Tag Archives: connection

The State of Friendship Affairs

About six months ago, my close friend S and I broke up. I felt and still feel good about our breakup. Our friendship had run its course, and I ended it early enough that when I think about me and S, I still recall all our loving memories – fending off fleas at our Airbnb in New Orleans after my college graduation, watching UnReal and The Bold Type in my apartment while eating tons of takeout from Silver Diner, teasing each other about our respective trust issues and laughing because despite our issues, we trusted each other.

After my friendship with S ended, I started grew closer to another friend, L, an iconic queen with radical vibrant energy who went dancing with me in Philly. I did not realize this until early October, but in many ways, L fulfilled for me all the things S did not. Continue reading

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An Iconic Friendship Weekend

This weekend I visited my close friend Natasha in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our society often glorifies the nuclear family and romantic relationships so I want to share about this wonderful weekend filled with love and food and friendship. Continue reading

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Imagine

Over the past few weeks my PTSD symptoms have flared up fierce. Thoughts about losing control of my life and relationships run around and around in my head, I play back scenarios I starred in and emails I wrote and wonder if I should have done something different, I have horrible nightmares all the time, like one about a lion chasing and eating me on the street of my childhood home.

Today, PTSD struck me hard. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Pop

In a World with Couples Therapy, where is Friendship Therapy?

I have always loved my friends with my whole heart, even more than I love Jeni’s ice cream. My friends and I in elementary school traded stories about our abusive parents. We Facebook messaged each other after our parents yelled at us or hit us and took comfort in our shared pain and support. I first came out as bisexual, and then as gay, to my high school friends, who loved me all the same. We talked about boys who never stood a chance with us anyway. Today, my friends and I still talk about our shared trauma, we rant about the racism we encounter at work, and we roast the men who have wronged us with the most eloquent rage.

But like every relationship, sometimes friendships suck, too. Continue reading

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I Will Never Ever Date a Man and Lose Myself: A Manifesto

The other day I had a conversation with a close friend that freaked me out. Whereas in the past this friend and I used to bond over our shared feminist singleness in the patriarchy, this conversation felt more like a defense of settling for mediocre men. While I love this friend, parts of this conversation stressed me out so much I literally opened a Word doc to draft a blog post titled “What If I Date a Man and Sacrifice All My Values and Become a Husk of My Former Self.”

Imagine this: I, a queer red-haired Vietnamese man, recline in an office chair in the guest bedroom of a generous friend. A near-empty glass of orange juice sits on the turquoise desk where I stare at an open Word document, journaling about my anxieties surrounding men and patriarchy. Continue reading

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Fresh Blog Post with Some Great Life Things

I grew up in a household with constant conflict. My mother yelled at everyone for the smallest infringements, ranging from my brother for looking at her the “wrong” way to me for walking with too much bounce in my step to my father for wearing a t-shirt outside instead of covering his psoriasis-affected skin. I remember sitting in the basement listening to every creak of the floorboards upstairs, to see if I could sneak into the kitchen to get some orange juice to drink without having to see her and risk her wrath.

Now, I live in an apartment on the basement level where no one screams at me. My life feels conflict free. Though I do love me some drama and gossip, I wanted to write a blog post to celebrate this quiet period of contentment in my twenties, because as writers we tend to gravitate toward the bad stuff, the pain and the conflict and all of that. I want to capture this time of great self-love and love of friends and love of community, so I and others can look back on it when I write blog posts about my future crushes inevitably disappointing me  I grow older.

jean chen ho tweet on therapy writing pain and conflict

I saw this tweet on my timeline the other day and I thought, like, relatable. Except I am a therapist, and I’m working toward the idea of going toward what gives me pleasure (e.g., stability in the face of a white supremacist patriarchal society).

I feel like writing a list exudes an air of not caring enough to invest the energy into not writing a list and writing in paragraphs instead. But, I subjected myself to a Hemingway seminar in undergrad so now I get to do whatever I want after surviving that misogynist homophobic dumpster fire’s writing. So now, a list of some great life things in this period of stability, contentment, and happiness: Continue reading

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We Broke Up

My close friend Sorrah and I broke up this past week. I wrote about him several months ago, where I described him as one of the few men I ever trusted. Despite how our friendship has ended, I still feel grateful for the time we shared together and all that we meant to each other.

I will always value his way of seeing the world beyond superficial markers of success like awards or prizes, his concern for community, his love for words and breaking down binaries. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society