The Dark Side (Of Us All)

The world is an abundant source of fun, happiness, and light. But everyone knows that even if you can’t see the moon’s dark side, it’s there. With that said, this world is also filled with pain, despair, evil, and unavoidable demons.

Internally, there is a battle where I am a frequent fighter and I must confess that sometimes I feel like as if dark side has gotten the better of me. Those defeated days where I cannot feel sorrow, remorse, pity, guilt, or hope are the days where I think I’ve lost my all potential light. I know that in my light and shadow piece  I wrote that life is about balance, which it is, for me, but that does not mean the balance is always there. Balance is the goal.

However, things go askew. Feelings go awry. Passions can subside and instead, anger comes out. In physics, it is stated that energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transferred. The law of conservation makes me ponder – where does all my positive energy go that results in me losing passion for people, places, activities, and the ideas and thoughts I once held onto so strongly and gave life to? Why does it feel like I am repeatedly left with only bad luck and bad energy?

In some religions, the fate of a person is decided after their death. One’s life must bypass judgement before a decision of heaven or hell is made. But for me, I’m my own worst critic and I judge myself constantly – am I good, decent, or twisted in a malicious manner? Well, I want this blog to be authentic, and as I expose my true self and inner thoughts, I’ve recognized that I do not believe I am a good person. But, I also believe that the world is not split into just good and evil – this Earth is not black and white. However, as I look into the colors of my character, the rapid swirling of my own yin and yang concludes to a result of little light. If I were to be in control of the gates of a divine afterlife for myself, right now, I would not gain entrance into those celestial boundaries. At this very moment, I have not done enough to deserve such a passage.

Those moments where the darkness consume me don’t last forever, but they last long enough for me to doubt the good human in me. Sometimes, I feel like the biggest struggle in my life is to have the good grow inside me because I’m rooted in not-so-good foundations. If there’s something that I feel nearly each day of my life, it would be the feeling of being a failure. I always feel as if I fall short of my own expectations that I bestowed upon myself. I disappoint myself immensely. However, failure, to me, is never a dead end. Failure teaches. Failure provides another opportunity to do it again better. Failure shows that I tried. Regardless of the fact that I have not yet succeeded in defeating my own demons, I will continue to try and even if I fail again, I know that I am trying and not surrendering to the dark side.

Happy Belated Mother’s Day

To the woman I wish I could be, I dedicate this post to you, my mother, P.

You are a woman of your own dreams and I am, too. I never asked what your dreams were and undoubtedly, I feel guilty and incredibly selfish for having my own, chasing them, and not ever knowing yours. Like many Asian immigrants, you left your home, family, and a culture you knew well to a land of unknown possibilities.

As I get older, the Venn diagram of you and I becomes more aligned. The comparisons between you and I grow as I realize that you and I are quite similar, or rather, I am becoming your mirror image.

I can only recall you being sad less than five times my whole life. The first time was when your youngest child had to get open heart surgery, another time when you picked me up from CPS, and the third time, I felt your despair as you lost your own mother.

You sharing your sadness surprised me – I’ve seldom saw you express that spectrum of emotion – so the lesson is that even the most vigorous of dragons can fall, too.

As I age, I’ve taken note that I am more than just 50% biologically you. As a person who doesn’t often express her emotions publicly, I’ve hypothesized that I’ve inherited this trait from you. There lies scores of hidden similarities between our chromosomes. Besides our eye shapes and thin eyebrows, the honesty I share with others stems from the fact that you are painfully blunt with me. You’ve taught me to protect myself by showcasing my thorns because not everyone deserves the beauty and worth I hold inside.

Thank you for teaching me an abundance of essential life lessons that I shall pass onto friends and my future children. Thank you for your sacrifices and the strength you’ve embedded in me. When I feel weak, I think of you. When I want to give up, I think you and I push on. You are the definition of a vigilant woman, so today and everyday is for you, Mom.


MacBook Mayday

Last Monday, my MacBook broke and I couldn’t schedule an Apple Store appointment until Thursday. Come Thursday, I leave it to be fixed and I picked it up on Friday to find that it wouldn’t load after I typed in my password. Saturday, I went back to the Apple Store to be left with no resolution besides removing everything in order to have my laptop work.

On Thursday, I said I was ready to let everything go. On Saturday, I wasn’t quite prepared at all.

30 seconds after everything was deleted, it didn’t hit me.

2 minutes later, I thought about the countless amount of photos, videos, writing, projects I had been working on, music, and essentially, 3 years worth of memories that I had stored on my laptop – gone. I felt like my own memory got wiped, too. I was left wondering what did I really experience if I cannot recall it? This goes beyond being just an inconvenience.

I walked out of the Apple Store stunned. Jaded.

Right now, there is no way for me to see any positives in this aside from the fact that my laptop is functional. This wave of displeasure only constitutes swirling thoughts of blame and deep regret. I should have kept my computer more technologically organized. I should have gotten that external hard drive last year when I thought about it. Lastly, I cannot help but feel that this was preventable. I blame no one but myself.

My college years have indeed been the best years of my life thus far – I’ve gained experiences and memories that could never be replicated (literally) – and now, I’m at Step 1 with a blank slate I never wanted. Currently, I’m stuck in a hazy nostalgia that I cannot quite grasp – I’m trying to recall everything and this proves to be a mental task I am not equipped to handle. I am left with only the ghosts of all my memories – they’re there but they’re not really here and tangible. Life just wants me to stay detached, hah.

With everything said, I hope everyone backs up everything they have and please, learn from me! Every day, I think about how I lost my photos and how I’ll never get them back. But I can’t be negative forever. Let’s change the lens of how I’m viewing my situation and focus on making new memories. Say cheese!

Rebranding Myself

As an Advertising major, I’ve learned a lot about brands and rebranding. This Spring Semester, I’ve thought more about myself and my own brand. In a sense, this blog is the documentation of my mental and emotional rebranding of myself. I so strongly desire to be this woman of my own dreams and to obtain this image I’ve set for myself. It is mentally hard because I have to fight my current mentality and not the act the way I feel. I have to think before I act and not let my emotions affect my mannerisms.

Who am I?

I’m the words I say, the activities I partake in, the music I listen to, the food I eat, the company I share, and most importantly, what I do when no one is around. I’m an impulsive person – I run on my emotions, it can be seen in the words I lash out at others and my shopping behavior. I’m someone who trusts her gut instinct quite often. As an intuitive person, I’m not known to be the type that thinks before she speaks. I’ve noted this trait however, it’s not ingrained within me that I must watch what I say just yet. I’m someone who doesn’t plan to stay the same, I don’t ever desire to be listed as “predictable”.

What do I represent?

In a modest and humble way, I would say that I represent individuality, independence, and sometimes, strength. My individuality stems from the fact that I know that we are all born unique so that we never have to be anyone else. For quite some time, I looked at my fellow peers and felt the need to blend in with them, to feel normal, to feel accepted, to feel “okay”. However, that’s never the case. Now, I speak my mind and do what I want, which goes hand in hand with my independence. The independence I’ve developed hasn’t stopped growing, as a young girl who doesn’t mind doing things alone, it’s transformed me into someone who doesn’t need anyone. The mixture of individuality and independence has allowed me to become the strong woman I am now. I’ve conquered the battles I never thought I would win but the war never ends – I’m still fighting to be better.

What defines me?

If we’re referring to specific brands that define my brand, it would be: organic food, the color pink, Sensodyne, Sriracha, Apple, and Toyota. If it were words, words that define my brand are: loud, confident, humorous, sarcastic, and fun. If I were to be the weather for a specific day of the year, it would be when Summer just starts, but you can still feel Spring in the air. There aren’t much winds anymore, the sky with not a cloud in sight, but it’s not too hot, so you won’t sweat excessively. These aspects are part of my identity and if one or two aspects were taken away, I wouldn’t quite fully feel like myself.

However, if anyone knows anything about advertising, it must be known that a brand that stays the same forever is doomed for failure and termination. There’s always something to be changed and improved on, as the times change, so must a brand. I, myself, know that the current person I am, is not the brand I will remain forever. I’m not where I want to be or need to be and the work to build up a different brand image requires a tremendous amount of mental workshops and a change of attitude, too.

Now that I’ve rambled on and on about my brand, tell me, what’s your brand? Do you like where your brand is right now or do you want to reposition yourself into a better brand?

* This post is dedicated to and inspired by my Advertising professor, Keith Kesler. Because of him, I cannot ever look at a commercial the same way (and that’s a good thing). Thank you for everything you’ve taught me.

Easily Detached

One thing I’ve noticed about myself is how easy I can let go of relationships and people. I can cut off ties faster than I could ever mend them.

I’m comfortable in my routine of letting people go that being close to too many people makes me feel uncomfortable. To put it into perspective, let’s say that I am formulated to only be close to ‘X’ amount of people. If I become close to X+1 people, I start to feel frazzled. I don’t have a large circle and don’t ever plan to start. A dangerous thought that I always have is when someone annoys me or makes me enraged, I always think, “I don’t need you in my life and I can let go of you easy.”

Whenever someone crosses me, I cross them out of my life. We can go from being close to not talking anymore in seconds. I’ve never been the type to forgive or forget, so I can and will hold onto grudges until time ends. To be quite frank, there are people I plan to never talk to ever again once college ends. I know that as I depart Southern California and return to Northern California, there will be relationships that are doomed to rot. As expected, I’ve been mentally preparing myself for the ending of many friendships. However, this attitude is one I should not bring home. If I keep this up, how could I ever make new friends or keep current friends?

This year, as I’m trying to practice vulnerability, I am fighting the notion that people are disposable, that people are just objects that can be tossed away, and that I don’t need people in my life at all. It’s mentally unhealthy to always want to push people away and to stay a lone wolf. This mentality of running with scissors is dangerous and I could end up hurting myself, which inevitably does happen. I end up being stuck in my own captivity.

“While social networks are fundamentally and distinctively human, and ubiquitous, they should not be taken for granted.” – Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler

In my hasty moments of anger and bitterness, I have to remind myself that even though I want to be alone, loneliness is a feeling worse than the annoyance of companions. Friendship is something I should never take for granted. But, with the act of removing people out of my life like it’s the cool thing to do, it shows that I am taking people for granted, and that’s not right.

So, what’s left to do? Indeed, the first step is to learn to accept people’s flaws, because people will never change (in that ways I’d like them to), and I need to know that not everyone I meet is toxic. There are countless amounts of positive and great people that I’ve yet to let in my life because of my cautious ways. The road I’ve constructed for myself just lead to dead ends. The act of constantly playing it safe will lead me to a permanent pit stop. I can’t stop this car ride of life and friendship. I have to stop my habit of cutting off the engine and just drive.