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  • Lynn Kim Do

    Lynn Kim Do

    there's nothing to hide and no one to hide from, especially yourself


    It's a funny thing when the most common path becomes the uncommon path. Or a new path becomes a pioneering path. But the thing is no one path is THE path. We all have different paths.

    From the moment I was born until my last year of high school, I was only taught that a very specific path. School, marriage…a heterosexual marriage, kids, grandkids, and then you die. Maybe there would be some traveling here and there, definitely a house with a white picket fence, god forbid it’s yellow or red or something, and divorces aren’t allowed, and oh, a career was optional.
    And then I entered college and I was taught that everything I just stated was an absolute lie. Not only was it a lie. It was almost downright brainwashing. It was what THE MAN wanted you to believe, to put women down, so they can stay down—oppressed, compliant, voiceless, and baby-making robotos. It's a man's world. And we live in it. Don't fall for that trap. So, they taught us a different path. And it looked something like this: school, career, empire, help other women, change the world. Men were optional and if they were involved, they needed to support your dreams and have their own dreams, and sacrifices were little, if there were any to be made. Kids come later, when everything is secure and both careers allotted time for it (which is never by the way). Oh, and it can't interfere with the ultimate "change the world" plan. A house was included but also optional because there were more options now—a penthouse, a Brooklyn studio, a cave in Minnesota, a shack in Mexico. Eh, divorce was fine. Love was optional, a fairy tale created by The Man to hold us back from the ultimate goal—again, to "change the world". Attainable shit, isn't it? 

    Now you can imagine why all these twenty-something years old are all fucking confused. You can't blame us. We have two choices and they both sound fucking looney. And impossible.

    If you're asking me which one I vibe to more? If it isn't clear, then let me tell you. It was the latter one. This made it quite difficult for me growing up. During high school, I questioned everything around me –my role, my mother's role, media's portrayal of everything from race to gender, I questioned religion and in college, I even became an atheist for all of two weeks. Love, psh... I somehow convinced myself that I wasn't capable of it. I just needed friends. Until I realized they suck too, and love would find me over and over again, hit me on the head, slapped me in the face and with a little self-retrospection, I knew I couldn't let the love of my life walk away so I hit his head with a large wooden bat and dragged him into my cave. Curiosity, while helpful, can be a real pest when aging during such impressionable years—middle school to college. I had always felt like an answer was never straight forward and, of course, a straight forward answer was all I craved for. At 24, most days, I still feel that way. But I remind myself that it is also why the world is so beautiful. Life is a large fuckin' riddle. 

    Fast forward to now:
    I came to an epiphany on the couch with my friend the other night. After watching a rather confusing movie on motherhood, she felt compelled to release a confession held tightly in her chest. A little backstory on this twenty-five year old life-loving beauty—She just moved out of her parents' place, just found a man whom she allows herself to love, just realized what she was passionate about—fashion, especially children's apparel. And no, she is not a mother. In fact, she, like many millennial women, wants a career before a family. But in this very moment, she had to tell me something. "My uterus spoke to me the other day." "Interesting...", ironically, I generally question a ton of things but never abstract stuff like this. "It's telling me that I'm ready for a child." 
    This is traumatic for anyone who thought they had finally written a path they could be comfortable with, an idea they had finally felt attached with. That uterus comment alone is scary. What would your millennial friends think?  Would they call you a traitor, a basic ass bitch, a sucker? Our parents' generation would fully understand, right? For them, a family was built by the time they were 23-25 years old. As we're coddled until 21 years old and fed with their regrets, "wait, honey...I wish I did more before"...being trapped and throwing their life away for a shitting, eating, life-sucking baby or babies. I get it. Until we get pregnant before saying "I do," and then oh no, we're the worst. Dammit. 

    But what if that common, uncommon path becomes your path. What will it be met with? And what about other paths?

    I wish we were taught the possibilities of all paths including the numerous paths people have taken and all their outcomes. Kinda like a chipotle line, "guacamole or nah? It's $2 more..." as you watch the person in front of you order. And you’ll know if you want a life like a fat burrito, a taco, or, maybe naked. Being a twenty-something year old and watching inspirational videos about this entrepreneur and this other leader who did this and that and then made a billion dollars, I compare myself to them endlessly. Like damn, I'm not like that. I'll never make it. Even then, we need to be encouraged to make up our own paths. I wish schools and leaders, influencers, and parents would encourage us to create and take untredded paths and territories as they share theirs.
    Because in the end...I am not like any one. I will never be them. I am me. And my friend is her own self. Our paths are totally different and unique. Listen to your gut, tune out those comments that will make you feel shitty even if they mean well, and be endlessly and unforgivable you. Because the path will be beautiful, the voyage crazy and a mouthful of stories you'll be happy to tell, and everything will be okay.  Just keep telling yourself, like I tell myself—Everything will be fuckin’ amazing!

    Photo by Daniela Spector 
    Written By Lynn Kim Do
    SaveSave
    . August 30, 2016 .

    Street Talk | The Uncommon Path

    . August 30, 2016 .


    It's a funny thing when the most common path becomes the uncommon path. Or a new path becomes a pioneering path. But the thing is no one path is THE path. We all have different paths.

    From the moment I was born until my last year of high school, I was only taught that a very specific path. School, marriage…a heterosexual marriage, kids, grandkids, and then you die. Maybe there would be some traveling here and there, definitely a house with a white picket fence, god forbid it’s yellow or red or something, and divorces aren’t allowed, and oh, a career was optional.
    And then I entered college and I was taught that everything I just stated was an absolute lie. Not only was it a lie. It was almost downright brainwashing. It was what THE MAN wanted you to believe, to put women down, so they can stay down—oppressed, compliant, voiceless, and baby-making robotos. It's a man's world. And we live in it. Don't fall for that trap. So, they taught us a different path. And it looked something like this: school, career, empire, help other women, change the world. Men were optional and if they were involved, they needed to support your dreams and have their own dreams, and sacrifices were little, if there were any to be made. Kids come later, when everything is secure and both careers allotted time for it (which is never by the way). Oh, and it can't interfere with the ultimate "change the world" plan. A house was included but also optional because there were more options now—a penthouse, a Brooklyn studio, a cave in Minnesota, a shack in Mexico. Eh, divorce was fine. Love was optional, a fairy tale created by The Man to hold us back from the ultimate goal—again, to "change the world". Attainable shit, isn't it? 

    Now you can imagine why all these twenty-something years old are all fucking confused. You can't blame us. We have two choices and they both sound fucking looney. And impossible.

    If you're asking me which one I vibe to more? If it isn't clear, then let me tell you. It was the latter one. This made it quite difficult for me growing up. During high school, I questioned everything around me –my role, my mother's role, media's portrayal of everything from race to gender, I questioned religion and in college, I even became an atheist for all of two weeks. Love, psh... I somehow convinced myself that I wasn't capable of it. I just needed friends. Until I realized they suck too, and love would find me over and over again, hit me on the head, slapped me in the face and with a little self-retrospection, I knew I couldn't let the love of my life walk away so I hit his head with a large wooden bat and dragged him into my cave. Curiosity, while helpful, can be a real pest when aging during such impressionable years—middle school to college. I had always felt like an answer was never straight forward and, of course, a straight forward answer was all I craved for. At 24, most days, I still feel that way. But I remind myself that it is also why the world is so beautiful. Life is a large fuckin' riddle. 

    Fast forward to now:
    I came to an epiphany on the couch with my friend the other night. After watching a rather confusing movie on motherhood, she felt compelled to release a confession held tightly in her chest. A little backstory on this twenty-five year old life-loving beauty—She just moved out of her parents' place, just found a man whom she allows herself to love, just realized what she was passionate about—fashion, especially children's apparel. And no, she is not a mother. In fact, she, like many millennial women, wants a career before a family. But in this very moment, she had to tell me something. "My uterus spoke to me the other day." "Interesting...", ironically, I generally question a ton of things but never abstract stuff like this. "It's telling me that I'm ready for a child." 
    This is traumatic for anyone who thought they had finally written a path they could be comfortable with, an idea they had finally felt attached with. That uterus comment alone is scary. What would your millennial friends think?  Would they call you a traitor, a basic ass bitch, a sucker? Our parents' generation would fully understand, right? For them, a family was built by the time they were 23-25 years old. As we're coddled until 21 years old and fed with their regrets, "wait, honey...I wish I did more before"...being trapped and throwing their life away for a shitting, eating, life-sucking baby or babies. I get it. Until we get pregnant before saying "I do," and then oh no, we're the worst. Dammit. 

    But what if that common, uncommon path becomes your path. What will it be met with? And what about other paths?

    I wish we were taught the possibilities of all paths including the numerous paths people have taken and all their outcomes. Kinda like a chipotle line, "guacamole or nah? It's $2 more..." as you watch the person in front of you order. And you’ll know if you want a life like a fat burrito, a taco, or, maybe naked. Being a twenty-something year old and watching inspirational videos about this entrepreneur and this other leader who did this and that and then made a billion dollars, I compare myself to them endlessly. Like damn, I'm not like that. I'll never make it. Even then, we need to be encouraged to make up our own paths. I wish schools and leaders, influencers, and parents would encourage us to create and take untredded paths and territories as they share theirs.
    Because in the end...I am not like any one. I will never be them. I am me. And my friend is her own self. Our paths are totally different and unique. Listen to your gut, tune out those comments that will make you feel shitty even if they mean well, and be endlessly and unforgivable you. Because the path will be beautiful, the voyage crazy and a mouthful of stories you'll be happy to tell, and everything will be okay.  Just keep telling yourself, like I tell myself—Everything will be fuckin’ amazing!

    Photo by Daniela Spector 
    Written By Lynn Kim Do
    SaveSave
    . August 26, 2016 .









    When I walk into this installation that is quite literally larger than life itself, it's hard not to be overwhelmed by the stature of these large metal sheets envisioned and created by Richard Serra. I begin to think—How can something so hard and so cold have so much movement? How can it be such a large vessel of emotions?

    It argues that there are many elements that can harden a person up but it doesn’t mean that it takes away the ability to feel, to feel from, and to evoke feelings. In relation to time and history, the movement of the steel reminds us of how solid and permanent our past is. But it is beautiful. Look how beautiful the remarkable warm reds are, the curves etched on to the side, following it in its spiral walls until I reach the core of it all, surrounded, and engulfed in the past I could never run from, but isn’t it all magnificent? I think that’s what Serra wants to convey. He leaves the interpretation open, of course, for the voyageurs and participants to fill up on their own.

    Tee - DIY // Bottom - The Fifth via Fashion Bunker // Air Max 90 - Nike
    Photos by Pedro Morales
    By Lynn Kim Do




    . August 23, 2016 .













    I walk. I can walk for hours. I also found out this weekend that speed walking is a sport. An olympic sport. I took that class during PhysEd, sure. But my motivations included a strong dose of laziness and athletic rejection. Who knew. I guess, my gym teacher did.  But back then, I never trusted anyone who runs for fun. Oh god! What are you??

    But now, age has given me something called wisdom and something dumb and useful called experience. I realized that the thing that brings me utter joy always involve walking...or talking. Preferably, both. On a day like today, a light fabric falls on my body as I slip on some sneakers and socks (blisters aren't fun!).  So while my travel compadres are struggling to keep up with me, the enthusiasm of this new city drives every single step. I am mesmerized by the cobblestone, the French influence injected in every building, cuisine, language, and person. The perfect attire. The perfect weather. The perfect city. Oh, Montreal. And, the perfect stroll. 


    Photos by Pedro Morales
    By Lynn Kim Do





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    . August 15, 2016 .



    A few months ago, I found myself in a very strange place. I was fully aware that my world was about to be drastically different. I didn’t like the people around me—my friends, my friends-who-aren’t-really-friends. I didn’t see my family enough. My job was about to change, whether I wanted it to or not. I really wanted it to change. I really needed a job change, but leaving my job or going part-time, even, would mean a ton of life insecurities that I fought so hard to secure. I was about to jump into the unknown and start a company with someone I knew for about two years—yikes. On top of that, I haven’t seen my boyfriend very often at-the-time. Even with all that awareness, my body still cringed and twitched for familiarity. I felt utterly alone in my issues, in the physical sense and probably through my own doing, and, of course, I felt alone all in my own mind. Did I know that things would work out? Of course, I did. (FYI, it does…) I’m not an idiot. I’m just a self-loathing, phase-enduring, passion pouring, and a little bit or a lot of bit on the dramatic end. As I was walking aimlessly (which is the only thing that brought joy to me at that time) through Soho, I sent a frighteningly paragraph long text message to my boyfriend describing everything I wanted in that moment. Right then. And right there. The honestly that came from so much internal and self-inflicted pain was so eye-opening. Because this is the text that doesn’t end at “delivered” but it something I can now say is a goal that I will attain. It is the very honest, too-honest, and real #relationshipgoal that I have created just for me. It is not influenced by Beyonce & Jay-Z, by Refinery29 or Thought Catalog articles, or even by my friends’ on-again, off-again relationships.


    Here is a text message I sent to my boyfriend:

    I'm just so confused lately babe.
    All I want to do is eat a slice of pizza,
    roam the street,
    hold your hand,
    and watch the sunset over the Brooklyn Bridge.
    All with this overwhelming feeling like...damn, this is my life now.
    Sitting at a Paris* cafe sipping coffee,
    people watching,
    admiring,
    stringing together fictional stories about them,
    leading to a conversation about the next conquest,
    then we gradually move onto wine,
    a bottle or two or three,
    then stumble home on familiar cobblestones,
    then even to our own surprise make it up two flight of narrow stairs—unscathed
    to our little oasis
    with wide, wide and tall, tall windows.
    Our precious memories and materials
    welcoming us all
    waving hello from low, low on the ground.
    We make love,
    and then I fall asleep,
    first per usual,
    while you play with my hair
    to the voices from Bob's** is playing in the background.
    *In this reality, I can teleport from NYC to Paris. Who knows...maybe by this time, teleportion would be a thing.    
    **Bob’s as in Bob’s Burgers, an Animated sit-com on Fox

    Self-Portrait by Lynn Kim DO
    Written By Lynn Kim Do
    SaveSave
    . August 12, 2016 .








    So while she is screaming at me in her cute-NYC-sarcastic-kinda way, I also pretend that she's reminding me to stay positive. Needless to say, I'm getting better at finding the light in the literal and metaphorical sense. She also yells at me when I go left when she tells me to go right. It's been 24 years and I still don't know my left from my right. Gotta pull out the thumb and pointer finger trick...I'm just hopeless.

    Photos by Erika Dickstein
    By Lynn Kim Do




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    SaveSave
    . August 10, 2016 .






     


    Call it basic, call me basic, but I think that's why I love Vivi Academy. Her tees are cleverly adorned with phrases like "Keep Scrolling," "Deleting This," and "Double Tap." Oh. But that's not it. It's printed with bold reversed graphics so the selfie queen inside you can say, YAAAAASSS (insert kiss emoji and crown emoji here). Her actual Fall Collection contain knits with upside down hearts, rich dolors, and sheer goodness. So yeah, I'm obsessed. 
    Photos by Vivi
    By Lynn Kim Do

    . August 8, 2016 .





    I read The Little Prince about a year ago. Why? Because Amazon told me that it is one of 100 books I must read in my lifetime. Bold statement, Amazon! Too bold to ignore. When my second favorite person in the office next to the lunch delivery guy—the mailwoman—hand-delivered my package, I almost forgot that I had ordered a heaping pile of books. I tried to ward off several judgey looks from my colleagues. In the pile, there were some self-help, some strange comics, some fictional dark pits, and then there was this very blue, very cute, hard-bound book. Upon a casual flip-thru, I slowly began to realize that I had, in fact, order a picture book. Less than 100 pages, a large font size, rhythmic words, yes, The Little Prince is a children book.

    I went through a mini-5-minute-long-self-crisis. Why did I order a children’s book? What does this say about me? Am I really going through something? What would people think? Ohhhh, these pictures are pretty. Fuckin, Amazon! But it was only $12. A quick self-deprecation naturally led itself to a more levelheaded conclusion—I have the enthusiasm of a child and the attention span of one, too, so shut up and read it. And I am so glad I did because I truly fell in love with it!

    The Little Prince touches all aspects of life. If a child wanted the answers to some of life's biggest questions, then the answers would lie in this book. From love, to friendship, and even death, the themes within this book stretch wide and far. I placed my own familiar faces into the characters that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry had so brilliantly developed and made so uncomfortably relevant. As a twenty-something year old, I've obtained more lessons from this book than most reads.

    So on a Saturday night, as my boyfriend and I tried to negotiate “health” with a pint of Van Leeuwen’s Vegan Butter Nut Ice Cream…which is amazing by the way, we decided (okay, it was my executive decision) to watch the Netflix Original The Little Prince.

    Here are my thoughts (no spoilers, I promise):
    Right off the bat, I had very little expectations except the expectations of what 5 stars on the left corner may have on someone right before clicking WATCH. So, okay, so there were some expectations. When the movie began, I was struck almost immediately by the animation quality. My boyfriend immediately noted how the characters’ style and facial shapes look similar to the The Incredibles. But don’t get it twisted, this isn’t a bad thing. I was actually really impressed with how Netflix pulled off an animation movie that is definitely within the same quality and visuals of PIXAR and Disney. From the subtle and emotionally driven facial movements, the angles of the shots, the environment, and colors, they definitely delivered on production.

    In terms of the plot, I thought that movie would just follow the book’s storyline but it took it’s own life by placing a young girl at the heart of it. The main character is strong, smart, has imperfections of her own (but in the most adorable way possible!). Injecting the characters and themes from The Little Prince movie, it takes you to a modern day suburban neighborhood (or nightmare) where a single hard-working mother tries to prepare and nurture her daughter's future by creating a very calculated, down to days, hours, and minutes, of what her Summer vacation would be to get her prepared for a prestigious private school. Think Crunchem Hall and Agatha Trunchbull in Matilda. This lifestyle is then corrupted, thank god, by a hippie, ex-pilot, old grandfather-like figure who doesn’t lead a cookie cutter life like his neighbors and pretty much everyone around him. With a ton of adventure, a plethora of tender and heart-warming yet tasteful moments, The Little Prince movie is it’s own movie with The Little Prince book making large cameos and theme-weaves throughout the film. It actually hits all the themes within the book including death which is a little dark for a children’s movie, but don’t worry, this film does a great job of bringing up topics, like death, and making it light, enlightening, and ultimately refreshing.

    The only thing that disappointed me in this movie would be that the characters of The King, The Vain One, and The Businessman were not as well developed, as I would have liked it to be. There aren’t many characters in the book to begin with and I do believe that they each hold a significant symbolic interjection of people in everyone’s life. I wish the director gave the three characters I mentioned a bit more backstory or were just better developed.

    Overall, I will have to say that this movie is now one of my Top 10 Favorite Animated Movies. I don’t say that lightly. So watch it! Read the book, but also watch it right now! You’ll thank me later.

    Photo by Daniela Spector
    By Lynn Kim Do