Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Guest House

PS: A poem that one of the ladies at the conference shared during lunch:

"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."


The weather inside of me is...

Today I went to the Whole Person Leadership Conference held by the Center for Asian Pacific American Women. So many inspiring and successful women there who have such unique, yet totally relatable stories that I found myself nodding to. Amazing role models. We all had so much in common. I've never had such an experience where everyone was just so open immediately upon meeting each other.

Towards the end of the day we broke up into small groups and went around telling our stories. One of the things each person had to do was complete this sentence: "The weather inside of me is...."

Normally it takes me a while to think of how to respond to things like that. I don't know what kind of food I'd be or what color I want to be. If I chose a response it'd be just some random food or color with no real meaning. But I know how the weather is inside of me right now.

I said "The weather inside of me is foggy with beams of sunlight and warmth trying to break through. I can see the sun, but there's still fog everywhere."

It's been six weeks since I really started the law school experience. I feel like I'm going through this major identity crisis. I go through highs where I feel like I made this great decision and where I'm so excited for the future and what I can achieve. I'm excited to do externships, study abroad, network, and do internships. I remember the two reasons that led me to law school: international women's rights and health (coming from my Women Around the World course from Running Start), and intellectual property (from my journalism/communication background). Two VERY different fields, but the two fields that I'm the most interested in. I can't wait to learn more about them. These two reasons are the beams of sunlight inside of me. They're trying to break through the fog and help me see the way.

But the fog is just so DENSE. Among my times of highs, there are other times when I'm going through these major lows of foggy grayness. I look back and realize it's only been four months since I graduated from undergrad. I miss it and I don't know WHY. It feels like I'm the only one who does miss it. Maybe it's because I just had so much fun in my last year, especially the last quarter. When I compare undergrad to law school, undergrad was just so carefree and relaxed, though there were some stressful events along the way. Law school, though honestly a lot like high school, is fun, but there's still that pressure lurking in the background. Everyone in law school is obviously there for the same reason; we're all there to become lawyers and for many of us, it's one of the very last steps we'll take before we take on the professional world. I guess, for me, it's just scary. I remember e-mailing one of my TAs when I was a freshman, asking him about grad school. He warned me to NOT graduate early, that he regretted doing it himself. I didn't understand why. Now I do understand, though I don't necessarily regret it, if that makes any sense.

I'm also used to the anonymity I had in undergrad. During undergrad, I was just a number. Just a student at a huge institution. I could blend in and go through with my own business. No one, other than a few few people, really knew me. I liked that. That's just the kind of person I am. But in law school, it's a community. I'm stuck in the same building for the entire day with the same people. I see the same faces everyday and people know who I am. I have to tell people that I'm going to the library to study or that I'm going home. The anonymity is no longer there. You have to get to know the people you sit with. In undergrad, it didn't matter if you didn't talk to the person sitting next to you in the lecture hall. But now I feel exposed.

I feel relieved that beams of sunlight are starting to peek through. On some days, the sunlight is stronger than on other days. And when the sunlight is stronger, it just feels so good. But the fog is still dense. In real life, it takes time for fog to fade away as the day progresses and I guess it's the exact same within me. I don't regret graduating early. I feel like I SHOULD be here in law school right now. It's just a matter of breaking some ties...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This entire week has been a roller coaster ride. Too much is happening all at once and again I'm emotionally drained. I'm rethinking my decisions, regretting them, and hating myself.

It's amazing how much can change in such a short period of time. One moment I'm having the time of my life...doing all of these things and constantly on the go with my favorite people. I was sincerely so happy.  So many memories and so much laughter.

But then all of a sudden last Sunday, it just ended. It seriously just ended in thirty seconds. I was dropped off at my new "home" and immediately I was greeted with silence and a feeling of emptiness, and I knew it would be like this for a while. I never really understood what was meant by "the silence is deafening." But when you experience weeks surrounded by people and you're actually having fun with those people and you're wishing it would never end, and then all of a sudden you're by yourself and it does come to an end, the feeling is just indescribable. I stood in the middle of my room, really unsure of what to do. I wanted to scream.

Accompanied with a few other worries that I later did get resolved, I never felt so panicked, overwhelmed, upset, scared, and alone in my entire life. I've never felt so desperate. Everything felt so unfamiliar. I've never felt so low.

Usually I always have to have something to do. And for the first time ever I feel like I have too much to do by myself. I wish I had more time and the same people around me. I wish that I didn't decide to do the summer program. I just want a break and not have a single care in the world....even if it's just for a month. People always asked me before if I'm not burnt out. I say no. Just give me more and more, I say. I'm up for it.

But now I think I'm understanding that feeling of being burnt out. I'm so tired. There are too many changes. New school, new home, new people, new environment. It's like all of a sudden, all the things I really loved are just cut out of my life and replaced with unfamiliar substitutes. Everyday this week I woke up with an empty feeling. Nothing to look forward to at all. But on top of all this, I'm facing this huge pressure...basically in law school you're starting your law career. I feel like everything has to be taken so seriously...the past few weeks though were far from being serious. Sure, I studied for undergrad finals, but at the same time I had so much fun...and now looking back, in comparison to law school, undergrad really doesn't matter anymore...How am I supposed to deal with this huge transition?

A few months ago, or even one month ago, I was so excited to start the summer program. It seemed perfect. Get used to law school with one class, do well since you're just focusing on one thing, and lessen the workload in the fall. It still IS perfect. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to do it. Somehow though, I'm still regretting it.

I'm writing this basically to organize my thoughts. With all this change happening I haven't had the time to just sit down and think. Everything seems so far away and out of reach. As a result, I'm losing perspective and I get all of these mixed emotions about everything. Every little thing seems to annoy and frustrate me now, even though I know it doesn't matter. Perspective and how you choose to look at things is everything. It matters so much.

There is really no organization in this post even though I just said I'm writing to organize my thoughts. But this is how my thoughts are right's a jumbled mess.I just need to get it out.

In five weeks I will have finished my first class of law school. I need to be determined and stay strong. There is no room for mess-ups...especially in this first year. Hopefully one year from now...things will be a bit like how they used to be...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Times are a-changing

Funny how things never work out as planned.

"Expect the unexpected." I feel like these are the words that everyone should live by, no matter how cliche they may seem. Why? Because expecting the unexpected makes you that much more prepared. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's All Routine

I wrote a blog post with the same exact title nearly three years ago. I cannot believe it's already been three years since I wrote that post. I was moving out from the house that I lived in for about 16 years. Everything was in boxes, bubbled-wrapped, taped, and newspapered. The walls were stripped of paintings, pictures, and mirrors. Dead spiders were shriveled in the cracks between the wall and floor. I was sitting on the stool in the kitchen because all the chairs and desks were already gone. The house even smelled different, like it was never lived in for the past 16 years. It was hot.
That summer was also the summer that my parents finally divorced. It was probably the most emotionally-draining summer of my entire life. Everything was changing so dramatically and so quickly. I was moving out of my house, I was starting college where I would live in a completely foreign place, and my parents were finally divorcing and starting entirely new lives. Although I had been waiting for this for years, for some strange, unexplainable reason I was absolutely dreading it. I didn't want anything to change. I wanted things to stay as they were. I'll admit it: I was depressed, angry, and hurt.

But I soon realized that it's all routine. Even though life is full of change, there really are some things that stay the same. Changes are a part of everyday life. Worries are a part of everyday life. They come and they go. It's all routine. You develop pitiful worries and drama in your life, but in three months, or maybe even in one month, it won't even matter anymore. Why? Because you'll be worrying about something else that's seemingly as dramatic as your previous worry. Then you'll back at that previous worry, laugh embarrassingly and think "Wow, that was nothing compared to this!" Then the cycle repeats itself. It's all routine. Once you realize that it's simply all a part of life, you realize that it's just not worth it to worry so much. Knowing that it's all going to work out in the end, you wonder "Why bother?" Why waste your energy? Take that energy and do something meaningful and happy with it.

Another thing I've been wondering about is change. There are people who just can't handle it that well, who just get too bogged down with the memories and the routine. Then there are some who claim to "love" change. I wonder about those people. I honestly believe that even those people have trouble adjusting to new things at least sometime. Isn't it possible that if they're loving the change, they just didn't love what they had in the first place? If you really did love something, wouldn't you not want to change it?

I say all of this with my final quarter of undergrad now in session. Summer's running up fast, and for the first time ever, I'll most likely not spend it at home. Then in August I'll be starting law school (big, big change), where I will experience the most hellish year of my life. I enjoy what I have now for sure, but new memories are always brewing in the future no matter what happens, no matter what kind of change occurs.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Czech Republic
Shark cage diving
Rock climbing
Lake Ingalls
All four Opens
All-day workout
Archaeology dig

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Impermanent selves

"Instead, there is a succession or alternation of impermanent selves, each in command part of the time, each with its own needs and desires during the time it is in command, but having--at least some of them--strong preferences about what is done during the period that another one is in command."

-Thomas Schelling, Ethics, Law, and the Exercise of Self-Command


I want letters

I remember always loving to get envelopes addressed to me. Going to the post office and and checking our PO box was the greatest thing ever. I would always ask my mom if we could go to the post office...she never understood why. Just going into the super old post office and opening our vintage-y PO box was just so exciting. Letters, at a time when bills were non-existent at that age, always meant good news. It was the best form of communication. Phone calls, on the other hand, which I still hate to this day, always meant some matter of urgency, some bad news. I liked letters in that there was no sense of urgency...because really if it's urgent news you wouldn't send it via mail. It's always a phone call. Letters, simply put, were just chill (?).I even thought that letters were just pretty--they were just so...formatted....?

To this day letters still have that same meaning. And they still are pretty. At the peak of law school admission decisions coming in, I'm checking our mailbox religiously. It's almost like an addiction. Since January I've gotten a plethora of letters--all of them thus far with good news. Offers of admissions AND money. That's a pretty damn good combo.

This month the flow of law school letters has slackened. With each mailbox opening and seeing only a stack of advertisements, I walk away disappointed. I promise myself that I won't walk towards the mailboxes for at least a few more days, hoping the end result would be a huge stack of letters, at least one of them coming from a law school congratulating me as part of the fall 2010 entering class.

"Next time...there'll be something for me."

There's absolutely no point to this post. But after receiving a generous 31k scholarship from a school that I'm no longer interested in, I can't get my mind off of getting (hopefully) more acceptances and thinking about the future. Schools are sending out waves of acceptances/rejections, and I'm so excited to get mine.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sista, I've got it all

114 days til graduation. By the end of this quarter and by the time spring quarter starts, it'll be less than 100. This year has swept by. I can remember spring quarter and the summer just like it all happened last week. The memories are still fresh, but not fresh enough to feel like it had happened yesterday.

It's amazing.

More and more lately I've been becoming more aware of my surroundings. When you're stuck in one place for so long or all of your life, you begin to wonder what's on the outside. You don't appreciate what you already have because it's the only thing you even know of. But when you finally venture out and see what else is out there, you see new things and enjoy them, but at the same time you realize how lucky you've been all along.You compare the two, and pay more attention to the minute details of what you already had. There is beauty in everything.

I remember watching 20/20 when I was younger and people with split personalities were being interviewed. I remember being so fascinated by the whole phenomena. How can a person have two completely different identities? The brain is crazy. Somewhat relatedly, I've been wondering how it's possible to want to have things that are totally contradictory to each other. What does that mean? Is it possible to have both? Or do you only think that you want both, but in reality you only want one and don't really realize it yet? OR is it possible to have a combination of those totally contradictory things?


"When you are grateful, it is impossible to focus
on the negative and you instantly start shifting
towards a positive point of view with will automatically
start to make you feel good."

Gratitude takes practice. Life is good.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


"... everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." 

 -Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

 Time to get myself out of this funk.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We all need some twists

I do not remember the last time I was this sick. Sunday night I felt so miserable. Sitting in LAX in those uncomfortable pleather chairs was the longest eight hours of my life. The chairs had armrests so you couldn't even lay down. I was so mad those armrests. I wanted to lay down so bad. I wanted to be in an actual bed with fleece blankets and a pillow. So, so cold. I couldn't sleep. My legs felt so restless, tired and achy as if I had been running for miles. I rocked myself back and forth in my chair to loosen then up. It didn't work. My eyes were burning. I felt weak. The routine throughout night was the same: Crouch myself into a new position, sleep for an hour, wake up, look at the time, groan at how little time has passed, find a new uncomfortable position, repeat. I told myself "When you get on the plane, it'll be ok." But the plane was all the same. This time, wedged in-between Sally and a random lady, I had less room to fidget. I thought was I was going to die.

It was a less than ideal ending to a pretty cuhrazy trip. Who knew we'd end up having to take Amtrak in Cali? Who knew we'd have to transfer? Who knew that certain things would happen? But really, this is the only way we know how to end things, right? This is what makes the trip all that more memorable. This, not the wax museum and not downtown SF, is what we'll be talking about thirty years down the road.

As a wise man once said:  

"...just another twist in the plot. ...everything is perfect."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Everything happens for a reason.
No matter how stressed or worried I am, it will pass. I am strong. I am capable.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Can't sleep...

It's exactly 3:30 am as I start writing this. I don't think I've been up this late since the day of my philosophy midterm last spring quarter: May 4th, the day after my birthday. Honestly, I don't know why I'm still up. It could be because of that coffee bubble tea, but seriously bubble tea? I had that more than 12 hours ago. I'm so light-headed. I just feel like writing.

It'll be in EXACTLY one week and about four and a half hours. It hasn't hit me yet. I don't know why. It's ONE week. Shouldn't it have hit me by now? I WANT it to have hit me by now. I want to start savoring every moment of looking forward to it, because, other than experiencing the actual moment/event itself, it's one of the best feelings ever. Being excited about something/looking forward to something  is one of life's greatest things. It's so underrated. When you're actually experiencing whatever it is that you were looking forward to, it goes by just like that. It ends so quickly. The moment you were waiting months or even years for is already over.

I think learning to appreciate the excitement/the looking-forward-to-ness/the time BEFORE whatever it is you're looking for to helps you to appreciate even MORE that certain moment/experience. It makes the time waiting so much more worth it. That's how it is for me anyway. I think I've only recently started enjoying the excitement. It used to be like "Oh my god, I wish this week would hurry up and pass already," but I try not to think like that anymore. I just wait, and I enjoy it. I think that's part of the overall experience. Including the entire excited waiting process into the experience just literally expands the overall joyfulness, yeah? And then I find that I remember so many more details about that moment I was waiting for, because I'm appreciating it so much more, knowing how excited I was while waiting for it.

I take the time to tear myself away. I take a step back and pretend that I'm just some creeper watching everything around me. I take note of what I hear, what I see, what I feel, what I think. Then I feel like I enjoyed that moment to the fullest capacity because I didn't just let it rush by in front of my eyes. I can remember everything.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Missing that Childlike Wildlife

I'm in the living room printing off endless readings for the following week, when the newest addition to the household, Langi prances over and gazes at the printer with wonderment. His eyes dart back and forth from the paper going into the printer, to it coming out from the other end. He jumps onto the paper coming out from it, preventing it from coming out any further, and causing a paper jam within. As I shoe him off, he jumps instead on top of the printer, sticking his tiny paw inside the paper feed, looking back at me like "Wowzers, this is so cool."

I've been observing this little man since the time I finally got back to Seattle. I've admired his enjoyment in the smallest things, from his staring at my laptop screen and trying to "stop" my mouse from darting back and forth with his paw, to his chasing the wrong end of the cat toys (ie: chasing the plastic handle instead of the yellow pompoms on the other end).

After watching him swatting his paw at the curtain drawstrings, my roommate commented "Oh, the joys of youth."

When do our "joys of youth" end? Why does it even have to end? Of course, I'm not saying that we should all start finding joy in watching printers, but why do we need such elaborate and complicated things to be so happy? Why do we have to stress ourselves to be happy? In my opinion, there is so much to learn from this guy. The lesson he has to teach us is this: be grateful for what you have, and enjoy everything around you. Take what you've got, learn to be satisfied with it.

Live life with no regrets--if you do, then you're looking to the past too much. Is that what life's about? Dwelling in the past? What's that going to help with? Essentially, you're just staying stuck in one location. It's getting you NOWHERE. If you screwed up, then deal with it. Don't think of it as a mistake--take it as a lesson and learn from it.