Count Your Blessings

  1. I am thankful for my family: all five of them.
  2. I am thankful for the way my family is; we love to talk and just be in each others presence.
  3. I am thankful for my sisters; they love me and I love them.
  4. I am thankful for my grandmother. Though she is awfully ill, she is still alive. She also loves me tremendously.
  5. I am thankful for my friends: each and every one of them.
  6. I am thankful for being a Korean. The Korean passport is rather useful.
  7. I am thankful for being able to speak, write, and read Korean.
  8. I am thankful for being able to speak, write, and read English.
  9. I am thankful for being able to learn to speak, write, and read French.
  10. I am thankful for living in Kenya. It is a beautiful and peaceful country.
  11. I am thankful for being a student of Rosslyn Academy. The pressure of grades and perfection is not enforced as much as elsewhere.
  12. I am thankful for being a Christian.
  13. I am thankful for being able to be a Christian. Some people don’t even get the chance the to consider it.
  14. I am thankful for being a third culture kid. I have been to so many places, seen so many things, and done so many things most other teenagers haven’t.
  15. I am thankful for having a house. Some people worry about paying rents, but we own a house since we bought an apartment about five years ago.
  16. I am thankful for having food all the time. Sure, our fridge goes empty once in a while, but I have never starved against my will before.
  17. I am thankful for having a mother who enjoys cooking. I have seen mothers who always order pizza and burgers because she doesn’t want to cook for her two poor sons.
  18. I am thankful for having a mother who is good at cooking. She not only enjoys cooking, but also is good at it. My mother’s food is always good and fulfilling.
  19. I am thankful for nature. The beauty of it all is mesmerizing and often breathtaking.
  20. I am thankful for having clothes to wear. With the height and body type I have, clothes rarely fit me. But I never have to walk about going to school naked because I do not have clothes.
  21. I am thankful for my education. As a Junior with more than eleven years of learning, I can tell you how much my education helps. Plus, women all around the world are denied their education.
  22. I am thankful for my school. Though over 60 years old, it is still beautiful and always improving.
  23. I am thankful for being healthy. Yeah, I have asthma and allergies, but I do not have a disability that greatly impacts my daily life.
  24. I am thankful for having all of my senses. I can see, hear, and feel. My taste buds and smelling skills are outstanding.
  25. I am thankful for being able to sing. I may not be the best, but I certainly am not tone deaf or horrible… I hope.
  26. I am thankful for being able to play guitar. Again, I may not be the best, but I can read and play most music.
  27. I am thankful for having my phone. Although my phone always malfunctions, it still helps me communicate with everyone.
  28. I am thankful for getting a better phone: not a new one, but a better one. Sadly, there went all my savings.
  29. I am thankful for WiFi. I get to talk to people across the world, read the news, and learn more new things daily.
  30. I am thankful for PowerSchool. It is very much like a drug where it is harmful to me, yet I cannot stop. It constantly updates me on my grades and shows me which teachers I should consider buying chocolate for.
  31. I am thankful for words. A way to express myself, said or written, is always nice.
  32. I am thankful for Jesus. He died on the cross for our, for my, sins and gave us eternal life. No one could have ever given a better present.
  33. I am thankful for pork. I awkwardly always crave pork in one form or another. I feel sorry for those who have never tasted it before.
  34. I am thankful for books. It helps me enter a world totally made up, totally in my head. It expands my imagination.
  35. I am thankful for loving food. Although this causes the number on the weight scale to keep going up and down, it is so satisfying. I can also always try new food wherever I go, since I welcome almost every food.
  36. I am thankful for having one and a half years left of high school. Awfully sad, yes, but it’s already my second and a half year in high school.
  37. I am thankful for being able to play most sports. Those students in Korea can barely to anything other than pretty much… study.
  38. I am thankful for the realm of acting. Being able to be someone else that is not you and get applauded for that is amazing.
  39. I am thankful for the life I have. Though we all go through a suicidal phase at least once in our lifetimes, I value my life now and know the preciousness of it.
  40. I am thankful for being loved. Wherever I turn, I am surrounded by people. Some may not care about me at all, but there is always at least one person loving me and being on my side.
  41. I am thankful for electricity. I can live and function in the night as if it were the morning.
  42. I am thankful for being in leadership groups: Student Leadership Team, National Honor Society, Worship Team, etc. I get to use my leadership skills to help and be the voice of others
  43. I am thankful for this earth. It contains so many lives and beauty, it’s impossible to describe in just a few words.
  44. I am thankful for music. It can be an escape sometimes, helping us to think in different angles and different situations.
  45. I am thankful for never running out of money. Sure, I feel bad asking for expensive school trips and I sometimes don’t even, but I never have to worry if our family will have a house to live in tomorrow, food to eat tomorrow, car to ride tomorrow, school to go to tomorrow, and so forth.
  46. I am thankful for surviving the WestGate terrorist attack. Though my case was not as extreme as those of others, I still survived and made it out perfectly unharmed.
  47. I am thankful for not getting carsick, airsick, or seasick. I can travel just about anywhere and I adore the art of traveling.
  48. I am thankful for being respected: as a female, as a student, as a friend, as a family, as a teenager, and etc.
  49. I am thankful for always getting the possibility to hope. The glimmer of light never fades away.
  50. I am thankful for second chances. Really, the chances I get are never ending. I never have to worry about the world crumbling beneath my feet because of a small mistake I made.

Victim

How exactly does slut-shaming work?

Just pointing fingers at women who open their legs too easily for guys? But what about the males? What about the men who are so desperate to enter a girl?

With the messed up logic society has provided us, we point fingers at porn stars and people who get pregnant before marriage. But… what about the men?

I mean, you can’t really be a slut with no one else, you know? Why do people only look at the woman’s side of the case?

If she was raped, then everything about it is her fault. Who cares about the guy anyways? She will be haunted for the rest of her life because she won’t ever be able to escape that trauma. She will also have society pointing fingers at her no matter what. Maybe she’ll even never be able to trust a guy, denying herself happiness.

And the male? If caught, then he will be sent to jail. If he has money, he will be able to come out soon. But in jail, he may even brag about how he has raped this poor girl while that specific poor girl may be hating herself and feeling filthy.

But she would still be a slut because she should have said no, because she should have known how to fight off the man. And now she’s being shamed because of something a bastard has done to her. Logic.

Most of all, teenage girls are slut shamed all the time. I must admit, that not all teenage girls are innocent of this. Some do open their legs wide open for guys. But not everyone does. One girl may have tried it out, and ended up hating it. But who cares? You’re still a whore. Another girl may have been pressured into it and hates herself for it. But who cares? You are still a slut. Episodes like these happen way too much, way too often.

And this finger pointing really doesn’t help the girls. Would the world lose anything if we learned to support the girls? What if we tried to help them, whether it was getting them away from scary men or helping they get over their desperation for men? What does the world have to lose?

Word of the Day: venial
(adj.) able to be forgiven or pardoned; not seriously wrong, as a sin

What We Deserve

The question of justice verses mercy is an important question in society just like the question of nature verses nurture.

I have mixed feelings about the question. Let me show you my thought process.

Of course, I would choose mercy. Forgiving everyone and loving everyone sounds great. But it is far more easier said than done.

Because if a situation were to pop up, would I be able to say that? If I find out one day that one of my sisters were raped, I am willing to chase that man to the ends of the earth and even go to the extreme of killing him. Forgiveness? Forget that. I went after justice, and that’s what he got.

And then my actions, to me, would be justified. But I would need mercy from that man’s family and friends, to get away with murder. Or would it be justice to let me go?

I read articles about cases from all around the world and shake my head. The world has fallen so far and we are all slowly running out of mercy. There’s only so much we can forgive and let go, and only so many times we can forgive and let go.

What does the world deserve? The world deserves justice. There are people, innocent people, dying all over the world. There are innocent people going into jail because they didn’t have the money to bribe anyone. These people deserve justice. The world deserves justice.

Rich people getting away with crimes because of their wealth deserve justice. People who got lucky and got away with a crime deserve justice. The world deserves justice.

But the world needs mercy. That’s where it gets confusing in my head. We deserve justice but we need mercy.

Which one helps people more? Mercy will let them know that they are loved and that they get a second chance. But let’s be honest here. They will also find out that they can get away with crimes, that that second chance can always be used to commit yet another crime, that there might also even be a next time. On the other hand, no one gets the chance to do any of that when in jail. No more victims have to be made, no more grief has to be caused, and no more pain has to be inflicted on anyone, on anyone else.

Because in that case, the act of showing mercy to someone ended up taking justice away from another.

Word of the Day: cupidity
(n.) eager or excessive desire, especially to posses something; greed; avarice

Resume

My mother used to tell me to stop reading. This might rub off as weird but she only said that because I often stayed up all night trying to finish a book. I hated putting my books down; once I started a book, I had to finish it. Little me sat next to her nightstand on her bed and allowed the book and story to consume her. She kept her ears wide open for any signs of her mother coming to check on her.

I got my first phone when I was in 8th grade. Since then, I have had electronics in my hands more than I have had books. These days, I usually lie in bed and occupy myself with my phone, keeping my ears open for any signs of my mother coming. Now, my mother keeps telling me to read.

She says the words that I longed for in my childhood years. Yet when I hear it now, it’s annoying and frustrating.

In my defense, I read on my phone and on my kindle. But I must admit, it is different than being able to turn physical pages and smell the scent the books radiate.

I still value my books. I hated it when people folded the corners of the pages as a bookmark. I felt like and still feel like that ruins the books. But writing in the margins and highlighting a quote I really liked was not rare. I also know for a fact that other people did that, too. I enjoyed going back and reading the highlighted lines afterwards.

But to be totally honest, I practiced my highlighting skills to do so–my underlining skills as well. I wanted my book to have neat marks. My highlighting skills are still pretty on point.

My parents barely bought me any books because I usually finished a book in less than 3 hours no matter how long. We would have had to spend so much money on books if they bought me books in general. Because of this, I read most of the chapter books in the elementary library and when I walk through the middle and high school library, I usually see a book I have read wherever I go.

The downside of that was that I couldn’t highlight any of the books. But I still managed to write down a few lines I really liked from the book. One I have up on my wall are the last few words of the whole Divergent series: “Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.” It doesn’t mean I liked the ending; I just really liked the quote.

What kind of reader do I want to be? I need to become more of a reader now. I need to have a book in my hand instead of my phone. I need to let myself be engulfed by the book once again.

Word of the Day: tsundoku
(n.) buying books and not reading them; letting books pile up unread on shelves or floors of nightstands.