Hello! My name is Mal and I'll be turning 25 on January 21st, 2021. For me, this milestone holds a lot of weight because never in my wildest dreams did I fathom being where I am in life today.
**** CONTENT WARNING: Suicide/SA ****
For those who know me well, my upbring has been, in my own words, a hellish character-building period. I have spent a significant portion of high school being homeless, bouncing from different friends' houses and throughout college, grappled with overcoming a lot of childhood trauma, sexual assault trauma, and other challenges. I also bear the identity of being a low-income first generation college student and the daughter of Cambodian genocide survivors. These factors have contributed to an existence that hasn't always been the easiest and truth be told, I have held on to some terrifying thoughts on how to overcome my feelings once and for all.
Nonetheless, I've still been able to accomplish things I NEVER saw myself accomplishing: graduating from Temple University, doing a cross-country move by myself, and a bunch of other wonderful experiences! Additionally, I've had the privilege to focus on healing. After intensive therapy throughout the past two years, a cocktail of medications, and a lot of support from loved ones, I am finally on a path of self-love and have finally obtained financial security and personal fullfillment through my current role.
This year, I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder by my current psychiatrist. I am grateful for the privilege I have in being able to treat those illnesses with my employer's health insurance.
The past decade of my life have been hectic but despite the lows, there have been some significant highs! Most importantly, my biggest accomplishment is that I have not given up. There have been times where I have been terribly close to giving up though... but I haven't!
Eighteen year old Mal never could have fathomed being where she is in life now and looking back, I am relieved that I didn't give up when I desperately wanted to. My therapist has taught me a handful of skills to utilize whenever I'm stuck with my thoughts while also helping me learn to celebrate my victories instead of questioning them.
I have stopped thinking, "Why did I get so lucky to get to where I am and not other folks," to now, "I am really grateful for the help I got from others and the work I did to get to where I am now!"
Turning 25 calls for a celebration and what better way to celebrate surviving a quarter of a century by supporting a local cause I've chosen???
I know I'm asking for a lot from others during the worst year of our lifetimes but if you do have some money to spare and appreciate the impact I've left in your life, I would love for you to donate in my name! :)
I would not be where I am in life without the countless amount of help I've received from others--please help me return the favor to hundreds of other Washingtonians.
I picked Northwest Harvest because of their commitment to ending hunger through a myriad of ways, one of them being public advocacy. and social justice activism. On their website, they recognized that "hunger isn't just the absence of food—it’s the absence of justice. To truly end hunger, we must look at ending practices that continually widen gaps in community access while also building a more just food system."
The work they do for families in the Evergreen State is incredible and the framework they use to tackle food inequity is evident on their website: "Equity is fundamental to ending hunger. Northwest Harvest is committed to operating as an anti-racist, anti-oppression organization. We are unflinching in our work to transform an unjust food system into one that is more responsive and accountable to the communities most impacted by discrimination."
If I ever made an impact on your life in any way, it would mean the world to me if you could donate to this fund. All proceeds will go to Northwest Harvest.
Again, if you don't have the means to donate, I 100% understand; if you can, please spread the world!
Thanks for reading! <3