angry reader of the week: elizabeth jayne liu

It's time, my friends. Time again to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Elizabeth Jayne Liu.

Who are you?
Elizabeth Jayne Liu.
Although for a brief period in 5th grade, my first name was Nicky Elizabeth. My family and I were becoming U.S. citizens at that time, and my parents let me pick my own American name. I dropped "Nicky" after two of my teachers staged an intervention. Thank you, Ms. Guelker and Mrs. Davis, wherever you are.

Facebook: Flourish in Progress
Twitter: @ElizabethJLiu
Instagram: @flourishinprogress

What are you?
I'm a blogger. I started Flourish in Progress two years ago on my 30th birthday as a way to chronicle a yearlong shopping ban. I quickly discovered that it's hard to write about something I'm NOT doing, so I traded in my whining for a series of small weekly challenges called "Monday Dares." Most of them are tongue-in-cheek. I'm probably only saying that because I've failed almost all of the challenges, and I'm just trying to keep a little of my self-esteem.

I sometimes write for the Huffington Post. There are a few other projects in the works, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Also, I'm a mom. My daughter, Cal, turns 13 next week. I suggested a Tupac birthday party. Cal suggested I try to act like a normal mother.

Where are you?
I live in West L.A., not too far from the ocean. It's a shame I'm so afraid of the water because I don't know how to swim. I tried learning as a Monday Dare. I failed.

Where are you from?
I was born in Korea but spent most of my childhood in Grand Prairie, a small Texas town. I had my Sweet 16 birthday party at an Olive Garden. My high school graduation dinner was at Outback. Whenever I see people in sweatpants milling around Wal-Mart, I think to myself, "YES, YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN." I've lived on 2 continents and in 5 states, but I still consider myself a Texan. Texas Forever.

What do you do?
I'm a blogger and a writer, but if I have to identify myself by the pursuit I spend most of my time on, then I guess I would be an avid Yo! MTV Raps trading card collector. I'm only missing three. It's the thorn in my side that keeps me from sleeping peacefully at night.

What are you all about?
These days, I'm all about keeping it real. For too long, I was uncomfortable in my own skin because I felt like I didn't belong anywhere. I thought I wasn't doing things the right way because my life didn't look like the life of every other female my age. I let those insecurities govern my behavior, and I carried a lot of shame and guilt. What I've discovered is that there really is no right way or right time. Even when I started blogging, I tried to be appropriate and acceptable. I didn't want to anger or offend anyone with my salty language or my topics.

Then, one morning, for no dramatic or particular reason, I just didn't want to pretend anymore. So I stopped.

People ask me all the time if the stories on my blog are true. They say I don't "look like the type" to be a former drug addict or a welfare recipient or a foul mouth. I'm curious to know what these people are supposed to look like. As I shared the truth of my life with my readers, I became acquainted with myself. I met me for the first time, I think, in my 30's.

I talk the way I want to talk now, I write about the things I want to write about, and I try to live in a way that celebrates my quirky personality, rather than spending all of my energy trying to fit in. I just don't give a shit. Actually, that's not true. I still give a shit, but outside opinions matter less now. I'm okay with me.

What makes you angry?
Tween girls showing too much skin. Companies making clothes that allow these young girls to show too much skin. I walked by a store this week selling a midriff-baring halter top and matching short shorts sized for a 10-year-old. No ma'am, that's not how sanity works.

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