Kim Huynh

937A4856

“What’s your greatest strength?”

“Because I’ve spent so many years growing up in a Buddhist environment, practicing letting go, my greatest strength is that I can sit with anything as it arises and be okay. Even when things are really hard or painful, I’m still okay. I never worry about myself or my future. I feel like no matter what happens, I got this.”

“When do you feel like that way of being crystallized?”

“It’s hard to pinpoint a moment, but really it was when I hit my thirties after years of meditation, and Landmark, and all these things. Just doing the work to get to know myself and my baggage. Seeing my old stories come up but being able to sit with them, and let them go, instead of jumping on that train and going with them. Just being able to witness, and watch, and not be so swayed. I think part of that is reaching a place of professional confidence, of self-confidence, and really deep self-love that’s unfuckable with. Really it’s just years of fucking up that allowed me to get there. Fucking up and practicing.”

937A4858“What’s been your greatest challenge in life?”

“For me right now the biggest challenge is trying to listen to my intuition and figuring out what is my true voice. I feel like so many of us have so many different voices in our head and discerning what’s your truth and what’s authentically you is challenging. To be honest, part of that is that 7 years ago I was diagnosed as bipolar after a manic episode. Being in a place where you can’t trust your mind is really scary. To this day even though I feel I have a very solid foundation, and I can find equanimity with things, when it comes to important decisions in my life, I allow myself to question more than is necessary. Cause so often we create drama for ourselves. There’s some payoff we get in not having to commit to things fully. And so, when we’re in this place of constantly questioning and wondering, it can give us an out. And at the same time it can create all this strife and keep you out of balance. I’m definitely in a place now that better than 2 weeks ago, but recognizing that I don’t have to get caught up in that questioning. I can just let it be what it is. I think there’s a part of me that always know, sometimes I just don’t want to deal with the answer because sometimes it’s more fun not knowing.”

937A4861“Thanks for sharing that. You seem open and accepting of your diagnosis. When you’re starting a new relationship with a friend or partner, when do you share that information? And do you feel apprehension about it?”

“I feel it easier for me now. I think it’s something I have to own. Partly for myself, but also for people in this community. To eliminate stigma we have to be able to discuss this openly. I think people have a very specific idea of what someone with mental health looks like, or how unstable they are, or why you should feel nervous around someone who’s bi-polar. But I feel like I have such a good handle on my shit it’s something I can talk about. My boyfriend came from a background of working with people with mental health issues so he had a lot of experience.”

“What brings you joy?”

“Mmm, so much. Connecting with people. Meeting new people and making them family. I think that’s a Hawaii thing. Everyone in Hawaii is your uncle, or auntie, or calabash cousin. I was an ugly duckling growing up and very insecure. I was a late bloomer, I didn’t get my first kiss till college and so having felt like an outsider for so long I find solace in community more than anywhere else. I love creating art. I love music. Music for me is a religious and spiritual moving experience. It connects me to some greater divine energy out there. It connects me to other people in a very profound way. Loving brings me joy. I feel like I have a lot of love for everybody.”

“How do you like to express your love?”

“I mean I constantly tell people I love them. I don’t think you can ever say it enough.”

“So words of affirmation?”

“Yeah, and I’m a very physically affectionate person. And also, we’re all dying, and every breath could be your last, and so I think you should always keep that over your shoulder. Not in a way that makes you afraid, but makes you aware of how precious every moment and interaction is. It’s all so fast. That’s my other biggest struggle, not clinging too much. Cause it’s all so beautiful, and we wish it could last forever.”

937A4859“And you said your greatest strength was letting go right?”

“It’s letting go again, and again, and again, and again. Because it keeps coming up, and it always will.”

“I’m learning that one too. Not to grasp but just to keep my hand open.”

“Yeah, cause every year has been better than the last. And that’s how it always should be. You should never peak. You should be constantly learning, growing, evolving always.”

Dijon

July 24, 2017