Unavailable.

Just like that, she retreats to her home realm
her figure in the ocean,
her spirit by the stars,
her remnants with the winds

I have expended much of myself without actively replenishing. My inner being is chaotically housing a frantic shell and crinkled soul. As much as I like to be with people, a time of solitude is necessary for me to develop some introspection and to fill myself back with self-love. So for now, I am unavailable.

It’s tough to remain positive and grateful in dark times, but thanks to the nature of this blog, I am forced to reflect on the good as well. Thanks for keeping me afloat, dear blog. Also, thanks, random photo grid of people in my camera roll, for helping me see my end goals and motivating me to push forward. Cheers to future simple words of gratitude.

Love,
Connie

Disparity.

Myself & Them

“Listen to us.
We know what is best for you.”
My soul sobs as my shell becomes
spellbound by the songs of Them.
Ugh… Forget about being heard,
I only want equilibrium for myself.

I was recently introduced to the dynamic and mesmerizing world of fine art, thanks to a new friend who is quite active within the Los Angeles art community. While supporting him at his solo art show at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, I stumbled upon the art exhibit of Yu JinYoung, who’s sculptures represent the social disparities we are often exposed to throughout our lives. This series is called “Myself & Them.” The heavy feeling of responding to the outside world while taking care of our own inner world really resonated within me, as I questioned my life choices and potential trajectories, as well as my own influence throughout my social circle. Oh, the struggles of dealing with the words of others while treasuring the dreams of my inner being, and balancing life. Being human sure isn’t easy, but it’s a gift we must cherish and nurture to the best of our abilities.

Thanks,  Yu JinYoung, for welcoming me into your exhibition and allowing me to bond with your amazing pieces. Through my experience with your art, I am learning how to love myself in this world full of social disparities that continue to challenge my personal values. Also, a thank you to my new friend, for introducing me to his fascinating world. Cheers.

It’s All Perception

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Hamlet, Shakespeare

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. Our world is so complex, partially because it is created by our unique perceptions of realities. The concept of “good versus bad” was a recurring theme in conversations I’ve had throughout this year so far, but at the end of the day, who gets to determine what is good or bad on our behalf except for ourselves?

Let us respect individualism. There is no right or wrong way of living our lives;  that is entirely up to us to perceive and control. The important thing is to live according to our personal values.

Let us pause and think for a moment before judging the server who has given us subpar service, or a person who is known for their promiscuous ways. Everyone has their own life stories. Let us utilize our thoughts to judge less, respect more. Recognize that even if someone is doing something we don’t necessarily agree with, it doesn’t mean that they’re doing something bad.

Today, I thank the people and interactions that have come and gone pertaining to this theme. These conversations have definitely challenged my way of thinking and life decisions. I hope to continue growing, and intend to hold this quote to heart when I hesitate with obstacles.

One last thing: I think I’m still a good girl.

 

Porteon (Shelter Tour)

Porter Robinson x Madeon’s Shelter Tour was absolutely phenomenal, and was the best live show I have seen so far. The entire experience – the audio, visuals, storytelling, crowd and atmosphere – was amazing and unforgettable. Thanks, Porteon, for the incredible show.

I’ve always been curious about the EDM scene, and I’m so happy that I’ve explored it this year. This was arguably t-h-e EDM concert for fans to see this year, and I’m so grateful to have witnessed the two geniuses band together and take us through such a deep and relatable journey throughout their set. By the end of my experience, I had so many thoughts running through my head. The following are my takeaways:

1. Friendship: As a wanderer since little, I have met many people throughout my life, but building close bonds was always a struggle for me. It wasn’t until this year, post break up, when I started paying closer attention to my social network. For many years, I felt very alone despite always having someone to talk to. It didn’t help that I secluded myself for the four years that I was in a relationship, entirely relying on my companionship with my ex to fill my social life gap. That was a huge mistake on my end. Today, I am happy to have some very close friends of my own who I love dearly. Porter and Madeon’s collaboration made me realize how beautiful and meaningful friendship is, and how blessed I am to have friends to celebrate friendship with.

2. Unity: Yes, there were plenty of people on their phones recording and snapping snippets of the event. Heck, someone even recorded the entire show! But, there was unity in the atmosphere stronger than any other event I’ve been to, and that made the show even more impressive. Even though we are all different and have different views, for these few hours we all spent together, we were all united by a common interest, united by this beautiful pit stop we all made in our lives. I didn’t know 99.9% of the people there, but for a moment during the event, I felt one with everyone’s energy. It was an ironically peaceful feeling.

3. Interest: “What are your interests and hobbies?” This was a big question that I was embarrassed to not know the answer to for many years. Today, I’m very excited to have my own set of interests and hobbies. I knew this was an interest when I pretty much knew all of the songs (titles, too) that were played during the concert. I was first introduced to EDM at one of Madeon’s shows back in January earlier this year. I did not know a single song and had no idea what was going on nor what to do during his set. Seeing Madeon again and knowing every single song this time made me realize the level of impact that EDM has made in my life. I’m actually quite proud of myself for this – having a musical preference, going to an event that I really wanted to attend, and being able to dance (and sing) to every song. Good job, Connie.

For those who have read to this point, let’s take a moment to be thankful for our social group. Let’s also thank the artists we love for their hard work, passion, and ability to link people together. Thanks, Porter Robinson and Madeon, for the beautiful journey. Thanks, dear friends, for being by my side. I’m so happy and grateful to have you all in my life, and hope for many years of friendship to come. I love you all! ❤

 

p.s. I usually like to keep my entries shorter… But, writing this has given me immense joy. Sending out good vibes~

Giving Thanks 

When having a blog about giving thanks, what better day to write an entry than on Thanksgiving?! 

I thank my past, for shaping me to be who I am today. I must say I didn’t always make the best decisions for myself. But then again, without those decisions, I wouldn’t be who I am today. 

I thank my present. I see my current situation and am content. I’m at a good position of growth and aim to live on with the growth mindset and making today the best day it can be, so it sets the tone for tomorrow. There are days that are tougher than others, but the challenges promote growth.

I thank my future. I trust that no matter what decisions I made in the past, and what decisions I make in the now, my future will be (at least) okay.

I thank the people (and pets) in my life, online and offline – loved ones, acquaintances, and strangers – all who came and went, and those who are still in my life now. Thank you for impacting my life. 

I thank me, for having a healthy body, mind, and soul. We’re all in this together, so let’s keep supporting each other through our hardships and accomplishments! 

Finally, I thank life. I thank life for giving me the identity I have, for giving me the home I have. I thank life for the beautiful places and nature. I thank life for allowing me to perceive everything the world has to offer. 

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday filled with love, happiness, blessings, and fun! Stay safe. I love you all! ❤️

Fullest Moon.

Once a year, the fullest Moon illuminates the Earth with her greatest intensity, disabling our ability to conceal ourselves in the darkness of night. When we peek through our fears and hidden selves, we realize that the Moon is not endangering us. Instead, her soft glow reminds us that we are human beings, imperfectly perfect in our own quirky ways. She tells us that it is okay to feel lost and to let go of ourselves once in a while. She reassures us with her brightest, warmest embrace that everything will be okay. 

Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) is a Chinese/Vietnamese holiday that occurs on the fullest moon of every year. This year’s view reminded me of the night sky I saw when I camped in the jungles of Phong Nha Ke Bang, Vietnam. The sky was a gorgeous deep blue, the moon had a crisp, snow white brilliance, and the contrast between the two hues was breathtaking. The moon was so bright that, to my amazement, few stars were visible. I saw a similar night scene in my light-polluted hometown.

That night, I dreamed about someone I bonded with a while back. Perhaps he appeared because I thought about my adventures in Vietnam, where we met. Hearing his voice so clearly and accurately in my dream really surprised me  because I had already forgotten his voice in real life. I woke up feeling a bit fearful, invaded, defeated, and lonely. I missed him so much that day. It was as if the Moon told me, “Here, let me show you your true feelings so you can face them, and I’m telling you now that everything will be okay.”

Everything is okay, Moon. Thanks for having me dive into my deepest feelings. Through this interesting (and slightly painful) experience, I was reminded that it’s important to pause occasionally and check up on ourselves. I was keeping myself so occupied with other aspects in life that I failed to pay attention to my overall well-being. Now that I’ve given myself a chance to practice some self-care, I feel a lot better. So thank you again, Moon.

Teaching Takeaway

Teaching Takeaway

I volunteered to teach English in Taiwan for three weeks. This was one of the best experiences that I’ve had in my life. Even though my role was teaching, I’ve learned so much through this opportunity.

The biggest lesson/reminder: find joy in the little things. My 7th and 8th graders had fun with pretty much anything (pencils, rubber bands, rulers, mini toy figurines, etc.) and it was amazing how easily amused and energetic they were. I believe we all have the inner child in us. But, as we mature, we absorb a lot of external pressure from our upbringings, societal norms, and social media, to the point where many of us become so conscious of what other people think that we eventually let others dictate our lives. These kids? Didn’t give a fuck. And that is awesome.

Let us remember the times when we were young and curious. Let us grow without shutting off our inner child.

Thank you, my dear students, for showing me authenticity, innocence, curiosity, and simple happiness. You may not know it, but I have learned so much from you guys, despite being the “teacher” in our classroom. All the best to you in your future! ❤

Freedom

Something happened within me this past week. I feel different, in a good way. The change is clear.

I spent five days traveling alone to the caves and jungles of Phong Nha Ke Bang, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam, where I took on a nature expedition and immersed myself into the backpackers’ world.

Every single bit of this adventure was new to me, and I learned so much about myself in the process of meeting and hanging out with new individuals from all over the world, trekking through the jungle, swimming in caves, rock scrambling, reflecting under a waterfall, sleeping on dirt under the stars, using the adventurous toilet, and more. The experience was life changing. I have discovered my new preferred way of traveling.

Ever since then, I have felt inner freedom and immense happiness. There was a strong bright light radiating within myself, supported by my own self love. The experience has made me a more open person, and I feel great. So this is what freedom feels like for me…

Thank you to all the people, from those back at home who have been supporting me, to all the individuals who I met here in Vietnam. You have all made a significantly positive impact in my life, and I cannot thank you enough. So, with lots of love and good vibes, thank you. 😁

Sunrise Thoughts

I stayed up all night, awake enough to watch the sunrise in front of Saigon River in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The sun rose
beneath the rainy clouds
layer of smog
the waters muddy
The sun rose

When people plan to observe sunrise, they want a clear view with intense color saturation. The sunrise I observed today was not one that people would go out of their way to see. Yet, there was a sort of beauty to it.

Here’s how I see it: it’s not always clear skies and tranquil waters. Sometimes, we go through muddled rivers and breathe in polluted air, but the sun will always rise. It will always come. We are not our external circumstances, good or bad. What goes on between the earth and sky does not change the fact that we exist, nor do they depict who we are at our cores.

The sun will always rise.

Thank you, Saigon River and company, for welcoming me into your environment. I felt a level of inner peace through viewing your unique sunrise today.

Coexistence

image
Drowning
In the dead winter
he overdosed on
smog
polluted his soul
destroyed.
He chooses darkness
sees tainted ugliness.
Yet, at the core, he has a brilliant soul.
It itches to shine, too petrified to
find freedom.

Healing
In the fresh spring
she was vitalized by the
sun
unclipped her wings
soared.
She chooses light
sees pure beauty.
She forbids the darkness within
from consuming her, peacefully
breathes positivity.

They pity each other.

To a dark one: Thank you for bringing me to reality a bit, and pointing out my ugly side. Through you, I was reminded that we all have light and darkness coexisting within ourselves. I’ve been so caught up in trying to be positive and a saint, that I didn’t see how my actions could have been more harmful than helpful. You have shown me how different human perspectives can be.

Thanks for inspiring me. I have learned from you, and I hope that you have learned a thing or two from me as well.

I see beauty in you. I feel sad for you. I care for you. Most importantly, though, I believe in you. Good luck, boo.