truth telling

Inspired by one of Witchdoctorpoet‘s prompts in Decolonizing Our Voices. This touches on unhealthy parent-child relationships.


“You cannot succumb to the pressure of how somebody will misunderstand what you have to say.”

Amy Tan in conversation with Celeste Ng

I’m terrified if I tell the truth about my mother and I, it will be a wildfire I cannot control. That the people who read it will say, “Oh, a Chinese-American mother and daughter with issues, of course.” That they will only see a Tiger Mother. That my mother will be publicly crucified. That people will see my name and think, “Oh, Esther, that author. She just keeps writing about her mommy issues.”

The truth is a topic I skate around, eliding, smiling, deferring. If we are close, or you’ve known me long enough to read between the lines, you know my mother and I have history.

I hesitate to name it trauma or abuse, because those words have weight, responsibility, and assumptions.

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lessons from quitting my job

It’s been a year since I quit my corporate job. Here are some things I learned in the past year.

  1. letting the universe catch me
  2. wow was I burned out and hooked on the drama at work
  3. alleviating soul-sucking means I’m writing again
  4. holy smokes I’ve internalized capitalism
  5. wow I stress-spent a lot of money, and it’s okay to spend money
  6. reading tarot cards is deeply reflective
  7. being in my body is a pleasure
  8. I am so grateful for my life

P.S. thank yous/credits/privileges

The long version below.

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loving Ava’s A Wrinkle in Time

Content note: there is some discussion of passive suicide ideation (wanting to die, but having no plans to act upon those thoughts) and unhealthy parent-child relationships.


The thought of seeing A Wrinkle in Time, just like Black Panther two weeks earlier, got me through an abysmal work week. As my eczema left ruby constellations across my skin from stress, I agonized over whether I really meant it when I said to myself, Girl, it’s time to quit. So much work, a desk piled precariously high with paper, and so-busy-I-needed-a-Time-Turner, I didn’t even bother checking the movie reviews like I usually do. Come hell or high water, I was getting myself to this movie screening, 6:30pm Friday night, opening weekend.

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honestly

From Yrsa Daley-Ward’s IG prompt from 3/14/19. Also inspired by Abiola Abrams’ Spiritpreneur School podcast from 3/13/19 which asked, what do you want and how do you want to feel?

tell the truth about something you haven’t been honest about this week


Commitment comes naturally to me, but I’m not looking for it in a relationship.

What I want is to come home to someone. Build a life together. Get deep in our shit with each other. That Jada and Will kinda partnership. I dunno the exact details of it. Romantic and sexual? Monogamous? Not if it’s platonic. If platonic, with one person, or more? If more, I’d prefer a triad or more-ad.

How do I express I want intimacy – emotionally, physically. Sexual intimacy is a footnote.

Give me that life when I crawl into bed with you, settle against your side. And you kiss me. And kiss my hair and my forehead. I want your tenderness. When I say I want these things, I mean I want to feel

  • safe, physically & emotionally
  • cared for
  • relaxed
  • content
  • like I could purr
  • languid
  • loose
  • light
  • open/receptive
  • happy
  • full of warmth
  • present in my body
  • pleasure

Isn’t it strange, I say I’m not looking for a committed partnership, but isn’t it what I so easily described?


loving better

“loving you doesn’t hurt”

For Vanessa Mártir’s January 1st Writing Our Lives prompt, [1 of] 3 stories that haunt you.


Of the four years we spent together, there are many moments I look back at tenderly; and many more where I was vulnerable, broken apart, and you carefully held me. You’re a Cancer, so you were unafraid of swimming in the sea of tears my body exuded. But this moment, something about it remains clear to me, even if I don’t know exactly why.

It was in the dark warmth of my bedroom I was my most honest and confessed I loved you.

It wasn’t the first time I’d told you I loved you, but the flavor of this particular one, I knew it was something different, something I had to tell you.

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dream big

a declaration:

Regardless of genre or profitability, my words touch lives; providing representation and affirmation, solace and comfort.   People reach for my words the way they reach for red wine, chocolate, or their vibrator.

My words are a dreaming space. As we remake this cis hetero white ableist patriarchal world, my words help us imagine new and different ways of being in relation to the world and each other.

As grandmother Octavia E. Butler said, So be it, see to it!

So, let’s dream together.