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Anon Gray

Time to bare my soul to you, dear reader.

All images courtesy of the author

Welcome to my Medium page! I’m so grateful that you’ve stopped by.

You’re probably here hoping I’ll bare my soul to you, giving a peek into what inspires me to write. I’ll be honest, that’s what I look for when I read fellow writer’s “about” pages.

I’d hate to disappoint you so let’s dive in!

I’m many things, but my writing tugs at the more elemental qualities of my life. Things like the shaping of my identity, discoveries I’ve made about mental health, finding a surprising amount of strength in adversary, and reflecting on the more formative experiences in my life.

Let me explain.

Childhood

My life began as an orphan. Left on the steps of a police officer’s house, I made my first international flight from South Korea to the US as a 10 month old baby…


Image by Stela Di from Pixabay

We hadn’t been in the air for more than an hour when my son started throwing up into the airsick bag. Wiping his chin and signaling to my husband to get me the change of clothes, I took a quick peek at the flight timer. 13.5 hours to go.

Sometimes acceptance is easy. Other times it’s really hard.

Not everyone’s had the experience of a long-haul flight with a sick child. But we’ve all endured difficult moments that we couldn’t change or “fix.”

In those moments, finding acceptance feels impossible. But it also feels like the best possible option.

Don’t misunderstand me. I was livid with the staff aboard that flight who’d served us the wrong meals and who’d then proceeded to tell us we…


Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

I had a favorite sweater growing up. I wore it with everything. It didn’t matter if it matched my outfit or smelled like too little deodorant. We were inseparable.

One day I went to pull it on and discovered the shoulders were a bit too tight. The sleeves revealed my wrists, and the zipper no longer connected comfortably. For a while, I ignored the signs that I’d outgrown it.

Then one day, we reached the point of no return and I had to say my goodbyes. It hung in my closet for weeks, maybe even months. I couldn’t let it…


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

It’s ironic really. Advice is often most poignant after we no longer need it. Instead of benefiting from the borrowed insight, more often than not, advice acts like a mirror to our past experiences.

Perhaps a cruel cosmic joke, it tends to be that we must learn our lessons by going through the difficulties that well-intentioned advice is trying to help us avoid. Once we’re out the other side, the truth of these statements comes clear.

Growth doesn’t happen vicariously. And neither does life.

It was a new job in a new country. As a first time teacher, I was overwhelmed by the many hats I had to wear throughout the day. Seeking comfort, I stepped into the school psychologists’ office and asked for help.

My colleague looked at me and said, “You care too much. Stop taking things so seriously.”

Having only been out of teachers college for a few months, I was incensed by this statement…


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We cause ourselves great pain when the reality we desire differs from the reality we have. The greater the chasm, the greater the pain. It’s not until we can reconcile these two story lines that we can begin experiencing more inner peace.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that action is the only way to get what we want. When in fact, the truth is quite the opposite. Acceptance releases our resistance so that we may close the gap between what we desire and what we have.

Resisting reality, while it takes effort and energy, gets us no where closer to our desire. Instead it pushes us farther away from the very thing we we’re chasing. It’s only in letting go of the chase that we realize the thing we desire is always available from within.

Contentment, happiness, joy, inner peace. Whatever you call it…


… and waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Frustrated at the computer
Frustrated at the computer
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

She’d sat there waiting for something to happen for over an hour. The blank screen quivered under the yellow light. Falling forward, her head hit the keyboard, making a line of b’s buzz across the page.

Bee’s, she thought. Could I write about bee’s? She lifted her head, momentarily inspired, only to rest her chin in her hand when she remembered she didn’t really know anything about bees.

Attempting a first line, she pecked out a catchy sentence, ‘It wasn’t the first time this had happened to her.’ …


girl-shy-hands-hiding-face-protect
girl-shy-hands-hiding-face-protect
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I’ve always been a broken extrovert. Try as I might, I’ve never been able to manage my “condition” well.

Like aversion therapy, I tried facing my demons. But the more I extended myself, the more jaded and bitter I became. Still, I worked at my “therapy” with gusto, hoping for a breakthrough.

Throughout “therapy” I still craved solitude like it was a drug. I hated that part of me and would set up a party, after a gathering, after a lunch date, after a night of dancing, in a desperate effort to drown out my need for solitude.

It was my biggest character flaw and I wanted to create as much space away from it as possible. …


silouette of a child helping another child up a hill.
silouette of a child helping another child up a hill.
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Thank you, Medium-ites for writing about what you’ve learned here on Medium, and in writing generally. You are all so generous about sharing what’s worked and what hasn’t.

I’ve been writing on Medium for just under three months now, and there’s so much to learn! I’ve read article after article about writing tips, money-earning tips, finding my followers tips, networking tips, and Medium-specific tips. There’s just one problem:

There’s a lot of tips out there!

As a newbie, it can be a little overwhelming! Information overload is a real thing people. I give myself a headache almost every day, consuming what I can with regards to writing and the Medium platform specifically. Afterwards, I feel pulled in a million directions, but with no ability to prioritize.

Where do I even begin, especially if the answers simply drum up more questions?

If you’re reading this, I need your help!

I’m open to all sage (and silly) advice you’re…


Image by Eveline de Bruin from Pixabay

I’m going to keep this short: shortcuts are the proverbial unicorn of dream chasing.

There’s no sidestepping painful, arduous or boring steps along the road to our dreams. Instead of seeking a magic portal, we need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Easier said than done, there is a magic elixir that can make the journey a success no matter what.

You may think it’s a growth mindset. Our ability to perceive a situation in the grey allows us the flexibility to adapt to any situation. But this alone won’t get you guaranteed success.

Maybe you think it’s patience. We can all be in such a hurry to get to…


Image of the author’s eyes, black and white
Image of the author’s eyes, black and white
Image by the author

“Actually, I was adopted,” I explained. The lady’s face contorted as the information hit her brain.

“Oh, so you’re not a real Asian.” She dismisses me with a wave of her hand and headed down the aisle in the opposite direction.

It wasn’t the first time I’d been omitted from an entire continent’s population. Despite my outward appearance being glaringly Asian, I’m not Asian. But I’m not really American either.

This is the story I’ve been fed. I’m too Asian to be a real American, and I’m too American to be a real Asian.

Unlike the experience of having parents from two different cultures, I grew up with one foot planted squarely in my adoptive parent’s cultures, while my other foot floated through space…

Anon Gray

Learning how to be a better human one day at a time. Subscribe at anongray.com.

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