Saturday, February 16, 2019

3 Life-Shifts You Will Experience When You Turn 30

Happy Birthday to me!! I entered my 30s on Monday. No matter I am ready or not, THE TIME HAS Come! THANK YOU, everyone, who wished me a Happy Birthday. I am TRUELY Blessed!! Also thanks for readings this! Best GIFT EVER!!  
Image may contain: Xiaoxi Mei, smiling, candles and fire

I don't look or feel very different. Many people say, I still look like 18 or 19. Haha. I am happy about that
10 Year Challenge: 19 vs. 29
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However, things do change, and I realized I "aged." Here are the following 3 major life-shifting people will experience once they reach the 30s. 

1. Body
I realized I can no longer pull an ALL-Nighter. I become tired so easilyMy body would not function well without 6-7 hours of sleep each day. I am glad I finished school and proud of people who can still go back to school in their 30s and beyond. The BEST weekend activity is sleeping and spending time relaxing alone. I still like to go out with friends, but I don't enjoy partying anymore. I used to love eating a lot of junk food, but now, I often not feel well after a binge-eating. I prefer to eat healthier and less food.   
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2. Conversation Topics with Friends: 
When I am in my 20s, I often talk about dating, applying/finishing schools, finding jobs, weddings, etc. with friends. Once the 30s coming to close, the conversation changes to mortgages, investments, promotions, changing jobs, starting a family, etc. Friends gatherings will begin to consist more couples than singles and sometimes there will be kids running around. As I grew older, I realized I will have lesser friends, but better ones. I learned friends are quality over quantity. Only true friendship would last throughout adulthood. 
Image may contain: Erica Roberts and Xiaoxi Mei, people smiling, tree, outdoor and nature

3. Dress/Hair Style/Picture Pose Preference 
As I approach my late 20s, I definitely started to pay attention to my wardrobes more. During my early 20s, I wear jeans, t-shirts, and casual mini-skirts. When I got older, I began to buy more expansive and fancy dresses as well. I realized I don't need many clothes. I only need a few good-quality expensive clothes.

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Age: 23 vs. 29

Moreover, I realized that when I am younger, I tend to do more silly and create bold poses. As I age, I became more conservative and less creative about how I picture myself. It shows well by comparing these two pictures at the Crate Lake in my early and late 20s. 
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At the Crate Lake: Early 20s vs. Late 20s

All in all, changes and shifting are scary but exciting. Here is to the new decade! Don't be afraid to grow. In the end, age is just a number. Also, each age group has its own blessing and fun! 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

2019 Thoughts

Happy New Year!! 

When it comes to the new year, people like to make a list of resolutions, but a lot of people struggle to keep them. I used to make new year's resolutions as well; however, I often failed in keeping them. Over years, I tried different strategies such as keep have a plan, have more specific goals, etc., but they did not work well.  

Last year, I decided to only make two MAJOR goals to achieve in the year. One did come true 😊. The other is partially came true 👌. For this year, I will make the second goal come true and one more additional goal. Moving forward, every year, I am going to stick just set one to two significant goals/life-shifts

My birthday is in a month!! On my last birthday, I made three wishes, which included my-two-major goals. 

  • First one - came true
  • Another one - partially came true
  • The last one - may be coming true

Until Next Year or My Birthday in 2020, I would like to make my other two wishes come true or at least one of them. 

Have a great 2019!!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

2018 Recap

The year 2018 went like a wind. As more I age, the time would go faster. Many changes and new happened. I traveled to a new continent called Europe, shifted my career, and became physically and mentally stronger.  

Traveling to Europe for the First Time: I went to Paris, France, Switzerland, and Monte Carlo. Seeing the REAL widely-known places such as Effiel Tower, Louver Museum, Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe, Palace of Monte Carlo, etc. was amazing. I loved European food croissant in France and milk in Switzerland were unforgettable. I learned the history of art, royals, and nature of Europe. Travel is not only to play, but also to increase more knowledge. I'd love to come back to Europe again and continue to explore more countries.
Image may contain: Xiaoxi Mei, smiling, sky and outdoor

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Image may contain: Xiaoxi Mei, smiling, standing, sky and outdoor

Shifting Career: I went from working for accounting firms and conducting external accounting to a private firm and performing internal accounting. Although the tasks did not change much, I feel much less stressful. 

Achieving 10-Mile-Run: 10 miles was the farthest I ever run in my life. I was scared that whether I can make to that far or not. I usually run about 3 - 6 miles and call it good. However, I decided to take the risk. "If it does not challenge you, I can't change you!" Thanks for all my friends for encouragement and tips. I am glad I did and it was not as hard as I expected. I felt awesome when I finished it. 
Image may contain: 3 people, including Erica Roberts and Xiaoxi Mei, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Becoming Mentally Stronger: I have been practicing gratitude and optimism for years. But I still had the panic attack and negative thoughts here and there due. By the end of 2018, I am finally able to fully recover from anxiety and depression. It is not like the stress and problem don't exist, anymore; I know how to live with all the good and bad thing I am dealing with. 

I am very proud of myself what I became in 2018. For 2019, I wish I will be more capable of doing tasks and become mentally and physically even stronger. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Tracy is Like Phoebe

 I LOVE sitcoms. I often binge-watching (I should never do that again!!). One of the highlight of last year (2017) was I binge-watched two shows: "How I Met Your Mother" and "Friends."
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I liked both shows equally. I understand that many people like to compare two shows and states that How I Met Your Mother copied friends. Characters are similar: Ross = Ted, Rachel = Robin, Monica = Lily, Chandler = Marshall, Joey = Barney. They also had several shared storylines as well. 
BuzzFeed even did a Proof that both shows are literally the same show. I can totally agree! But Phoebe from Friends is kind of left out from the casts and the sixth member in How I Met Your Mother, Tracy shares similarity with Phoebe as well. Here are my additions to the Proof

1. Both of them play music: Phoebe plays guitar and Tracy plays ukulele and bass guitar.

Image result for Phoebe friends guitar Image result for tracy How I met your mother
2. Both of them were into causes: Phoebe was into Animal Rights, and Tracy was into Ending Poverty.

Image result for phoebe friends animal rights Image result for tracy how i met your mother

3. Both of them are the nicest girl among three and like to help people. Rachel/Robin tend to be a brat sometimes and Monica/Lily tend to be over controlling sometimes. Tracy/Phoebe is the most selfless and kindest girls among the three.
Image result for phoebe friends kind Image result for tracy how i met your mother

4. Both of them are quirky: Phoebe runs so funny and Tracy sings English muffin song.
Related image Image result for tracy how i met your mother english muffin

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Am I Always Happy?!

I often hear people say:
"You are always SMILING!!" 
"Whenever I see you, you are so HAPPY!!"
"You are my SUNSHINE!!"
Well, am I always been this happy? Actually NO. I have tough times and struggles that I am facing. To be honest: I am "actually happy" only about 10% of the day. I am going to share my down times and the strategies I use to keep my positivity going. 
Don't give me wrong. I like the fact that people are saying "You are always smiling," "You are my sunshine," etc., however, there are hardships behind those laughs. Here are some of the struggles am thinking about 90% of the day. 
-Dealing with Anxiety: I am constantly worried about the future: finance, family, relationships, health etc. I often scared of what going to happen tomorrow. Will my happiness continue to exist? Please don't take my happiness away from me.   
-Career Development: I am still figuring out what I want to do and where I will be. Although I have a master degree, three credentials, and 3-4 years of work experience, I can't find security in the job. There are still a couple of "difficult" credentials to obtain, and my career stage is not yet where I would like it to be. 
-Language and Cultural Struggles: I grew up in three different countries. Although I am fluent in three languages, it is hard to find "who I am," and "where I belong." I often have an identity crisis. I became scared that I don't fit in or I cannot be myself.

Enough sad stuff, here are what I do to maintain my happiness and distract from anxiety, career scare, and identity crisis. 

1. Fitness: I enjoy running, swimming, and dancing. When I work out, I forget all the problems I am facing. I feel refreshed after gym. Working out is the best way to clear my mind. 

2. My Accomplishments: Although I still have not got where career and other life goals should be, I am proud of myself for what I have accomplished so far. If I can earn a master degree, three credentials, and master three languages, I CAN achieve my career, financial, and other life goals. 
(Willamette University MBA Graduation)

3. My Family: I am glad that my family is supportive and loving. Whenever I am down, they are always there to make me feel better and cheer me up. Thank you, my mother, for always believing in me more than I believe in myself. 
(Savior Island, Portland, OR)

4. Nature: No matter what weather it is, I love spending time in nature. Whenever I am upset, I like to come to the woods. I appreciate the "gift" that my mother nature gave to us. I would feel grateful for "what I have," and not to be greedy about "what I don't have." I also realize the "world is big" and "how small my problem" looks.
(Redwood, California)

5. Food: Enough said! Good food will solve EVERYTHING. People who love to eat are the happiest people!! I usually crave for something either sweet or comforting. Mother's cooking is always the best way to recover from anything. 
(Thai Restaurant: Sesame Asian Kitch in Ashland, OR)

6. Studying (Reading and Writing): I enjoy reading an inspirational quote every morning to motivate myselfGood literature would help people view the world, differently, and it is always helpful to study more. Writing down the obstacles in life also minimize mental burden. I maintain this blog to de-stress as well. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

29 Messages/Advices to Teenage/Early 20s Self

I am old! Well, people still think I am in college or even high school!? Asians never age and I have a baby face and young mind! 
Thanks for all the birthday wishes from ALL OVER the world in THEIR OWN LANGUAGES!! I had two cakes this year!! 

Here are some lessons/facts/advises I wished I knew when I was a teenager and in the early 20s (what I actually look like)

1. Don't Be Afraid to Make Mistakes. Better to make mistakes earlier than later.
2. You are Never Too Old for Anything. MANY people return to school in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s to learn something new. 
3. Stop Listen to Others All the Time. Listen to YOUR heart and TRUST your instincts!
4. List Blessings. When you have 100 things to be sad, list 1,000 things to be happy. 
5. Treat Yourself Once a While. Don't burn yourself to death. You DESERVE to breathe. 
6. Speak Up Your Thoughts. NOBODY is a mindreader. If you want to be understood, speak up is the ONLY way!
7. You CANNOT Always Get What You Want. Could be a job, part, lover, etc. As long as you tried, sometimes just let it go!
8. The Biggest Enemy is Yourself, NOT the People Bring You Down. IGNORE those people and cut them OUT from your life if you can! They have their "judgment" to say, but still YOUR decision to "listen." 
9. You Only Live Once and Life is Short. If you want to do something, JUST DO IT. Don't let anyone/anything stop you!
10. If Something Would not Matter in Five Year, Do Not Spend More Than Five Minutes Thinking About It. Enough said! Just let it go!
11. Grades are NOT Everything. Don't let bad grades bring you down or being overconfident with good grades. There are many other factors such other personality, networking, health, etc. to have a "successful" and "happy" life. 
12. Go and Meet More People, Do Not Be Shy. I like to socialize, but I am very shy due to my language barrier. Remember if they laugh at you, it is their problem, not yours. 
13. Friends Come and Go. Some friends might go, but there will be new friends. In the end, ONLY the TRUE friends will always stay with you. 
14. Develop Hobbies. You need something destress. You should not be studying and working all the time. The more hobbies you have, the LESS LIKELY you will have depression 
15. Be Bold to Date. I was (am) a shy person and talking to boys was (is) hard for me. Later, I realized, what is the worse can happen? He will say "no," and you two "don't work out."  
16. Read and Write More. Read a good book and write out your thoughts can help you de-stress and look at the world differently and realizing nothing is the end of the world. Your mind is what you read.
17. Have (Contingent) Plan(S). Although life is always UNPREDICTABLE, still need a plan for everything we do. Not just a plan, contingency plans are NECESSARY. 
18. Never Too Early to Learn How to Manage Your Finance. Never knew how important finance is! If I learned finance earlier, I have saved more money, not wasted any money, and developed the skill to negotiate and find cheaper options. 
19. Be Physically Active is Fun: I might be very active now, but I was lazy and overweight when I was a teenager. I hated exercise, but encouragement and motivation from instructors changed my view of exercising. I began enjoy working out. Now, my lifestyle is completely changed
20. Develop the Habit of Going to Bed Early and Waking Up Early. Never knew how helpful this is! Your mind the most efficient in the morning. Staying up late would not accomplish anything. It is better to finish in the morning. I try to wake up a few hours earlier than other people and get the DIFFICULT and IMPORTANT tasks down, first, so in case something happens later the day, I don't have to worry. 
21. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others. You are special in your OWN way! Everyone has DIFFERENT timeline and talents. 
22. Dress Neatly and Nicely. You will be more likely land the job and make more friends if you dress well. I understand that appearance is NOT everything, but the way you dress defines your personality and intellectuality.  
23. It is Okay to Have Dream. Dream big, don't let the doubts kill your dreams. Doubts kill more dreams than failures. 
24. Families are Important. No matter how busy you are, always think about the family, FIRST. They are the people will stay with you for as long as you live, not your career. 
25. If you Having an Identify Crisis, Get Identify Capital and/or Create Yourself. Like list your interests, hobbies, skills, and/or go to school to study what you like and always wanted to do!
26. Control Your Fate. I usually let fate decide where I am going, but unless it is something I cannot control, don't every let fate control me again. I have the right pursue what I want. 
27. Music Will Always Be There to Save Your Life. Family and friends are there with when you need them, but they are not available 24/7. If you need an immediate pickup, have a motivational song playlist ready wherever you go. Here is: Mine
28. Understand Your Values: Don't ever undersell yourself! You are unique, and your skill/personality/character are irreplaceable
29. Don't Live in the Past, Keep Moving Forward. Your past does NOT define your future. Future successes usually come past failures! 

I hope you will find this helpful and GOOD LUCK!!

PS. Can you guess what were my three wishes?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018 Hope and Plan

Happy New Year!! I know it is two weeks late. A lot of people like to make "New Year's Resolutions" for "Self-Improvements." I am no different. In the past, I tried to make my new year's resolution and "not" sound like resolutions, and as "simple" and as "specific" as possible, so they will be "easier" and have the "guidance" to achieve them. 2012 (Better Time Management), 2013 (Lifestyle Shifts), 2014 (Wish List), 2015 (Be Happy and Productive), 2016 (Thoughts and Goals), and 2017 (Daily Progress Improvement) 

This year, I am still trying to make this year's resolutions not sound like resolution, simple, and specific so I will be more likely to achieve them. I have TWO MAJOR GOALS, this year, but I decided to not share on the blog like past years, sorry! If I reached them, I would share them at the end of the year. If I did achieve both of my goals (even just one), 2018 would be my year; remember resolution quality over quantity!

The theme for 2018 is "Hope" and "Plan."

Hope I have been practicing gratitude for years; however, I realized as older we get, life will get tougher and tougher. I might be able to survive this situation, but cannot next. The best way to practice being "hopeful" and not being hard on me. There will be "hope" for better future and self-enrichment and take a breath here and there. 

Plan I often cannot make all the resolutions come due to "lack of time." Well "not having enough time" is NOT an excuse.  My parents once said "Everybody only has 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year, how come there are successful people and unsuccessful people? Successful people did not have more time than unsuccessful people. The difference is that the what successful people are doing and thinking during the 24 hours versus unsuccessful people." Staring 2018, I plan my day properly and use time efficiently.

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-Become a morning person: brain functions best in the morning and less distraction, so perfect time to get the most difficult and necessary tasks out the way. 
-Listen to TedTalks/Inspirational Speeches While Doing Chores: what a great way to use time efficiently. 
-Release Stress by Clearing/Organizing and Exercising: every time I have negative thoughts, read, do some chores, and/or go for a run. Say "no, no," to be negative. 
-When I feel tired, stop and take a rest: there is no way to keep working while I am not productive. I am wasting my work time AND sleep time. 

Dear My Readers: 

I hope in every 24 hours you have each day, you are doing the right thing and thinking the right stuff. The 365-day would go smoothly according to your plan!

Have a great 2018!