Sunday, December 18, 2016

#thetruthis - 7 assumptions & truths

This tag was going around on Dayre, started by @fourfeetnine (influenced by her husband Timothy Tiah's blog post) but I didn't fall into the trend because I didn't realize there was anything for me to write about at the time. I've since come up with a few lol but I didn't want to do it on Dayre because I'm so late to the hastag and also I wanted to type on a computer keyboard instead of my phone screen (yeah sorry Dayre). I rarely write this kind of post here but I've been thinking of trying to change up the content a bit sometimes when inspirations strikes, so here it is. And truthfully, I wrote this post probably over a year ago and kept it as a draft bc I was never really sure about whether I truly wanted to publish it, but the close of 2016 seems like as good a time as any.

The idea behind the hashtag #thetruthis is to list assumptions that people might have based on the selections of your life that you choose to share on the internet and then reveal the truth. These assumptions aren't necessarily bad things, but possibly just misconceptions that can easily be cleared up. There aren't very many rules as far as I know but basically, you'd just have to tell the truth in the reveal part or it's kind of pointless.

Assumption: I am "rich" or I have a lot of money.

#thetruthis: No, I'm not rich.
I used to get this question/assumption a lot on tumblr and got a lot of flack for my answer (regardless of what it was) so I basically stopped talking about my personal finances publicly. But right now, this is on my own terms, so I'll go into it just a little bit.
I get money from working. I have a full time job. I've had a full time job for a while now because I am no longer a student and can dedicate 40+ hours a week solely to earning money and don't have to focus on anything else (like homework or grades) during that time. This is a full time salary job in a particular/specialized field that you do need to meet certain qualifications for and I do feel like I am compensated an appropriate amount for someone with my level of experience and education. So I do have some money from working at my job, but I would not consider myself anywhere near rich. I am very fortunate that my family is more like middle class (definitely not anywhere near the extreme ends of the spectrum of rich or poor) which allows me to work and earn money for myself and myself alone. I do not have to provide for my parents who both have jobs themselves and I do not have children or other dependents that I need to take care of (monetarily). This has been my situation for a fair amount of years now which, along with sufficient budgeting, has allowed me to buy things I want with some restrictions but also save as well.
This kind of leads me into the next assumption...

Assumption: I'm in high school???
#thetruthis: In fact, I have had the pleasure of graduating not only from high school but also college/university.
(Photo on the left from my high school graduation and photo on the right from my college graduation.)
I've been out of high school for like 7+ years. I'm not sure if people actually think that I'm in high school but every so often someone will reblog my photos (of me) and tag it as "teen". I am NOT a teenager. I am 25 right now.
This goes along with the previous assumption because my "advanced age" and non-teen status has allowed me more time to earn money compared to younger people. I did not wear Liz Lisa in high school and if I did, I would not have had the wardrobe I had now back then. I simply could not have afforded it while also saving money which was a big priority for me even in high school (and on smaller scales in elementary and middle school as well). I didn't get my first Liz Lisa items until my 3rd year of college.
I did work full time or practically full time during high school breaks and as much as I could once I graduated including part time work during my sophomore, junior and senior college semesters and was able to save a good amount of that because I eat relatively cheaply and for the most part didn't do a lot of extreme spending. I am also extremely lucky that my grandparents had set up a college fund for me which helped pay my tuition so I didn't have to worry about that too much (although the other aspect that helped was that I specifically chose to come back to UH because that meant in-state tuition).
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that I see all these people looking at what I have "amassed" and tell me that I must be rich or lucky to have these things, but that is a myth. There were several things that have gone "right" in my life to allow me to be at this current place (middle class family, getting hired at several reasonable paying jobs since I have been eligible to legally work and ...age/more years of life than most of the people trying to compare themselves to me), but being rich is not one of those things. I'm not denying that I am fortunate to be in this place in my life (because I acknowledge that I am), but I'm just saying that I'm not here simply because I am "rich" or due to luck.
Also, to be clear, there's obviously nothing WRONG with being in high school but I'm just not.

Assumption: I wear Liz Lisa all the time or My wardrobe is mostly Liz Lisa.

#thetruthis: I feel like I have said this openly a few times but just to set the record straight here, no, this is not true.
If you've seen my room tour, you might have noticed what's in my closet. One side is just entirely stuffed full of non-Liz Lisa clothes. (The other side of the closet is non-clothes items and all of my Liz Lisa clothes are independent of the closet on a clothes rack or separate psuedo-wardrobe space.) The six drawers in the right picture are also stuffed full of non-Liz Lisa clothes as well. If we're just talking about garments (not accessories, shoes, etc), I'm pretty sure I don't have an overwhelming majority of Liz Lisa items. I've only been purchasing Liz Lisa for maybe 4ish years now. I've been a consumer of non-Liz Lisa clothes for much, much longer than that and I hardly get rid of anything wtf. But ofc I do also wear those clothes so I don't really consider it a waste. I am a big believer in dressing appropriately for the occasion so I like to have a variety of choices depending on where I am going and what level of comfort I want to be in lol.
Most of the dresses in my closet (non-Liz Lisa items) are used for work. I do wear Liz Lisa to work occasionally but I don't want to worry about mussing them up while I'm sitting in a chair for 8+ hours or spilling my lunch on them. I do feel pressure to match the right shoe and hair and make up with my Liz Lisa coordinates, but I don't always want to make that effort in my morning routine when I wake up at 05:00am, so most of the time, I'd rather just throw on a black dress and get going lol.
So, of course, I do love Liz Lisa and wearing it, but I just don't wear it all the time and do have a number of other choices in my wardrobe that I love as well, but I just don't always take an OOTD picture if I think an outfit is extraordinarily mundane.

Assumption: Living in Hawaii is paradise.

 #thetruthis: Hawaii is great but far from perfect.
This one is not specific to me, but I just thought I'd address it anyway since it's related. Hawaii is generally a really nice place to live and grow up. The weather is usually pretty good. It does get hot sometimes but usually not temperature hot (like 100F) but rather like humid hot which may or may not be worse depending on what kind of person you are and whether or not you have AC lol. It definitely doesn't get too cold and in most places, it will never snow. (The exception is the top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island.) So, more or less, the weather is pretty good throughout most of the year and you could possibly go your whole life in Hawaii without ever owning a winter coat. The only reasons I own a few are from when I spent time on the mainland. This is why some other states had been sending their homeless people here or why people might think Hawaii is a good place to be homeless - because our winter and general weather is a lot more mild than other states. And why homelessness is now a huge problem in this state which has yet to find a good resolution unfortunately. This problem is only exasperated by the high cost of living here. Hawaii has the highest cost of living amongst all US states (and DC). There are, of course, fabulous things about living in Hawaii like the beaches and hikes and I'd say the people are usually pretty cool too, but it's far from a utopia and I think sometimes tourists will come here for the first time and be surprised about how it differs from the paradise of their minds.

Assumption: I'm Japanese.

 #thetruthis: Yes, I'm Japanese, but I'm also two other ethnicities as well!
My ethnic background is Chinese, Japanese and Okinawan, and I am proud to be all three of these. I am like 4th+ generation on both sides of my family and even my grandparents were born in Hawaii. Unfortunately, there really wasn't a lot of language retention probably because there was such a strong emphasis on learning English. I personally only speak English as my first language and only know a bit of Mandarin and Japanese from taking classes in middle/high school and college. My parents and grandparents for the most part don't even speak their heritage languages. I feel like some people think this might disconnect you from the culture and yeah, I see how it might to a certain extent, but at the same time, growing up in Hawaii, I was constantly surrounded by other people of similar backgrounds and there is a huge Asian influence on the islands due to the people who immigrated here and I never felt I was any less Chinese, Japanese or Okinawan due to my inability to speak the language. We celebrate Chinese New Year with lai see, go to the grave for Ching Ming, attend and participate in the Okinawan Festival every year and also used to go to bon dances, and we make mochi at new years. After hearing experiences from other people with similar backgrounds on the mainland (or elsewhere), I feel lucky to have grown up like this.

Assumption: I have double eyelids.

#thetruthis: I do not lol.
I don't know if anyone really does assume I have double eyelids because I feel like I'm pretty open about my use of eyelid tape (I mean, I don't try to hide it), but if you don't read any of my personal posts, you would probably just assume that I have them due to what I look like with make up on. And if you're not even familiar with eyelid tape as a thing that exists, you wouldn't even think of it at all.
Tbh I think my now daily and prolonged use of eyelid tape is affecting my eyelids and therefore eyeshape in a negative way because I refuse to go out without it most of the time and I'll get a mild "irritation" or something similar to that because of how the tape rubs against my eyelid I guess and my eyelids will sometimes swell up a little bit. + The eyelash glue is also not helping as well I think. My particular type of monolids don't allow me to wear glue or fibers instead of tape so I just keep wearing it and it's only getting worse lol. I try to give myself a break on the weekends but it depends what I'm doing and if I can avoid going out. I really need to find another solution.

Assumption: My last name is (not) Chan.

#thetruthis: "Chan" is not literally my last name.
It is a "last name" of sorts that I chose for the purposes of the internet so that I wouldn't have to have my legal name out there for everything. I'm not ashamed of what I post but I also don't want this to be the first thing that pops up on Google for future employers.
I wasn't sure if I really wanted to talk about this since there isn't any compelling reason to, but I don't really have anything to hide about it. No one has ever really asked me directly about it anyway, so I'm not sure if anyone cares although people have made assumptions about this one way or the other.
One of the reasons I picked "Chan" is because it is really close to my actual (Chinese) last name (and in fact, it's the Cantonese pronunciation of it). The second reason is that it is also like the suffix "-chan" that you add to names in Japanese for people you are close with. I figured that by using "Chan" I would not be completely exposing my (Chinese) last name while still having something very reminiscent of it to it while also incorporating some of my Japanese background at the same time. That might sound stupid and maybe I made it convoluted and thought about it too much but it made sense to me at the time and I've just decided to keep it.

This post has turned out kind of ranty which really wasn't my intention at the beginning and not the point of this hashtag lol. However, I going ahead with publishing this anyway because some of these things I've wanted to clear up for a while, but none of them ever really seemed compelling enough to make a post about individually. In this context, it does kind of make sense so I'm going with it.
I don't usually go into a lot of personal details on this blog. I share what I want to share and I usually try to leave out a lot of what I think is irrelevant. I think you may have learned at least one new thing about me or my life from reading this, so hopefully it wasn't a complete waste of time.
Thanks for reading!


  1. This was really cool to read! I feel like I know you a little better now! Also we need to talk about that awesome high school graduation get up oh my god haha

  2. Ngl, I absolutely love your post on your cost when you went to Japan, even though you are uncomfortable about talking about your finances and you have every right to be. I only say that because for someone like me who loves to plan a trip to Japan, with a focus on (hobby) shopping, there isn't a lot of resources. I'm basically on the Japan Travel subreddit a lot where the focus has been more in experiences and less on the shopping aspect, which is a big reason why I want to go there.

    Thank you again for sharing these. This has really been insightful to you :)

    1. Knowing that a post like that actually might help someone is why I decided to write it! Thank you so much for the encouragement <3

  3. Interesting post ^^ I think you've always been pretty good at communicating your situation (financially / living situation) so it's interesting that you get the same reoccurring questions.

    1. Yeah, I mean people just see what they want to see and (not) read what they (don't) want to read, you know?