Glowing Up After College: My Story + How-To’s

Remember how I started my blog in the beginning…

…then continued in college?

Woo boy, we’ve come a long way!

Look, I am in no way saying I started from the bottom of the barrel. People have told me I won the genetic lottery, but I understand that I don’t fit everyone’s criteria on what it means to be beautiful, especially those of Western or, even in some eyes, Asian beauty standards (which is colossally impacted by Korean media). I know that I am nowhere near exactly what my “dream body” looks like–hair and face included–but fortunately there are actions I can take to get there.

Still, it’s been nearly ten years since I started blogging. Seeing all these gym selfies of me showing off how sweaty and exhausted I was after each morning workout and all these adventures I’ve had in nothing but athleisure and a barren face is somewhat whimsical. My priorities were that drastically skewed towards fitness and any attempt to prove to myself that I was, indeed, superfitbabe. However, as many times as I’ve had my physique on my mind, it’s unfathomable as to how little I regarded the rest of my upkeep: hair, fashion, accessorizing, manicures and pedicures, and other forms of maintenance.

Fast forward to today: I believe I am that much farther in embodying a more refined version of myself. The balance between fitness and femininity are significantly more harmonious together. It is possible to be both. In fact, they need each other if you are a woman who wants to take care of herself and feel her absolute best!


I won’t go into the full details of EVERYTHING that occurred in my youth to adolescence, but let’s just say that the series of events catapulted me into a very particular lifestyle that didn’t accommodate for much else in terms of extra-curricular interests. Essentially, my routine was to hit the gym, classrooms, study hours, sleep, and repeat–but I did make room for vegan potlucks and enjoying yummy food and great company when they were available. Notice that there’s not much centered around what I did for myself, though? Yes, everything I followed was truly a means to an end for something else, even someone else, or maybe any external achievement that I thought would automatically improve what I had internally, such as money or a new PR in my workouts. Truth is, I only dolled up when I knew I’d be with a man or where a lot of pictures would be taken.

It wasn’t until after I graduated college when I started looking more inward because, well, I was sort of forced to. For one, the pandemic restricted the time I could spend out and about in crowds and with friends. Subconsciously, my glances in the mirror were a lot deeper since the energy around me was mostly my own nowadays. I used that time to work hard at my internship to secure my first dream job and change for the absolute better; that necessitated ending a relationship that was more draining than fulfilling, making new friends, and developing a deeper understanding of what I wanted. Spontaneously, I found a vegan fashion show in Los Angeles and decided to attend. That event alone changed EVERYTHING.

Vegan Fashion Week trickled into networking with more like-minded people; you know what? This is a blast. I want to do more, learn more! Let me go out again and have fun because I can! This eventually led me to making the best of friends at large parties–but there was so much more to that. All the non-judgmental human beings helped me discover that there is so much love and joy to be experienced in the world. Who cares if I’m staying up super late and not prioritizing how skinny I could be? Why am I not making enough time for that or opening myself up to more possibilities for the best case scenario?

I realized that much of what my routine encompassed was from a place of fear and lack. I feared branching out, not because I worried of straying away from my dream image, but I worried that I would become too close to what my biggest nightmare was, which was the person I was in my youth. I also thought that I’d lack what my ideal image had if I deviated from my plans. I wouldn’t be seen as someone credible. However, I grew to figure that all my inner child needed was compassion, love, and reassurance that life is so much better in the future for her. Once I started inner child healing, the blinds covering life just “whooshed” open. The abundance of opportunities are so plentiful and exciting now!

Thanks to comprehending more about how to best approach your twenties and taking advantage of the plethora of possibilities now, I started priming myself for that from the inside and out. Inner child healing, shadow work, self-care, lots of reading and journaling, and alone time were tremendous. After the end of another relationship, I shed off so much of who I became as a result of it.

And I did it again. Again, again, and again.

*There was a brief time where I dabbled in dating just to see if there was potential for a serious relationship and it led me astray. I still had more to heal. To all the people who genuinely were ready, had done the healing, and were willing to put themselves out there for me, I am so, so sorry. I wish them nothing but the absolute best for all of them.

By the end of 2022, I had learnt so much about what true love was thanks to female friendships and solo dating. In the beginning of 2023, all the intentions I set for myself were purely just that: for myself. There was a lot in my body and my mind that needed to change, so I figured that I had nothing to lose and try everything I thought was wrong.

Low and behold, here we are now:

I can happily say that every answer I yearned for was found inside. All I had to do was re-configure my priorities and establish an action plan from there. Essentially, I needed to put myself out there, invest in my future, and prioritize my own well-being more. I found a job where I can work from home to help out more in the house, save money on gas, and start living part-time in Anaheim to become more independent. I tackled on Pilates and got serious about my jiu-jitsu endeavors, which made me even fitter and stronger (note that I don’t include skinny in the vocabulary because that’s not what this is about) than I could have ever imagined. I spontaneously applied for a photoshoot, secured a spot, and have photos printed in a magazine. I’m in the running for being on the cover of another magazine. Instead of scrolling on dating apps (which I can talk about more later on because…yuck) and social media, I use that time to make meaningful memories with my family and best friends, attend events where I feel my best, or to learn something new. Oh, and I just published the first half of my first e-story!! Currently, I have tons on my bucket-list such as traveling and trying new side-hustles to improve my skill-sets! (though the extra money is an added bonus)

Most importantly: I fell in utterly magical, silly, borderline stupid love with my life and myself.


  1. Approach others with the intention to make them feel welcomed and important. When you come up to someone with an attitude that you’re there to get a singular answer or a somewhat self-serving motive, that person will feel used. After all, it’s happened to all of us before. Unless you are in a rush, in a situation that is purely for professional purposes, or you don’t intend to lead someone on, it never hurts to invite them to think a little more highly of themselves. Be respectful of their time and boundaries, and brighten up their day a little bit with something extra like a compliment or a question that mandates their opinion.
    • Fun fact: it doesn’t matter what you look like when this happens. I met Alex Landi from Grey’s Anatomy randomly one day looking like Casper the Friendly Ghost yet I had the biggest smile on my face when he asked for a picture. Guess what? It happened a second time! (fortunately I dressed cuter and wore makeup)
  2. Start the deep cleaning from within and around your space, whether it takes meditating, inner child healing, shadow work, therapy, moving out, donating or selling unwanted items, or literally, cleaning.
  3. Begin deep cleaning and pampering your physical appearance: skincare routine, workout schedule, dressing up to enhance what you already have to flaunt, sleeping enough, eating a balanced and well-rounded diet, and so forth.
  4. Allow your emotions to flow. If there is something you have to express but are concerned with what the universe will share in return (aka karma), do so in private–that’s right, that Instagram status and that Twitter thread is better off un-posted. Cry when you need to (if you have to do so in private, step out of wherever you are and find a place to release it all), same with screaming and throwing something. Alternatively, find a coping mechanism where you can move the emotions out of you through something productive such as dancing, working out, or working more towards your sources of envy as inspiration, so as long as it’s not from a place of self-loathing.
  5. Develop relationships with people where you can learn, laugh, live, and love. Your friends will influence you positively or negatively, so consider who you spend in-person time with, who you talk to, etc.; you don’t have to make every interaction one where you focus on “leveling up”, but you should at least feel like you can grow with this person in a safe way.
  6. Set boundaries and stick with them, including the ones you make for yourself. If you can’t stick with these boundaries, adjust them or move out of the situation entirely.
  7. Most of all: do, think, and say everything intentionally. When you are mindful and specific with where you want to go in life, you have a stronger sense of direction. Hence, you’ll usually end up in a better place than if you do something just for the sake of it.

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