The unexamined life is not worth living...

I am not motivated by money, I am motivated by dreams. There are things I know I will never be, but my love for those things never die. I'm honest many times to my own detriment. I will help anyone who asks me, even if it is someone who has hurt me in the past. I have experienced tragedy in my life both personally and through the eyes of others. Those experiences only instigate me to pursue deeper meanings in people, things, in life. The people I love, they all experience tragedy as well, which makes me believe that the only God which exists, solely exists within us. I believe there is a world out there and I would do a disservice to it and myself by not choosing to explore it. I write letters to God, although I have no reason for doing so. I believe in trusting my instincts because I steer myself wrong every time I follow rational thought. The characters and places of my dreams generally don't parallel my waking life. I see dragonflies as guardian angels. I believe...we all have a purpose here.

I have always thought about life. No answer has ever been good enough and my thoughts have seemed to evolve just as much as they seem to have stagnated. My love of knowledge has less to do with enjoyment and more to do with an innate, primal need to piece together the elements of a glass puzzle. There are moments where I begin to get so lost, so absorbed in my thoughts that I actually feel myself detaching from “reality.” I guess you could call it meditation. It’s that detachment that I’m able to achieve that puts life into perspective for me.

I often feel that culture and identity have been overtaken by greed. Superficiality has become a mere distraction to the fundamental questions that many people have stopped asking or cared to have even thought of. Many will seek the answer to what’s happening in the lives of celebrities yet how many are asking how they can contribute to the happiness within their own lives? I believe a little self reflection goes a long way, we spend too much time ignoring ourselves, muffling our inner child...trying to figure out what someone else is doing. One should judge their merits against their own sense of self. If you measure yourself by others, how can you ever know who you are? It's the people who feel the need to tear into others that are too afraid to look in the mirror and really look at themselves. Basically it's someone saying I'm too afraid to confront my issues, so let's bash someone who isn't afraid to confront theirs. Let's face it, if the majority of the world's people desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years. I think everyone should keep a journal - and do it the way that they choose. If we all had the strength to confront our own ghosts instead of haunting others, the world would be a better place.

Everyone has a story, everyone has some kind of issue, everyone has a past...present...that's shaping the person they are, shaping their future. We are all essentially snowflakes, unique. One snowflake isn't necessarily better or worse than the other, they're just different. This isn't so much my "story" but pieces to my puzzle. I long ago decided that my life is a bunch of pieces that I must put back together. The only problem is, I don't know what the picture is supposed to look like.

I am originally from San Jose, California and have lived in Cincinnati (OH), Baltimore (MD), Atlanta (GA), and Savannah (GA). I currently live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. My addiction is my life. Within the last few years I have become increasingly addicted to road biking. In summer 2003 I rode my bike 346 miles and rose over $3000 to help fight AIDS. That's how it all started for me. I try to ride at least once a year for charitable causes and have also ridden for: Lance Armstrong’s Tour of Hope, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: Team in Training, Pan-Mass Challenge (Jimmy Fund), and Food & Friends. Eventually, I would like to start my own Non-Profit Organization (NPO), enabling others to raise money and raise awareness for issues that are important to them. At some point I would also like to do a cross country ride, 3000 miles in 30 days.

I went to the University of Maryland and graduated with a BA in Political Science and a BA in Art History. I also minored in International Relations and received a certificate in Spanish. I did some graduate studies in Arabic at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and worked on my MA in International Economic Policy at The School of International Service at American University. I have also studied photography an television/film production and editing - I think these studies, along with personal experiences, helped give me even more appreciation for light and perspective as well as the criticality of good timing.

I was raised both Catholic and Buddhist, if this confuses you - one is a religion, the other a way of life (there are some priests practicing Zen Catholicism, believe it or not). Although it was a bit confusing growing up for me and the kids around me, I'm glad my mom was worldly and loving enough to want to expose her children to the ways of both her parents. But, if you were to ask me what I believe in, I would say kindness - this is what I practice. Free your mind, the rest will follow. Be kind to your neighbor. It's really that simple. I do have a keen interest in spirituality - but that's another blog in another place.

For those who are curious about my ethnic background - my mother is from Thailand, but her father was half French and half Laothian, her mother is Chinese. My father is from Bucks County, PA. He's a 2nd generation American, having a mother of German heritage and a father of Lithuanian heritage. Both of his grandfathers came to the US as miners from their home country. So, I'm a combination of all these backgrounds. My dad was the first in his family to go to college, and get his MA (he's an aeronautical engineer). My mom's the artist - she used to design clothing and artisanal sculptures/pottery. They met in Thailand when my dad was a young AF officer, my mom worked as a waitress at the officer's club. Long story short...first came love, then came marriage (in Thailand no less), then 2 babies in sunny CA!

I can honestly say that I have had an incredibly rich and diverse life. I have had the opportunity to travel and have friends sprinkled around the globe. I have been fortunate to be loved and to have love in my life. My friends are my family and my family, well - my blood. I can reach back into the recesses of my mind on the distant and not to distant past and ask myself how I ended up at certain places at particular times, like dinner parties with William J. Crowe or Brian Greene, having an absurd conversation with Boy George and hanging out with his "entourage," shaking hands and smiling with glee after meeting with Jeffrey Sachs, or countless moments with people whose names are only big in my heart.

I love reading, writing, music, photography, painting, art, poetry, people...the list goes on. What I write about here mainly concerns my interests and interactions with life. Sometimes daily events might pop up, but only if I find it interesting or it has caused me to reflect.

If you are interested in learning about my favorite things and my bucket list, click here.