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I have never been very good with numbers.

I know, I’m Asian and I’m supposed to be good at both math and science, but I firmly believe I was put on this planet dispel all stereotypes about Asians, especially scholastically.

My name is Tiffany Chen and I am an athlete and what I am most proud of, I am the daughter of two incredible people.  I constantly learn about respect, relationships and love from watching two imperfect people grow more perfect together over time.  I learned from their examples and was always encouraged to question what I didn’t understand, even if it was something I saw my parents do.  This is very un-Asian, but this is just another something that made my very un-Asian upbringing a more well rounded and evolved way of life.  My father always encouraged the asking of questions as did my mother.  There is such a beautiful manner between being genuinely inquisitive, curious and in search of understanding, it just makes life more interesting and keeps you very involved in the whole and constant evolutionary process.  Cause, if you aren’t constantly evolving, you’re dead inside and nobody enjoys being around those who know-it-all’s, but know nothing at all kinds of people. These kinds of people seem to mask their own inner insecurities by being nasty, moody and just the most unsophisticated, unsettling, draining, hysterical, psychotics to be around.  What’s strange is that you can sense that these kinds of people trying to use their Psychological Roller-Coaster Rides or Psychological Psychotics, to actually “Control” those who are not of the same ill-mannered temperament.  It is exhausting to be around and it is unacceptable behavior for any adult to be so ill-intentioned and toxic.  I never knew how prevalent these kinds of people are until I started to make friends, date and experience the outside world.

On the one hand, I am so incredibly lucky to have the parents I do.

On the other, I really have had to learn the hard way, about how deceitfully grotesque people can willingly behave towards someone they have told “I love you” too.  If there is one thing I have been all to lucky to learn from my parents its how to love the right way.  There really is only one way to love right and it feels nourishing, vibrant and filled with goodness in a way you never thought possible.  Nobody could ever want to hurt the ones they love.  Causing hurt, causing pain, causing conflict is the anti-love and whatever that is, I don’t care to know well enough to define, beyond knowing that it is just evil and I don’t need to experience anymore evil people in my life.

Mom and Dad didn’t always agree on everything, but they discussed their differences and always intelligently weighed the options, even allowing me to participate as I got older.  They would ask my opinion, before I fully even understood what it was to have an opinion and I can’t thank them enough for teaching me the value of listening and respecting everyones opinion.  Just because you don’t agree doesn’t make someone wrong and just because you do agree doesn’t mean you are making the best decision.  We only understand from the levels of own perspective, uniquely groomed through our own individual life experiences.  I always admired and still admire how intelligently my parents articulate themselves to each other and others.  They always handled themselves respectfully and if they noticed anything the other could improve on they always mentioned adjustments as suggestions, but what I enjoyed observing was how they always listened to each other.  I witness couples who have reached the point of where they just take each other for granted and are dismissive of one and other.  I have never witnessed that with my parents.

I remember mom pointing out that dad’s quiet nature meant that I should really listen to when he had something to say, because it’s the one’s who actually think who only speak when necessary… Not quite sure what this says about me, because I probably talk as much as I do think, which is a lot and I’m even overwhelming for myself sometimes.

When dad does speak, I do really listen.  I always have.  I might not have understood the magnitude of what he said at the moment, but what he has said to me always sticks and when I finally reach the point in my life where I’m ready to learn from that lesson it’s like there’s the automatic echo of his voice repeating what he had told, when he had told.

One of dad’s truisms that has been on constant repeat in my life is:

“Without Action, Words mean Nothing.  A person’s Actions always reveal who they really are” – William CC Chen

I think he told this to me from when I was in the womb, cause I can recall the echo of this from as far back as I can remember.

It is mind boggling how many people are such incredible performers, so you just have to give the generosity of time and like all fakes, they all fall apart and show you who they really are.

Fakes are not Fun, but life does reward you with the genuine ones, once you’ve learned how to appreciate what is genuine, right.

This past year has been an incredible period of great timing and focus and hard-work.  Not because the work is hard, but because I’ve finally reached a point in my life, where things are worth working hard for.  The relief of getting rid of what made work so damn hard at times and finally stepping into what is worth every single breath of mine has made the desire to work hard the easiest kind of work in my life.  I couldn’t be happier or feel more grounded than I do now.  There’s nothing like reaching that point in your life where you know you are doing the right things and all it took was having the strength to get rid of all the really bad things.  It’s funny that you sometimes can’t see how bad your life is until you have the fortitude to get rid of the things that are making your life bad.  It’s scarier than most know, but I don’t know why, I guess you just have to really be ready for something better for yourself and know you deserve better than what is keeping you sad, miserable and exhausted.  We can only stay strong for so long, but is staying strong about allowing people to mistreat you, use you and manipulate you?  NO.  Be strong enough to learn the lesson that keeps repeating itself and become stronger and walk away from a lesson stuck on repeat.  When somebody shows you their true colors, don’t try and paint them another shade, shade is shade, no matter what the shade, move to the light.

I think planning dad’s bday this year has made me reflect on so much.

I actually do know the reason why I am so bad with numbers too.

When I was in grade school one of my teachers, one of the biggest idiot I have ever known decided to scare the shit out of all of us by telling us our parents are going to get older and eventually die.  I even remember the manner in which the teacher said it and being older, I know she was just a very nasty person, much like most of the people out there now days and she was working through her own personal garbage by traumatizing the kids in her class. It worked, I cried for a bout a week and the first outburst I had I remember mom asking me why I was crying and a grabbed her and said in my tiny little voice “I don’t want you or daddy to die”.  My mom was in a bit of shock and tried her best to calm me down by saying it wouldn’t happen for a really longtime until she and dad were very old…

The instant I heard the word “OLD” used that way I never quite liked that use of numbers, so from that moment on I chose to ignore birthdays and dismiss the idea of asking anyone’s age.  Cause age is just a number and no matter what, the people I love will live forever.

Have you seen my dad work the heavy bag?  Another thing that makes numbers, just  nonsense to me.

Happy Birthday Daddy!!!  One day I hope to be as young as you.

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