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Why “Love, Caution”?

I’ll be blogging more regularly after the New Year, but first things first, some introductory posts establishing what the blog represents and what I hope it will become. I’ll eventually move these to a separate page.

So: why “Love, Caution”?

I first coined the phrase LOVE, CAUTION as the title for a short story I wrote for a fanfiction contest celebrating Marissa Meyer’s wonderful sci-fi fairytales series, The Lunar Chronicles. (See the entry here!) It was a loose adaptation of the story “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” set in futuristic Shanghai, involving a runaway heiress turned glamorous nightclub singer, a certain cocky spaceship captain, and a bottle of snake wine. It was a lot of fun to write, even if I didn’t win.

Of course, that title was a reference to LUST, CAUTION, a Chinese novella by Eileen Chang that was adapted into a visually stunning (and erotically charged) 2007 film by Ang Lee, starring Tony Leung and Tang Wei. I always loved that title (which, along with the cinematography and cheongsams, are right up there with those of IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE).

When I seriously thought about starting a blog, I thought about others I’d loved for inspiration. My absolute favorite blog as a teenager was Veronica Varlow’s Danger Diary. I devoted an entire diary to transcribing entries and my responses by hand. I actually wrote my college admissions essay on how the Danger Diary helped me rekindle my sense of passion and adventure after a period of stress and anxiety in high school. It hasn’t been updated as regularly as it used to, because Veronica has been busy filming her movie, modern-day Bonnie and Clyde/Thelma and Louise/True Romance REVOLVER (!), but there’s a ton of inspiration, magic, and realness in the archives, so definitely check that. VeVa–a burlesque performer, actress, modern-day femme fatale and real-life witchy woman–signs off her posts with “Love and Danger”.

FortuneTellerVeronicaVarlow

I loved the poetic qualities of the phrase LOVE, CAUTION, as well as the nod to my Chinese heritage and the blog that had meant so much to me. And the more I thought about it as a blog name, the more I loved it:

LOVE isn’t exactly a revolutionary or groundbreaking concept, or one with special significance only I have realized, but honestly, it just fit so much. I don’t know if I’m a romantic, but despite my snark and occasional cynicism, I do consider myself an idealistic. Passion and compassion are probably the most important (not to mention incredibly sexy) qualities to me, and “Love” encapsulates both of those.

And if I’m being honest with myself–another super important and sexy quality to me, and something I hope to bear in mind when writing publicly on this blog–love was also until recently one of my biggest fears. Heck, if I’m really going to be honest with myself, it still is, if to a lesser extent.

CAUTION probably doesn’t sound quite as sexy or empowering as “Love and Danger”, but again with being fully honest, it fits me a hell of a lot better. I’m way more of a Betty than a Veronica. I’m cautious, which is often a good thing, but sometimes isn’t.

But CAUTION doesn’t preclude danger–in fact, it just acknowledges it. To take caution or proceed with caution is to be aware of the risks, to know that danger, to tread softly, stranger…and make a conscious, informed decision to be smart or take a chance anyway.

I’m starting this blog in the best place I’ve ever been emotionally. I’m taking more risks, and I’m not stressed as much over little things, and I have ambitions–not just dreams–for the future. It’s wonderful and I love it. But I also know a lot of it is dumb luck, and being incredibly blessed to have amazing, supportive family and friends, and having been dealt a very lucky hand relatively protected from real hardship. I know nothing is guaranteed, that hope and dreams and self-esteem are not magic spells that will bring you everything you asked for.

So I commit to taking caution, but choosing to love anyway. I embrace loving life and art and my fellow humanity, but understanding that being able to do so is a blessing.

Love, Caution,

Aimee

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