Tuesday, July 23, 2013

PERSONAL | remembering my friend, jojo


This is my dear friend Jojo (pictured in the middle), and she was an incredible person.

Even though we only spoke with each other occasionally, Jo inspired me every. single. day. She was completely dedicated to her passions and strove to live each day as she wanted to--never allowing anyone to tell her any different. She loved food and wine, music and dance. She was always so sophisticated and elegant. I was always especially envious of her talents in the kitchen: she cooked the most amazing dishes and hosted the coolest Manhattan rooftop parties (resulting in me always asking my self why? WHY? don't I live in New York already?). 

Speaking of, I would never forget my very first trip to New York. It was not long after she had settled into her lovely apartment in LES, she had me over. It was my spring break of 2010. For that whole week Jo took me to all her favorite eateries around the city. I couldn't have asked for a better host and guide. Jo had a talent for finding the best 'hole-in-the-wall' places and she always knew the best dishes to order. My fondest memory was the morning we beelined for the restaurant in Chinatown for a bowl of steaming hot charsiu fan. Best $2.50 I've ever spent!

In many ways that trip changed me. Jo taught me a lot of things: she taught me about food, about travel, and most importantly, about being fearless in a brave new world. Because of her I am not so terrified to be who I am; some unemployed 23 year old with hardly a direction in life, because, as she often reminds us, that "you should still feel empowered when you have everything- and - when you have nothing". Our worth as a person shouldn't be branded by our job or education, but by our perseverance. And Jo lived by that, and she had the most amazing life.

I will never be able to fully put in words how much Jo meant to me, but what I do know is that I will miss her dearly. It breaks my heart into a million pieces knowing that she's left the world. I hope she has finally found peace in Heaven. And tonight, I'll say a prayer of thanks that I was blessed enough to have a wonderful person like Jo for a friend. She made the world a better place.

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