Are you looking for friends + community?

My mom used to tell me that my friendships would change as soon as we start to get married and have kids. Thinking I knew it all (because we know EVERYTHING in our twenties), I said, “No way. We’re not going to be those people. Friendship comes down to the effort one makes. We show up for each other.” 

What I have learned since: Mom was right (as she usually is). As soon as priorities change, it affects friendships. 

Some things that have caused my friendship dynamics to change: Who someone chooses to marry, how they attune to their partner, how they parent, where they live, and values (which for many of us, change over time).

Now in my forties, friendships are still VERY important to me. My best friend Apryl is just as important to me as my husband. I never wanted to be “that” person who ditched their friends for a romantic relationship. For a long time I made a strong effort to keep up all my friendships, but what I know now is that 1. Time becomes more limited as you get older. 2. People’s priorities do change.

To be honest, I don’t prioritize staying friends with everyone I used to prioritize. I don’t show up for everyone. I’m only willing to allot time and energy to a handful of people in my close circle, and everyone else is an outer circle friend/acquaintance. I felt bad and feel guilty for a long time for not showing up the way I used to for some people, but have slowly learned to unapologetically lean into truth. If it feels draining, it’s out! The ride-or-die friendships I choose have an ease and natural rhythm to them. We feel like we can be ourselves without judgment or explanation. We can not talk for months or YEARS, and pick up exactly where we left off. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy.


I used to have a cohesive group of friends, but now my friends are fragmented. I have friends, but they don’t know (or aren’t close) with each other. It’s not a community. To build community, in my twenties and early thirties I would host a lot of parties. It takes time but eventually all the friends get to know each other and it becomes more cohesive. It takes time and consistency, but unfortunately, as we get older, the consistency is less. Because even if we would like to, adulting can involve responsibilities outside of socializing. Responsibilities: Boooooooo! Is this really what adulting is? Because so far it has felt disappointing. Lol.

When I decided to stop photographing weddings, the hardest part was leaving the wedding vendor community. It was somewhere I was confident, comfortable, and known. While in career-transition, the limbo stage of “where do I fit in?” has been lonely and tough. Getting to where I want to go takes both networking and building skill, which takes TIME.

I’ve been networking in the Asian Entertainment industry the last couple years, and recently have felt more clear about where I fit in. I’m starting to “find my people” and those relationships are blossoming. A reminder again that building community takes TIME. 

I’ve also begun consistently going back to dance class. When the pandemic began, dance studios closed and some people moved away. I missed dancing and when the studios reopened, I knew that it came down to finding teachers I loved, and consistently going to those same classes so I could meet other people who share the same values and interests.

Here I am now, introducing my dance class buddies to $20 Erewhon smoothies. Dance/fitness community – check. The rhythm has taken a minute but I’m happy about it!

If you’d like to hear more about the topic of friendship, especially female friendships, Comedian Shining & I talk all about it this week on our podcast Not Your Asian Women:

Where have you been on your friendship journey? 

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