Remembering the Dream

I’ve always known what I want to have: a penthouse overlooking a body of water and city lights, and everyone knowing my name that I don’t have to introduce myself. 

Vancouver's skyline view during the day ❤ #vancouver#minivacay

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I’ve always been a dreamer. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a millionaire. Everytime someone asks me what I want the most, I always see to be a millionaire. Many people laugh at me and tells me that’s not gonna make me happy. Every time people do that, I want to shout at them that it will definitely make me happy. I don’t want to be a millionaire just because I want to buy everything that I want, I also want to help my family. I didn’t grow up rich but we aren’t also poor. However, we have lots of debts to pay and I want to do a lot of things. I want to buy my grandma the house she deserves, tell my parents they can retire because I can support them now, prepare college funds for each of my cousins and pay off whatever debts we have.

As I grow older, these goals are still in my mind, just not at the forefront. These past few years, I was making bad decisions and my mental health was slowly going the wrong turn. My anxiety was getting worse and I was losing the battle of keeping it at bay. I was having more trouble concentrating which leads to me having lots of trouble when it comes to studying. In a way, I was slowly wasting away my education and my good future.

During my mini vacation, I was able to go to the Vancouver Lookout. It was amazing. I was looking at the cityscape and it looked very beautiful. This was around noon and I never wanted to leave that place and just look at the whole view in front of me. This was my dream! This is the kind of view that I want in my penthouse. Since my ticket was still valid till closing, I decided to go back at night.

Vancouver at night ❤ #minivacay

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The night view at the Lookout became more beautiful. I remember just looking around me and taking it in. I’ve always loved city lights and to see these lights twinkling at me got me really emotional.Because of my impulsive tendencies, I immediately booked a table at the restaurant area so that I can enjoy the view while I eat. The dinner that I had was probably the most expensive that I’ve ever had but it was one of the most worth it. Eating dinner in a revolving restaurant with nighttime Vancouver as my view will always be one of my favourite memories from this mini vacation.

When I was just waiting for my appetizer to come, I was sipping on my Margarita while thinking of how I managed to lose sight of my goals. As the restaurant revolved, I saw the ocean beside the twinkling lights and realized that this can be my future, in my penthouse. I can have my own penthouse with a patio facing the ocean and the city. I can hang out in my patio,  drink Margarita and just watch as the lights twinkle. I can also watch the sunsets and sunrise in my patio with hot chocolate with me. These thoughts ran through my mind that I found myself tearing up and I had to quickly wipe it away or they would think that I was crazy.

I spent my whole dinner watching the buildings and cars from below. I stayed there for two revolutions and would have loved to stay for another revolution. However, I knew that I still had to walk back to my hotel and the later I stay, the more weirdos would come out on the streets then I wouldn’t feel safe walking back.

Before leaving, I gave Vancouver’s cityscape one last look. This is my dream. I don’t intend on  giving up now. It might take me years to finally reach my dream, but I’ll do my best to eventually reach it. I’ve lost a lot of motivation and fire these past few semesters but I think I found it again. The desire to fulfill my dream is currently burning. Yes, it’s gonna be difficult but I never expected it to be easy. As what Theodore Roosevelt has said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…”.

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On Traveling for the First Time Alone

This past January, I finally decided to make an appointment to renew my passport. Since I get to have a week off from school because of Reading Week, I planned to make my trip on that week. It was supposed to be just a two-day-one-night trip but since this is the first time that I get to travel alone, I might as well make the most out of it. In the end, I went away from three days and two nights.

Because this is a solo trip, I also get to book my own flights and hotel. I used my Air Miles and More Rewards points to help me save money. It took me hours to choose which flights to go and hotel to stay at. I wanted to arrive in Vancouver as early as I can and leave as late as I can just so I have lots of time to explore the city. The hotel that I wanted has to not need lots of Air Miles and should be in or near Canada Place. Finally, I settled with an early morning flight (5:20 am) so I get to arrive in Vancouver at around 9 am and a later returning flight at 5:30 pm. The hotel that I got was in downtown Granville and was just steps away from the shopping and food places as well as just minutes away from Canada Place.

On the days leading through my flight, I would check and double check my flight and hotel just to make sure that I have it all prepared. I would read tips on travelling alone as well as packing tips. The night before my flight, I was still packing up stuff on to my carry-on. I was torn between carrying my whole wardrobe or just bring a change of four outfits plus sleep wear. In the end, I just picked whatever I liked to bring and since I was going to a big city anyway, I can just always buy whatever I would need.

On the day of my flight, I almost missed the checking in at 4:50 am because I reached the airport at around 4:55 am. Thank goodness for online check-in. Phew. Anyways, I booked a Plus Seat for that flight and it was ah-mazing. Actually, all of my flights were awesome. In 3.5 out of 4 flights that I had, I was seated next to no one. The 0.5 was my flight from Vancouver to Kelowna where I was seated next to this girl then Kelowna to Calgary where I was seated next to no one.

This was the best part of my flight to Calgary. ❤

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Since this is a trip to a big city, I decided to eat at places that I wouldn’t get at GP. So it took me over 30 minutes to find places that I would love to try. There were tons of pizza and sushi places and I could always get that here. In the end, I got to eat in Nando’s (a Portuguese-style restaurant), Guu Garden (Japanese restaurant), Congee Noodle Delight (Chinese restaurant) and Cafe Crepe (crepe place). I made sure to order foods that I couldn’t get here for me to atleast get a unique food experience.

The highlight of this trip would be my dinner at the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant. This was an experience that I loved and would love to do again. It might have been hella expensive but it was worth the price. I wish I could have stayed longer in that restaurant (I was there over an hour) because the view was just to pretty to pass.

My trip involved a lot of walking. I walked to Chinatown, World of Science and all around the Granville area. I was able to sit by a window and just observe people go by their daily lives. I was able to, in a really short while, experience what it’s like to live in this big city. This trip has enabled me to realize how I much I actually love travelling to new places. I’ve always known that I would love to travel at some point, but now that I’ve finally done it alone, I would love to do it again. This trip has helped become less anxious as I was finally able to get a rest from many stressors in this place and have a getaway to another place.

This trip has helped me relax, even for just a bit. This is what I needed and would need again. Here’s to me going to another new place alone again.*cheers*

On Losing My Safe Place

My car died Monday morning. I still don’t know what was wrong with it but we tried whatever home solutions we could think of. We jump start, changed the battery and added something to the fuel. I was told that I have to wait until the weather becomes warmer to try and start it again because it was just probably too cold for my car to start.

It might be weird for a lot of people for me to say this but this really increases my anxiety level. The thing is that my car is my safe place. I’ve had this car since September and have never been apart from it until last Monday. I remember being so happy when I finally got my license because I can now drive this car wherever I go. I really enjoy driving and driving is one of the things that calms me down. I would sometimes take long and unnecessary routes home just so I can drive longer.

Many people can tell me to just suck it up and wait for my car to get fixed. The thing is that losing my car, even for just a few days, is already affecting my mental health. I would wake up and my thoughts would go directly to my car and my anxiety would start. All throughout the day, I would worry about the car and would wonder how much longer would I wait to get my safe place back. The best thing that I’ve realized when I had this car was that if ever an anxiety attack creeping up on me, I could just easily slip into my car and pour my heart out. I’ve done this a couple of times and it brought me so much comfort that I don’t have to hold the attack much longer until I can get home.

I’d probably get my car fixed by Saturday. I just want my safe place back.

Today, I Had the Worst Anxiety Attack

Today was such a stressful day for me. I woke up uneasy. I woke up early, reviewed for my midterm then finalized my powerpoint for my report. As soon as I woke up, there was already the silent buzz of butterflies in my stomach. I knew that I was just a bit nervous for my report. I read and reread my scientific journal. I double checked my powerpoint, making sure that I have all the important points in there. I practiced my presentation a lot of time, even the ‘punchlines’ that I would add and some ‘adlibs’ that I was planning to say. I was all set.

I prepared to go to school. I knew that I would already skip my first class because it was just a lecture and I needed all the time in the world to prepare for my presentation and midterm. Suddenly, the buzzing in my stomach became more intense and I tried my hardest to ignore it. I started my car and started gathering my school stuff so I can leave. I bade my mom goodbye then went to my car when I realized that it wasn’t running anymore. My car typically stop running if I don’t use it after over 10 minutes so I thought it was just done running. But my windshield was not defrosted and the inside of the car was too cold. I knew at that moment that I was screwed and needed someone to jump my car. My stomach turned into a knot and I had to stop myself from crying because I didn’t want my mom to see me break down. Neither of us knew how to boost a car so I had to call a taxi to help me boost my car.

I sat in the living room while waiting for the taxi. I watched Running Man videos to distract myself but I noise of the heater bothered me and my head was aching. The butterflies in my stomach was having party. It was past 11:30 already and I knew that I’m screwed, I missed my midterm. I texted my friend an hour before that I’m dropping Socio as a ‘prank’ but I guess that’s what I’ll have to do because I just missed 30% of my grade. I texted my Genetics teacher that I’ll be late for class and will have to miss the quiz (although she’ll let me do it another time). The taxi arrived but we weren’t able to boost my car so I had to take the same taxi to school.

I arrived in school, late and anxiety-driven. Teacher said that it was my time to present so I went up. At this point, I was still able to hold onto the intense feeling building up within me when on my first slide, I felt disoriented and everything became louder and brighter. I had take a deep breath and hoped that everyone in the class thought that I was just being overly nervous. I had to rush through my report, stumble over my words and not say whatever additional details I would have wanted to add and say. As soon as I was done, I ran out of the classroom and went to the women’s washroom. I stayed in the cubicle for over 30 minutes. The whole time was a battle between trying to stay calm and letting my emotions burst out. I would calm down then a random thought would pop out of my head and I would cry again. I had two girls ask me if I was okay and I told them I was. I mean, I was … I guess. I eventually calmed down and went back to the classroom to grab my things. I knew that my eyes were puffy although less red. It was obvious that I was crying but I didn’t give a shit at that point. I was still emotionally vulnerable and if I care enough about what they think, I could easily have another meltdown in the corridor.

This whole day was my most feared day ever since I was told that I am an anxious person. This is the reason why I have to plan everything that I do and condition myself. I did not plan, I did not condition myself. This was a scary feeling, a scary memory. Today may be bad, but tomorrow is another day. It’s gonna be a good day, it has to be.

What It’s Like Living with Anxiety

I’ve lived with anxiety for years now and I didn’t even know about it. I though that it’s normal for a person to feel scared for no reason once in a while. I thought that it was just part of survival, to be on the edge all the time. However, in 2014, I went to the doctor because I had trouble breathing and had really bad headache. He assessed me, asked if I was stress and ask me some questions about my health. He looked at me and said, “You appear to have mild anxiety. I would suggest that you talk to the counselor that we have”. I went to that counselor and talked to her. I remember crying and pouring out my heart to her and it made me feel better. However, I felt pity on myself after that session because I pretty much became vulnerable to stranger who doesn’t care about me nor truly empathize with what I was going through. That was my first and last time with a counselor.

Over the years, I read more about anxiety and that’s when I realized that it’s more than just being nervous. It’s something that I have to live with everyday and just attacks me at random moments. It’s more than just being nervous or stressed out for an exam. It’s about sitting in class then suddenly feeling nervous for no unknown reason. It’s about trying hard not to breakdown in public because I just heard a loud noise. It’s about not crying at work because I had to deal with a lot of mean customers than normal. It’s about having an anxiety attack while driving to work because I was not sure if I turned off the stove just because I didn’t triple check everything before I left. It’s about having to tell work that I’m gonna late because my car wouldn’t start instead of I was having an anxiety attack because most people doesn’t understand how bad an anxiety attack is. It’s about getting shitty grades because the stress gets to me and my anxiety levels is so up there that I can’t focus on anything and the only way to evade the scary feeling is to sleep.

There are a lot of things that I want to do: skyjumping, cliff diving, skiing. However, just thinking about these already send my heart racing. I have to take a lot of baby steps in order for me to stay calm and avoid getting those dreaded attacks. I have to keep on telling myself that I am okay and there’s no reason to cry. I had to learn how to keep living normally while the feeling of dread is always there. I have to strategically plan everything that will stress me out or elevate my anxiety levels just to avoid getting anxiety attacks (mostly doesn’t work but it’s worth the shot). I still have my McDonald’s Crew Trainer workbook with me, something that I finished doing two weeks ago. I’ve been putting off submitting it because I was scared that on the day I would get verified, I would breakdown. This is one of the many things that I have to hold back in order to keep myself together.

The thing about anxiety is that it’s not something that comes up one day and scared me shitless. It was something that I have always experienced ever since I was younger. I looked back to the many times that I have felt nervous for no reason and those times that I just cried because of the build up stress and emotions. At that time, I thought I was just being silly and a cry baby.

Day by day, I’m moving forward. My stress levels right now are up there, so is my anxiety level. The littlest, stupidest shit can set me off. I almost had a breakdown at work today, but I held it in until I went home. The thing that almost set me off was a customer shouting at his son, not me. But guess what? I’m functioning. I think I’m doing a great job in pretending to live normally.

Just Kidding Films is my Inspiration

I love browsing through Youtube and just watch random videos made by different people. One time, I was specifically looking for Asian Youtubers and ended up watching lots of videos by the Fung Brothers, Niga Higa and some Wong Fu skits. I kept on seeing videos from Just Kidding News on my recommendation list. Because the name Just Kidding News didn’t appeal to me, I didn’t care for their videos much. At some point, I got more curious about JKNews because I kept on seeing it so I decided to just open one of their videos. I wish that I can still remember that video because that is that one video that made me fall in love with the whole Just Kidding Crew.
I’ve been watching JKNews videos for a year now. I watch it every morning while I’m having breakfast and sometimes at lunch when I have no one to eat with. I love how each of the crew member gives their opinion and are very fun to watch. Although sometimes I don’t agree with what they are saying, it’s still nice to hear some opinion from other people. I love their antics and the funny edits that the editors though. I love how they kick and punch and create holes on the wall of their old office. I love the chemistry that the crew has with each other and with the guest.


Because of JKNews, I started to watch a lot more of their videos from their other channels. Just Kidding Party is my second favourite channel from all of Just Kidding’s channel. I love how they go crazy with the punishments that they do and they’re not scared to do whatever dirty or scary things that they pick in whatever games. My favourite game that they do is Mafia. I watch the one without their characters being revealed because I feel like I’m part of the townspeople. I love it when Julia becomes mafia because she got better with her lying skills and I admire Byron for being so good at this game (as well as in One Night Werewolf).
I’ve also watched a lot of their vlogs. I watch videos from Tiff & Case, Bart and Geo (The Beaws rock!) and Joe Jo (Jechika, you amazeballs of an editor). I know that Julia has a vlog channel but she doesn’t exactly update much so I haven’t really visited her channel for a while. Because of these vlogs, I feel like a friend but not a friend to the JK crew. I can tell you some details about their lives like what they did in Japan or when Geo and Bart lost Briggy (spelling?) and their journey with Meatloaf or Tiffany and Casey’s vacation in Mexico. I can tell you part of their journey from the old office to the new office and the other members of the JK Family from behind the camera.

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Bart and Joe

However, more than anything else, the reason why I’m a big fan of Just Kidding Films, especially of Bart and Joe, is the fact that they are successful. They are successful because they worked hard. They are successful because they did not give up. They are successful because they pushed themselves for more experience. They are successful because they did not stop with just one company and are still venturing on some other business (like Go for Broke with David So). They are successful because they did what they love and wanted to do.
In a few years from now, I want to be as successful as Bart and Joe, as successful as their company Just Kidding Films. I am no filmmaker no do I have the drive to be one. I want to be as successful as them in a way that I want to see myself succeed in my chosen path. I want to prove to everyone else that even though the odds could have been against me, I can still push through and be successful. That at some point in my life, people’s gonna know me because of the achievements that I have because I worked hard and did what I love.
It amazes me how big Just Kidding Films become. Joe and Bart started taking videos from one digital camera (am I right?) and now they have all these high technology camera and a new set and office. Everytime I lose sight of my goal or get disheartened or someone tells me that what I’m doing won’t amount to much (I’m studying to become a Geneticist), I just watch some Just Kidding videos to remind myself that Bart and Joe didn’t start from the top. But they managed to rise to the top from the bottom and I think that that is one of the greatest inspiration that I will ever have.

 

G-Friend’s Umji Needs a Make-over

I’ve been watching a lot of G-Friend’s videos on Youtube lately. I’ve watched their music videos and some guestings. I’ve been at awe with their performance when they danced Navillera, Me Gustas Tu, Glass Bead and Rough in twice the speed. They’re undeniably one of the top rookie groups so far in all of k-pop.

Of course, stanning a group means reading comments and searching articles about them. So far, they get enough recognition for their outside appearance even though many people claim that they’re not pretty. Um, excuse me but they’re all pretty. Have you looked at Eunha? She looks like a doll! But in every k-pop group, there will always be that one member that many people will always see as the least attractive. Like SNSD’s Hyoyeon or Super Junior’s Eunhyuk (both are on my top bias list by the way), Umji has been getting a lot of heat. Is it her unique face? Or the fact that her hair covers almost half of her face?

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Looking at Umji, she doesn’t have the ‘ideal’ Korean face. When compared to the current mold of “pretty” in k-pop, her beauty is not similar to Suzy, Yoona or IU. Eunha or Yerin fits the mold better. Umji’s beauty is more similar  Wonder Girl’s Hyelim, rounder face and slanted yet bigger eyes. It seems that doe-like eyes are the pretty eyes and v-shaped face is the best face shape.

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Even though a lot of people say that Umji is ugly, I still don’t see it. All I see is a girl with unique face that I rarely see in k-pop. She has this youthful and innocent appearance. I’ve watched a lot of their fancams and it looks like she’s not too confident. Well, she has to have lots of confidence to go up there and perform but when it’s time to talk or be interviewed, she looks like she’s shrinking away. And that is a bad thing when you’re a rookie because she have to push herself out there, to the limelight.

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This episode of Weekly Idol made me kinda cringe with what Umji is wearing. It looks like what a mid-20’s would wear, not a teenager. The top looks weird and her whole outfit just didn’t work well with her body type. I watched one of their performance videos and she does have a good figure. Not that she has to wear tight fitting clothes, it’s that she has to wear something that would definitely suit her. That skirt looks so weird on her and the way her top was tucked in made her upper body looks so much bigger than it already is. I also don’t like Sowon’s jumper. They should have made her worn a jumper shorts instead because it’s just not working well for me. But hey, these ladies still made it good.

But I’m not here to talk about her fashion. I’m sure her stylist is doing a fabulous job of mix and matching her clothes, taking risks and learning from mistakes. All I need for there next comeback or next appearance is for Umji to OPEN HER FACE! Yep, open her face. By that I mean no long, pretty thick bangs and straight hair covering the side of her face. If they want her to have some bangs, maybe a thin sidesweep and pinned hair on the side. In their performances, Umji’s face is very overpowered by her bangs and hair. It’s covering almost half of her face. We want to see her face, her glow. You can see her expression, but that hair style makes her more closed off. It makes her appear less confident and open.

Umji, at this point, needs to step up. Their group is gaining a lot of momentum since their debut. They’re currently one of the hottest rookie groups and all other members are starting to get their place on the spotlight. She needs to speak up more in interviews and be more active.

Umji, I’m rooting for you!