August 12, 2017, Sat. @ 3.54am (technically 13)

#chroniclesofthechronic

Pt. 1 Overview

I feel like life keeps being really tough, and not just tough in the usual senses, but extra tough even when I’m just doing mundane, ordinary things. When people ask me what I did all week, sometimes I have to catch myself feeling sorry for myself, because I realize that my level of achievements can be considered small in comparison to others who are able-bodied and fast paced.  I can’t say anything exciting, but rather, I have to remind myself to be proud that each day, I meticulously planned out how to live in small increments of productivity and function, saving up energy to check off goals like laundry, cooking, remembering to drink water, and that I dragged myself out of bed and did these things, even though they were hard and do not match up to my level of ambition and what I would want to consider a “true” accomplishment.

My insomnia has worsened recently but I know why.  Hearing again that I need to see a lung transplant specialist wasn’t easy, but for some reason, this time a switch flicked in my head and I decided it was time to fully wrap my head around accepting doing the evaluations, no matter how strenuous that ordeal was going to be.  I constantly find myself wavering between moments of calmness and acceptance, almost contentedness, yet other times like last night, I lay awake in my friend’s guest bedroom, thoughts flying everywhere and causing an increasing panic in my head until I succumbed to the pill to aid me in sleep.


Pt. 2 Log In of the Day

What I originally intended to write about though, was happiness.  I had a rough week (what else is new, the usual levels are rough, rougher, and roughest), but today was a good day.  A solid, good day.

I had been worried that today would be bad, as usual. Yet it ended up being one of the best days I’ve had in awhile.  Friday night, we prepped hard for a dessert competition at fellowship, and even though we placed third, I felt pretty proud and we did bond with our team by working hard to produce a beautiful panna cotta.  And today, we went to dim sum and it was a lovely meal with a large group of people.  Then, I migrated back up north for another fellowship and met some people, and finally migrated back down where we spent a great night learning how to make fresh pasta and EATING it!!!  Seriously, the best pasta I’ve ever had… it was what I always imagined fresh pasta to taste.  Delicious, right amount of bite and sauce.  It was fun, and we had some sangria as well.  We also watched a bit of Master of None and the rest played card games.


Pt. 3 Insecurities on my Physical Capabilities, but also- Body Appearance

A crazy thing that happened recently is my weight gain.  I weighed around 92-95 lbs for the longest time, probably from all of college until now.  I weighed myself a few days ago, and each time it was the heaviest I’d ever been… first I hit past 100 and couldn’t believe my eyes… then I hit 103 within two weeks. I was getting a bit concerned… because even though I know I’m not concerned “fat”, I’m also now looking very “skinny fat” where the rest of my limbs are super bony, yet my stomach and cheeks are protruding…. I even have a muffintop.  Then I saw a few candid pictures of myself, and I was kind of horrified at my shape. First of all, my stomach protruded quite a bit around my lower abdomen area, but my legs were still super slim and lacking muscle… it reminded me of the Titan in “Attack on Titan” that was round and fat but stuck on a house with its long, super twig like legs.  I also have a TERRIBLE posture, and I guess from my tense muscles and all the stress of anxiety + breathing struggles, my shoulders are a bit risen up and hunched over, especially from the right side.  It really looked very unattractive to me.

I know that steroids do deposit fat differently for your body, and I guess I’d never been on it as much as I was in the past year, and particularly now that I’ve been on it for almost two weeks now to see if I can improve my lung function.  While I was never super concerned with my body appearance prior, I was never a super fan of my body either and just thought the major complaint was that I was too bony all over, especially my bony knees and lack of butt.  But now in addition, my lumpy waist and hunched shoulders just all in all are a mild devastation to me, psychologically.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt actual unattractiveness like this, even when I’m just in bum clothes and glasses and hair that hasn’t been washed in over a week…

Steps to take to stay determined:

  1.  keep working out and doing planks + gym as I can at least 2 times a week
    1. particularly, strengthen back and chest workouts, and legs… and arms… ok basically everything
  2. try to lessen sugar intake and eat more vegetables, fruit, and protein (find more delicious recipes + buy healthy foods)
  3. keep being productive in writing music for grad school
    1. sign up for GREs/ plan a date
    2. shoot emails to professors sometime in late September asking for recs
    3. keep doing research on other grad school programs
    4. follow up with Monica on online graphic design program
  4. do things to make yourself happy, like walk with Meg around neighborhood, hang out with friends
  5. TREAT YOSELF –>  bubble clay mask, hot  bath, hair treatment at salon, massage, leg wax/ exfoliation, clean make up
  6. Express yourself –>  continue improvising on piano, learning Chopin piece, also Photoshop + Illustrator (empowerment of chronically ill women <superhero with treatment mask>  <cute new kinds of hospital wear…>
  7. Google Analytics / Hubspot /Lynda Academy for digital marketing, etc.

 

 

 

Notes on “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” – Marie Kondo

  • Tidy/organize all at once, INTENSELY and COMPLETELY, not bit by bit
  • Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination (21)
  • Two-Part Question for Criteria:
    • Are you keeping the item?
    • If yes, where are you placing it?
  • Sort by category, not by location
    • Avoid duplicates, narrow down volume
      • “Can’t put it back” types + “Can’t discard” types
  • Make tidying into “special event” day

Obtaining HAPPINESS

  1.  Picture the lifestyle you want.  Ex:  “yoga?  why? for more relaxation? to lose weight? are you sure?”  <– repeat 3 x for each item
  2. Examining what you own
    • Selection Criterion:
      • Cease being functional
      • Out of date – fashion, past event
    • Choose what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of.  Look more closely at what is there (41)
      • “Does this spark joy?”
      • Touch each item to see how your mind and body reacts
  3. One category at a time
    • Make subcategories of tops, bottoms, socks, etc.
    • Things can be stored out of sight
  4. Do not start with Mementos or anything of memory first
    • Clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany), mementos <– ORDER
      1. Functional value
      2. Informational value
      3. Emotional value
  5. Don’t let family see
    1. The urge to point out someone else’s failure to tidy is usually a sign that you are neglecting to take care of your own space
  6. What you don’t need, your family doesn’t need either
  7. Tidying is a dialogue with one’s self
    • Form of meditation
    • Quiet space to clean, background noise should be ambient or environmental music with no lyrics or well-defined melodies
    • Early morning is the best time- fresh air, sharp power of discernment
  8. What to do when you can’t throw something away
    1. Human judgment:
      1. Intuitive
      2. Rational “I might need it later” / “It’s a waste to get rid of it”
    2. To truly cherish things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose
      1. “Thank you for giving me joy when I bought you” / “Thank you for teaching me what doesn’t suit me” much like the people we meet in life, each has a different role to play.  Free them from the prison, let them go with gratitude

Tidying by Category Works Like Magic

  • Clothes
    • Tops, Bottoms, Clothes, Socks, Underwear, Bags, Accessories, Clothes for specific events, Shoes.
  • Downgrading to “Loungewear” is taboo
    • Usually it’s not appropriate loungewear
    • Positive self-image at home is important too
  • Arranging Clothes
    • Rise to the right (heavy items on left, dark in color:  coats–>dresses–>jackets–>pants–>skirts–>blouses
    • Never ball up socks /store in shoebox
    • Seasonal clothes:  Divide into “Cotton-like” and “Wool-like” materials
  • Papers
  • Credit card statements / Warranties / Greeting Cards / Used checkbooks (get rid of) / Pay Slips
  •  Komono (Miscellaneous)
  • Bath/Sink
    • Keep soap and shampoo products out of shower to avoid slime
    • Keep sponge completely dry and underneath sink or hang outside on veranda
  • “When we delve into the reasons why we can’t let something go, there are only two:  an attachment to the past or a fear for the future” (181).
    • 3 approaches:  face now, face sometime, avoid until we die.  Choice is ours.
      • FACE NOW!!
    • Not needing to search is a stress reliever
  • DETOX!!  Living space affects your body 😀
    • Feng Shui:
      • Yin + Yang
      • Five Elements:  metal, wood, water, fire, earth energy.

Happiness #1 and #2

So I think it’s been clear lately I’ve had particularly a shit week. I started a gratitude jar senior year of college, and I’m not one to force myself to think of something positive every single day, because you’re not naturally feeling appreciative that way.  That said, this week there were two acts of kindness that really uplifted me in small ways.

#1:  This guy led me via driving to Applebee’s, and when we got to the parking lot, he kept driving farther down to the other parking lot so that I could have the close one right there.

#2:  I was at my friend’s house, and her cousin was over.  He was seriously one of those genuine, sweet, good kids who are almost extinct in this generation.  He’s 13 years old, and as I was sitting there, he came over to say bye and unexpectedly gave me a hug.  Words can’t describe the feeling I got from it; I didn’t know how much I needed it until I got one so generously.

It’s truly the small things that really get me.

“I’m okay” (but not really)

When someone asks you, “Is everything okay?”  or when people (at least in America) ask “How are you?”  The answer is probably 99% of the time “Good!” This is such an automatic reaction that I notice people continue talking without even waiting for the response, and they bustle to talk over each other to continue to other things or something to that likeness.

I’m a terrible liar, so it physically makes me uncomfortable whenever I have to answer things like this.  I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but it still makes it a lie.  Here’s a scary thought.  What if it never gets better?  Your answer will permanently stay a lie?

You hide behind your smile, but even that feels untruthful.  And people comfort you and fall to the default of “It will get better” with all those testimonies.  But for those where it didn’t get better, guess what?  They aren’t going to rain on anyone’s parade by publicly coming out and say “It doesn’t.”  Chances are, their lives have fallen so dismally they wouldn’t bother to.  They’re busy dealing with the heavy load that has been placed on their shoulders.  It could be anything… alcoholism, suicidal thoughts, drugs, disease, pain in general that won’t go away.  Maybe they were gone already.

And me?  I can train myself to follow the wisp of thoughts that it might get better, but I’ve lived 23 years like this, and my best hope is more that it will continue to stay like this, and not worsen.  That’s the truth.  But the truth is so dark, the issues are so widespread from the immediate to the long term, that I feel some days like I’m waiting in a holding cell for her expiration date.

Some people walk by this holding cell, either completely ignorant, oblivious, or just don’t give a fuck.  The few who stop might gawk, or ask with some sympathy how I’m doing.  You know what?  I don’t want your sympathy.  That’s like feeling sorry for someone, feeling pity.  I want empathy, I demand understanding for everyone in this world. But the reality again, is that real peace and happiness will never exist.  We want equality in the economy?  That’s called communism, which we know doesn’t work.  In democracy, someone will ALWAYS have to get the short end of the stick.  And there are too many damn selfish people in the world, statistically, many simply just want to get through life okay, can you blame them?  (sometimes, you can for being an asshole).

This is supposed be a blog about positivity but you know what?  Positivity and happiness is only measured in relevance to suffering and depression, so they’re one and the same topic.  Obtaining it, lack of it.  Here’s the real truth. Honesty, this here, the only space in existence where it exists, untainted.

And so, what would I reply to this person who asks me if I’m okay?  That’s a loaded question.  But maybe they don’t really want to know the whole truth.  As me, the one with the issues, am I supposed to be the one who bears the light bravely and inspiringly, beaming at everyone in my sickbed (figuratively speaking for now) so that I have any redeeming qualities and serve some sort of purpose for others?

I don’t want to sound emo, so I’ll just stick with “I’m okay, thanks :)”

 

It Never Ends

I spend all week feeling some type of way, trying not to feel so much because it’s too much to handle- I feel like Tommen in Game of Thrones some days.  Of course, compared to that world I guess this one is okay, but any worse and I’d want to jump off a cliff too.

What is the light at the end of the tunnel?  Maybe this week’s is meeting new people and friends and attempting some norms like laughter and blending in with everyone else.  But once the day approaches, I’m feeling another type of way. Anxiety.  Fear.  Feelings of doubt- why do I bother, why do I try, why can’t I turn off my thoughts, why is it so hard just to, be?

Is it supposed to be this hard for everybody, because I don’t think it’s the same?

This week’s two favorite pieces of music:

  1.  A new discovery, which is “Save Me” by the korean boy band BTS.  They’re not perfect, but I’m impressed with the vibe of the song and the dance.
  2. An old favorite, which is “Forrest Gump” by Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE, also my favorite color… while we’re at it, my other songs that I like by him are “Pink Matter” and “Lost.”

Sigh.  I’m in a sad place right now, but I won’t talk about it here until I’m ready.

 

The Beauty of Letters

Things have been pretty quiet lately, and I started cleaning out my room in preparation for the summer yard sale I was going to have with my neighbor.  Even though there is a lot of “crap” in my bedroom, there is also something extremely satisfying and gratifying to rustle through old things, finding lost treasures and ruminating over old memories. I opened the bottom drawer to a whole stack of letters, dating back to when I first started school (public, not homeschooled) in 4th grade- I even found one or two from  my kindergarten tutor from when I was five years old.

Every couple years, I open these up to revisit a huge chunk of my life, and I remember even getting teary-eyed the last time I came across these letters.  Call me a sentimental old fool (I’m already kind of a grandma in many ways), but handwritten letters and cards are absolutely the key to my heart.  There is something preserved in the notes someone wrote to you that is worth so much more than shooting an email or a text at an instant touch.  They become preserved fragments of a part of one’s life, much like a picture freezes a snapshot, but a detailed, wordy summary of their life at the time, their impression and affection for you, and likewise the length of the letter that required more thoughts and more effort to write it neatly.  Even doodles and the way the card is decorated or addressed to one adds personalization to it.

There is a lot about me that is different from most people, and that is the necessity to slow down and stare at life in the very present, observing as the world changes with each second, with each step I take.  But I am still a victim, even if a lucky one, of the fleeting technology that is exponentially progressing forward.  In today’s modern age where everything is almost too convenient, sometimes I jump from one to other of twenty tabs I have opened up on Google Chrome, checking my email, flitting to Facebook, looking up definitions on Dictionary.com to reading up on the latest news.

The anticipation of opening up a card is not dissimilar to the excitement of ripping open a wrapped present.  Particularly knowing the letter travelled physically from another area, country even, from their hands to mine, is wondrous to say the least.  Everything in the contents of a page were carefully placed, because unlike Tinder or other instantaneous forms of communication, it takes a minimum of days to send the note, and it will take another few days for the reciprocating message to arrive.

If you only had one chance every two weeks to share anything with another individual, it would highly decrease the ruddy, sometimes crude pick-up lines, or one-word, blasphemous “Hey”s.  It would eliminate the cursory methods to which we sometimes respond to each other.   In all these ways, the beauty of letters is so much more than just that of a plain sheet of white parchment with scribbles and ink.  It is a symbol of everything that is quickly becoming lost in the frays of the new generation, and each after that.  I hope somehow that we appreciate the meaningfulness behind the depths of old-school communication, and conserve the humanity and empathy that is inspired by letters.

Images: Likeable vs. Genuinely Good People

Paul: I am glad that you have shot this footage and that the world will see it. It is the only way we have a chance that people might intervene.

Jack: Yeah and if no one intervenes, is it still a good thing to show?

Paul: How can they not intervene when they witness such atrocities?

Jack: I think if people see this footage they’ll say, “oh my God that’s horrible,” and then go on eating their dinners.  –Hotel Rwanda 

We’re often taught to cut the negative out of our lives, hence this quote made total sense that the privileged who can afford to, would turn it off.  Just like that.  Everyone seems to give off the illusion of a luxurious, carpe diem life on social media, in terms of instagram, facebook, and twitter, but we all know that’s not true: we just like showing off the highlights.  I do know some people who actually are kind of air-headed and live in their own bubble of privileged happiness, traveling a lot and always partying, and in person too always carefree in comparison to others.  We ask the question, what if we were all honest, and put up pictures of our difficult times as well?  I think once in awhile, it’s okay.  Just like how once in awhile, if a kid sprained their ankle and it sucked for a brief couple of months, we’d all rally around and help them out.  But permanently?  That’s a different story.  Nobody wants to be reminded even more at every corner, every profile, every page, of the negative.  In many ways, we prefer to live in our own projections of a happy world, and that’s the beauty of immersing yourself in film:  escapism.  It just might be too much to handle to sit down for a moment and really reflect and absorb all the shit that is going on at any second in the world, somewhere, to someone.

When I met people who I felt were selfish or weren’t doing well, I would be tempted to cut them out, but then I would pause and think about wanting to be saved and given a helping hand, and a second chance from others to stick around and care.

There were a lot of things I experienced for the first time in college.  Most of it were social aspects.  It was the first time I really had to force myself to venture out of my comfort zone and approach other people, realizing that it was a bit of a sink-or-swim situation:   if I did not try, I would simply go through four years a forever loner.

As I encountered many strangers, I wanted eagerly to be friends with everyone.  I was in for a rude awakening, and my first mistake was in believing that everyone thinks the same way that I do.  Some people smiled a lot and seemed “nice.”  Others seemed a bit less approachable and kept to themselves, or were way too sassy, outspoken, or different for me to handle.

What I learned though, was that there is a HUGE difference in the make up of one’s character.  Likeable people are the friendly, popular ones that everyone enjoys taking pictures with, has a generally good impression of, who get the most Facebook “likes,” and who everyone seems to gravitate towards.  But genuinely good people may come off cynical or even rude, but they will never actually bear to screw you over where and when it matters.

But everything is a contradiction:  we’re taught that money can’t buy happiness, and yet we always want more- we live in a consumeristic society.  What is the true balance of having ambition versus learning to be satisfied with our status in life?  How do we know when to try to help others versus what we owe to ourselves?  Because sometimes being a true good person is not giving when you have enough, but sacrificing your own so that others can have at all.

What I do know is  that life should be spent either being productive and the beauty of learning is that it is never-ending growth. And I don’t mean productivity in terms of just studying, or making money, but also filling the rest of the time up in adding to your happiness or learning.  So much to learn.  Take advantage of the opportunities, wake up and really see, breathe, recognize it all, and have the courage to put it in action and actually grasp it.  So much easier said than done though, right?

I’d like to believe that I am the one giving others the benefit of the doubt, but over time I grew more pessimistic and less likely to risk what little I preserved for myself.  Energy, optimism, encouragement, whatever it was.  To be completely realistic, there will always be people who might waste away your precious energy, but does that mean we should just stop giving and reject their needs?  Hard to determine.

 

 

I See Beautiful People (Venice, Italy)

 My friend started a blog a couple months before I did, and I noticed that the essence of one’s character is really present throughout one’s blog. That said, even though I am really passionate talking about heavy issues in how sometimes we find ourselves lacking happiness (and all this relates to developing confidence, chronic illness, racial/cultural/social issues, and basically everything), let’s not kid ourselves:  it can get overwhelming to worry about all the negatives in our lives and in the world.  So today’s post is just a moment to appreciate and absorb some good ol’ serotonin from all the visual glory that is the Venetian population.  Are all Venetian people’s names Daniel, because damn!  Hot damn!

I had been told before about Spanish men, but wowzas, two days in Venice and the number of hotties I saw was x 10 the amount in our American East Coast towns…  Theja asked me to document these men, and each time I sent her a photo, I was greeted with a loud and resounding cheer of “YAS BITCH YAS.”

Unfortunately, even due to my identity as shameless tourist aka creepy little Asian girl snapping shots of hot guys “discreetly,” I was not able to get great shots of every single guy, but don’t despair, here is a list of the ones I managed to gather:

  1. Water Taxi Driver from Afar – Right off the airport and hopping on a water taxi to our hotel, we spot a guy manning the boat in front of ours with great hair majestically flying in the wind, and I must describe my first impression of him as a Jersey guido with the tanned skin and the big biceps, but x100 better.  Not my type, but still cute.
  2. Gondola Man – good-looking in the older 40s, 50s year old hair slightly greying kind of way.  Very open smile and spirit and charismatic
  3. Waiter – pale, tall, fluffy brown hair and just cute.  The kind you can bring home to mama
  4. Hotel Shuttle Service Guy – very nice and polite guy, his clean cut scruff was actually flattering and I admired it
  5. Second Water Taxi Driver – with the leather jacket and bluest eyes, and who made me a believer of man buns.  For some reason, we forgot to tip him even though he was one of the nicer drivers… pretty sure as he drove away he stared in our direction with the saddest puppy eyes.   
  6. Water Subway Driver – Young blonde guy directing our water subway boat, glanced over and definitely caught my mom and I taking photos up close.  Sorry sir, couldn’t help ourselves
  7. Concierge Staff – that bone structure though.  Pretty boy, Hayden Christensen-type-when-he-was-playing-Darth-Vader type. Apparently, super nice to my dad as well… I love nice guys.
  8. I was trying to go in chronological order, but I had to save the best for last.  AND THE WINNER IS….

12032780_10153669241133960_9051111248932902804_oLifeguard – at the Hilton Hotel at the rooftop pool.  Goodness gracious.  The kind of unanimous beauty that is agreeable with everyone: he is literally everybody’s type.  My mom become an embarrassing fan and we decided to sit at one of the tables and admire the view *ahem* overlooking “Venice” while he accidentally happened to be in front, bending down and casually hosing down the poolside with his shades on, you know, the usual.  My mom even told me to stand in front of him as a decoy and smile while she focused her lens on the background 😉  This photo she snapped of him walking down the stairs could easily be from Vogue magazine.

The aesthetics man.  Sigh. I did my duty to my friend, and it was beautiful.

It’s late, but are you guys interested in seeing the rest of the beautiful men?? If so, comment below and let me know 🙂

Courage

It’s been two years since the worst time of my life, and I’m really proud of me and thankful to my friends for getting me through that period.  The scary part is that it’s not over, and that moments like that might return. You will battle your mind every second, everyday, and for me, my body as well.  How do you even begin to heal?  I think maybe you don’t, the best you can hope for is the courage to manage.

This blog I’ve started is my own personal space of happiness, and while I don’t want to deny the part of me that hurts, a reminder for all the good things is maybe what I need.  I had a huge mental breakdown today, and could feel myself slipping downwards- I wish there was some way to alert others as if you were holding up an “S.O.S.” sign.  Constantly worrying and standing on the edge of a hole man.  I’m exhausted.

But I’ve made it this far, haven’t I?  Look back on the few greatest moments that have graced your life, and let yourself feel, but then try to remember all the positive, even if it’s a tiny handful or is yet to happen.  Live to achieve that feeling, because it will remind you of everything that you’ve withstood and represent, which is Courage.  Courage doesn’t always show up in just the actions of a doctor, firefighter, or activist.  Sometimes it goes unnoticed, unappreciated, even.  But recognize it for yourself.  And try to channel it towards something better or greater.  That’s all I can say as a note to myself, and for anybody reading this now.

23rd Birthday

Yay me, one step closing to looking like this:

OldWoman
http://katieverickson.blogspot.com/

But on the reals, the half of me that keeps feeling sorry for me lost out today to the half of me that wants desperately to succeed and is somewhat winning to be happier and look at all the green grass I’m standing in now.

Gratitude

  1. My parents took me out to Korean BBQ, which is actually what I would choose as my last meal.  Sashimi, side dishes, perfect grains of white rice, and KAL BI??  What more can a person want?  ~ pics to come ~
  2. They also are taking me to see my first Broadway show, and it’s Lion King no less, this Sunday!!
  3. My best friend gave me a beautiful handmade card and $100, which I was super reluctant to accept.  But then she explained that this money is going specifically to me buying music software, and that made me feel so happy that someone believes in me so much that they’re willing to encourage me and invest in my skills. :’)
  4. I’m going to let myself splurge a little to reward myself for everyday that I struggle.  After GREs, Lauren and I are finally going to try out that Island Spa.
  5. At my birthday event, whatever that ends up being, hopefully I’ll see a lot of people I just miss, and do something to cross off my bucket list, like Indoor skydiving or going to a shooting range.
  6. My brother called me to wish me a happy birthday even though he’s super swamped with work
  7. My study abroad friends immediately granted my wish to mass Skype them all!  It was such a good feeling. Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.24.26 AMScreen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.04.59 AMI’ve never clicked so easily with a group of people so fast before, even after almost a year on and off of communicating, we pick up right where we left off being dumbasses and laughing and reminiscing.  We’re going to reschedule another one so more people can make the next one 🙂
  8. Even though I feel a bit bummed about close friends not wishing me a happy birthday, I was able to look at the glass half full rather than half empty.  Two years ago, I just kept counting every single person who didn’t wish me well, but this year I was able to shift my focus instead on every single person who took even a few seconds out of their day to say happy birthday.

I now know what older friends have been saying to me in recent years: that once you hit past that 21st mark, each birthday really isn’t exciting anymore.  But 2015 has been generally decent to me, and hopefully my 23 is the same or better.

Highlights of the past year or two:

  1. TCNJ Memories:
    1. Artificial Intelligence/ Etsy seminar / RJ Mitte / Cristina Milioti / Nick Offerman – gave me a lot to think about
    2. Paramore concert- not a particular fan, but was cool to see their live performance regardless
    3. Fondue nights with friends surprising me with late birthday gifts
    4. My lanyard and key turning up randomly, which saved me $50
    5. Eating at a Michelin star restaurant in NYC and visiting the Whitney museum
    6. Morning graduation! Holy shit made it
    7. Teaching me the value of my favorite quote:  “You’re either a Blessing or a Lesson.”  I think Frank Ocean said this. Too true.  Senior year answered and offered me everything I felt I had been missing the previous year.  Friendship, epiphanies, great college professors, more independence, and branching out on new skills I really wanted to gain
  2. Amazing summers:  Taiwan 2014 (of course) and Princeton Chinese Immersion 2015- learning about kids, meeting great people
  3. Venice, Montenegro, and Greece- wow.  Got really sick, but still so beautiful and unforgettable
  4. Working out of my comfort zone at Lindt to develop interpersonal skills and learn about chocolate
  5. Proud of myself this winter for continuing to fight forward in just learning about everything and anything within reach – more on this and new personal goals to be met for the rest of 2016.