Thank you for your friendship.

My thoughts on fears, friends, and moving forward.

I have a two-hour layover in Boston before my flight to Paris takes off and I thought this would be the perfect time to reflect on my personal narrative and check in with myself. I have been an emotional wreck these past couple of days, breaking into tears at the most publicly humiliating moments and struggling with the idea of leaving my friends. I keep saying I’m sad, but I don’t think that’s really it. I think that I am just so overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for what I have that I can’t help but cry.

People always say that parting is the sweetest sorrow and I think there is so much validity in that statement. You never really know the impact you can make on the people around you until an era comes to an end, forcing you to reflect on the things you take for granted. I am so blessed with so many wonderful friends who surprised me with a going-away dinner, letters for me to read when I’m feeling homesick, and who drove to the airport at 5AM just to surprise me once again. To have people in your life who would shed tears for you because they miss you is such a bitter sweet feeling — bitter because you never want to see them sad but sweet knowing that you mean that much to them.

I have always held my friends very near and dear to my heart. And to know that I have so many people who believe in me and see the best in me makes me feel a little braver inside. I have been feeling so blessed this past week getting random text messages from old friends, knowing that so many people had taken time to read my first post on Medium, and having my closest friends go to such ends to make sure I feel loved. So thank you all for being in my life and for always propelling me forward — I wouldn’t be anything without you.

I ended my week with an interview by my friend Raymond for his podcast series and he asked me a question that really made me think.

“What are you afraid of?”

Many, many things. I’m afraid of being completely rejected by the city of Paris. I’m afraid of getting lost in the metro system. I’m afraid of falling behind in class. I’m afraid my french isn’t good enough for me to survive. Being an Asian woman in a different country, I’m afraid of being stereotyped in ways I am not used to. I’m afraid that my confidence and strengh is limited to my comfort zone, and that I wouldn’t be as vocal and outspoken, or be able to stand up for myself in an environment I’m not used to. I’m afraid of losing myself while trying to find myself. I’m afraid that I’ve forgotten how to make new friends. I’m actually deathly afraid of the movie Taken but my friend Tann promised that if it actually happened he would come and save me. Not sure how reliable that is but I’ll take it.

The list goes on and on.

But after reflecting on this past week, I don’t feel as afraid anymore. The love I feel being back in Irvine and back home, spending time with my friends and of course, my mom, has not left my heart and it’s given me the comfort I needed whenever I felt nervous about this new chapter. I’m not really leaving anything behind because the people I love will always be in my heart and my thoughts will of course always be with them. Except for BCD. I’m definitely going to miss BCD.

If you have hung out with me this past month your picture is most likely here: http://vsco.co/van-ity/

Thank you for your friendship. Looking forward to those 3AM facetimes of you all eating BCD without me.