My middle name, 玫, (spelled 'Mei' and pronounced 'may'), was chosen by my late grandfather (I call him 'Yeye', pronounced 'yeh-yeh'). It means 'rose' in Chinese. My grandfather gifted me with this name because he admired the resilient qualities of wild roses, which are capable of withstanding tough conditions before blooming into the beautiful flowers we know. My name gives me something towards which to strive, and something by which I can remember my grandfather, who remains my biggest role model to this day.


My role model, my best friend, my Yeye.

The character on the top (玫) is my name in traditional calligraphy.

Original sketch done on my iPhone

Original sketch done on my iPhone


In this visual rendering of my name, there are five outer petals that represent the five members of my nuclear family; in the center, there are four petals, each standing for one of my grandparents. I chose a four-sided shape for the petals to symbolize the month in which my grandfather was born and passed, April. Finally, the stem of the rose is the character, 玫, portrayed in a way to evoke a thorny and elongated essence. I drew this on a whim on my iPhone when I had one of those spontaneous urges to get a tattoo. So who knows? Maybe if I do get tatted up (sorry, Dad), this design will be it. Maybe not. Either way, this little drawing sheds light on who I am and where I've come from. And I'm excited to see how it evolves.