I have never written an open letter such as this one, but I think that it’s good to really mark those highs and lows so that you can recall and say – wow! I overcame this? I am ok. I am thriving, and that was just 1 or 2 chapters of my life that I survived!? It’s amazing how when you look at photos you can physically see those changes but documenting the feelings that went through during each stage of those changes is – well sometimes hard. But I truly think we as humans don’t truly understand the importance of failure and how it teaches us, to not only look at ourselves and our faults, but teaches us things about others and ourselves. How we cope and how we react. With losses always comes wins, sometimes it’s not as high as the low lows but I think something good can always come out of something bad.
I’ve talked a lot about losses this year because I myself have had three miscarriages, back to back. And the thing about miscarriage is that – it’s such an uncomfortable topic for others to talk about it’s like what is there that anyone can say to you to make it better? So, it makes people quite literally speechless. And I can reiterate words like, “It is what it is,” because…life is a sequence of events that carry you through emotions and it is SO unpredictable, and completely out of control. Things like, “well, maybe it’s not meant to be” echoes in my head from people and acquaintances, even my husband, and I had to explain…well how are we supposed to know that? Or what if it WAS meant to be and it just didn’t happen, because life just isn’t fair. While I’m a big believer of Christ and things happening for a reason, I’m still able to mourn and grieve as if I’ve lost a full child. Because to me, I carried a human being in my body for months. My second miscarriage hit me the hardest because I think our whole family really protected my womb, we manifested the conception. I had hopes and dreams about the future of my baby, and that is because 1, I’m a mother to a beautiful 3 year old toddler. I’m grateful for that, not for a second did I forget that I have this beautiful, smart, witty child but there’s a part of me that feels sadness that I’m incapable of doing what our body was meant to do. It’s the one single thing that I could leave a legacy behind with.
Letting go, letting go of my faults and letting go of my guilt and shame that I could be the one that is at fault or if I did anything wrong, maybe it was karmic in some way that I deserved this pain to somehow balance out all the blessings I’ve had this past year? Do you ever find yourself reasoning with why you deserve to be happy or why things happen? Or give a reason for why you should be punished because, why in the world would someone much less God give you such a life that is full of pain?
This year I released all of the things I’ve felt towards myself after my loss, I’ve released all the negative energy that was cooped up inside of me and I decided to really just mourn the loss of my babies, and mourn the loss of the old me. Holding on to so many things that have just snowballed and piled up. Writing it down and getting it out and talking to people about uncomfortable things and even sharing with my audience on social media has helped me, so in a way social media isn’t all that bad. It’s made us a little more aware of each other’s vulnerabilities, our quirks, and pain that we can connect and relate to.
Oftentimes, when I was younger going through the things I did. I thought I would never be happy – but going through the motions of smiles, and the nuances of life clouded and jaded because of the things that I went through. Growing up without a mom at the age of 8, being molested by a person of power (who happened to be one of my old best friends dad..), being raised by a traditional Vietnamese single father, losing him at 20 and having to go into survival mode and not being able to even deal with any of that trauma. It’s a lot for anyone and just reading that now makes me think, holy shit – those are real life events that someone (myself!) went through and I’m happy now. I mean of course life is 80/20% happiness. I say this because people need to realize that happiness is not permanent.
Happiness is choosing to let go of the things that can and will go wrong but choosing to look on the brighter side of things. Happiness doesn’t mean life is easy and that you are in a constant state of happiness.
I think I’ve really learned to appreciate my lows because I know that God has a high waiting for me, eventually and even if my lows are really low, I am able to appreciate the littlest of highs. When those highs happen, I fully am in the moment and present when I have the highs. Like seeing Maverick be in a loving home – which I never thought was possible. As a first generation immigrant, owning a home was truly out of this world for me. It’s 100% accomplishing that “American Dream” I wrote about in 4th grade. All the things I’ve ever prayed for are having a loving husband who isn’t perfect, but works hard at what he can, and truly loves me when he sees me at my worst. Things that I never got in my life, I am able to give to Maverick. Growing up with a workaholic dad who wasn’t present, and in my younger years was very abusive (this is just the cultural dynamic in Asian households that are often not portrayed in achieving that American Dream and/or living the Asian American model minority stereotype).
What makes me extremely happy are simple things. It’s having a loving husband around, who is also around to give the love and affection a child needs growing up. Not having the perfect house, but having a house that is lived in and you can hear echoes of laughter and cries in between those walls, and not just silence, cold, and clean. My happiness in all of this is due to the fact that I’ve truly let go of all the things that have ever hurt me, all the things that I’ve thought about myself about being so damaged that being happy was intangible. To self sabotage and put myself in situations that I knew would put me where I thought I belonged.
Captured by @RusticChicPhotography
I can truly say and believe 100% that I’m no longer a part of a generational curse, but I am just me, presently – the woman that I’m becoming. I truly appreciate all of the scars and the paths that I’ve traveled to get to where I am. It’s not perfect, far from perfect. I don’t question why things have happened to me the way they have, I simply just let it go – and let it be, trusting in that whatever was meant for me will eventually be there for me and if it wasn’t then it isn’t. I’ll no longer force things that aren’t meant to be and letting go of all that isn’t me or hinders my growth. I will not allow myself to be walked on because I think I’m less deserving. I’ll continue to express my voice from my experiences, and not make myself feel smaller so that is to make others more comfortable.
2021 was relinquishing all that was me, all that I’ve gone through, and all that others have done has truly allowed me to be the best me. Realizing that I am not my past trauma and losses but I am me because I’ve gone through these experiences. I hope this finds me and you, in any time that you think you no longer have purpose in past and future experiences that happiness – will find you. No matter how dark things get, no matter how many times you question your existence, I promise you 2021 was one hell of a ride YOU survived it, make it worth it, but most of all release all the things you’ve ever thought that held you back from your best self. Release others thoughts of you that only reflect them.
2021 Taught me so much about things being completely out of your control, most of the time I was hopeless – but once I shifted that energy and instead learned to control my “chaos” in a way, it took a turn for the better. In short, I learned that relationships took work both should be reciprocated equally during times of quarantine and times we couldn’t be there in IRL, it strengthened bonds that weren’t defined by the physical dimension. I learned how incredibly strong my relationship with my husband is, and how truly loving and patient he can be when I’m at my lowest low with such traumatizing miscarriages. But, through it all I choose happiness.
2022 will most likely be another year of unpredictable losses and wins, but remember to always cherish those moments when you have experienced your happiness that induced feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment and remember those should outweigh all the things you’ve ever overcome, like 2021.