Thursday, April 30, 2015

Daily reminder

"People are often unreasonable and self centered, forgive them anyway. 
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives, be kind anyway. 
If you are honest, people may cheat you, be honest anyway. 
If you find happiness, people may be jealous, be happy anyway. 
The good you do today, may be forgotten tomorrow, do good anyway. 
You may give the world your best and it may never be enough, give your best anyway. 
For you see, in the end, it was never between you and them, but between you, yourself and God."
-Mother Teresa 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Because I am Made of Love

Growing up with the best parents, I never knew what it meant to fend for yourself and go through life the harder way. I never knew what it meant to have to struggle day by day on the street because I grew up in a warm, loving home. Even though my parents are not billionaires, I lived happier than a princess probably does. Even though things got tough at times, I was never refused of what I wanted and deprived of what I needed.

Moving away from away from home, moving to start my new life at college, going from 11347 Pondhurst Way to 1411 Anacapa Hall, from the girl who never needed to do her laundry to the girl who has to set alarms to take out the clothes from the laundry room down the hall, from the girl who always came home to her room cleaned through and washed down to the girl whose living space looks more like a pigs tine, from the master bedroom to the third of a cubed room, from the stacked up closet full of clothes to a closet merely enough to hang two coats, from the comfortable bed and warm blankets to the hard bunk bed and scratchy duvet, I have cried. I have cried for the times I miss my parents so much, all I want to do is run home. I have cried for the times no one seems to understood but only pointed fingers. I have cried for the times gullibility turned into stupidity. I have cried for the unfairness I never knew of growing up so nicely. I have cried for growing up and moving onto real life.

Being at home was a privilege I always took for granted because I never knew how horrible real life is. Always being under my parents' protected, provided, and perfect embrace, I never knew how selfish and unkind people really are. Always being given every thing to, I never knew how disgusting people's motives are. All I ever wanted was to go running out to the sun, to play, to discover, to poke at all the things "life" has to offer outside of my parents' castle. All I ever wanted was to go and make my own decisions and manage my own time. But now, all I want to do is to be waken up to with my dad's occasional good morning kisses on the forehead and my mom's frequent slaps on the tushie. All I want to do is to be able to come home to my mom's or my aunt's cookings. All I want is to be able to stay in bed for as long as I want and know this is safe haven. All I want is to run to my parents' room and cuddle under the blanket and cry to them about the terrifying things I have learnt along the way of venturing out to the place they have always warned me of.

I have fallen; I have fallen to the disgusting impulses and temptations, I have fallen to the dark side I told myself I would never get in touch with, I have destroyed all that my loved ones have built up inside of me, I have fallen into the web of lies I, somehow, have weaved through, I have fallen into the trap of dishonest acquaintances and fake friends, I have fallen into the consequences of not knowing who is who, and I have definitely fallen into karma's hands. Feet deep of tears have been shed, tons full of words have been said, and a universe of thoughts have been created, I will be okay. Things are at the lowest of the lows right now, but the only way is up.

Because I am made of my mom's pure hearted, unconditional love and ocean of tears from the sadness of being apart from her daughter and the fears of her little girl falling, that I will forever be in debt to, I will be okay. Because I am made of my dad's sweat and blood through hard work and the wisest advices, I will be okay. Because of my little brother's admiration and the purest, most unconditional love I could ever get, and because of the reason, "For him, I will do it all." Because I am made of my grandparents' strength and perseverance, I will be okay. Because I am made of the lies and accusations from people I gave my whole heart to, I will be okay. And because I am made of the Universe's toughest stardust and most endurable bonds, I will be okay. Because I am made of hope, dreams, and faith from every single family member who has never left my side, I will be okay. For the least, I know that no matter what happens, I am made of so much love from the people who should be the only ones who matter to me. And now, I can add in there a few more factors, because I am made of my three ride or dies' enduring hope for the girl I have ruined, my twin's optimism and golden heart, my big bro's endless love and spoiling, my boyfriend's unwilling faith and love, my big sis' rescue at any given time of any given day, down to some of the sisters who never left me in the dark, down to the people I have completely brunt bridges with yet never left my side, I will be okay. Maybe not right now, but because of them, especially because I am made from my family's deepest love, strongest faith and utmost care, I will always be okay, and the storm is not going to gloom over my life anymore when I have thousands rays of sunshine, I shouldn't and will not be scared of a little gloomy cloud. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Keep the Walk

Trust is so fragile; once it's lost, you cannot really reclaim it back. Of course chances of it being earned back is likely, but it's never going to be the same as it was before. What do you do then? 

You start anew...

Relationships are the world's biggest sore loser; it could literally lift you up to your highest peak of life, just to drop you down a billion feet lower. I never really understood the phrase, "you lose when you grow," I never understood why you have to lose in order to grow. Not until know, anyway. Seven months of college, trials after trials and errors after errors, I have learned the most important thing, "Don't ever try to reach for better when you already have the best." Because holy smokes, it hurts when that "better" leave you and then you're too shameful to come running back to the best. In friendships, sisterhood, whatever it is, trust is honestly the world's biggest bitch. You think you can just hand someone your life thinking he or she has your back, just to find out they threw it under the train seconds after your back is turned. Trials after trials, I have learned that you should never give someone your trust completely, because when he or she betrays it, you don't really have anything left. 

And, damn, karma is a bitch. The energy you put into the world, really does come back to you, but god, it comes back ten times as hard. I have successfully realized who I am not and who I really am; through errors after errors, I have learnt who I really want to be and should be. It's really tiring to be the lying spider who keeps spinning its web of lies just to cover for something that was supposed to be so little and irrelevant. But, honesty really sucks, too. Being honest is so difficult when you always get the shittier end of things when you choose to tell the truth. 

"When you screw up, it's good to acknowledge it, but it doesn't mean anyone has to acknowledged." 

I think I found a solution, maybe it's a temporary one, but for now, I have decided on a path that I, myself, can be okay with following. From now on, words will only come out as truthful as they could be, actions will only happen as genuine as they could be, and feelings will only be felt as honest as they could be. Thank you to my mentor, I have finally realized that the issue was never with what people think of me, but what I think of myself. As long as I go back to the path I was meant to follow all along, the path of giving and selflessness. And problems will fix themselves as I fix my bad habits and this will mark the growing point of my life and my journey. People are only temporary, but self, self is forever. I need to first forgive myself and enhance myself first before fixing any damaged bridge I have ruined along the way. Then on, as long as I forgive myself, and change for who I really am, nothing else matters. 

Step one, the Han I was never left. Step two, forgive myself. Step three, start being real. Step four, walk the talk. Step 5, keep the walk. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Shower at the end of the Hall

It has been awhile since I have stepped down the hall to the shower on the left, at the end of the way. In that tiny shower, I felt the excitement to start my college years; I felt the sadness from just bidding my family goodbyes; I felt the longing to come back to my dorm room already because it was fresh, it was new, it was organized. I remember every speck of the feelings when I stepped in that shower for the first time. Every relationship was the closest they could ever get to perfection; every thing was rainbows and unicorns. I was innocent, I was so innocent, starting college off fresh, and thinking this would be the best four years of my life. 

Looking back at it, I miss it, I truly really do miss it. I miss being able to come home to my room and smile about the fact that I was home. I miss the fact that I didn't have any deadweight stress on my shoulders. I miss the fact that I valued things that are, now, no longer seem to be important to me. I miss those importances. I miss the fact that I was still a strongly family oriented little princess. I miss the fact that education was the number one priority. I miss the fact that I knew exactly who I was and who I wanted to become. 

Now, relationships aren't the same; every time I think of how my relationships were 7 months ago, I tear up and my heart, big time, aches quite a lot. The relationships that used to mean the world and a half to me, now, only means merely a half... I don't know when it happened, but I no longer care about the extras as much as I used to. I stopped paying attention to the little details. My drive faded and my fire kind of just... burnt itself off... I didn't quite notice, but I have burnt every bridge that was connecting me to a better self. Now I'm left with some old bricks and paper glue, having to try to build myself, my own bridge. 

Stepping into that shower tonight made me realize the truth I've been trying to avoid all these months... I have changed. I have changed into someone I, myself 7 months ago, would have despited. I have changed into someone who has lost the North Star of hope and goals for the future. I have changed and God, I regret it every day, but man... I'm low-key, sort of grateful for this change because my eyes were opened to the issues I never saw before. I realized my place in people's lives and the impact my presence took and gave. From it, surprisingly, I got a good sight of my worth.

I just don't know how to work with bricks and glue... 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dreaming of a Place that's 8,156 Miles Away

All my friends getting together, wishing I were there, but I am never. Sitting in a place full of college kids taking naps, sometimes even hearing cries of stress, but I'm dreaming of a place called home. I want to run away, dreaming of the place full of motorcycles honking nonstop and full of street foods. This place is just ain't the same, I miss the humid weather and the occasional rain. I miss families, I miss laughters, I miss 5.2. Crying, homesickness, and shitty people are getting tiring, really tiring. I'm dreaming of a place 2,000 miles away. It feels like it has been forever since I've seen the leaf-houses, been on the back seat of motorcycles and "flying" , eaten the food I grew up eating; it fees like it has been forever since life was great. And God... It has been forever since I was surrounded by nothing but genuineness. I can see, now, why this place is called the country of Ruined Dreams and Shattered Hopes. Take me home to families, to happiness, to true friendships, to better, bigger hearts, to my rivers, to my rice fields, to my small houses, to my country. Skyscrappers full of people who take too much and give too little, big houses full of families who aren't really families, highways full of drivers who care more about selves than the bigger peace, almighty Universities full of professors who don't really care where students end up, hallways full of friends who don't even know the real meaning of friendship; they're all getting really tiring and the dark side of the American Dream is dancing its way to the spotlight way too quickly. Take me home before it all collapses; before my heart full of drives, goodness, and hopes collapses. Take me home before this place kills all that I value. I'm not okay.

Friday, February 6, 2015

"Dear, don't forget who you are."

"As average as you are living, in the sea of ordinaries, don't you ever forget who you are."

Blessed and grateful, I grew up privileged. The kind of privilege that comes with worship, praise and power. Because of the privileges, life comes with a price. The price of always having to remind yourself who you are, what you are meant to do and how important your life means. From everything I was taught and have to learn, leadership isn't easy.

The job, looking in from the outside, seems so carefree, and it comes with just a wave of a hand, but from the inside looking out, it's hard to explain the responsibilities, the restrictions, the loneliness. Happiness comes harder from the inside because all you have from that side, are stacks on stacks of books, cups after cups of caffeine, straining eyes from the computer screen, buzzed ears from the never ending muffles of the economics teacher then the linguistic teacher, then the foreign relations professor, worst of all, the marketing patterns doctor.

Summers after summers, the lessons grow longer and the heart grows weaker when all you want is to be outside, actually doing the field work, you know, the greeting people, shaking muddy hands of the hard-working farmers, the crinkles on the eyes from the genuine smiles of missing teeth from the older women, the sweet sounds of laughters from shirtless little boys running down the fields with kites in their hands, the unforgettable tugging on your shirt of the little girls whom are nearly tall up to your thighs, the rolling of your pants trying to walk down the rice fields, the sounds of the tired oxes from working all day long. It makes all the long nights worth it, hearing all the thank you's and seeing the tears from the "less fortunates" because they see hope in you and when you speak, their eyes light up because they see a brighter future for their next generations. And you know you're doing the right thing when they tear up, hug you and tell you, "You are the hope of the future."

When things get hard, I pull out my treasure, the thing I always take with me. The meaningless 5,000Đ bill from back home, the old wrinkly piece of paper that was given to me by a little girl with the cutest messed-up piggy tails, telling me to use that money to go to school and come back to feed hopes to her and her friends. I will always remember the lesson my trip has taught me, hope. The future isn't going to change and mold itself into what you want unless you have the key of knowledge.

Growing up privileged, I was always told to dream, dream bigger, dream higher and become more. I can't imagine how it must be like for my people back home, being told to not dream so high because their backgrounds are restricting them from a proper education. When little kids are so excited to see you, they come running to your arms, excitedly begging you to teach them how to read this, read that, count this, count that. And when being asked, their dreams come running out of their little mouths like magical spells from a spell book, completely filling your heart and soul with hope and courage. Doctors, leaders, businessmen, farm owners, vets, mansion owners, world changers, these little ones are the future of my country, my people. My constant vision, my country being recognized for our heroic and courageous history, full of brave women willing to die for their country and protect their people. Constantly, I remind myself of the feeling when I stand in front of world leaders, ready to hear my future vision, being critical about how I would get there, but that doesn't discourage me. My people believe in me, to give them the hope of better.

The small S-shaped country being overlooked by the world, means the absolute world to me. The biggest reason of what I want, who I am and what I want to accomplish. I was blessed with the power of a voice even at a young age, and the head full of children's dreams, adults' cries and the old's wise life lessons. When times are rough, I think back to my trips, and I see a girl who is believed in by my people. Who is sent to acquire the knowledge to give back and change. Who is carrying the dreams and hopes of many who weren't born as fortunate as she was.

The world might not see the beauty in my country, but I never forget, not even for a second. My beautiful city full of kindhearted people. My less fortunates whose hearts are still filled with goodness even when life has given them the exact opposite. My country's history, which has taught me the true meaning of bravery and courage. The country full of mountains, full of rice fields, tall green, yellow crops rising every where, the hardworking men and women who don't rely on the government to support them, the culture that exists in every corner of the country. No matter what the world sees, I see a country full of hopes for the future despite the hardships, a country full of culture that will never fades, the country full of independence and pride of being Vietnamese.

I know exactly what I want to study, I know exactly where I want to direct myself toward, my home. What am I doing right now? Walking on the wrong path, studying to be the doctor I wasn't meant to be. I should be studying and acquiring the knowledge I'm thirsty for; the source of all issues, the humanity side of politics, the rights of people, and the key to stop the faucet of despair, political systems. The beauty of different cultures, the wisdom in many different aspects of the world, global studies. The one thing that has always kept me sane, that has given me the power to express my lessons and share it with the world, writing.

I finally realized why I have been so unhappy, because I'm traveling on the wrong path. Looking at the wrinkly monetary note from my home, I realized that the fears I have are just an excuse. I owe my family of millions back home my knowledge, my fortunate life, my drive, I owe it all to them. It's time to give back. I'm heading straight home.

The start of the journey //

These past few weeks have truly been a struggle. Lost is an understatement of how dark I have been and how darkened my heart must have been. Snapping at the littlest things just because they’re not going my way. Getting angry over not getting the goodness in return. Being disappointed in others because I couldn’t see their goodness. What happened to the person I worked so hard to build? Just a few bad incidents have made me fallen. The tests the Universe gave me, I have failed; I have failed in my path of being the person I see every time I close my eyes. These past weeks, every day, I have woken to negativity and ungratefulness. The person within me has became the person I would hate if I were to meet.
It feels awful, to be negative, discouraged and unmotivated all the time. Things have been so hard; but then I realized they have been hard because I’m not mentally prepared to be challenged. I didn’t realize how dark I have turned into; not wanting to spend time with loved ones, running away from problems, facing challenges with not an ounce of belief and faith. I have forgotten every thing I have learned. Being selfless means giving, giving all of you and not expecting any in return. Since when did I become so selfish and self indulged that I almost lost myself? The negative influences around me have made it extremely hard to see the bigger picture, but my prayers were heard. I’m still believed in and the Universe hasn’t given up on me. I was put here for a reason and I almost forgot what the reason was.
Writing has always been the route of peace for me; and when I stopped doing what I love, it took a huge toll on everything else. Writing has always reminded me of my purpose and motivation. The journey back to base, writing is an essential tool I need.
I’m extremely ashamed for the person I have been lately and the outlook I have been having on life, always wanting to give up before the rainbow got a chance to shine. I haven’t been embracing the rain and storm. I’m extremely grateful, even with all the challenges life has been throwing at me. I just need to return to base and remind myself who I am. Giving, giving, giving. Paying it forward. Sailing away from the safe harbor. Being courageous in all that I do. Love selflessly. Forgive eternally. Anger is truly the ugliest, right behind selflessness. Being angry because I’m not getting what I want, in the way that I want it. All of that needs to stop. 
Whatever it takes, the path is being redirected. 
"Even when people question your motive and misunderstand you for having a dark motive, be selfless anyways. Even when the world might forget your good deed the day after, do good anyways. Even when they did you wrong and don’t deserve it, forgive anyways. Even when you probably won’t get any good in return, give endlessly anyways."
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." 
"If you spend all your time judging someone, where is the time to love them?"
"An eye for an eye, will make the whole world blind."