today i am grateful for…

- this gorgeous Sunday weather

- reading in the sun with my grandmother

- delicious Vietnamese food with the ladies of my phamily

- seeing my ASPIRE family last night

- hanging with the exlusive Wilcox crew on Friday night

- a good book!

the answer is gratitude part 1

Have you ever looked at some people and thought, man, they are annoyingly happy. I used to have this thought all the time. Now I’m afraid I’m turning into one of them. But it wasn’t all positive and “awesomeee.” Nope, there were dark days — days so dark, the only light I saw was the annoying one trying to wake me up each morning. Two years ago my mom passed away, I had to move into another house and was just getting into a new relationship. The new relationship consumed me, took me away from all my current problems and gave me something else to focus my attention on. But it soon turned toxic and all of a sudden I found myself grieving not only the loss of my mom, but now a romantic relationship. And when my relationship ended, it was like I finally had to deal with the loss of my mom. On top of the betrayal, rejection and all that other good stuff. So like I said, darkkkk days. 

When I asked for advice from my counselor and older friend, there was one answer that annoyed me the most; you must do the work. Do the work? What the heck does that mean? How do I work on myself? Haven’t I been doing that? And who has time to think about this self-improvement shit when there are classes to attend, jobs to fulfill and sleep to catch up on? Do you think the hard-working rice farmers in Vietnam had time to write in their dairy and see a counselor once a month? I don’t think so. I thought, death and break-ups are a part of life…everybody goes through it. It’s not the end of the world (that is, unless YOU ARE dead, which obviously hasn’t happened…YET :D). But I had to admit it — I was feeling bad. If people even looked at me nicely enough, I would start crying and just go into this, “Why meee” kind of sobfest. Sometime the crying felt therapeutic; other times it felt like it would never stop. 

When tragedy hits you and you’re sitting at rock bottom, there is no way to go but up. But you don’t have to hit rock bottom to realize this; you could be halfway down when all of a sudden, you realize you’re falling and you want to get up. If you can be aware of that, I promise you, a rope WILL be dangling just within your grasp to pull yourself up with. My muse, hero and future husband wrote this song lyric, “leap and the net will appear,” in his makes-me-wanna-dance-all-crazy song, “Make it mine.” 

Ok, I’ll continue this later! It’s late and I want to sleep :) Here are some pictures of the awesome birthday party I attended this weekend. If you hatin, hate onnnnn. No wrong in hatin, as long as you just playin. But if you really hatin, that’s hate inside you buddy, not me! Truth bomb courtesy of Minh Pham.

Sharing some rambling thoughts…

Sometimes, there is so much pressure to “live life to the fullest.” Of course, this pressure is only created and brought upon by yourself. For example, tt’s a gray Saturday afternoon and I had plans to go to the… Tobacco Convention. However my throat and voice were absolutely butchered after last nights festivities (I talk too much sometimes). Anyway, because of that I thought I’d go play some tennis with a few Daliens. But thennn the weather started to get crappier so I decided to stay home. 

Meanwhile, I’m filled with guilt and anxiety for flaking on people and just not doing anything with my free day! The convention only comes around once a year and it just seems like such a cool event! I’m so tired of defending the smoking culture to close ones around me and the event would be a place where it’s completely accepted and even celebrated! Plus I’ve never done something like it before so it would be a cool first-time experience. But instead, I’m laying in bed sipping my super smoothie (the most productive thing I’ve done so far and it’s 2 p.m.) I’ve got a long list of “Ta-Da’s” that I’d like to complete in this weekend. Granted, most of the stuff on the list are things I enjoy doing, but still I want to do more! …But do I really? Haha, why am I so unsure?? Warning to readers, this is where I get a little rant-y. 

My reasoning is if I REALLY wanted to do those things, I would be doing it! Albeit, there are many reasons why I SHOULDN’T do it, but I’ve been told by a wise lady that the word “SHOULD” needs to be taken out of our vocabulary. Either you can or you can’t, you want to or you don’t. Pretty decisive huh? I’ve developed quite the “Just Do It” attitude and I don’t plan on stopping! However, I do realize the importance of thinking things over before jumping into it. With the convention and tennis, I do have to remember I’m kind of sick and exerting my body in those environments probably won’t make me feel better. My argument to that is I’m young, life’s too short, seize the day! My body will eventually heal. But then again, tennis could be rescheduled for next week when I’d be feeling better and the weather would be sunnier. Not going to the convention would save me some money and I wouldn’t be smoking as much. And I could always go tomorrow…

I think with any goal or desire, the best way to get what you want out of it is to do some planning. I’m the type of person that hates knowing I missed out on any deals or specials so I’m always doing my research before any purchase. When it comes to socializing and going out, I’m much more up for spontaneity, appropriately so. But instead of just sticking to one event, I always try to make it out to most of the events I’m invited to. There is always someone I really want to see at the event and I also just don’t want to miss out on possible fun times! My friend calls it the “fear of missing out” syndrome and I am very prone to infection. 

In the middle of all this, I do often lose my own needs/desires. But honestly, that’s the way I’ve been raised as a kid. And is it such a bad thing to be a people pleaser? I do get joy from making other people happy. Who doesn’t? The main question is, is it at the risk of my own happiness? Let’s do that math thing where you circle the matching multiples to see find the something of the something. 

my happiness: seeing loved ones, hanging out with friends and family, laughing, drinking, eating, socializing, reading, organizing, writing, new experiences, traveling

what i do to make others happy: seeing loved ones, hanging out with friends and family, laughing, drinking, eating, socializing, organizing, new experiences, travel with them

So you see, it’s not that I’m such a kind and thoughtful person (although *toot toot* I kinda am, JUST SAYIN) it’s that what makes me happy also happens to make other people happy. So why am I still confused? Undecided? My family is always telling me I’m reading much more into the situation than what it really is. This could be one of those times. This internal debate arises a lot so it makes me think it’s something I should work on. Hence, this post.  

I was even undecided whether I should ( <- there’s that word again) post this journal entry because really, who cares and what does it matter? Ironically, that same conclusion is what made me decide to post it anyway. 

Please feel free to respond in private or public means if you’ve got some thoughts to share. 

Thanks for reading!

She’s the one I always count on, one that wouldn’t leave me
One that’s in the city always written in graffiti
One that keeps me company, when I’m all alone
She’s my heart, my mind, my spirit and my bones
She’s the only one I know that would go across the globe
Meet me in a foreign land, treat me like I’m home
Everything I own, give to her, she deserves it
Treats me like a king, every syllable is perfect
Searched through the earth for a reason just to be here
And since I met her every moment’s like a leap year
Baby you can sleep here, you can stay with me
Anywhere you go, know I’m probably gon’ be
Full of energy, and you never acting tired
You’re everything I need, when I prayed, God supplied
You my chonky fire, blessings you provide
Always in my life ‘til the day that I die
Security by Hunter S. Thompson (1955)

Security … what does this word mean in relation to life as we know it today? For the most part, it means safety and freedom from worry. It is said to be the end that all men strive for; but is security a utopian goal or is it another word for rut? Let us visualize the secure man; and by this term, I mean a man who has settled for financial and personal security for his goal in life. In general, he is a man who has pushed ambition and initiative aside and settled down, so to speak, in a boring, but safe and comfortable rut for the rest of his life. His future is but an extension of his present, and he accepts it as such with a complacent shrug of his shoulders. His ideas and ideals are those of society in general and he is accepted as a respectable, but average and prosaic man. But is he a man? Has he any self-respect or pride in himself? How could he, when he has risked nothing and gained nothing? What does he think when he sees his youthful dreams of adventure, accomplishment, travel and romance buried under the cloak of conformity? How does he feel when he realizes that he has barely tasted the meal of life; when he sees the prison he has made for himself in pursuit of the almighty dollar? If he thinks this is all well and good, fine, but think of the tragedy of a man who has sacrificed his freedom on the altar of security, and wishes he could turn back the hands of time. A man is to be pitied who lacked the courage to accept the challenge of freedom and depart from the cushion of security and see life as it is instead of living it second-hand. Life has by-passed this man and he has watched from a secure place, afraid to seek anything better. What has he done except to sit and wait for the tomorrow which never comes?

Turn back the pages of history and see the men who have shaped the destiny of the world. Security was never theirs, but they lived rather than existed. Where would the world be if all men had sought security and not taken risks or gambled with their lives on the chance that, if they won, life would be different and richer? It is from the bystanders (who are in the vast majority) that we receive the propaganda that life is not worth living, that life is drudgery, that the ambitions of youth must he laid aside for a life which is but a painful wait for death. These are the ones who squeeze what excitement they can from life out of the imaginations and experiences of others through books and movies. These are the insignificant and forgotten men who preach conformity because it is all they know. These are the men who dream at night of what could have been, but who wake at dawn to take their places at the now-familiar rut and to merely exist through another day. For them, the romance of life is long dead and they are forced to go through the years on a treadmill, cursing their existence, yet afraid to die because of the unknown which faces them after death. They lacked the only true courage: the kind which enables men to face the unknown regardless of the consequences.

As an afterthought, it seems hardly proper to write of life without once mentioning happiness; so we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?


my last spring break has been pretty sweet to me.

the end is so disgusting

ONLY AFTER THE LAST TREE HAS BEEN CUT DOWN.
ONLY AFTER THE LAST RIVER HAS BEEN POISONED.
ONLY AFTER THE LAST FISH HAS BEEN CAUGHT.
ONLY THEN WILL YOU FIND THAT MONEY CANNOT BE EATEN.
- CREE INDIAN PROPHECY

the days are just flying by. i wake up at 7:30 a.m. and fall into bed at 2 a.m. i want there to be more hours in the day so i can do more. i like being busy, but the mind definitely needs some rest. whenever i try to meditate, my mind starts creeping toward my to-do list. MUST PRACTICE MORE.

but playtime tonight :)

food cravings:

sushi

bombay gardens

instand noodles (the spicy one with the silver packaging)

bun bo hue (always)

almost all noodle soup dishes MMMMMMM mmmmmmm

i can’t hurt you even though you hurt me
"You met me at a very strange time in my life."

"You met me at a very strange time in my life."

come here rude boy


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