’m a good writer. It’s such a surprise to hear that unsolicited. (I really appreciate that friend for touching on something no one else knows.) So I take it as a message that I should really pen down my thoughts more often. If for no one else, me. 

No one ever speaks to me when I get home. My mom doesn’t say hi. I consider saying hi to her, but I weigh the odds and it just isn’t worth it. I come home to my own spot, but no one really talks. Rarely, if ever, does anyone ask me what I think, how I feel, whether I have considered this or that and most of all, if I’m happy. (Well, except for the person I’ve been seeing, but that’s a different subject.) 

I live in a world where for the most part I am silence. That silence is deafening. I sometimes hear so many voices in my head. I want them all to stop. When I was in college, Professor Knaus asked me to write about what silences me. Those three words have haunted me since I was a freshman. 

Is it my mom who won’t talk to me? Is it society and racism? Is it me for internalizing it all?

I’ll say this. It’s a lot of things. It’s what I can’t even write about because I am judging it as I type it. It’s the person I want to be my mentor and is my “savior” who said some things that hurt me before that she can never take back. It’s no one, not even my mom, for taking the time to get to know me. It’s me believing in them and trusting them, that they mean well. It’s the fact that I feel so misunderstood, alone and withdrawn from the world that I fight, kick and scream. It’s the fact that I only feel myself in certain places, certain times and with certain people that I don’t trust myself because I cannot be myself all the time. It’s the fact that I always feel judged and not loved and I am judging every action I take because someone won’t love me if I do it. And someone will love me less if I fight back. I will find out that they love me even less when they don’t care. 

 What keeps me from being my true self is that if no one has ever been interested in me, what I think, maybe I wasn’t worth it in the first place. Maybe no one thinks I have anything important to say. Maybe I am just unworthy.

Maybe my perspective doesn’t matter. Maybe my words don’t amount to much. Maybe I couldn’t put them together if I tried. Maybe I am just broken. 



Maybe I am the opposite. Super powerful. Maybe I have agency. Maybe there are people who will draw it out. But no one will love me like mom should… right? I don’t trust anyone. I don’t trust help. I don’t trust love. 

I don’t have stability. 

I don’t have stability.
I don’t – I am from Oakland, CA. A beautiful place. A proud place. A broken place. A dangerous place. A place where the wrong look gets you hurt. A place where diversity is also like you-could-get-your-shit-took-if-youre-not-careful. A place where looking around is depressing. A place where maybe just maybe you can look for hope in a cool graff piece or a warm thought. But the factor is that you LOOK for it. 

I have come to realize that there are people in the world – the suburbs and wealthy subdivisions – who have never experienced the uncertainty I have before. And their world is not perfect but their world is OK. OK as in even. OK as in “normal”. Normal as in they ain’t scared that all they ever had could be gone the next second. That something very violent could happen in front of their eyes and the community around them will just adjust to that normal. 

I have come to realize that I am not one of those people. I am very scared of losing what I have. I am very scared of the cycle of poverty that has repeated itself in my life over and over and over again until I think it’s normal and I expect things to fuck up. I get uncomfortable around people who are stable. I feel inadequate around the people who have always had enough. 

I get scared. 

I get scared a lot. 

But basically I get so scared that everything wonderful will be taken from me that I don’t believe in beautiful things like care, tenderness and love. I don’t think I deserve it. I don’t see it on a regular basis from my systems of trust and so I don’t believe it’s normal. I actually feel very strange when someone sees me and makes an attempt to let me know. When that happens I know I’m broken. (I wonder if my pure heart will ever come back. I wonder if it could be a natural part of me.) I know I’ve lost a chance to truly be honest about my struggles, my self, my voice(s). 

So I write and prefer to write because here is a focused unadulterated blank space where I get to let out my thoughts and see them, forreal. And because they waste no one else’s time, cut no one, and cannot get cut down, I put them down. I am silenced because no where I look do I see me – not in the ways people look back at me, not in the ways people listen, not in the family I call home, not in any person I talk to because the parts of me I show are just the parts that I have gotten accustomed to showing, not in the media (definitely not in the media), not in my trust. 

I do not have a voice because I am imprisoned by the shackles of shame and disappointment. I no longer seek a voice that empowers me because too many things have disempowered me to the point of worthlessness. 

I am 30 and this is my voice. Thank you Meng for asking me about me and encouraging me to write.

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I hate Christmas with my family

I wish my sisters didn’t make me feel so bad
I wonder if my mom loves me as much as she loves my brother
I wish my mom loves me as much as my brother
I wonder why my sister hates me
I wish my sister didn’t hate me
I wonder if my boyfriend would ever like being with my family
I wonder if anyone ever wants me to get married
I wonder if anyone wants me around.

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A Poem I Wrote when Maya Angelou Passed


You left the world today. Somehow, I know…

This omen, this prayer you left behind…

You set it on fire so that those who could see would realize

You held a truth.

Maya I feel what you did

You lived a life blazed of your own passion

Maya you created your own life of courage and truth-speaking.

In my life’s path, I honor you.

I ask that you guide me to blaze my own path of truth. 

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An Explanation: Why have I “changed”?

I know, it’s crazy. You’re probably thinking, “How could a girl I knew for years and years (or just met) have changed? What could possibly have changed about her? Why is she letting me know publicly?” Well, I can answer that. What you see from person can have very little to do with what you know about a person. In other words, I have a story that most people I have met don’t know. I am working on changing that story every single day.

I don’t purport to play the victim, or make my story seem bigger than anyone else’s. In fact, what this experience has taught me is incredible compassion for others. I learned how to stop judging and accept more because my story was unbelievable, even to me.

I won’t get into the details of the story yet because I’m still not 100% ready to share it. Here’s what I can tell you. Because of that experience, my self-esteem went from really high and undulating there to really, really low, and undulating there. I was ashamed of myself all the time. I couldn’t really appreciate my own beauty. I didn’t value my body. I felt poor and broke. I regretted many of my decisions. I was hopeless.

I told myself that I’d bounce back. There were times in the last few years I didn’t think I’d make it because the voices in my head were so loud. I didn’t even know how I was still standing, able to go to work, and smile to the world, let alone do my job which was to confidently shake hands and smile at hundreds of people all the time in a business suit.

I learned an important lesson: you really can fake it until you make it. No one knows behind a pretty smile and a nice suit how much you’re hurting inside. Only you do. I had to stop living my professional career for a while because I decided to face myself. I risked losing my professional rapport and being broke so I could journey within, take new risks, and find myself on the other side of my problems.

I was really afraid everywhere I went that I would expose my weaknesses and other people would discover my weaknesses and deconstruct my intelligence, professionalism, and even my pain. On the outside, it could really seem like I’m a normal person. On the inside, I was dying. I struggled to find a connection between me and the world, me and good, me and my path. Everything was upside down, out-of-order, and I had no idea how I would put everything back together.


My friend, Claudia, and I having drinks at a Jazz Reggae fest at UCLA.


I went to church a lot. Some of you who have known me as a Buddhist your whole life, may have noticed that I honor spirit, God, or even the divine. It seemed like I joined a cult. It’s because meditation wasn’t enough for me. I needed a savior. For almost a year, I religiously went to Agape Spiritual Living Center and followed Michael Bernard Beckwith. My closest family and friends were sometimes concerned that I was being manipulated by some cultish new age religion. No one ever said it, but I felt it. But Agape was the only place where I felt I had the freedom and messages I needed to heal.

Agape gave me a choice to start believing in faith and good in humanity again. So I became dedicated to living and breathing what I was learning about god, good energy and the law of attraction. It sounds hella hokey, I know. But if you’ve never lost yourself, you may not understand how dark that place is where you feel absolutely nothing. Every time I read about or watch a story related to PTSD, I harken back to the moments when I was crushed. Faith in a greater power and purpose kept me focused and strong, especially when I was most lost.

There’s a part of me that’s dead, I promise you. I don’t know if it’ll ever come back alive again. But I can assure you: recently, more parts than I came remember in a long time have started to sprout again. I’ve started to feel a confidence I haven’t experienced since high school or college. This familiar, happy-go-lucky girl, is starting to come back. I see it.

But this time, it’s different. This time, I am back but I’m more compassionate. I’m stronger than I was before I was broken. My colors are deeper now because I can’t be broken again. I’m not angry with my past, I’m making peace with it. Making peace with my past felt like a long road ahead at one point. But I made it. I’m here, at first grade, the beginning of my new chapter. It feels so good.

I know what it’s like to be lost and found again. I know what it’s like to hurt so crazy, you want to rip it out. But the beauty of this story is that I didn’t rip it out. I just let love spread all over it, all the time, until finally it stopped hurting.

If my announcement that I have changed surprises you or makes you curious. Trust this: you know a Carina – an old Carina. The Carina writing is a different Carina, a Carina  who is more patient, compassionate, more loving, and caring. I have broken, and fallen but I have put the pieces back together in new ways!

I want to tell you my story because I don’t want you to think of me as the “wholesome Asian American [or fill-in-the-blank] girl” you’ve always known. Inside many people who hide it well, there is pain. I just ask you to acknowledge that you see it in me and you welcome my stroll after the storm. Maybe you’ll look at someone who seems a little off, and maybe you won’t judge them negatively.

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Re-make – Undergoing a new iteration of self!

Friends! Everyone! I’ve been contemplating an announcement for some time now. Today feels like the perfect chance to do so. I am going through a new iteration of self today.

As such, I did the following: 1) I made a list of “qualities” and goals I’m moving towards, continuing to align my subconscious mind with my conscious reality. 2) It’s helping me release about my story of shame, fear, and judgment of abundance. I really do believe that some of us have limiting thoughts that keep us from shining our best selves. Like they say, you are your own worst enemy! I believe that you can change your environment if you change yourself. We all can. So here I am fiercely announcing to my Facebook/blog community that I’m changing! I like it! I want you to be apart of my journey into greater acceptance and manifesting. 3) Some of the values I want to move towards are authenticity, more love for everything, and collaboration on ideas/talents. This means I’m moving away from labels and limiting thoughts that no longer serve me. I’m writing more, share my ideas maybe you’ve never heard me talk about before, and be more fucking willing to dialogue. No controversy. Exchange. That opens me up to hearing better. 4) I’m reconstructing my blog, Instagram, Twitter, social media outlets to better serve this overall purpose. Some of these changes are minor and may not even be noticeable to you. Some of the changes aren’t so small. So bear with me as I make this change but hopefully you’ll like it!

Over the weekend, I had several deep and meaningful interactions that really helped me “get here”. Those conversations were authentic and engaged. I realize how much conversation is a basic way to expand on thoughts and ideas. They helped me shed my thinking so I could move to the next “level”. So I want to talk to death now! As a kid, I was shamed for talking “too much.” But I LOVE talking, how can I deny that unique and wonderful quality about me? Moreover, I want to talk but not to myself! 

You are my community. What we talk about matters helps me. I want to include you in my journey! So I am announcing that I committing today to walk in my authentic self – talking about and sharing it – without shame, so that I can realize more of my potential and tap into my true self. Be excited! I hope you will be apart of it! 


Watch my back in Tree pose.

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Dear Tupac,

I’m thinking of you today. I looked up your photos on google and clicked on Tupac smiling.. It was suggested by google. Seeing your face warms me. I wonder what you would say about the world today. What would you do?


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