How to Sustain Healthy Relationships

Life is full of difficulties, but there’s one challenge that is filled with complexities and no straight-forward answers. What is that challenge? Relationships. Whether it’s the relationship with family members, friends, significant others, partners, or co-workers, relationships are not always easy. While upholding this month’s affirmation to sustain healthy relationships, I found it’s more complex than you think. Not everyone thinks like you, acts like you would, or is supportive of your decisions. What can be done? Here are a few steps I learned that helped me maintain my affirmation both now and in the future: Continue Reading ›

The Wonderful Things About Cousins

If there’s one family connection that’s different than the rest, it’s the one between cousins.  You can love and argue with siblings and receive advice and caution from parents, aunts and uncles, but with cousins it’s not like any other relationship.  Although I’m not close with all of my cousins, I know there are a few I can count on to give me support and understanding when I need it.  When other relatives don’t relate to my life choices, it seems there is always a cousin who sees things differently.  My recent bonding with cousins has proven this to be true, and what better way to honor this than on National Cousins Day?  In years past, this time of summer finds my cousins and me at Cousin Campout, a weekend family event filled with boating on the lake, roasting marshmallows and Lit’l Smokies and giggling cousins in tents, but since we’re not celebrating this year, here are a few wonderful things about my cousins. Continue Reading ›

Luck on Chinese New Year

My grandmother is getting ready for Chinese New Year after a Denver Broncos Super Bowl victory, carefully placing red and gold envelopes on the dining room table covered with oranges, candies, Chinese sweets and a vase full of red roses. The red accoutrements adorning the table are all to bring good luck in the New Year, and I’m happy for any opportunity to rope in a little good fortune. Although I agree most people make their own luck through hard work and dedication, I decide to work on a Lucky Knot to make my own rabbit’s foot. My grandmother asks if the game is over, but for me it seems like it’s all just begun. With multiple applications for jobs and school in the balance and two possible places to land for a while, I wonder if not washing my hair and refraining from eating meat on Monday will give me a little bit of hope I’ve been looking for. Continue Reading ›

The Best of 2015

2015 has been a pivotal year for me.  Every year may seem that way as it approaches, but this year has certainly involved huge changes in my life, personally and professionally.  Not only did I change my job, but I took off to a new city full of new adventures and people.  Although some of you know about my recent developments in Chicago, there was more than Chicago that influenced my life.  As the end of 2015 gets closer, I’m sharing a few highlights and the best moments of 2015: Continue Reading ›

A Tale of Two Sisters

It’s another hot, muggy and humid day as I run through the Ming Tombs near Beijing, China as my sister, Ming, and I giggle and pose with humor among the statues. Pointing to an animal that sits in the grass, Ming suggests, “You need to go over there and do a yoga pose in front of that one. It has Crow Pose written all over it.” I tell her that unfortunately I can’t maneuver this pose, but I offer to pretend as though I’m peeing on it like a dog. We both uncontrollably giggle as my mom rolls her eyes at us. We’re used to behaving like this. After all, we’ve found ways to successfully create a photo that looked like I was swallowing water from a fish fountain at the Missouri Botanical Gardens and one of Ming carefully squeezing into a stone window from the Pisac ruins in Peru. Sometimes people think we’re twins because the core of us is so similar. Growing up in southern Utah, people often mistook us for twins, yet we look nothing alike. Our very different personalities can make things complicated and difficult, but we can also find comfort and enjoy one another. Even though our differences have sometimes caused frustrations, I’m finding more and more that I value our different and unique personalities. How does this work exactly? Here are a few examples to show you what I mean. Continue Reading ›