Wednesday, February 11, 2009

25 Things

My sister Brooke and brother Rob are two of the only people I can think of who are less likely than I am to actually write a chain thing like this on facebook. So spurred by their surprising examples, I give you 25 snapshots of my world (as posted on my facebook profile):

1. I’ve visited six continents (don’t know if I’ll make it to Antarctica any time soon) and lived on four. I’ve traveled to over 20 countries but still never been to Mexico and just barely went to Canada for the first time last year.
2. There was a time in my childhood at about 4 or 5 years old when I watched “The Wizard of Oz” everyday—literally—for months on end, and then I would make my little sister act out scenes from the movie with me. My family has made fun of me for this ever since. I guess it paid off though since my little sister Becca is now destined to be Elphaba on Broadway someday.
3. One of the things I’m most ashamed of in my life was when I was 10-years old playing with my brothers and sisters in our back yard in England when a ferocious stray pit-bull came charging at us out of nowhere. In a moment of panic and fear we all ran. Seeing the dog running behind me I sprinted inside and, without thinking of my brothers and sisters, slammed the door behind me and locked it (it was a weird double door that could only stay shut by locking it). The others ran to the side door and were fine but I’ve always felt so ashamed for that split second decision in a moment of perceived danger. I’ve always hoped ever since that I will never again show such lack of character.
4. I never used to pee in pools until my older brother told me he did and I’ve never thought twice about doing it since. Get used to it—all guys pee in the pool.
5. I’ve fasted for 7-days in a row twice in my life at Spa Samui in Thailand. I lost 30 lbs the first time (and I only gained 15 lbs back when I started eating). And yes, I did two cholemas (colonics) a day as part of the cleansing fast.
6. I’ve done a 10-day silent meditation (no speaking, no writing, no reading, no music, no NOTHING) waking up at 4 a.m. every morning and meditating pretty much all day until getting ready for bed at 9 p.m.
7. I’ve sang in front of over 100 million people on live national Chinese TV
8. Neal A. Maxwell was my favorite General Authority and I loved President Gordon B. Hinckley. Since both of their passing I’ve had very little desire to listen to any other General Authorities.
9. I’ve worked as a life guard, swimming instructor, Telemarketer doing surveys in Chinese, women’s shoes store salesman, janitor cleaning the girls dorms in Deseret Towers at BYU (cleaning girls bathrooms is something I would never wish on any guy), MTC Chinese Teacher, Accounting 200 and 210 TA and in-class lecturer, caretaker once-a-week for a disabled elderly man, finance intern for Otis Elevator in Tianjin China, model, English tutor, TV actor, singer. I’ve had quite a few random jobs over the years. I even sold ties door to door one summer at BYU. I bought 400 silk ties in China for 69 cents each and sold them for $15 each or 10 for $100 : )
10. “The Artist Way” by Julia Cameron continues to change my life everyday.
11. I still plan on being the most famous American in Chinese history.
12. The Perfect Pitch and Relative Pitch Super Courses by David Lucas Burge have changed my life. I’m amazed with the things I hear in music now and without looking I can name any key played on the piano or guitar.
13. My mom, dad, brothers, and sisters really are my best friends. I would rather spend time with them than any one else. I feel so blessed with my family. I don’t think any one could ever hope for a better father, a better mother, better sisters, or better brothers. I love you all!!
14. I can eat the same thing everyday for months on end without getting sick of it. Sushi rolls and Chinese dumplings have been my most recent fad—luckily they are cheap here.
15. I want to run a marathon, do a triathlon, and do the iron man.
16. Some day I’m going to spend a few months in South America and learn fluent Spanish
17. For the first time in my life, just these past few months I’m starting to really feel comfortable with who I am just being me.
18. I used to hate running and now I really look forward to my 40 minute run five times a week. Those forty minutes feel like freedom and they are a meditation in their own right.
19. I want to sign a celebrity endorsement contract for a name-brand underwear line someday when I’m famous (this has been a goal of mine for a while and did not just start recently with Beckham’s new Armani campaign : )
20. I never used to believe in past lives but I’m not so sure any more. If I have had past lives, then I am pretty sure I was a Buddhist monk in one of them. I am positive that my first Vipassana meditation course last June was not my first time learning Vipassana. It feels so natural and somehow so familiar.
21. I’ve always known I will be a millionaire someday. I used to be determined to make it happen, but it’s become less and less important to me now. I still believe it will happen, but it will come naturally—effortlessly : )
22. My greatest desire in life, I’ve come to realize, is Peace.
23. I’ve had my Chinese fortune told, my hand’s analyzed, done hypnotherapy, received a patriarchal blessing, had my eyes read, and done various energy therapies—all have been very intriguing and insightful in helping me form an understanding of who I am and my purpose in life.
24. I still reminisce about my childhood days with my brothers and sisters riding bikes around the house, eating watermelon, our mom reading us stories, making bows and arrows and shooting them from the trees. I often wish those days never had to end.
25. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to not cry hearing Beth’s dying words to Jo in Little Women: “I was never like the rest of you, making plans about the great things I’d do. Never saw myself as anything much. I’m not a great writer like you”. Jo: “Beth, I’m not a great writer” Beth: “but you will be. Oh Jo, I’ve missed you so. Why does everyone want to go away? I love being home. But I don’t like being left behind—now I am the one going ahead. I am not afraid. I can be brave like you. But I know I shall be homesick for you, even in heaven.”
I don’t know why my life path has led me so far away from home when so often there is no place I’d rather be. Sometimes I feel I’ve done a disservice to my family, especially my mom and younger siblings, by placing such physical distance between us. But I believe in following my heart and I know I am where I’m supposed to be. I hope my family always knows and feels how much I love them and how much I wish I could spend more time with them


  1. Wow. I don't know what to say about this post. I really do feel like your twin. Everything you wrote I feel as if I could have written it plausibly. I have not yet done the 25 random things, but I just can't believe how much crossover I have with you. I almost did a 10 day silence retreat in December, but I am doing it over the summer instead, I also have visited 6 continents, I recently started believing in past lives, and I was even chased by a dog in 3rd grade (the house wasn't nearby and my older brother who was always mean to me saved me and scared the dog away), and I am an inconsolable rag during Beth's speech. I know this isn't about me, but I just think you sound like an awesome guy-- does that mean I'm awesome too?

  2. Oh, happy valentines day by the way!