There Is One Thing

There is one thing you should know about me.

It is about my ability to lead hope to dark places. To embellish what I cannot understand.

Please do not indulge in my hopelessness, as it results in addiction as close to sadness on a winter’s night.

How easy it is to get captivated by loss. I have walked with it, been intimate with it. I invited loss to my heart. But it was through loss that I now see you were an intermediary; a long and narrow bridge to something perhaps more beautiful.

– mysteries

Then you overcome. Then you begin.

Jennifer Ngan photography

It takes a lot from us, at times, to be the best version of ourselves. Being defined and redefined at any given moment, whether through a tumultuous experience or a eye opening revelation. Living a false sense of self, only to a die a little, promotes a life of faux perfection and non- redemption.

More than ever, i see that we live in a society where (illogical) fear is not only instilled in us since childhood, but is rather a byproduct of our culture that seeps into every aspect of our humanity.

For example, the importance of one thing relative to another. Finding a breakthrough in cancer research vs an angry boss whose jet is needing to be rerouted because of bad weather? In capitalist hierarchy, the ladder is always more important. And we are trained to believe that we must alleviate all roadblocks for said plane because someone has the money to exert their power, yes, even weather. Because capital is everything here, and we are so deeply divided by means over matter.

This isn’t some negative thing. And i swear there is no gloom in recognizing it for what it is. I would just like to see more compassion in people, more love in an otherwise mundane outlay of the modern world, with careless robots operating conveyor belt style in a half-assed attempt to better this world.

I think people like the idea of a united front but to be the one that leads with example is a lot less popular.

In the grand scheme of things, what matters? I mean, the level in which the importance comes from is quite tasteless. In my recent pursuit to find meaning, I’ve learned that when you’re not ready to, you’re all too eager to prove that you are ready to start this path but it is hard to admit to yourself, and even harder to those closest to us, that you are completely and unabashedly unprepared.

Finding that grand escape sounds wonderful. Fueling those thoughts with an open heart and mind is another. And it is often where I question myself in the middle of a gloomy afternoon, wondering if my path is all wrong, that maybe I should be elsewhere, maybe i should not be here. That this isn’t right for me, that perhaps I should leave it or should I just let it be..? Or maybe I am selfish and I don’t see things with enough clarity that I become too fixated on my own journey that I neglect the journeys of those closest to me? That internal battle of leaving it all behind sounds like a welcome reprieve until it doesn’t.

Time – is it really there? In the artificial construct of human mentality, yes. Time is quantifiable. Time has a duration. Time seems to be of a sequential chain in which events take place, measured in a forward-going linear motion.

But when can we take a minute be defeated? To be so vulnerable that our soul bleeds our ego. And to be so gone we finally reacquaint ourselves with clarity and see time as nothing more or less the present?

Because when you are defeated, your heart pounds harder and you are in this uncharted terrain of life that becomes you. Consumes you.

Then you overcome. Then you begin.

In a Sea of Spectators

When I first started this blog, my vision was to write and write and use this as a creative outlet. Then I’ve vanished from here not because I didn’t want to use it as an outlet but because I felt compelled to only share my best. And between my “best” and what I deem as acceptable, there is a lot of random writings and tangents that come about that isn’t glorious or even remotely interesting.

I want to set aside some new goals for 2018. To just write. To photograph things and to use this platform as a way to share my life, observation, travels and experiences. I’m not here for the clicks and algorithms. I’m here to be fully present. To find beauty in uncertainty; to write beautiful things, even if no one cares.

That’s where I’ve been. Seeking inspiration outside of my screens.


Jennifer Ngan photography

Fairbanks, AK

If there were one word to describe Alaska in the winter, it would be desolate. Void of light, a marriage of whites and greys decorating the earth.

Jennifer Ngan photography

Seattle, WA

Clear crisp wet lands. A sensory of color and abundance.

Jennifer Ngan photography

Vancouver, BC

Falling leaves in marigolds and reds. Light peaking in, this late morning sunlight.


Pc: Ryan G Lim

What do you want in life?

Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?

What is the definition of success? Is it to gain riches, live a cushy lifestyle, health, family, career etc?

Maybe something entirely different, inner happiness? Spirituality? Surviving?

What we want will never come costless. Whether it is new camera equipment to take better photos, losing sleep over working tirelessly at your other job to fund your real passion, taking time off to travel for inspiration, or simply choosing one thing over another… there is always going to be a trade off.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that it is important not to lose sight of your ambitions and creativity despite millions of beautifully curated editorials all over social media. It is hard, because sometimes all you see is that, and ads, and it is all marketing and dollar signs that get noticed. That, and clicks, monetization, etc. There is no end to it, really.

What happened to creating wholesome content that moves you, and not to industries that just want to sell more products? Grassroots, organic content that lifts our souls and spirits?

Does it still exist somewhere?

I take a lot of photos kind of randomly without an objective or goal, then work backwards to see what I can make of it and decide on a whim if I want to share it.

And a photo is just that – a photo. It is a moment in time of one click in an endless amount of moments throughout the day.


15 years ago I was plodding through wet puddles trying to find my way to my dad's old minivan. I could still remember the way the rain hit my face as I breathed in the afternoon air. The smell of fragrant jasmine permeated the school grounds. It was late afternoon and I was going home.

I still wasn't used to our new home, only a few miles outside of the gated community we lived in. We moved into a bigger house, on a more secluded street. It was a cold day in early February, and I could still remember my teeth clattering from the unseasonably cold LA winter, a stark contrast to the desert climate I was used to.

That afternoon, I started writing poems about objects in nature, the avocados that fell from the neighbors yard, the lone orange cat that came by to visit, my dad's rusty minivan in the driveway.

It all started with the rain.

I look back to the girl I was 15 years ago. A girl with wonderment and curiosity for the world, determined to do something different than what I knew from example.

Fast forward to now. My fingerprints are tainted on a cup I drink out of, my eyes are a bit heavier though i can still feel the rain on my skin.

I think part of oneself can change dramatically if there is a dynamic shift in your perspective. You are not defined in one sort of behavior or another – you can be a person of many wholes, not limited to one identity. It is with that knowledge you can be the dreamer tasting the ambition of your spirit, like the wild rush of an ocean wave.

When you walk through life as a young person discovering the nuances of the world, you imagine yourself in hypothetical scenarios like living a blissful life doing the things you love, making our parents proud, living life alongside a lifetime companion who shares our hopes and dreams. The eagerness of youth seems to fade as you age and reach a plateau, and you find yourself feeling trapped and more cynical. Giving up on your ambitions like as if tomorrow may not come.

That disparity is a common theme I see today. When you reach a certain phase in life, and not feel good about yourself because you have all these reasons to define why you're such a failure. Your ego, your sense of pride, really really deludes your judgement. And it isn't until you realize that you may not know this now or even in a year or two… but as the days go on, you have many tomorrows to look forward to and destroying a new day for all the yesterdays just doesn't make sense.

Whenever I have that fledgling moment of self doubt, from time to time, I think back to the girl I was 15 years ago. She wouldn't like it at all.

My days are still filled with various victories and defeats. Some bad, a lot good but still ounces of ambition. It's not over yet, not even close.