How much can you change in a year? It’s been more than a year after my reflection in May 2017. I have my journal and blog to thank for keeping track of my reflections and goals of in the past, present and future.
As with a lot of things in life, less is more. Here are some things I did the past couple of months!
I moved to Atlanta!
Since last May’s reflections, I have moved out of NYC and onto Atlanta. I have also taken a lot of time to travel and worked remotely in between. I spent 3 months in Vietnam in 2018, and recovered a little bit at home before launching my new adventures in Atlanta.
So I feel like my life is a bit of a mess right now, but at least it’s my mess. I’m doing the things I like to do, and following my guts to get me there. So far, so good. Except for initial panic of being alone.
For the first time in a long time, I was by myself.
Having no pre-aquainted friends or family in the city, the strange new city was intimidating to me. I was afraid of the crazy traffic, and the notoriously highway I-85 with a horrible accident rate of at least 1x/day. The summer heat of high 90 degrees also didn’t help. I wanted to give up and run away, back to the safe haven of my small mountain town.
Thankfully, with plenty of encouragement from loved ones, I calmed down. I spent the 1 month rent money; if worse comes to worse, I will just pack up my car and drive home. I stayed.
Things I learned in my solitude:
The importance of making connections
I was elated to find out that my classmate, from studying abroad in Singapore, happens to live 20 minutes away from my apartment. I also have relatives going back generations, also living 20 minutes from me. Great news! They want me to move in with them until I can find a job that can support me!
A time to self-reflect
Being alone allows time to reflect on the things I want to do and my goals in life. I started pursuing my hobbies again- something I haven’t done since HIGH SCHOOL. There’s a good 8 years washing along the waves of life. These days, I have been spending a lot time reading, writing, up-keeping photography, listening/playing music, and exploring the city.
On a Hedonic Treadmill
At this point in life, I’m finding many things I do or want to do quite confusing. Chasing after things will get boring after awhile, as happiness comes down to equilibrium. It’s not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness. I’m struggling with what I want to do.
A Proud Sister and Daughter!
While I enjoy living on my own, I also learned to appreciate my time with family a lot more. I particularly appreciate my parents for their support.
My 12 year old sister and 10 year old brother are animators on Youtube now! I’m so, so proud of them!
Please check it out and I would love to know what you think!
Winthanh, my 12-year-old sister is borderline obsessive with her artwork. Her DeviantArt contains amazing digital art, so proud of how far she’s come!
10-year-old brother takes after his artistic sister, creating his own style of animation. I don’t get the music they’re into these days, but the talent is real!
My parents are taking more time to relax and travel, which I’m very proud for. They have been working too hard in life, and it’s time they let loose a bit and relax.
Trying New Things
- Volunteered at a refugee assistance program, something that I’ve wanted to do since coming to the United States.
- Made artichoke for the first time. It’s so delicious, my favorite method is roasting them! This is the recipe I used for roasting.
- Gardened for the first time, which is a big deal, because I have a deep-rooted fear of earthworms. I’m now thinking of starting my own hot compost pile!
- I now have a fitness tracker! At first, I resisted, for fear of becoming too reliant on having fancy technology attached to me at all times. After 2 months of use, I disabled most of my notifications, and now loving the sleep tracking, step tracking, calling/messaging, and waterproof feature!
- Audiobook of the Month– Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an amazing audiobook read by Lin Manuel Miranda, and talks about philosophies of life in the eyes of a teenager.
Studies show people who their deathbeds’ 5 top regrets in life:
- I wish I’d the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life that others expect of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish I let myself be happier.
- Writing my thanks every night.
- Writing my goals every morning.
- Reading every day (books, audiobooks, Quora).
Some useful resources:
- Blinkist (read/listen) – a great site/app for book summaries
- Quora– general curiosity
- Medium– my new Quora, coming up with thoughtful articles on life, personal development
By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected. – from this amazing book by Dale Carnegie
Thoughtful question for YOU:
What do you want to be remembered for in your Eulogy?
Recent Blog Posts:
- Last Sight
- Mindfulness: Nothing Like a Blank Page of Paper
- Thoughts on Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Next month’s goals:
- Find work that I’m passionate about
- Write 2 blog posts/week
- Work on 2 more chapters of my book
- Passive Income Projects