A Life of Purpose & Faith

I am not a particularly spiritual person. In fact, religion has been a fairly complicated topic for me for most of my life. I was raised Roman Catholic – went to a Catholic school from kindergarten through eighth grade. Many of my peers went on to attend Catholic or Jesuit high schools and colleges, and maybe half of them are devout Catholics to this day. … Continue reading A Life of Purpose & Faith

“The Army is not a political organization”

Disclaimer: This is a personal viewpoint, and does not represent the views of the Department of Defense, any of the Armed Forces, or any federal agency or organization.  As soon as I signed my contract in 2009, I was told a number of different things by a number of people with many years of military experience. First, that it is our duty to serve our … Continue reading “The Army is not a political organization”

America’s Intimacy Problem

I don’t give intimacy much thought. Honestly, it’s very American of me to do that. I don’t mean “sexy time” intimacy necessarily, but the actual meaning of intimacy. Intimate, in the Oxford English Dictionary, has quite a beautiful definition: “Inmost, most inward, deep-seated; hence, Pertaining to or connected with the inmost nature or fundamental character of a thing; essential; intrinsic.” Perhaps you’ve seen it used … Continue reading America’s Intimacy Problem

Dear Sixteen Year-Old Me

Hey. How are you? Wait, don’t answer that, let me guess… you think you’re “basically” an adult, and you feel like you have plenty of time. You can’t wait until you go to college, because you feel the near-certainty that comes with it: the inevitable independence, the guaranteed increase in knowledge. You’ve overgrown a city that feels like a small town, and your wings are … Continue reading Dear Sixteen Year-Old Me

The Case for Hufflepuff & Inclusivity

Okay, so I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I get that not everyone is. But if you’ve seen the movies you sort of understand the gist of the “houses.” For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me elaborate. Every person who attends the school of magic must go through a “sorting” ceremony, during which a person’s values and desires are reviewed, … Continue reading The Case for Hufflepuff & Inclusivity

International Women’s Day: An Open Letter

Hello, I am a feminist. A half white, half Asian feminist. But I beg you, non-feminists, not to be so sensitive to words that you refuse to keep reading. This is for you, too. I’m writing to you today, on International Women’s Day, to ask you to do three things. Only three. Be a feminist. Be intersectional. Let those with less privilege speak, uninterrupted. First, be a … Continue reading International Women’s Day: An Open Letter

#JCMakeItYours: How A Problematic Hashtag Summarizes Everything About Gentrification

In one of my high school English classes, I had a phenomenal teacher, Mr. Donald Delo. In this class, we had an unusual activity — we would write a speech for someone else to read. Perhaps this was an exercise ultimately rooted in the goal of “easy to read” writing styles — or being able to convey your thoughts as accurately as possible without the … Continue reading #JCMakeItYours: How A Problematic Hashtag Summarizes Everything About Gentrification

Skin Deep, And Then Some: The Insidious Nature of Body Image

I generally consider myself a confident person. But I had a really weird body image day a few days ago. Some of my closest friends uploaded pictures of our amazing reunion in Chicago. I wore a makeshift crop top because it was hot as hell, and my friends encouraged me to do what is now trendy. While most of the pictures were great, I could not … Continue reading Skin Deep, And Then Some: The Insidious Nature of Body Image

On “Being Yourself”

I think the hardest part about “being yourself” is owning yourself. When you’re doing well, everyone wants a piece of you. Everyone has advice and wants to claim they guided you there to the finish line. But when you fall and fail, your decisions are your own. No one claims ownership but you, since, you’re the one accountable for all you do. People are quick … Continue reading On “Being Yourself”