"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

Jan 28, 2013

Daily Note

Love, love, LOVE the feeling of waking up at 6am and have a fresh cup of coffee at 7am, while being productive. Hope I can keep this habit for a while before school work starts to pile up on me and those all-nighters start to roll in.

From Thought Catalog:

Begin to feel yourself repair in a way only marked by growing apathy. Realize that such apathy, this lack of consideration for the person who used to dominate every waking thought, is the true opposite of love. Laugh at your clumsy attempts in the first crushing days after the separation to mask your unrequited longing with a kind of pretend hatred. Realize that you never hated this person, only resented them for not reciprocating your desperation. Understand, though, that “forgetting” was never the real intention, even if it’s what you needed to say to get yourself on the path of recovering. See that “forgetting” is not something we can ever strive for as humans, but rather a sense of “accepting.” Start to realize that, on your horizon, there is a point at which you are fully independent from the pressing thoughts of a former love. Walk towards it with conviction, and know that one day all of this will seem a distant memory

Jan 26, 2013

Daily Note

I have been so low in energy the past few days that I start to think maybe seasonal depression really has hit me ... I have been turning down all the hangouts and parties because all I want to do is curl up in my comfy and warm bed and sleep. During the day, I just want to catch up on all my school work so that I can have time for myself to read and do nothing. I think the habit at home has settled in and now I can't bring myself to be busy again =.= Just thinking about having to get ready for a semi-formal dinner tonight, and being at a party after that drains all the energy from me. Ahhhhh, why am I turning into such a boring person?!?!

On a completely different note, I was unpacking my suitcases  this morning, and opened the food container that my dad packed for me. I remembered telling him: "Dad, I want to bring these food. But if it spills on my clothes and shoes, and bags, I'll cry. Maybe I should not bring them." After I said that, he spent like an hour or more carefully packing all the food for me. They are so ridiculously well-packed that it took me so long to open them =.= And just like that, homesickness started to kick in. What would I do without my parents? I'm too lazy to even bring food for my own sake ... I didn't even get out of the house to go shopping for any of them. I also realized that they packed probably the entire store of vitamin tablets for me, since my doctor told me that I was doing so poorly because of lack of vitamin. They even got different ones for my skin and my hair. It's not like I can't go buy vitamins on my own ...  Speaking of which, I still have no appetite and have no idea when the last time I had a decent meal since I got to the US. Ah, if only I get a homecooked meal now.

See, I know this is going to happen. Every single time I go home for break, I'm turning into such a spoil and fussy child ....

Jan 25, 2013

Daily Note

Jetlag is definitely messing with my schedule. I am so tired during the late afternoon when I actually need to do work, and now I am wide awake yet don't feel like doing anything. I probably will force myself to go to sleep anyway in order to fix my schedule.

I guess I am the type who can be happy over very little things. I was pretty sad on the plane, but then I passed out for almost 16 hours straight and woke up to the most beautiful sunrise that I have ever seen and that put a smile on my face and made me thought to myself: "Wherever I'm going, it can't be that bad if the sky there is so beautiful, right?" Also, I met the nicest guy on the plane who literally took care of me the entire time, ordering meals for me and such while I slept my plane ride away. I always find it nice when I get to meet interesting people on the plane who share random conversations, knowing you will never see each other again, but being sincere enough to keep each other company to make the trip not so painful. I also ran into two nice ladies who literally showed me the way from JFK to the subway and gave me careful direction how to get to Penn Station. Overall my trip was pretty long and tiring, but I met so many people who helped me through various parts of the trip that I don't even thing I deserve to complain about it.

First day back to the US wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I guess I exaggerated my mood a little bit. I am not too depressed about the weather nor too homesick. I mean, consider there were times in the past when I literally was too homesick to do anything. I do have the symptom where I don't want to see or meet anyone, and being a bit antisocial, but that's about it. The weather is fairly cold, typical Rochester, but the snow is actually pretty.

Finally, it's my last semester of undergraduate years. I am a little bit less worried about graduation such now that I am physically at school and have been able to meet with my major advisors and discussed my credits. I guess I was just overthinking since I had nothing to do when I was home.

I probably should unpack but I don't feel like doing it just yet, lol. Although I realized, again, that I have this ridiculous "scent memory", or at least that's what I called it. I changed my room air freshener today, and it happens to be the same scent as I used two winters ago. The smell of my room, the cold weather and the snow falling keep bringing back all the memories of that winter. I told my friend "I need to change the scent of my room every time I move on to a new guy" and she laughed at me. But really, I wasn't kidding. I pay lots of attention to smell and I associate different smell with different memories so strongly that smelling the same scent will remind me of everything that happened. Using the same scent is kind of like opening a diary for me. It's ridiculous. I could change the air freshener, but then again, should I? It is my favorite scent. Besides, those were nice memories after all, remembering how the guy used to start the car 15 minutes before hand, running through the cold to get the car and parking it as close to my building as possible to make sure that I didn't have to be cold even for a minute. I love little but nice gestures. Those are the things that impress me the most. But then again, I like to be treated like a princess so every single little needs of mine need to be catered to. Maybe that's why I like small gestures because they show how much attention one pays. I like attention to details, just because I am very observing, lol.

I really hope this last semester will be a good one, so that every time I use this favorite scent from Bath and Body Works I can always think of good memories.

Jan 22, 2013

Home is where the heart is

Sometimes I get annoyed at myself for writing about the same topics over and over again, but it is actually really nice that every year I can re-read things that I did previous years and see how much I have changed, or haven't changed.

Every year I would write about my vacation in Vietnam, and how it feels when I have to leave home and come back to school. I thought it would be the same every year but when all my entries are in fact all different. It was so much fun reading about times spent with family and friends, and how depressed I was every single year, lol. 

I thought I had an extra long break this year since I took an extra week off school. It feels just as short. I can't believe that my last college vacation will be over in approximately 12 hours. And I haven't even packed yet (showing how exciting I am to be back to school, not). I guess it also because I spent an entire week visiting my sister in Philly. I'm glad I was able to spend Christmas with her, otherwise she would be lonely during Christmas being so far away from the rest of the family. Marriage life is not easy to adapt to after all. I also got to see New York city during Christmas for the first time and hung out with my best friend. We used to get together every time I came home, but now since that Dung also studies in the US, I haven't seen her for almost 3 years. Although we still talk on the phone quite often, I feel like we never run out of things to tell each other. I miss all those times when we laugh, we cry, we curse out boys over the phone. It was so much nicer to see her in person, and introduced her to my Rochester friends (thanks to Jess and Marcial who escorted us all around the city).  I love love love the city during Christmas full with people and exciting things. All the holiday shop displays put me in such a Christmas mood. My dream would be able to go to all the famous shows in the city, like Lion King at Broadway, the Rockettes at Radio Music Hall, or the Nutcrackers ballet show. I still have so many dates with the city I guess.

Other than that, I didn't really do much this break. My house is so far from everything that it's such a pain to go anywhere. I feel bad making my parents drive me 45 minutes back and forth just so that I can have coffee with friends. I did have lots of fun catching up with people though. I got to see those who I worked with for the past 3 years (well, during the time when I'm home only). I love the fact that I am the youngest teacher among everyone, so everyone spoil me hardcore, and take me everywhere to eat and play. I miss my students too, even if I''m not that much older than them, they look up to me in such a way that makes me smile. Being a part of Yola is probably the best decision I have ever made. If I didn't come across that tiny ad on a random Vietnamese website, I wouldn't meet the all the talented and smart people that I am friend with right now. At the same time, they are so down to earth and so much fun to hang out with. I always feel like I belong, right at the first moment. Especially now that not many of my friends are home anymore, without them, I would have no idea who to spend time with when I come home.

I am also very happy to see Mew and Thu. No matter how many years have gone by and how much we have changed, we can always sit down and catch up on our lives. I barely talk to either of them during the year anymore since we are all busy and our groups of friends and things we do have become so different. It makes me sad a little bit, but it is something that you can't control as you grow up. As long as we can still come together and there's no awkward silence when we are together, that's all it matters to me.

 Besides having meals and chilling at coffee shops, I spent lots of time this break at home helping my mom around the house. It is actually really fun teaching her how to bake, and seeing how my dad try to tell us what to do too. Both of them are still picky at food as usual. If my cake is not perfect, taste and appearance, then no one would touch it =.= I have also become this old lady who would enjoy relaxing at home than spending all the time to get ready to go out. I mean, I do that all the time when I'm in the US and I never have time to relax there, so may as well take advantage of it while I can.

Such a perfect life

This guy, 3 weeks without replying to any of my text or fb messages, I thought he disappeared on me again like 2 years ago. I know he only shows up when he needs me, yet to hear his voice, and to see his face comforted me. Even if I don't hear from him, I know he will always be here for me to come home to. I have to thank him for always noticing my sadness without me saying anything. Times like those, he would drive me to the ocean and hold my hand all the way. I love these spontaneous trips, because I love the ocean and enjoy being taken care of. Also, he is probably the only person who can show up at my door and get my parents' approval to take me on an overnight trip.
Not a big fan of taking these types of pictures
 but  moments like these are important to capture

For many reasons, this year, I'm dreading going back to the states more than ever. I just don't want to leave. I even consider the option of coming back home for a year like my parents suggested. I have nothing here and no one here. I know I would go crazy because of boredom and lack of freedom if I stay home, but I actually considered it for a second. You know, people always say that you're only excited to go to a place when there's something waiting for you, whether it's new adventures, or memories, new people, or old people. And the reason why you want to stay at place is because there are still things that you don't want to leave behind. In the past, yes, I have been attached to being home and I am reluctant to go away because I like the things I have here. But I was not afraid to come back to the US because I knew I had something to look forward to. I had people I wanted to see, people that I missed, and those who wanted me to be back. This year, I feel like it would not hurt if I don't come back. I don't have anyone waiting for me. No one who would  be dying to see me, and would be happy because of my presence. I know that there are friends who have been asking about me and told me they wanted to see me back, but I'm sure it is not like my presence will affect their lives that much. Or at least I don't feel that way. Previous years, I felt the importance of my presence, or putting it another way, there was someone to make me feel special. Now, I know the only people who will be really sad without me would be my parents, and my little sisters. Other than that, no one cares. It doesn't matter. Man, what have I done to become such an replaceable person. I look at my favorite Chanel quote everyday and still don't know how to be "different" in such a place to become irreplaceable. 

I probably am also afraid of all the stress I have to face once I get back. It is so nice not having to worry about anything but which kind of face mask I should put on today. It is so nice to watch movies and play all day until midnight, get a full 8 hour of sleep and wake up to delicious breakfasts and coffee. There's no crappy meals eating on the way to work. There's no long nights with hardly any sleep. No exams, no work up to my nose, and no one to make me sad, or stressed. 

I'm such a spoiled kid at home, and it makes me wonder why I wanted to leave this place in the first place. I would have such a luxurious and carefree life if I had stayed here. At the moment I'm writing this, my dad is packing my luggage and my mom is cutting up more fruits and making juice for me. See, don't have to lift a finger for anything.

However, I think it's time for me to get back to the US, and get back to real life. My spirit belongs to no where but I think my heart belongs to this hometown of mine, where the people who care for me will always be.
Vietnam Jan '13

Jan 15, 2013

Why can't I be 12?

As much as I deny being an attached person, I enjoy being home. When I was younger, I guess I hated it, because my parents, mostly my mom, always make me do things around the house. I hate cooking and I hate doing housework. Though I'm a clean freak, I see no point in my mom making me clean while she is so much cleaner, and then yell at me for not being clean enough =.= Plus, what is the housemaid for anyway? (See, I'm such a snob). Now that I'm a bit older and understand things a little bit better, seeing that my parents are not in good health anymore, I don't mind helping out. I get to go see my friends with much more freedom and don't have such strict curfews anymore. I also get to travel to places, and can actually appreciate the time and experience I get when I travel. Thus, being home is, indeed, not that bad at all.

But the feelings of being careless and having no worry only last for a while. When I don't have lots of things to do, I tend to think a lot. Recently, I have been constantly worrying about graduation and my career. It's a common thing for people to think about, so I guess I am no different. I am always confident about my grades and never really worried that I will end up being a good-for-nothing. I am not incredibly smart like others, but I believe that if I try hard enough, there's nothing that I can't do. My parents always believe in me too. They occasionally ask about my career plans, but they trust me to know what to do. I'm a girl who knows what I want and always go for what I want after all. My parents never really force me to study anything, and encourage me to do what I like. They feel bad for me when I suffer too much and ask me why I have to push myself so hard. Even they don't want me to have to struggle and tell me to just take it easy and let them take care of me. Of course, I couldn't do that. I want to do everything with my own efforts, be successful and able to take care of myself. But what if I have been tricking myself the entire time? What if I don't know what I want to do and I am actually lost? Being lost without realizing that you are lost is even scarier than being lost itself. Sometimes I wish I have my parents to scold me and tell me what to do like when I was little. The fact that they let me make all the decisions scare me. What if I make the wrong choice? What if I fumble, fall and can never get up again? Right now, I worry about the last thing that I would ever imagine: what if I can't even manage to graduate? What the hell right? A person who always seems to have straight As, working at various labs, and getting jobs even before graduating, how can she be scared of not being able to graduate? I  know the problems I have right now can be solved if I try hard enough. My dad often says, every problems has its own solution, if I can't solve it this way, he will solve it for me another way. I am that spoiled kid, after all.

When I feel uneasy, I go to church and pray. I am not a religious person by any means and I barely even go to church. Yet, when I run into problems that I can't solve, being at church and praying gives me peace at heart. I can walk out feeling like I can conquer the world. I believe that I need that extra super power to keep me strong. Being strong all the time is not easy.

No, it's not. Sometimes I wish I have someone I can look up to, and can forget all about my ego to tell that person all my worries, all my weakness and get some advice. Sometimes I wish I could just not a capable person so that someone feels inclined to help me out. Carrying so much weight on my shoulders is so tiring, and lonely.It is so frightening that I can't sleep a t nights. Even if I do, I keep having nightmares.

I probably think too much again, don't I? Everything will be ok. I can do it.

Growing up is such a scary thing. I am scared. I'm only 22. What can I do, really? I just want to be 12, and the scariest thing is the dark, and having no one to put me to sleep.

Jan 12, 2013

Daily Note

Có bao nhiêu người đã đi qua thương nhớ mà quên được nhau?

Finally, found the poetry book that I've been looking for.

Jan 9, 2013

Daily Note

I have given up on reading and writing poems long time ago. "Because they are so cheesy", was my reason, and I am no longer a die-hard fan of romantic stuff. But for some reason, lately there are so many incidents that spark my interest in poetry again. I was attending an "obligatory" poetry slam event for my organization and one of the performers was so good that I thought to myself: "Man, if a guy I date writes and recites to me a poem with such passion, I would fall head and heels in love with him". A few weeks after I read a review about a poetry book written by a Vietnamese author. The words are so simple but for some reason I had this urge to read them. I looked and looked at the book store for hours but couldn't find it and was so disappointed. Gonna continue looking for it while I'm at home. 

Today, I encountered this. 

I was watching a Korean drama and had to stop in the middle to look for the poem that the main character was reciting. The poem was written by Nazim Hikmet, a Turkist poet and novelist. Honestly, I have never heard of his name before, but the poem recited sounded oddly familiar. It goes like this: 

The most magnificent poem is the one yet to be written. 
The most beautiful song is the one yet to be sung. 
The most beautiful ocean is the one we have not yet seen
Our most glorious days are the days we have yet to live.
And the most beautiful things I would like to tell you,
I have not yet told.

Such a suitable poem for the new year, don't you think?

Jan 8, 2013

I deserve to be irreplaceable

No matter how tough and strong I always appear in front of everyone, I know that I actually have a softer side more than anyone else. Just that I am always better at being in denial about my softness, I guess. For some reason though, I feel like people actually realize this side of me even more easily than I want to admit. Darn it.

That must be why I like Christmas more than anyone else. Well, I always tell people that it is because I love the decorations, and the sweets. Although, to think about it, I probably like the heart-felt, warm feelings that everything about Christmas gives me. I enjoy shopping, wrapping presents, baking dessert, decorating the house, and just love the feeling of being warmed by the simplest thing. I honestly am such an easy to entertain person. Even the smallest things make me happy.

A few days before Christmas, I "secretly" watch Love Actually. I have always been denial and tried to avoid watching the movie since everyone is so crazy about it. Yep, I hate following the crowd and doing things that everyone does. However, I was sad and the movie made me happy. Didn't really like all of the stories but some stories really made me smile. Despite any reviews and posts from Thought Catalog, I loved the story boards that Mark made.

With any luck, by next year - I'll be going out with one of these girls - (shows pictures of beautiful supermodels) - But for now, let me say - Without hope or agenda - Just because it's Christmas - And at Christmas you tell the truth - To me, you are perfect - And my wasted heart will love you - Until you look like this - (shows a picture of a mummy) - Merry Christmas.

Not all love story ends with a happy ending, and not all lovers end up together. That doesn't make it any less love than others, right? It is Christmas, and because it's Christmas, I'll tell the truth to my heart content. 

I am not sure if I can say that this year has been a rough year for me mentally. I have enjoyed myself and have been less stressed than any other year since I have started college, well, maybe except for the semester when I was abroad. I cared so little about things that it actually scared me. Me, the perfectionist, have become so casual about everything that I could hardly recognize myself. 

All business asides, I struggled, to make myself happy. I realized things that I have been doing wrong, but realizing things, and say things, and putting them into action, are two different things. I miss him, every day. No matter how many times I have told people I am over him, I am not. No matter how many times I told myself to be strong, I am not. No matter how many guys I have been with to make myself feel less lonely, I am not. It is killing me inside to admit how much I care about him, and about the little relationship that we had. I want to believe that he feels the same way, but to be honest, that has always been my illusion. What I want to believe and reality is so different that it hurts my heart to admit. I cried, and cried, until I have no tears left to cry for myself. 

To think about it though, I no longer think of myself as being pathetic, or weak. I have the right to be this way because I have always been strong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me having feelings for a person, no matter how the person turns out to be. I don't have to be strong all the time, do I? 

A new  year has come, and my feelings for him still remain. I don't hate him though, because the memories, and the things that he has done for me are still there. Even though he doesn't think about me that way anymore, at some point during the two years that we were together, he must have done everything thinking about me, and caring about me. Even if 90% of all his words were lies, 10% of his action must have been real. For that, I will always thank him. I am such a naive person, no? Oh well, that's how I am. 

What I can say right now is that I am getting more and more used to being without him. And little by little I start to believe that there has to be someone out there who cares about me. All the guys out there, even if they are looking for nothing good, at least they think about me every time they send me a message, at least they want to talk to me and keep me company when I want them to. There is no reason for me to let the past hold me back and prevent me from recognizing and appreciating everything that others do for me, right? 

So, guys in the past, thank you for everything you have done for me. I may be thinking about you, and remembering things we did together and being sad about it for a little while, but that doesn't mean I will let you hold me back. It's a new year and it is time for me to look for something new. 

See, this is why I hate Christmas, New Year and all the romantic movies. They make me believe in relationships. They make me think that maybe after all, I don't want to be by myself all the time. Maybe after all, I want someone to be by my side? I believe I deserve all the attention and care that I am worth of, after all. Just like Chanel has said In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different, I will always be different and show everyone that even if you have cast me aside, there is no one that can replace me in this world, ever. And I will make sure of that. 

Well, I guess that is something I will have to wait until the next year to see.