Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I am Officially Graduating: 4 Lessons Learned in College

This week I'll be back in America for my graduation! As you're reading this, I'll already be back in the States! It's such a bittersweet time for me so I think it's a perfect time to reflect on some of the things I've learned over the years. I have changed so much.

#1: Find something to believe in, and fight for it with everything.
College is a really great time because you are newly an adult and for most of us, newly on your own so it's a perfect time to explore your interests. I think it is also a very important time for us to think critically because it is during this time that we encounter so many different people and so many different viewpoints that we should be thinking about what is really important to us. As they say, if you don't stand for anything, you'll fall for anything. 

For myself, it was in my sophomore year of college when I was the representative for all the Asian/Pacific Islander students at my school that I discovered my love, passion, and need to be a voice for all the Asian Americans out there because there is still so much injustice yet silence surrounding the Asian American community. I realized that there was still a stigma of Asians not sticking up for themselves and just letting things pass without doing anything about it. I realized for myself that I needed to be part of the change to change that. 

#2: Being alone doesn't mean you're a loser.
I am an extrovert. I love people! When I first started in college you couldn't leave me alone for more than an hour or so before I started to freak out about being by myself. I didn't like going anywhere on campus by myself especially at such a small school (especially going to the dining hall alone) and the times that I was alone felt like I was a loser. It seemed like the "cool" kids were never alone & that if you were alone even though no one would ever say anything to you, people would treat you almost like an outcast in the sense of they'll be cordial to you when they see you but that's about it. 

Well, in my sophomore year (that year was pivotal for me in my personal development haha), I lived in a dorm that was very isolating by nature and I also got into binge watching tv shows, so I spent a lot of time alone that year. However, it ended up being good because I learned to be okay being by myself. Even as an extrovert, I realised just how healthy it can be to have time to yourself, not only to rest, but to also just focus on your own. I also learned to love going places by myself because it made me feel more independent. I enjoy & actually take advantage of time that I get to myself now. 

#3: Everything about how we were raised comes up real quick when you're living with roommates.
Freshman year was the first time that I ever lived with other people outside of my family. Although my roommates & I generally got along great, we realised just how much our habits are affected by our pasts and how we were raised. With the 3 of us, we were all raised very differently & the results of that meant that we definitely clashed at times, which is very normal in roommate relationships. I just think it was a wakeup call for all of us to evaluate different aspects about ourselves in regards to how we affect the people around us. It has definitely been (and still is) a growing experience to be living with people from so many different backgrounds. 

#4: Burnout is real. So is time management and rest.
I am one of those people that has a lot of interests so I want to be involved in as many things as I can. Ever since high school, I've always done advanced classes plus being involved with clubs in school plus a sport plus being involved in church. And I always still managed to do well. I wasn't expecting much different of myself in college, however it wasn't until my junior year that it really was finally catching up to me, and when it hit me, it hit me hard. 
If you've been following my blog for a while now, then you'll know that 2015 was a little rough for me blog-wise. I really slacked on it last year because my time management was off and I also had burned myself out packing on the units while still working between 2-3 jobs at any time and still being involved at my home church as well. So when I did have time to rest, I did instead of blogging. It was necessary, but with how much I love and put an effort into my blog, I wanted to stay on top of it. But now, I'm hoping to really be back with the help of Darell plus some friends that I recently found out here in Australia that blog as well! 
-----------------------------------
I've learned so much in the last few years in college, especially at a private, Christian university (I'll save that post for another time). I'm very sad that my time is over, but I am also very happy to be done and move onto the next part of my life in Australia. But no matter what, I will always cherish this time of my life for teaching me so much about myself when I thought I had already known myself so well. So here's to that. Let's celebrate!! 

Chau for now

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Most Heartbreaking Reality About Working in Makeup

Okay so my 30 day writing challenge was a bust, but a big chunk of it was because of this post that I've had on my heart for so long, and the thought about waiting until May to publish it really kept me from writing. Yet it's almost May. Woops. 



So anyway, as I've mentioned before, I work in a makeup store. It's called Gloss, and for those of you who aren't from Australia, think of it as a Sephora-meets-drugstore-brands. It means that you can test basically any product in the store, but the prices are ridiculously affordable. 

& of course, as with most makeup stores, we sell foundation. Sometimes I'll get asked to match a foundation for someone's face and it's actually one of my favorite things to do, because a well-matching foundation can do wonders for someone's overall look. Usually, these women aren't wearing makeup already (or they're wearing very little) so if this is the case, I ask if I can apply one shade to half of their face then we can apply another shade to the other side if it doesn't match perfectly. We also have face wipes handy so that they can wipe the makeup off their faces after. 

Sometimes, I'll match a person and they'll take every suggestion I give them in regards to the foundation, makeup, anything really. It makes me feel good because although I am no professional by any means, it's cool to know that maybe I actually do know a thing or two about makeup. 

However, many times we will also get many women of colour (usually Indian women) where I will match them to the perfect, and I mean PERFECT shade on them (it looks like they're not wearing makeup!) but they don't like it. 

*looks at other foundation colors* "Can we go lighter?" 

*looks at self in the mirror & turns to me while I am smiling at myself in accomplishment* "Ahh, it's too dark!"

It is usually at this time where I'll tell these women my honest opinion & tell them how amazing they look with the foundation & give them my honest opinion about what putting on the lightest shade of foundation (while they are my skin tone or darker) would look like on them. I try to be polite, but still brutally honest in saying that it won't look flattering on them. I then continue to try and encourage them in the way they look with the correct matching foundation. My coworker has even used powder highlighters on customers' faces to show them how these ladies can brighten their faces while still wearing the correct shade of foundation. 

Now look, I know that a woman should be able to look however she wants to look. BUT, if she is using makeup to hide behind it, it isn't healthy at all. Especially if the woman who looks perfectly beautiful & fine in her skin tone is saying, "I want to be whiter/fairer." 

This is a result of colonialism. 

Because in history Europeans have invaded so many countries, many of these people in these places see those with the lighter skin as those with power. They see the treatment that people who are darker get for no reason other than their skin tone, and they want to be lighter. 

In Asia, skin-lightening is a BILLION DOLLAR industry. Like what?! Even my parents have contributed to this industry by buying whitening products for my sister & I when we were younger so we could become lighter. I remember them coming home from the Philippines with whitening soaps, whitening lotions, whitening deodorants, anything you could think of for us to lighten ourselves with. If you look at media in Asia, most celebrities are really pale & with westernized features. Hell, people even get eyelid surgeries so they don't have the defining Asian feature of a monolid. 

& it's really so, so sad. 

So many women all around the world think that their value, their worth, their beauty is less just because of their skin tone. & it really frustrates me & breaks my heart when I come across these kinds of women at work. & it really sucks because many of these women are actually older than the age of 30. You would think it would be younger women but no, it's the older ones. So this mindset is engraved into their brains. 

What can we do about it? 

We are beautiful no matter how we look. Photo cred: Hannah Bernabe
We can start featuring women of colour in media, & a wide range of women (dark and light skinned Asians, dark and light skinned black women, etc). We can start with the younger kids, the younger cousins/nieces/daughters/students that they are beautiful just the way they are. We can start setting the examples ourselves by loving the skin we're in (or learning to do so if we don't already) so that other women can see that it is possible to be confidently beautiful even if you're not as white as a piece of paper. 

I've learned quite a few things while working in the world of makeup, but this, by far, has been the most frustrating & heartbreaking thing that I've realized. I can only hope & pray that someday women won't feel the need to use makeup to hide behind, but rather use it to enhance their natural beauty. 
Chau for now

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Let's Play Catch-up Days 5-14: 30 Day Writing Challenge

I totally let myself go really quick omg, haha but I think I also started getting ideas for so many new posts after this challenge is done that I got so impatient that I just didn't post for a week. Sorry guys. Haha but to catch up on the last week, here's what I got: 

5. A place you would live, but have never visited


I would definitely not mind living in Spain or Greece one day. Those two countries are also the only countries in Europe that I have an "I NEED TO VISIT HERE BEFORE I DIE" kind of mentality about.

Spain intrigues me because it seems like such a beautiful and passionate country and culture, plus I have roots there somewhere down my family line so that would be cool to explore as well. With Greece, I've just always admired the landscapes. I think the film, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, was the film that first introduced me to Greece and got me thinking about it. 

6. Someone who fascinates you & why

This is a hard one. However, if I had to choose someone who truly fascinates me, I would have to say Selena Gomez at the moment. She's slowly started coming out and speaking about her recently found faith in God, and I like it. I know she's getting a lot of flack for it though because of her past, but I'm very curious to see how she deals with the criticisms in the future. Not to mention, we also go to the same church so that's pretty cool. 

7. Any tattoos you have & the meaning behind them

Nope, sorry no tattoos. There are a few that I want, but I'm not sure if I would ever muster up enough courage to actually get them.

8. A book you love & one you didn't

A book I loved: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I've read a ton of books since reading this book in my senior year of high school, but it truly stood out to me because it was a historical/science nonfiction novel that surprised me. I am not a huge science fan, so when I was first assigned this book for my summer homework, I wasn't too excited about it. However, I do love novels, and I really enjoyed the format that this story was told. The story was told partially with the history of this woman & her cells, as well as the author's research into learning this woman's story as well as her family's to share it all in this book.

A book I didn't love: Lord of the Flies (sorry Ms. North, haha). I had to read this book in high school as well, except for my sophomore year of high school. I think the book was written very well, but I just didn't find the content interesting at all. It just wasn't my kind of book. 

9. Your feelings on ageism

Ageism isn't something that we talk enough about, but it is definitely there. Especially against people of older age. I've noticed that ageism against older adults tends to be in Western cultures more than other cultures, simply because many of those other cultures place such a heavy emphasis on respecting elders. 

10. A fruit you dislike & why

I don't like cherries. I don't like the flavor, I don't like the seeds, I just don't like them. Especially cherry-flavored things. YUCK. There is just something about the flavor that isn't sweet or sour enough for me to enjoy. I'm not sure, I don't usually ever go for it so it's been a while since I've last tasted cherries, haha. 

11. Your current relationship; if single, discuss that too


I think everyone knows about my current relationship. In June, we will have been together for 6 years. We have an interesting beginning & an even more interesting story, but those are for another day (but I have written our beginning out in the past). 

All I'll say is that we have been through almost everything couples could possibly go through, even some things that most people don't ever experience in their entire lives, good & bad. & with all that being said, I have to say that this past year has been the best year ever for us. I know that long distance tears many couples apart, but honestly, it has made us stronger & healthier (& probably saved our relationship in different ways, too). 

12. Two words/phrases that make you laugh

This is where I think Darell knows me better than I know myself. It's something he says, but I can't think about it right now for the life of me. Sometimes when he talks, I just burst out laughing. He's also funny-looking sometimes. (hehe, love you babe)

13. Your commute to & from work/school/etc.

My view on the bus on the way to work

Depending on if I am coming from my house or my friend's house that I stay at pretty much half the time, I get to work by bus or train. Taking the train is always cool for me because it really makes me feel like a city girl, even though I live in the suburbs. Running to catch the train right before it leaves adds to the experience as well. 

14. Your life in 7 years

7 years from now, I will be 28 years old. I will definitely be married and most likely have at least one kid if not two. Whatever I'll be doing for work, I hope it's something I love somewhere I love. I don't know where I'll be living at this time. I could be here in Australia still or back in the States. Heck, I could even be somewhere completely unexpected. Who knows, but I can't wait to see where I'll be. 

Chau for now

Monday, April 4, 2016

Let Me Re-Introduce Myself

Today's prompt says for me to write 10 interesting facts about myself. I believe I've done this kind of post once before so I'm going to have to get creative with this one. Here goes nothing!


1. I am part of a couple online "sororities" that have been circling American news outlets lately! I'm not part of the über exclusive group "Girls Night In" that was just mentioned on Good Morning America recently, but I am part of the much larger, less exclusive group that was actually the predecessor to GNI if I'm not mistaken :) I have a few friends that are in the group, though!



2. I once had to attend a late-night work meeting at one of my old jobs to meet with Apl.de.ap from the Black Eyed Peas to talk about his future business endeavors! He's really cool in person. 



3. I've been in a relationship for almost 6 years. Love that guy. 

4. Over the last 6 years, I've moved quite a bit but I've always kept one thing with me in my room wherever I go, including here in Sydney. It's one of the very first gifts that Darell gave me. It's a collage of pictures of us that he gave to us after two months of dating because for half that time I was in the Philippines. It was made on Paint & he actually tried being girly with how the actual frame looked. It's one of my most treasured things that I own ♥  



5. I work at a makeup store in Sydney. I'm not a professional by any means nor do I ever intend on becoming a professional, but I love makeup & have always been interested in working with it, so this job is pretty fun. I like helping women use makeup to enhance their looks in a good way :)

6. My guilty pleasure is The Bachelor. I didn't get into the show until last year & there are a ton of reasons why (especially regarding race) but once my friends got me to watch one episode I couldn't stop! It's so bad & it's so good. 
7. Welp, I can't come up with anything else. So 6 facts it is!

I'm having tons of fun with this writing challenge. It will be good for me to look back on it later :)
Chau for now

Sunday, April 3, 2016

First Love & First Kiss (Oo0ooh JUICY)

Ooh, where to start with this one? 

Well, both of these things were with the same person, 10 years ago (it's actually almost 10 years from what would've been our anniversary had we stayed together, haha! I have a very vivid memory). I dated this guy while I was in middle school for almost 2.5 years. I know that people say that relationships from that age don't count but I think when they last that long they should!

My group of friends in middle school, my ex included. I purposely chose a photo where I wasn't next to him to respect his privacy haha.
Anyway, the guy went by Junior, but he goes by a different nickname now to get away from the stigma that can come from being a "junior." For the sake of this post, that's what I'll refer to him as to respect his privacy. 

He was someone I had classes with since 3rd grade. Before we started dating I didn't really have much of a friendship with him, other than the fact that for school dances we were always paired together because we were both the shortest people in our classes, haha. We had almost all of the same friends but just didn't talk so much. 

Then, one day in 6th grade he had admitted to liking me on the playground then ran away. It wasn't until a few days later that I said I felt the same way on the phone so we decided to be boyfriend/girlfriend right then & there. 

Our first kiss was two months later, and it was the day after the last day of school. We both had gone to school with some friends to help our teachers pack up for the summer & at the top of the second story building of my middle school overlooking our hometown, we kissed. It was cute; it was so sweet & simple & innocent.

I call him my first love because he was the first guy I ever said "I love you" to. He was the first person I ever held hands with, and also my first kiss. He also treated me really well. Our relationship was so pure & innocent, & as I look back on it now I see our love more as a puppy love more than a very emotional, over encompassing, forever type of love. & no it's not a bad thing at all in my eyes. We were just younger and simpler. We never fought, everything was so new with us, and I think for the both of us it was about having someone who cares about you and caring for them back. Nothing else. No ulterior motives. No taking advantage of anyone. We just really cared about each other. 

The best way to describe the relationship was "sweet." I only have fond (but sometimes very embarrassing/cringe-worthy on my end, especially with how I looked) memories with him. 

Us all reunited a few years later at my friend's 18th birthday!
Our breakup was initiated by me, but ended up being mutual in the end. We ended up going to different high schools, and at such a young age it would've been difficult to maintain a long-distance (because we had no cars) relationship. 

We are still friends. We are on good terms. We are friends on Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat. Heck, I even danced with him at a friend's 18th birthday a few years ago! He might even come across this post, haha. So if you're reading this, Junior, I hope that you're cringing & smiling at everything from 10 years ago just as much as I am, haha. 

& I also want to say thank you. Thank you for everything you did for me all those years ago. As cheesy as it sounds, I probably wouldn't have had such an optimistic view on relationships if it weren't for you! I hope you're doing well & having so much fun in your last couple of months of undergrad! Your snapchats are always lit haha. 

Anyway, I'm not sure how to end this post! But whoever is reading this I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed thinking back to it. :)

Chau for now

Saturday, April 2, 2016

My First Memory of Life

I'll keep this one short because well, my earliest memory is quite faint, but I still remember it decently well, if I say so myself. 

little baby me: I actually look like a little girl here! (most of my baby pictures make me look like a boy)
I was about 3 years old, maybe. I remember it was an early morning, before 10am for sure. The sun was shining and I remember running up to the screen door of the house that I grew up in. I had heard my uncle, grandma, and parents talking about a new puppy we just got! I remember looking out the screen door and seeing her running around the front yard, playing with my uncle or dad (I can't remember who, all I know is that it was a man). I wanted to play with the dog but I was also scared at the same time.

And that's about it! I wish I could remember more but that's about as vivid as I can get for now. 

Chau for now

Friday, April 1, 2016

5 Issues I Have with Social Media

Social media seems to have taken over our lives, whether or not we want to admit it. We are always posting new statuses on Facebook, testing out new filters on Instagram, and retweeting tweets on Twitter. Social media has done a lot of good by being able to spread the word about different causes and issues so quickly and by giving us access to almost all the information in the world, but there are also tons of things wrong with it as well. 



The first day of my 30 day writing challenge is to talk about the 5 issues I have with social media, and here they are: 

1. Feeling like you need to be on all of them. 
Now I know tons of people that limit themselves to just Instagram or Facebook and not on Twitter/Snapchat/Tumblr/LinkedIn, etc (not to mention dating apps if you're single too!). & especially if you are a blogger like I am, there is even MORE pressure to download all social media apps to be accessible to all potential followers, which then causes us to obsess over what we post and how and when (see points 2 & 5). 

2. We literally & figuratively "filter" our lives to be better than what they may really be. 
I wrote a post on this two years ago. I had gotten so fed up with everyone around me having seemingly "perfect" relationships while Darell & I had a lot of issues that we were working out. But after talking to a professor about it, she helped me realize that people use social media to post the best of their lives most of the time. If they are fighting with their significant others, they are probably not going to post it, and of course that makes sense. With social media, we try to only show the good parts of our lives, fooling the rest of the world into thinking our worlds are more perfect than we see online. 

3. It allows cowards to troll the internet with pointless or hateful comments.
Because people have the ability to be anonymous, they think it's okay to comment on social media posts bullying the original poster or being very insensitive/racist/misogynist with their comments. Those people are cowards because in real life, chances are they would never have even said a thing. 

4. It makes for tons of shallow relationships/"friendships." 
Instagram and Facebook, it's so easy to add or follow someone after meeting them once, only to never speak to them ever again. Yet they know all about your pregnancy announcement and you know all about their new dog. You know (what can be) some intimate details of these peoples' lives, except that you don't interact with them at all. What makes it more awkward is if you added this person before you guys formally met (yet you both have seen each other before/have hung out in the same group before) & you have to act like you don't even know them. Or if you see them while you're out but you guys have to ignore each other as if you don't know each other! 

5. We don't fully live in the moment.
Whether people openly admit it or not, we think about what we want to post next on social media or we want to see what everyone is up to. Some people may say that they're not like that yet you see them on their phones while in a room full of people. I know that because of my blog in the past I have definitely obsessed over social media & was constantly on it, but have since toned it down quite a bit. I'm trying to have a better balance of using social media but staying aware of what's happening around me. 

Surprisingly, it took me a while to come up with these 5 items, simply because a lot of other things were more specific and fell into one or more of these general categories. Now despite this list of course, I still definitely really like and appreciate social media, but with everything there is going to be some negatives. Do you have any other pet peeves with social media? 
Chau for now