TAF Real World – Week #26 of 51

We’re going back in time to WEEK 26 (or 25 weeks ’til TAF!) There was a crazy snowstorm in the midwest last week. Texas got some snow recently too, which caused a state of emergency. Despite minor obstacles, Alison persevered with her commitment to post on TAFblog. That’s some serious LOL! Here are her reflections on how to apply LOL in daily life:

Hello everyone! I’m going to start this with a disclaimer. I always have a lot to say but I’m no good at putting my thoughts into words, so I apologise in advance for my inadequate writing abilities.

TAF 2010: Love Out Loud. When I received the Facebook message telling me this year’s theme, I was ecstatic. I thought the play on LOL was incredibly clever and whoever came up with it was brilliant. This was my tenth year at TAF, making me officially old school. TAF has been a huge part of my life, teaching me life lessons I couldn’t have learned anywhere else. Before coming to TAF, I was a trouble child, always doing my best to be rebellious and hard to raise. Suffice it to say, I didn’t have very many friends. When one of our family friends told us about TAF, my mother was so excited. She asked me and my sister if we wanted to go but didn’t wait for an answer. Her decision was already made: her two babies were going to get on a plane to Indiana where they would spend a week with other Taiwanese American kids, learning about what it meant to be Taiwanese American. Something like that. I remember not wanting to go at all. I was seven years old and the only place I’d ever flown was to Taiwan with my family. I went to one sleepover but had to be picked up in the middle of the night because I became homesick. Somehow my parents managed to get me on the plane without me screaming and yelling, and I reluctantly readied myself for a week in an unknown place filled with strangers, save my older sister. When the weekend came around, my parents flew up to Indiana. My mother was so anxious to see me, to make sure I was doing all right. According to her, I barely stopped to say hi because I was having so much fun. I could go on and on, telling y’all (make fun of me all you want, I’m from Texas so I will forever say “y’all” instead of “you all” or “you guys”) my story of each year, but I won’t put y’all through that much incompetent writing. Long story short, I ended up loving TAF with my whole heart. I’ve met so many amazing people through TAF. It’s a great feeling knowing you’ve got friends all around the world who will always be there for you if you need someone to talk to. This year I learned that loving out loud can mean lots of different things and that everyone has their own love language(s). Loving out loud can be something as simple as a random act of kindness. It can be sitting with and talking to a stranger who looks like they need a friend. It can be giving someone the benefit of the doubt when they’ve upset you; remember, everyone has a story. Loving out loud can be checking up on a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile. It can be in the form of a warm hug. Though loving out loud doesn’t necessarily need to be literally “out loud”, it most certainly can be. Telling your friends and family you love and care about them is yet another of the countless ways to love out loud. I strongly encourage everyone to keep up the loving out loud; you never know when your LOL will be what gets someone through the day.

I suppose that’s all I have to say for now. I hope it was somewhat articulate and understandable.. Hope y’all have a great twenty-five weeks filled with (TAF)love. See y’all at TAF 2011! 🙂

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