Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Monteau dress | A’gaci wedges

I promise I haven’t been ignoring you — lots has been going on.

There have been very few moments lately where I can sit down and write something that doesn’t read like complete garbage. Every day of this summer has been one of those days where events unfold so quickly that I can barely wrap my head around them, like the kind where yesterday feels like a week ago because so much has happened since then.

So. Grab some coffee or an enjoyable snack, and let me tell you what I’ve been up to since I last really posted.

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Personal

I made a pledge to myself to start being more vulnerable around people — I’m often guilty of Stanford duck syndrome, aka talking myself up and making it seem like everything in my life is an enviable success, when in fact I’m struggling just as much everyone else is. A friend of mine recently told me that it was actually a huge strength to be open in such a way, especially since social media opens everyone up to round-the-clock judgment. I wholeheartedly agree.

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

My partner of two years and I ended our relationship a few weeks ago. The breakup was mutual and much-needed for both of us, but to be honest, it’s been a lot harder to deal than I thought it would be. I tend to downplay the relationships I have with people and how they affect me, and so when they do affect me, they catch me by surprise.

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

I wonder when I’ll be able to listen to certain songs without wanting to cry in public, or when the random moments of cold loneliness will go away. It does get better every day, though; I think I’m in a pretty good place now. I’ve been taking most of my free time to be better friends with myself — I take myself out on dates about once a week and reflect on who I am, what I think about specific events, what I’ve done, and where I want to be heading. I’ve become more honest with myself, which also has a positive effect on how I interact with others.

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Speaking of interacting with others, I recently sat down with my mom and had a great talk with her on gender dysphoria, queerness, and how my experience with both of those things has affected my life thus far. We haven’t had a very close relationship since I left for college, and this was the first time that she really started to listen and try to understand things from my perspective. My mom grew up in a very traditional Chinese family; for her to be open-minded and accepting of who I am makes me really happy. With so many people coming out of the woodwork and showing their true hateful selves these days, it’s really touching to know that people close to me are making an effort.

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

I, too, have to make an effort, especially when it comes to maintaining relationships. I pull a lot of “out-of sight, out-of-mind” bullshit that’s detrimental to all parties involved. Who cares if someone’s a million miles away? The Internet exists for a reason. I’m connected pretty much 24/7; there’s no excuse for me not to reach out.

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Work

I got to experience first-hand what it felt like to be a Software Engineer in the Real World this summer. It wasn’t easy — the learning curve is steep, and Swift is unlike any language I’ve coded in before — it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. I really appreciated how continuous learning and teamwork were prioritized, and how everyone on my team felt like one big family. Environment is really important. I’m eternally grateful that I found a great one.

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

My internship at URBN ended last Friday. I’m sad about leaving the company and the places I’ve come to love, but I’m also excited to go back to school and finish off what has been some of the best years of my life so far. I was dreading the upcoming school year for a long time — senior year at my school is the hardest because we have to write a full-length thesis and finish up our requirements, which involves all upper-level Computer Science classes for me — but I’ve missed my friends, and the beach being five minutes away, and not having to wake up at 6 AM every day to catch a train into the city. I’m looking forward to this semester and all the changes that come with it.

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

I’m glad I got to catch you up because things have been super hectic lately. Once school starts I’ll be back to posting as regularly as I can, so see you then!

Mimi Chenyao

P.S. These photos were all taken in Fishtown, Philadelphia, a super hipster (*cough* I mean, really cool) neighborhood that has tons of colorful houses and independently owned businesses. Definitely check it out when you have the chance.