Countdown

Another year, another 31st of December, which means it is time, once again, to look back and see where my head was at this time last year. In a sense, readdressing my resolutions is like opening up a yearly time capsule. Let’s take a look at my 14 resolutions made on December 31, 2013:

1) Get a tattoo.

  • [x] On July 5, 2014, I got my first tattoo. And I know, on the grand scheme of things, this is somewhat trivial, but this was a major step for someone who always dreamed, but never followed through.

2) Apply to medical school.

  • [~] TBA

3) Develop a greater understanding for my culture, language, and religion.

  • [~] This is definitely an ongoing resolution, but I have made strides this year!

4) Go on an overseas medical trip.

  • [x] Made it happen! I went to Thailand and then some.

5) Learn how to play “Stop This Train” on the guitar.

  • [  ] Not yet.

6) Shed 10-20 lbs.

  • [~] I lost 20 lbs in Thailand when I was the happiest and experiencing minimal stress. It gave me great insight on how my life has to change to get to that point once again.

7) Attend at least one concert.

  • [x] The one and only, Jason Mraz.

8) Exercise a least five times a week and continue to make healthy food choices.

  • [~] Again, another ongoing process.

9) Learn to study smart and excel in future classes.

  • [x] YES. If I learned anything this year, it was that I had the potential all along.

10) Pay off my credit card debt and loans.

  • [x] Done and done.

11) Read at least two new books every month.

  • [x] Take a look at the right at my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge!

12) Prioritize myself first when necessary, but be a better friend, sister, daughter, and community citizen.

  • [x] Learning when to say no and when to say yes.

13) Learn to stay calm and curb my anger.

  • [~] Ongoing process.

14) Stay optimistic, everything happens for a reason.

  • [x] If there is was one word to describe this year, it would be “acceptance“. I took me quite a while to come to the realization that regardless of who I was or am or where I come from, my story is one and only. There is no set path in this life, but if I remain hopeful, what will be, will be.

8/14 done properly. 5/14 are ongoing. And only 1 that has yet to be completed. 2014 may not have been significant in terms of life events, but this first gap year of mine provided me with some much-needed reassurance. I not only know what I want out of life, but I am a little more aware of how I should go about to do so. Here’s to hoping that 2015 will continue to provide me with the determination to manifest my desires and the encouragement to turn ideas into ideals.

And with that I leave you with my 2015 resolutions and my best wishes for an extraordinary new year!

 

2015_sand_crop

 

Happy New Year,

A.

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“This Is The New Year” (almost)

I know it’s an overdone thought – to make resolutions by the 1st of the year. And while I do agree that resolution-making can happen any time, what I like most about my New Year’s resolutions, is that I can look back and see where my head was at this time last year. Let’s take a look at my 13 resolutions made on December 31, 2012:
1.) Get accepted into a Child Life Masters Program

  • [  ] Not only did I switch from Chid Life to Developmental Psychology, but as we all know, I ended up deferring my acceptance.

2.) Keep tabs on UCLA Happenings and attend more events – it’s my senior year!

  • [~] While I did not really keep tabs, I did attend more events and ended my year with an event in Royce Hall.

3.) Have two more successful quarters for CEC and leave behind a positive legacy

  • [X] It depends on what you define as “positive legacy”, but personally, I gave CEC my all and looking back, I’m proud of what I accomplished.

4.) Learn how to play “Stop This Train” on guitar

  • [~] I took some steps towards this goal. I enrolled in guitar lessons and have learned a few songs including “Stay” by Rihanna.

5.) Take advantage of megabus’s $1 offer and take a semi-spontaneous trip to San Francisco

  • [X] I did ride the Megabus, but to Vegas, not SF. It was definitely not spontaneous, not did it cost me a mere $1. More like that + 40 more smackaroos. And to be honest, it wasn’t as great as I was hoping it would be. (*Sidenote: But I DID take a spontaneous trip to Davis via the Amtrak and while it wasn’t cheap, it was an amazing trip with one of my best friends*)

6.) Take a trip to Las Vegas, post-21

  • [X] Yessir and it was quite an experience.

7.) Exercise at least twice a week and slowly expand that to every day

  • [~] This didn’t really kick in until the latter half of the year, but better late than never!

8.) Follow a healthier eating regimen – take multiple trips to Ralphs and be conscious of all foods

  • [~] Still working on this, but I have definitely made changes in the houeshold. Now to get my mother to use brown rice instead of white.

9.) As always, go to at least one concert

  • [X] Not only did I go to multiple concerts, but I attended the CONCERT of concerts – Coachella. Check and mate.

10.) Attempt to do better in school – whether this means, procrastinate less, prioritize/focus more, or simply, thrive in new setting

  • [  ] I’m still working on this. Study smart, procrastinate less, concentration endurance – tips are welcome!

11.) Write consistently in this blog, every day, for the entire year

  • [  ] Oh, I wrote this with the intention of having a separate 2013 blog that represented blogging for 365 days. But by Day 22 I realized that I didn’t have the time, nor that interesting of a life, to fulfill this.

12.) Finally close that “7-year” chapter and do what I need to do to move on.

  • [X] Done and done.

13.) Never lose faith. Everything happens for a reason, so keep powering through.

  • [X] Losing faith in life is like losing the will to live. With everything thrown at me this year, I think I’ve managed to say afloat, no?

6/13 done properly. 4/13 done so so. And 3 that were just not completed – but I wouldn’t count them as failures. 2013 will always be significant to me as this was the year I graduated UCLA and came out as a recipient of a Bachelor’s Degree.

This time last year, I was trying to rebuild an image that had been demolished by certain events. I wanted to keep moving forward despite all the signs telling me to slow down. This year, I’m hoping to discover myself  and really focus on my emotional, physical, and psychological well-being, while keeping in mind of my friends and family who have been with me through thick and thin. Here’s to hoping that 2014 not only brings me one step closer to an acceptance to medical school, but an awareness of who I am .

One key lesson for the year:

Value yourself. The more you ­elevate your self-worth, the more you will ­attract what you desire.

And with that I leave you with my 2014 resolutions and my sincere wishes for a wonderful new year. Cheers!
Au revoir, 2013.
Au revoir, 2013.

Happy New Year,

A.

2013

Hello there!

Welcome to a resolution within itself. Committing to a project for a full year without procrastination and/or laziness interfering. 2012 washes away I’ve alway enjoyed those yearly challenges – whether they be the 365 day photo challenge on Facebook or a 365 tweets on Twitter – but it never crossed my mind twice to actually do one myself. Until now. However, I found it more comforting to blog for a year, because let’s face it, I can only truly get my thoughts out through writing. However, I know myself and I know that I won’t likely stick to a strict regimen of blogging daily. So let’s say “tending” to my blog as much as possible this year and releasing it to the public before the end of the year?

2012 was a year of extreme highs and lows. I began to write a quick recap, but then I realized that for the most part, if not all of what’s happened, I’ve accepted and moved on. So here’s to not dwelling in the past. Goals were seized, expectations were failed, some doors closed, leaving other doors open.

So here’s to the beginning of 2013 – a slightly unorthodox introduction than past years, but nevertheless, a year of hopes and dreams. And more so, a year of pursuit of these goals in order to make a better life for myself.

It’s not only me who sees this year as a larger step towards the bigger picture. I’ve seen countless astrology readings (both the Hindu and English versions), and although I take everything in with a grain of salt, all of them state the same thing. My career aspirations will further this year. Here’s a few quotes that I found meaningful from the great Y! Horoscopes:

You’ve been blessed to merge the needs of your soul with your career since 2012, and now you’re learning to use the power of smoke and mirrors to your advantage in the most powerful way. Your offering to the world is incredibly healing. People are mesmerized with what you have to offer and you can use the power of your imagination to captivate your chosen audience and target market. All of this leads to greater exposure and possibility. You know the stakes are too high to take the easy way out and throw away all that you’ve built. Just remember: where there is love, there is no effort.

I only hope that this is an approving nod towards all my work that I’ve done with infants thus far. Regardless, this is my year. I graduate from my undergraduate career this year. I move on to that next step this year. I’m not sure when or even if this blog will go public, but this time next year, hopefully, I’m further along than I am now.

Until then, thanks for reading and may 2013 be full of love, laughter, and many accomplishments.

A.

Sunday Morning Musings

Image

This morning I came across a Tumblr that belonged to an acquaintance from high school. Now I say acquaintance because although we were project partners in middle school and knew of each other for many years now, we were never really more than “Facebook friends”. And let’s be honest, I was very much jealous of her. I was jealous that she was ranked #1 in our class of 900 students while also participating in multiple extracurriculars. I was jealous that she had been accepted and was going to Brown and on top of all of that, she had a steady boyfriend. I was jealous that she had a solid group of friends, all with bright futures themselves, and a fantastic physique. So you can imagine my interest piquing when I came across her blog. Now this blog consisted of 112 pages. 5 posts on each page which comes out to roughly 560 posts. I have other friends on Tumblr – friends that I actually speak to on a regular basis or who I “care” more about. Have I ever taken the time to read every post they written. Have I ever spent 2 hours just sitting there, clicking through each of their links and pictures?

But with this girl, I was just so curious to see how her life was. Was it just as seemingly-fantastic as it was in high school? It’s funny – as I read, I began to see more of her than I ever saw in the past 10+ years of knowing her. Back in elementary school, her family had so little money that it was a strict diet of ramen for many years. She struggled with eating disorders in high school and similar to myself, have had this ongoing internal battle of relationships & personal happiness versus career goals. However, unlike myself, she has prevailed in college. And yet, she’s still taking a year off before medical school.

I’m not sure why this last bit of information strikes me so strongly – I believe it’s because she finally seems somewhat ‘human’. The fact that this amazingly smart, beautiful, talented girl is also taking a year off doesn’t make it seem so far-fetched that I’m postponing my own medical dreams for another two years. In fact, reading her entire blog was more interesting/fulfilling like a good movie or book, rather than informative. Well no, I mean, it was very informative, but it was the type of blog that I would have willingly followed rather than out of obligation. It’s a shame that I’m still the same person from high school who shies away from public commitment in fear of retaliation. What I mean by this is, who knows what sort of reaction I will get. And even more frightening, what if she shares my blog with people in high school that I truly detest? People like that – people who are very much two-faced, I just can’t have them reading my personal thoughts. So instead of proudly reblogging every post of hers – I cut corners and found other sources so that I wouldn’t be linked to her in any way.

Funny how much time can be spent trying to stay invisible. Anyway, what I got from this morning’s discovery is much more than a few reblogged posts. It’s hope that things will get better. I always felt a little jaded towards those with money going to school because they were able to get so many more resources than I could. But from reading her posts, seeing how much time and dedication she put into her work, research, and school, I realize that I too, need to put a pause on my social life. I’ve been using the excuse of “making up for my teenage years” for far too long. It’s time to evaluate what is necessary. Obviously this means that Campus Events Commission should probably come off of my priority list. But I uphold commitments and will not shy away. Instead, this means that more effort MUST be put in to make every minute count.

That being said, I also need to suck up my pride and fear, and just DO IT. Yes, LA food adventures with Kevin last year were great. But I need to go above and beyond that. I need to take advantage of offers such as megabus.com (which, contrary to Adam’s annoying insistence, is not a scam) and travel. I need to do everything possible at UCLA so that when I leave, I know that I got everything I wanted from this university. No regrets.

Perhaps being let go from the Resident Assistant position was a blessing in disguise. In my heart, as much as my parents want me to stay around here for graduate school, I see myself somewhere out-of-state. And what would my future apartment mates there say if I had NO idea how to rent an apartment, access utilities, or make my own meals? Embarrassing, no?

Oh, another thing said in this girl’s blog that speaks words of wisdom is buying clothes that are more durable and future-conscious. Instead of buying random clothes on a whim or for a specific occasion, I need to start thinking long-term. I don’t believe it’s healthy to think everything out long-term, like she has done, but I do believe that in my twenties, as I travel, and grow, and become the woman I want to be, I do need to start taking this into consideration.

I have a beautiful apartment, a new MacBook Pro, CEC, my research, and my schoolwork. I will do what I need to do to be happy and successful and truly make 2013 memorable because I did something about it.

Yay for unexpected throwbacks and revelations.

<3 A.