In this documentary for Mental Health Channel, I took my mom flying.
I also bare my soul and spill all my deepest darkest secrets. Good job, Grace. Put all your secrets on the internet. It's safe there.
Act out your favorite movie scene.
While doing this task, I realized something. Growing up, I never wanted to be the female character in any of the books I read or movies I watched. I always wanted to be the male. The male character was always the hero while the girl just waited around to be saved most of the time.
Before I understood anything about being gay, I just knew I wanted to be the boy. The boys had courage, went on adventures and did all the cool shit.
The lack of empowered female characters, even today, is troubling. We’re indirectly teaching young girls to want to be the manic pixie dream girl that the heroes want to save and not be the heroes themselves.
Male or female, be the hero of your own story.
Play a video game in real life.
Is there a better way to spend a beautiful day in San Francisco than playing a game of MarioKart at the park?
I think not.
We made two teams of seven with everyone getting their own MarioKart costume, tied balloons to our feet and ran around trying to pop the other team’s balloons while onlookers threw bananas at us.
It was bananas. Bad joke? I don’t care, it was the best day of my life.
This week, my task was to meet a celebrity. The only other time I met a celebrity was when I was in 7th grade and I accidentally had my first kiss with Nicole Scherzinger.
Prepare for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.
What would your weapon of choice be in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse?
I decided to be practical and develop my archery skills. However, my ideal weapon would be a metal pool cleaner covered in spikes and bees. Obviously.
Get a makeover.
You know what’s silly? I finally allowed myself to get the haircut I’ve always wanted. I could’ve gotten it at any point in my adulthood, but silly little fears and insecurities kept me from doing something I’ve always wanted to do.
This project is about doing the things I’ve kept myself from doing, the things that I’ve always wanted to do. My perspective is changing daily and it’s mind blowing how self aware I’m becoming in the moment.
I experienced a moment of pure bliss. When you’re falling out of the skies, you’re incapable of worrying about mundane life things that plague us like bills, jobs, and relationships; every brain cell in your body is dedicated to thinking “HOLY SHIT! I’M FLYING!!!”
Drop dollar bills off a roof.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a trash bag full of dollar bills lying around to throw off a roof. Instead, I opted to make these dollar bill roses to hand out around the city.
I ended up tackling one of my other fears, which is making eye contact with strangers. Normally, I just look at my feet or bury my nose in a book when I walk, but today, I forced myself to make eye contact with strangers, hold it, and smile. If they smiled back, I thanked them, and handed them a dollar rose.
It was surprisingly easy to get people to smile back. I think it’s hard to initiate the smiling, but when someone smiles at you, it’s a pretty natural reaction to smile back. Even blind people who have never seen a smile or been taught how to smile, smile when they are happy; it must be a human function engrained in us.
It’s difficult to muster the courage to be the first person at anything. As humans, we are most afraid of the unknown, and that makes us stick within certain boundaries that we know we can handle. We have volition, but if we consistently limit ourselves from pursuing certain avenues out of fear, we deprive ourselves of all the possibilities. Every time I tell myself I can’t do something, I now also ask myself if I’ve ever done it before and failed. The answer is almost always no; I just have it in my brain that I can’t do a lot of things, even though there’s no evidence to back it up.
Consistently scaring the shit out of myself by doing the things that I never imagined I could do, and actually succeeding at all of them has made me realize that all the doubts about yourself that keep you from doing things you want to do, are just that, doubts. They aren’t evidence that you shouldn’t attempt something. Most of the time, those doubts are keeping you from doing things you should do. It’s okay to feel doubt, it’s not okay to let those doubts keep you from doing something you really want. You owe it to yourself to at least try it out.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of these new experiences, especially because I know just how easily I could’ve let them all slip through my fingers if I chose to end it all. Life is worth living, but it’s up to you to make it that way.
Seward Street Slides.
In high school, I lived on top of a hill and had an amazing view of SFO’s runway from my bedroom. I would watch the planes take off everyday and try to guess where each plane was headed. All I wanted to do was get out of there and fly away to anywhere but my room.
Before I take on anything I’m scared of, I tell myself:
"You’ve been waiting your whole life to be free. FLY!"
I’ve been flying.
Find your dream house.
One of my favorite activities is driving around San Francisco and appreciating all the different kinds of houses.
I think what kind of house someone wants to live in when they’re older says a lot about them. Some people are drawn to penthouses with sweeping skyline views while some yearn to have a simple home in a tiny village in the South of France. What do your desires say about you?
Although I would love to meet the love of my life, run off to the countryside to live in a tiny cottage, and spend our days foraging mushrooms for nightly soup with Tegan and Sara ukelele covers playing in the background, I need to be realistic. I would get tired of living like that after a month and crave the city.
I feel like I’ve won the human lottery just being able to live in San Francisco; Its beauty makes me say “wow” daily, it has everything a person could ever want, and it’s home.
My actual dream house is a treehouse, and this was the closest thing I found to the aesthetic. It’s tucked away between the Financial District and Telegraph Hill, close to the hustle and bustle, while still being in its own little world away. A 1400 square feet slice of San Francisco heaven.
Ride a carousel.
Get a caricature done.
This is a shockingly accurate depiction of me and my stupid haircut.
Have an impromptu silly string fight.
Step 1: Buy silly string and hide it somewhere.
Step 2: Lure your friends over to your place with beer.
Step 3: After copious amounts of beer has been consumed, spray friends with silly string.
Step 4: Play fair. Throw them cans, too.
Step 5: Let havoc ensue.
It pays to put a little effort into making life fun sometimes.
Find a view that takes your breath away.
I can’t even begin to tell you how busy I’ve been the past week. Living your life to the fullest is no easy task, my friends.
I’ve slowly been gaining courage to do things not on my list when the opportunity presents itself. In an attempt to make my first lesbian friends, I joined an Autostraddle FB group. My suggestion for a small get together at my place has somehow metamorphosed into a lesbian hot tub/pool/korean bbq party on 420 with 30+ guests. I doubt I’ll update. I will probably be off having the best day of my life while simultaneously having all my lesbian dreams come true.
It’s unbelievable how far a little effort will take you.
Get your fortune told.
I don’t think I necessarily believe in Psychic/Tarot card readings, but I do believe in the power of belief. If they tell you something positive that you believe can happen, you’ll most likely put in the actions to get those things they told you about to come into fruition. That bit of belief is a powerful tool, and the one that has most dramatically altered my life. So, for now, I’m going to believe in my psychic’s reading and follow my passions blindly, because only good will come from it.
She also mentioned that I’m supposed to meet my potential soulmate at the end of May, which just so happens to be when I’m going to lesbian summer camp (yes, it’s a thing, yes, they have spooning workshops, and gender panels, and talent shows, and everything you’d imagine a lesbian summer camp to have). Hah, this should be interesting.
I have consistently been having the best days of my life. Cheers!
Pick a Golden Poppy.
A couple months ago, my friend and I were talking about our respective childhoods and realized we both had something in common. We were both reprimanded by adults for picking a Golden Poppy when we were kids and told we’d go to jail if we ever did it again.
The Golden Poppy is California’s state flower so it is indeed illegal to pick, but telling that to impressionable children with affinities for picking flowers is kind of messed up. I wonder how many days of my youth were wasted harboring this inner struggle between my love of picking flowers and fear of going to jail.
If I’m going to pick a flower, I’m going to go somewhere fucking cool to do it.
Make a flying paper lantern wish.
Every time I hold my breath in a tunnel, every time the clock hits 11:11, every time I lose an eyelash, every time I get the lucky break of a wishbone, I wish for the same thing.
Throw an impromptu barbecue.
There’s something about gathering around a fire to cook animal meat that has been bringing people together for thousands of years.
Nothing beats a couple of beers and some burgers with friends on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
Well, besides a shit ton of bacon, that is.
I could’ve surprised someone by hiding in a trash can until my sister walked by to scare the shit out of her(this has been a game for us since childhood, we were weird kids/are weird adults). Or, I could just spend some quality time with a friend and give them a pleasant surprise. I have a very extreme and irrational logic. It isn’t easy being me.
I surprised a friend with wine and takeout from my restaurant. My mother moved to Korea for good, after living here for almost three decades, and left my sister and I her Korean restaurants. It’s really tiring and a huge time suck, but it’s a great opportunity to use your spare time to do the things that make you happy.
Buy a stranger's coffee.
I was actually excited about getting this task, especially after having to jump out of a plane for the last one; sky diving tends to cause one to become tired. And this was the perfect pick-me-up.
At my restaurant, I deal with a lot of people who only see you for their utilitarian needs, you’re just a means to get something that they want at the moment. But some people realize you’re also another human being, and they’re the ones who give you a desperately needed faith-in-humanity-pick-me-up.
I went to Philz Coffee in Berkeley, asked the Barista to pick a really nice customer after I left, and pre-paid for their coffee. I also asked them to give the kind soul this note.
If you’re reading this mystery free coffee-winner, just know, I think more people out there should be like you. You’re my favorite kind of human being.
Go to a mirror maze.
It was really trippy and FUN, besides the 6-7 times I ran into a mirror. But that may have a lot more to do with my lack of anything remotely resembling coordination than being in a mirror maze.
Visit your grandma’s grave.
My task seemed daunting when I first arrived. I am terrified of cemeteries and had no idea where my grandmother was buried, so an afternoon of reading tombstones with an ominous fog looming overhead is definitely not my idea of fun.
After spending some time walking through the cemetery, the fear subsided. I fear the living more than I do the dead. Don’t even get me started on the living dead.
When I found my grandmother’s grave, I couldn’t help but reflect on her life. I only knew her as my sweet little grandma who tried to sneak me candy and money every time I visited. Even when I visited as a twenty two year old, she would try and sneak me a crisp twenty dollar bill for treats and promise that I wouldn’t tell my mom. When she passed away, my family shared about her life outside of being my sweet little grandma.
She was one of the first women in S. Korea to have a driver’s license, a real estate magnate, and even dabbled in being a loan shark. When her real estate company went bankrupt in the 70’s, a bunch of disgruntled employees came to her house looking for money. When she tried to explain that she didn’t have any money either, they started stealing everything in her house and pissing on her floor. She didn’t stand for this so she went into the backyard, got a shovel, and chased everyone out of her house. In other words, the sweet old lady I knew as my grandma was more than met the eye.
No matter how full or empty of a life you live, it will come to an end eventually. There’s no escaping it. So, why wouldn’t you spend the extra effort living the shit out of it while you can like my grandma did? I’m sure that’s what my grandma would want from me, to live a full and exciting life, just like her, doing the things I enjoy and being happy.
Rest in peace, Grandma. It was nice seeing you again. I hope I can become even half the woman you were.
Go watch a movie by yourself.
I don’t know why I was always so scared to watch a movie by myself, I guess it was because I was scared that people would think I had no friends.
Go to an aquarium.
Apparently, those blue fish are called “Blue Tangs.” I’ll stick to calling them all Dory’s, thanks.
Embarrassing to admit, but the hipster hair is all a lie, I had never gone thrifting before.
Do something you loved as a kid.
It took a lot of running and screaming to flag down an ice cream man, but it was worth it.
Pick up a hobby.
As a kid, my only hobby was playing piano, but I never got very good at it because I refused to play any song that wasn’t K-Ci and JoJo’s “All My Life.” I ended up playing it at three different recitals before my teacher gave up on me.
My teen years were spent being an internet troll, and I was too busy paying my way through school playing poker in college to develop a real hobby, so I really don’t think I ever had one.
Well, until today, that is.
Huzzah! Time to go test out my new camera now.
Just kidding, the bracelet isn’t for Teddy; I have like three human friends, too.
Write a letter to someone you admire.
I never really had a hero growing up, but that was because I never thought I would amount to anything anyway. As a kid, I never spent a moment aspiring. You were the closest thing to a hero in my head though. During the most trying times of my youth, I turned to television, and you were the most visible lesbian in media. Even though I didn’t want to grow up to be like you, it was because I wanted to kill myself before I grew up. But you did more for me than I ever knew. In my world devoid of hope, you put it in my mind that it is a possibility for someone to be happy even when they’re a girl who likes girls. That little bit of hope may have been the difference between me taking my life or not. Thank you. Time has passed, wounds are healing, and now each and every day is better than the last.
Ask someone to go drink tea with you.
I figured I couldn’t be considered a true lesbian until I get really, really into tea.
Hit on a girl for the first time.
I wanted to forego this whole Best Day Project as soon as I picked this as my first task. I’m awful at multitasking around pretty girls. I tend to forget how to breathe and talk at the same time.
But still, I promised myself I would follow through with something for once in my life, and why not put all my energy into something for my own happiness?
So, I went to The Lex, the only real Lesbian bar in San Francisco.
Normally, I would just stand outside like a lost puppy until a kind soul would take pity on me and talk to me; not today though.
While I was punishing my liver to muster up some courage, I noticed a familiar face, Josie from Top Chef, and instantly knew it had to be her. Well, I don’t know if I can say I hit on Josie, but I definitely approached and word vomited all over her.
It took a good ten minutes of drunken brainstorming before coming up with the genius line of “Are you Josie?” As soon as I talked to her, I felt instantly at ease. She’s very chill, the type of person who calms you with their presence alone.
Grace: Nice shoes.
*she didn’t hear me*
Grace: Nothing, I love you.
BOOM! Task #1 done.
Today is the best day of my life.