"…to never settle for something that could be better, and to work not out of necessity, but to work from the passion spurred on from creating something that I believe in."

the disconnect from ideal and reality is truly astounding -

the Mariana Trench wouldn’t even be able to compare.


/lower east side. nyc.



/lower east side. nyc.


Folks, we’ve got a ballgame.


Folks, we’ve got a ballgame.

Duke Supplement Essay #2 Alternative Ending

2. Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had to help us understand you better-perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background-we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke. (250 word limit)


My father is a software engineer who breathes life into the countless lines of code running down his screen. My mom is an accountant with the meanest green thumb you’ve ever seen that can coax anything she puts in the ground to a full bloom.

I come from a background of creation.

I create drawings. Over the years I have grown to love simple line drawings that capture the essence of person within a quick few strokes of the pen. These drawings go by quickly, as quickly as the stranger who sits next to me at the bus stop in the morning during summer vacation as I wait for the shuttle to take me to work. The point of these drawings is to refine your eyes to capture the essence of a person within the first few seconds and let your hands create the shapes on paper with no going back. These drawings are always done in pen, each line a permanent mark, an unerasable impression just as the subject is. My mind is forced to fixate on a purpose with how I want to portray the person on paper, and to do so in the most simple, graceful manner before the hydraulic bus doors open and their figure and purpose disappear forever, only a fragment of exhaust, wisps of eco-friendly steam as I stare into the lifeless eyes of an advertisement blaring free legal consultation plastered between the taillights of the bus.

First impressions are crucial.

Eyes pore over each detail, the gold of the buttons of their collared shirt to the fine double stitches of the cuffs, no detail goes unmissed.

Filtered, accented, ignored, championed, the millions of details that make a person the person are eventually ordered in my mind as my fingers gradually warm up and crank into work.

My mind’s eye screams while I try my best to relax myself to a half stupor, it’s a fine blend of investing your entire being down to the stars while caring only enough to push the fingers in the most reluctant, laidback way.

This is how you achieve the lines.

This is how I find myself.

Through others’ details.

Through the shape of someone’s nose, through the way their hair barely brushes their collarbones.

This is how I find myself.

Through the woven bracelet barely peeking from the woven cuff with a single gold feather digging into the thigh of heavily washed jeans.

I find myself


When you are 13 years old,
the heat will be turned up too high
and the stars will not be in your favor.
You will hide behind a bookcase
with your family and everything left behind.
You will pour an ocean into a diary.
When they find you, you will be nothing
but a spark above a burning bush,
still, tell them
Despite everything, I really believe people are good at heart.

When you are 14,
a voice will call you to greatness.
When the doubters call you crazy, do not listen.
They don’t know the sound
of their own God’s whisper. Use your armor,
use your sword, use your two good hands.
Do not let their doubting
drown out the sound of your own heartbeat.
You are the Maid of Untamed Patriotism.
Born to lead armies into victory and unite a nation
like a broken heart.

When you are 15, you will be punished
for learning too proudly. A man
will climb onto your school bus and insist
your sisters name you enemy.
When you do not hide,
he will point his gun at your temple
and fire three times. Three years later,
in an ocean of words, with no apologies,
you will stand before the leaders of the world
and tell them your country is burning.

When you are 16 years old,
you will invent science fiction.
The story of a man named Frankenstein
and his creation. Soon after you will learn
that little girls with big ideas are more terrifying
than monsters, but don’t worry.
You will be remembered long after
they have put down their torches.

When you are 17 years old,
you will strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
one right after the other.
Men will be afraid of the lightening
in your fingertips. A few days later
you will be fired from the major leagues
because “Girls are too delicate to play baseball”

You will turn 18 with a baby on your back
leading Lewis and Clark
across North America.

You will turn 18 
and become queen of the Nile.

You will turn 18 
and bring justice to journalism.

You are now 18, standing on the precipice,
trembling before your own greatness.

This is your call to leap.

There will always being those
who say you are too young and delicate
to make anything happen for yourself.
They don’t see the part of you that smolders.
Don’t let their doubting drown out the sound
of your own heartbeat.

You are the first drop of a hurricane.
Your bravery builds beyond you. You are needed
by all the little girls still living in secret,
writing oceans made of monsters and
throwing like lightening.

You don’t need to grow up to find greatness.
You are stronger than the world has ever believed you to be.
The world laid out before you to set on fire.
All you have to do
is burn.

and here’s an ode to the fading summer


It’s so funny how my heart still catches at the opening howl.
You’d think that after how every many months, the keen edge would be worn dull,
something weathered, battered, dimpled and crumpled

a dull ache, a small starvation from air that thuds in your chest 

but enough about you.

Your song has outlasted you,
I think.

It’s stupid how I still hold my breath some parts

or maybe they take my breath away

isn’t that the worst,
having something take your breath away but leaving you feeling like you’re the one clinging on-
you have no idea that it’s even gone

isn’t that what you did? 
i thought i had myself together,
never had i been more wrong.

I fell in love this summer. 
I fell in heads over heels.
It was the worst feeling, but it was the loudest sensation I ever had. 
Sometimes the seconds screamed to be heard and other times the air tasted funky colors according to the distance i was from you
I would be lying to say that I don’t miss you, but I don’t miss you in proportions to how much I liked you,
something to the wind

I know that as time goes on the memories will fade into a something sun bleached blur of washed out purples greens and yellows,
and soon the length of time I hold my breath will get shorter, shorter, and before long i’ll float by on this song without ever stopping to dive in

(Source: Spotify)

roll with the punches

do you believe in magic in a young girl's heart?


i believe in fbgm