Turning Twenty

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Photo by Jonas Humbel


I remain, having completed another circuit around the sun.

But what does it mean to enter another decade, this time around? And specifically, what does it mean to be myself — a young woman, of Chinese descent, living in America, in 2018 — and to exist in that context?

I remember how I felt turning ten: rather “old.” I knew I only had a handful of times I could add another ten years to my age. And I was a year closer to death.

“Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now.”

— Bob Dylan

The truth is, at ten, I was old. That year, my mother lectured me on not being young at heart. How could I be? I was unexcited, because I felt a profound sense of meaninglessness; and I was tired, because achieving wordly perfection was not an identity in itself.

I entered my second decade deeply broken, searching for hope. I couldn’t articulate my tiredness, or the discomfort of dwelling in my own skin. Simultaneously, I wanted to become man and woman; to stand out, but only in the right ways; to be heard, yet to escape, unseen.

I became a flesh-bag of the wildest contradictions. I was a sad optimist, a most aloof lover of humanity, the calmest worrier.

“A young heart with an old soul
how can there be peace
How can I be in the depths of solitude
when there R 2 inside of me”

— 2Pac

In that decade, I became a logical dreamer, and sensitive masochist. A reflective idealist who still remained a stranger to myself.

I experienced life first, without the clinical labeling of emotions. Beyond the realm of words, my thoughts took delight in sound and structure, in wondering and being.

In tender whispers, I heard the voice of Love, telling me I was a child of God.

And finally, I became young again.


We are perpetually beginning and becoming.

And I love the woman I am becoming.

She is clothed in strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future. So great is her beauty, that she turns souls, not heads.

Her eyes and hands are busy, but her heart is rooted firmly. She loves others with godly wisdom, boldness, and kindness.

She has identity, purpose, and passion. She works heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.

She is worth far more than fine gold and rubies.

She absolutely rocks. YAS QUEEN.

(Twenties — I’ve been waiting for you.)



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