TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang
On the day of the cover shoot, she was wearing a pair of blue and white slippers, an old school Rainbow Brite hoodie and a pair of loose jeans when she first walked in. Looking at her delicate features, we immediately recognized it was Terri Kwan, with an extra touch of caution and calmness that belonged solely to a mother. Throughout the interview, it wasn’t hard to notice her authenticity and how she wasn’t afraid of showing us her true self. As her eyes beamed with total confidence, she revealed that she was trying her best to enjoy the moment. “Because without the present, there will be no future.”
持續走在時尚尖端的關穎，提起歷久不衰的經典單品，「警察帽」是她腦海中第一個浮現的答案，不論化妝與否，皆能有極高的搭配性，也容易營造時髦感與氣勢，對於色系上的挑選，她則建議包色處理，「基本的黑灰白都不會出差錯。」對於珠寶的偏好，關穎則笑說都喜歡，「彩寶、鑽石、金銀，但不代表一定都要擁有，還是要找出適合自己的。」更舉例平日較喜歡戴大樣的單品，如耳環、手錶，小巧精緻的飾品反而相形遜色，也會依當天場合的主題，選擇喜愛的珠寶首飾，再挑選合宜的服裝，反之亦然，對關穎來說，整體的統一性是一大搭配準則。談起個人品味的養成，她認為品味是種天賦，後天便看自身如何努力，「就像購買藝術品，你要知道它背後的故事，做好功課，才能找出契合自己的衣服。」身為三個兒女的時尚媽咪，關穎經常會以「同中求異」的方式，達到巧妙的視覺平衡，她表示為了講求效率，現今大多都是網購，買的時候便搭配好一套，「像我喜歡運動風、搖滾風、度假風，也真的沒有花很多時間搭配，喜歡一起買，就不會有搭配的問題。」也笑說姊姊最近開始會有一些穿搭上的意見，不太懂得外出與居家的差異，「週末時就讓她自己選，我會給她鼓勵、 再引導她，可能從小耳濡目染，也慢慢讓她嘗試。」對於大小兒子的穿搭樂趣，關穎則透露最喜歡看他們穿一套的運動 Suit，「一套對男生最方便，穿球鞋就很可愛。」止不住興奮的語調，悄然展露了她對小孩的珍愛之情。
採訪近末，詢問關穎未來是否有哪些新規劃，她隨即回答沒有，「我覺得過一天算一天，現在太多的未知，我一直都是活在當下，我是那種 Work Hard, Play Harder, Laugh Hardest 的人。」 著眼於現下的種種，不過度給予自身太多壓力，更爽朗地說沒有要把自己塑造成這麼偉大的媽媽，「每個人都還是會有脆弱的時候，還是會有缺點，走一步算一步，就是最好的安排。」
As someone who always stays on top of the trend, when asked about her go-to when it comes to accessories, Terri chooses the peaked cap as her number one choice. Whether she is wearing makeup or not, the hat offers great variety and a sense of fashion and momentum. As for the color schemes, she recommends choosing monochrome outfits. “You can never go wrong with black, gray and white.” When asked about her favorite jewelry design, Terri smiles and says she likes them all. “I love the colorful gems, diamonds, gold and silver, everything. But it doesn’t mean you have to have it all, you still have to find the ones that suit you the best.” For example, normally, she chooses accessories with bigger volumes, such as earrings or watches. She also tries to match her jewelry with the theme of the day. All in all, to Terri, it’s about creating an overall unity. When it comes to developing personal style, she believes taste is a natural gift, the rest comes from hard work. “Like purchasing art, you have to know the story behind it. Put in the effort, you will find the right clothes that fit you.” As a fashionable mom of three kids, Terri tries to achieve variety under the same framework in order to create a balanced visual. To stay efficient, she mainly purchases her clothes online. “I usually go for sporty, rock and roll and vacation styles. So I don’t really spend a lot of time creating an outfit because they usually come in sets.” Smiling, she also reveals that her oldest daughter is starting to develop her own opinion when it comes to what she wants to wear. However, the six-year-old can’t seem to tell the difference between outdoor and at-home outfits. “On weekends I tend to let her choose her own outfits. I try to encourage her and give her advice on the side.” As for her sons, Terri says she loves seeing them wear athletic sets. “It’s easier giving them matching tops and bottoms. With a pair of sneakers, they look adorable.” The excited tone quietly showcases her love for her children, a testament of a mother’s biggest joy in life.
With Flexibility and Ease
Communication is the key to connecting with other people. It is also important when it comes to building a healthy familial relationship. Whenever her kids start fighting, Terri assesses the severity of the problem, then decides who is really at fault. “You have to be fair so that they know they can’t cheat their way out of things. Deciding who is at fault so that we can calm them down and let know what is the right set of values. We don’t play favorites. Everything is the same regardless of gender.” With technology advancing every day, Terri also realizes her kids are learning new things at a faster rate than adults are. Instead of being afraid of talking about certain topics, parents should take the opportunity to offer their kids the correct values of life. “Don’t try to limit your kids. Instead we need to educate them and keep them informed.” As her kids are gradually growing up, Terri is encountering all kinds of surprises on a daily basis. “Like the things they say or the way they react, it changes so fast. So I continue to adjust my mindset to stop worrying about them and treating them like little kids. Besides letting go, it’s also important to keep their values in check.” In recent years, she had been executing a more flexible educating style and holding back on being fixated on little details. When it comes to offering new parents advice, Terri admits she doesn’t really have any. “My daughter is about to enter second grade. And for that, I am also a new parent. Each day comes with its surprises and challenges. I don’t really have any impressive advice. It’s something we, as parents, have to learn on our own.” Smiling with humility, Terri says she is really not that noble. She further explains besides self-exploration, she also looks to her friends and her mother for their opinion. “There are no lazy or bad moms because everyone has their upsides and downsides, so don’t worry too much.” For Terri, it’s human nature, so there is no need to go out of your way to find your answers. When the opportunity presents itself, the best way of life will be yours to have.
Eternal Love of a Mother
Born and raised in a big family, Terri finds herself lucky to have the chance to study abroad and expand her horizon, which led to the development of a set of openminded personal values. “Back then, my parents were always busy with work and rarely got involved with my academics, which is very different from parents nowadays. We get to compare what’s suitable and what’s not, and find a balance in between the two.” Speaking of her parents’ education style, Terri says it’s a combination of the East and West. “For example, religion, you can have a belief system but don’t get too superstitious. We used to fast and recite scriptures on the fifteenth day of each month but now it’s more flexible. I think true respect comes from the heart and not from rituals.” Such an open-minded upbringing allowed Terri to look at this world with openness and generosity. When asked about what kind of daughter she is, Terri smiles rebelliously and replies, “Honestly, even till now my mom still tells me how I should teach my kids. I think moms will always be moms, so never complain about your mom’s nagging.” Now that she has her own kids, she is always reminded of her days of arguing with her own mother. “Even though sometimes we find our moms annoying, never forget everything comes from their love and care for us. Family is the one safe harbor that never fails us.”
Inheriting her father’s philosophy of helping people, Terri has been devoted to philanthropy for many years. Due to the pandemic, her plan to bring her children to orphanage visits have been on hold for over a year. However, that does not mean her support has been on pause. All of her foundations have been offering their help nonstop—the Jih Sun Education Foundation is helping out the underprivileged kids with educational grants, the Jih Sun Art Foundation is reaching out to dance groups and college clubs, while the National Kidney Foundation is offering medical supplies such as face masks and sanitizers. Speaking of the most memorable charity event, Terri says it’s the one where she visited the Foundation for Rare Disorders. “People suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are still conscious, they are not in a vegetative state. It’s heartbreaking to see how it affects the entire family.” Through visiting each patient’s family, she gets to hear their stories one by one. The genuine emotions that she felt during each session are something that she will never forget.
Live in the Moment
Taiwanese Australian writer Lisa Gears once said, “Becoming a mother is a journey that allows us to reacquaint and reconcile with ourselves.” And Terri could not agree more. Known for her courage, she used to be someone who was willing to try everything and anything. From bungee jumping to riding roller coasters, there was nothing she was afraid of. However, after becoming a mother, Terri jokingly says she has become a weakling now. “The biggest change is I now think before I act. I am more cautious and take my family into account. My daily schedule is pretty much family-oriented.” Thinking back to when she was younger, she never checked the refrigerator often. But now, the first thing she does when she gets out of bed is to make sure the fridge is well-stocked. Placing her kids as her priority, followed by her husband and parents, Terri places herself at the bottom of the list. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, sometimes it’s okay to attend charity events or do photoshoots like today. I get to give back to our society and stay fit and pretty. It feels nice to be able to play roles other than a mother every once in a while.” As someone with OCD, Terri likes to plan everything ahead of time. “By staying prepared, it saves you from being caught off guard.” With a proper plan established, it also makes it easier to deal with any last minute problems. However, it’s normal to encounter times when you find it hard to pick yourself up. By choosing a comedy or upbeat film to watch, Terri tries to fully immerse herself in positive emotions to help adjust her mindset. “Read a nice book, take a good nap, or even do some impulsive shopping, whatever works for you.” As time goes on, her rational side and her emotional side are slowly merging into one entity. Now, she has learned how to come up with solutions according to the different people and problems she’s dealing with. “My rational side really took the wheel after my kids were born. My emotional side came from being a water sign, making me prone to laughing and tearing up.”
As we arrive at the end of our interview, when asked about new plans for the future, she immediately responds she doesn’t have any. “I think we should take it day by day because there are too many uncertainties at the moment. I’m trying to live in the present. Work hard, play harder and laugh hardest.” With everything that is going on in the world, Terri believes it’s important not to put too much pressure on ourselves. She even admits that she’s not trying to be the best mom in the world. “Because everyone has their vulnerability and faults. So take one step at a time, that is the best planning you can do.”