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Love at First Sight

Seriously? We’re going to talk about this topic? Isn’t it just a myth?

Yes. Yes, we are. Because here I am in a loving relationship after having fallen in love at first sight with my second husband Cung. Yup, after everything I’ve been through, I gave love another shot, proposed (!), and here we are. He doesn’t believe in it, though. He had his own set of experiences.

Let’s rewind.

Do you believe in love at first sight? Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? Did it go well for you? I’ll bet the answer is no. The several times that I have fallen in love, at first sight, didn’t go well for me. Looking back here are the reasons why.

Love-at-First-Sight Failures

  1. I didn’t take a realistic assessment of how possible the relationship was. It was long-distance involving oceans and miles and miles of flying and different time zones and altogether too much of a hassle. The stress of the situation piled up to the stress of everything else. The bonds did not manage to solidify, not with half the globe standing in between.
  2. I wasn’t really sure of what I wanted for myself. Did I want to focus on a career? Did I want to build a family – get married quickly and have kids? Or did I want to get rich? I wasn’t quite clear on my own goals and because of that, the roller-coaster of hormones made everything even more mixed up.
  3. I wasn’t aware of my own strengths and weaknesses. Many people have told me that I am charming. This is a great asset, but it can really backfire on me if I don’t know when and where to hold back, or when to press forward. What I’m saying is, I have been as much at fault at making other people fall in love at first sight with me, even though I was not ready to follow through!

I guess what I’m saying is it takes a lot more than one look to make love work. It often takes painful (or sometimes just dumb) experiences, but what’s important is that you learn a little bit more about yourself each time, so the next time the stars align and love hits, you will know how to deal with it.

What are your experiences with love at first sight? For some extra fun reading on physical reactions of love at first sight, check out this article.

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Mozaic – Podcast Episode 9

Katie Velasco and I go way back to Calvin College 2005-2009 when we were roommates with each other for most of that time period. She is now Katie Crosby and has a super cute son named Logan, and we still keep the bond alive visiting each other and taking diving trips together (pre-pandemic).

Christian, Rosie, and Nicky
Charlie, Logan, and Katie

In this interview, Katie is joined by her sister Nicky, with special appearance from Rosie – Nicky’s 2 year old daughter. Katie and Nicky are half Filipino, a fourth Korean, and a fourth German, and their children get even more diverse! Everything is discussed here from their Korean halmeuni (grandmother) who was a nurse in the Korean war, to how their father immigrated from the Philippines to the USA, all the way to how Katie and Nicky’s looks have affected them growing up in South California. Katie and Nicky have vastly different college experiences and careers, but they’re always there for each other.

Trigger Warning: Nicky shares a bit of her painful experience with racism in this episode.

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Movie Review : In the Heights

One of the most exciting composers/creators of the music industry at this time is surely Lin-Manuel Miranda. He is currently most known for the hit musical Hamilton which retells the story of the American revolutionary via rap and involves a diverse cast and crew.

Miranda’s first musical was In the Heights, which premiered off-Broadway in 2007. At that time, nobody knew who he was. The New York Times published, “his name was a household name only in his household.” Since then, he has received much recognition and awards through his song “See the Line Where the Sky Meets the Sea” in Disney’s Moana, his role in the revival of Mary Poppins, and eventually Hamilton.

One of the best movie-musical to date

In the Heights was very recently produced into a movie-musical, and I must say it is THE BEST movie-musical up to date. It brings the genre up to another level. It is both movie and musical, and the final product here is a sum far greater than each of its parts.

What struck me most and left me breathless was how the movie was able to get out of the box of cinematography to create unforgettable, magical moments. The two most mesmerizing scenes were Benny and Nina’s dreamy duet “When the Sun Goes Down” and Abuela Claudia’s showstopper subway solo “Paciencia y Fe”. I mean, I’m a huge believer in the power of old ladies. Anthropologist Frances Bowden Affandy once told me that she believed old ladies are the apex of human evolution. They carry so many memories and wisdom in their minds and bodies, that it is no wonder old ladies as often seen as powerful witches. Yet, I have to say, I never see musical solos of glorified old ladies. Here, In the Heights pulled it off with hair-chilling choreography.

Motifs that hit home

The immigrants’ theme is a leitmotif with Miranda, as he himself is also an immigrant. This show focused on Latino-Americans’ lives and values: work hard, save up, make a better future for yourself than where you came from. This is always touching for me. There is one line where Nina’s father says what made me cry:

“This is where you become greater than me. Not because of some fancy degree, but because you can see a future I cannot.”

In the heights

This hit me personally because you know what? My father never said that to me. Never ever. Many times I share my dreams, my work, my passions. But for him, it didn’t matter. All that mattered to him was that I was not living the life girls should live, according to him. He saw one future for me, and that was that. It didn’t matter that I saw a thousand possible futures for myself. It took a long time for me to learn to distrust his figure of authority, and instead go with my guts.

This is why I love In the Heights and Miranda, because all of his work has a strong angle of women empowerment. From Elisa Hamilton to Nina, he always writes women alongside men in the narrative.

The music? Was there any doubt from the beginning? Never.