The Power of Introverts

•May 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t thought of myself as an introvert in more than a decade…until recently.

When I was young, my personality was shy, quiet, dependent and you could typically find me physically attached to my mother when she was around.

Even going to the bathroom alone in a crowded Chinese restaurant caused me anxiety, which resulted in either my mother or grandmother accompanying me.

Up to the age of 10, I would choose to sleep in my mother’s or grandparents’ bed just to heighten my sense of security and make sure none of the darkness monsters came out in the middle of the night to snatch me away.

My grandfather, one of the most calm and loving men I have ever met, would walk me to the bus stop (just down the road) and pick me up everyday when I had school just to reassure me of being safe and taken care of.

The first time that my sheltered life bubble was popped was when I attended an all girls boarding high school in upstate New York, two hours away from my childhood home.

When I first arrived, I retreated to my room every chance I got and silently (and embarrassingly) cried in public because I missed my family, hoping that none of the other girls would notice.  For the first 2 months, I tried to avoid contact with my hallmates just in case they didn’t like me or I couldn’t find common ground with them.

During class time, I was hesitant to speak up, read aloud and even ask questions in fear that my classmates or professors would judge and ridicule me.

Little by little, I gradually opened up and began to assimilate into the loud, boisterous crowd that my class seemed to be.  Of course there were “shy” girls like me- ironically mostly asians from international backgrounds- but I was drawn to and admired the most outspoken, sociable ones.

I quickly got my hallmates’ attentions by offering them my hoarded snacks or offering to help them with homework.  During hall bonding time, I always strategically sat myself close to those that were most popular just in case they wanted to start a conversation.

Soon, I became part of the “cool crowd” yet I still made an effort with the more reserved girls.  I spent a lot of energy trying to get to know everyone on a personal level whether it was making small talk during lectures, joining clubs and sports teams, or even just having one on one late night conversations after our dorm’s lights out.

After a few weeks of settling in, accepting my fate of being away from family, and forcing myself to be social, everyone knew me by name and my weird quirks, such as planning my outfits 2 weeks in advance.

Instead of hiding in my room and calling my mother every chance I got, I ran through the halls with friends, knocked on acquaintances’ doors and explored the Hogwarts-like campus that I then called home.

Each year at boarding school, I subconsciously developed my personality by trying something different and learning as much about myself as I did about my course subjects.

When I received my first C ever in geometry my freshman year, I cried and believed it to be failure but soon realized that solely my grades don’t reflect my achievement.  When I joined rowing and field hockey, I had never before experienced being part of a team sport and never knew how fun yet painful they could be.  When I signed up for my first photography class, I was actually preparing myself for tackling my fear of the dark by spending countless hours developing film.  When I took Neuroscience, I cultivated my love of learning about the human brain and even had the chance to dissect a sheep’s brain.  When I pushed myself to take AP English my senior year, I tried to overcome my abhorrence of public speaking by reciting Shakespearean monologues with my class as an audience, which then led to me giving a speech in front of the entire school about how socially awkward I am.

By the time I graduated, I was senior class president, crew captain, part of the comedy club, a columnist in the school newspaper, and known as a dependable class clown.  During my high school years, I became a junior peer educator, choir singer, piano player, athlete, photographer/film editor, competitive student, and above all, sister to my classmates.

With all of our families far away and boys out of sight, the boarders had each other as support systems and could blossom however we wanted- especially if we began as quiet, socially awkward, timid girls, much like myself.  In the 4 years of attending high school together, my classmates and I laughed, cried, matured and enjoyed life in every possible way.

 

Throughout my 4 years of college, I further flourished as a “social” individual by again joining sports teams and clubs.  Nicely harassing people into being my friend was a forte of mine while minor social media stalking/researching helped me target potential friends.  I prided myself on “collecting” friends/acquaintances on Facebook and recognizing people on the busy streets of Boston, in communal hang out spots, or just at BU’s huge gym.

By noticing strangers then gradually getting to know them and finally becoming friends gave me a strange sense of security.  With 18,000 undergraduate students at BU, it was easy to get lost in a crowd, become irrelevant and not feel like you matter at all.  However, through my method of madness, I not only survived but I thrived and made a name for myself yet again by forcing my inner extrovert to take over.

 

When I first moved to London for my Masters, I struggled immensely with the lack of constant community as I had in both high school and college.  Not only did I miss walking upstairs to see my best friends in their dorm, I even missed being able to freely text them without the imminent roaming charges that would incur.

In the first few months, I had massive FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome.  Some of my best friends were still living in Boston, which made me wish so much that I were part of that sheltered life again.  While I struggled to move into my new apartment, make new friends at a truly international school, find my place in an unfamiliar city, and establish a new life abroad, my friends were back home partying like they did in college and basically continuing to live the glory days.

Little by little, my inner introversion self fought with my learned extroversion.  When my Masters friends asked me to go out for drinks, I attended to “save face” then left early because I didn’t actually enjoy it.  When my London rugby team had socials or parties, I again attended to be friendly and part of their community but still felt as if I didn’t fit in.  When my old British friends invited me to meet up, I would go to catch up with them but at the end of the night, I realized we didn’t have so much in common anymore.

More and more, I found myself retreating to my comfort zone.  Though I didn’t cry as much as I did in my high school years, I did find myself drenched in tears a few nights, feeling lonely and depressed.  I no longer found enjoyment in the things that I used to pretend to like.  I no longer wanted to force myself to be someone that I inherently wasn’t.  I no longer wanted to be dishonest to myself just to be seen as “fun, social and cool.”

Even when I went to job interviews, I received feedback saying that I wasn’t “enthusiastic” enough- on more than one occasion.  Though I did want a job, I had forgotten how to express my outward personality and withdrew into my childhood reserved self.  Awkward interview after awkward interview, my self esteem started to wear while the pressure and nervousness increased.

Finally, I found a job description that I felt that I (and my new personality) could succeed in: a social media research and insights role at an American PR company.  I put on my best game face and went to the interview prepared.  At first, I thought to myself why the interviewer was “unenthusiastic” as I was deemed many times.  Then, after speaking a bit, I realized he was like me- a normal human being but just slightly self-contained.  There was nothing wrong with him nor should I dismiss him immediately just because he didn’t act 120% overzealous the entire hour that I spent with him.

I tried to make a joke by saying that previous interviewers have said that I’m unenthusiastic and he responded that perhaps I am just introverted, like himself, which gave me a definite, scientific reason for my current nature.  As soon as he said that, something in my mind clicked and I felt almost epiphanous.

On my way home, I started researching introversion and made a note to watch a Ted talk that the interviewer recommended (at the end of this post).  I remembered all those times when I was young when I chose not to speak on purpose for wanting to listen to other people.  I began correlating myself to the “typical introverted person” who tends to be more reserved and less outspoken in groups, often takes pleasure in solitary activities (like writing this blog), enjoys spending time alone or close friends rather than big groups, likes to observe situations before they participate, and are easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings and engagement.

After little consideration, I recognized that all of these “symptoms” apply to me and for years, I have ironically ignored my true self in order to be noticed and taken seriously in the extrovert world.

 

Now, as a newly reestablished introvert, I am weirdly comfortable being a quiet, unsociable loner living on an island far away from family and friends.  Although there are times where I miss my overly social past, I am completely satisfied with swapping that lifestyle for my husband and a handful of genuine friends.  I realize that my past is a significant part of who I am but now, I don’t need constant social interaction to make my life seem worthy.

I am as capable, deserving, and qualified as anyone else- even if they are more “enthusiastic” or fake polite- and others should appreciate the fact that I am honest to myself.

Blog Inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4

 

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22 < 23

•March 23, 2014 • Leave a Comment

No matter what anyone else says, a year of age makes a difference.

For some, perhaps the perceived change is not so significant, but for me personally, it seems as though I have become an entirely different person.

From new friends to new experiences to new outlooks on life, my year has been a fast-forwarded growing up process.

By accepting my new location of home, working through some past insecurities, and finally allowing myself to be vulnerable to love, I have opened up and developed more positively.

My focus and attitude on life has altered completely even if my personality is still slightly cynical, sarcastic and at times pessimistic.

By caring for and unconditionally loving someone else has forced me to be more compassionate, understanding and patient, especially when things don’t go as smoothly as I hoped- quite a feat for such a control freak as I am.

My mind has shifted from giving up easily and believing perfect relationships are supposed to be conflict-free to wanting to work on issues and be willing to compromise.

Looking back on my past few years, especially during uni, has made me realize that I was immature, insecure and too scared to believe in trivial things such as love.

However, after experiencing it, love seems to be the only thing that I believe in now and I no longer want to subdue my emotions and or feelings.

I’m sure in the future, I will develop even more (hopefully still in a positive manner), but for now, I’m quite content with how I turned out at 23 years of age.

Debutante Shmebutante

•March 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

On January 11, 2014, I was outed to society.

No, I was not a closeted lesbian that needed to demonstrate my love of poji to the world…

I was more of a normal human being that was forced to dress up, put on loads of make up, style my hair with a gallon of hair spray and take hundreds of photos to appear like a “sophisticated, wealthy, aristocratic young lady part of high society.”

If you know me (which I assume you do since you are reading my deepest, most interesting thoughts at the moment), you know that this description is far from the truth.

One of my life goals is to try to be as humble, natural and un-snooty as possible. My idea of a good time is rolling around a muddy rugby pitch with 14 other girls or volunteering to clean up animal feces or offering my leftover dinner to homeless guys sleeping on the street.

I wholeheartedly enjoy having an un-posh lifestyle, not attending the most expensive clubs/restaurants on a weekly basis, working hard for what I want and not owning 2/3 of Sweden as some of my fellow debutante colleagues have experienced.

Though a quarter of the girls who came out to society with me had a similar mentality as I, they still happily pranced around in their custom designer dresses, felt confident wearing their sponsored tiaras and jewelry, and proudly spent hours primping and taking cell phone selfies to add to their shrine of self admiration.

Perhaps it was my first immersion into this lifestyle of glitz, glamor and grace and therefore, I was uncomfortable and even slightly irritated at the entire process, but I knew that I didn’t fully fit in from the beginning.

January 9th, 2014
From the first day I arrived, I felt out of place. Immediately after arriving from the airport, I was escorted to a large over-the-top hotel suite at one of Shanghai’s most expensive hotels. There, girls of all shapes and sizes (mostly fit and slender) sat around a dining table waiting to be fitted for their custom dresses: 1 colorful evening dinner dress and 1 white debutante procession dress.

When I walked in in casual American attire (fancy wording for looking like a slob), all of the girls stared at me with conviction and judgement seeping through their forced smiles.

To increase tensions, the staff excused my lateness and rushedly pushed me into a makeshift changing room in the suite’s kitchen. The excuse they gave for me cutting the line was because my sister and I were booked for a complimentary spa appointment in a few minutes (a valid reason in a life of glamor, I suppose).

In a matter of seconds, my clothes were stripped and I was left awkwardly naked next to a Nespresso machine as the ultra-thin designer and her minions checked out my body. The first dress that was designed for me was red, chiffon, long and terrible. I looked like a featherless bird with flapping mesh wings that needed to be put out of its misery immediately.

Because there was unsurprisingly no mirror inside of the kitchen, I had to walk through the throng of girls and show off my heightened ugliness. More stares and sneers ensued.

The next dress I tried on was white, strapless, long again with a puffy A-line train. Once the designer strapped me up, I felt like I was wearing a marshmallow. I thought to myself “this is what sitting on a cloud must feel like.”

As a few alterations and changes were noted, I was free to go on my merry way. On my way out, a young British girl told me my red dress was her favorite. I wasn’t sure if she was being sarcastic or she just has horrible taste in fashion. Nevertheless, I said thanks and remembered that she could be a potential friend.

Though I didn’t at all feel like attending the spa, my sister quickly ushered me into the car with her and her friend who was a former deb and organized this year’s debutante events thanks to her new swanky job at Guerlain, who was a sponsor of the ball.

After an hour facial with too many products added to my skin, we returned to the hotel to get ready for the debutante welcome dinner. There, I had my first up-close and personal encounter with the ball’s organizer, a woman who could easily be mistaken for the Little Mermaid’s Ursula, as well as all of my fellow debutantes.

While sitting across a pasty-white Chinese girl with perfect posture who barely ate any of our 5 course dinner, I tried to make conversation with those around me. Surprisingly, I found them slightly amusing despite my preconceived notion that everyone would be bitchy and snobby. Apparently, we had the better end of the table since the far end was silently brooding and looked too pretentious for my liking.

As the dinner ended, the organizer gave a speech to “welcome” us girls. Like a parent, she warned us that we shouldn’t get too rowdy aka drunk during the preparation days and also to abide by the rules she set aside:
1) be punctual to all appointments
2) no smoking/drinking prior to the event day
3) appropriate behavior at all times
4) no salad/greasy food/sweets during fittings, interviews or photo shoots
5) be accountable for sponsored jewelry/outfits
6) when wearing jewelry, you will be accompanied by security at all times
7) do not leave the debutante area with jewelry on without permission
8) inform the person in charge should you need to be absent from any scheduled appointment

She then said that she was proud of all of us and despite the fact that we all didn’t have to work in the future due to our family fortunes, we were still making a name for ourselves by attending her ball. Then, out of the blue, she thanked me for inspiring this year’s ball as sports themed since all of the girls had a specialty sport: golf, ballet, swimming, tennis, wine tasting, and me with rugby.

Feeling again out of place with my less than dainty sport of choice, I returned to my hotel room and tried to enjoy the evening.

January 10, 2014
The next morning, my make up session began at 10am and my interview/photo shoot (with whom I didn’t even know) was at 12pm and 1pm. With no prior instruction or explanation, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I showed up 10 minutes early to the make up session- keeping in mind rule #1 of punctuality- and the stylists weren’t even present.

When they showed up, they asked me what style of make up and hair I wanted. Much to their surprise, I replied with “whatever you think is best.” In hindsight, that may not have been the best answer as I ended up with 2 inch thick Peking opera singer eyebrows, a teased lion’s mane, and cake fake foundation, but I didn’t care that much…until I saw what I looked like at the photo shoot…

First, I was interviewed by Cosmo China. The reporter was very nice, sociable, and understanding, especially when I needed translation help from English to Mandarin. She kindly praised me for being so natural, funny and normal, which she didn’t expect from a debutante and I told her I don’t consider myself a debutante.

After the interview, she asked her photographer to take some photos of me on the balcony even though it was freezing outside. He asked me to sit in a rock garden with my legs propped open and hand near my mouth- I immediately thought “this is slightly sexual and very awkward so maybe he’s trying to catch me in my natural state.”

Photo after photo, he still hadn’t perfected his shot. Then, the interviewer suggested I take some moving photos since I am athletic (she forgot I was in heels). Fast running, slow jogging, walking, slow sauntering, jumping, looking off into the distance- all motions I perfected during the photo shoot. 30 minutes went by and the photographer still preferred the awkward rock garden shots. He thanked me for my help aka wasting his time and brushed me aside for the next debutante’s photo shoot.

I happily went inside to get warm and tend to the final interviewer of the day. A chubby, slightly shaky metro Asian asked me some random questions about my life, education, idea of beauty, and the debutante ball. I answered as politely as possible in order to fulfill my deb duties and he must have sensed my not wanting to be there so he ended his interrogations quite quickly.

Thankfully, I finished my obligations and told the manager I had a prior commitment in the evening so I could enjoy the rest of the sunny afternoon with my family.

January 11, 2014 (event day)
I began the morning a bit nervous and excited with butterflies in my stomach.

Make up began at 10am and interviews were scheduled for 12pm and 1pm again.

Because today was THE day, all of the girls arrived at once for beauty treatment. Make up artists and hair stylists worked more than 12 hours and hair dryers seemed to be blowing non-stop. When a staff member had a minute to rest, the next girl would appear for a touch up or to get serviced (not sexually, of course).

In addition to make up and hair, we all had to retry our dresses post-alterations and get our rented Chaumet jewelry (another sponsor of the event) fitted in the span of an hour.

With too many girls and schedules to look after, the staff became overwhelmed, irritated and stressed. At first, I along with 5 other girls were asked to change into our colorful evening gowns for the first interview/photo shoot. When we reached the venue, the photographer said we were supposed to wear our white dresses, which meant we had to run downstairs, take off our jewelry, change into our new dresses, put on the jewelry again and go upstairs for photos- all with our stoic, angry Chinese bodyguards dressed in all black following our every move.

While changing into my white dress, the zipper broke and all hell broke loose. This was the second to go that morning and the designer had already returned to the office. Because the photographer was still waiting for us, the staff quickly sewed me into my dress and prayed to the fashion gods that I didn’t make any sudden movements that would result in an undebutante-like Janet Jackson Super Bowl fiasco.

After the photo shoot, I was rushed into an interview with my body still sewn into my dress. I tried to sit completely motionless next to 2 Chinese twins who came from Singapore. As the Chinese representatives of the ball, we were expected to speak fluently, but the twins barely understood the reporter. Every other word, they had to ask for translation help and spoke more Chinglish than anything. Because the staff were struggling, I chimed in more than once to help out, which resulted in some annoyed double side glancing-needless to say, the reporter was confused and tried to move on quickly. This happened for the proceeding interview as well.

With haste, I finished the questions and ran downstairs to change. For me, the designer immediately took my white dress to fix the zipper and I was stuck wearing my bird feather red dress for the rest of the afternoon. While taking off the dress in the fitting room, the scary organizer sat inside and watched. She asked the designer what happened to my broken dress and she answered that I maybe ate too much during the day and the zipper burst, never mentioning that it could be the designer’s faulty workmanship. They laughed on my behalf and my feeling of anger/annoyance reappeared.

Before the ceremony, we had some last-minute rehearsals, group photo shoots, evening make up touch ups and final preparations. All of the girls tried to pass time by talking to reporters or their jewelry security guards, having champagne in their rooms, or taking more selfies but mostly waiting around aimlessly.

As the time came closer to 8pm, all of our nerves started working overtime.

The guests were already sitting at their assigned seats, waiting to begin the meal. One by one, the Deb Delights (male escorts) walked in and stood by their seats. One by one, each debutante walked in, posed for the camera, and sauntered to her seat.

When it was my turn, I steadily walked through the door to have a shining light blind me. I tried to smile the entire time but I still ended up looking miserable and serious on photos. I kept reinforcing myself that I should not trip and successfully managed to sit down without causing a scene.

The next hour of semi-eating the 10 course meal was a blur. The debs excused themselves before dessert to change into our white gowns as our guests and escorts continued drinking. The next duty was the procession or “coming out to society.”

While wearing our white gowns, we were paired by height and sent to the basement of the hotel. The hotel’s many Rolls Royces drove up slowly and each pair climbed inside to get chauffeured to the hotel’s main entrance for planned paparazzi photos. The wait was about 10 minutes and the ride was less than 1 minute- ridiculous and unnecessary.

As the guests gathered around the hotel reception area, the debs walked out again one by one holding bouquets of flowers. If people didn’t know what was going on, they could suspect that 12 very young brides were waiting to be married at the same time by an old rolling ball of human.

Then, the Debutantes of the Year were awarded- one for being a super wealthy Taiwanese tycoon’s daughter and a 17 year old for wanting to be the President of the United States. Both girls are personable but their newly-appointed titles were overrated.

After more pointless talking, waiting around, blinding lights and photographs, our escorts met us by our side and we were forced to dance in front of the crowd. Unmastered waltzing from 12 couples ended up with everyone bumping into each other, putting on happy faces for the cameras ad silently hoping the songs would end sooner.

Finally, as the last song ended, everyone sighed in relief that the ball was over and we were free to frolic back to reality. Everyone changed into his or her party attire and we reconvened at the after party at one of Shanghai’s famous rooftop bars.

Bottles of vodka and champagne were compted for the party so everyone enjoyed themselves to the fullest- some a little too much, but I suppose even a debutante deserves a sloppy bar make out session…

January 12, 2014
The next day, we were invited to a farewell lunch and I made a surprise appearance. I dined with 4 of my favorite debs (the normal ones) as well as 2 bitchy Swedish royals. After talking with the bitchy ones and seeing them up close, I realized that though they made me feel slightly inferior with their mile long legs, skinny figures and possibly ownership of a country, I still had much better skin than them, will age gracefully and have the ability to seem smart and continue a conversation.

Before I left, the organizer stopped me and said that she was taken aback at how I changed from last year. She mentioned that I had an attitude when she first met me, mostly because I wasn’t keen on attending her ball. I retaliated and said that this kind of event was not part of my preferred lifestyle and maybe she should realize that not all decent young girls would want to attend.

Overall, this event was a once in a lifetime experience. I definitely would not attend another ball but for some reason, I wouldn’t want to go back in time and reject my invitation to this one either. Life experiences make us who we are and now I know for sure that I am happy and comfortable in my own skin.

Even after all of this, if you still don’t know what a debutante ball is (which is totally acceptable), you can read about it here: http://www.style.com/stylemap/2014/01/24/debs-debauchees-shanghai-international-debutante-ball/

Hola, mis amigos

•September 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Well, it feels about a decade since my last post and I find myself on a plane, once again.

As my hairy, old seat neighbor snores and the prissy housewife reads her novel next to me, I feel as though I am trapped in a sea of white people. Surprisingly, I am the only Asian on the entire flight and after a weekend of getting blatant ogles from nationalistic Germans, I feel slightly uncomfortable and out of place.

Majorca has been a wonderful paradise filled with sun, beach, and babies and I am undeniably sad to leave.

Though my love awaits me at home, so do my thesis, internship, and responsibilities unfortunately.

At the moment, I sense an odd hint of hopelessness in my emotional spectrum. Perhaps it’s my holiday high coming down or the lingering of car sickness or just reality kicking in.

The thought of waking up at 7am tomorrow to get to work at 9am and see my condescending dragon lady boss is the least of my desires. The thought of working and attending meetings all day then holing up in Starbucks to write thousands of words for my dissertation is utterly depressing. The thought of repeating my vacation activities and acting fake nice to all my colleagues who I don’t care for makes me irritated just contemplating it.

I wish, more than sometimes, that I could live my life without having to report to anyone or look to others for approval. I wish that people would just let each other live without worry, regret or judgement.

I’m not sure how fun, loving or considerate the world would be if the aforementioned phenomena occurred, but I wouldn’t want to mess up the entire earth’s current Ecosystem then be around to get blamed.

So for now, I guess I’ll put up with my routine schedule and obligations. I guess I will go home with my head held high because I was lucky enough to at least enjoy a vacation while most people worked. I will be happy that I could spend the weekend with family and friends.

I can only look forward to my next holiday when my sense of reality is again distorted and I find myself on another plane for a quick getaway fix.

The Tube

•April 3, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Screaming babies on the Tube are the bane of my existence.

Deathly wails, streaming tears, rouged faces, snotty noses- such a mess.

They want to be picked up, put down, fed, in their strollers, in their parents’ arms, but most of all: off the Tube ASAP- like most of the travelers.

Embarrassed parents try to coddle their offspring as passive aggressive Tube riders angrily stare through furrowed brows and mutter to themselves, wishing that the babies would calm down and shut up in the very near future.

I, too, look upon the family with disdain.

Evil glances are given, eye rolls are frequent, and an occasional annoyed sigh is let out, just so the parents who are a mere few seats away understand my frustration.

Just as I glimpse at the family again, the sobbing child intently looks back at me with glassy puppy eyes.

He’s actually quite cute (for an annoying child), I think to myself for a minute.

Just kidding. Crying ensues and peace is lost once again.

Good thing I’m getting off at the next stop.

Hammsterdam

•April 3, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Never before has Jesus been shamed this horribly, especially during the days of his resurrection.

After a long weekend of excessive drinking, inappropriate/random costumes, lady love, massive amounts of banter, and a bit of pathetic rugby, I am surprisingly alive and well.

Starting off the trip at 3am with a forced Fosters beer in hand, the Hammers got on the bus to Gatwick. Wearing Roman/Egyptian/Braveheart/Viking attire throughout the entire flight and journey to the Dam, we not only got dirty looks but also endearing ones.

As we stepped off the bus in central Amsterdam, it finally dawned on us that we weren’t in London anymore.

The faint smell of marijuana lingered in the air, slightly chubby depressed prostitutes guarded their window territory, and the men around us were freakishly tall and blonde.

While we piled all of our belongings into our tiny hostel rooms, I couldn’t help but feel like a huge princess, complaining about the lack of space and bonding about our dislike of hostels with the other princess on the trip.

Accepting the fact that we were here to stay and anxiously fearing what the weekend would offer, I gathered my plastic weapons and charged outside with my teammates, ready for battle and scaring the Dutch.

Tour rules, drinking fines, toasts, judgement sessions, secret names, pub crawls, drinking games, team bonding, rugby in the snow, stripteases- it has all been a whirlwind of madness, jumbling my memory into a blur.

Though I didn’t consume 1/4 as much alcohol as any of my teammates, ironically I still feel slightly defeated and damaged from Amsterdam. Perhaps it was the married Dutch woman grinding on me or the 40 minutes of launching my face into full on body tackles or mindlessly wandering around everywhere semi-intoxicated. Perhaps it was just fleeing London and being in a different environment with people I usually never bonded with outside of practice.

Nonetheless, this past weekend was epically amazing and I am grateful I had such an opportunity to experience. Never have I seen such scary rigorous, continual consumption of alcohol by “adults” and I am completely, wholeheartedly proud of those I call teammates.

Whatever happens in Amsterdam, stays in Amsterdam…

When life gives you lemons…

•February 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Make a lemon martini.

Just kidding. I would definitely make lemonade because a) it tastes better and b) it won’t make me vomit. If you knew me, you would know that thanks to Asian genetics and a weak liver, I unfortunately cannot handle alcoholic beverages.

Anyways, back to life and lemons.

Though I love blogging aka complaining via the world wide web, I sadly haven’t posted much recently.

Perhaps it was my world tour hindering my internet access or lack of inspiration/motivation or even my laziness. A mix of all 3 would not impossible.

Nowadays, I wisely spend my free time doing nothing, stressing about the future, planning social gatherings too far in advance, harassing my motley crew London posse, scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and wanting to defriend everyone, and occasionally attending class/doing work or applying to summer internships.

From an outsider’s perspective, I am living the good life. I don’t have that much to worry about, I can do what I’d like, and my life is full of freedom.

From the perspective of someone who knows me, they would say the same.

However, my brain seems to want to think otherwise. I tend to dwell on the negative and over think everything.

I am so used to things going smoothly my way that the slightest problem makes me freak out, develop slight anxiety, and make me believe I have actual bigger problems.

Just last week, I booked a therapist session with no real reason other than feeling confused and stressed.

I don’t know what it is or how to change my attitude exactly, but a specialized counselor should hopefully help.

Let’s see on Friday.