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I know I’m not a special snowflake….

I’ve been seeing the word “basic” used a lot lately to describe females and I didn’t know what it meant. Kids these day with their slang. To be honest, I’m still not 100% sure exactly what it is even after reading this Buzzfeed list but I have concluded that I am not one of these girls. People seem to be making fun of them but if that’s what you like, that’s what you like.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to fit in. I always felt like I stood out and not in a good way. I didn’t want to be called out for looking or acting different from everyone else. Most of this had to do with the fact that I was one of the very few Asian kids in my school. While I wasn’t ashamed of being Asian, I also wanted to blend in with everyone else. School is rough and kids will tease you for anything that makes you stand out. And believe me I got a lot of teasing.

Growing up, it was always a struggle to be my own person and fit in at the same time. Which is of course what (almost) everyone else is doing. Some just do it better than others. There are some people who have the gift and ability to do whatever they want to do and no one will question them or tease them. In fact, they become the trend setters and everyone wants to do what they do.


As I’ve become an adult, the struggle is still there though I’ve discovered lately that it’s perfectly fine not to be like everyone else. It’s good to stand out when everyone else around you appears to be the same. Sometimes though it can also feel like a bad thing because you feel like because you stand out, it makes others feel uncomfortable because they don’t like different.

Then I got through times in life where I’m living one of these situations:

  • There are some days when I feel like I’m the last one to realize something and I wonder what’s wrong with me that everyone else knew this before I did.
  • There are other days when I’m the first one to get to something and I wonder what’s wrong with me or it because t no one else has done this yet.

I can’t figure this out. I feel really weird about it. I’m pretty positive that other people experience it as well but they just don’t let on.

Here’s the thing. I know that I’m not so incredibly unique that only these things happen to me and no one else. I am NOT a special snowflake. I can’t possibly be the only person among all the billions of people who live on this planet plus all the billions of people who lived before me that go through these things. Maybe people don’t talk about it and just learned how to deal with it on their own.

It’s not that I need approval from others. It’s just I personally hate the feeling of not knowing how to handle a situation when everyone else around me either does or is pretending that they do. To quote Beth from Little Women: “But I don’t like being left behind.”

The crazy thing in all this is that I know however that I am not the same as everyone else and that’s a good thing too!

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,  so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” (Romans 12:4-6a)

Ultimately, I’m happy with the way I am and have become. I greatly enjoy my interests and my quirkiness and humor. I know that there are people who do appreciate it and others who don’t get me at all. That’s ok. Just like I’m not going to get along with everyone else, I don’t expect universal approval. I still want to fit in but I don’t want to be like everyone else.

Most of you have figured this out YEARS ago but as we all know I’m a late bloomer. Sometimes I just need to talk myself through these situations to figure it all out. That’s just something that’s uniquely part of being me. And I do like being me.

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I may not be lucky at life but I’m lucky at winning things

If you’ve hung around me long enough, then you know that I’m rather good at getting things very discounted or free. I’ve been asked a lot of how I’m able to do this, so here’s my meager attempt to try to explain.

Maybe some people have no hang ups at just paying full price for things but my background has been such where I always learned about bargaining and discounts. While I’m not a couponer and spend hours trying to get everything for pennies, I do spend some time researching on places and things I know I’m going to do. If I can get what I was going to for a steeply discounted price or free, why not?

If I find out in advance where I’m going out to eat, I go on their website and sign up for their email club. This usually means getting some sort of free thing with my meal. This takes less than a few minutes to sign up to get something for free. Because if you’re going to pay for it anyways, why not get something extra for it?

If there’s a place I frequent a lot, I sign up for their rewards program. For example, I go to movie theaters a lot. Depending on the theater I go, every time or dollar amount I spend goes towards free stuff: popcorn, drinks, movie tickets. Plus there are also special perks like prizes or special screenings. Or stores I visit frequently: spending money that I would have already spent goes towards coupons or other free gifts. A lot of these places also have members only contests where I enter and have frequently won things like shoes and other prizes.

When booking travel, you can save a lot of money by joining hotel and travel rewards programs. If your company allows you to do so, if they’re paying for your trip and let you use your rewards account, you can easily earn free trips and hotel nights. I was able to book a hotel room for a bachelorette party for free this way. Also do your research when it comes to travel. Instead of paying airfare or train fare or even gas and tolls when driving, consider the bus. If you do your research in advance, you get bus fares for as low as $1 and you get free WiFi! I’ve gone to NYC for $3 round trip by doing it this way.

As a book blogger, I used to get A LOT of books sent to me for review. Blogging about them led to me being sent other items for review. Even though I don’t do that on a frequent basis, I still have enough credibility where my reviews still matter and are influential. I didn’t start off book blogging to get free things. I just wanted to tell others about the books I read. I didn’t realize that getting things for free to review was even a thing at first. If you want to go this route, my suggestion is to just start reviewing things you already buy, own, or use. You can either start a blog or use consumer sites like Amazon. It might take a while before you get noticed but if you stick to it, it can be worth it.

I also seem to win things a lot. Now some of that is just pure dumb luck. Other times, I’m just careful about what I enter. I don’t enter huge sweepstakes things where everyone and their mother has entered as well. A lot of my wins tend to be from smaller contests where if the winner is randomly drawn, the pool is smaller. If the winner is chosen due to merit, then depending on the prize, I’ve probably put in time and effort for my entry. I’ve found that a lot of times the best way to win contests is through social media specifically Twitter, Facebook and blogs. If you like a brand or company, check out their social media pages. Depending on the audience, it may be easier for you to win that way. Also I don’t go for the huge prizes. Small things like books, movies, and gift cards are good enough wins for me.

Basically, it all comes down to spending time. Put in some effort and you will eventually reap rewards. I understand that not everyone wants to devote time to doing this and that’s ok. And like I said, there can be some luck that is a factor. You could spend hours doing all this and never get anything. I have awful luck when it comes to calling in radio stations trying to win things while I have friends who seem to always win tickets. I’ve been told that I need to play the lottery with all the luck I’ve been having lately winning things. I can’t bring myself to do this though. I’ve never paid to win something and I don’t see myself wanting to start that now.

I’ll just enjoy the small blessings that God has sent my way.

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A Late Bloomer Finally Gets It

Last week I talked about wearing masks and believing the lie that God could never love us. Here’s the second part to that series.

We’re so afraid that the dream can’t come. That if someone actually knew the real us, saw behind the mask, before the makeup that they would walk away. Our fear is to be known and be rejected. And when those things that we fear keep us from being loved and they are held in front of my face, we believe every bad thing about us.

It’s really funny how there’s a fine line as to how much Christians will take when it comes to openness and authenticity. We constantly talk about how we need to be real with other believers and that it’s important to share our problems because we shouldn’t face things alone. And that it’s good to do this in a safe environment with those we trust.

But at the same time if we see someone publicly talk about their struggles, we say they are being too open, over sharing, and some things are best left private. And then we start judging them, condemn them, and even try to shame them for acting this way and sharing it with the world without offering any help at all.

Thus we then repeat the cycle of never sharing anytime we’re going through something tough in life because we need to keep it all together on the outside because as Christians we’re supposed to be able to trust God in everything and never worry.

We can’t have it both ways can we?

Are we afraid to see struggles in other people’s lives because it brings out to light the ones we have in our own? Do we see someone having struggles and feel “blessed” because we don’t have that going on in our lives? Do we just not want to deal with anyone else and their problems because we have our own mess to deal with? Do we place perfect pictures on Facebook of how great our lives are because we are genuinely happy or because we want to brag? Is the intention to make someone jealous or just to show a happy moment?

The last five pics on Facebook I posted are

  1. a screenshot of Josh Groban retweeting me
  2. Me and my friends’ adorable baby
  3. A pic of my move in a tabletop game where I die.
  4. My friend and his baby making the exact same face
  5. All the flights of beer my friends and I were about to sample.

What were the reasons for me behind posting these? Well honestly, either out of sheer excitement at the moment or the baby being so darned cute. I don’t go on trips to photographic places, I don’t have an awesome boyfriend/husband who cleans my car AND cooks me dinner, I personally don’t have a very cute baby, and I haven’t recently had a major life event that I can share with everyone. Therefore I don’t feel like my life is anything anyone would be jealous over. Even IF I wanted to impress anyone, the people I would want to see “how awesome my life is right now” don’t follow any of my social media and therefore have no idea what is going on in my life at the moment. I’m not trying to get likes on these photos to make me feel validated. And let me tell you, getting a billion notifications is not fun either. I experienced that with my Josh Groban retweet. It makes me not want to ever be a celebrity. That was not a humble brag for the record.

I think sometimes I use social media simply just to make sure I’m not alone in how I feel and to see if there is anyone else that can validate my thinking so I’m not weird. I realize that not everyone will be excited about the things I am interested in. I’m not out for universal approval. If I were I’d be failing like a champ because I’ll never get it.

“Really Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time”

And yet…

Right now I’m at a point in my life where I fully enjoy all the interests that I have. It’s taken me a while to realize and accept this. I’m a late bloomer. I know this. I’m sure there are many of you who figured this out the day you were born.

I’m going to tell you this though. It’s hard. It’s really hard when you are excited about something, either an interest that you have or something that you’ve accomplished, and NO ONE can share in your excitement with you. Either they simply don’t care or they don’t share the interest so when you try to explain it, they don’t get it or understand why you’re so excited. And then someone else will come along with something everyone else can relate to and you’re just left alone in the dust.

For example: there are many times when I like something and I’m literally the only female in the group of people I hang around with that does. There have been many times when I’ve been considered one of the guys when it comes to shared interests. It’s great fun during that specific time period because I enjoy stuff like beer, tabletop gaming, and comics. But then they go back to their significant others who are the complete 180 of me and I’m left alone. And it makes me feel like I have to be something/someone else in order to have that too. That there’s something wrong with me where I’m cool enough to do one thing but it’s not enough to have everything else.

It’s hard to watch all my female friends go through the process of being single to being a girlfriend, wife, and mother while I’m left behind. And now that I’m literally the last one of my girlfriends to be single, it’s sometimes hard to not think if I’m doing something wrong or if there’s something wrong with me. There’s also the Christian side of this that tells you you can’t pursue and you need to wait. And also the view that if a guy wants something, he’ll go after it. Well with that logic, what happens to all the women who are never asked? Does this mean they are never wanted? What’s going on here?

I believed it was my fault that no one wanted to go out with me and that the responsibility for it rested squarely on my shoulders. If I were more spiritual, or more beautiful, or less opinionated guys would be into what I was selling.

But I know that it’s not true. I know that I can never be what I’m not. God has made me into the way I am and while I can tweak and work on things, I’m ultimately the person that I am.

Something I’m trying to accept: Even if no one else I know personally likes something I do, it does not mean that I am doing something wrong or that I am so weird and must change myself.

I’ve always felt like an outsider and that something must be weird with me because no one else likes what I like.  No, I don’t think I’m some sort of special snowflake that is so incredibly unique. When I really think about it, even though I would have liked to have been part of what everyone else does, I’ve always done my own thing. I’ve always gravitated towards things that the majority doesn’t really go after – from types of food I like, to TV shows, to books I read, even down to celebrities I like. Almost everything I like, the majority of people I know won’t be into it because I discovered it on my own. It suits me fine to have my interests but it would just be awesome to be able to share in the excitement with people you actually know. There’s always the internet but when you’re with friends, it feels odd standing out.

But I’m learning to accept that it’s ok to be different. I mean I wish people wouldn’t put me down for the things I like even if they don’t like them. That’s actually something I’ve never understood. If someone is genuinely excited about something and they tell you about it (in a non bragging way, but still) why on earth would you shoot them down with a “Why do you like [certain thing]? That’s so stupid.” There are many things that many of my friends do that I have no interest in. It doesn’t lessen what they do just because I don’t.

There are hard days. Yes. I look at many Christian women who are strong believers, awesome at what they do, are gorgeous, and yet they are single. I’ve read or heard them say they struggled with it because they didn’t/don’t really want to be in that situation.I can’t figure out why in the world they are single. And it makes me wonder if THEY can’t find anyone, what makes me think that I can have any hope?

But whatever God wants to happen will happen. I don’t know His ultimate plans but right now I do know that I’ve enjoyed becoming the person that I am now. And while yes, I can always work on some things, I am happy with how I turned out. I am who I am. I come with quirks, flaws, and baggage. I think my laugh sounds too loud and my sneezes weird everyone else out. But you know what? I’m happy. I’ve reached that point in my life where I’m not going to change myself just to get someone else. I’m not going to try pretend to be someone I’m not just to keep and maintain any sort of relationship. If someone wants me to be something I cannot ever be and doesn’t allow my true self to be appreciated then you’re not meant to be in my life in that particular way.

I’m no longer hiding behind any more masks. This is me.

And me is awesome.

We have some pretty big ideas of how our lives should go. We feel pretty strongly about what we don’t want to happen, and we’re perfectly willing to spend our entire lives fretting and fussing and not trusting that—whatever it is—God is for ushttp://shereadstruth.com/2014/07/15/please-thank-2/

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Why Do I Blog?

Sometimes I wonder why I keep blogging.

It’s certainly not for the numbers. Every time someone asks me how many subscribers I have, I don’t like telling them because it’s a really low number. My stats are not amazing. Anytime someone says they have low stats, I want to say “you don’t know low stats.” I do know that a few people read almost everything I post, but otherwise I have no idea who actually reads my blog on a regular basis. While I share new blog posts on social media, unless someone tells me that they read something, I just assume no one reads it. I don’t expect any of my friends to actually read this. There are days when I get really excited about writing a post and I put a lot of time and effort into it only to have nobody even click on the post at all much less read or comment on it.

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It’s not for exposure. I’m not getting famous by doing this. I’m not expecting any of my posts to go viral, for me to get discovered, or for me to get a book deal out of this. Nor am I doing this in order to work on my writing so that I can go somewhere with it. It’d be cool if this could lead towards a job because of my blogging but as of right now that’s not happening.

And contrary to popular belief, this blog is not so I can write about everything that happens in my life. It’s not like I’m waiting around for events to happen so I can talk about them on here.

You may think I’m being completely open on my blog and to some extent I am. But I don’t treat this like a diary and there are a lot of things that I am not going to overshare with the rest of the world. At least not on a public platform like my blog. Therefore if you only read my posts but never actually talk to me, you only have a one-sided view of what I’m really like.

No, the real reason why I started blogging again was because I want others to know that they are not alone.

There’s a difference in wanting to be by yourself and then feeling like you’re alone in what you’re going through.

I know that one of the first things I do when I go through a crisis or situation is to Google it. Because I want to believe that I can’t possibly be the only person that’s going through this situation. Surely there must be someone in the world who knows what I’m going through and I’m not just some freak of nature that this is happening to.

A lot of times however I can’t. And while some of you are perfectly fine in situations where you’re the only person, I know for me it is super hard because I feel like I’m drowning and there is no one who can help me. I don’t like the feeling of being the odd person out in a negative way. When I feel like nobody understands what I’m going through, trying to make things better is a very steep uphill climb.

So with this blog, in case someone happens to stumble up on it, I just want them know they aren’t alone. Whether that’s a someone who suddenly has a completely random thought and is curious if anyone else thought it, or someone who happens to like watching the Olympics AND Doctor Who and wonders if it’s possible to like sports AND be a geek, or if someone is struggling with an issue and worries they are the only ones going through this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

While it doesn’t have the highest amount of hits, the post on my blog that constantly gets viewed every week is my post on Trusting God When Things Seem Impossible. Out of all the posts I’ve written on this blog, every week since I first posted in October, this post is the most searched and most regularly visited. There have been so many variations of the phrase of trusting God in impossible times used in search engines to find that post. Which to me seems that there are many people who feel the same way I did and they want to know what to do and to know that they are not alone in that situation. I don’t know if my blog helps. I’d like to think that what I said has some impact and can give them some reassurance and advice but I’m not sure. What I do know is that for me, every time I see that post appearing in my stats for the day, it helps to remind ME that God is still working in my life and that I need to trust him even when I have no idea how things will work out for myself.

I just feel like I am meant to do this right now. I may feel like stopping at some point but for now this is what I feel like I’m being led to do. Like I’ve said before, I have a story. Several stories actually. And if I can help others somehow with my story and make an impact in their lives, then that’s what I want to continue doing. I’m pretty sure I’m getting better at it and will continue to do more so in the future.

Writing this blog has also helped me a lot. It’s keeping me disciplined and accountable as I’ve kept up with my schedule of posting three times a week. It’s helped me become more creative and allows an outlet for me to let it out. Even if I’m not actively trying to have a writing career, I am writing more and I do believe it is improving. Doing this has also helping me figure out more things about myself. And that’s always a good thing.

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Grape Juice That Burns!

Yay it’s confession time here again on A Girl Who is a Geek!

I’ve talked before on here about how I’ve gotten into drinking craft beer and how it’s been a fun experience. Actually it’s been even more fun since that post because I’ve discovered a lot more about beers and trying new things. It’s not necessarily become a hobby but I really like learning more about it and it’s fun to try out different flights with friends (and get more badges on Untappd). Also I get called a beer snob now. Whatevs.

But….I can’t however say the same thing about wine.

Confession: I don’t like wine.

It makes me feel weird because I feel like anyone that drinks likes wine. Even if you’re a beer drinker or a liquor drinker, you seem to also like wine.  If any of my girlfriends drink alcohol, they tend to be a wine drinker. I could go to any one of their houses right now and find at least one bottle of wine and lots of wine glasses.

Come to my house and you’ll find 1 beer, some liquor, and no wine.

I’m weird, I know.

I don’t like the taste and I don’t like the smell. To quote Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory: “Grape juice that burns!” Red wine smells strongly of yeast to me and it is not appealing to me at all. I went to a bridal shower once and everyone there was huge wine drinkers and I was poured a huge glass of red wine before I could decline. It went untouched the entire time.

I know it’s an acquired taste but after several years of trying both good and bad wines, it’s just not happening for me. I don’t think I’ll ever be a wine drinker.

There ARE some white wines that I can handle, but usually only in small amounts and I think it’s only been at weddings when I’ve had them. I’m never going to be one of those people who is going to order a bottle of wine at dinner. If you give me a wine as a present for any occasion, you obviously don’t know me very well. While I don’t mind visiting wineries for the atmosphere, that’s not the type of alcohol tasting I’d really enjoy. I will probably be the weird girl who if/when I ever have a bachelorette party weekend, I’ll get shot down by everyone because I’ll want to go to a brewery for a beer tasting vs a winery for a wine tasting.

I realize it’s perfectly fine to not enjoy the taste of wine. There are plenty of people who don’t like the taste of beer at all, even the really delicious ones that I’ve found. Heck there’s some folks out there who don’t like the taste of sweet tea. (Heathens!)

I think it just makes me feel weird that I’ve found yet another thing that sets me apart from the majority of the people I hang around with. I mean even Jesus make water turn into wine!

Beer seems to be a guy thing, wine seems to be girl thing at least in my community and at least how the media seems to portray it. Every time there’s a girl night, wine always seems to get brought out and either you drink that or you don’t drink at all. And yes, I know that there are many women who DO enjoy beers the way I do. They just don’t happen to be in my circle which probably means I have to get out of my circle in order to find folks that do.

All this to say, I won’t ever object to you drinking wine in front of me. And neither will I give you this whole spiel of how much I hate wine because I really don’t hate it. I just don’t have the taste for it. It’s more of a feeling of being different from everyone else but that’s something I’ll have to deal with on my own. My likes are perfectly fine and they are what make me unique (and awesome).

So next time you see me, you can raise your glass of wine to me and I’ll raise my pint of beer (or cup of sweet tea) back at ya. Cheers!

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Being a girl who is a geek

I use an app called Timehop which tells me all my social media activity (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare) for up to 5 years ago. Sometimes it’s fun remembering things I forgot and reliving events, other times it’s a bit painful seeing what happened.

Thanks to the app, the other day I came across a Facebook post that I had written a year ago.

I am a girl. And I’m a geek.

I love all things about Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I’m not afraid to admit that I know facts about all the James Bond movies, Indiana Jones trilogy (4th…what?), and pretty much anything about the Academy Awards. I want to learn more about all things Marvel, DC and anything comic book related. I love Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who and Lost. I’m not a Trekkie but the new Star Trek movies makes me glad I’m a nerd. I read a crap ton and I want to read and learn more. I would play more video games if they didn’t make me nauseous (sad nerd face). I’m learning how awesome the world of tabletop gaming is. Swords and bows and arrows fascinate me and cosplaying is fun. Hawkeye is my geek crush. History and science are NEVER boring.

All this to say is that I’m a girl and I’m a geek. And I’m not ashamed of who I am.

I think I wrote this at a time when I was struggling with all my interests and my identity because I kept comparing myself to other women that I knew. Most of my girlfriends don’t share a lot of my interests though their boyfriends/husbands did and I felt weird that I was the odd one out, like there was something wrong with me and I had to justify myself.

A year has passed since that and I’m glad to say that thing are different. Sure, a lot of my girlfriends still don’t share those same interests and I still have much better talks about my interests with my guy friends. But you know what? It’s perfectly ok! There are obviously things I can’t talk about with my guy friends that I go to my girlfriends for. And then when I need to talk about the awesomeness of Pacific Rim, I have people for that.

This might sound really simple to most of you who have your interests and are perfectly fine with them. But for me, it’s taken years to find out my identity. And I’m proud of what I like and who I am. And if someone doesn’t find that attractive or at the very least interesting about me, then it’s kind of obvious that they aren’t meant for me.

Oh. I am also really sports too. Just saying, if you’re not into the geek stuff. We can also talk about sports.