Hey, my name is Jun! I’m Hmong American and the middle child of five kids. I have one older brother, one younger brother, and twin sisters who are about a decade younger than me. This blog exists to share with you my creative work and to encourage you to keep dreaming big.

THE YOUNGER YEARS

My childhood was quite sad. My mom was working extremely hard to feed us while my father spends his day sleeping, going to the gym, getting drunk, and scaring us to death. I remember at 8 years old, I wanted a happy family. It was impossible with my father. His idea of a happy time is getting drunk, screaming at us, and threatening to kill us. We all spent years walking on eggshells around my father. It was prison all the time. Someday, I will have to write a book about the horror I witnessed.

THE CHANGING YEARS

It took nearly 15 years before my mother finally found the courage to leave my father. It was the first time I felt hopeful. It was like a bright light at the end of a very dark tunnel. When we finally left and drove out of state to live in a small town in Wisconsin, it was like breathing fresh air for the first time. I was happy for a moment.

Just when I was ready to be happy, I got hit hard with depression. All those years of listening to my father’s degrading words made me feel like I was never good enough for anyone or anything. At school, I hang out with the troubled kids. I can fake happiness with them and feel comfortable. I never share my mess with my mother because she was still trying to clean up her own mess.

Bad foods became my best friend and I put on excessive weight. I had bad thoughts and went to dark places in my mind. I’ve would often tell myself that the world is a better place without me. I even believed that killing myself will end the pain. Yet, in the back of my mind, I didn’t want to pile more stress on my mom. My deadbeat father didn’t help with any child support so my mother had to work extra hard to make sure we’re eating and sleeping well.

THE GOOD YEARS

About two years after we settled into our new life, I felt better. I realized that it’s okay to talk about my feelings and cry. That it’s okay to be sad and imperfect. I started being around more positive people and working on loving myself. My mom said, “People will only love you as much as you love yourself.” She’s right. She showed me it’s okay to start over and create a beautiful life. She was once married to a monster.

From losing friends, increasing my self-love, and facing my fears, I realized that life is as happy as you make it to be. That people don’t stay forever and pain is growth. Through my belief in God and my mom, I changed my life and became a better version of myself. I started eating better, working out, and doing the things I love. Through writing, arts, and music, I found who I want to become. I found my happy place.

FINAL THOUGHTS

So to all the girls who are feeling worthless and alone, you’re more than you believe. It’s okay to cry, hurt, and failed. You are perfect being imperfect. Forget about what people think or say. It doesn’t matter. It’s your life and you can choose to be happy. Stop trying to fit into society’s BS box and just be you. You’re first. You matter. You’re enough.

You’re not alone. Keep living and always smile.

XOXO,

Jun

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