I Think I Love You

I love this short film by Xiya Lan. In her words:

It’s about different ways of love. We all love people and are loved by others in various personal ways. Maybe we like it or maybe we don’t like it. But love is a whole thing, we are only pieces. It’s about suffering, growth and change. After embracing all, you’ll find it a beautiful peaceful thing.

Dad’s First Comment

While working in Thailand, I received the following message from my brother:

I checked our shared iCloud photo album (primarily used to share photos and videos of my niece, but lately I’ve been sharing photos of my travels so that my family knows that I’m alive and well) and saw several likes and comments from a Jenny Zhu.

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I got my parents iPads a couple of years ago — they’re registered in my name, which is why the comments appear from “Jenny Zhu.” But this is the first time they’ve posted anything, anywhere. I’m overcome with glee because, well, how cute is this?! They’re learning! Can’t wait to continue to help them (slowly) discover the wonders and conveniences of technology.

The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships

Love is a benevolent process whereby two people try to teach each other how to become the best versions of themselves.

 

Loved this episode of On Being — it so perfectly captures how I view love and relationships, which while beautiful, can also be flawed and exhausting, and rest heavily on the shoulders of compatibility and communication.

 

We must fiercely resist the idea that true love must mean conflict-free love, that the course of true love is smooth. It’s not. The course of true love is rocky and bumpy at the best of times. That’s the best we can manage as the creatures we are. It’s no fault of mine or no fault of yours; it’s to do with being human. And the more generous we can be towards that flawed humanity, the better chance we’ll have of doing the true hard work of love.

My Brother

As we indulged in leftover Halloween candy today after lunch, my coworkers and I reminisced about our childhood experiences surrounding the holiday, touching on our various strategies to maximize candy collection, and equally important, candy retention. Yeah, parents would take it away, but most everyone at the table mentioned that their siblings were the biggest culprits when it went missing.

That wasn’t the case for me though, because my brother was the best. I don’t remember any candy theft; on the contrary, he showered me with treats and looked out for me.

When he fundraised for school by selling candy, he’d save and buy me my favorites.

When he frequented Comic Grapevine, the local comic book and gaming store, he’d bring me along so that I could buy candy, play or watch them play the games, peruse the comic books, and play with the store cats. I can’t imagine how annoying or embarrassing it’d be to have your kid sister tag along for stuff like that, but he brought me anyway. It’s where I discovered my love for Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat — I was never any good, but I was happy to watch. It’s where I spent my hard-earned money on new pogs — the sparkly slammers were my faves, of course. It’s where I learned how to play Magic: The Gathering, amassing my own collection of cards and subsequently blowing the minds of all the boys in my class — I had to bring my decks to school and play before they believed me.

And when I started dating, going to dances and parties, and generally doing all the things my parents forbade me from doing, he’d cover for me, pick me up late at night, and always make sure I was safe.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a sibling like mine.

 

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(Apologies for the terrible photo quality!)

Nostalgia

I came across an email I received as a freshman in college (more than a decade ago!), that touches me deeply to this day. I’ve been fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life, and I hope everyone knows that even if we aren’t in touch anymore, they remain a part of me.

Here’s to living honestly, vulnerably, fully.

 

Ok, so my roommate just read this long nostalgic article about how when we leave here we go back to our homes and we won’t ever have this dorm life again. Anyway, it is just making me think. I know you are busy with all of your homework, and I know that I should give you space, but you know, I don’t want to go home this summer regretting the time I had with you down the hall. I can’t think of wasting months of having you so close, being able to be with you so effortlessly. It’s not going to be like this again. I don’t mean to come off too emotionally (I feel like I can say what I am really thinking around you, otherwise I would never have sent this). So I guess tell me what you think, but I don’t think I’m going to try to “give you space.” I’m just going to hang out with you like you’re my friend. Screw the rest of the emotions, I just want to be able to hang out with you and not feel any sort of tension because of other feelings.