"I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing; kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles."- Audrey Hepburn

May 27, 2012

Nightmares are scary

The other night I had a dream. I dreamed that I was a character in an RPG game (indication that I have been thinking about games too much recently). I have completed all the quests, defeated all the enemies and conquered all the kingdoms. Time came for the moment of the final victory and I was ready to battle when the bloody Devil told me that I couldn't not win the game unless I passed Orgo and graduated from U of R. Then my dream just turned into a nightmare.

I woke up, terrified and could not fall back to sleep again.

After graduation, or more like during graduation, it suddenly hit me that once the seniors graduated, it will be my turn. The torch has been passed whether I want to accept it or not. Soon enough, I will be facing with questions such as "What is your plan for after graduation?", "What are you going to do next year?", etc. The truth is, I don't know what I want to do and just the mere thought of my future scares me, makes me restless and sick in the stomach. For all these years, ever since the moment I stepped on the plane to leave my own country, I thought I knew what I wanted to accomplish. Oh, how much the naive thoughts of a 16 year old me amuses me right now. I should have known better. I have always been such an egocentric, arrogant kid who always think that she is better than everyone else. Now fear just takes over. I was restless for what I felt like centuries, and finally broke down when my mom called and the first thing she asked was: "What is your plan for next year?"

I went into a panic attack, or maybe I am still having one. It is one of those moments when I realize I am such a spoiled brat who depends on my parents for everything. Not only do I rely on them for financial, I also need to depend on my mom to calm me down and to keep me going. I wanted to give up. I lost all confidence in myself. I didn't think I could do anything. I thought I was such a worthless daughter who was good for nothing except for spending money. Just like when I failed a national exam for the first time in my life, my parents encourage me, believe in me and keep me going. 

I feel better, and I feel like I could do anything if I have these two behind my back forever. But they won't be ... Another nightmare and panic attack

I really should stop stressing myself out and break down into panic attacks. Those are really not fun. They are really painful, and exhausting. 

Lately, I have also felt extremely lonely. Lonely to the bones. Lonely to point that I am afraid of being by myself, or being in the dark. Since when have I become this weak? Where did all my strength go? Since when have I become so dependent on people around me? Such a nightmare

I go to work, go to the gym for 2 hours, lie in the sun and read, come home and study or read more. Normally, I should be fine with that. Such a boring routine though. I hate routines. I feel the urge of finding people to spend time with, so I don't feel alone. I need to talk to people. I start texting Brennan because he is the only one I can confide to about my depression and all the other crazy things that go through my head. I don't want to be too clingy to my friends, or to any guy. They actually may think I am one of those psycho girls. 

But what can I do? I am so restless that I want to have someone's company just so that I can fall asleep without having nightmares.  

Spent the night at his place last night, and I slept without any bad dream. I woke up early in the morning and hated myself for becoming so dependent on people company. Another nightmare

Home alone today, and felt so terribly terribly scared of the silence, and quiet. What is wrong with me?

Come on Az, you're stronger than this. Just be productive and soon you will be back to your normal self again.

Maybe this will help ... 

13 Rules for Being Alone and Being Happy About It

The following are 13 rules I try to live by when it comes to being alone. They add enormous value to my life.
Whether you’re an introvert trying to make your way in an extrovert’s world, or an extrovert learning to become a better person on your own, I hope they add some value to your life as well.

1. Understand that you’re good enough all by yourself.

You’re a valuable person, and you don’t need the approval of anyone else for that to be true. When you’re alone, remind yourself that it’s because you choose to be. It really is a choice.
It’s very easy to find someone to spend time with, but when you have high standards for the people you allow into your life, you’re telling yourself that you’re better off by yourself than with someone who isn’t a great fit for you.

2. Value others’ opinions, but value your own more.

Don’t ask for advice unless you truly need it. Instead, ask yourself for advice. If you knew the answer to the problem that you have, what would it be?
That’s your answer. The more time you spend asking yourself for advice, the less you start to need input from others. When you trust yourself to solve problems, you become a much stronger and more confident person, and you take on challenges that you wouldn’t have felt capable of before.

3. Learn to be an observer.

I’ve always held the belief that if you aren’t able to take interest in something, it says more about you than whatever it is you find uninteresting.
To truly enjoy being alone, learn to look at ordinary situations in new and unfamiliar ways. Go to the park and watch people play with their children or their dogs. Go to the grocery store and watch how people shop for their groceries.
Everywhere you go, make an effort to understand the other people around you. Learning how people operate when they think no one is watching will make you feel more connected to them.

4. Close your eyes in a dark room and appreciate the silence.

The world is a busy place and, unless you take a moment to step away from it once in a while, it’s easy to forget how nice it is to simply sit alone and enjoy your own company.
Take a moment and sit quietly in a dark room. Listen to everything that is not happening around you. You can learn a lot about yourself in the moments when you’re least occupied—the times when there is nothing to distract you from the thoughts and feelings you deny yourself during your busy days.

5. Learn how to talk to yourself.

They say it’s perfectly normal to talk to yourself; you’re only crazy if you talk back.
Every single person has an inner voice that talks to them at all hours of all days, and getting to know that person and how to talk to them is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
When you fill your time with other people, it’s easier to ignore this voice, but when you’re alone, it’s your only company. This voice rubs off on you. It is you. The way that you talk to yourself when no one else is around will shape who you are in this world more than anything else.
Just like you’d distance yourself from negative friends who bring you down, it’s just as important to distance yourself from a negative inner voice.
When you’re alone, it can sometimes be hard to stay positive, but you must be kind to yourself.

6. Cherish every interaction.

Most people have to experience some type of tragedy before they begin to understand just how brief our time here is. You get but a few short trips around the sun, and then it’s over.
Time alone is important. Time alone is beautiful. But so is time spent with others.
There is no such thing as a boring person. There is no such thing as a boring situation. If you’re ever bored, it’s because you’re not paying attention. This is a problem with you, not with your surroundings.
Take an interest in every person that comes into your life, even if for only a second. Listen closely to what they say. Watch carefully what they do. Try to understand them as a person. You’ll be better for it.

7. Rearrange your furniture.

When you’re alone, it’s easy to fall into a pattern. It’s easy to stagnate and feel as if things rarely change. And when you’re alone, this is true—things rarely do change unless you make a conscious effort to change them.
The problem is that meaningful change is hard, and what’s hard rarely gets started. To keep things moving, you have to keep things fresh. And to keep things fresh, it’s best to look for small wins that can lead to bigger ones.
Rearranging your furniture is meaningless by itself, but it bring new life to a dull routine, which is easy to fall prey to when you’re spend a lot of time alone.

8. Avoid mindless consumption.

When you’re alone, you have an incredible opportunity to think clearly about your life and the direction you want to take it. In a world that’s often filled with noise, you’ve been given quiet. This is a time to reaffirm the path that your life is on.
Are you happy and fulfilled? Should you keep doing what you’re doing? Or, are you feeling unsatisfied? Should you change something?
These are questions you can only answer when you take advantage of this gift of quiet.  If, instead, you fill your time with entertainment that you mindlessly consume—TV, movies, randomly surfing the web—it will be difficult to answer these questions. You can never devote enough attention to coming to a clear answer.

9. Create, create, create.

To create is one of the most important things you can do in your life. To create among a sea of people (or even just one person) vying for your attention is one of the most difficult things in life.
When you’re alone, the only one stopping you from creating the art, the work, that you’re capable of is yourself. All excuses are gone. When you’re alone, you can lose yourself in your work. When you lose yourself in your work, you can be sure that you’re creating something truly meaningful.
Your other option is to ignore that call to create and, instead, look for temporary comfort in things and people who will eventually leave you unfulfilled. Make use of your loneliness.

10. Make plans for the future, and pursue them immediately.

It’s almost impossible to feel good about your life if you don’t have some type of direction for it. When you meet someone, it’s usually quite easy to see if they have a handle on their life and are happy, or if they’re wandering without aim, looking for something to pursue.
The purpose for your life doesn’t need to be complex or earth shattering. It doesn’t have to be big or overwhelming. It only needs to be present. Once it’s there, it gets much easier to make plans you can take action on.
Pursue these plans immediately. Don’t put them off. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Perfect never comes, and the longer you wait, the harder it is to get started.
Maybe you want to travel the world and understand different cultures. Maybe you want to build a massive stamp collection. It doesn’t matter what it is—pick something you enjoy and go after it.
When you do this, two things happen. First, you gain a sense of confidence in yourself because you see that you’re capable of living on your own terms. Second, this confidence brings new and interesting people into your life.
Being alone can be beautiful, but if you want to add people to your life, finding a purpose for your existence is the fastest way to do it.

11. Go to a movie alone.

Get used to doing things alone that society says is made for two. Go to a movie by yourself and enjoy the picture. Have a great dinner out all by yourself. Take yourself on dates, and learn to treat yourself well.
This will be awkward at first. If you’re used to going out with others, you’ll wonder what you should do with yourself while you’re alone. Don’t try to hide from the discomfort. Accept it. And then laugh about it because, really, who the hell decided that you weren’t supposed to do these things alone?
Besides, to truly enjoy these things with others, you have to learn to enjoy them alone first.

12. Pursue an impractical project.

When you work on a team, the pressure to conform is great. You always have to think about the others in your group and regularly make compromises so that the end result is acceptable to everyone.
In my opinion, this is a terrible way to do something important and personally meaningful.
When you’re alone, you’re free to pursue any kind of project you want in your life. You have the freedom to be completely selfish and make no compromises about what you do or how you do it.
Take advantage of this freedom! An important part of life is doing things that look unwise or impractical to others. Do something that’s completely over your head. Start something that you don’t know how to finish.
Think of the wildest thing you’ve ever wanted to do, then take one small step towards realizing it.
If you’re afraid, understand that this doesn’t have to be your whole life. You can contain it to just a small part. In the piece of your life that you set aside, never, ever allow anyone else’s advice or opinions to direct how you work.
This is something you do alone, for the benefit of no one but yourself.

13. Volunteer your time.

If you’re a hermit when you’re alone, find others that you can be alone around. A great way to do this—and to contribute something positive to the world—is to volunteer your time to a cause you believe in.
Being alone and happy doesn’t mean sequestering yourself from the world. It means being confident enough to know that you can surround yourself with people, but not depend on them for your own happiness.
And one good way to get started is to surround yourself with good people—the kind you’ll find when you give your time to a cause that’s important to you.

May 23, 2012

Summer is here, finally.

I kept thinking that once finals week is over, I would have plenty of time to update my blog regularly, but I have been caught up in doing things with people, or just being lazy and sleeping that I haven't got a chance yet. Since I took today off work for no reason, I feel like I may as well do something productive. There are actually so many things that I have done the past few days that I don't write them down now, I will just forget about them in general.

By my 3rd final exam, I had no energy nor brain power to study anymore. At least I know that I definitely studied harder for finals this year compared to last year. Spending the entire week at the Med Center Library from 10am until midnight could have driven me a bit crazy, if it wasn't for Jess. She is such a good person to study with and a great source of motivation. Everytime I looked at her, she would still be studying, never got distracted and that just made me push myself harder. After a week of hard work, Jess and I rewarded ourselves with a huge lunch as Meliora, and a night spent baking, playing Dance Central and watching movies. I made green tea cheese cake swirl brownies and chocolate peanut butter mini bundt cake. I haven't tried making new things, besides cheesecakes, for a while so it was rewarding to see that they both came out pretty decent. Not a big fan of the wheat cake taste, but oh well.

Our epic notes
On Friday, my class decided that since it would be the last time all five of us would be together, we should celebrate HK's birthday a week early, just so that we could all be here. I stopped by Cold Stone to pick up an ice cream cake that became incredibly popular during the night. It was such a good cake, hehe. My housemates also happened to throw a party at our house last night. As a result, it turned out to be a super evenful night with lots of fun. We had to hide in Wai Ling's room to get some time for ourselves. Poor Trissha who wanted to join us, but didn't finish packing until 3am. She still stopped by though, and it made me kind of sad that she won't be here next semester. It would feel so different without her. However, she's spending the summer in Rochester with me, so we will do plenty of fun things before I don't get to see her for 6 months. So Youn and I did our usual thing, cooking at 4am and then playing games until 8am. And here I thought I would get more sleep after exams were over.

We spent Saturday night organizing and repacking all Sigma stuff in an attempt to clear up our house a bit. There is so much stuff from everyone in the house right now, we have to walk over things to get in. Going over old things and learning about our history were actually lots of fun. I found lots of things that I could find some uses for, and there are tons of projects I want to start for Sigma. It's time for me to start making a list of summer projects that I want to finish. The rest of the weekend, I just spent watching movies, TONS of movies. For me, just having the time to relax and doing nothing feel amazing already. Oh, I did go to CSA barbeque and that was really fun too. Although I never really had anything to eat, but since the last time I joined everyone at a barbeque was the fall semester of my sophomore year, aka, 2 years ago, it brought back lots of memories. The girls and I spent most of the time playing with the cameras and bubbles and taking pictures, you know, the usual girls' stuff, haha.

Playing with Brian's camera :)
I finally had a chance to treat my big to something nice. So on Monday night, we all dolled up at went to a steak house for dinner. I haven't had steak for the longest time ever, so I actually was nervous to see how my stomach could handle it. The restaurant was extremely nice and was, to be honest, a bit out of my price range. Even though I have been to tons of nice restaurants while I'm in Vietnam, but being in one in the US is another story. All four of us had a good time though. I actually really like to dress up and go out to eat, just because it makes me more aware that spending time with people who are important to you should alway be special. It also gives me the "Sex and the City" feeling, I wish that one of those days I could be like those girls and get to dress up and eat out all the time. For all these reasons, I actually don't mind treating my friends to nice things, even if that means I have to work a little bit harder the next few weeks.

Diablo III was released on the same night. Thus, right after dinner, I joined Will and Brian to make a midnight trip to the store to get our copies of D3, or more like, me getting them their copies. I have been thinking about getting them graduation gifts for ages and couldn't think of anything that they would like. So being able to get them D3 and seeing them so excited about it made my night. Brian and Will have been here for me every since my freshman year. They were there for me through the dramas, through the good times, the bad times, and I can always count on them for honest opinions and advice. They are like the big brothers to me. And I feel like for everything they have done, and paid for me, this is nothing. It still made me happy that they were really happy about D3 though.

Will and Brian treated me and Soyoun to delicious sushi dinner the next day before they went off to Senior Ball. I did kind of wish I have gone to the ball, but when I thought about it, I didn't miss much. Plus, there's still next year.

Ed invited us over to his place for a sleep over and also to treat us to home-made breakfast the next day. We went grocery shopping for some snacks before going home to watch movies. Us girls thought of a brilliant idea to give Ed some facial treatment and also a manicure. Hehe, it is always fun to watch guys suffering through all the stuff that girls do. Although, I still think he secrectly liked it. I miracuously finished making the 10 layered cream cheese jello dessert, which I'm pretty sure no one had finished yet, lol. For some reason we ended up staying up until 430am that night doing all the girls talk. Interesting conversations came up when you have a guy to talk about things with you, haha. I woke up early to go to work and came back to a delicious breakfast with omelets and waffles. I swear I have been eating twice the amount of everyone these days >_____< It was too cold for us to go to the beach, as we originally planned so we went to the Lilac Festival, treated ourselves to some free cheese samples and stuffed ourselves popcorn before we called it a day. For some reason I was so tired I couldn't even stay up to play D3 and ended up taking a nap until 9pm, lol.

On Friday, the weather was gorgeous so Wai Ling and I went to Mike Li's place for some outdoor activities. We couldn't go fishing (cuz we procrastinated on random things so much) but we did get to do some kayaking, camp fire, fireworks and other fun things. We ended an eventful day with a huge party, during most of which I hid in Mike's room watching Tony playing D3. Mike still picked on me for being antisocial that night, lol!

I was randomly invited by Melvin and Soyoun to go to Niagra Falls with them, so I did. We set out for Niagra on Saturday morning. I have never really hung out with any of these guys, besides Soyoun of course, but it was an extremely fun day. We went on the boat under the fall, went out for Korean food, did some hiking, did tons of silly things and enjoyed our day. By the end of the trip, everyone was so tired and hungry it was hilarious. When everyone went home to crash, I had my second event of the day. I need to keep in mind not to double book next time. Mike Li was being such a nice person and took me to watch Avengers, cuz I have been complaining that everyone else watched it. It was such a great movie, but I guess the hype kind of ruined it for me. I had such high expectations I was slightly disappointed. Love the Hulk though, that guy was hilarious.

Finally, Sunday was graduation. It was a bittersweet experience for me. I am going to need to write a separate post for graduation and all the feelings that it brought to me. I'm glad that all the seniors have successfully made it through their college life and are ready to start their real life now. I am still a little bit sad though. It will be really different without them around next year. Luckily, Mike invited me to hang out with him so I didn't have much time to be emo. It was such a hot day out so we spent time washing his car, which was extremely relaxing, surprisingly and then just hung out at his place.

Going to miss these guys so so so so much.
It was such an evenful week for me, now that I think about it and try to write everything down, I can't believe I did that many things during such a short period of time. Summer is now officially started and I have so many things I want to accomplish. One of the things I hate most about summer is that I always have nothing to do and feel so useless bumming around all the time. That will be changed this summer. I have  long list of art projects and academic goals to completed. That will also be posted later. I think this post is long enough it could even bore myself. Time to stop rambling on. I am looking forward to the summer even though I am so scared of being a senior it is not even funny.

Oh well, summer 2012, let's make the most out of you.


May 15, 2012

If you're in love

In the midst of watching my friends play Diablo III, I came across a great blog post.
From Le Love

Back in 1958, John Steinbeck, author of East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men, got a letter from his teenage son Thom, in which Thom confessed that he had fallen desperately in love with a girl named Susan at his boarding school.

Steinbeck wrote this wise and wonderful letter back to him the same day...

New York
November 10, 1958
Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First -- if you are in love -- that's a good thing -- that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don't let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second -- There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply -- of course it isn't puppy love.

But I don't think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it -- and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone -- there is no possible harm in saying so -- only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another -- but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I'm glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.



May 1, 2012

Daily Note.

I have never been the type to take 10 thousand pictures of myself and put it on Facebook or Youtube. It makes me feel very self-conscious and uncomfortable. As much as I like attention in reality, I hate unnecessary attention via online social meida. Thus, there is a reason behind this camera whore moment.

Today is an fairly gloomy Monday. After an extremely long and stressed out week, I woke up with the realization that this week is not going to be any better. There are exams and finals coming up, which I actually have to do well in. Moreover, I will want to slack off on studying and going to work, but I won't be able to. Pretty depressing mood to begin the day.

However, I have been studying nonstop for my Motivation psych class, and surprisingly, I learned something. As I laid in bed, I thought of how I should not let the stupid weather put me in a bad mood and how I still have to keep going with my no-negative-adjective resolution. Thus, I decided to get out of bed and looked pretty.

I totally went out of my comfort (or emo) zone and purposely put on something bright colors. It might not have affected my mood significantly, but it totally brightened up the dark aura surrounding me. I swear I had more than 10 people came up to me and wondered why I had something white on today.

Bottom line is, I tried something different and it lightened up my mood. And I truly believe that a girl can dress and look pretty anytime she wants to just for the sake of looking pretty.

13 more days and I can work hard on something else that is not exam and is much more interesting.

Summer is coming <3