Why I stopped blogging (and why I’m starting again)

On one of my posts, there was one comment I remember clearly:

“Why do you write on topics like this? Nobody cares. Stop blogging.”

It stung. It stung hard.

It was one comment but the words were sharp. I sat with my laptop on the floor and cried all of that Thursday night. And the next day, I decided to not write on my blog again. It’s taken me 56 days to get back to my site again, and I’m still nervous when I think back to how I felt that one day.

Since then, a lot of things have changed. The sidewalks are now filled with winter parkas, and coffee shops smell like pumpkin spice lattes. Instead of ‘Hot Girl Summer’ we are singing carols and waiting patiently for those Black Friday deals to drop.

But in my personal life, I feel almost lifeless. Even with all the changes around me, I felt – and still feel – stuck in that moment to when I read that.

Not too long after that time, news broke in Korea of a famous k-pop singer, Sulli, who committed suicide. There is high suspicion that Sulli, a former member of the group f(x), who was suffering from severe depression at that time committed suicide because of the antagonistic comments online. This news came as a shock to everyone as she portrayed a very strong, positive person through her social media sites.

Now, I am putting a huge disclaimer that I know I am nothing close to a k-pop star and I have no understanding about the extent of the comments she was getting. I also can’t imagine the hate that she received after defying societal norms in Korea because even my one comment made me rethink my purpose.


I want this post to be a reminder to you reading this that you are worthy of love and life – even with the hate. It may not be hate through an anonymous comment. It may be hate from your coworker or boss, your ex-boyfriend or current girlfriend, and especially yourself.

You are worthy of living the purpose you were given to live and breathe for.

I am still struggling to find my own and get back to the core of myself, as this bump was a really tough one to come back from. But I will come back to spread hope and love and even to finish my Korean show reviews on the side!

I just want to put a special thank you to one reader for reaching out. I got this email about a month ago, and although I haven’t replied, I remember to go back to it every week.

I want to thank you for some of your blogs.  I have some image issues myself and I was inspired by some of your comments and enthusiasm.
I note you haven’t posted for a few weeks now?
Just want to check and see if things are ok, and let you know that you have friends everywhere.
Best

Every time I read it, it fills in the emptiness that was created from the hate comment from before, and it reminds me that even with the hate all around me and us, there is love.

Thank YOU for reading this and I hope that you and I can build on this journey together.


If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, check out the resources below.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Here is a list of international suicide hotlines.
Text TALK to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free counseling.
Call the SAMHSA Treatment Referral Hotline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), for free, confidential support for substance abuse treatment.
Call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), for confidential crisis support.
Call Trevor Lifeline, 1-866-488-7386, a free and confidential suicide hotline for LGBT youth.
7 Cups and IMAlive are free, anonymous online text chat services with trained listeners, online therapists, and counselors.

A tall girl’s review of Netflix’s “Tall Girl” movie: Where it falls short

Clearly, I needed to watch this movie as duh, that’s me – the tall girl – but here I will give my honest review on Netflix’s new rom com, “Tall Girl” and where it hits close to heart, but of course, also falls short.

A quick summary of the plot: Jodi (played by Ava Michelle) is the tallest girl in her high school at 6’1″. She has always felt uncomfortable in her own skin. To add to it, she is endlessly mocked by her classmates for her height and tries to avoid attention at all costs – until Stig, the Swedish foreign exchange student, comes in.


This Netflix movie, as cheesy and exaggerated as it is, actually has pretty relatable parts. The classmates constantly ask Jodi, “How’s the weather up there?” and on a real note, I’ve only gotten that question two or three times. But if there is a routine question I would get, it would be “Do you play volleyball or basketball?” or “It must be hard finding a guy taller than you.”

If I’m going to share a secret, I did try out for my high school volleyball team and no, I did not make the cut. My poor hand-eye coordination led the ball to hit my face more than my hands.

Like Jodi, I was also uncomfortable in my skin being the tallest in my class from elementary school all the way to high school. I also nodded with knowing recognition when they did a flashback to Jodi being in the back for group school photos because I remember when that was me. And if there was ever a lunch line in grade school that had the kids line up by height, you know that I would never be the line leader.

It’s also true that being tall, I stayed away from high heels. As much as I secretly loved trying on my mom’s heels and flaunting a Tyra Banks walk in my home, I could never get the courage to wear them at school or just outside. And if there was a special occasion to wear them like prom, I would try to find the lowest heel possible to make sure my date didn’t feel self conscious.

Which brings me to my next point: boys.

It is with no doubt that I had a hard time finding a guy taller than me all throughout my life. In fact, when people asked me what my ideal type was I only had one criteria: over 6 feet (hey, I had to leave some room for me and my shoes). This image of my ‘ideal guy’ consumed me so much so, that the more time that I spent looking for someone taller and not finding ‘the one,’ the more I would hate myself and my height for it.

I had this cycle that would be on repeat: I blamed my parents initially. And then I blamed God for creating me like this. And then I blamed myself – I had so much self hate surrounding my 5’11” stature that I thought I would never find my person.

I also had a “I’ve been there!” moment when Jodi ended up Googling “height reduction surgery.” (And for all the curious, it is not just a costly procedure but a VERY intense one. I highly do not recommend looking into it!)

Where “Tall Girls” the movie falls short, though, is not the plot itself or the message it is trying to give to its audience, it is actually the love line. It is cringe-worthy. They have to keep it interesting all the while trying to make it high-school appropriate, and I think Jodi was almost forced into certain love lines to make a happy ending for the movie.

Another reason why the movie falls short is the lack of diversity. Other than the Black best friend who is confident in all the right ways, all the high schoolers are Caucasian and come from an affluent background (who drives BMW SUVs to school at 16?)


Overall, I enjoyed the movie as it touched on the ‘tall girl’ moments that no other movie has touched on: I do tend to slouch more, random branches on trees hit me more often on my run than they should, and pants are never going to be “ankle length.”

Although I sometimes still do feel awkward being that “tall Korean girl” today, I remind myself of how far I’ve come.

I embrace that I have hobbies beyond sports. I do a Tyra Banks walk in pants that only reach my calves (and dresses that are too short). And yes, I have a boyfriend who is shorter than me but I love that about him and I have a strong feeling he is ‘the one.’

This movie is not just for the tall girls – it’s for anyone who has insecurities. Everyone, and let me repeat everyone, has body issues. While you may feel ‘different,’ it is important you learn to love yourself.

For all the frustrations and challenges I dealt with (and am still dealing with) for being tall, I am at a point in my life where I am proud to be a tall Korean girl.


Watch the trailer below and the movie at Netflix, and comment on what you think!

5 FREE weekly planner templates to get you motivated

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been in a funk. You know, the ‘I don’t want to do anything’ kind of funk. I have been skipping the gym, eating out a bunch, and pushed off all errands. I’ve also been a grinch to everyone near and dear to me (sorry, mom!) but yesterday, I said enough was enough.

I typically write out my tasks in my medium monthly planner but as much as this is a great way to organize the month of September, seeing some of the upcoming events (I’m presenting at a conference at the end of this month) scares me a bit.

So I thought it would be of more motivation to write out weekly tasks and goals.

I’ve created 5 FREE weekly planner templates so you can write down your fitness, self care, work, errands/tasks, etc for this week! Click on the links below each preview to download yours right now! And let me know which one you like the best in the comments below.

120 days left of 2019: What are you going to do with them?

There are exactly 120 days until 2019 is over and a new year begins. Time really flies when you’re having fun – or did you?

Instead of self reflecting a day or two before the New Years, I encourage you to reflect on your year right now.

How did you spend 2019?
Are you satisfied by your accomplishments and were you your best self?
Did you grow in any way?
Can you proudly say this was your best year yet?

If you’ve answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, do not panic.

120 days may seem like too late for you. It might have even scared you that there are only FOUR months to find someone to kiss on New Years. But I want to let you know, you have plenty of time.

I had a hard time dealing with the “let me work on a resolution midway through the year” mentality. I’m one of those OCD kids who need to have a fresh start on a Monday or on the first of each month – or even a date that I can later remember like (7/12/19 because 7+12=19), yeah I’m one of those.

But the truth is, there is no perfect way to start a change. If one of your New Years resolutions was to start a blog, start a blog! (That was me!) If one was to work on your fitness and health, go for a run (and don’t expect six-pack abs on your first day). If you wanted to buy a vlogging camera to start your Youtube channel, buy one now!

There are things that will never go as planned (even if we write them with a fancy Muji pen in our Lily Pulitzer planner – yes, I’ve been there). Currently, thousands of people are evacuating from Hurricane Dorian (my boyfriend included), people are grieving the deaths of those in Odessa, and new fires continue to blaze in the Amazon.

As much as these do trouble us, we cannot back down. We were given a life to live fully and if we go about saying, “Oh maybe next year I’ll work on x, y and z because of a, b, and c excuse” there is no way to accomplish really anything.

You have to be comfortable with failing – and that is even if you fail hard. You have to accept that there will be push-back but you cannot forget that the next 120 days can all be worth it.


In the recent weeks, actually around the time of me starting this blog, I had a major anxiety attack. I felt like a loss of control, when I felt like all the progress I thought I made towards loving my body and feeling comfortable in my skin was gone. I thought that no matter how hard I tried at my job I couldn’t make enough money to support my lifestyle and I felt like I’ve lost all self discipline, self control and self confidence.

To be brutally real, I somewhat still do feel this way and I am not proud of it. I wanted to be in a different phase in my life right now and I wanted to share my highs throughout this platform – other than my lows.

But on this Labor Day, I want to challenge myself and of course, you to do the same: ask yourself if you want a change in your life or self right now.

Because today, September 2nd, could be the start of something great. You have that control to start it!

Disclaimer: tallkoreangirl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

Feeling stuck? How to get started in loving yourself

Declaring love for someone is probably one of the most courageous things to do. It encompasses not only the present but also the future – you love them now but you’re inevitably telling them you’ll love them in the next minute as well.

It seems like we go through a cycle of saying we are ‘in love’ with multiple people. We declare love for someone who we might have dated for a couple of months (or days). We even declare love after a couple of good dates. But as humans, we make mistakes. We realize that as time ticks, people grow. And as seasons change, we understand that some of those “loves” are mere ‘loving experiences.’

But then, why do we go back to the people who’ve hurt us the most? Is it because the euphoria that comes with such connections clouds the reasons why we broke up in the first place? Or is it because when we are in a time of vulnerability, we turn to those who we have been vulnerable to?

When we’re in a tough period of our lives, we are cultured to cope – some people with food or drugs or alcohol but some people with other people. We want to reach out to those past relationships – whether friends or romantic – because for one reason or another, we have somehow exposed our deepest darkest secrets to them.

And it’s this called trust that brings us back.

Trust and love are not interchangeable but instead, I believe love is dependent on trust. This means that without trust, you cannot love.

Think about it. How can you go about marrying your partner if you don’t trust him or her to go out in the middle of the night to have an affair? How can you date someone who knows your Venmo password but at the same time, you’re constantly worried about him or her hacking into your bank account (also may be a bad idea in the first place).

Initially, I thought that this was always with a relationship with someone else (aka my exes) that I struggled to trust. I always blamed it on my past with guys cheating on me and letting me down. But in fact, I missed what was right in front of me.

To love others, I needed to love myself. And to love myself, I needed to trust myself – a trust that things would be okay, and that I could love myself.

It’s no secret that love exists. The thing is, you are never able fully love anyone because no one can fill your heart other than yourself.

It is only when your heart is filled that you can start to fill others.

If you want to start somewhere, and don’t know why you’re reading all these self-help and self-improvement articles but are not getting anywhere, start by trusting yourself. Trust the process that you are taking. Trust that you do have the ability to love yourself and others. Trust that someone out there will love you just as much as you do. Trust yourself so much that in times of need, instead of resorting to an ex or a current fling, you look at yourself, and say, “Hey, I’m going to be okay.”

5 self-help books to read in 2019

For the disconnected:

1. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

This book makes you smile secretly from ear to ear as soon as you start reading Chapter One. It’s definitely a feel-good book and is meant to touch at the heartstrings with personal stories from the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. They share with us that no matter what background or religion you come from, joy is attainable – and not from money, fame or external sources.

We will feel intimately connected to two of the world’s most loved spiritual leaders, all the while as we figure out our own obstacles to joy and how we can practice some of the simplest of things to cultivate joy in our daily lives. This book reminded me that even amid all the chaos, suffering and stress in my life today, I have the ability to live a joyous and fulfilling life.

For the perfectionists, overworked, and overstressed:

2. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

It’s no secret that love exists, but does self-love exist in your life? As a self-proclaimed relationship addict, I was always stuck on this idea that once I found that perfect someone, I would have that perfect life. The thing is, I was never able fully love anyone because no one could fill my heart other than myself.

This book may feel thin as it comes at 126 pages, but it is interwoven with thorough analysis and work of other researchers and writers just like the author herself. Ten essential factors underlying wholehearted living are detailed in separate chapters. But instead of feeling overwhelmed that you are not absorbing all ten, decide your own guideposts: stop comparing yourself to others and be okay with your imperfections.

For the self-doubters and those feeling vulnerable:

3. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Yeah yeah, I put two books on here with the same author. But this goes on my list because I will never forget it. Just last year I seemed to have read this book at the perfect time. I started my first full-time job and being the youngest of the my team, vulnerability was written on my forehead. I had no previous nurse practitioner or even nursing experience and what was supposed to be constructive criticism from my peers felt like hard-core put-down shame.

This book reinforces the idea that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a sign of strength and courage. Read that again. Vulnerability means strength, not weakness. And believe it or not, shame is everywhere – we all have it, and we all experience shame. It’s just no one wants to talk about it. The less we talk about shame, the more control it has over our lives, and this book details what we can do about this!

For those who want a personal touch:

4. Educated: A Memoir

The author of this book is not just educated – she is brave. Determined to get a formal education, the seventh child of Mormon parents recounts her incredulous journey of rebelling against her parents’ isolating world. It is not an easy story to tell. There are many injustices and traumatic events surrounding her upbringing. There are moments when you want to look away because your heart aches from the repeated horror stories of abuse and neglect.

But she does it. She gets accepted into Cambridge to pursue her Ph.D in history. And even then, she looks back on her childhood with clarity and surprisingly with love. This book certainly puts your current hardships into perspective, and it challenges us to see how change in what seems to be a preset course is possible.

For those who want a quick read:

5. The Sun and Her Flowers

A book that is always resting at my bedside table. Poems have the ability to heal the soul. And I dare you to read some of the most beautiful poems about growing and healing!


And voila! There you have it. My favorite self help book list for 2019. Happy reading! And let me know what you think of them!

Disclaimer: tallkoreangirl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Are long distance relationships worth it?

676 miles between us.
This equals 13 hours of driving (or 8.7 days of walking!)

I’m in Philadelphia and my boyfriend currently resides in Charleston. But this has not always been the case. Today marks 8 months of us being apart (physically).

Unless you start off on a dating site and find your significant other in a far away city or even country, going from being together 24/7 to once a month is a major transition that involves a lot of work, money, time on both parties.


One question I get a lot is, “Is it even worth it?”

Not going to lie, at first I was pretty pessimistic. I mean, you’re reading about a girl who literally required a good night cuddle to fall asleep every night. In addition to my needy self, I admit that I was jealous that I wasn’t the one moving – the one getting a fresh start in a new city. He was. He got a big promotion in his amazing company and a new field that he loved.

He was starting it in a city that ranked No. 1 U.S. city for the past seven years while I lived in a city that ranked the worst for sleep health(?!). I mean, c’mon.

Eventually, it took a physical toll. I tossed and tumbled in my sleep for weeks months on end. Aromatherapy, adult weight blankets, meditation, a warm shower before bed were initially successful but the effects never lasted. Leading my nightly sleep to average around 4 or 5 hours. (May be ‘normal’ to some, but to put it into perspective, if I get 8 hours of sleep I order a tall coffee from Starbucks while if I get half of that I need a Venti and possibly a good slap in the face by noon.)

I was sick of feeling that way – not just from the lack of sleep but from seeing couples walk by holding hands when the only thing in my hand was my iPhone, eating dinner alone, and not being able to enjoy a sunny day outside together.

My thoughts rapidly went from ‘man, long distance relationships are hard’ to ‘this long distance relationship is killing me.’

And by the third month, I wanted out.

I wanted out not because there were too many unresolved arguments between me and my boyfriend but because I became selfish.


If you’re currently in or are about to be in a long distance relationship, I urge you to ask: why are you really worried, and is the long distance relationship worth it?

For me, my trust for my boyfriend or myself never wavered. It was me saying “I can’t do this” before “this (long distance)” even began. Think about it: I slept great before I even met my boyfriend, why am I blaming him and his move for my lack of sleep?

My relationship CPR came from self-discovery and self-improvement practices that I carry to this day. It was from me passing couples all lovey dovey and knowing that I have a boyfriend who loves me just as much, Facetiming while cooking and eating dinner together, and being completely okay enjoying a sunny day outside by myself.

Are long distance relationships worth it?
Absolutely.

Fight for it. Fight for you and your partner – because distance is not why long distance relationships fail.

My transformation story – How I struggled with my body image

What’s wrong with me? Why am I not like her? Why am I like this?

These were my daily thoughts as I would mindlessly scroll through social media.

Believe it or not, research has it that we complain about 15 to 30 times a day or every 32 minutes that we’re awake. If that doesn’t make your mind spin a bit, it was estimated that 80% of our daily thoughts were negative and that such thoughts had toxic effects on our body. And this day and age, social media has propelled to this to be exponentially worse.

So many times I’ve failed to see what I had right in front of me because I was so busy wishing, ‘what if.’ And a huge chunk of those times it was about my body image. Each morning, I woke up dreading how I would look in the mirror and every night I would sleeplessly think about how I looked to others.

This post details the real, raw no-Photoshop truth of my story and how I got to be where I am today. I hesitated initially to even post these pictures publicly – yet alone look at them now. But I write this to shed light on how pictures are far from what they seem.

I write to let you know that you are not alone.


Let’s go back to 2011 when I was starting college at Penn. It’s crazy now how I can pinpoint a time in my life when things started to take a rough turn. But I was going through my photo album and the photo on the left is actually the ONLY picture I kept from my freshman year. And yes, it’s because I met Ashley from the Bachelorette that day and our shirts coincidentally matched. It’s the only picture I have because freshman 15 20 was real.

Speaking of Bachelor Nation, definitely on #teamDylan

On the right is a selfie I took after I went to the school gym … AFTER I binged on a family size bag of chips and Wawa candy in the span of an hour for five days straight, making an excuse of how I was super stressed about finals. I put on a fake smile, sucked my belly in as hard as I could and took that picture. The next day, I went back to binge eating.


Then comes the following year where I decided new me = new hair(?) It was an anxious year as I traveled solo to Korea by myself with really no other memories than feeling so self-conscious about my above average height and weight that I regretted the trip altogether. Still unclear why the standard size at Korean markets 44 (or US size 2)? But I actually remember catching myself Googling (or Naver-ing), “how to lose weight to look like a skinny Korean” once I came back from the trip. Ridiculous, right?


My senior year of undergrad was when I hit my peak weight. Although I never routinely weighed myself, I was embarrassed when getting my physical that year. My mom begs to differ but I thought the nurse practically shouted across the whole room my weight when I got off the scale. I cried for days, thinking I could never feel comfortable in my own skin. I went through senior year more confused than ever about where I wanted to go after college and who I was as a person – and I blamed that moment as the tipping point.

I wondered how people saw my life through what was posted on social media: did people think of me as successful, did I look pretty enough in certain photos, did I look too tall or fat, did I have any major life events that measured up to those of others? How I looked at myself was through the lens of those around me, leading me to a perpetual worry and desire for something more – and eventually losing the love of myself and my body.


This is me now. Okay, maybe a little less tan than this. But I am actually starting to feel comfortable in my body, my skin, my 5’11” unknown-weight self. Even the first pic of me where I ran with just a sports bra on – that was a first, ever!!!

No abs, no butt, no secret meal plan or strict fitness routine but when I go about my day today it doesn’t start with negative self-talk. In fact, I don’t think my weight has even changed much from my senior year! It’s just I can tell my mindset is different. Looking back, what hits me the hardest is knowing I had the ability all along to start the changes to get me to a better place.

Instilling confidence that I have this ability –
that’s what was (actually still is) my biggest struggle.


Take these daily affirmations with you as you go with your days forward:

  • Worrying and complaining change nothing.
  • When you’re trying to control too much, you enjoy too little.
  • You are good enough.
  • Trust me, you are not alone.

If there is one takeaway from this, I urge you to start here and today. If you’re feeling stuck in a place you don’t want to be in, this is your chance to figure out what you had all along. The secret is, the universe will not do it for you. You have to discover it.

Remember this. Even if you have a good reason to be angry or resentful at yourself, don’t. Channel your energy into thoughts and actions that actually benefit your life.
-Getting Back to Happy

Saying ‘no’ to self-hate

I am saying ‘no’ because you have ruined my relationships and have halted my progress in the current one. I am saying ‘no’ because too many times I have cried on the floor holding my chest, thinking that my heart would shatter if I didn’t. I am saying ‘no’ because there is more to life than you. 

I am saying ‘no’ to self-hate.


My name is Carol.

I am not a fitness guru or a social media influencer. I am your average Joe who has believed for most of her life that being skinny, rich and insta-famous were the ways to happiness – so that is exactly what I always strived to be.

Until yesterday. 

I was done. Fed up. Sick of the way my recent vacation ended. I could not look at my boyfriend’s face and tell him that I wanted to be there with him because the only thing I was focused on was how bad I felt about myself. All I wanted to do was to hole up and pity myself. I indeed indulged on one too many desserts and possibly a late-night cup ramen here and there but that was no excuse for treating him like I did.

It was disgusting; I was disgusted with myself.

But this was not the only time. There were many, many, many (^1000) times when I would feel this way and it would take an arm and a leg (and maybe another limb) to raise me back up to an ‘okay’ state.

This has to stop – and not just with me, but for everyone out there. For you, my future babies, your future (and current) babies but especially for you.

This blog is not to detail the perfect journey from how I came from a self-loathing grinch to a self-loving angel within a couple of weeks. It’s not a cheat sheet on answers to curing body-shaming or the pathway to happiness. It’s far from it.

It’s the raw truth of me – a 20-something-year-old girl still trying to find my identity and figure out who I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going and all the while trying to love myself in the process.


I encourage you this week to mark the number of times when you think the words “I look ugly” or “I look ______” (with a negative adjective there). Total them up. 

If it’s more than 0, start right here. Start with this blog. Join me every Monday, Thursday and Saturday (yes, three times in one week!) to discover (and love) a little more of you. Let’s go on this journey together.