By Ariana Hwang


With all of the unused footage from the past year, here is my first real personal video.

Looking back, 2018 was a year full of feeling. It gave me the same joy of riding a trapeze swing in Coney Island during the summertime. I had found love again and explored my favorite city in the whole wide world even more. And along the way I discovered new pop-ups, old fashioned bars, and a parade full of people dancing on the street. We all know life and New York City as being fast-paced; they suck you right in, making you anxious and excited for what will happen next.


Next was finding new music, friends, and a purpose. I wanted to reach parts of the world I’ve never been and make my presence known by helping strangers without expecting anything in return. I wanted to collaborate with DJs and people who shared similar hopes and dreams. I also desired to reconnect with friends from the past and keep growing the relationships that I already have. Friendship and love. Smiling and laughing. They all mattered to me.


And things tasted and sounded really good. I couldn’t help spoiling myself with drinks and delicious food belonging to different cultures and considered myself lucky to share my appetite with good company. I couldn’t wait to try a new restaurant out or visit a place or a venue in which I knew I was going to listen to some of the best live music. Rock, electronic, or rap music. It was the music that drove me to dance and sing back with pride in that very moment.


All I wanted was this to last forever in real life. Though only memory can do that for us. Or you can choose to capture it. So if anyone tells you to stop taking photos and videos, don’t listen to them.  I mean look creating from memory has allowed me to keep all of this alive including my dad. So there’s no way of forgetting. I can still remember him even while I was staying home or going out on different days. It made me realize how much I miss him and certain people.


If I had never experienced such darkness, I would’ve never  found a better way to live or appreciate what is in right front of me. I embraced beauty in the strange and with each passing day, I grew to love myself creatively, intellectually, and in a whole set of other ways. I’ve built more strength physically and mentally. I now keep writing down my thoughts and shed my vulnerable self unapologetically. I’m going to show more of myself and naturally bloom like cacti or flowers. I’m going to let myself rise and fall without judgement, protect my ideas, and congratulate myself for every small achievement I make. I’m going to thank the people who brought me into this world and the people who have either left or still remain in my life. My current and past loves too. Without love and pain crashing in like waves, I would have not known what today would look like.


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