Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year...New You?

Happy New Years everyone. Welcome 2016! Whoop.

Every new year, people are jumping into resolutions, lifestyle changes, weight goals, and the list goes on. I used to do the same. After watching the ball drop on the TV, I would make a list of personal goals... they'd always be the same: feed my turtle regularly, run every day, sit straighter, be neater, stop procrastinating. Last year, I spiced it up with a "happy jar," which I maintained until beginning college. I hope to continue writing down positive memories in a mini-notebook, and I'd highly recommend it-- it's not only beneficial for optimistic thinking and memories keeping, but also motivates you to find memorable things to do. Though I think the new year can be a great time to start fresh and make positive changes, from past experience, the changes are often temporary; by the end of next year, I'd again be a hot mess with the same old list of goals.
However, I think I did pretty well this past 2015. I exercised consistently, ate much healthier, and created better study habits (the slouching is still a work in progress).  So I'd like to share some tips, and none have to do with "new years resolutions." 

Tip #1: Do not think a new year means you can shed your former self. The "man-made" year may have changed, but time is a continuum. You are a continuation, a mosaic of every decision, experience, and habit since your first breath. You may not be proud of every choice former you have made, but hopefully from the mistakes, you have learned something valuable. Therefore, change is also gradual. You cannot change into your ideal vision of yourself overnight. Change is possible, but it takes commitment. Be ready to commit.

Tip #2: Keep your expectations reasonable. It is good to have goals, but make sure they are realistic. Make sure you can keep the promises you make to yourself. Overly high expectations will cause unhappiness. Don't forget to be happy, even when there is little to be happy about. A change in expectations can make a world of a difference.

Tip #3: Make self improvement a way of living. If you really want to become a better version of yourself, make consistent improvements embedded into your life. Be open to new ideas and experiences, do not fear judgement or vulnerability or the unknown. The only way to improve is to embrace change...and sometimes that means stepping out of your comfort zone.

Tip #4: Enjoy the process. Trust me, the end result is not what makes your achievement worthwhile. It's the sweat and tears, the sacrifice and grit, that make you scream with joy when you realize how far you've come. So instead of dreaming about the future, live in the present, and appreciate where you are right now, because it is present you that has the power to create future you.

Hope these tips help you guys. Stay awesome, and have a fabulous, memorable, heart-throbbing 2016. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Long Gone (Short Story)- Part 2

As promised, here's part 2 of "Long Gone." If you haven't already, check out part 1 here:

Enjoy :)

“Oh my god, she’s dead.” Becky is screaming. Heat rushing, heart pounding, insanity. A paramedic pushes the stroller with Amelia’s body, lain peacefully like a fallen angel, still, limp, and lifeless. “Ma’am, please step aside.”
“Please, just let me see her, please.” Becky’s voice quivers in hysteria. A tall young paramedic moves toward her, “Hey Rebecca, right? Mind if we talk?” With guiding arms and outstretched hands, he motions for her to walk to follow him down the hall. “Steve?” A momentary visage of confusion fleets around her face, then vanishes. “Oh right, I forgot you volunteered as an emergency medical technician. Never seen you in action before…” Her voice trails off as she is reminded of the situation, so present and real that it feels imaginary, like a movie scene gone wrong. But there is no rewind, pause, or power off.
“Yeah, luckily the worst we usually get on campus are crazy drunks from frat parties.” He attempts a wry smile that manifests into a grimace, the knot between his thick brows seems permanently etched on his profile. “I just wanted to let you know that Amelia’s not dead. We’re not sure what’s wrong with her, her heartbeat’s normal, breathing unimpaired, great physical condition of course,” Steve pauses, and moves his feet to redistributes his body weight, and feels a rush of heat, “But, er, she’s unresponsive. Not making eye contact, no speech. We’ve never seen anything like it before.” Relieved, Becky runs her hands down her hair and lets out a sigh. “She’s alive. Okay. So she’ll be fine. She’s going to be fine, right?” Steve’s profile tenses as he decides on the most realistic, yet hopeful answer. “We will try our best.”

A week passes, and Becky visits Amelia every day, 7:30 a.m. before class and 7:00 p.m. after dinner. Most visits, Steve joins her, quietly entering the room, deep in thought, emanating a concerned, yet calm presence, which Becky comes to appreciate.    
“Hey, anything?” Steve’s voice is low, soothing, slightly scratchy, and ever-hopeful.
“No.” It is their usual exchange, as both students shift uncomfortably in their chairs and stare at the body of Amelia, sitting upright with smooth, pale skin, vacant light blue eyes, and straight light brown hair falling to a delicate collarbone, alive and present, yet so empty.
“Hey Amelia, remember this? My god we were such idiots as freshmen,” Becky lifts a photo to Amelia’s face. Every day she has attempted a different project in their mission to “bring back Amelia.” 

Monday was music: The Beetles, The Smiths, Kesha, The Wombats, Eminem, Carrie Underwood, flooded the hospital hall, stirring memories in every patient but the one for which it was intended. Tuesday was food: grapes and yogurt, soft pretzals, mint chocolate chip ice cream, which ended up chewed and swallowed by the unresponsive body, the rest of the ice cream shared amongst Becky and Steve.
“Yum, good ice cream,” Steve had said. Becky shrugged, feeling more defeated with every thick, decadent mouthful. But she did not give up; in fact, she tried even harder. Wednesday was clothing, Thursday was Amelia’s insane collection of mugs, Friday was ‘bring Amelia’s swim team’, Saturday was ‘bring every student Amelia knew’ (an exhausting endeavor), and today, Becky had a stack of photos on her lap, each intended to stimulate a specific memory.

“Oh I forgot about this one, you guys look so cute.” Becky showed Steve a photo of him and Amelia sharing a plate of pasta. “I didn’t know you kept that,” Steve said, turning his head away. “I didn’t, Amelia did,” Becky said, looking at Steve thoughtfully. “She took it pretty hard, you know.”
“Well I did too, but we just weren’t working out. It was a mutual thing though, no hard feelings.” Steve had taken the picture, and was twirling it in his hand, reminiscing about that night at the Italian restaurant when he and Amelia were still fresh under love’s strong grasp. It was her laugh, he concluded. Her laugh that did the trick. She had a tendency to snort when laughing; every snort made him crazier about her.
“Steve?” Becky touches his arm gently. “Hmm what’s up?” He suddenly awakens from his thoughts.
“What are we going to do? Her parents are coming up next weekend. The doctors don’t know what’s wrong, no physical problem, nothing. She’s not showing signs of a mental disorder per-say,” her voice gets higher and more strained with every word, “We have to do something, but the question is, what?”

Steve presses his hands against his forehead for a moment, and suddenly turns toward Becky with an intent, hardened gaze. “There has to be something that triggered this whole, er, episode. We have to find the trigger.”

With this idea in mind, their hearts welled with newfound hope.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Long Gone (Short Story) - Part 1

Note to readers: "Long Gone" is a new short story that I started today. I have a feeling that it'll be a lengthier one, so I've decided to divide it into parts and post each section as I write a live screening of the story's eventual creation. The second part will be up sometime this week, so stay tuned!
Part 2:

Amelia Richard Jameson was not a recluse. She was bright, energetic, compassionate, artful in conversation, skilled at reading faces. She could blend into a crowd, yet thrust energy into it, simultaneously. She could drone on about a subject with passion, or at times, listen thoughtfully, quietly, contently. She knew how to smile sweetly, laugh outrageously, frown understandingly. No one who ever met the 20-year-old college student disliked her. In fact, most would agree that she was the kindest, most generous acquaintance they knew. Everyone consented that Amelia Richard Jameson had a bright future ahead of her. And she deserved it.

So when her roommate Becky finds the bedroom door locked, she assumes Amelia had fallen asleep. Finally trying the “coffee nap”. When a friend invites Becky to dinner, she consents. Forgetting all about Amelia still asleep in the bedroom.

Around 11 pm, Becky returns home. Boy does she have a lot to tell Amelia. Jack Meyers, the cute guy from history, finally asked her on a date. She knows what Amelia will say, cross legged on the sofa, “It’s about time. You’ve been making the first moves all semester.” And then they’ll laugh, munch on popcorn, each melting in the sweet, warm, fuzzy beginnings of romance.

“Amelia, guess what?” Becky’s voice is sing-song, happy, infatuated with fresh memories of her night.
The door is still locked. “Amelia, I know you’re not still napping. Open up dear.”
No sound.
“Amelia?” A hint of concern creeps into Becky’s vibrant voice.
“Amelia, this isn’t funny. Stop joking around.”

Around 11:30, Rebecca (Becky) Marie Amerson phones the campus police. “My bedroom, it’s locked. Uh, my roommate, she’s locked inside.” Quivering voice, confusion, denial, typical symptoms of shock. Of a sudden shift in emotional state. Of an unbearable weight slowly descending upon her body. “Hold tight, sweetie. We’ll be there shortly.”
Phone call ends. Connection ceases. And Becky Marie Amerson is alone again, sitting cross-legged, back against the locked bedroom door, willing herself not to imagine what is on the other side.

But those who cling to ignorance, when it is long gone, turn themselves into monsters.

Friday, December 25, 2015

How to Accept Gifts

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The holiday season is a time of gift giving. Last minute shoppers flood the streets the week before Christmas and New Years, scouring stores for that perfect present. Behind gifts are kind intentions and love, and finding the perfect present to reflect our feelings is difficult. So naturally, the internet is flooded with youtube videos and articles on "Gift Ideas for Him/Her", "Perfect Presents for Dads", "What Guys Want for Christmas", etc. However, receiving a present can be just as difficult as giving one. And advice in this department is incredibly lacking.

I consider myself an amazing gift giver. I am good at dissecting past conversations, observing habits, and discovering passions, all of which help in finding a present that he/she will appreciate. The art of giving gifts lies in understanding another person. Though I have always considered material items shallow display of love, I thoroughly enjoy giving. Receiving gifts on the other hand, has always been more difficult....because not everyone has a knack for finding the right present.

Take for instance, my father's gift to me: a winter hat. Not just any winter hat, a plaid, gray trooper hat that I swear was intended for the male gender. Upon seeing it, I was not enthralled by the beauty...or lack thereof. I like fashion, winter accessories, all that jazz, and this hat was not something that I pictured in my wardrobe. My first thought after seeing it was I'll take it with me to college and just never wear it. On the outside, I accepted it gracefully, saying it looked very cool. All the while, my father went on about how useful it would be in cold, northern weather and that there were "normal", "boring" winter hats (aka ones that I would actually wear) but this one caught his eye because he'd never seen anything like it (I wonder why...). My mother, who took a more traditional route (bath & body works lotion, portable charger), openly stated that I could return the hat for another item. That's the point of gift receipts, she said, it's  what everyone does with presents. I refused. To me, returning the gift undermined my appreciation of it, devalued my father's taste. And though he'd never admit, I knew it would hurt his feelings.

But now, the more I look at this dull deranged thing, feel its soft interior, the more I love it. No I had not intended for a hat like this in my wardrobe, and I have no fricking clue how to dress it. But spontaneity is part of the fun of accessories and fashion, and I always advocate wearing clothing outside one's comfort zone. Even if the hat looks goofy regardless of my attempts, I will still wear it. I will wear it because it is a token of my dad's love, which surpasses vanity, societal norms, and outside judgements. Because I love my dad, I naturally come to appreciate his presents because behind them is his unconditional love for me.

To accept gifts with grace, you must first appreciate the intentions of the giver. Receiving presents with genuine gratifaction is as important as giving amazing gifts. Only when you truly love that less-than-ideal gift do you surpass the superficial realm of gift giving, and come to appreciate the person behind the present.

In this season of gift-giving, remember to look past the present itself, so that the next time a family member presents you with unfashionable clothing item, you can look them in the eyes and truly mean it when you say, "I love it! Thank you. "

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

When It Breaks (Short Story)

“Where were you last night?”
“Nowhere Tom, I was nowhere,” she replies, twisting the string in her hands.

Tom frowned, reviewing events of the past day. 7:30 a.m., he woke up, and prepared breakfast. Eggs, toast, avocados, oatmeal and milk. Then he made lunch- stir fry today. Broccoli, chicken, brown rice and beans. Two apples. She woke up later than usual, around 8 a.m, and tended to the garden. She returned 40 minutes later with handfuls of mini tomatoes in her pockets, set the pride of her morning on the counter. She took a piece of toast, chewed slowly, and furrowed her brows. “It’s dry. You left it in the toaster too long.” Pause. He had learned long ago the power of silence.

They left for work at 9:19 a.m. At 5 p.m. he called her workplace, as usual. “You ready to head back home?” “Oh this is Beth, Anne left an hour ago, did she not tell you? She got a ride from George, I think they were going to stop by Costco on their way back.” “Okay, no problem, thanks for letting me know.” Tom forced a carefree voice. Everything was fine. Anne would be back home by 6. Even when the kids were still home, it was common for his absent-minded wife to leave work early and return home later than him.  

This time, she returned much later.

“It doesn’t take three hours to buy a pint of milk.” Tom said, tapping his foot against the chair leg.
“It’s none of your business where I was, okay?” Anne threw the piece of string to the ground.
“I’m your husband, of course it’s my business.”
“I told you already, I went to Costco after work with George,” Anne said, her voice an octave higher.
“But you couldn’t have been there for three hours.” Tom repeated, his voice quieter. The rhythm of his foot tapping quickened.

Tom was normally a loud, confident person. Around Anne, it was different. Everything was different with her. She was volatile, explosive. A wrong move, and his wife turned into a monster. So Tom tiptoed around the house, submitting to admonitions, bitterness, discontent, for a feigned truce.
But Anne never crossed this line. Until now.

“Nothing happened, okay?”
“We were just talking.” Anne said. She stared at her transformed husband in shock.
“Yes, just talking Tom.”
“I didn’t realize you even cared.” Habit made her tone snarky. Aggressive. Unsympathetic.


“Why would I not care?” Tom had sat down, hands over his head. 
"When have you shown me that you cared?” Anne stared out the window, refusing to look at him.
“WHY WOULD I NOT CARE? I prepare meals, I clean around the house, I do everything for this house.” Tom’s tapping had turned into stomps, emphasizing every phrase.

“When have you done anything for me, Tom, huh? Anything for me?

“And George does? George really cares?” He froze and took a deep breath, bracing himself for the answer.


“Yes. More than you.” Anne blinked rapidly. She continued looking intently at the fig tree outside.

Tom suddenly gets up, with a new spark in his eyes. He walks toward the door.

“Where are you going?”
“Out.” Tom turns the knob slowly.
Anne turns around, suddenly pale, and opens her mouth to say something.
“You have never cared,” He said, looks at her a final time, and slams the door.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How to Party Sober

I have "partied" four times since being at college. And (discounting the sip of cider, naively assuming it was cider juice) have not drunk alcohol. There is a misconception that letting loose requires alcohol. Although I am in no way condemning drinkers, it is important to distinguish alcohol from "fun".  You do not need to be drunk to have fun. Even if everyone else is.

My first outings out were uncomfortable. I felt like the odd one out-- the goody two shoes who would not let loose. The jokes passed through me, transparent.  While others were relaxed, exuberant, and energized, I was uptight and stressed, afraid that a friend had too much to drink. I was disgusted by the sweaty obnoxious boys yelling nonsense. Embarrassed for the wild girls in skimpy outfits, falling over air. Booze breath sent me writhing in annoyance. Conversations with the intoxicated left me dumbfounded and... haughty (incredible the things drunks say).
I have since been less critical of the party scene. Life can be draining. From studying long hours for an organic chemistry exam to working part-time jobs, we could all use a night to relinquish all responsibility.
The night can be anything we want it to be. We have a new kind of freedom. A way to rebel against societal restrictions and stigmas. In a dimly lit room, hidden by the shadows, it is okay to jump half naked, scream obscenity, and kiss strangers. And somewhere between the blurred lines of sanity and crazy is alcohol. Once the drug seeps into your blood, reaching every vein in your body, you forsake responsibility for your actions and welcome your new ruler for the night.

So how do you party without the drug? Simple. You act drunk...sober. On the dance floor, I am perfectly aware of every body around me. My senses are fluid, my movements sharp. I release my inner crazy, and sway to the beat instinctively. I no longer calculate my moves; I let the crowd carry me to euphoria. The best part is that I will remember this beautiful night of colors, rhythm, beats, music. It will not evaporate into misty, blurred memories. I give all of me to the night and the whole of the night remains with me.
When orange hue breaks the anonymity of the night, I smile at the new day, ready to conquer and relinquish again.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I have never been part of drama. Never started a fight. Never been bullied. Never had to stand up for myself. As a child, I floated among my friends without stirring the waters. I was not hated nor abused, and liked just enough to get by. Sometimes, I became the wallflower, existing as a warm, bodily presence, but only barely. I would take a whole scene in-- the flirting, the banters, the laughter-- and feel like an omniscient being-- a third person narrator. That was how I remembered the people of my childhood. While others forgot the girl in their summer camp, or that kid who owned a reptile, I remembered. 

Rewinding my mental clock, I've noticed a pattern: 
I was so busy narrating everyone else's stories that I forgot to write my own. I have a general summary of my past stages. Give me a year, and I can list my teacher, closest friends, schedule, personality, hobbies. But rarely will I have story-- an event, to define it. At least not of my own doing. My stories are either meshed with my friends' drama, my parents' fights. Or, as I grew older, my musical accomplishments, dedication, ambition. Those crushes remained just that, those opportunities flew away due to fear, and I was left waiting. For something to snap. For my life to really begin.

 Now, at college, life has begun in so many ways. Yet, make me tell a story, and I do not have one. Does the one about a newly wed borrowing my bike count? Movie nights with the roomies? Hours studying for an exam that consumes my being? 

At this point, I do not know what counts as a noteworthy story. Something that serves as a defining point in my life? Maybe I am made of multiple, minute stories, entwined together. Maybe I am in a developing story with a mystery ending. Maybe the best stories have yet to be opened. 

We are all compilations of mismatched stories, mosaics of our lives. They define a part of us, but not all. We are also what could be. We are everything that we strive for, yearn for, and will be. It's okay to not know where to start. To wish you could delete that whole passage. Or add a couple of lines.
It's okay to feel like your story is not worth reading; to guard it from others lest they snatch it away; to tuck the story in your pocket, for now, fully aware of potential revisions. 
And, most importantly, it's great to retrieve a fresh, blank page and start another story. To create new characters as you go. 

Eventually, someone will want to swap with you. To read your words meticulously as you examine theirs. So don't be afraid of the plot twists, suspense, missed metaphors. Stories are never complete or perfect entities. 

Here are pieces of my stories. What are yours?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Falling too early

I have a problem with falling for guys too early.  Before I have had a full conversation with him, learned his favorite color, music tastes, food aversions, I am imagining him as a boyfriend, or worse, a husband. Such extremity in feelings is dangerous for the weak hearts. It causes us to feel too much for a shadow, and cry in excess over the end of nothing. The reason for this tendency is not low standards. I would consider myself to have rather high standards in romantic relationships- not just in the guy himself but also in his mutual affection for me. I think the cause is over-imagination. A projection of my woeful thinking onto him. Upon one glance into his intelligent eyes, I am conjuring up my own impression of this person, my caricature of him, my story. And it has nothing to do with him, really (besides that he's a great catch). It all stems from my subconscious desire to love. 

I try to deny it. No one wants to admit dissatisfaction. No one dares to admit a foolish craving. No one wants to want something so untamed. 

Some days are better than others. I usually block it out with other goals- remind myself of what's important: friends, family, school work, self-improvement. I try to make myself feel worthy of love by being the best version of me. And I remind myself that love comes when you least expect it, so I should stop being so damn expectant.
Other days, I indulge in the thirst, and soak in the artificial feelings of love created by music. Today was of the former. I couldn't help but glance everywhere for "him". But instead of wasting my time on youtube advice videos and sappy music, I decided to write this post. I would not dare share these thoughts with many people; and I think few have shared them with me. We all strive for an aura of "having our shit together", but really none of us do, or ever will.

We all wish we were not so vulnerable.

It's okay not to feel content. Like Billy Joel said, "Only fools are satisfied". But do not let negative thoughts consume you. It is important to be truly grateful for what we have, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day. I am grateful for the opportunities on my campus, the beautiful autumn leaves, my lovely roommates, my ever-supportive parents.

Remember to appreciate the important people who are already in your life. Wasting energy on a guy we barely know not only undermines your value, but also that of those who really care about you.
When you start falling too soon, remind yourself that he is not the solution to your problems. The loneliness stems from a deeper problem, often a lack of passion and personal satisfaction in your life. While you're pinpointing the root-cause, remember to take a moment and just appreciate where you are right now. Smell the fresh air, the wind in your hair, the sun warming your skin, and start loving it all.
Start falling for life.

Friday, November 6, 2015

It's Okay Not to be Perfect

If you couldn't tell already, I try to be as authentic as possible in my writing. I usually write every post in one sitting, let my thoughts just flow, and make only minor edits. The whole thing is a cathartic release for me-- exposing personal thoughts to the internet world, and more importantly, helping others realize they are not alone. Remember that you are not the only one who gets confused, struggles with relationships, and wishes they were a better person. Sometimes it seems like everyone else has everything together but you. Not true. Believe me. 

Today is my last day of fall break; time to head back to college life. And let me be 100% honest here (because I don't think I will be with my parents or classmates), I did not enjoy fall break. This is due to various reasons. Firstly, every break I am at home and not on vacation, I experience an internal conundrum. To watch TV and movies (aka do nothing of importance) or study and self improve in some way? I always plan the latter, but end up doing the former...and this break was no different. I had a lot of work I wanted to finish over break, and of course I have not gotten it all done. My inadequacy in self discipline has been wrecking my confidence. I'm a college student at a so-called "prestigious" university, yet I still can't manage my time and prevent procrastination? How am I going to achieve all my goals? How am I going to get into med-school, let alone make a difference in the world?

And secondly, my idea of being back home was too idealistic. I was excited to spend time with my parents, meet up with friends, eat home-cooked meals, read a good book, sleep in my own bed...
I forgot the reality of my family life. The way my parents, though loving and giving, can make me feel suffocated. The fact that the two of them have a deteriorating relationship, inevitably affecting my mood for the worse. I forgot that being home for fall break meant staying inside my house alone, with minimal social contact. And I forgot about my anti-social, hermit tendencies, causing me to neglect visiting high school friends.

All of this "crap" accumulated into a feeling of inadequacy.  Even now with extra freedom, I had not concocted a life I was satisfied with. I thought about everything that can be improved- my family life, social life, self discipline, academics, extracurriculars, community involvement, and the list goes on.

We can be so mean to ourselves, so hard on ourselves. Whether it's not feeling pretty enough, cool enough, charismatic enough, smart enough, we sometimes feel like we are not enough. Which is not true at all. Don't work toward perfection. My parents used to always tell me as a kid that I was perfect. And I got it in my head that I could actually be some form of "perfect" if I worked on myself enough. News flash: perfect is impossible.

So please, don't feel like you have to be a certain type of person or have a specific life to be happy. Happiness is an unconditional part of our existence that everyone deserves. Don't wreck yourself over mistakes, failures, or procrastination. Sometimes, we need to take a deep breath and realize that it's okay to relax, "do nothing", and have an extra cookie . It's easy to be swept away by this fast paced world we live in, to be tense and stress about every little thing wrong in our lives. But it's even more important to accept all of you and the less than ideal decisions that you make. It's important to strive for improvement, yet still be wholeheartedly satisfied with your life right now.

So embrace your amazing, brilliant, spontaneous, imperfect self. Embrace your embarrassing, awkward, lazy, cowardly decisions. Embrace all of you- the whole you- because you are enough as you are.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Impatient Wanderer

You sat next to me. Introduction. "What's you're name," I ask. And I don't remember it because I'm too busy trying to stay cool.
Small talk. I liked your eyes.
We listen to the first lecture of our class.
Your body turns toward me, and say something I don't hear, but I smile anyway. Don't want to break this connection.
You're reserved, a little closed off. I want to break the shell.

Days, weeks. We're still on small talk. About the class really.
I realize you're good at this stuff. I like the way you think.

Now, we don't sit next to each other in class.
Some times we barely acknowledge each other.
Well, you barely acknowledge me.
You're still reserved.
Yet am I slightly breaking your shell?
I can't tell.
And I'm impatient.
I don't want to wait another day. Another week. I should've gotten your number from the start.
We can study together.
Now I don't know how.
We'll get there.

Maybe you don't want anything to do with me.
Maybe it was all in my head.
Maybe I just like the challenge.

Either way, I'm an impatient wanderer, hoping for something to happen.
I want too much from nothing because I never know what something means.
I float from woeful wishes, faces I do not know, waiting for my heartbeat to relax. Slow down. It should just happen. It shouldn't be so hard.

Floating is fun anyway. You see different sights, colors, textures, tastes, and do not know where you'll anchor. But I'd like to know...I am impatient.  I am done waiting for the right sound, time, place, smile. I want it to happen now. I want to be warmed by his voice. To throw on his oversized jacket. I want to press my lips against his and experience a lapse of mind, time, space, feeling-- all coinciding into one, this one fragile movement, this one promise of togetherness in a single kiss.

These are the thoughts of an impatient wanderer.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Going with the flow

It's incredibly hard for me to "go with the flow". I'd consider it one of my biggest flaws. Coming to terms with the fact that there are certain things that I cannot control is causes me a lot of stress. I think that's why I don't drink in college. I do not like losing control of myself, the one thing I have most, if not all, control over. Though mistakes can teach us, yadayada, I'd rather not make them while intoxicated.

So right now, I'm trying to strike a balance between "trying" and "going with the flow". One cannot be too lopsided; we all need a bit of each. As I embark on my first midterm tomorrow, I need to keep everything in perspective. One stupid test is not the whole of my existence. I have studied as much as I can, and I need to accept what will happen. There are beautiful occurrences that are happening all around us-- this fall weather, the crisp atmosphere, young love...just the fact that there are so many opportunities available should make us feel lucky. I am who I am no matter what happens academically. I'd love to find a special someone, for my skin to be better, to be an eloquent speaker, to feel incredibly confident 24/7, but some times it won't all happen at once. There will be peaks and valleys, and it's okay.

I need to accept the imperfections in myself and in my life. Things don't happen as planned. In fact, the best occurrences in life seem to be the spontaneous ones. Much of what I appreciate right now in my life were not what I had "planned out".  So to me, going with the flow means embracing what could happen instead of worrying about the uncertainty. It means being okay with ruined plans and surprises-- riding the waves  instead of pulling on the reins and suffocating the life out of everything.

Sometimes, we should take a step back and just appreciate what we have at this instance, not what "could be". We should live not in the past, or future, but in the present. Soak up everything around you- notice something you never did before. Appreciate the place you call home, your own unique story, the blank pages.

And, "The rest is still unwritten" -Natasha Bedingfield

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Enjoy the beginnings

I love beginnings. They motivate me to work and inspire me to be better. The beginnings of a relationship (platonic or romantic) have similar effects- you want to show your best version, and more importantly, you are constantly learning. You're learning about the other person- their cadence, word usage, laugh, voice, ideas, habits...and you're learning about yourself- your slight awkwardness, nervousness, openness, closeness, sensitivity.

 Freshman year of college, everything is a beginning. I'm sleeping on a top bunk for the first time, living with roommates, meeting new people, developing new routines. It's been fresh, I've felt fresh, as if I could reinvent myself, start off new. After four weeks here, I've realized that it's impossible to "reinvent" yourself. You are not a whiteboard that can be erased then drawn on. Your life can't suddenly turn into a clean slate. There is no delete or rewind for those memories and experiences you'd rather do without. Instead, I like to think of myself as an etching. As one of those wood whittles. Everyday I'm whittling at myself to smooth out the edges, create new dimensions. Everyone's wood is different. Some are softer, others harder, some have been through snowstorms, others light sunny days. We have to work with our unique piece of wood. And we may never be satisfied with the result, but we should at least be content with the progress.

I have no idea how I just started making analogies with wood. It's too late for coherent thoughts. But you gotta admire the creativity of this exhausted brain. ;)  I like to think of these posts as unfiltered diary entries...just to let you know what you're getting yourself into.

Anyway, I was inspired to write this post that has gone off tangent by...dun dun dun...a boy. Of course. How typically college girly of me. We all love boy talks, at least my roomies and I do. I was thinking about this boy of interest, and how horribly hot and cold our interactions can be, and wishing that we'd just skip past this early stage and get to that couple stage. I wish we could know each other like the back of our hands and actually connect on a deeper level than just talking about history homework. And then, I checked myself. Why can I not just enjoy the sweet beginnings of this "whatever it could be". Why can I not soak in the fast heartbeat, agonizing worries of "he likes me, he likes me not". It's mainly the fear of the unknown. The not knowing. Not knowing what he's thinking. Not knowing what he thinks about me. Not knowing what will become of "us". Will we become anything, or will we simply float our own ways as if nothing ever happened? (like most of my boy stories).

That's why beginnings are so terrifying. And exhilarating. And wonderful. It's lovely having a fresh piece of wood that could become anything you want it to be. So don't be scared of the outcome. Just go for it, and carve.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rejection is good for you

One of my number one goals for college is to get rejected.  You may be thinking "what an interesting goal" ... aka "this girl is an idiot" *cough*. But I'm being 100% serious so hear me out. Bear with me through this blog post in which I attempt to order my thoughts into semi-coherent passages.

I have never been socially rejected in my life. Not by girls, boys, crushes, or anyone in between. On a similar note, I've never directly experienced any drama. Some of my friends may have bickered, or experienced some kind of boy trouble, but I have always had a clean (nonexistent) record. I am the "nice one", sometimes dubbed "quiet", "perfect". I used to be proud of my angelic existence; I thought I was above the drama, stupid gossip, and boys. Instead of being an actress in the theater production, I floated above it as a silent observer. It was nice until it wasn't anymore. I realized that being in the play might mean a missed line, incorrect footing, embarrassment (things the observer would never have to deal with), but at the same time, as the observer I had no stories. My life was without a climax, without zest, without gains. It was a monotony of smiling, missed chances, and unspoken sentiments. 

I was never rejected because I was too afraid to try.  And that's not the way I want to live anymore. 

From now on, I will put myself out there enough to be rejected. I am okay with losing a couple of friends if it means finding the ones who will stick with me for a life time. I am content with expressing feelings for my crushes (even if I embarrass myself) because only then will I ultimately attract "the one".

There's nothing wrong with being rejected. It just means you're brave enough to jump, all the while knowing the risks and danger lurking if you fall. We should not be suffocated by our fears but rather invigorated by them. So don't fear rejection like I did and instead embrace it with arms wide open, saying "Come at me with all you got. I don't let my fears control me". 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Is Prom Overrated?

It's the morning after prom. I went to sleep at around 4 am but due to some internal clock in my body that I can't turn off, woke up at 8 am. I feel awake and of right now, and in the mood for a casual blog write up. So here it goes. If my sentences become incoherent, let's blame it on the 4 hrs of sleep ;)

In honor of my "after-prom" morning, I will dedicate this blog post to...dun dun dun...drum roll...PROM (what a surprise). To many people, prom is like a right of passage for high school students and thanks to lovely, very accurate movies it is depicted as a perfect night to remember. Girls (maybe guys too but I can't speak for the opposite gender) conjure up various romantic fantasies: walking under moonlit arches decorated by green vines, slow dancing with that special someone, and then kissing him under the stars. Are such imaginations reality? From my experience, no. As a declaimer though, I should note that I have always been an anti-prom gal. Since junior year, I have been cynical about the whole event, believing it to be too much hassle and money for just one stinking dance at night. I would rather have a guy that I liked ask me out to the movies. The notion and setting is simple, yet it is easy to build into the atmosphere more romance if you're with someone you have feelings for.

My past negative feelings for prom still linger, and I am still waiting for that movie date (^.^). However, after actually experiencing this ultimate high school dance, I believe it is possible to enjoy prom. Here are a couple of tips for you guys on making the most out of it.

1) First, do not expect it to be a magical night. Erase those unrealistic fantasies from your daydreams sweetie, because chances are you will be disappointed. I went to prom with a friend who I had no romantic feelings for whatsover, so my perspective is not from that of an existing couple or "guy-girl best friends" turn lovers. If you are, maybe your experience will feel more magical simply due to those butterflies in your stomach. But even then, do not expect to much out of that one night. The structure of prom is just too rigid and entirely unromantic. See, a typical prom schedule is dinner, prom, after party. If you're having dinner at a fancy place, which most people do, then you'll be waiting for that food for what feels like hours. During that time span, it's usually small talk with friends and friends-of-friends. Then, prom itself will have food and you'll regret not eating less, and there will be random music booming in an unlit room filled with round tables. And though I can't speak for after parties because my group went to a get pancakes instead, it usually consists of alcohol and crazy partying until the sunrises.
So just remember: prom is a social event, not a sweet romantic date.

2) I also recommend keeping dinner casual and light. Like I mentioned previously, fancy dinner reservations take too long and prom will usually have food as well. The more casual atmosphere gives you freedom to socialize and talk to everyone in the group and loosen up before the dance itself.

3) Actually dance at prom. If you're not a regular to dances, you may initially feel awkward and stiff. Regardless, step outside of your comfort zone, sway to the beat, and just let loose.

So there's my little rant about my prom experience. If you have any stories or thoughts you have regarding prom, leave them in the comments!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dream on. It's worth it.

We've all heard the saying, "Good things will come in due course". Though we keep those words tucked in our hopeful hearts, in the back of our minds, we can't help but remain skeptical. In due course...when will that be, ten years from now? Time is a limited resource, everyone else is enjoying life, so maybe we're just darn unlucky and nothing's coming in "due course".
Well, for those of you still skeptical, I'm living proof that amazing, splendid surprises do happen to those who wait.

These past few months were emotional turmoils for me. I was stripped of something that came to define me, deferred from both my early decision/action colleges, and suffering from a "heart-break" per say. My best friend was off making out with her boyfriend, so I not only felt like a failure, but also damn alone. I was constantly on the brink of crying, but hid it under a positive, happy persona. And of course I tried to actually feel optimistic, reminding myself that so many people have it worse and that the disappointments will toughen me. I work hard on my regular decision essays and send them off, satisfied with the final works. Then a couple of decisions twinkle in, and my friends get likely letters (which essentially inform you that you are accepted to the college before the official decision date), acceptances, etc. I am accepted to my safety school, but also disappointed with a waitlist and rejection. The final decisions to most of my schools have yet to come, and so I wait, no longer hopeful...simply impatient to be done with the whole process.

And the unexpected happens. Great news seriously comes when you least expect it. -.- I am accepted into a complete reach school, one that is more "prestigious"/competitive than both my early schools. Though I have acceptable credentials for the school, no way did I think I would get in. No way. I wasn't special, no huge national awards, wasn't ranked #1 in my class, not even valedictorian like 20 other people in my school. 

The point of my anecdote: nothing is impossible. Nothing. Erase impossible from your vocab. No matter how low you are in life right now, believe me, it will get better. You have so much potential, and only you can unleash it. Do not ever let anyone tell you what you can and cannot accomplish. Do not ever give up on yourself. You can achieve anything if you put your heart and soul into it. Let your crazy dreams be fire that fuel your ambition. 

Dream on, because you are strong, capable, and worth it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The regrets of spontaneity

One reckless decision can cause a chain of unwanted events and emotions. Never have I felt the truth of that statement until now. Due to a spur of the moment decision intended to liberate me, I am currently stuck in a mud of regret, entrapped by that spontaneous act of stupidity. See, I thought "taking charge" would make me feel in control of my future and stop the knots in my stomach from growing every time I talked to him. Boy was I wrong.

Instead of solving anything, I have officially created a new problem for myself. Granted, my best friend and I have agreed that in a year or two, we'll look back at "my situation" and laugh. But right now, living in this moment, I feel torn between what I have created for myself and what I actually want.  The song Clementine by Sarah Jaffe reflects my sentiments perfectly.
 "50 states, 50 lines, 50 cryings all the time, 50 boys, 50 lies, 50 I'm gonna change my mind, I changed my mind, I changed my mind, and now I feel undefined".

My realization? Being spontaneous is incredibly dangerous. As teenagers, young adults, whatever people call us nowadays, we are known to be reckless and spontaneous. We don't tend to plan ahead or assess every dimension of a situation, and instead go with where our hormones take us. It's the beauty of being young and carefree. But the beauty can come with a price. We make mistakes, suffer from the regret, and struggle to find the unbroken pieces. On the upside, we learn to never make the same mistakes and experience self-growth. Today, I am sharing what I have learned.

I have learned to never deny myself what I really want. To never believe in the "impossible". I have learned that relationships are a give and take, and sometimes you need to give a little more instead of always taking. I have learned that stoic expressions and pretending not to care never work. That to grant myself happiness means expressing my feelings in a way he'll understand. I have learned that weak does not mean being a victim of unreciprocated love. Weak is the fear of showing your love in the first place. And lastly, I've learned that no matter how insignificant the "fling", "talking stage", or "lack thereof" seems to others, it was significant to you. You might not have been exclusive or even dated, but the raw feelings are still there. And it's okay to not feel okay. Let yourself mourn over it. Cry, eat some chocolate, binge watch netflix. Having strong feelings is normal, and shows that you're human and capable of loving. word of advice: don't drown yourself in the regret. We all do it, but it's not healthy or productive. Sometimes, we just have to let go and let time work its magic. Our stories are not fairytales or hollywood chick fliques. We will fall down and down again, get bruised up inside and out.
Through it all, remember that you are strong and capable, whether or not anyone else notices. Remember to stand back up, fight for your place, and declare, "You will never break me".

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A letter

Dear You,

I admit it. I was never good at this love thing. The vulnerability.
And I'm sorry if I messed with your emotions, if I went hot then cold, and never seemed to be fully interested. I never thought of it as a game, I was never playing. I was simply a naive girl whose heart raced when you came around, who thought you'd understand my smile. I thought it would all eventually happen, fall into place without me having to work for it... because you would. I'm sorry for being a coward, for doubting every kind intention and envying everyone else you talked to. I'm sorry I couldn't be the bold girl who'd rock your world and make life easy.
I just barely believed it true, me and you, because who am I anyway. Who am I to catch your attention? I'm nothing special, just a goofy gal with crazy dreams. I don't have a fun life, no extensive knowledge of movies or tv shows, nothing. But you, you're all of that and you've snatched your dream, so why me. Now? What's the point. I'm sorry for barely believing in any of this. I'm sorry we'll never enjoy what could have happened, left to forever wonder what if.
I'm sorry, sorry, sorry. Sorry for confusing you, ignoring you, hurting you. A million excuses cannot deny the truth. I was too passive. I didn't try enough. I messed up. And now, that initial spark is gone.

So let's stop ruining each others day. Agreed?
Cheers to the end of a non-existent, barely formed relationship.
Amidst all of the emotions, there must be some damn lesson to be learned. For now, I can't stop thinking I wish I knew you better. I wish I could have held you, with the reassurance of some mutual understanding. I wish I could have called you mine.

So long to those fantasies, it's time to face reality. You're not and will never be mine.
Just promise me one thing. When you're out there making history, falling in love, and being an overall amazing person, remember us and laugh. Two silly teenagers unable to figure this love thing out. It's rather humorous, in some bittersweet way.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Just me.

I don't know how to start this blog post, and honestly I shouldn't even be writing anything because it's 8:30 and there's a pile of untouched work to be done. But as usual, I defy my priorities and instead feel a great need to write something from the heart per say.
I could easily write in my diary instead of typing a personal essay and posting it online, but for some reason I'm digging this method more. Maybe it's because the idea of an international network of thoughts and words is thrilling and I want to contribute. Or perhaps I simply feel like I'm using my time for "a greater cause" when I click publish. Either way, writing is cathartic and I could use all the mood boosters out there. So here it goes.

People say I am lucky to live in an idealic neighborhood, a house. To have parents still married. They say I am happy all the time, that I am smart, talented, pretty, perfect. But no one sees the girl that is awake in her bed worrying about everything that has or will go wrong. The girl who stares at her reflection, unable to see beauty, and everyday lines, shades, and buffs her face into one that she is satisfied with. The one who doesn't remember how to relax.
They don't see the anguish of having parents who have given up on each other. Or the way she never fights for the love she wants. How scared she is of losing someone.

People see the image that we portray. The one that we build like a wall to hide our insecurities and fears. I am exhausted trying to mask my imperfections and hide my unhappiness.
So tonight, I am keeping it all raw. Real.
Recently, I have been terrified of crushed dreams. Of disappointing others. I am terrified that my workaholic state will prevent me from enjoying the little things and that my life will be full of never ending disappointments. Simply put, today has not been a good day and everything seems to be crumbling.

But I like to end blogs on a positive note. Though crying is a great way to let emotions out, soaking in the misery is a waste of time and plain unhelpful. I have no idea what my intent for this blog was, but hey, not everything has to have a purpose. Sometimes, we just go with it, and see where we end up. Hopefully, it's a somewhere wonderful.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Shadowed Thoughts

Shadows loom in every corner of this house,
remnants of the unforgotten past.
They haunt the inhabitants, suffocating
break the fragile carefully built triangle,
until all that's left are fragments too shattered to be mended.
And they won't leave, these shadows never leave
They exist in the broken insults spit with venom
The lingering, hateful silence.
They torment us until all good pure memories
are gone forever.
Only silence now. As if this house is some divided country.
No more screams, arguments, soar throats-- no more fight
because they gave up. She on him. He on her.
Shattered glass sprawled on the floor they once danced on,
Dreams of everlasting joy rot in untouched corners,
Soft tears dry into numb acceptance.
Nothing to do now but soak in the eternity of a failed marriage.

So this is what broken love feels like.

Hello 2015, bye to rotting resolutions

A new year is always bittersweet. Bitter because 2014 is officially over, showing just how time sweeps us further and further into the future. Sweet because it feels new, exciting, fresh.
I am not making new years resolutions because they never carry out. Instead, I am a strong advocate of consistently making goals throughout the year, whether it's January, March, October, etc. With that said though, I have started a little project for this year: a jar of happiness, aka "goodie jar". It's going to be filled with memories of a random happy day, a special event, goals accomplished, and all that. A happy jar. Very excited to begin this documentation of everything great that happens this year. It's a way to not only look back and remember great memories, but also something that will motivate me to experience new activities and create happiness in my life. Finding every bit of joy in a normal day will be uplifting, and a damn great way to live.
Though new years are often overrated, full of spur of the moment resolutions, they are also reminders of improvements that can be made. Like a cold splash of water that awakes you from a zombie state of being. They scream at us to take charge of our lives or else another uneventful, dry year will pass before we can say "stop".
So before another year slips away, let's make opportunities, soak in all that this place has to offer, and enrich the world with our personalities, thoughts, and dreams. 
It's a new year. How will yours turn out?