I recently had a short staycation at my home turf in Los Angeles. While the change of pace and setting was awesome, I had trouble finding my center and inner peace throughout the adventures. I had lots of fun, but my mind was constantly running a mile a minute. Even when “peacefully” hiking, or enthusiastically driving through the streets, or taking in the beautiful sights, I struggled internally. Looking at the photos, I could see that there was something wrong.
Why? What happened to me? Did I fake death? Or did fate play me?
Actually, there is no excuse, and no use in blaming other factors. Whenever we face obstacles (especially the ones that we create for ourselves), over and/or under the surface, it’s all on ourselves. Being imperfect, there are times when we want to go wild and have fun; and at other times, we just want to hide in our blankets and chill (or sob) on our own. And that’s completely okay. It’s all a part of being… human.
Truth is, because I’ve been thinking so much, I already know the answers to my questions. But today, I choose to own up to myself and go through this by treading forward.
Today, I thank the people who listen to my shit whenever I feel a hurdle. Even though I am emotionally drained, I will always have love to go around. It may be the bane of my existence, but I am willing to go through shit if that means maintaining my love for the people I care about. Thank you so much, guys. I love you. ❤
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! ❤
Today, I visited the famous Beitou Hot Springs in Taiwan. This was my very first time experiencing these heavenly creations, and I experienced them naked. It felt very awkward walking into the hot springs in broad daylight in front of other women who were staring at me while I made my entrance. Though the comfort of the hot springs quickly released me from any discomfort I had about being fully exposed.
As I settled down, I began observing the other women. It was a very interesting sight of mainly ah-ma’s mingling and relaxing. Scars, wrinkles, pudge, other “flaws…” I saw it all. I saw how unique each woman was with their quirky nooks and crannies, marks from previous experiences that have shaped them to be who they are today. Seeing the older women especially allowed me to imagine my body in its elderly years. A wave of gratefulness hit me as I thought about all of the damage that my body has absorbed all these years.
So today, I thank my body for keeping me going. I thank it for surviving in the past, running to let me live in the now, and fighting to give me the best future it can. I will do my best to love and take care of my body, and not be ashamed of my physical appearance. Thank you, my beautiful and unique body. ❤
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.