The winds roll over themselves across the icy lake and hit this house before anything else. I try to sleep, but dreams are of howls and thrown bodies and I wake to the low-rumble of a hum. The electricity is gone; the generator takes over. I wake to thoughts of you, pages of feelings buried deep in my heart. Unrequited love, it seems, foolish girl. 
I wept like sad poetry last night. I avoid my bed because I know in that first moment of breath released, undistracred,  I will lose control. You came to me like the winds rolling off the lake and my shoulders shake and I’m uncertain how I should be. 

But the calm after the storm of tears is worth it, perhaps. I started a new book, and perhaps that was also a small reason of the crying–that I finished an unread book and I didn’t want it to end. Like us. 

But how silly. How silly of me.

I will leave, and i may never come back. I made the decision after I let you go. 

I think I will miss this place more than I ever have. I’ve grown quite accustomed to this life I’ve been leading over the past few years. I’d forgotten, completely forgotten, how comforting this sort of familiarity can be. A sort of solitude, just you and I.

Despite the feelings I still have for you,  I do feel changed. Perhaps it’s for the better. Perhaps it will make everything more difficult. Maybe one day I will understand. 
I wake up feeling empty, though. An unknown panic rises in me for no apparent reason. But I know that it has little to do with me. Perhaps nothing. And I suppose I should get used to that. For now. 

Always You.

jennifer ngan photography
When I leave, i will bring your words with me. I will store it in my heart space. 
Maybe one day it’ll make sense. 
But for now, I might be gone for a little while. And it’ll be okay. For now, I will let you go. For I have held on too long. 

Today, I am finding love in old things. The scent of pine, tall trees and the mountain air. Details from the natural world, voluminous in its silent echoes. The strength of quiet. Of you. Always you. 

Which you are. 

But not.


Your words, repetitive and golden though always a sound of tiredness and exhaust. Perhaps you are lonely. Maybe you like solitude. Woods and trees. A mystery you are.  Always you.

Like a sad song that’s played, my days will go on. Without you here. 

or there.

My sense of being, may it let you go. I bare my heart,  beating wildly, for you to notice. But you don’t. You don’t really care. It’s all superficial. And it’s okay. It’s always okay. I will always bare my heart to you. I know. Always you. 

I’ll see you later, I suppose. I’m running away, resisting. I don’t want to. Part of me knows that when I leave this place, it will be hard to look back. And maybe I will lie. I will tell you how great it is without you. The mountain air, clear and crisp, pockets of cold. I’ll write you a letter. Maybe from afar. I’ll think of you often. Always you.

Lessons in Patience


It’s not even October yet and I feel like I want to live in a different body. One that morphs into a whole new person after the New Year. It’s more of a mental transformation after setting goals/”resolutions”. That fresh new outlook you swear you’d keep.

Two weeks into my new job, and I feel like I’ve scrubbed my brain awash with a new perspective. Things I’d like to improve, things that can be improved and the task of being good at what i do, however difficult or tedious. That, coupled with my reflection on 2016, has been a profound year. I went on trips every month, hiked my way through a ton of nat’l parks, weekend staycations/getaways. Incredible friends. An upcoming Hawaii trip for my milestone birthday and a family trip to Hong Kong, in the same month. Possible Utah road trip in December and Alaska next year to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). I had a complete change of career, moved, and started this blog.

What will 2017 be like, spiritually, personally, and geographically? My favorite advice, taken from all the books I’ve read; the faithful and reliable companions that they are, is to embrace the endless possibilities of the new year.


I Would Like to Forget You

An effortless being you must be, clouded in your beliefs of existence. Your steady silence and patience, a form of a strength which i cannot and will not define, speaks volumes in non-speak. I gravitate toward you. A magnetic pull of which defies explaination.
I don’t know you enough. But I want to say I love you. But I do not, maybe not. I would like to know you. It seemed like a whole lifetime before I got to say hello. Now it’s goodbye.

A pull from you, like strong currents from ocean waves, I melt to you. Completely. A conscious thought of wonderment. You are, without a doubt, a mystery shrouded in wholeness.

You taught me, again and again, not to dream of you. A poignant message, however keen.  For what is life, if life without you?

Perhaps you are hiding from me, unwilling to admit. Illicit imagery, a taste of the edge. A budding charm of a life uncertain. A cloud of confusion, retaliating your thoughts and beliefs. Your heart. Your being. To be. Very simply, as you say. But not so simply, when thoughts of me pervade you.

I would like to thank you, for clarifying to me what love is not. You were a misstep in my judgement, a will of strength to which I must let go. Because you are not who I thought.

I would like to forget you.

And I will, one day, melt to you less. And less. For you are not worth melting for.

There will be a time when I would like to love fully. Completely. For what you are is merely a means to an end. A hazy cloud of what it might’ve been, had it been. If. Though the end does not justify the means.

And it’s okay.

Gratitude List


Summer is close to an end but that means the transition into Fall will be vibrant with falling autumn leaves, warm light and the trickle of breeze that reminds us that seasons are a-changing.

I remind myself to be grateful for things/experiences I’ve had because  I know how fortunate I am. Things I complain about, like the stifling heat, is small in comparison to everything that’s going on in the world. There’s so much more awesomeness that outweighs the summertime sads.


Ever since I moved to San Mateo, I live up in what I consider the woodsy area of the city. It’s a bit hilly here, but there are trees and fresh air and space.  My drives are scenic and there’s a great Farmer’s Market just walking distance from mi casa. There’s less city noise and more birds chirping. You would think that i’d sleep better in the quiet but I guess I’m still accustomed to sleeping with the roaring of planes flying overhead and the dull sounds of street traffic. Baby steps 🙂

Sunrises/Sunsets on my balcony  

How beautiful it is to have the sky painted in a canvas of water colors and I get to witness it every morn and evening? One of the best things 🙂

When life gets blurry, adjust your focus
When life gets blurry, adjust your focus


I am forever trying to be better, evolving, and be a little less insane 😉 Some weekends I go out for adventures in true Jen style which means no downtime. But some weekends, I rest and catch up on sleep I’ve lost. I call it an annual sleep catch up though that’s not how it works. I try to disengage all systems and relax.

Sometimes I will spend some weekends de-cluttering my belongings which proves to be very meditative. I put on some music, enjoy the fresh air coming from my balcony and try to sit quietly instead of running around. I’ve been working on getting centered and living more consciously. Doing an activity for a purpose rather than just doing it for activity’s sake. In that, I have found slightly more peace to an otherwise busy life.

Might seem small and boring, but I am okay with that 🙂

Little Slice of California Dreamin’

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Want to change the world?
There’s nothing to it
There is no
Life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there
You’ll be free
If you truly wish to be
When I read that Gene Wilder passed away, a part of my childhood died a little.
Every time I hear Pure Imagination, i always picture simplicity. Blowing a birthday candle, making a wish.
As a strong introvert, most of my peaceful and serene times are spent alone. The draw of having a ton of family around at all times isn’t very intuitive for me, though I sometimes wish it were. When I watched Willy Wonka as a child, I rooted for Charlie always. I saw a part of me in him, alone but curious. Happy with the little things. What I envied was the strong family connection he had – a grandfather with childlike enthusiasm and king of the odd joke.

The following photographs are pictures of a simple narrative – a wondrous little slice of California, a weekend away.

California, as it should be. One of pure imagination, and peace.

Jennifer Ngan Photography

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5 Important Things I learned in 2 Years: Life and Finances 

jennifer ngan photography
I used to wonder why people would give up their sense of security to live out in the woods, give up all their possessions to travel the world, and washing dishes for a couch to sleep on.

Then I thought, hey, maybe they don’t want to have a 9-5 slave job, and let the years pass by like in a blink of an eye. Perhaps they want to be nomads and live off the beaten path.

Living minimally seems like a lot of effort when you have things. Things like a large TV, a Netflix subscription, Amazon Prime, smart phones. Though it is true that that those people described above are on the extreme end of the spectrum, it is also quite unrealistic if you have attachments. And when I say attachments, I don’t mean to stuff, I mean to your family, your parents, your friends, your neighbors, your community. There are ways to live consciously without sacrificing all of the comfort we know and love.

In 2015, i embarked on an adventure that i thought would be fun, but I realized it sort of changed my perspective. I got out more, saw more things and appreciated deeply.

Here are some insights I’ve learned along the way

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Having an English Degree: Why Does it Matter in the “Real World”?

Jennifer Ngan Photography

One question I get asked a lot as of late is, why did you study English and why is it that you’re an accounting professional and not a…. teacher, or a novelist? Poet? How can you be both? “It’s the total opposite.”

The yin and yang, the duality….that’s why.

While that may be somewhat truthful, that answer will garner weird looks.

How many of us will say that the career paths we’ve chosen are far from what we’ve studied at University? I am sure plenty of people can relate to that statement.

But it seems, sometimes I need to mightily defend the study of English.

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