+bread+

Before I started getting into the gym life grind, the first health “adult” decision that I made was dropping juice from my diet.  I noticed that I would feel indigestion after even a little bit of apple juice, and orange juice made my insides feel very acidic.  While there are various types of juice (cranberry, organic, etc.), I would always feel gross after drinking some juice.

 

Over a year ago, soda was added to that list of taboo food and drinks.  Personally, I never drank a lot of soda because I didn’t really like it.  Drinking Coke was a necessity in a sense that it was my last resort if my indigestion and the consequent indigestion-induced headache wouldn’t go away.  And honestly, it was easy to swap out the soda because bubbles in seltzer or sparkling water also get the job done.

During this past summer, because I was responsible for cooking a lot of my family’s meals, I began to be more conscious of food prices.  Grocery shopping made me aware of why that “cheap” meal at Wendy’s wasn’t that affordable.  $20 of groceries, if spent and used properly, can feed you for a few meals.  On the other hand, $20 of junk food only lasts one meal, two if you’re being real economical 😬.  And I get it, cooking take time and labor, things that are hard to sacrifice when you’re busy.  For me, one of the most important things is eating tasty foods, so I’m willing to sacrifice my personal and/or sleep just to make my taste buds happy and get the dopamine running.

♓️

I ♥️ B R E A D

I would say that I’ve generally been pretty successful about living healthy, but recently, one this has really been irking me – bagels.  I’ve been craving a good bagel for a while now, good as in a NYC bagel because we all know that the bagels from home actually taste right.  Honestly, the only reason why I’ve staved off on eating bread is because of the promise that I’ll be home in a week.  Once that week is upon us, you’ll probably find me eating my way through the bakeries and bagel shops near me.

♓️

I’m not a huge carbs person, and I’ve been on a low carb diet for a few years now.  I know that things should be eaten in a balance, but I feel like I get my carb filling through potatoes and Korean rice.  I love making home fries with a ton of garlic and onions, sprinkled with parsley, and when you eat Korean food, you need a bowl of steaming white rice to complete the meal.

People say that carbs (i.e. pasta) are a girl’s best friend, but I completely disagree.  I do eat pasta, but unlike most people, I like to load up on my vegetables.  Call me weird, but the bitter taste of vegetables has gotten quite sweet to me.  Salads are best enjoyed without dressing, especially when you have chicken breast cooked with a lot of garlic (garlic emoji).

♓️

Honestly, I’m not quite sure where this post is going, but does anyone have some helpful tips on how to deal with carb withdrawal?  I feel like I’m struggling to make it to the end of next week to purge my soul with bagels.

IMAGE CREDIT: Diabetes UK
Advertisements

+wrecking+

Note: I noticed that I haven’t written a soul-bearing post recently, so here’s one to chew on.  x ec

Growing up, I remember this constant feeling of unhappiness and low self-esteem because no one seemed to take my pain seriously.  When you’re little and adults always attribute your pain to “acting out,” it really takes a toll on your psyche because you start questioning and second guessing yourself.  As an adult on the other side of the spectrum, I do find myself getting annoyed when children complain because I also immediately think it’s because they don’t want to do something.

♓️

The Pain Threshold

Nowadays, there’s a new scientific study published each week, exposing something that we thought to be true as false.  Don’t get me wrong – I love reading science journals, partly because I’m a science major, but mainly because nature is so fascinating, and who isn’t amazed by our bodies and the world we live in?  However, I feel like every week, distinguished lab #1 releases the “truth about something,” from a 10-year study, but then a week later, reputable lab #2 publishes a contradictory message from their 20-year study.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think many recent studies show a new perspective of the things we’ve “figured out.”  One obvious example is ADHD diagnoses in America in comparison to France: the study inferred that it wasn’t that France had less children with ADHD, but rather French doctors’ rationale to attribute their young patient’s hyperactivity to their age, rather than placing blame on a greater problem.  American doctors are pressured by well-meaning parents who must be given a concrete answer to their children’s behavior, even if there might not be a problem at all.

Similarly, one thing that I’ve always heard was that people have different tolerances for pain.  Obviously, getting shot will hurt everyone a lot, though maybe not if you’re a magician 🤔, but I do know that with smaller things, we cry out for pain at different rates.  This reminds me of a childhood game called “Chicken” (this was before cellphones and fast computers were a thing), where two people would hold hands by their thumbs, and would slap the other person’s hand until someone pulled their hand back.  By the end of the game, you would have bright red knuckles – I know this game sounds stupid, but it was a game to see who had the highest pain threshold.

 ♓️

My Life, My Migraines

I would consider myself someone with a relatively high pain tolerance – I’ve never cried getting a shot 😏.  However, when it comes to migraines, all that’s thrown out the window.  I’ve had migraine spells where I would have to lock myself in my room, go under the blanket, and stuff my ears because I became so sensitive that just a little push would have triggered me to vomit.

For the longest time, I didn’t know how to deal with these attacks because oftentimes, I wouldn’t be at home, where I could easily shut the door, turn off the light, and just block out my senses.  Tylenol (acetaminophen), aspirin, or ibuprofen also don’t cut it because it’s basically over the counter medication abuse that damages your liver in the attempt of alleviating your head pain.  Personally, I know I don’t want to lose a liver just because of my pain.

I’ve definitely learned how to live with them, by training myself to push through my migraines.  Obviously, this isn’t a perfect solution because when I get a particularly severe migraine, I feel like my brain is under attack, like a wrecking ball plowing through a concrete wall.  I’ve also been eating healthy, cutting out migraine triggers like bananas and avocados, though I think avocados are gross 🙄.

♓️

I guess the moral of this post is that I wish society was more accepting and kinder to us migraine sufferers.  Frankly, if we didn’t have our migraines, I believe that we would be even more productive than people who don’t.  I also wish that there were more conclusive results on treating migraines because at times, these migraines are isolating.  You can’t join in on the fun with your friends because even though you’re physically present, all you can do is focus on the throbbing pain in your head.

Image Credit: Wealthy Doctor

+rick (((and morty)))+

Wubba lubba dub dub!

Rick, voiced by Justin Roiland, Rick and Morty (2013-present)

When you think of summer, you think of beaches and soaking in the sun.  You also think of binge watching on your favorite shows that you haven’t been able to watch consistently during the traditional school year.  My current obsessions are

  • Rick and Morty,
  • Lucifer, and
  • Game of Thrones.

♓️

First is Rick and Morty, an adult animated science-fiction sitcom.  Unlike others, I only recently got into watching this show, to the ire of my friends who begged me to watch this great show.  I resisted their suggestions, but a Fine Brothers’ video showing clips of this show made me realize what I was missing out on.

According to Google, the premise of the show is:

After having been missing for nearly 20 years, Rick Sanchez suddenly arrives at daughter Beth’s doorstep to move in with her and her family.  Although Beth welcomes Rick into her home, her husband, Jerry, isn’t happy about the family reunion.  Jerry is concerned about Rick, a sociopathic scientist, using the garage as his personal laboratory.  In the lab, Rick works on a number of sci-fi gadgets, some of which could be considered dangerous.  But that’s not all Rick does that concerns Jerry.  He also goes on adventures across the universe that often involve his grandchildren, Morty and Summer.

The reason why I love this show is because of the conversations between Rick and his grandson, Morty.  I may be just hyper-analyzing, but Rick’s self-deprecating remarks tugged at the heartstrings because I related deeply to his words.  However, it isn’t overdone, as this self-hatred isn’t glaringly apparent, as you see his bored look and hear him belittle Morty.

Season 3 (episode 2) of Rick and Morty returns Sunday, July 30 on adultswim.

♓️

Next up is Lucifer, a fantasy police procedural comedy-drama series.  Lucifer was the first show that brought me back into watching TV because it was a show that had everything.  I tend to lose interest in things quickly, so if you have a multi-genre series that has fantasy or sci-fi in it, I’m bound to be hooked onto watching it.

The premise for Lucifer is

Based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg, this series follows Lucifer, the original fallen angel, who has become dissatisfied with his life in hell.  After abandoning his throne and retiring to Los Angeles, Lucifer indulges in his favorite things (women, wine, and song) — until a murder takes place outside of his upscale nightclub.  For the first time in billions of years, the murder awakens something unfamiliar in Lucifer’s soul that is eerily similar to compassion and sympathy.  Lucifer is faced with another surprise when he meets an intriguing homicide detective named Chloe, who appears to possess an inherent goodness – unlike the worst of humanity, to which he is accustomed.  Suddenly, Lucifer start to wonder if there is hope for his soul.

Besides the multi-genre aspect, I love this show because it makes you wonder about life and power.  In some ways, it’s a palatable version of philosophical texts that contemplate about the divine.  This show seems to demonstrate that even those with incredible powers seem to face existential crises as well, which makes them human.  Then, what separates the divine from the mortal?  Just some food for thought.

Season 3 of Lucifer returns Monday, October 2 on Fox.

♓️

The last show I’m currently obsessed with watching is Game of Thrones, a fantasy drama series.  Unlike the others, I have been extremely inconsistent with this show, skipping around seasons 2-5 and watching season 6 to completion only a month ago.  I appreciate shows that move quickly, or at least put a façade of fast movement, but this show takes forever to build up to the grand finale that I’ve been waiting for since season 1.

The premise of GoT is

George R.R. Martin’s best-selling book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” is brought to the screen as HBO sinks its considerable storytelling teeth into the medieval fantasy epic.  It’s the depiction of two powerful families — kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and honest men — playing a deadly game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and to sit atop of the Iron Throne.

Upon hearing that this was the penultimate season, I brushed up on my GoT knowledge asap.  All I wanted to see was who would own the Iron Throne at the end, and how this would happen.  Spoilers (?): I personally believe that Daenerys will reconquer Westeros like her predecessors did all those years ago, but who knows, there are some passionate Jon Snow supporters.

Season 7 of Game of Thrones airs every Sundays on HBO.

♓️

The title of today’s blog post is in reference to Rick and Morty’s official Twitter handle, which I thought was super hysterical and creative.  Morty simply lives in a universe where he isn’t quite the perfect sidekick, like Robin is to Batmen.  Nonetheless, their chemistry is undeniable because Morty’s screw ups basically motivate Rick to show off why he is such a genius.

While there are rabid Rick and Morty and Game of Thrones fans, I have yet to have a friend/acquaintance who loves Lucifer as much as I do.  It’s honestly such an under-appreciated show, so check it out!

xoxo,

the girl who spends her free time analyzing TV shows

IMAGE CREDIT: Polygon

+how to spend+

“They said I was a valued customer, now they send me hate mail.”

Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic (2003)

NOTE: I wrote this when I was first starting my blog – I wanted to post this again because I wanted to insert comments on what I wrote, so as to reflect how much has changed, three years later. X ENC

Among everyone that I know, I would consider myself a sensible shopper because quite frankly, I don’t shop often (as seen in my sparse and half-empty closet).  However, during the times that I do go shopping, I feel as though I go overboard on my purchases.

Three years later, I still agree with this opener.  I still don’t shop often, and when I do, I do stretch my boundaries.  My closet is smaller than it was three years ago, and I’m constantly re-wearing things.

♓️

My Shopping Philosophy: Quality Over Quantity

I believe that if I physically do not have the money to buy the one expensive item that I really want, then I need to make a smart choice.  I can either save until I have the means to purchase it, or give up the dream completely.  With the former, when I do have the sufficient funds to purchase said item, if I still want that item, then I would positively consider buying it.  If not, that’s one more item that got away.

I would say that I still treat my potential purchases this way.  One change is that I now obsessively look at my Chase app, constantly checking my checking account and credit card balances.  The downside of being an adult is that if you want something, you have to buy it yourself (crying emoji).

♓️

The Dangers of Credit Cards

When I turned 18, my dad helped me set up a credit card solely under my name, without his cosign.  This means that I have a typical credit card that 25+-year old adults have, where every credit earned is completely under my name.  I would say that I am one of the rare cases that get approved for this credit card, as many of my friends who have credit cards are just extensions of their parents’.

Reading this, I’m cringing at how embarrassing I was.  Though it is pretty remarkable for a high school graduate’s first credit card to be a “normal” one sans cosign, the way I wrote this comes off as pretty condescending.  I apologize for my younger self 😅.

♓️

I haven’t been a Rebecca Bloomwood, scraping my credit card at every possible reader that I see.  However, there’s a power that you have with a credit card and “virtual money.”  It’s frightening to think if I went crazy and spent all of my credit limit.  Or if someone somehow stole my identity and spent thousands under my name.  Worst of all, I’m scared about accidentally spending so much that I can’t chase down my debt.

Despite the age of technology and advancements in security, I’m still scared of identity theft, and I probably will be until the day I die.  Oh well.

♓️

When a Budding Shopaholic Meets Fashion

The best and worst thing about being a girl is our eye for fashion.

DISCLAIMER: I know there are girls who don’t agree with this bold statement, but for the most part, I believe that we girls all have a soft spot for anything fashion related.  It can be a small or huge hole in the corner of your heart.

Loving fashion isn’t necessarily a bad thing because who doesn’t enjoy a herringbone patterned jacket?  The issue that arises for a girl like me is that NYC can act like a “pusher” for bad spending decisions.

♓️

Normally, I wear black clothes, as black is easy to style, pull off, and repeat.  In a city like the one I was born in raised in, wearing black is an obvious and safe choice.  NYC loves anyone who wears a severe black turtleneck, skintight leather pants, and thigh-high boots, as well as the bold fashionistas who drape themselves in seemingly mismatching patterns.  The latter can be unique and harmonious, but also loud and crazy – NYC will love you no less.

There will always be critics who judge you, but I think we’re afforded a lot of creative freedom in NYC.

♓️

What I’m Saving For

Back when I originally wrote this post, I made a list of things I needed/ truthfully wanted.  These things included shoes, clothes, makeup, though I highlighted the need for eyeshadow primer and new shoes.  I really needed shoes because most of my shoes were worn down and/ or had significant holes in them.  It didn’t help that I was short strapped on funds at the time.  This blog was a wonderful outlet to moan about my lack of funds, as well as my jealousy at people who don’t have to worry about money.

♓️

For a while now, I have been broke, though probably more so than before.  I’ve also begun to abstain from buying things, unless they’re for a quick lunch and a monthly MetroCard.  I’m currently saving up for a few big things in my life:

Short term: a domestic trip, somewhere in the U.S., by the end of the year and a trip to Korea within the next year.

Long term: launching my fashion house, saving up for my future wedding, and paying off my college loans.

Prioritizing my goals and organizing how I should be spending my money made me realize how much I’ve changed.  Though appearances are extremely important, experiencing things and working to make your dream a reality are things I value more.  This may seem to compromise my love for fashion, but I’ve changed the way I think about things.

♓️

Instead of getting things too early and not really appreciating it’s worth, I’ve decided to wait for my time to drape myself in designer brands.  In focusing on making my future, I know that it’s the only surefire way to be able to afford all the things I wanted to buy without being worried about my balance.  It’s like that psychology experiment – you just have to wait those 10 minutes before you can enjoy five more cookies.

xoxo,

the girl who likes to think that she’ll be successful in the future

IMAGE CREDIT: Sky Cinema

+wasting+

“You must excuse my gruff conduct,” the watchdog said, after they’d been driving for some time, “but you see it’s traditional for watchdogs to be ferocious.”

Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth (1961)

On a rare visit to Facebook, I came across an article, “26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known at 20” on Business Insider.  To be precise, it isn’t really an article, but just a list of screenshots sharing Étienne Garbugli’s SlideShare presentation, in which he creatively shared tips he wished he had known when he was younger.  These hacks range from how productive we actually are in a day, to how to maximize on communication in a busy day.

♓️

As a person in my (early) 20s, I wouldn’t call myself a master at time management, though I would love to call myself that.  How can I call myself such, when procrastination has a “tendency” of becoming my best friend? 😅

Since I am the age that Garbugli’s targeting his presentation to, I want to share my list of tips that I wish I had known in my teens, going into high school.  Middle school was a breeze, where it didn’t matter if you procrastinated or not because the work load was so light and deadlines were always at the end of the year.  High school was an abrupt wakeup call because my middle school habits were no longer viable and my new school’s environment didn’t allow it.

In a matter of months, I was thrust into a quasi-college setting, where no one cared about where they were, but where they were going to be at the end of the four years and beyond.  Looking back, I regret those four years so much because I was so underprepared and now these effects are harming the future that I’m currently living in.

♓️

Here are the time management hacks and other life hacks I wish I had known in my teen years:

  1. Four years may seem like a long time, but it really isn’t. High school is nothing like the things you’ve seen in every 90s-teen movie, and sadly, you probably won’t get to have those experiences.
  2. Make your digital calendar or planner your best friends, with obnoxious reminders because deadlines will always creep up on you, especially when you take multiple AP classes in a year, on top of your extracurricular activities.
  3. Instead of thinking about trying to find time to play games, think about how to cram in more sleep because. In college, you’ll regret your decision when you’re not in peak condition, after four years of abusing your youth.
  4. Truthfully, high school’s just part one of your undergrad years, while college’s part two. Basically, you’re in college for at least eight years, more if you decide to go to professional school too, so every grade counts.
  5. Try to plan your hangouts with friends around your extracurricular activities because it’s an easy way to kill multiple birds with one stone. You get to spend time with your friends, explore your mutual hobbies, save money, and write on your college applications that you were involved in various activities that you love/have grown to love.
  6. Join the sports teams that you were involved in and passionate about during your middle school days – soccer and dance are just two easy ways to get your daily workouts and it really pads your college apps.
  7. Office hours are amazing. It’s an easy way to befriend your teachers outside of the class(es) that you’re taking with them and practice your interpersonal skills with people older than you, a precursor to meeting hiring managers.  Also, you never know if they may end up being lifelong friends!
  8. Boys will come and go, so don’t worry about finding your true love in high school. After all, you want to marry a man, not a boy, right? 😉
  9. Read as much as you can because there are so many beautiful pieces out there. You won’t have enough time to enjoy them when you’re older, and reading is one of the keys to success.
  10. Schedule time away from technology, even if it seems counterintuitive to productivity. Technology’s a crucial part of society, but migraines are no one’s best friend.
  11. Whenever you have an idea, write it down. You never know when that idea can blossom into something great, so save it!
  12. Don’t give up and procrastinate when you don’t understand something; just work on something else. You may find yourself inspired to solve the problem you were stuck on while you do something else.
  13. Have a part time job so you can get work experience and cash. Surprisingly, it’s expensive to be a high schooler, especially in NYC and it’s embarrassing to ask your parents for money all the time.
  14. Don’t excuse missing out on opportunities on your personality. Everyone’s scared of rejection, and regardless of getting the opportunity or not, having a backbone’s invaluable.
  15. Try things on your own. Friends and family are safety blankets, but they also prevent you from realizing your true potential, so go out in the wild and create some unique memories.

♓️

Honestly, I could go on and on about the things I wish I could have done right when I was a teenager, but it’s better to leave some things unsaid.  Life’s about growing from the mistakes you made, so if I had a solution for everything, I’ve defeated the purpose of living.

For a person who loves perfection, I know that we aren’t meant to be perfect.  Hence, we shouldn’t kill ourselves with stress trying to make everything right, then forgetting to live.  It’s important to focus on the small details, but don’t forget that they’re part of a bigger picture, and not every detail will show when you take a step back.

xoxo,

the girl who regrets her high school years, but hopes that they won’t matter when she’s older

IMAGE CREDIT: On Point with Tom Ashbrook

+delayed gratification+

Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification.  To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.

Pope Francis, 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1936-present)

Note: I wrote this when I was first starting off my blog.  I wanted to post this because I wanted to insert comments on what I wrote, reflecting on how much I’ve changed, three years later.  X ENC

Turning 18 is a rite of passage where we become full-fledged adults.  Even then, we still don’t get to enjoy the ~luxuries~ of adulthood, like drinking, obviously (winking face emoji); in America, adulthood is basically synonymous to turning 21.  During that three-year gap between 18 and 21, we’ll still pretend to be adults, some of us hunting down a shady friend of a friend who makes convincing fake IDs, so we can sneak into the nearest bar/club/pub.  Since when did your baby face become a convincing 25-year old?

I personally never got a fake ID because during my lucky (?) three years, my friends got me into places.  It really helps to have connections and friends who know people, especially in NYC.  The power of word of mouth is undeniable.

However, turning 18 is still very important.  18 means breaking off the metaphorical chains created by society; we must make somewhat free choices that we must now claim responsibility to, a stark contrast to the past 18 years, filled with decisions we cannot, will not, call our own.  We are put through a flawed school system, which ingrains in us a belief that once high school ends, we will go onto college, and then possibly a professional school if you majored in something useless to the job market during the past four years.  After all those extra school years, we will be working, making bucket loads of money with the sole purpose of paying back the choices that have been made for our sake.  Supposedly.

Reading this again, I noticed how bleak my perspective on life was.  Sadly, it hasn’t changed – if anything, it has turned bleaker.  My younger self didn’t account the competition that will inevitably prevent us from making said “bucket loads of money.”

♓️

Adulthood is an asset to us when seeking jobs that we want and buying ourselves things we want with our hard-earned cash.  If college wasn’t a choice all of us wanted, then working and spending money are two areas that we can control.

Oh my naïve self, thinking that we still have control over these things.  Our jobs are generally decided by whoever wants you, regardless to the places that you apply to work for.  Our wages are spent mostly on living expenses, unless you’re irresponsible and still believe that your parents will still pay for you.

♓️

The Problem with Being an Adult

Growing up in a household where money was tight, I was always filled with envy, seeing fellow peers and famous celebrities prancing around with the newest gadgets and fanciest clothing.  Looking at those people, I would always think, “Just wait, that will be you in 20 years, when you hit it big and become famous, way bigger than the celebs you see now.  They will be jealous of YOU.”

♓️

Now that I’m an “adult,” I want to cash in that statement, despite not having a job that can support the billionaire lifestyle.  My rationale for purchasing things I need, aka want, is my childhood saving habits that Warrant Buffet has always preached about – one should live frugally and save now, spend later.  However, going into college, I haven’t been consistent with myself, shifting towards spending now, and hopefully saving later.

I still agree with this because I have made questionable purchases over the past few years that I regret.  If I could go back in time, I would stop myself from making my “need” purchases, and saving it for something bigger for myself instead.

♓️

Giving it a Label

This isn’t a unique problem.  I feel as though everyone has experienced the struggle of “delayed gratification” at some point.  We learned of this term in AP Psychology, through a famous experiment:

Children under 10 were given a cookie and told that if they didn’t eat it for 10 minutes, then they would be rewarded with five more cookies at the end.  Supposedly, the children who held off eating the cookie led more successful lives in comparison to the kids who didn’t.

The purpose of this experiment was to show that children didn’t understand delayed gratification and restraint because their brains weren’t developed to the point where they could comprehend the implications of waiting for things.  However, seeing the crimes and scandals written in The New York Times and The Daily Post, we can conclude that this isn’t a problem only found in children.  Even better, we can conclude that following rules is something we all struggle with.  Consequently, my spending struggles as an ~adult~ is something that goes beyond just a lack of development.

♓️

Granted, I’m not like Rebecca in Confessions of a Shopaholic, but I do get tunnel vision, looking at the things I want, for days on end; I try to justify purchasing them.  Some of my reasons are, “I threw out my clothes, so I need new clothes to replace them,” “It’s a new season,” and sometimes, “I don’t want to be judged by what I own.”  My email subscriptions to Bloomingdales, Tiffany & Co., Vogue, etc. certainly don’t help.  I’m bombarded with enticing titles like, “Normcore is Back in Trend: How You Can Wear This Season’s Latest Trends.”

I still get tempted when Kate Spade sends an email with an awesome sale, but I feel like the key to ignoring them is getting so many automated emails, that you just begin to tune them all out.

♓️

Conflicts with Getting a Job

I ask myself, “If I buy this herringbone tweed coat for $220 now, will I regret it down the line, knowing that I could’ve spent it on something more fashionable in the future?”  This sounds like a vapid first world problem, but it’s much greater than that.  The most materialistic things influence how others perceive us, and will affect our future job prospects.  First impressions are always important, and physical manifestations of a person’s personality through fashion choices give people a general idea of what kind of person they are.

♓️

While judging is hurtful, at time, it’s a necessary evil because in a wired society, no one have the time, or wants to spend the time, getting to know each and every person they meet.  Probably outside of Silicon Valley, no one wants to hire an employee who looks like they’re going to get a visit from the fashion police.  Unless you’re wearing your grandparents’ vintage designer denim overalls from the 60s as a fashion statement, it’s probably not work appropriate, especially in a corporate setting.

I understand as a fashion lover that it’s important to create your own trends, but there are some societal norms that are hard to overcome.  Especially if you aren’t what people perceive as pretty, then it can be even harder for people to be accepting 😥.

♓️

In the End of the Day…

Everything we do is a choice, whether it’s shopping for shoes, or only eating a granola bar for lunch.  All these choices have their own after effects and ripples.  Times like these make me appreciate the days when I was imprisoned to my parents’ ‘choices – at least then I would never have to feel the burden of responsibility.  Being an adult means making choices that we live with forever, the good and the bad.  I guess I answered my own question then – I’ll just wait another 20 years, saving so that I can only buy luxury goods in the future.

I think this was a good ending to my delayed gratification post, despite almost veering off course in the middle.  We don’t fully get to control our choices, but we still have to live with the responsibility of them.  And instead of being caught up in how others perceive me, I might as well just save until people look at me with jealousy because of my decision to save.

xoxo,

the girl who will be living a fashionable life soon

IMAGE CREDIT: Analysis & Opinion | Reuter’s

+secrets+

Your smile was derisive and colder than the arctic.  “Didn’t you guess?  You’re not Dad’s favourite child, I am and Ariel is Jasmin’s fave.”

– northbynorth, The Dreamer (2015)

I originally started reviewing this book a few years ago when it was still being written.  The Dreamer, originally Thirty Letters is a book written by a wonderful author under the username northbynorth on Wattpad.  I was exposed to the author’s amazing quality of writing in a previous novel, Saving Elliot, a story that everyone should read.  Saving Elliot superficially is a good-girl-saves-bad-boy story, but it’s much more than that; the author reminds us that even the good need help sometimes.

♓️

In my draft, I wrote a huge paragraph about how much I loved the cover’s aesthetic, but the cover has since changed, so I’ll skip over that.

The Dreamer is written in a series of letters addressed to the important people in the protagonist, Morgana’s, life.  There are pros and cons to writing stories in this format, like reading between the lines and not having an author spoon-feed you everything through an omniscient outside narrator.  For some, this is cumbersome because they can’t, or don’t want to find the links between characters, etc., while others love the adventure the letter format takes them on; it’s a mystery that maximizes the emotions and reactions at the end of each letter.

♓️

The story is Morgana’s self-reflecting piece, as she writes down the realizations she has made during her short life so far.  In the beginning, each letter seems like they will be delivered to the person it’s addressed to, but Morgana explicitly states that the good and bad part about this letter is that the addressee will never see, read, nor understand what she is going through.  At that point, I realized that these letters are not for the sake of creating a discussion, but it’s for Morgana’s sake – in this world, there’s no one who can fully empathize with Morgana, so she, through these letters, will be the friend and therapist that no one will be for her.

♓️

Superficially, Morgana comes off as a typical, whiny teenager who complains about how no one understands her.  The sad thing is that her words are true – she doesn’t have anyone to confide in.  Her mother may have been the one person she could’ve confided in when she was younger, but her mother’s gone.  People from all parts of her life have effectively abandoned her since her mother’s passing, and the people who are supposed to love her are distant with her; none of them try to understand her, a stark contrast to Hucky.

Morgana’s letters reveal the raw feelings of loneliness and isolation she faces.  Correction, we don’t know if she really needs their support, as she comes off as a mentally strong teenager who was forced to fend for herself.  Nonetheless, it’s always nice to have people to lean on.

♓️

As an older sibling, I relate to Morgana’s isolation because at times, my family will ignore me for my brother.  However, we can’t simply blame our parents because I believe that there’s an error within our DNA; we are unable to truly focus on more than one thing at any given moment.  Ergo, anyone who claims to be able to multitask is a liar because you won’t do a good job.  Think: rubbing your stomach with your left hand, while patting your head with the right.

Consequently, humans are unable to successfully maintain multiple human relationships at once.  In many ways, we are similar to the simplest of animals, as we can only focus on one topic at hand at any given moment.  There’s an imbalance between the demands of the society and the extent to our own capabilities.  Studies have shown that despite parents’ verbal exclamations and refusals about having a favorite child, in the end of the day, parents do have a child that they prefer, and tend to look more favorably upon.

♓️

Is it unfair for the other children who aren’t the apple of their parents’ eyes?  No.  However, it is important for the child to communicate this feeling of hurt to their parents.  On the parents end, especially parents who have grown up marginalized by their siblings, they should try to put themselves back into the shoes of their Morganas and think about how they can effectively translate affection to them.  Especially during puberty, parents should be understanding because they’re gone through those rough years, and previous feelings of isolation are exacerbated during this period.

♓️

I wouldn’t call myself Morgana, but I have been in many situations where I felt like Morgana, but for me, it has helped me grow.  Because I didn’t feel as much love and would feel jealous at the love my brother received, it helped me grow independent and less reliant on receiving external validation.

This, begs the question – is Morgana, and other quasi-abandoned children, the lucky one?  After all, they seem more prepared in entering an unfair world where you aren’t the apple of somebody’s eyes.  For me, I would say yes, though yes with reservations because not everyone put in that situation are mentally capable of handling such a feeling.

xoxo,

the girl who was Morgana, just like you were at one point as well

IMAGE CREDIT: Wattpad

+next+

When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.

Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles (2011)

I feel like everyone has spent a sleepless night scrolling through Buzzfeed, taking quizzes, watching videos, and reading lists.  One of these was Michelle Regna’s “28 Profoundly Beautiful Quotes About Life and Death,” a compilation of community suggested quotes.

♓️

I noticed that the quotes Regna chose shared a similar theme – finding peace after death because death is but a step in life’s journey.  I have a problem with that because we don’t need to define death in such a way; we try to make sense of death in a positive way, so as to feel better about our mortality.  For some reason, humans have trouble reconciling with the fact that their time on earth is finite, when we get so frustrated at times and irrational numbers that have no finite solution.

♓️

Why do we waste so much time thinking about our inevitable end when living’s already stressful?  Why should we put more stress on ourselves thinking about how it’ll all end?  Maybe it’s because of my age or because of my proactive personality, but I don’t understand why we’re so obsessed with thinking about death.

For example, when a person dies, we generally attend their funeral.  At their funeral, we always talk about how much we will miss them, how much they impacted our lives, etc.  Rarely do people talk about the deceased feelings because funerals have become perverted to a competition to see who loved the deceased the most.  Whoever has the largest funeral is almost like the winner of that disgusting competition.

♓️

In a way, we don’t have our priorities straight.  We have a tunnel vision towards the end of the tunnel, a door that signifies death, and past it, a continuation of our supposed journey.  However, to reach that door, we have to walk towards it first.  We all seem to forget that fact; we’re so occupied about the life after death.

I know that I’m young and unexperienced in many things that one experiences in life, but I do know that living’s stressful, and thinking about death is just as stressful, so do yourself a favor and just think about what you need to do at this moment.

♓️

As seen in my other late night musings, I’m no stranger to stress.  I get stressed out when I’m not stressed over something because my brain thinks that something isn’t right.  I’m not trying to say that you should all live anally like me, but we’re young.  We should be focused on realizing our dreams, and if you don’t have one, go out in the world and find something that ignites you.  Don’t rest until you find something that gets you going because nothing’s worse than thinking about death than to waste your time just sitting down and regretting about the things that could have been.

♓️

I know that this may sound all over the place, but I hope there’s some semblance to a motivational speech.  Carpe diem and blah blah blah because there’s seven billion people on earth, and we should all have the chance to have our fifteen minutes of fame (hopefully the good kind of fame).  Also, this is scheduled for a Monday posting, which may seem a bit odd because I’m starting off the week serious, but we’ll be fine.  Sometimes we all need a dose of reality, right?

xoxo,

the girl who is too busy about living to think about death

IMAGE CREDIT: Mind Over Food

+excluded+

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone.  It’s not.  The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.” – Robin Williams (via BrainyQuote)

One thing that girls, women, and media have all taught us about friend groups, commonly known as ~squad~ today, is that “three’s a crowd.”  I personally try not to believe in that because among my two best friends and I, someone would have to be the leftover friend, yet this is not the case for us (not to brag, but 12+ years and going strong).  I’ll admit, however, that with almost every other friend that I have made, I will find myself getting anxious with the introduction of a new friend in our budding friendship.  And no, I don’t have social anxiety – I just get worried because I don’t want to be that leftover friend, no one does.  I know that we’re also taught to take things with a grain of salt, but the fact that everyone says that about groups of threes makes me scared of the realization of a “three’s a crowd” in my life, where I am that dreaded leftover friend.

♓️

According to AP Psychology and my mother (credentials: NYU), humans are social creatures.  That is, we are naturally social beings who seek the company of others, mainly to increase the likelihood of survival, e.g. getting food and shelter, and eventually emotional support.  Today, the survival aspect isn’t as apparent because we generally have a familial network of some sort, blood related or not, that helps us get food on the table with a roof over our heads.  However, the latter has become a crucial social skill in a world of seven billion people.  We naturally crave the presence of those who resemble us, beside the desire to fit in and feel normal.

As little girls, we’re taught many things from our older counterparts.  Among them is that happiness and fulfillment is found through a boyfriend, who will eventually become your husband, then father to your children.  While we can sit and argue that this is an unfair representation of girls and their desires, we can also argue that girls understand that we are fundamentally built this way, something not taught and apparent to boys.  Girls understand that helping one another is crucial for the success of humankind, beyond the gender.

♓️

Tangent aside, I’m reminded of a crude rhyme that I still hear in college, “chicks before dicks,” and “bros before hoes.”  Funnily, these infantile phrases are true – we crave boyfriends who love us, but that boyfriend is just a boy we’re intimate with.  Friends, however, are individuals who will still be there for you after the breakup, to wipe away your tears and binge anything with you until you get over that rough patch.

So, in the end of the day, we want to surround ourselves with emotionally intelligent humans who provide emotional support.  That’s what I think makes human beings so unique; we crave sympathy and empathy from our loved ones because in the end of the day, we are our worst critics.  We beat ourselves down even before starting anything, so we need people to remind us that we are good enough and that we are loved.

♓️

Motivational speech aside, I believe that the unevenness of the number three frightens us partly because of perfectionism.  It’s almost logical for a friend group to be an even number, like the number four; most things in this world are square shaped.  Squares have four sides, and when split in half, you get two groups of two.  In a four-membered friend group, you will have that one friend that you feel the most at ease with, but the other two are still great people to surround yourself with.

The fear of missing out, FOMO, is a dangerous term because when you see yourself left out of an Instagram post, it hurts.  It seems like your friend are all having a ton of fun without you, but they aren’t doing this with an intentional or malicious desire to stir jealousy among the trio.  However, when you’re left out, missing out on inside jokes, it feels like the opposite.  On top of that, you may find yourself questioning your value to your friends, and that really, really sucks.  As girls, we’re all practically hardwired to overthink things, especially second guessing yourself and your self-worth constantly.  And I know that we shouldn’t, but “’tis the curse of the girl, bound to overthink and doubt ceaselessly.”

♓️

Between all these anxious and negative thoughts, you silently pity yourself, thinking, “I just want to be loved.”  You may start considering finding new friends and praying for a non-three’s-a-crowd situation, but like always, you are plagued with doubts and fears that you’re cursed to live that way, cursed to be the leftover friend who misses out on everything.  It’s a never-ending cycle of anxiety, and quite frankly, I don’t see a solution coming for me any time soon.

xoxo,

the girl who doesn’t want to be the leftover friend

Image Credit: Stretch the Horizon

+perfectionism+

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi (via BrainyQuote)

As seen in +decoration+, I would say that I have a Type-A personality.  The Type-A-Type-B personality test, developed by cardiologists Friedman and Rosenman, showed the relationship between patients’ heart conditions and behavior in the waiting room.  Type-A individuals are generally competitive, self-critical, impatient, aggressive multi-taskers; people with these traits usually suffer from hypertension, as well as heart disease.  It makes sense because if you are constantly stressed about doing something to avoid an unproductive day, you’re most likely doing it at the cost of your health.  There’s a reason why “no pain, no gain” is so relevant to life beyond the gym.  Below are a few questions asked in the study

  • Do you feel guilty if you use spare time to relax?
  • Do you need to win in order to derive enjoyment from games and sports?
  • Do you generally move, walk and eat rapidly?
  • Do you often try to do more than one thing at a time?

♓️

Prior to AP Psychology, I thought that we were all generally Type-A.  When I was younger, the weekends were no different from the weekdays because I went to Korean school on Saturdays and Sunday School at church on Sundays.  Even today, weekends are filled with studying, blogging, or making money.  I would “reward” myself at night with sleeping for seven hours, attending parties, or watching YouTube videos.  However, if I didn’t finish my work, sleep was a commodity, as I couldn’t sleep, knowing that I had work to do.  And yes, as you could have deduced from now, I have never missed a single day of homework since I started school in the fall of 2000.

People find my Type-A personality desirable, as many of my friends are Type-B, que será será, personality types.  If I don’t have a schedule made a week in advance, I get anxious and frantic, as I need to find something to occupy myself with, while my friends make last minute plans, texting me hours before an event.  However, I am appreciative of my personality type because you can’t survive New York City without being neurotic.

♓️

The reason why I think perfectionism is a dangerous disorder beyond the health repercussions is that it creates an abusive situation that you cannot escape from.  Essentially, you’re in an abusive relationship with perfectionism, where it will constantly point out minor details that you must fix or else your entire life will be ruined.  Even when you fulfill all these orders, you’re still not content because there will always be something else that still needs to be perfected.  Therein lies the cycle of trying to please something in your mind that is never truly satisfied.

My wakeup call that this was an impractical lifestyle was when I was hospitalized for severe migraines.  Lying in the emergency room bed, my mom said to remember that since the state of living is stressful, there is no need to add more stress to it.  Her words forced me to examine myself and my identity as a perfectionist.  I asked myself, “Do I need to be perfect all the time to still be me?”  Quite frankly, the answer was no – I didn’t need to go an extra mile, adversely affecting my health, when no one went even a quarter of the way.

♓️

Today, I would still call myself a work in progress, and I know that I have further to go.  So, to soothe my ego, I would like to promote Marie Kondo’s book because being neat (and maybe being a perfectionist) is the key to success.  And to a degree, it’s true, as successful people start off their morning productive, and what’s better than to start your morning with a neat bed?  Among everything to obsess over, making your bed is probably the easiest and least stressful thing to do, on top of most satisfying because the first thing you want to do when you go home is fall into your bed, your tidy bed.

xoxo,

the girl who is on her way to becoming more zen(ish)

Image Credit: Odyssey