Finished R Career Track course

So… after an estimated 95 hours (even though it absolutely took me much longer than that…), I finished the career track on Datacamp for R!  I really learned a lot looking back, but every step of the way introducing something new to my brain was hard work.  I’m still not a master, but at least I am becoming more familiar with the structure of it and what R’s capabilities and tools are.  Finally finished whew.

Now, I’m starting on Python, which is supposed to be easier, but I guess it’s the learning curve of re-learning the process from scratch with different coding style that is tripping me up.  I feel a bit discouraged, but all I can do is keep going forward, slowly and step by step.  At the end of the course, I’ll realize that this first and second class material was easy as it’s all introduction to basic 101.  But, it doesn’t feel that way right now and I feel pretty overwhelmed T_T  I really hope I’m going to be qualified enough to get a job in the future in this career, and my friend is also shifting her career to becoming a web developer from scratch, so it’s kind of encouraging to see her progress and all that she’s learned in the past couple months.

I’m kind of tired, but I can’t give up.  If I continue on pace with the goals I’ve set daily for myself, I should have learned the Python entire track before 20 days’ time, in which after I would start browsing through projects and practicing to become even more familiar with what I want to do, rather than how to do it.

I remember the course I took on Photoshop and how overwhelming it was… didn’t know how to do anything, including importing an image.  But it became second nature to know where to click to get the result I wanted, but it also meant weekends of morning to night in the same spot.

HAVE TO KEEP GOING. MUST.

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Changed Diet = Changed Energy: Progress Update

1. Diet

So I don’t mean to be sound like one of those health gurus or snobs because I honestly don’t know exactly what I’m doing, I just browse the internet, and the general consensus is that fruits and vegetables is a yes, and fried foods and other greasy foods are a no go.  Staying hydrated is definitely a yes.

So even though I got sick recently, it was weird.  My lungs were still being their weird selves, but I felt strangely calm and I think more energized.  I don’t think it’s a placebo effect, because it wasn’t like I was consciously waiting to feel more different or more energized.  I just came to the realization that the past week, I’ve felt pretty good.

It started with a few talks with my friends who are vegetarians / semi-vegetarians, and I am still in that odd zone where I look at meat and all I remember is that slaughterhouse article I read about, yet I simultaneously don’t mind thaat much eating the meat in front of me, especially if I didn’t order the food or it was already cooked. That is to say, if I had a choice, I would avoid meat like pork and beef, but I uncovered it in my food after the fact, I’d probably still eat it.

Add to the fact that if I craved chips or a snack, I would eat bell peppers, korean-style pickled cucumbers, and pita chips and guac instead of buying doritos or potato chips (my mom recently bought some doritos as well as cheetos… I nibbled a few one night, but wasn’t able to eat much of it because you mentally shift to realizing how artificial and processed it is… still good though in its own way once in awhile).  I’d been sustaining on mostly breakfasts of oatmeal or porridge the past two or three weeks, along with a yogurt, banana, orange, or sliced apples, and as I’m writing this, I just finished one apple and am starting on an orange.

When you are conscious of all the fresh veggies and fruit in your fridge, and you mentally make that your main supply of snacks to go to, it doesn’t become so hard to just grab one out of habit when you’re a bit hungry or thirsty.  And you begin to appreciate how good the food itself is, and thankful for it to nourish your body and thank your body for all it does for you.  I used to be angry at my  body, whether it was physical features or the fact that I had tight shoulder muscles or my boobs were too large, legs too thin, or lungs too weak.  Anyway, it was always something, but now I’m really trying to thank my body more and reward it with healthy nutrients.  I sound like a yoga guru now, but that wasn’t on purpose!  I’m just trying to take control of what I can with what I got :o)

When I see oily food from take out or anything that someone else brings home, I’ll eat a bite cause I’m hungry, but I think my body just kind of rejects the oily and processed food in general now, which I’m glad because I know it’s a good change!  I’m still not much of an oatmeal fanatic, and I would never  buy oatmeal cookies or anything if I had a choice.  But hot, steaming oatmeal with some brown sugar on top, it’s kinda yummy!  It does keep me full too after a bowl of it.  I tried to eat a bowl of toasted almonds… still not particularly my thing.  My mom also made some korean-style salmon, cabbage, and tofu soup, and I ate that over a bit of rice.

2.  Hydration

The other change regarding liquids is that I always keep a bottle of insulated hot water next to me, and if I’m in the kitchen I keep hot tea in my line of view or within arm’s reach so that I can keep sipping it throughout my work.  If I’m upstairs, I keep regular water and a giant bottle of gatorade in my room… basically, fluid options everywhere I go.  My lips are still always gross and cracked, but this is one change I’m very conscious of working on (any suggestions of good lip balms?)

3.   Skincare

Kind of related, but I’m trying to also be more diligent on skincare and getting my routine down.  I mostly grow pimples on my chin, but I haven’t perfected always washing my face twice in the morning and twice at night, esp the SPF protection and toner, moisturizing part… it still feels a bit like a lot of work piled together.  I’m on the hunt for an oil cleanser too, as well as a new mask (I still love the Elizavecca Carbonated Piggy Mask, but I want to try other brands too).

4.  Career – Data Science Coursework

I find data science really interesting, and besides taking a few days off while I was feeling ill, I’m slightly behind but almost finished with my Datacamp track in R, and I’ll get started on the Python one.  I’ve been roaming and have a bunch of sources and sites saved up to keep practicing and getting better.  I do feel proud of myself in this area and the progress I’ve made in two months so far 🙂

For example, now I know how to generate a wordcloud using text mining like the one I have on this blog to the right with my tags!  Super cool.

5.   Treatments/Medications

Of course, remembering to do all my treatments and medications daily.

6.  Gym

Was going every other day for about two weeks… then got sick.  I need to force myself back tomorrow 😦  Abs are made in the kitchen, but they need some help.  Also want to get toned and stronger. No pain no gain.

7. Random – Movies

I’ve been on a Martin Scorsese binge lately.  Signature of him to put in a lot of crime, corruption, profanity, and nudity in his films.  I watched Casino and am watching Taxi Driver today.  I realized that I actually really enjoy mob boss type of movies, which makes sense since I love The Godfather trilogy… no movie can beat that though.   Think it’s the way they talk, it’s so scruffy and pestering and it’s funny, especially Joe Pesci’s roles.

Healthy Habits: on coding, music, self

On my path to data science:

I’m not really sure why this feeling came over me and helped me decide my commitment to learning data science non-stop for the next two months.

Back when I was in college and started venturing out of all that I knew in piano and music, all I kept hearing was how powerful coding could be and how it could change the world.  The first time I took a website development course, I was completely baffled, stopped dead in my tracks… all these weird symbols and jumble of words, and all of them were supposed to mean something?!  It didn’t look like alien language because it was still in english, and everything was created right there from the keyboards at the tip of my fingertips.  Yet it certainly felt like alien language, and I had never felt stupider.  I struggled to decipher what anything meant, and even when something finally worked, it was with such heavy assistance from my professor that I was left with this feeling that I didn’t understand anything, and dreaded needing to reproduce any part of the work process.

During my gaming class where we had to create games, I was going through a really rough time outside of the classroom and all my creative juices were drained.  It was all I could do just to show up at class and stare at my screen like a vegetable for three hours.  I remember pulling an all-nighter to desperately write code for a simple maze, yet none of the code worked.  Running out of time, to show for the entire night’s worth, I basically copped out by embedding an image of a maze for my character to walk through:  an image. Not an actual maze with walls and boundaries.  The demo for my class the following day was embarrassing, and I felt pretty useless and talentless.

I am an easily stressed individual.  Even though I would sweat bullets and lock myself in the practice room before each performance, at least it was familiar to me.  The nerve-wracking feelings and symptoms were familiar, and all I cared about in the earlier years was to not mess up, forget my piece or stumble on the notes.  Through college, the standard was raised a lot to not just surviving through the piece onstage, but actually learning to enjoy the music then and now with the audience.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is that I learned how to connect deeply and emotionally with listening to the keys and what the music was trying to convey.  In comparison to what I’m trying to accomplish these days, this necessary empathy has always come much more naturally to me.

Now I’m trying to brush up on my life more technically-  practically, what is useful?  Data science.  I feel that I can bring the passionate, committed side of me to pursuing coding, even though the science itself is rather logical, and seems to draw from statistics and other aspects that I always found quite boring.

On the contrary, I am finding this stuff really interesting.  I don’t know if it was because I made the decision to devote myself to learning it bit by bit with a really reliant guide, or that the graphic visualization aspect appeals to my more artsy side.  It also doesn’t hurt that data scientist positions pay pretty well!  I can see a future in this for me, and that feels pretty calming.  I hope this is my calling.  Of course, I will still always have those qualities that piano has taught me:  passion, heart, and definitely discipline.  Habits where you don’t think of it as a choice to stick to it day by day.  You make the choice at the beginning of pursuing this goal, and then day by day it is a necessity.  You breathe it, live it, and only stop to eat, poop, and take short breaks to loosen the mind a bit.

I did feel this sense of accomplishment after a piano performance, especially at a larger, reputable hall like Lincoln Center, yet it still felt like it was so engrained into me to win and do well that I wondered if that took away from some of the satisfaction.  A fraction of it was for my parents, another fraction for the teacher.

But data science is entirely mine.  I made this choice on my own to develop myself further, and it feels oh so good to affirm that I can do (almost) anything if I put my all into it.  One of the to-do lists on my list before I die is to experience that utmost feeling of accomplishment when I get a well-paying job that I know I can grow into.


Speaking of other healthy habits on self-development, I have also made the commitment to building my body and pushing it at the gym as often as I can.  I felt this way around fall, but as it got colder and more factors made it difficult, my clarity in pursuing the goal began to fade and I got discouraged.  I have to decide to pick myself back up and keep trying to train and reach for the best version of myself as I can, mentally and physically, according to my own terms.

Gotta hit my target weight of 105 lbs, and eat healthier, stay away from processed foods, and CONSISTENCY IS KEY.  DEDICATION.  DRIVE.

Gym every other day.  If I don’t wake up feeling dead or something serious and there’s no real reason, I have to go to the gym by default.

Gotta get those ABS OF STEEL.  Slow and steady, like the turtle.

Hungry??  Don’t grab the chicken nuggets.  Grab the bell pepper and hummus.  At the grocery store and staring at yummy processed fat?  NO.  Do not even purchase it.

Also talked a bit with vegetarian / semi- vegetarian friends… I feel like lately I’ve had conflicting feelings when I think about or see meat.  I kind of crave it…but also feel a bit repulsed?

Prayers for Motivation

I remember growing up, when I blew out my candles I always prayed to be healthy.

Now that I’m older, I try to aim for more realistic prayers… I know there is a high chance I won’t ever get to experience what it’s like to be healthy or “normal”, but I pray instead for the motivation to want to push myself to want to be the best version of myself I can be.  The courage to actually strive towards working my hardest even when I know my ideal version might not ever become a reality.

I feel like my prayers have somewhat been answered lately?  I am far  from who I want to be, yet I actually wake up feeling… motivated.  I’ve been working hard not just to write up what my goals are, but doing them.  Diving headfirst into the world of data science, and going when I am able to the gym, despite knowing it’s going to be a long journey and I will always feel out of breath and never quite “there”.  This is already an improved version of the mentality I used to have, drowning in depression and fighting simply to get through Step 1 of: wake up and feel motivated.

Any haters in the world whose judgment and attitude towards me used to cut me like a knife… turn it into noise

Merry Christmas (Gratitude) 2017

So I’ve noticed that even though my blog is a personal place to spill out all my thoughts and feelings and emotions, as a result it has also reflected a lot of the dark moments and worries that pass through my head.  Today’s post is about taking it back to what the whole point was of starting this whole blog, which was the intention of focusing on happiness and the journey to it- which brings up gratitude, a neighbor of happiness.

  1.  The obvious basic:  The obvious basic things I have to appreciate living in a developed country is that I am never starving, always have food to go for when I’m hungry, and that I always have a roof over my head with a comfy room.  All my loved friends and family are still alive, especially my parents, who do so much for me.  They support me through my illness, support me financially in terms of living expenses and anything else I need, like paying for medication, picking up my medication, and dropping it off for me right away.  They bought me my laptop and my android phone in the recent years. I get to keep myself clean and well-groomed with hot showers and baths which are especially useful when I feel low.
  2.  The materialistic:  Even though yes, studies show that experiences and meaningful relationships matter a lot in relativity to happiness, the second thing I have to list in terms of gratitude is more materialistic.  I don’t desperately need anything (besides my health lol), but there were a couple things I had on my wish list, and I honestly didn’t expect to seriously get any of those things this year.  However, I got most of them, either gifted by yours truly (to self lol), or by friends and family.  First off, my first pair of Adidas Ultraboost!  (Stella McCartney in clay red) in size 4.5, on sale and notified to me by one of my friends.  I was given a pair of red Beats headphones by generous friends who claimed they didn’t have any use for it.  Third off, this Nordstrom leather jacket I’d been pining after for about two years- it was finally on sale during Black Friday and I saved over $100, although it was still quite pricey.  I bought myself all the Yesstyle products I had in my favorites just as an impulse buy, and these included a Gudetama make up sponge, a cover up mask, a Shu Uemura eyelash curler, charcoal toothpaste, etc.  #Treatyoself I also received A+ class chocolate and the most amazing German mug ever from my childhood best friends.  This mug was my favorite at my neighbor’s house because it’s thin, tiny, and curves outward, which makes pouring and drinking so much easier and funner!  26036991_10156088952223960_1789629163_o I also received more gifts surprisingly.  My two friends bought me a portable white noise sound machine and a wine red laptop sleeve I’d been wanting to protect my Mac with! These were on my wish list, and I honestly did not even remember sharing the list.  My mom’s friend also dropped off a LADY M crepe cake!! Holy moly, those cost $90, I looked it up.  So excited to eat it.  Also, I still have my college secret santa gift to look forward to.  But finally, most precious of all, is that my parents came home last week WITH A PUPPY!!!  My mom fell in love with a schnoodle who is heterochromatic.  She looks like a hybrid between a dragon, bat, rabbit, and alpaca.  Her name is Moonchie and she is a feisty one ^_^25990644_10156088957248960_1147577110_n
  3. Miscellaneous:  We’re going on a Disney trip soon, and even though there are many things to be worried about, the bottom line is I’ll finally get to try butter beer and see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter omg.  I also feel like I have somewhat of a grip on what my goals are, and I’ve outlined them for each day.  Just a lot of self-improvement, self-exploration, even as I’m stuck at home.  Learn to focus on acceptance of self, being less jealous of others, staying hungry and mindful of said goals.  Trying to make the best of it with my time and opportunities to quietly work on SQL, R, Python, and also this International Humanitarian Law course I found on Coursera.  Datacamp is also this wonderful source I found.  I want to work in data science or analytics!  There’s so much to learn, but I actually find it pretty fun to solve each example.  I also borrowed some books to read at home that will hopefully give me some fictional fun as well as knowledge.  In terms of other issues I’m passionate about, Asian representation is actually existing a tiny bit more these days.  Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina are both cast in Ocean’s 8, Jay Park got recruited into Rocnation, and BTS is making waves in the music industry by performing at the AMAs and collabing with other huge artists!

I have so much.  Even though most of the time I can’t seem to be able to make myself look at the positives, right now I feel as satisfied and full as the feeling you get after you stuff yourself with a huge meal + dessert.  Preferably pumpkin pie a la mode.  Or Lady M OHOHO.