1. Introduce yourself(tell about yourself & who you are)

My name is Eliza, I was born in Shanghai, China, and raised in Michigan by my adoptive parents. As for who I am, I think my entire existence is dedicated to finding myself, honoring that, and reaching my goals and finding inner peace.

2. What are your passions in life that you are working towards?

My passions are painting, drawing, singing and playing guitar (and occasionally constructing a very mediocre bedroom pop song), and making comics. I’m a writer above all else; even when words aren’t my medium, I find I am constantly telling stories throughout my work. As far as what I am working towards, I’m on a big painting kick right now and am focused on finishing a few pieces that have been months in the making.

3. What are some goals in life you’d like to complete?

Many of the goals I’d like to complete in life are much more centered towards ideaologies and states of mind I would like to achieve, rather than physical or monumental goals. Achieving peace with myself, with who I am, is a lifelong goal that I know I will forever be working towards. Contentment, self love and respect, those types of things. But I would also love to see the world, professionally record some songs I’ve written, get over my fear of public performance, and maybe show my work in galleries. But I believe that in order to do those things, you must believe in yourself in a foundational sense, thus why I would say my goals are not centered around those things.

4. What is a life message you would like to share with people around the world?

A message I would like to share with people around the world is: love is here, love is abundant. We are all intrinsically connected, and embracing those connections is the key to life. It can be so hard to be kind, to care for others, to step outside of yourself. But on the other side of pain and struggle, is love. Love is not about gaining, losing, obtaining something you don’t already have. It’s about the joy of human connection. There is so much pain in this world, and so many people carrying the weight of anger, hurt, and sadness. Protecting yourself, embracing those who see you for who you are, who are on your side unconditionally, is the secret to finding the pure, raw love that this world has to offer.

I wrote a lyric once that said, “when did you learn that there are no others? When did you learn that as much as you hate it, you’re a little just like everyone else.” I origionally wrote this out of anger towards a person who was causing me pain. But as I’ve grown and sat with those lyrics, I realized, that is the beauty of life. That while we are all so unique, so special as individuals, we are all the same. We all need the same things, yearn for the same things, all feel the same emotions. Being of one, being same, is a beautiful thing. Pain comes when you refuse to see that. Accepting that we are all of one existence, of one life, is the most freeing realization I’ve ever had. And I hope everyone finds the thing or person who helps them realize that.

5. What are some traits or qualities that describe the person you are?

I think one of the most important traits and qualities that make me, me is my sense of humour. For a long time, humour was my coping mechanism. And knowing that that is very common, I think it was easier to bond with people who shared the same mornid, dark sense of humour as me because in some unspoken way, I knew they were struggling the same ways I probably was. Being able to make somebody laugh, to be the reason they’re smiling, brings me joy. I’m also hard working, resilient, and can be a very tender, soft person when I build trust and understanding with someone.

6. What are some mental struggles you’ve faced in life and how did you overcome them?

I have struggled deeply with self image and esteem for as long as I can remember. Growing up surrounded by people so vastly different than me, stripped of my cultural and ethnic roots, accepting the death of my sister and the loss of my mother and father, has been and will always be a lifelong journey of grief. I’ve developed severe anxiety and OCD, and struggled for many years with deep depressive states. I was anorexic for a very long time, and struggled with substance abuse as a result.

I’m not sure if loss is something you ever truly overcome. I used to completely shut off my childhood and how I came to exist on this earth. But it wasn’t until my twenties when I began to open myself to the pure grief that I hid deep down inside of me. I remember thinking, “my entire existence is the direct result of incredible, earth shattering loss.” I will never know my mother, what she looks like, what her favorite food is. What songs she listens to on her drive home from work, what she is doing right now. And my twin sister is dead. My existence is political, it’s patricharcal, it’s unfair. Now that I have friends raising their own babies, I watch them being nurtured and raised in loving homes, and think of my tiny baby self, not even a year old, alone in an orphanage, and it brings me to tears. That first year of your life is so delicate and important, and I do believe that my life is forever changed because of what happened to me.

But on the other side of grief, is love. And I absolutely, totally love my life. And I finally, unconditionally love myself. I love my parents, and they have helped me tremendously in this journey of self discovery, even when I don’t realize it. I love my friends, I love this earth, and I accept the pain and darkness. I love my sister, who is also adopted.

My mom and I shared dinner once in Milan, just the two of us, and she told me over bottles of wine that when the Nai Nai (“grandmother,” or in this case, orphanage caretakers) put me in her arms, she felt like she had known me her entire life. I was adopted on my dad’s birthday, and he is forever my best friend, my confidant, my number one supporter and where all my best qualities have come from. Discovering my life, embracing it, realizing that I get to decide where I go next, could not have happened without totally accepting the horrible things that needed to happen for me to get here. I think about my birth mom all the time, everyday. And I just wish she could know how much I love her from afar, how I am endlessly greatful for her. That when I see a middle-aged Asian lady at the grocery store or on a walk, I imagine it’s her and almost always get tearful. That I am doing okay, and that I miss her, as much as you can miss someone who you never knew, yet gave you everything.

I’m much happier now. I’ve found coping mechanisms through art, through music. This is all still very difficult for me to talk about, but I’m getting there.

7. What are some questions you would like to ask other people around the world?

Some things I would like to ask people around the world:

How is life unique where you are? What would you change, what would you preserve?

What are some things you wish I would know? How do ideologies differ, or are similar, to American life?

Are you doing okay? Did you eat today?

What makes you tick, what brings joy to your life?

Social Media Handle (Twitter or Instagram): Instagram: dump.ling.ling

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