Intercultural Relationships

Monday, April 8, 2019

A: “Linda”...
Me: WRONG GIRL..My name is JAYME (Thinking did he really just call me the wrong name, we've been dating for a week)
A: “I was calling you pretty...Linda in spanish is pretty, cute, etc”

A: “Haina” (Pronounced Hi-nah)
Me:...DID YOU JUST CALL ME A HYENA (Thinking of  The Lion King hyenas)
A: “Haina is Spanish street slang for babe”....

This is just a glimpse of an intercultural relationship with a slight language barrier, we laugh about it now. I’ve been in many interracial relationships, relationships with socioeconomic differences, and maybe slight intercultural differences, but not to the magnitude that my person, A and I are currently in.

A is first gen Mexican, and I am a Korean that grew up in South Dakota with a White family. We were bound to have quite a few differences. There are the days when our language barrier, social norms, gender norms, Christianity & Catholicism, and about everything catches up to us. I remember we had a weekend where we were snowed in days in a row where it seemed like every cultural difference from beginning to end was popping up, including food. We couldn’t even agree on what type of food we could both make that was something in both of our households growing up.

Except pancakes. If anyone ever asks the “Waffles or Pancakes” question to me, pancakes have always been my pick. While A grew up with La Leche dripping off his pancakes and he learned to make them from his beloved Abuelita (Grandma). So that snowy weekend, Pancakes was the food item that made us feel less of a worlds difference, and it also allowed us to shop at either grocery store - because we definitely do not shop at the same grocery places...which that could be its own separate post!

So, we have made pancakes a weekend ritual. Saturday or Sunday you can hear the pancakes on the fryer, or when we don’t know what to eat, or can’t agree, pancakes come in for the win.

I still know/think/feel I have SO much to learn about the world. 30 isn’t a magic number into adulthood where I think I’ve entered this - been there, done that mindset - I hope I never feel like that. There are so many things I haven’t done, so many goals, dreams, and life skills that are still waiting for me to discover. I never thought I’d learn to dance Nortenos, or make tacos that don’t look like taco bell, or learn conversational Spanish and actually understand it. And I definitely never thought pancakes could bridge cultures and solve disagreements, but apparently, the theme of 2019 is, I am still learning :)



Practicing Hospitality

Sunday, November 4, 2018


There have been many perks about living in a larger space, and with a roommate (Cher bear) who also values the practice of hospitality. I learned hospitality from my parents, specifically my Mother. She is the hostess that makes a full course meal, makes your bed with love, and greets you in the drive-way even in a blizzard. 

In a season of recovery and rest, Cher bear and I wanted to provide that same experience for our loved ones while visiting...and we absolutely love it. 

Whether it’s our mismatched towels freshly taken from the dryer, grabbing blankets that have many stories attached, late night airport runs, getting people’s favorite snacks, bringing home fresh flowers, the smell of brunch filling our home, or the excitement of writing WELCOME _____ on our white marbled marker board...we love exercising the practice of loving others and doing it well. 

Our Midwestern and Southern roots have felt so watered welcoming, by the end of next week our 20th visitor since July. Twenty people who we have gotten to fill our bellies with laughter with, exchange mutual love with, and created some new memories with.

Our home, truly is your home. 

29 & Navigating

Sunday, March 18, 2018


I turned 29 last week and had one of my favorite birthdays. A friend asked what I had reflected on this past year and any thoughts on 29.

Here are some reappearing topics, conversations, frustrations, truths, and sentiments I am navigating into 29.


Bay Area Birthday Party @ Sunset Brewery
My Wild SFSU/USF Fam @ My Tarot Bday Party
Monterey Bay Fam Bday @ the delicious Sur in Carmel

Womanhood is not 1 dimensional: This is almost a duh statement. But you'd be surprised the interesting things people say. As a person who has people from church, pageants, politics, career, many religions, and just anything else random in my life, I always get the, "You're different in different environments...Like you can be loud and wild, passionate and angry, joyful and sweet, positive and salty"...It's true. My energy changes, but my values don't.

Because I have EMOTIONS. Emotions as in PLURAL, and depending on the context, I will exercise whatever emotion that fits. But in a world where we are told, regulated, and shaped how to feel and think - Raw or multiple emotions seem "scary" according to a friend. Scary to who? You?...To someone who cannot live their own truth and scared by mine? I will never apologize for exercising my emotions, but I will apologize if my delivery and tact causes harm. Womanhood will never be 1 dimensional, so why should my emotions be?

Life Paths: I am a natural seeker. I formally studied college counseling and student development, but also grew up with a piece of my history closed (adoption). I love to ask questions, gather feedback, and make my own decisions. As I enter 29, if I don't own a house, have a spouse, and some kids, according to where I was raised - there is something "wrong" with me or I am not a real adult or I am not honoring "God's plan" for human life. But as a seeker, I have been gathering feedback from friends who have a spouse and kids, a spouse and no kids or who have kids & no spouse. And as I speculated, all of them gave different answers. Some were ecstatic, some were happy with a little regret, some just wished that they had waited or that it hadn't happened at all.

I have a list of goals, dreams, and experiences, and settling down is on it, but not today....or for tomorrow, or even through the end of 2018. Yes, wild, but I am very content and happy...and I don't have a 5 year plan, a spouse, a kid, or a desire to own a home with lots of space...right now. One day, yes. But time will certainly tell.

Romantic Love: I have known for some time that I needed someone independent, who has their own life, patient, loyal, and adventurous. A collection from both my desires and suggestions from my home team. I have learned I will never tell a man, "You're my everything"..."You are my better half" ...or say "They're the reason I live!"...First of all, my life was/is full before my boo came into my life. Secondly, I had a life I created worth living for before he was established into my daily routine...Doesn't mean I don't adore my boo. Doesn't mean I don't value him. But I know when I love my life, I have the ability to also love who he is and what he does and what our relationship holds.




Advice: A downside of being a seeker is that I seek advice from my home team maybe too frequently...and as I have learned over the years, but heading into 29 is that I have learned to journal more and blog less...that a private life really is a happy life...and that some advice is meant for me, and some that is meant for later or never meant for me at all...and it is my decision in how I apply or archive that advice. I have learned that as I evolve, my life looks nothing like I predicted and definitely nothing how people think it should be.

And at the end of the day, if I died, I could say for what I know and have lived, my life feels complete.



I have 1 year left in my contract at work, and I am going to enjoy living in the city I have planted some roots in.

I love the cultural blend of lifestyles the Bay Area represents. I value that I can walk down a street and hear multiple languages being spoken. I love seeing so many different races and ethnicities, places of worship, and varieties of foods.

I have a deep and wide type of community of people who I am living life with. I have a life that is fruitful, giving, loved, and known by who I want to be known by.

I am going to live my truth.

I am going to live by the God I love and pray to and the route(s) God has for me.

Welcome to Jayme at 29 - Multidimensional and emotion exercising, skipping into my own life path watering flowers, clearing out the garbage, and shining my light to all who want to receive it...and open enough to let all the good people, things, plans, and ideas that are meant to land into my path.

Losing My Best Friend

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I am so excited to feature this kind soul, Ryan. I met Ryan when I was a Community Director at California State University Monterey Bay when he was a Resident Advisor. Although I did not supervise Ryan, we bonded over loving San Francisco and once he graduated, developed a friendship where we are able to talk about life. Ryan's writing is a reflection of his personality - warm, eloquent, and energetic. Read about his relationship with loss and with his Grandma here:

Hi! My name is Ryan Haynes and I am so glad you took the time to read my post! Bios are always super hard, but I'll try my best to keep it brief and interesting. I currently reside in the Bay Area and spend almost all of my free time with my dog, Boo Boo! Boo Boo and I go on walks, hikes, to the beach, dog parks. When I'm not being an overly-obsessed dog parent I like to read, write, cook, spend time with loved ones, do anything drag related, and express myself creatively. I work as an Academy Assistant at the Academy of Art University. 

When I was younger I would look forward to summers because that’s when Grandma Eva would come to visit. When Grandma Eva was staying with us everything seemed better; I had my other half.

In the mornings we would sit at the kitchen table together. She would read the newspaper as I work on my newest creation; a drawing, painting, statue, play script. I would always ask her for help. I was in awe of her creativity; her ability to add exactly what my art was missing, to make it seem complete to me. In the afternoons I would perform for her. I would make use of my karaoke machine to put on a show; act out all the parts of my play, sing, dance. Then, we would watch a movie, The Wizard of Oz, more specifically. I would be sure to cover her eyes during all the scary parts and tell her every single thing that was about to happen, even though we had both watched it together the day prior. At nights, we would lay in separate beds, in the same room, and talk until it was far past my bedtime. I would tell her about my dreams, all my secrets. I remember specifically telling her once that I wished I could try on wigs, makeup, dresses, and that I would love to dress up for Halloween, but I knew my parents would never let me. To fall asleep I would have her tell me a story. Her stories were always so creative. It’s still hard to understand how she came up with the stories she did.

When I reached High School, Grandma Eva moved in with my family and our synchrony continued. As I made the decision to leave home for college, the idea of no longer sharing a bedroom with my great grandmother and no longer talking with her every day, terrified me. Although, she was always my biggest fan, and of course, told me I have to move out so that I can  discover myself and begin my journey, and so I did.When I was in college I would call Grandma Eva every few weeks and we would catch up. She would talk about the current state of the world, how her doctors visits were going, how my family was, how proud she was of me, and much more, and I would talk about school, work, my friends, and adventures. We would exchange books or readings that we thought each other would enjoy. I could feel her love for me through the phone.


In December I graduated college and moved to Oakland. I had no idea (and continue to have no idea) what I was doing with my life, but my grandma was so proud of me. She was so proud of all that I had accomplished in college and all that I had ahead of me. She was proud of who I had grown into; a strong, determined, loving, kind individual; someone she always knew me to be. She saw that I finally loved myself. I always knew my Grandma Eva was the one person that I would never have to come out to, because she knew all of me, parts of me that I don’t even know, so when I casually mentioned my queerness in an email I already knew how she would respond.

In early January my parents called me and told me that Grandma Eva was diagnosed with liver cancer. I called my grandma; I cried and told her that everything would be ok. She assured me that she would fight it, and I told her that if things don’t work out that way, that would be ok too, and she agreed. I told her about a new project I had started. I had started to create a podcast, a sort of “New Years resolution” idea I had to produce something creative. She was really proud of me and all the ideas I talked about, and I told her I would love to talk with her when I got home and record her for the podcast; she was really excited about this. I headed home to see her a couple days later and her state had deteriorated drastically. I recorded some of our conversations, but a majority of her days and nights were spent sleeping; she couldn’t talk long without losing her breath.

On January 18th, 2018 my great grandmother, Eva Harper passed away. I held her hand and laid my head on her chest, crying hysterically, as I felt her breathing become more and more delayed and more and more shallow, until finally she smiled once more before her pain subsided.

As I slowly move forward in figuring out my next steps in life, a life without my other half, I have been navigating in a different way. I think of my great grandma and what she would do, what she would say, how she would support me in these turbulent times. The adjustment to losing a best friend is not easy. Even as I finish writing this, I wish my grandma was here to read over it, like she did many of my college essays. As I toy with the decision of going back to continue my education or find a job I wish she was here. As I have been struggling with my mental health and have finally decided to begin medication I wish she were here.

My podcast, entitled Things We’ve Learned focuses on reflection as a place of growth and liberation. Each episode will feature the narratives of myself and others, as we discuss how we’ve grown and continue to grow in different topic areas. In each episode I will also talk about my great grandmother; what I believe she would have to say on the topic if she were here to still talk with me.


Ryan with close friends at Brunch


Email: thingswevelearned@gmail.com

Blog Collaboration 2018!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Photo by J. Gomez
I write for myself.

I write because it's therapy. Because I enjoy stories and narratives in well-documented form.

I write because I am adopted...and there is a part of my history where that documentation is missing.

A part of me that I will never know. 

So, I write. I write my thoughts, feelings, to do lists, dreams, things that piss me off. 

I write about anything and everything.

I post though...for myself and for a person to resonate. I post because growing up I wish people talked about things that are honest and raw. 

I'm not here to read cliche phrases and sayings that are band-aid statements: 
I'll pray for you!
Everything happens for a reason!
Pull yourself by your boot straps!
It will get better!
Just be positive!
Go after your dreams!
Hard work pays off!

All with well meaning intentions...but some times doesn't get to the root of what I am searching for.

So I like to post from my lens. What it means to be a woman who is partner-less and child-less and the beauty and pain of this life. I like to post about my love life and how I should have learned about empowering my sexuality through school, church, family, friends....all the places that formed my opinions about my own body and who it belongs to - aka ME.

I like to post about purpose, reality, relationships, current issues, and anything that is considered difficult to talk about. The subjects we avoid. The ones we feel we need to be in edit mode...and why are we so scared about going unedited? 

And writing has taught me..

Who empowers me
Who I listen to
What I care about
What I am good at
What uh...are not my talents...
What uh...are my areas of growth....there are many....insert awkward giggle

But writing for me is therapy, a platform of empowerment, and a way to communicate.

So, I encourage anyone that wants to blog or write publicly that they figure out why they want to write and who are they are writing for.

And then stop giving a &%@#.

So in 2018, I decided that each month I want to collaborate with a friend / colleague and post their written narrative. If you are interested in collaborating, please email me at info@jaymealexis.com. We already have February and March covered and I am looking to post 1-2 folks per month.

2018 is the year of the update and upgrade for me...and after blogging for 5 years, it's time for an upgrade. An upgrade in community, in expansion, and in collaboration.
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