Six Months Later…

For those who follow me on IG, you may have heard that I’m still trying to decide which outlet feels the most authentic for me to express myself. Originally, this blog was supposed to be that outlet but I learned very quickly that blogging takes a lot of work. The kind of work that didn’t bring me a lot of joy. The amount of planning that goes into content creation – photoshoots, photos, editing, curating, and scheduling posts doesn’t align with my intentions. I’m more of a writer than I am a “content creator”. After disappearing for six months to figure it out, I return with no answers just more questions. Ah, c’est la vie.

I’m not shutting down this blog because I would like to still come back to this space from time to time. I’m just setting expectations for anyone who might still be wondering about this blog (hello out there…* shouts into the abyss*) that curated content is not going to happen. Instead, enjoy the real, raw, and spontaneous bursts of expression.

So what have I been up to? Everything.

In my last post, I revealed that my intention for 2019 is to create a life that supports growth in the spiritual, romantic, financial, career, personal, family community and wellness and have it all be done by my own unique design.  

That is quite the mouthful, I know. But for the last six months, I have been doing just that! So here they are, the life updates that reflects growth in these special areas:

Spiritual: I “graduated” spirit school and discovered that I come from a line of shamans and healers.

Last November, I signed up for a beta program hosted online by two healers, lightworkers and spiritual coaches from LA and Austin. I finished the program in March. The program intended to help participants heal through weekly group sessions. In this program, I learned about hypnosis, EFT, my past life, where certain triggers come from, and how to remove negative energy that is stuck in my body. During this time, I read the following self-development books:

Here’s a weird coincidence while I was reading Pollan’s book – one day my dad told me that his aunt was the village shaman and that he believed she used magic mushrooms to help locate my grandpa while he was in the re-education camp during the war. A few days after this conversation, I reached the section in Pollan’s book where he learned that it is common practice in indigenous traditions to used magic mushrooms for healing and to locate missing persons.

I bring this up because I like making connections to my ancestors. Know your history and you know yourself self, right? It is validating to know that I come from a line of shamans and healers! This explains my interest in magic and the different types of healing modalities that is out there in the world. Which leads me to my next update…

Career: I got accepted into grad school and will be going back to school part-time in the fall to pursue a MSW degree.

During the last therapy session with my therapist in Oakland, I told her that I discovered my soul’s true purpose and that I was finally ready to step into my power as a healer. At the time, I wasn’t sure which modality of healing I wanted to practice. I just knew that one day I would very much love to own a holistic healing center for Asian Americans. A safe space where healing happens through storytelling, community, art, and dance. I saw myself as a spirit guide in this center, hence the excitement about my great aunt. Whenever I think about this dream, I am really happy and feel so much joy naming this path as my purpose.

I shared this dream with friends, community members, social workers, and listened to signs from the universe. For a while, I struggled with whether a degree is necessary to accomplish this dream. Though I have mixed feelings about the ivory tower, I ultimately felt that going back to school is the right path for me. In March I got my acceptance letter to Boston University’s School of Social Work where in 2-3 years I hope to become a licensed psychotherapist. That’s right, healing circles all daym day!

Financial: I paid off one of my loans while getting to travel to fundraising events and helping nonprofit clients.

When you last heard from me, I was working as a freelance marketer while also driving for Lyft full-time. Working as a freelancer is not as glamorous as the internet makes it seem. The ugly truth for me is that while I had the freedom to make my own hours, I was living in high stress mode all the time. Not having a steady income to fall back on is something I took for granted. In late January when I was offered a customer success and events manager position at a software company called Community Brands, I gratefully accepted. I applied for this job in November and totally didn’t think I would get it. But the universe works in mysterious ways!

Ready for more coincidences? Before Community Brands, I was a marketing professional for a software company and then later for a nonprofit. I had also worked as an events specialist part-time. This current role at Community Brands is literally the mashup of all my jobs within the last five years of my life – software implementation , nonprofit clients, and events. I didn’t think it was possible to have all my worlds collide like this. Basically, I help nonprofit clients use our software at their fundraising events. I get to travel all over the country to galas, fashion shows and golf outings all for the purpose of social change. And within the last six months have been in the same room with celebrities like Lionel Richie, Ne-Yo, Anthony Mackie and Dascha Polanco.

I am so grateful to have a job that aligns with my core values and allows me to pay my bills, travel to different cities, and give back to underserved or marginalized communities. Thanks to this job (and living at home), I paid off one of my loans in late February and will be purchasing a car very soon. Wooohoooo!

Romantic: I am dating again, but choosing to remain non-monogamous.

What the heck does this mean? It means that even though I have decided to start dating again my end goal is not monogamy, or marriage in the traditional sense. The reason why I choose to say that I am solo polyamorous and won’t simply say that I am just “staying single” is because singledom implies that I would eventually want to be coupled up. But that doesn’t really describe how I feel about myself and what I want in a romantic relationship. At this point in time, I don’t know if I ever want to be “paired up” again as the thought of being in an exclusive partnership makes me very uncomfortable. I still have a lot of work to do here in figuring out what lifestyle works for me but for now, I have no desire to marry, share a living space with a partner, or have “relationship goals”. All I want to do right now is be open to any connections and do my best to ethnically honor those connections while having it be in my own way and on my own terms.

I feel this way because during this transition period my life, I am a 1000% focused on pouring love into myself, goals and dreams. What is truly important to me right now is autonomy and freedom. My parents have expressed their support of my decision to remain independent. Because of the social stigma surrounding single women my age, I appreciate that they aren’t pressuring me to marry like they used to. While their friends prod and probe why their daughter is “still single” at almost 30, I’m grateful that they have my back and respect my decision.

Family: My mom is now my friend.

As many of you know, the relationship I had with my mother growing up was toxic. She was so mean to me. A lot of my inner child wounds stems from the intergenerational trauma she inherited from my grandmother. My mom was raised by a single mother while living in poverty, so she is someone who has experienced a lot of pain, trauma and disappointment in her life. I finally have space in my heart to have compassion for her story. When I moved back from California, I noticed that she had changed a lot. She seems way less critical and much more gentle and respectful of my boundaries. I have also done some work in my therapy sessions that has helped me see her clearly for who she is today and not for who she was in my childhood or who I wanted her to be. Letting go of my inner child’s expectations of who I needed her to be has been instrumental to rekindling our relationship.

This has probably been the greatest gift of all, the time to heal and reconnect with my mom. After spending a decade running away from her, I never thought that we would ever become this close again. But here we are, laughing, taking roadtrips and going shopping on Sundays. As the healing continues, I am feeling so blessed. It feels really good to be able to say without hesitation that I love my mom.

Personal / Community / Wellness: I am growing, creating, being, and it feels amazing.

Personally, I am growing emotionally and I have been so proud of that growth. I used to feel powerless to my rage but having learned how to observe my emotions without reacting have made me a better human being. Creatively I’ve grown to love my voice and with that love, in May for Asian American Heritage Month, I launched Don’t Say Sorry podcast with my co-host Jayda. The production and post production of this podcast has been an incredible journey and I am excited to get started on season 2.

Having community will always be very important to me. Wherever I am in my life, some of my time must be dedicated to connecting, creating or building community. With that, I’m happy to announce that I am co-leading the Boston chapter of the Asian Creative Network with a team of amazing artists, creatives, and organizers. I couldn’t be happier building a safe, brave, and creative space for Asian artists in the greater Boston area.

Lastly in regards to wellness, each day I feel more secure with my identity and with that my physical and mental health is doing well. Since realizing that diet affects my mood, I am more conscious about making sure that my body is well-nourished with a balanced diet. I no longer drink myself to death or resort to alcohol to comfort, numb, or disappear. I make sure to schedule a rest day or two if I’m feeling stretch thin with activities. Lately, I have reconnected with my inner dancer and have been attending weekly dance classes to prepare for a silly dream – audition to become an insomniac dancer and one day maybe dance on a festival stage. I feel more secure about the people I have around me. I don’t question my tribe. I don’t invite negativity and I try not to burn bridges either. Rather, I do what I love and let my energy attract whoever should appear, stay or leave. My mental health is cultivated by who and what recharges me, not by what drains me.

All of this growth is possible because I choose everyday to be present in every part of my body. By intentionally making this decision, I can honestly say that this is the first time in a long time that I can finally hear my own voice and feel my heart beating to the rhythm of its own song. What a wonderful feeling.

And that’s it! Wow, thank you for making it all the way down here! This update was a very longwinded way of saying that for the last 6 months I have been growing, sometimes in that process I’m still hurt or haunted by unresolved feelings about the breakup, misaligned friendships, or general feelings of inadequacy. But those are growing pains that I’m working through. Besides that, I am really doing well and have been the happiest and clear headed I’ve been in a while. Here’s to the next 6 months!

With love,
Haylee

Photo Credits: @kimpawlowski

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