The 3 Parts to Love

As per usual, my good friend ECC and I always enjoy having deep, meaningful conversations via text. Today's topic: love. ECC I remember years ago I asked you what it felt like to be IN love. K: What did I say? E: Not much. I asked that question while you were still with R*. If anything, your response, although short, was a little hostile. You mentioned it was difficult to explain and different for everyone, but that was about it. Years later, I'm curious how you would describe being in love, after all these encounters and years after your major relationship. I think I remember this instance so well because I expected some sort of answer full of rainbows and butterflies, but your response caught me off guard.

Normally, when someone poses me a question, I would immediately have a response for that person. I've been trained to think on my toes and over time, I've learned to accurately formulate my response in a simplistic manner. But c'mon. This is love we're talking about and nothing about it is easy, especially when it comes to talking about it. However, I will try my best and take a stab at it anyway. Wish me luck.

So here's my take on the topic; separated in three parts and copied directly from my conversation with ECC.

Part I Falling in love

Falling in love is beautiful. That’s the rainbow and butterflies that people are always talking about. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s addicting. You find yourself at a new place and wanting to share all of these special moments with someone. Falling in love can happen pretty quickly or it can happen through a span of years or for the lucky ones, a lifetime. You hear that saying about couples falling in love with each other everyday.

Part II Being in love

Being in love is a little bit different. You learn about someone’s flaws, their quirks, the good and the bad. Then you make it a choice to love them, despite knowing these things. Being in love is when you truly get to know someone. I believe that it’s one of the most enriching experiences ever. Some people fall, but they never really get the chance to actually “be” with the other person. So then the two of you try to find what works, what doesn't and suddenly you find yourself at a brand new place.

Part III Staying in love

And then there’s staying in love. I would like to say that it is the hardest stage of all. Staying in love requires effort, time, commitment. It requires patience, mutual respect, compassion, trust, and understanding. I honestly feel like this is where your relationship takes a huge twist and turn. This is the part where life starts to throw shit at the both of you, giving you reasons to walk away, but as a couple, you two are fighting together to keep something that’s important to the both of you.

But as always, sometimes it's about finding yourself and who you are, and then realizing that the person you’ve fallen in love with might not actually be the person you should stay with. So once again, you're going to have to make another choice.

And now for my reflection ---

At seventeen years old, I thought something was seriously wrong with me. While my girl friends were dating left and right, I was lucky if the guy that I liked notices or says hi to me. I've never gotten asked to a homecoming dance and I can't even tell you the number of times I watched my crush fall for someone else that wasn't yours truly.

That all changed when I met my first and last boyfriend. Falling in love with him was something completely unexpected, but he made it easy (a little bit too easy if you asked me). He was a gentle, kind, loving, and loyal person. But what separated him from everyone else was that he was my friend and for nearly an entire year, we stayed in touch through a small screen. You know, way back when oovooing and leaving video messages on other people's Facebook walls were the trends.

Being in love with him had its moments, but I loved him everyday. Now, staying in love with him....that was the hard part. It was hard because inspite of everything that we were able to experience together, I knew we were not going to last. We were just too different.

So my dilemma, at the time, was this: how do you stay in love with someone when you can't picture forever with them?

I couldn't do it so naturally things ended. Emily commented on this and said that at the very least, it was a great chapter of my life that propelled me forward instead of holding me back and she was absolutely right. While there's no happy ending to that particular chapter, to this day, I can still talk about my first love with a big smile on my face. Why? He taught me how to love.

I think I'm done with all these cheesy talks for today, but thank you for reading my perspective on something that means a whole lot to me. [:

Falling in Love (Again)

tumblr_n4wtv2pElY1rfdmrjo1_500 I've discovered so many incredible things in college. Through my upper division classes, I furthered my passion and interest in new media and technology. By rushing and becoming a sister of a social sorority, I found a family away from home. By allowing myself to be more open, I've discovered the beauty that comes with living in the city of dreams.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to a message from my girl friend: I will see you at your graduation. Later that night, she booked her flight. Might I add that she will only be staying with me for less than 24 hours before she has to head back to Berkeley for her own graduation. Bless Buddha for giving me such an incredible and inspiring friend.

As I am two weeks shy away from calling myself a USC alum, I am now currently going through the denial stage of the Kubler-ross model of grief.

Have I rented my cap and gown? Nope. Have I finished designing my invitation? Nope. And what about my graduation photos? *Shakes head* So what have I been doing lately? Pretty much everything excluding the things I should be doing. Within the last week and a half alone, I've sat through all of my late night lectures, filmed on-site at the new iPic Theater, completed a debate project on consumer-generated content, submitted three position papers, performed a Beyonce set, and MC'ed for the annual Asian Greek Council talent show.

Despite my constant screams of 'What is life?!?!' I have to say that USC has given me the BEST two years of my entire life. Awhile ago, I had a heart-to-heart talk with one of my girl friends and I admittedly told her how nervous I was. "It's scary. Two years just flew by." "Did you find a lot of things at 'SC?" "Yeah...quite a few." Now that I think about it, I've been able to discover quite a number of things. But two of the most important things I was able to experience was loss and love.

I started USC as a girl who just got out of a serious two-year relationship. Since the wounds were still fresh, it seemed instinctual for me to be more guarded and careful, especially if it involves talking to other guys. I quickly learned that the fascinating thing about immersing myself in the college culture was that it could essentially consume me. Within my first week, the heartache and emotional pain literally dissipated. I found exercise to be my ultimate mood and soul lifter. As unlikely as it seemed at the time, school became my gateway to self-fulfillment. What further numbed the pain was my courage to open myself up again to new friendships and opportunities. Of course, it wasn't easy. Undergoing change is never that easy but what I've learned was that with such loss comes an increased in attentiveness: of what's important; whom I care about; and moreover, who cares about me. I also found that the most potent step of all was to extend love and forgiveness to myself. Despite of my chaotic schedule, I spent at least ten minutes every night to reflect on my day and my progress. And for the last couple of months or so, I gained some valuable revelations and started to fall in love again.

1) I fell for my education. 

 - I thoroughly enjoyed every single class at USC. I sat in lectures with the best wide receiver in the nation, Academy Award winning director and producer, founder of The Wrap, whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, news correspondents, New York Times editors, NFL football players, and many more. I attended conferences, weekend seminars, and office hours. As nerdy as it may sound, I've never been more in love with my education.

2) I fell for the city.

Though I am not a fan of the pollution and lack of street parking, I have to admit that LA has been my dream city since the third grade. I knew I wanted to live at a place where people come exclusively to live. And I mean really live. So it wasn't too much of a surprise when I found myself falling for the city instantly. I am completely in love with the bustling atmosphere, hip-street culture, and does it hurt that I'm also down the street from my favorite Korean BBQ restaurant?Angeleno Werner Herzog said, "Los Angeles is the city with the most abundance---cultural abundance. Things get done in LA." It's safe to say that  movies are made here. Dreams are made here. Empires are created here. Me? I want to do all three.

3) I fell for myself. 

Now before you say anything, let me explain what I mean by this. I am a big believer in self-love; however, the concept of being in love with myself just seemed so bizarre. However, more and more, I began to believe that it's the best prerequisite of all because who I am is a culmination of a lot of things---of my experiences, of my environment, of my peers, and of the choices that I make every single day. Falling in love and being in love is a choice on my end. So today and everyday, for the rest of my life, I choose it for myself. Essentially, it's learning to give myself a nice hot bath after a long and productive day of work and school. It's feeding myself with a healthy nutritious meal and exercise routinely. It's learning to laugh about the crazy antics that I go through on the daily. It's learning to appreciate the things that make me weird and the qualities that make me brilliant. Finally, it's realizing that I don't need any other man to tell me otherwise.

So cheers to a person who has lost and love.