Monday, February 13, 2017

28 Blessings

Happy Birthday to Me!! Thank you very much for the birthday wishes from friends and family ALL OVER THE WORLD!! I am truly blessed.

After 28 years of living, one of the important things I learned is counting blessings... I understand that life is not easy, and plans usually would not go the way we wanted. Despite the fact that we might face many downtime and sadness, life is still filled with blessings. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THAT. 

(Me and my mom in Hawaii last summer. We found love everywhere.)

Here are 28 gratefulness in my life. I hope more to come......

1. I am healthy
2. I know three languages
3. I have friends all over the world
4. I able to play piano
5. I have a job
6. I am highly educated
7. I am good with numbers
8. I love music
9. I am outgoing
10. I have sets of short term goals
11. I enjoy food A LOT
12. I like to travel
13. I can swim
14. I am an analytical person
15. I motivate myself to go to gym often
16. I am not too short nor too tall
17. I successfully lost some of my excess fat 
18. I have a great smile and enthusiasm 
19. I do not drink or smoke
20. I have a nice heart
21. I love hugs 
22. I look younger than my chronological age
23. I am not picky and open to everything
24. I have a blog
25. I like to learn new skills and take challenges 
26. I sleep well and barely anything can keep me awake
27. I enjoy writing and reading
28. I can bake and cook

Whenever I feel unsatisfied with my life or going through a tough time, I will pull up this list. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

What is Chinese/Lunar New Year Means to Me

Happy Chinese New Year!!

Since I am Chinese-American, I am happy to say I get celebrate New Year TWICE!! Chinese new year comes later than American new year because America follows roman calendar (365 days a year) and China follows lunar calendar (30-day-month, 360 days a year). 

(Taken at Last Chinese New Year. The Chinese International/Exchange Students from my school and I made dumplings together. Dumpling is one of the traditional must-have for Chinese New Year.

I left China when I was seven years old, so last time I spend Chinese New Year in China was 1996. Unfortunately, I don't remember much of it. After I have been spending Chinese New Year in Japan and the US.  I have been told that Chinese New Year is fun and festive. People gather together and cook and eat. It is a lot like Thanksgiving in America. There are fireworks, parade, entertainments, etc. People usually get a long break from work and school. Even though I don't get a break from school or work, I still have a fantastic time celebrating it with my family and Chinese people live in other countries. I am glad that China is a popular country and a lot of foreigners acknowledge the Chinese New Year, so Chinese people who live in other countries could get enough celebration even they are not in China. There are many places with Chinatown and Chinese restaurant, where the Chinese new year is heavily celebrated.

Although I feel I still have fun and get enough of Chinese New Year celebration,  I hope someday, I will get to spend Chinese New Year in China to experience the real celebration. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Beat Bullies

Statistic Facts from Bullies from
"Bullied victims are 7 to 9 percent more likely to consider suicide according to a study by YaleUniversity."
"Studies in Britain have found half of the suicides among youth related to bullying."
"According to a study by ABC News over 30,000 children stay home every day due to the fear of being bullied."

I have been experiencing being bullied since pre-school, and I can still feel the pain after 20 years. I know I need to move on from my dark past, but if you have experience being bullied as a child, you will understand it is very hard to forget about it. Being bullied continued through elementary school to high school (even graduate school). Sometimes I cried myself to death, there were even days that I did not want to go to school because of the bullies. My behavior was strange sometimes and I developed low self-esteem.

I thought it will get better after high school as we grow older and become more mature. However, after experiencing bully again in graduate school and one of my previous workplace, I learned bullies would never going to disappear no matter how old we get. 

Bully exists everywhere. No matter which country and what kind of community it is, there will be bullies. I grew up in three different countries, there were bullies in school from all of them. Moreover, It is not just in the schools, the bully can exist in a workplace, neighborhood, community, etc. 

Furthermore, NOTHING can stop those bullies despite the fact that there are advocates who would like to have the word out to stop them. They might be able to reduce bullies but cannot eliminate them because most of the bullies are not aware of they are wrong. The only thing we can do is to avoid being involved with bullies and protect ourselves from them

Remember that, NO ONE can save you from bullies besides YOU, not your parents, teachers, friends, nor boyfriend/girlfriend. The best revenge is to ignore them and be strong with improving yourself. The purpose of the bullies is that they want to see you cry and being sad. Do NOT let them get their way. After being bullied for long, I decided instead of being depressed, I worked hard to raise my grades and landing my dream job and exercise a lot to be strong. Now, I have more friends, happier, smarter, and stronger; I would not let anyone bully me, anymore.  

Lastly, bullies it is not your problem, so do not blame yourself. They are the one with problems. 
"You are awesome. Bullies are NOT."

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dealing with Anxiety

Confession: I have anxiety. 
Definition of Anxiety: mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities.
(Me at Age 4)
There are a lot of worries and fears in my life, which has interfered my daily life. I worry about the future would not go the way like I planned, and I can fear that I cannot handle the failure and unfortunate from the unplanned incidents. Those anxieties lead me to less sleep, binge eating/lost appetite, being anti-social, etc.   

Feeling of anxiety started when I was a junior in high school. I was confused what I wanted to do and struggled with academics. I worried about I can never find the career I love, and scared that I would not be successful. I thought anxiety could get better once I go to college; however, I anxiety IS STILL with me TODAY. (after graduating college and graduate school and start working)

Later, I realized anxiety will continue to exist throughout the lifetime no matter how old I get because there are always something to worry and fear. Life is filled with cycles of challenges. One is solved and another one comes, and sometimes additional difficulties appear before resolving the first one. 

Then, I learned to overcome my anxiety by talking to my future self. When I was in school, I worry about whether I will pass the classes and able to graduate. Now in my professional life, I feel doing school is the easiest thing ever. Work is harder than study. I do not know why I was scared back then

Currently, I am having anxiety about my career path, finance, life partner, etc; however, I am confident that my future self will say "do not know why I was scared. These are the easiest things ever!!"

Here are some of my favorite quotes when I treat my anxiety. 

"Problems are only temporary."
"Life is filled with surprises."
"Live in the present. You can not change the past, and you never know the future. There is no need to not letting go of the past and worrying about the future."

Let's Beat Anxiety and Hope for the Happiness. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Reflecting 2016 and 2017 Goals

Wow!! I can't believe 2016 is over fast like any years. A year will go faster as we age, which was mathematically proven. 
Reflecting 2016
I finished graduated school and my student life is officially over.  I moved back to Southern Oregon to start my career. The change was significant. Working for clients (who paid me for the work) is more challenging than working for professors (who I pay). The demand and expectation were a lot. I don't have time to hang out with friends or make friends like I used to be, but I also became party harder (because I work harder.)

There were many ups and downs, this year. Due to my privacy, I would state those in the  I am extremely blessed with all the happiness and proud of myself for being able to go through the sadness. 

Goals for 2017
I would not make any specific new years resolution. I am like most people, I can not keep my new year's resolution. I l realized looking back, even though I did not make all the resolutions and goals come true in the end, I still made progress and improvement. I am proud of myself. So, this year I only tell myself to become better than 2016

grew up the most this from these life shifts and incidents. I learned "every step we take is an achievement" and "what does not kill you will make you stronger." 

Happy New Year. Be Happy!! Let's hope 2017 will bring us more joy. 

P.S. I will keep my blog post consistent for 2017

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Strategies to Survive Graduate School

As you know, I finished graduate school a month ago!! It was one of the best moments of my life!! I won't be a full-time student again for the rest of my life...haha...

Looking back graduate school, there were many hardships. Sometimes I felt myself going to break from all those homework, meetings, tests, presentations....etc. On top of school work, I had to find time to look for jobs, get involved in extra curriculum, make side money, etc.

Even though graduate school sounds difficult, there are strategies to help you to survive. DO NOT WORRY:)

1. Use a Calendar and Alerts: Everyday is filled with classes, meetings, and other tasks. It is very easy to forget things and lose track, so Google Calendar was my LIFE SAVER in graduate school. I put ALL the deadlines and appointment times. This helped me be organized in the craziness.

2. Write Daily To Do List and Prioritize: There are ALWAYS a lot in our plate in graduate school. Professors give us countless projects and assigns every day. Effective strategy was require to get everything done. In order to stay on top of everything, make sure to have good plan and organize what is more important than other. Time management skill was more difficult to learn than text book knowledge.

3. Work Smart (Hard): One of the key concept I learned in graduate school is "Don't Work Hard, Work SMART". Since time is scarce resources in graduate school, it is important to be efficient. Try to focus while studying or doing any other task. Once the focus is lost and become less productive, STOP and do something else.

4. Ask Questions and Seek Help: There are a lot of good resources in school. Since we are pay TONS of money$$$$ to the school, it is better to USE IT. I reached out for tutors for homework, I consulted the librarian for research paper, I asked my advisors for tips and strategies for job hunting...etc. Professors were very kind to answer questions after classes as well.

5. Mediate/Exercise: I realized my mood get extremely negative when I am burned out with school work and anxiety for the future. I tried to mediate and exercise as much as possible out of my busy schedule. My mood changes instantly after that. So use just 10 minutes once in several days to mediate. Try to exercise for just 30 minutes a day would be even more helpful.

6. Encourage Yourself and Your Classmates: It is important to be positive no matter what happens. I kept telling myself that "you are going great, and everything is going to be OK." Remember, you are not the only one going through this hardship. Your classmates are feeling it with you, so give them the power. I promise your encouragement means a lot to them.

7. Take Power Naps Here and There: Sleep is luxury in graduate school. Not a day in graduate school that I did not feel tired. I often passed out before I can finish all the task for that day. During those time power naps were helpful. Quick 20-minute nap can refresh my brain significantly.

8. Have Fun Once a While: Finding time to have fun is challenging; however, I strongly believe no matter busy you are, you can still "make" some fun time. Best fun idea for busy graduate students is "quick celebration after a presentation/test/any accomplishments." Every time I finished a milestone, I invite a few friends to get a quick drink, dessert, or hike. It is good to treat yourself once a while.
Although, graduate school was tense, but in the end it PAID OFF!!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

How I Fall in Love with Writing......

Happy Valentine's Day!! Valentine is NOT about having a boyfriend/girlfriend/date or not, it is about "LOVE." You can love your friends, family, and others. Today I would like to express how I fall in love with writing. I might going to write about how I fall in love with a guy many years later......

I did not like to write as I grow up. Not only I did not like, I HATED IT. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. I took writing classes to improve it, but it did not work as well. I learned how to write in a proper format, but I still struggled. I grow up in three different countries, so language was always a problem. I liked math class and I hated literature class from elementary school to high school.

When I was 21, I took a writing class in college as part of my degree requirement. I thought this class would be like the writing classes I took before where I did not improve anything; however, I met an awesome professor who changed my view of writing. He made his class interesting by having a lot of discussions for what we like write. Instead of spending hours on the boring grammar practice, we learned how to express our self in writing. Then he helped us how to put the thoughts in better expression. After that, edit the grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Like any other people in their teens and 20s, there were anxiety and insecurity in my life. I admit that I was very depressed in high school and college with stress and pressures; however, writing made me happy and less depressed. I feel I can be myself and get to know myself. It is the best way to mediate. The more I write, the better I got. First we all have to LOVE to write, so we will practice more. The more we practice, we learn more about grammar, spelling, and punctuations.

Writing not about grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc., it is about expressing myself and reflect who I am. 

I admit that I still struggle with writing and every time I come to writing an email or formal paper, I get scared because I will make spelling and grammar mistakes. However, this would not stop me from writing. The only way to improve is practice. Do not get scared for making mistakes. Learn from mistakes.

Literature is wonderful. Do not stop writing. Everyone is a good writer as long as you have thoughts. Your writing is what you stand out and what is unique about "YOU."