2014, you are mine.

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Now that I have turned a new chapter of my life, I want to share you my resolutions that I plan to change since change is the only permanent thing in our lives. Looking back to 2013, I have never been more proud of my ability to surpass all the challenges that brought me and my values to the ground. On the other hand, I have learned some meaningful lessons that I will never have learned if I did not take the chance of going above and beyond.

Thank you.

I know how resolutions are so cliche but in my perspective, it’s also a great feeling to know that it’s another year and we are done with one chapter of our lives that we can always smile or cry about. (so nostalgic!) It’s a wonderful feeling that we are beginning somewhere again: best way to motivate yourself that you are only going to get BETTER.

I have only been in Canada for 1 year and a half-ish and seeing where I am standing right now (the amount of mistakes and lessons I was able to accumulate), I am grateful to say that I went beyond my comfort zone.

“Don’t give up. You are already in pain.
You are already hurt. Get a reward from it.”

Two biggest achievements of 2013:

1. Great involvement in University

In my first year, I was so excited that I gave so much time in attending events, workshops, and info sessions to learn more about myself and this University. It’s a remarkable place to be in! (put yourself out there) I was awarded a first-year involvement award, became a director of my organization, and just late last year, was informed that I will soon be in the National team. There are more things that I have yet to discover and I can’t wait to witness them all.

2. Work experience

This is my second job and I’m loving every single bit of it. The people, the environment, the support, and the values it upholds to its employees and customers. I am slowly developing my professional skills considering how I’m the youngest of my co-workers! Being acknowledged and showing appreciation is the best feeling ever. It’s all about give and take.

Three things that I aim for this year:

1. Excellent Academic Standing (A)

This is not only for my parents’ happiness but also for my own. Being able to achieve a good grade does not simply indicate that I’m smart (no way lol) but that I am able to focus and work hard on an achievement that requires so much time, effort, and discipline to master. I used to get good grades in high school but being in university, I was exposed to so much more things that I forgot to prioritize. This is for us, mom & dad.

2. Go for my interests.

I have always been afraid to show who I am and what I love to do but this year will be different. Music and sports are two of them. I have set them aside too much because I thought they were not as important as setting achievements in other aspects of my life (such as my weaknesses). Having to be away from them for the past year has made me realize how big of an impact they have created in my life and NEVER will I ever set them aside. Hopefully, I will be able to join our swimming intramural and have a cover with my dear friend (who is by the way, a wonderful singer!). Who is excited?! I am!

3. Natural self-discovery.

I have pushed myself too much to the things that I think will make me happy. It was frustrating. This year, I will understand myself by doing the things I love and have always wanted to do but “never” had the time to do so.
– downtown photography
– starting my vision planned out
– travel

You are who you are and nobody should tell you otherwise.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Life of a 20-something: Phase 0.

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Initially inspired by one of the best authors I know: Meg Jay (MUST READ: Defining Decade & MUST WATCH: her amazing Ted Talk)

Being a 20-something seems like just that typical feeling where you just feel nothing because you know that you’re just growing a year older.. and that’s it. But that’s how I used to think of it. After reading Meg Jay’s Defining Decade, I learned to understand how being 20 is NOT just being 20, it’s all about transforming to a young adult entering a new phase of her life. This year of being a 20 year old was a definite roller coaster ride, from going way up to all the way down and all around. It was crazy but there are no regrets, just realizations. I don’t know if you have experienced this or experiencing this at some point. My objective is to merely give you a portion of my life.

Check in — confused and overwhelmed

SELF-DISCOVERY:

Emotionally, I feel lost.
Mentally, I feel that I have too much to learn and to catch up on.
Physically, I feel like after a year of no competitive swimming, I was able to develop my own routine of taking care of my health (I still have a sweet tooth nonetheless.. unfortunately.)
Spiritually, I am floating. I believe in God and I sincerely love Him with all my heart but there are a lot of times when I still feel empty.

1st Quarter:
First year of University in a different country with a new set of people to deal with. (except for my dearest family of course) I was involved in a lot of volunteering activities.. trying to understand the culture in this totally strange world. I got accepted into a seasonal job, which by the way I really loved. I met a lot of people from very diverse backgrounds, it was definitely interesting in so many ways. However, there are still times when I felt alone. I had a job, I was involved, I was getting good grades, but I was not contented. I miss swimming and I missed my old life and my best friends. I almost felt lucky but at the same time, without it. It was quite ironic. Creating memories with the new people I have healed that urge to go back to the past.. but not completely.

2nd Quarter:
No exercise, it was winter time too. Oh what fun! I was healthy and emotional at the same time. Now, let’s not laugh about this.. even if it sounds funny (or not). My job was done for the season and I was studying for five courses in comparison with the four courses I had before. I had no social life because I was so involved with school that I almost forgot what it felt like to just get out and enjoy or stay in and watch some TV series with my PJ’s. This is practically the worst quarter for me because I was more than alone, I felt alienated. I did get to meet up with some of my friends but how I perceived myself was not something I really hoped to feel. I thought Winter would be great, because it’s snow and.. well, it was my first time to experience snow. Then after a winter-tastic quarter, I said to myself never again. I miss my tropical country!

One night, I got to talk with a dear friend talking about anything and everything. I was laughing and crying at the same time, there were just a lot of emotions involved. It was moody and relieving at the same time. Now, I don’t feel alone. I came into a realization that I almost forgot.. I have my family with me and that’s what’s most important. We will get through with this TOGETHER. Moreover, I attended this amazing conference, called LEADER SHAPE, which made me understand my worth as a person and as a human being. If you have this program in your University, I highly suggest that you take advantage of this. It changed my life.. my vision was established. (something I will share soon)

3rd Quarter:
Hello Spring and hello Summer! Something I really really look forward to. I was able to get over my fear of treadmills after trying it out for the third time, this time I was successful. We, my brother and I, were able to make the most out of the facilities we have here. It was about time to get back in shape. I was getting the hang of how my new position works in this organization I am involved in. I was hired for a new job after a long process of recruitment and selection. It was definitely worth the wait. I took 2 summer courses and they were very much aligned to my own interests. I have had some moments when I felt idle but that did not push me to go back to sinking into my over thinking. After having to do a lot of reflections in different conferences and during my me-times, I was able to increase my patience towards persevering to overcome challenges that are worth fighting for. It was happy inside, the sense of fulfillment gave me self-confidence but I was losing the balance of being able to make sure that I maintain my relationships intact. (be updated with their lives and vice versa)

4th Quarter:
It is ironic to realize how the intention of being individualistic does not match the results that you see. I thought getting to improve myself and investing in my own experiences would benefit those around me. They were proud of me but I was not proud of how I had lesser and lesser time to spend with them. My values are now in conflict with my aspirations. Which comes first? I am still trying to find the right intersection. I have the least idle moments so that is good because it only means that I’m becoming more productive. My room is cleaner or maintained better than it used to. I brought up posters / large reminders to keep me on track with my goals and routine. I feel more matured and less conscious with what I say because I push myself to speak up. It has always been hard but I try.. I keep on trying. In the end, we have got to realize that nobody can help us but ourselves!

Over-all realization:
I have a lot to improve on, that’s for sure but nothing is stopping me from learning more and more. It’s interesting how the world works, just take the time to get to know it especially the people. What really moved me is how the project of Brandon from New York was able to capture the simplicity and beauty of human life. This is an initiative that can catch your attention wherever you come from because of how natural the pictures and real their stories are. #mustread We are all but humans, we possess a treasured life that is meant to be shared.

What we want vs. What the Society wants for us

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flyFLY HIGH!

As we grow, we are exposed to so many things and therefore, have learned to dream. However, if you have noticed, the older we get, the more blurry these dreams are becoming. I guess it’s all what reality taught us — that not all dreams are meant to come true. This is not true. What do you call those people who are just  happy with what they’re doing. I believe that they have attained the dream that they dream because most of us will lean on doing what the society wants us to be.

Social expectations can shape our identity in so many ways. Sometimes it is hard to get out of the zone but eventually, we will have to or else, living for ourselves will never be an option. In the end, if we follow what they want us to be, then who will lose? Us. If we ourselves are incapable of easily identifying of who we are and who we want to be, what more can they do to help us. These are quotes to help you deal with them.

— Appearance: “If you feel good, then you look good.”

It is never about what brand you wear or what size you wear or what trend you are following, it is all about what we are comfortable in wearing and how we want to be seen. The society does not dictate what we have to look like nor do they have the right to say who is fashionable and who is not. Back to the whole purpose of creating my blog is to point out that we all have different perspectives. If we wear what we think the society will want us to wear, I just want to assure you that not everyone will agree so might as well follow your own fashion. I have noticed how I (and probably most people) admire those who have learned how to carry themselves in whatever they have. Confidence is the key.

— Aspirations: “The hardest part is not to fail, but to regret of not even trying.” —

My mother has taught me so many things and one of them is that there is nothing wrong if you try. This may be one of the most valued lessons that I learned to apply every time I am faced with an opportunity. Confidence used to be my big problem, but I witnessed myself growing everyday as I conquer my fears.The society’s well-appreciated careers are doctors, engineers, and lawyers; however, this does not mean that we all have to be those people. If you want to be, then no problem, that is great for you! If you do not want to be, then it is also no problem, that is still great for you because then, you’ll be going for what you will be happy with.

There should also be practicality with how you choose by actually allotting time to research how that career will be valued in five to ten to twenty years, how your life will be if you have taken that path, how that can reflect your interests and passion, and last but not the least, why you have chosen that career in the first place. The latter is the most important because as the famous quote goes “the moment you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long” <– this will keep you motivated in believing in yourself and the choice that you have made. And remember, contentment is the key. We tend to want to achieve so many things, so rather focus on the ones you find most important to you and your values and fight for them. 

— Identity: “You are who you are.” —

Personality is completely different from attitude. Personality is something you are born with and attitude is something that was influenced by your environment, peers, or experiences. Personality cannot be changed but attitude can certainly be managed. The more you become yourself, the easier it is to understand the world and the world to understand you. Don’t be afraid, be yourself, be vulnerable.