What drives you / Describe what you feel your purpose is. 

Being someone whom Khloe can be proud to call her mom is something that motivates me greatly. I also want to show her that with hard work and dedication, setbacks and challenges arenʻt what shape your life -- that it doesnʻt matter how many times you fall or fail, but it matters what you do after you hit that wall and will you let your life be riddled with avoidance of challenges and giving in to failure, or will it be filled with problem solving and creative thinking, determination and grit. I think that my purpose in this life is to help others reach their dreams and their goals.

What struggles do you have in interpersonal relationships, and what are you working on to improve this?

Sometimes I struggle with self-worth, mainly believing that Iʻm worth more than what I get; I donʻt always call people on their bullshit or correct them when they talk down to me or treat me poorly. Whatʻs made me better at putting a stop to this is realizing that people will only treat you as badly as you let them; this means either that you call them out and stop the habits immediately, or walk away from a toxic relationship. 

I also think that I struggle with being vulnerable in the moments where it counts the most, like apologizing first and being the one to make an argument better. Working on this has been my biggest challenge, and I havenʻt really taken the active steps that I should be to get better at this, either. I think in order to do better, and be better, I have to remember that not everyone will throw vulnerability back in your face, or take advantage of you in that moment, and those who do donʻt deserve to be in my life.


What makes you feel most human

most connected
most empathic

Everything makes me feel too empathetic. I think for me, itʻs more like what makes me feel disconnected from people, because I tend to feel too much. Hate and intolerance or the lack of wanting to understand othersʻ points of views make me feel disconnected from another person. The idea that there is an "us" and a "them" or that people have "their own" in the sense that certain people are worth taking care of over others is really concerning and makes me feel uneasy.

What are some of the most challenging things in life for you at this moment?

Disconnecting salary from self-worth. I think that this causes a lot of stress in my life, as well as the notion that I should be further along in my career than where Iʻm at.


What are some of the most surprising things you've learned in being in relationship?

That you love someone until you hate them. For me, there hasnʻt really been a gradual change from one to the other. There hasnʻt been a slow burn out, itʻs been all and then nothing.

In my current relationship, the most surprising thing that Iʻve learned is that I am capable of loving my daughter and my partner equally, and wholly, and to the degree they each deserve.

What are some of the most surprising things you've learned in being a mother?

At this point I donʻt think that there are surprising things. Itʻs more like the timing of things, like, "Shit, I thought that was supposed to happen later than it did." Or at least the hopes of things that mean your child is growing up will happen later than they do, and that time passes way faster than youʻd like it. 

What are some of the hardest things you've learned - period. 

How to forgiving yourself. Knowing that you arenʻt responsible for everything thatʻs happened to you. That I will never be totally in control of my life, and to just be OK with where Iʻm at while continuously trying to do better.


Can you begin to describe what it is to love.

There are different types of love: the type you have for yourself; the type you have for your children; the type you have for your partners; the type you have for friend and family and everyone else. They all look different. 

To me, self-love is making sure you put yourself first when it doesnʻt hurt others, and when it hurts others, it doesnʻt hurt you. You take time to make sure youʻre mentally and physically well and whole; you have an identity of your own independent of others in your life, but that include the roles and relationships you have in relation to others, and will affect the love that you give to the other people in your life. Self-love also means that you donʻt settle for less than what you deserve, and recognizing when others are treating you poorly. Self-love holds others accountable for the way they treat you, and holds you accountable for staying or leaving the scenarios that are toxic or healthy. It also means that youʻre responsible for your own happiness and joy, and for that responsibility being mostly independent from others.

For me, the love you have for your children should center on their well-being and not necessarily their happiness but rather their joy. Happiness is dependent on the moment that you're currently in, while joy is longer lasting and reflects the overall status of your life (are things, for the most part, good? Are needs met? Are you working on doing better where you can? etc.). Itʻs a firmer love, and a tougher love to give because your actions will hurt their feelings, at times, and seeing those you love hurt or cry is difficult, especially when youʻre the reason theyʻre hurt or crying. But if you love your children, you have their best interest and their future in mind.

Love for your partner means being able to decide when somethingʻs worth sweating over. It means you can let the small things that are inconsequential and that wonʻt become bigger issues in the future slide, while you call out their bigger, more affecting faults out. You want to help them get better, but help build them up while doing so. Itʻs a balancing act of pointing out the things they need to improve on, without tearing them down, and making sure you point out the things theyʻre doing well, encouraging them to keep doing it. I think that this also has different stages and evolves to look differently, but is the same thing. It has physical components, and spiritual components, too. You have to make your partner feel wanted without feeling as if you NEED them or that your happiness and joy are dependent on them, because thatʻs so much pressure to put on someone else. It means supporting their goals while maintaining yours, and understanding that your relationships is not their whole identity; giving them their own space to make sure they are practicing self-love is crucial to loving your partner, because romantic love is like a business -- you each have your roles and if you fail to provide payment of your role, the business fails. You also celebrate their successes and are there as their rock, if they need it, in their lows.

Loving your friends and family takes components from loving your child and from romantic love, except that you arenʻt their parent or their partner. You donʻt do things to the same degree as you would for your child or partner -- the boundaries are different but the motives are the same in that you love them and want whatʻs best for them.

Love for humanity just means that you make sure your actions arenʻt harming anyone, and that youʻre building empathy in others rather than tolerance. 


What are you doing to exercise creativity right now?

Iʻm trying to get back into painting again; certain assignments at work also allow me to be creative, but in an academic sense (designing worksheets and infographics, etc.)

What is the most interesting thing you've read or pondered on this week? 

How to fight better with my husband. How to be a "better" parent.

Any advice for mothers out there?

You children are not you, your children will not be like you in every way, so stop trying to have them live out your dreams. Itʻs OK for your child to be bored, let them think creatively to solve it. Stop letting the iPad or TV be a babysitter -- seriously limit screen time and give them challenges so they can know the rewards that come with struggling with something and then succeeding, or at least know how to fail well. Make realistic expectations of them, keeping in mind their actual age and not the age they act. Brain development and capability are real, and while they can hold a meaningful conversation with an adult doesnʻt mean theyʻll always remember to wipe their ass well. Understand that others will be judging you by how your child acts, but that you donʻt have to take every bit of advice theyʻre offering in hopes of seeing you raise your child "better." Do what works for you and your family.

richie biluan