It's never too late to learn

When I was younger I felt like I knew so much but the older I get I feel like I don't know anything at all. No matter how much you know, there is an infinite amount of things that you don't know.

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates. 

I'm always trying to stay in tune with what's happening around the world but it's hard to believe everything you hear these days. The media creates news that is often faulty or biased. The information we receive is so curated and everyone is trying to be first with whatever story may be viral.

Can I see what's out there, what is actually happening in this world? How can we really know from behind our computer screens? 

I envy those who can just drop everything and travel the world. Learning and absorbing all the different cultures.  

If I could rewind back to college and do it again there are so many things I would change. When I was in school I was in such a hurry to graduate and become an adult. I wish someone told me back then to slow down. 

I wish I could go back to the time when my only responsibilities were to go to class and to learn. It's such a privilege to be able to learn and get an education. I think a lot of people take that for granted, I know I did. 

Luckily it's never too late to learn, it just gets a little busier as we get older. I try to learn something new every day. I'm still discovering my voice and learning how to sing as I shared a few weeks ago. 

Search for answers, seek the truth. You can't learn anything if you think you already know. If you open your mind and realize that you may be wrong or mistaken, you might be ready to learn.

All Photography by Luke Rieke
Make Up & Hair by Sara Tagaloa
Wardrobe Styling by Katie Qian
Assisted by Eunice Lee

Get that Vitamin D!

If you're feeling blue go outside and get some Vitamin D, sunshine always cheers me up! I walk Chewy 3-4 times a day, that's at least an hour of sunlight and it does wonders for me. Couple times a week we go for a hike as well. I'm more energetic during the days and I sleep better at night. Whenever I'm feeling sluggish a brisk walk outside always does the trick. 

Here I am trying to tie a high pony without a mirror, how'd I do?  

Photos by the amazing Robby M this is one of my favorite every day looks from a fun shoot we had in Downtown LA, video shot by Eunice coming soon on my channel

Kisses! Now get off your phone or computer and go get some sun!! 

Sweater: Pam & Gela Lace up (size P)
Watch: Leonard & Church Varick 
Sunnies: Perverse Sunglasses
Jeans: Nobody Geo Skinny (size 26)

Do you have three faces?

Someone recently told me that everyone has three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends and your family. The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are. I found this to be fascinating because I always thought I was just an open book. 

I'm fairly open & honest about my life unless it involves someone else. Respecting the privacy of those I care for is really important to me. I'm also not good at hiding my emotions or lying. If I don't like something or someone you'll see it written all over my face. On the flip side, if I like something, I won't be able to hide my excitement. I either LOVE it or HATE it, no room for the in-between.

Lets take food for example, if it's a hot dish, I like it sizzling hot and if it's a cold dish, I like it ice cold. I hate anything that's lukewarm. This reflects a lot in my life as well. I'm passionate about the things I do and the things I love. So that intensity really excites me and lukewarmness is the exact opposite. I consider it lazy to have a lukewarm attitude towards life. If you're going to do something, do it! Do it with all your heart and be great! Revelation 3:15-17

Now that I think about it, I'm fairly closed off in big public settings or work environments, mainly because it's intimidating and terrifying. I can come off a bit standoffish if I'm feeling uncomfortable. It's an INFP (Myers-Briggs) thing, we're constantly misunderstood. I'll elaborate on INFP struggles on another blog post. I also act a lot tougher than I am to those I'm not as close with. But my friends know I'm pretty sensitive and a total softie. I put less of a face on with my friends so they get to see the real arden. I'm awkward, clumsy, insecure, shy, incredibly forgetful - borderline needing professional help and I talk way too fast. Mainly because if I talk slowly mid sentence I'll forget what I was saying and completely lose my train of thought. Does this happen to anyone else?

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I feel like my closest friends see it all. They've seen me ugly cry, they've seen me heartbroken, they've seen me angry and much more. I'm really open with my close friends because I believe your friendships can only be as deep as you allow them to be. If you want real intimate friendships you've got to be vulnerable and open up. Friendships are hard work and you need to invest your time into them but they're so essential to a healthy life. I'm so thankful for my friends that are my community and my family. They keep me accountable and grounded, I don't know what I'd do without them. 

Whenever I dress like this I have a few friends who love to tease me. You look like a boy. But what's wrong with that? Why do guys get all the cool clothes? This is a mans jacket from the mens section but I love it! I can wear this, eat two pizzas and no one would know. All about comfort baby!

I just bought this cap and I'm in LOVE. I usually wear a black cap but since the weather's getting warmer I feel like this off-white colored cap is very fitting for the season. It's become a new favorite. I love hats and covering half my face, it oddly makes me feel safe. Maybe I do have three faces after all. There are definitely times when I feel the safest alone. But I still identify with all three faces, they all make me who I am. 

When you're fixing your hair but it almost looks like dancing. Photography by Robby M 

Here's a cup of coffee and a word of advice.

I can't believe it's already Wednesday, feels like the week is flying by. I had another audition this afternoon. These days I feel like most my days are filled with prepping auditions and auditioning. This is basically an actor's life when you're not already committed to a show or a film. I'm still waiting for a project that really excites me but I actually liked today's audition. She's a sassy, free spirited and wild character. I wouldn't mind being her every day. We'll see how it goes. The waiting game continues. 

Photography by  Robby M

Photography by Robby M

I used to put a great deal of focus on perfectly delivering the words on the page and trying to be exactly what they were looking for. Overly prepared but stiff & boring. Now I'm putting more emphasis on just being free and having fun. Making the words on the page authentic and real to me. Auditions are stressful and draining but this may be my only opportunity to be that girl, so might as well make it a good one!

I've noticed if I do the work and I study, a lot of it's like muscle memory so if I focus more on having fun it takes a lot of the pressure off. It's still hard not to stress when you get 2 minutes to book a job and there's plenty of other girls in the room just as capable and talented. Like Emma Stone's audition scene in La La Land, that scene stung my heart a bit because I know that feeling too well. This is a very clear reminder that actors are expendable, we're definitely not few and far between. But every field has it's own difficulties so whatever your work is, try to have more fun and worry less because in the end of the day a lot of it isn't in your control. Change of attitude can help work feel less like work and lift a lot of weight off your shoulders. 

I hate failing and being disappointed in myself, I used to count every audition I didn't book as a failure. But I've changed my perspective. Instead of focusing on the end result and letting that define whether it was a success or failure, every audition is a chance for me to challenge myself to try something new, experiment, grow and act.  I've been focusing more on working hard, doing my best and walking away satisfied. We generally get about 12-24 hours to prep an audition, so it's a lot of "cramming", if you're in school, you can imagine it's similar to studying for finals - every day. So after I've done the work, I want to walk in, perform it and walk away feeling great because I did the absolute best I could. I used to always want "affirmation". How did I do? Did I do well? Did they like me? But now it doesn't matter. Honestly, regardless of how "well" I do, I might not book the job because my hair was too long or I wasn't the right size or color. I did some silly stuff in my audition today but I went out of my comfort zone and committed to the character so I'm incredibly happy. 

Photography by  Robby M

Photography by Robby M

Here's a cup of coffee and a word of advice. Care less about what people think of you and be content with YOU. There is no measure of success and failure especially if you're working hard and doing your best. If you don't try because you're afraid to fail you've already failed but if you try your best, you can call it a success. Cheers. 

Beauty & the Beast

Seems like a lot of people watched Beauty & the Beast this past weekend. I'm planning on watching it this week, I don't really like going to the theaters opening weekend because it's so packed and hectic. I'll go opening weekend if it's a film I really want to help support and make sure they get the best opening weekend stats. But my favorite time to go to the movies is mid-week matinee. It's less crowded & cheaper! 

I covered one of my favorite songs from the movie with my friends Daniel Jang & Jason Chen

I always wanted to be Belle, Little Mermaid, Mulan or Jasmine. I remember when I was little I wanted to be Belle for Halloween but my parents wouldn't buy me the dress. Our family didn't really celebrate Halloween or think it was necessary to buy a costume so I was only allowed to wear what I had at home. A Taekwondo uniform, my ballerina leotard & tutu or a Hanbok (traditional Korean dress) were my options. I basically rotated these three outfits every year for trick-or-treating. I wonder if it's an Asian thing? 

Hope you enjoy our cover video. My only regret is not wearing that perfect yellow gown for this video. Although, if I did, I might have been a bit overdressed. One day, I want to wear that Belle gown! 

Of course a video isn't complete without taking some photos. Thanks Robby! A lot of people asked me on instagram where my outfit was from. The top is from this little boutique on Melrose called Timeless and the pants are from this online site called Le Box Blanc

I LOVE these pants because they make me feel so tall and I'm a fan of the wide leg. I find ultra tight white pants to be unflattering on 90% of body types. I'll wear form fitted white jeans from time to time but really tight white skinnies can be hard to pull off. I feel it accentuates my thighs and that's not really my favorite body part. So don't feel bad if every time you pull on a pair of white skinnies and look in the mirror you cringe. I feel you girl, I feel you. Plus it probably looks much better than you think. We are our own worst critics.

I really like the cut of this top but it's a little big for me. Medium was the only size left at the store so I went ahead and bought it. Impulse buy. Looking at photos I do think it would have been better if it was the right size. But I don't hate it. I love the wide over the shoulder collar and long wide sleeves. 

This photo below was taken by Jason, he snapped a few while Robby was shooting. This was basically a 3 minute photoshoot. 

This last one was taken through a screen door, not bad not bad Mr Chen. 

Learning the new language of millennials.

This is me questioning life as I pose while touching my head and grabbing my stomach, most likely because half the time I don't know what to do with my arms. Fun fact. I can pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time. Oh, I got skills. "You know like nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills. Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!" If you don't know what movie I'm referencing, just disregard. I don't think this sort of comedy would fly in 2017.

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In other news. My friend just showed me how to send stickers and gifs in iMessage. Mind Blown. I had no idea how people were sending me these cute moving stickers until today! I'm still amazed by confetti and fire works through text (which I only discovered a few weeks ago). I guess you could say I'm a little slow to pick up the cool, trendy tricks. Especially new viral videos or games. I'm generally finding out when it's no longer popular. For example, I consider PPAP a new funny video. But I know it's old news. 

These days I'm generally confused about what I see on the internet. I still don't understand planking or who started it. I have no idea what the backpack challenge is and why people throw backpacks at each other. I also don't understand half these new slangs. Or do we not use the term slang anymore? I'm sure there's a new word for that.

Makes me wonder, who starts these? How do they get so popular? How does one learn them? 

Honestly, I never know the new acronyms either. I just learned IDGAF the other day (shared the story in my newest ARDENVENTURES) and a 9 year old taught me GOAT. We took a selfie and sent it to her cousin who then replied GOAT, I said "where"? Incase you're like me, GOAT stands for Greatest Of All Time, I was so amazed at learning the new acronym I think I forgot to say thank you. I also just discovered that "ship" is an abbreviation of "relationship". Mind blown. This whole time I thought it was wanting two individuals to sail towards each other and become one ship? But no, it was just an abbreviation. I still don't know what stan is. But I think it's like a non fan? Or why is on fleek is a good thing? Like who decided it means "on point"? Is anybody else curious? 

I do have a point to all of this. The point is, this year I might attempt to learn this new language of millennials. 

I'm also going to be open to trying new trends. Which I usually shy away from. Like these mesh shirts. I think they're generally worn to be sexy. But I kinda dig them for working out. Keeps my body cool when I'm running for my life and cycling off all that pizza I ate. 

I also love an oversized bomber jacket. You'll often find me in the mens section looking at hoodies, sweats and jackets. I've been living in sweats and streetwear since college. So I'm ecstatic it's finally becoming more of a trend. 

Here I am patiently waiting for bae. Last week I learned it stands for "before anyone else". I thought people were just misspelling "babe" or forgetting the second "b" or saying babe too fast. Babe... bae.... babe..??? Again, Mind Blown.

Ya'll know I love my baseball cap but beanies are also great for days you don't want to brush your hair. Plus the weather in LA can be very moody. It'll be smokin hot during the day and drop into the 40's at night. So it never hurts to have a beanie or jacket on hand. 

Trying out some trends, yay or nay?  

Photography by the oh so amazing Robby M go show him some love! Also I painted my own face and tousled my hair, I think I'm learning!! 

 

Do we always want what we don't have? 

I shot with Luke Rieke last week, an incredibly talented photographer from the East Coast. We worked with Sara Tagaloa & Katie Qian both talented and sweet women. I shared a couple of the photos on my instagram with a caption mentioning how excited I was about these shots because of my "fake" freckles. But I was shocked to see how many of my freckled friends commented that I was crazy for wanting freckles. Or saying that they hated their freckles. I feel like freckles bring so much character to a face. I have a few moles, or "spots" on my face and when I was young my dad used to joke and say an ant walked around my face and pooped everywhere. I thought they were weird until he said that. Then I felt like it was special, he made something I was insecure about into a funny story. So whenever someone would point them out, I'd proudly say "an ant pooped all over my face" and we'd laugh together.

People often define beauty as symmetry and maybe freckles are not thought to be beautiful because they're not symmetrical or in any order. But what I've noticed is when photographers photoshop them out or make up artists cover them up, my face looks naked. I hate it. They're a part of my face and they're a part of me. I guess I don't find perfection to be beautiful. I honestly think perfection is boring. A crooked smile has so much depth. Every wrinkle has a memory. Every scar has a story.

Freckles are beautiful, unique and can never be replicated. I've had them painted on for two shoots and I find myself asking more and more "can we do freckles"? It might even be a trend, I hear people are getting them tattooed onto their faces these days. But I guess this just comes to show how much the grass is greener on the other side. I have straight hair so I want curly hair. I'm short so I want to be tall. My tall girl friends want to be short. I have double eyelids but I want monolids. While my friends with monolids get surgery for double eye lids. Do we always want what we don't have? 

I know I'm guilty of it. I guess that's why I love acting so much. Stepping into someone else's shoes and living a different life for a day, a moment or a series. My favorite part of photoshoots is transforming into someone else or being the character I don't have the confidence to be in real life. Or even something as terrifying as stripping away the layers and being vulnerable. 

I think I find realness to be the most beautiful. But it's hard. Especially with the pressure to be perfect. Honestly when I look at these images, my first initial thought is I look ugly. Disclaimer: I asked Sara (the make up artist) if we could go with this look, I wanted this no lashes, no liner and I think she did an amazing job. But I love false lashes and lash extensions, they make me feel beautiful and I used to not be able to leave the house without eyeliner but this year I've gone months without. I'm trying to love myself without all the glitz and glam. At least for this season. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great to get dolled up and feel beautiful but I also think it's important to be able to look at yourself as who you are and love that face underneath all the make up.