my experience

my experience with the one

i have delusions that i’m supposed to be with a certain someone. 

due to a steady diet of romantic indie films and rom coms, i imagine meeting my future other at a bus stop somewhere on a rainy day. most likely a coffee shop. on a rainy day. and most likely looks like zooey deschanel, rashida jones or greta gerwig.   

so when i see a zooey, rashida, or greta, i hope that she’s happy and that she finds the right guy. 

my experience with church

i grew up going to the biggest Korean church in Northern Virginia. the congregation was made up of a few thousand Korean immigrants, including my parents.

like most Korean immigrants, they were blue collar workers. my dad was a dry cleaner and my mother worked at a deli. we lived in a 2 bedroom apartment where me and my sister shared a room, but not toys. 

we never missed a Sunday until the Blizzard of ‘96 hit and that one time my sister got pneumonia; we spent that Sunday in a hospital instead. otherwise, it was youth group service, which consisted mostly of hand motions and trying to sit still for the 15 minute sermon. i don’t remember any of the sermons except this one illustration. 

the leader was this bubbly woman, who never seemed to be out of pep. she put her hands together and interlocked her fingers as if she were praying. she stuck both her index fingers up against each other and rested both her thumbs against her index fingers. the index fingers were the steeple and the thumbs were doors, you see. she wiggled them for effect. she opened up the doors and spread her palms apart. 

there was no one inside.

she then interlocked her fingers so that her fingers were inside between her palms, the top of her fingers zig zagging in front of her knuckles like a zipper. she put her steeple up and her doors in place. when she opened up the doors, there were people inside now. wiggling and alive.

that was a real church.  


“Why are frogs falling from the sky?”


Why are frogs falling from the sky?”

my experience with the Gospel

there was a bible tract available for anyone to take at church.

i was bored one sunday and decided to read it. it was a small, rectangular black and white comic about a man who suddenly died and went to heaven to be judged by God. 

watch it here.

i remember the priest exclaiming, “He was a good man” as the man’s soul left his body and levitated towards Heaven.

besides being concerned that my entire life would be premiered like a movie in front of God and His angels, i was pretty fearful.

i didn’t understand the Gospel of Jesus or sin.

all i knew was that good people went to Heaven and bad people didn’t. 

looking at the tract now, i see it’s full of truths and that i distorted those truths as a child.

good people believed in Jesus and did good things.

bad people didn’t.

it was easy to separate the good and bad. i thought i was good with some bad sprinkled in.

now, i find it incredibly difficult to separate the good and bad inside me.

Christmas is the day i’m reminded, ever so clearly, that Jesus is good. only good.

my experience with complaining

the internet has been a breeding ground for many things.

instant connection, instant entertainment, and above all: instant complaining, including this one. 

people criticize everything. 

before, complaints were left to comment cards and customer service. 

now it’s on every YouTube and Reddit page.

it’s not that people merely point out imperfections in a movie trailer or a product review or song cover, people make you wish you never even tried in the first place. 

which is incredibly disheartening and sad. 

that’s my complaint. 

In Between


Life in Houston has been a tough transition. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision, especially for the same job that I was so miserable with before. Couple of weeks ago I thought I hit rock bottom. Not in a suicidal way but I just hit a point of hopelessness and zero confidence. I wrote…

my experience with knowledge

i used to hate thunderstorms because i was scared to death of lightening. the only good part about it was when the electricity went out.

it was something unexpected and it roused the whole family out of what they were doing. i could’ve been reading in my room while my sister was playing with her Tamagotchi, my mom knitting, and my dad watching TV. once the lights went out, we had to stop what we were doing.

me and my sister would yell out for our mom. never our dad. then we’d find our way to her. she’d console us and then go to the China cabinet where we kept the candles and lighter. 

she’d take out long candle sticks meant for decoration and light them. then she would set them on the dining table, the center of the apartment. 

the light didn’t reach very far. the darkness still covered many corners and areas of the living room and the hallway. we’d stay near the light source and kept busy by playing board games or reading stories to each other. 

then eventually, the lights would turn back on. we’d all go back to normal, but i had a hard time doing that. .

it was hard to go back once you saw the light.  



i wish we were the

only two

on the planet.

i’d cross oceans so

you’d know me and

i’d know you.

there’d be no scale 

to measure up 

or down. 


i feel like the

only one

on the planet,

with so many

crowding my way

to you. 

i wish i could be 

the only one

on the planet

for you.

my experience with rewriting

"writing is rewriting."

- Writers

when i was a kid, i loved reading. i’d read during class and i’d read before i went to sleep. i’d be content to read the entire summer if i was allowed to. then my parents signed me up for this summer camp. 

it wasn’t really a camp though because we stayed inside. it was a church with a summer program where we had classes from morning until the afternoon with activities in between. it was a prison very much similar to school. 

for my history class, we had to write a report on world war II. what’s worst than being assigned a paper in the summer is being assigned a paper on a summer friday.

i spent that entire weekend poring over books i borrowed from the library about world war II. i had no original thoughts or commentary on the war, so i just took bits and pieces of what the books had to say. it was a shoddy transcription.

i think my parents told me to just stop writing, but i couldn’t. it wasn’t a feasible option, i had to finish it. and i did.

on monday, i walked into the classroom and handed in my 10 pager and was relieved to be done with it. 

then my teacher gave it back and i received high praise for it followed by the dreaded “but,” except this was the first time i ever heard it. i don’t remember exactly what she said. it was something along the lines of:

"…but, you’re going to have to rewrite it."

and something inside me snapped. i told her as eloquently as i could that there was no way in hell i was rewriting that paper. 

my teacher took me out of the classroom and tried to lecture me on how rewriting was good. i wasn’t really listening because at that point i was crying. the last thing in the world i wanted to do was rewrite. it took everything i had to write anything. 

throughout high school and college, i only wrote one draft of anything. sometimes, i’d get a B or an A but i took pride in that. imagine if i had a chance at a second draft, but i rarely took advantage of writing multiple drafts. i wish i had. 

if i could go back, i’d rewrite that world war II paper and make it the best damn paper a 4th grader ever wrote on the subject. for all the books i read and loved, the author had already read it hundreds of times before my eyes ever saw the page. 

rewriting was and still very much is reading.