Life changing moments are brief

This month has been filled with news that provides me with opportunities for a new life in new places. Having too many choices is actually counter-productive to making a good choice and I’m having that issue now. It’s a great problem to have. Last month I thought I would have no choice but now I’m so grateful but also unexplainably overwhelmed. I need to think inside my mind for a bit before I can externalize these thoughts. 

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Make up post for January

January flew by with so much heat and noise that I simply forgot to reflect and write. The media is rocking my brain and feelings and there is a lot of anticipation for the next few years of what is to come of my country. Balance of power is not something I could quite grasp and now I’m perplexed by everyone’s moves. I’m being more receptive in order to have a hollistic outlook.

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2016 wrap up

Thinking about the positivity of this year and not let the negativity weigh me down. Not enough time to write a full wrap up because time is ticking, but cheers to a 2017 filled with new discoveries and thrilling adventures and to my adulting.

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Another mix of thoughts on post-election results, not meant for persuasion or debate, just expression.

I’ve been more receptive lately, reading the many long posts from my peers and the articles they share on post-election thoughts. One side of me feels the sense of community strengthening with the expression of shared anxieties, the other side feels the shredding of community with the roused up anger and fault-finding words to make sense of an undesired outcome. The mix of emotions inevitable leads up to overthinking and the need for expression.

This is my first time realizing how my mentality can greatly affect my physicality. That night, watching the State colors change back and forth and the electoral votes number being certainly updated, there was hope but also a sense of rationality that this is happening in real-time, and this is happening because this is how democracy works. The coverage the next few days tried to make sense of the outcomes and how it happened, but they just greatly overlooked the fact that collective efforts from people are always unpredictable. It’s unpredictable because the loudest voice with the most vibration does the most. Yes, the results were certainly surprising and it is definitely a moment to be remembered for decades and even centuries. Either outcome would be like that. The scary part is now who won, but what society takes from it – the thinking that they are superior, the sadness that is felt which turns into anger, the lost open-mindedness and empathy for either side.

I actually felt ill from thinking so much about what the results of the election may mean for the country I live in and the things I may have to see in the next few years. I think many people share the same experience I had, and are still experiencing it. Evidenced from the outpouring of written expression on social media, it made me realized that the importance of politics in our lives is strong but never has the most powerful and permeating voice when it is threatening the way we believe the future should be.

From this event, I actually saw a beautiful thing rise in society. The unification of voices and movement to show that the negativity that seems to spark from the election has ceased. I just recently joined this group and am fortunate to be shared their many unique stories and feelings. Reading these stories makes me feel more connected to people in this world, in the same nation experiencing similar changes, sharing the fears and voicing the concerns that we all feel in our hearts and the worst case scenarios we imagine in our minds. It reinforces my belief that the human race does not abandon compassion in the face of fear.

I really hope that we learn from our past, as we always believe we do. The reasons for documenting our history is to learn from it, right? We are learning from it, but somehow it seems that we are learning its bad habits instead, so it’s more like we should not be learning from it because we don’t want the same things to happen again. Being stagnant is the fear. But we can choose. This is just a reminder of the world we live in and how it is shared.

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Holistic still starts somewhere.

Graduate Record Exam, or other entrance exams for graduate programs – the opportunity to showcase your ability to sit through a tedious exam and to maintain the mind to think logically and pick the right answers, while pressure closes in the bubble of exhaustion you already have in reflecting on your life and preparing for unpredictable futures. Yes, I believe we are subjected to multiple futures because however much we prepare for the one we want, something is bound to happen to deter that future, be it good or bad. This is what I have decided to be the meaning of life, the unpredictable courses with effortful but obsolete plans and anxieties. Planning is great, when you envision all of the happiness and successes you will eventually have, but it is also consumed with so much fallacies and unreal expectations.

So I am taking my GRE tomorrow. This is actually my second time taking this exam. The first time I took it, I did not prepare much. I simply thought I could get by without preparation because the GRE did not really require me to know more information than I already do, it required me to be able to sit for 4 hours and play logic games and read carefully. I did ok and definitely did get by. But getting by and being average just doesn’t mean much anymore when you’re preparing to compete for a future with so many other people. This is the problem, the competition. This is what can and will deter you from your future and that’s because planning for your future is not in your control and that is exactly what makes the future so scary. The future is dependent on so much more than your choices and decisions, it includes other’s choices as well. When people say to always chase your dream, they don’t mention the dream being in the hands of another player that have conditions that must be met and that others are vying for the same dream to be relinquished to them. Chasing isn’t just chasing, but fighting and waiting and sacrificing and all of this doesn’t come without some type of mental turmoil and wavering.

Graduate schools don’t clearly state it, but they are also looking for the fighters and the persistent dreamers, and definitely the studious. I understand how high marks and high exam scores can be predictors of graduate achievements, it shows that these students take their education seriously and was rewarded high marks for their preparation for exams and time. Those are factors to be considered when deciding for acceptances into their programs, to determine if the student can achieve and bring something to the university. Though, I do always hope that they can understand those students who aren’t able to excel in this arena, but have excelled in other, just as practical and applicable areas of work.

I went to a school fair and this is what I’ve learn schools usually tell you: we consider the application holistically, visit our website for more information, apply anyway.

I really hope these statements are true rather than planting a sense of hope for all these students. They tell you to apply and ensure you all parts of your application will be looked at, but realistically, after looking at hundreds and thousands or applications, don’t they try to streamline the process and create some sort of screen or filter? I really hope not and I really hope if there is a screen, GPA and GRE are not the factors because all of the efforts I’ve tried to re-identify myself as a competitive applicant will be wasted and that is not fair when I strongly believe I can be just as successful or even more successful than those students who are applying.

I’m just building a lot of anxiety, first with the pressure to do better than average on the exam I’m taking tomorrow to offset the low GPA due to my immature previous self that I can only justify as being incompetent and distracted. But the real anxiety is relying on the hope that someone(s) will allow me the opportunity for the future I have planned for myself. The uncontrollability is excruciatingly scary. I’m just at that point where I have to plan for a future again and the fear of falling and not being good enough never ceases to dwindle. My biggest fear is that all my efforts will be wasted. But I won’t know until I try. I have this bad tendency to not work too hard because of this fear so I can go back to believing that it’s because I didn’t put in my all and that the lost and falling is ok. I need to stop that. I do believe everything is temporary and even if this does not pan out as I hope, I’m a fighter so I’ll just take the punch this time and if necessary, rise up again but with a stronger and better offense to prevent another fall. But I shouldn’t have to fall if I already fight with the best offense I have. Here’s to not just believing but taking action for my life.

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Snippets of my East Australian Adventure.

Despite being back in the states for a few weeks now, my mind is still in exploration mode of Australia whilst trying to get into to first gear of moving forward with reality. I decided to stay in neutral for the time being and let my mind wander for a bit more.

This is a small portion of my collection of experiences in Australia. A full and more thorough account is in the works. 

Adding some koala-ty experiences to life. Meet Victor, he likes to pose as asleep in photos.

I had to see the Australian animals, they were definitely different and much softer than I anticipated.

Saturday evenings at Darling Harbour, Sydney.

I’d definitely my first day in Sydney was darling and bright.

Three Sisters Point at the Blue Mountains. Though I thought it was much greener than blue.

So much wildlife and natural beauty.

Leura Cascades, an actual WATERfall. The socal only seeing the fall part girl in me had to touch to believe. The water was nice and wet.

The city life of Sydney. There really is everything here.

Proof of my position on the Harbour bridge looking down at the largest and most magnificent natural harbour in Sydney.

Off to the Gold Coast and the most expensive town I can’t afford to miss and love to retire in one day.

Pacific Ocean is warmer here.

This is what paradise looks like.

Onwards to the North and closey equating myself. Cairns (pronounced like cans) is a great backpacker town but not as aesthetically decorated as the Gold Coast or Sydney, but that’s why I like it.It felt cozy.

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon is public. It’s basically the city’s beach because there is something going on with the water levels in the body of water a few feet away.

The warmth here calls for a dip in the water everyday.

About 30 feet underwater and I’m trying to get some epic proof of me at the Great Barrier Reef. I blocked its beauty but it’s something everyone needs to see and feel for themselves.

And thus highlights my trip.

Still writing and reflecting on all the experiences in addition to the larger story the photos tell. 

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Augstralia to Seatember 

In the next 24 hours I’ll be embarking on my adventure to the land I’ve always dreamed of going, the big Island of Oceania. I’m not sure why I always wanted to go to Australia but I always told people that I want to go there when they asked before. I’m making it a reality, but right now it doesn’t feel like it just yet. It’s a weird feeling, traveling. I’m kind of in this zone where it seems so normal to travel so it’s not a big deal, but also so rare that it is a big deal. I’m trying to play it cool, because it is cool, extremely cool. 

I am recounting my travel adventures thus far and am so appreciative of the places I’ve been able to visit and the experiences I’ve had. This one seems to be a bit different because I feel like for the first time, this is an actual vacation. I’ll be lounging around and doing unpredictable activities and just enjoying the good life, instead of checking off a list of iconic places I must see with my own eyes and capture with my lens. It makes me nervous a little bit that I’ll be bored because I haven’t had this luxury because my youth is obsessed with the on-the-move type of traveling. This is indeed the spoiled worries of a traveler. Maybe it’s because it’s not so new anymore, the idea of being foreign and new to a country. I’m actually excited about experiencing the new and strange things. The fear that I used to have going to new places has diminished, with ounces left to keep me in place. In the back of my head I have these thoughts that tell me this isn’t a once in a lifetime experience (but I can’t say for sure) and maybe that is why I’m not so attached to the idea of making it the experience of a lifetime and will allow it to be what it will be instead of giving it expectations.


And I have landed in Sydney. It doesn’t feel like I’m on the other side of the planet and equator just yet.

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