Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One last time for oh nine

Instead of recapping my entire year, I just want to point out that the most important thing I've learned in 2009 is that I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's. Upon high school graduation, I decided that I could no longer compare myself to my peers. I spent the entire car ride, from the mountain vineyard where I received my diploma to the banquet hall that hosted the luncheon, listening to my parents talk about my illustrious and brilliantly successful classmates. It was the sort of conversation that left you breathless to a whisper because you knew that you had just walked down the stage with some of the brightest -- and quite honestly, most privileged -- 18 year olds in the world.Well, after coming to Columbia University, I met some more illustrious students -- students who didn't share the same area code as me, this time. I remember befriending one of my good friends out of curiosity because he reminded me of Bryanboy (and he's Filipino-Parisian!) -- and befriending Anna Cooperberg Gonzalez, fantastic intern for Purse Blog, who happens to be the sweetest Vera Wang-clad southern debutante (and a fierce contortionist). I still recall the awe in my voice when almost every other student I met was either class valedictorian or a Siemens Competition Semifinalist. I am still amazed at the athletes who get up at 5:00am to work out -- and still make it to class on time, without falling asleep. I fondly remember a recent conversation in the elevator about a girl that my friend was convinced was his soulmate -- she had the women's version of his studded Prada shoes.
Well, these fantastic encounters have made my year. I began this year without a clue about my future. I had just finished my college applications, just as Arabelle of Fashion Pirates is about to accomplish. I was a second semester senior, and I still had to write papers and take exams -- to my frustrated dismay. I was restless. I finally graduated from my prestigious -- and sometimes disorienting -- prep school with an Ivy League acceptance letter. I went from being the strange girl in heels with her nose buried in a copy of Lula magazine at family dinner parties to the Perfect Asian Daughter, thanks to a large white envelope mailed from New York City. Never mind the fact that I never learned to play the piano, I didn't win (or even compete in) any math competitions, and that I didn't take a single science course my senior year of high school. I chose fashion, journalism, cheerleading, and history classes. My parents were criticized by other parents for letting me spend an entire summer in New York City by myself, interning for Seventeen. They looked at my parents with curiosity and pity until the news of my college acceptances spread (and if you didn't know, Asian parents love to gossip).

So, merci beaucoup to Columbia University for giving me a chance. And merci beaucoup to my parents for turning the other cheek when I was pursuing seemingly far fetched dreams across the country and buying clothes from the boys' section at thrift stores off the corner of the road. I know you didn't like it. You still yell at me on the phone, but I've also learned to turn the other cheek.

On top of my suitemate's bed, there is a bumper sticker with J.R.R. Tolkien's quotation, "Not all those wander are lost." Perhaps, as college students, we're all wanderers -- uprooted from the homes we've always known and thrown into a community that forces us to move forward, whether or not we know where we are going. Swim or drown.

Basically, I've had a hard time balancing between blogging and real life this year, and I want to do a better job of it in 2010 now that I'm getting used to college. What do you want to see on Miss Couturable?

Have a terribly delightful new year! As usual, I hope 2010 will be nothing you expected and everything you wanted.

Miss Couturable
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