Three Day, Three Quotes Challenge: Day 2

Every birth year, I look back and reflect on what life lessons in that year resonated with me most. I have been 24 years old for 4 months now, and I have experienced by far the most internal struggle I’ve ever been through. I’ve met and dealt with situations beyond my comfort zones.

For my 2nd Day’s Quote Challenge Response, I am choosing another song that I have come to appreciate more and more over the years. This song outlines the goals in my life.

“My Way”

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way

Yes, it was my way

I am nominating:

Thoughts on Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I’ve never been a huge fan of self-help books.

My siblings and I come from a small town, population: 3,500. We only recently opened a super-Walmart (which is still kind of small).

We don’t get to see the big city often, but when we do, our favorite thing to do is go to Barnes & Noble.

No, really. We love it there.

It’s crazy how excited we get come the day we get to go. It is, in fact, the only thing we do in Atlanta. And we go there just to read all day long! We would yearn for the weekend to come just so that we can spend an entire day sitting under the store’s tree nook and read.

This time, I chose to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I’ve heard of  this title through various lists of books one should read during their life, and it seemed short, so why not?

The book captivated me.

It was a perfect dose of fantasy and reality. It asked questions that I’ve been asking myself, such as: What was I meant to do with life? What if I just wanted to enjoy life versus working the life expected of me? 

But it didn’t write the book in the typical tell-you-facts kind of book. There were adventures, adversities, and realizations.

Published in 1988, in Brazil, The Alchemist started out modestly. Copies of the books were sold through word of mouth, but exponentially grew as Coelho had appealed to an American publisher to translate and sell it in the United States. Then, everybody was reading it. 

The Alchemist tells a fictional story of an Arab “boy” (as he is referred as throughout the whole book) who has a recurring dream and the tug of fate to pursue it. He is discouraged by many obstacles, but always has guidance “omens” to pursue what his legacy is. Along the way, he learns to read the signs of the world, understanding how everything in the world is connected. As he reaches the “X” where his treasure is supposed to be located, he finds out that it was buried alllll the way back where he started.

It wasn’t a life changer like The Four Agreements, but I was hooked and finished it within 3 days. The short 200 page book (100 if you read on the phone) had given me a lot of thinking on my current life phase.

The book highlights his resilience, quick wit, weakness, bravery, compassion, logic, ambition, sorrows, and regrets. The boy is so human. 

Yet, there were magical elements, which reminds me of all the fantasy books I used to obsess over.

Time and again, I found myself rooting for the boy, wondering what happens next, as if it were happening to me. I want him to reach his treasure, as I yearn to reach mine- whatever that may be.

I related to the book on a personal level, because I felt it throughout my life.

There is an impression that seems like the book has an overdone cheesy, silly, time-wasting story of you-can-do-anything-you-put-your-heart-to kind of attitude. I don’t believe that the book is meant to be taken seriously by any means.

There were many important lessons I enjoyed through the book, such as:

The book highlights the boy’s resilience, quick wit, weakness, bravery, compassion, logic, ambition, sorrows, and regrets. The boy is so human. Yet, there were magical elements, which reminds me of all the fantasy book I used to obsess over.

If you want something bad enough, the universe will conspire to help you

If one wants something to happen, they have to go after it like crazy. I find that when I search for things, there are always ways to make it happen. Sometimes it comes from a different place than expected, but the signs are all there.

Awareness of the disconnect between people and the surroundings

People don’t listen to the signs in nature. The book also teaches us that all things are connected. The life and energy of every living being can affect all others around it.

Nothing is insignificant, knowledge and sincere, hard work will pay off on the long run

In this part of the book, the boy had gotten all of his life savings taken by a thief. He is left with nothing in a strange land where he begins working at a jewelry store. Slowly he helped the shop-owner expand his business over the months. The business amazingly takes off.

The book spoke out to my naive self, that dreams will eventually come true, if you keep pursuing it and not lose sight of your treasure.

Thanks for stopping by! Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Do you know of similar books that is similar to this and can recommend? Thanks!IMG_0281

What’s in my Journal Entry?

My journal is what keeps me from going mad.

I recently filled up my Eagle notebook, given to me by my little sister as a Christmas gift. Its lifespan was 1 year before I ran out of space. I miss it a lot. So, today, I decided to write about what I keep in my journal and why I love it so much.


First of all, my journal isn’t like most people’s journal. It doesn’t have a beginning, middle, end. It doesn’t follow a paragraph/sentence structure.

My thoughts often flutter incessantly and annoyingly. My journal captures it and shuts it up, giving it a sense of closure.

When I’m overwhelmed or stressed out, I sit down and write whatever comes to my mind. More often than not, I’m already thinking about these things, so what comes out on paper is a flurry of segments, undecipherable rubbish that makes perfect sense to only me. I start connecting my thoughts.

So- my writing looks like this:

Oh yeah, I also enjoy drawing stick figures. 😛

In my journal, I frequently assess myself. Where I’m at in life. Am I making a difference. Am I moving forward or at a standstill. This keeps me in check of whether or not my goals need to be adjusted.

After the general first thought, I reflect on the things I’ve accomplished in recent times, and whether I’m happy with it. Here, I specifically list activities that I’ve been pursuing lately. I write down everything worth noting.

Lately? I’ve been pursuing photography (very amateur, but please do check out my Instagram or Facebook for my recent photos!). My goal here is to capture pictures at an perception not thought of before. I have also been spending a lot of time exploring my own backyard in the mountains, and have been doing lots of hikes with my younger siblings.  

In my reflections, I also give note to life lessons I’ve learned. I enjoy writing reflection blog posts on my discovery of things in life that I did not understand before. It’s amazing to see the cultural differences between my parents’ generation (raised in Vietnam) and my younger siblings’ generation (raised in the United States).

When I’m not pondering my recent accomplishments, I turn to my future. I list my goals, my to-do list, my list of things to improve on. This is usually where I write down my next steps in career, travel destinations, new recipes to try, things to research, etc.

Travel notes

  • Here, I jot down a bullet list of the things that happen while traveling- and especially, my thoughts and feelings on them. I find that when I’m writing about blogs, it’s more difficult to remember what I felt while traveling versus the technical detail (which a quick google search can refresh my memory on).
  • try to come up with a blogging schedule, but it’s easier said than done. I get into inspirations and would write a blog post.

10 Things I’m Thankful For

Something I’ve picked up over the years, is that when I’m down, writing a list of things I’m grateful for gives me more purpose.

  • Family and loved ones
  • I appreciate where I’m at now, and my awareness of myself, my culture, my surroundings
  • I appreciate my small town in the mountains (which I cared for before)
  • Autumn and the beautiful photo opportunities
  • Classical music (which I’ve been listening to a lot lately)
  • Books – currently reading the Kite Runner
  • Food – I’m hoping to bake a pie for the first time this fall- eep!
  • Writing/blogging – and especially my fellow blogging friends. <3
  • The ability to do the things that I love
  • My future

Thanks for reading! This year, we’ve been getting into the Halloween spirit. Ready to take my siblings to go trick or treating! What’s on your journal/itinerary? Cheers to another beautiful autumn. <3

Here are some posts you might like!

Excuse Me, Life Passing Through

2017 has been a year of revelations for me. The year where I finally understand all the things my parents tell me when they say, “I’ll tell you when you’re older.” Things that had once been so clear to me aren’t what I had expected them to be. People have changed. My perspectives have changed. My desires and interests evolved. I don’t understand the world as much as I used to think, and now that I have scraped off the tip of the ice berg, there is still so much to learn. 

Because of these discoveries, my path in life has changed. It’s not a bad thing, because I am wiser. The light may be fading, but what I do see shines brighter with intensity. 

Statue of Liberty

Photo Challenge: Evanescent