Educate Yourself On Black Lives Matter

It’s not enough to say, “I voted for Obama,” or argue on Facebook.

Not going to lie. Addressing privilege is the hardest task ever. But, addressing white privilege…is even worse especially when you’re a brown person criticizing that privilege. Before I begin, addressing white privilege is NOT AN ATTACK on the white race. It’s simply criticizing the sociological frame that promotes this privilege in all races and cultures. My goal is to not alienate a group of people. Rather, I am extending an olive branch by sharing resources to help all of us make informed decisions. It’s not a “us v. them” situation because addressing white privilege helps all of us. Educating yourself on the Black Lives Matter movement benefits the collective need which will help everyone.

If you’re ready to feel uncomfortable and fight your defensive urges, then please continue to read on.

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The Half of It: Movie Review

A GenZ teen film that I can re-watch several times.

When a book smart, but short on cash, Ellie Chu decides to help a jock win over his crush, she doesn’t expect to fall for his crush. In the Half of It, Ellie is a modern-day shy-teenage-girl. Instead of having toilet paper stuck to her shoe or being constantly teased, Ellie keeps to herself and occasionally gets called “choo-choo.” As the only Chinese-American girl in her town, Ellie stands out like a sore thumb. But, she can blend into a crowd with no questions asked. Although Ellie enjoys writing and keeping to herself, the audience can tell something is missing in her life. When Paul asks Ellie for her help to win over Aster, Ellie learns the importance of letting people in.

For those who want no spoilers, then stop reading now.

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Glorious Female Warriors

We stand together because we naturally come together.

Why do I hate her? A question I frequently asked myself while growing up. As a kid, my parents didn’t care about the gender of my friends until I entered middle school. With raging hormones and never-ending puberty, my parents felt it best to separate me from the opposite sex (probably something they wish they could still do). So, I ended up hanging out with the girls in my class. And, when I say, “hanging out,” I mean sitting alone at the lunch tables or study rooms and eavesdropping on their conversations while I did other things.

Image from Pinterest.com

When you’re insecure about everything, your stubbornness controls you.  This allows you to assume that you’re perfect by focusing on the faults of others, which is especially true when you’re a teenager. So, I judged the girls in my class. I scoffed when they said they got up at 5 am to curly their hair for school; I commented about them wearing too much makeup or getting fake tans (BTW, white girls, go to tanning salons that don’t turn your skin orange); I rolled my eyes when they broke the school dress code or wore high heels to class; and, I disliked the girls who dated frequently. But, to be clear, I never openly hated these girls. I simply masked it with a sense of pity. “Oh, I feel sorry for her because [insert insult here].”

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A Huge Leap of Faith

Nothing falls into place, you have to work constantly.

In mid-April I found out that I would be moving to Alamosa, Colorado. And, I was expected to start working in June. (Oh boy.) I felt overwhelmed with joy then consumed with anxiety.

My sister said being an adult is basically “taking huge leaps of faith then not knowing if it was the right decision.” Naturally, this stressed me out even more. I’d always had a clear vision of where I am supposed to be. From college to law school, I knew exactly what to expect from each decision. Luckily, my family continuously gave me a fall back – coming home.

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It’s Okay, I Am Not Okay Too

Mental Health Awareness.

Hi, my dear readers.

I wanted to take a moment to say that’s it’s okay to: not be okay, to be okay, not be fine, and to be fine.

You’re not alone when tiny things trigger intense emotional reactions. And, these reactions feel like an emotional overload where stress, anxiety, fear and sadness spill over each other.

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Never Have I Ever: TV Show Review

I hope Ryan Reynolds will narrate my adolescence.

Mindy Kaling (Image from Decider.com)

Mindy Kaling and Lang Fischer decided to create a TV Show about an Indian-American teenager, Devi, and it was the best decision they ever made! Okay, so maybe I am biased because I am a huge Mindy fan. But, I love comedy television. I grew up on shows like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Gilmore Girls, The Mindy Project, and New Girl. Naturally, I would gravitate toward Never Have I Ever. Throughout this review I will not talk about major plot points for those who don’t like spoilers.

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I’m Always Exhausted

Fighting the good fight is exhausting. Being on the right side of justice isn’t enough to achieve justice. I have to work twice as hard then fight those who disagree with my definition of justice. It probably doesn’t help that I’m a minority woman fighting this fight.

When I was 9 years old, my mother explained the “consequences” of being a minority women in America. Although my mother immigrated to the United States from India in the early 90s, she faced a lot of discrimination. Honestly, I was terrified when my mother told me all the hardship and struggle I will face. It made me question why my parents left India. Then, I thought: I would probably face a different set of struggles in India. Since my mother told me this, I’ve always felt like an outsider. I didn’t know how to feel when pledging alliance to the US Flag; I didn’t know how to answer questions about my nationality; I didn’t know how to explain to others that I don’t celebrate Christmas; and, I didn’t know how to navigate in this world.

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People Aren’t Viruses

Guest Contributor: Jessica “Lylan” Nguyen.

I am not Chinese – and neither is COVID-19.  I am a proud Vietnamese American woman. Proud to be Vietnamese.  Proud to be American. #wearenotavirus

Jessica “Lylan” Nguyen

Hello Everyone!

My name is Lylan, or Jessica, or The-Most-Awesome-Person-In-The-World. Please address me by any of those names. I would like thank Nikki for asking me to write a post for her site. My goal is for you to imagine me sitting in front of you telling you my story. So, get comfortable because I want you to be able to feel all of my emotions, see every eye roll and dramatic expression, and hear every exasperated sigh. But, more importantly, I want you to learn something. 

Will this blog be as scatter-minded as my brain? Maybe, but that’s Nikki’s job to make sure it isn’t. (Good luck with that, bitch.) 

Will this blog be a hot mess of words? Quite possibly. But, bear with me because this blog will be 99% unfiltered and 100% me.  

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Just Mercy: Book & Movie Review

Using our broken-ness to help others.

If you haven’t already, please read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. If you’re not much of a reader, then watch the film directed by Destin Daniel Cretton starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson. I will say that the book gives you a better insight into Mr. Stevenson’s work. However, Jordan’s performance as Stevenson was very sexy…so…there is that. (Insert the winking emoji here.)

Just Mercy follows attorney, Bryan Stevenson, as he represents Death Row inmates in Alabama. Although the state of Alabama takes pride in being the home of the famous To Kill a Mockingbird case, it is still blind to the racial disparity throughout the state. I can easily summarize the book and the movie plot for you all, but I want to talk about the personal impact Stevenson’s work had on me.

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Overcoming Obstacles

Due to a phenomenal glitch in the Colorado Supreme Court’s beta system, I found out a few weeks earlier than scheduled that I passed the UBE Bar Exam.

Where to begin? No, seriously. I don’t know where to start. I guess I should thank everyone for the love and support, but…let’s be honest…this was all me. My beautiful ass worked hard and created my success.

This victory means more to me than any other victory I’ve had (well, except for that time I was potty-trained because nothing will beat that). I am passionate and hardworking, so naturally, I deserve to be an attorney. I’ve dedicated my career to helping indigent people. And, everyone knows I was born to be a public defender. So, when I failed the Bar Exam the first time, it shattered me. However, I picked myself up pretty quickly. As I wrote in the Joys of Failing, “Failure teaches you humility. Failure teaches you courage. Failure teaches you confidence.” But, what has success taught me other than I am awesome?

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