Depression

  • Makes you forget the beautiful things in life
  • Makes you forget the friends and family who loves you
  • Makes you forget there’s someone out there who’d be crushed if you died
  • Makes you forget you were once filled with laughter
  • Makes you forget you have dreams and goals you want to achieve
  • Makes you forget you want to find love one day
  • Makes you forget you need to love yourself and put yourself first
  • Makes you forget doctors and your parents have fought for your life
  • Makes you forget all of the medical bills it took to help you get better
  • Makes you forget all of your hobbies
  • Makes you forget about everything you love

Depression takes a lot from you but try to fight a little longer. One day, you’ll laugh so much more, love so fiercely and hurt much less. Even if something gets taken away from you, remember to put yourself first and check in with yourself. Everyone else can wait.

Memories in July

July has been month of learning. Normally, I can’t keep a routine to save my life but with these books, apps, etc, I was able to do all of these everyday, at least once a day. I am thankful for everyday because we can take the opportunity of living as days for learning, wisdom and intelligence. Even though I’ve graduated, I’ve learned more about myself than I thought with these favorites of mine.

Spending Time with People 

I recently went on a trip to California with my parents. It has been inspiring and motivating. My parents have friends in California but they haven’t seen their friends in more than 10+ years but always kept in touch. Sure, they take pictures to capture moments but it’s the quality of the time being spent laughing, talking about old times and talking about the path they are on now. Those are the moments you can’t capture but you live in the moment. Friendships.jpg

I hope we can all keep at least one friend throughout our life because it is difficult to know who your true friends are. We always feel the need to fit in and find a group of people to go out with. When really, you need to find just one friend and make some memories. I put this in my favorites because it’s taught me to be more aware of the people around me and be more social, especially since I’m an introvert. 

Going to Church 

If you know me, you know I am a Buddhist but now I’m also a newly Christian. I’ve always felt closer to Christianity, especially in the darker parts of my life. A few months ago, my friend Nevada talked about her faith and the passion in her eyes was phenomenal. I wanted that passion. I’ve always wanted to go to church, learn about the bible, listen to worship music and act as how Jesus acted. She went to a church that I graduated high school from but because I had so many bad memories of who I was there, I didn’t feel comfortable going back.

Then I went to a service anyways and I loved it. Whenever the pastor speaks, it’s like he’s speaking to my soul. After service, we sat in a cafe to talk about her journey and more about God. Something in my heart felt right when I said, “I think I’m ready to become a Christian.” She asked, “Are you sure?” I hesitated but I knew the answer, which was yes. Then something happened that seemed like asking God to come in my life and work on me. Since He is the potter and we are His clay.

From then on, my spiritual journey began. I now read the Youversion Bible app at least once a day. I read the devotionals, which are like little lessons talking about certain topics and you can read the scriptures pertaining the topic. If you’re like me, you’re not a fan of reading on screens so I bought an actual Bible to highlight and learn from.

I’m listening to podcasts and YouTube videos pertaining to Christianity. One of the YouTube channels I watched was Coffee and Bible Time. The first video Iwatched from this channel was, “My Current Christian Faves.” Then I went into a rabbit hole and watched almost all of their videos. It’s a good resource for new Christians, such as myself. They have videos on prayer routines, how to keep faith when it gets hard and simplest ways to study the bible. 

A podcast I’ve been loving is the Daily Grace podcast, they also have an app as well. For the podcast, they go deep into topics such as theology and what it means, they’ve interviewed a woman who lost a child and how she is keeping her faith alive and how to keep scriptures in your heart and mind. The app has articles pertaining to being free from fear, being interrupted by God and has summaries for each podcasts. You can also do Bible studies on it, although there are only a couple of free ones. The rest you have to pay, which are $19.99 each. The app and podcast is a great resource as well.

Out of A Far Country by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan is an eye-opening, page turner kind of book. Christopher and Angela are amother and son duo. Angela has been through a rough stage in her life and ultimately turns to the Lord. Christopher is like a rebellious son who happens to be gay. He resisted the Lord’s love, especially since God said gays are an abomination.

Then Christopher came to find the term Holy Sexuality. Meaning, God would rather someone be committed to just one person and do right by them. While being single, it’s better to work on yourself and your relationship with the Lord. Then when your life aligns with God, go ahead and invite a lover in, but only with good intentions. See, Christopher realized that God said, it was an abomination, meaning the act itself and not the people. Their journey is one that I’m glad is told. It’s worth reading.

Nothing in life is ever easy but when you believe, act, and keep learning about life and yourself, there’s nothing greater than that. You truly can’t buy happiness so instead, invest in yourself and go on your journey.

A Reminder To Yourself

I know sometimes you feel weak and unloveable. Just know, you’ve been through hell and back and still survived. No, you’re living instead of just surviving. You have one of the kindest souls known to man and not many people do. They envy you because you’re smart, cute and talented. When you’re at your worst, know that there’s a whole world out there waiting to meet you. You’ll find love, even when it seems love wants nothing to do with you. Start with loving yourself, others, God and Buddha first. Also, focus on the bigger picture. Don’t forget you want a career first. You’ve changed so much and it’s been for the better. Please know, God and Buddha isn’t done with you yet.

Darkness Travels

DARKNESS.jpg

Imagine a group of friends laughing, chatting. You’re alone with no one to converse with and you’re sitting on the stairs, looking through it. Holding a sandwich in hand, looking down at yourself. Hoping, wondering if they’ll invite you to join. The group holds your gaze. But alas, they look away. The insecurities are screaming loudly in your mind, “How can I be a part of that?” You’re just another outsider looking in.

I wanted to be like them.

Happy and carefree.

Not sure what it means for me.

Am I meant to be a black hole?

Sucking the life of everything that’s golden?

When I took this picture I wasn’t thinking of a story behind it. After I developed this, I took a closer look. I developed a story perhaps everyone can relate to. I’ve always been the outsider looking in. Whether it was in college, high school, or work, there were always a group of people I would like to be friends with. But, they did not want to get to know me. I felt like I never belonged anywhere. I was a loner. Perhaps, I will always be one.

While looking to your right, sitting on the steps and eating a sandwich. Your heart sinks because you’re lonely and depressed. Hoping you will grow out of this funk faster than a cheetah catching its’ prey.

I wondered what was it about me that did not allow myself to be happy or carefree? The darkness rolls around just when my mood is cheery and fantastic. Growing up, I had to behave a certain way so I was never the type to dance or sing in public. Unless it was on stage. Hence why you would never see me at parties or school functions. I envied people who had a group of friends they would always hang out with and never grown tired of them. The ones who had each others’ backs so fiercely it was amazing. If you messed with one of them, you messed with all of them.

I wish I had those type of friends. Maybe one day I will.

They were the group of people you wished you could be a part of.

Choose Yourself This Valentine’s Day

The words people associate with Valentine’s day are romance and love. It doesn’t have to be about couples showing each other affection or trying to court someone if you don’t have a lover. That’s okay because I don’t either. I used to hate this holiday because it would feel materialistic. Only because I’ve seen a lot of couples buying each other candy, teddy bears and flowers. If you have a partner, show them an adventure instead. Or build a fort indoors.

If you’re single then you should embrace it. Take yourself out for some milkshakes, wear some makeup or wear your favorite outfit. When you’re getting ready in the morning, play some empowering music.

My mother asked me, “Why are you all dressed up today? You don’t have a date.” I don’t have to wait for a date in order for me to take myself out. I love and respect myself enough to take myself out.

If you’re feeling lonely or want to show yourself some love then look in the mirror and say affirmations. You are beautiful, strong, and life’s got your back. You could tell your friends, “Hey, I love and appreciate you. Have a nice day!” Also writing a handwritten letter to yourself and reading it while looking in the mirror can make your day. Smile to friends and strangers can be a mood booster.

Lately I’ve been listening to Sasha Sloan, Alyson Stoner and Lizzo. I love their empowering music and I instantly feel ready to take on the day.

Treat yourself by watching a movie. Just because it’s Valentine’s day, it doesn’t mean you have to watch romantic movies. If you’re into horror or true crime then watch it. If you want to do or say something then do it. No matter your status, single, taken or married, adjust the day to your status and make the most out of it. Don’t sit and wallow, take action and put yourself first.

Let’s Listen To Both Sides Of The Argument, Rationally

Ever since Trump elected into office, people were roaring with anger because of his behavior towards different groups and women. Not only did people observe his behavior but they have followed which laws he wants to overturn.

It seems since he is president, society is now involved more than ever in politics. Whether they are starting conversations with each other or are being more informed about the news.

According to “Fortune,” 100 million people voted in the 2018 midterms. Not only are the older generations voting but the younger generations as well.

Most of my friends now love to catch up with the news and see what’s happening worldwide.

For this young and informed passionate woman, she may only be 17 but her mind is spectacular and so is her heart.

Emma Tang, 17, senior in high school has an Instagram, @intersectional.abc, on which, some of the topics she speaks out about are racism, sexism, ableism, gun control, sexual assault, and news stories.

She is fed up with hearing the older generation say, “You young people, what do you know about politics?” or, “Don’t be such a snowflake, stop reading about the current policies and read the history of our country in relation to international politics. Only then would you understand that what Trump is doing is actually good for us.”

When she was only 10 years old, she watched the 2012 debates and paid close attention to the election. From then, she began reading about policies and researched opposing views on controversial topics.

Before she wanted to become involved in politics, her aspirations changed over the years from wanting to be an astronaut, an Egyptologist, and a forensic scientist. Now, her goal is to become a senator and to make a change in this world.

Like many people, she discovers the news on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and enjoys reading CNN as well. She loves learning about history and would always listen to history-related podcasts.

A couple of books she reads are, “How to Make White People Laugh” by Negin Farsad, “Between Shades of Gray,” “Salt to the Sea,” and “Out of the Easy,” all by Ruta Septys.

Reading up about the news and politics can create such a heated debate, especially between the younger generation and the older generation. There are quite a large number of people out there who may not want to understand politics because, for them, they ask, “Why should I read up on the news? I’d rather stick my nose out of it.” Or, “These policies such as anti-LGBTQ+ issues and immigration does not even affect me.”

Therefore, they may not want to care but the younger generation has a voice and it’s important to at least have an opinion about these issues.

Also posted on https://www.theodysseyonline.com/listen-both-sides-of-argument

4 Podcasts to Stimulate Your Mind

Recently, I’ve been waking up at 5:30 a.m. so I could listen to podcasts before classes. I never liked podcasts before because I never had the time but I gave it a chance anyways. I have found some fascinating podcasts that speak about topics such as politics, psychology, LGBTQ+ issues and more. Listening to more serious topics sparked my interest to hear what others had to say. Being knowledgeable about topics such as these can create an interesting debate with families, friends and even strangers. If you’re not a fan of reading, then perhaps listening to a discussion before classes or during breakfast is a nice way to catch up with the news quickly.

Women in the white house

  1. Women Belong in the White House

I agree wholeheartedly but only if the candidate is qualified. When people read the title, they might think, “Oh, here we go again. Another feminist podcast trying to be equal.” Actually, it’s an empowering podcast to hear women such as Ohio Democrat Betsy Rader, running for office speak about their experience about why they are running for office and why women are struggling to survive in the political world compared to men in the first place.

This has been the only podcast so far that I truly love and could listen to back-to-back. In politics, it does cost a lot to run for office. It is also hard for the candidates to come up with the money themselves but they do accept donors. In one of the episodes, they said men are known to be in managerial positions, with one phone call, they could dial a friend and their friend would come up with $50,000 on the spot. While women, who are known to have lower positions in power or have friends who are mothers, come up with $100 and women would have to call even more people to raise thousands of dollars.

Also, women are knowledgeable as well. We do have brains for a reason and we are not just eye candy. We like to absorb information and want to help make this world a better and a safer place.

Jon Van Ness

  1. Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Queer Eye, Jonathan Van Ness, has a bubbly personality, a great beard and a heart of gold. With this podcast, he truly is a curious soul because he asks questions such as, what it’s like being a women in NASCAR with Julia Landauer and he even asks Tan France, a fashion expert and fellow Queer Eye, about when he knew he wanted to marry a man and about coming out to his religious family.

One of the things Tan said was that it was easier to come out to a family if you’re white as opposed to another race such as Asian. I believed that to be true. In my experience, it’s harder for Asians to accept the LGBTQ+ community because they are either religious and would rather not speak about or even look at a same-sex couple because it’s not what they were taught is right or they think it’s absurd. I am an Asian American after all so I know what this is like. It’s a very big deal and I often wonder, would I have to move out of my parents’ home in order to be truly happy and myself?

The show Queer Eye helped Tan’s family understood what he does as a fashion expert, how it has helped change peoples’ lives and is still being himself. The only difference is that he is married to a man. His family now uses his husbands’ name when they originally didn’t want to know anything about his love life. It’s one of my favorite episodes.

The Daily

  1. The Daily

If you would like to hear about news such as the disappearance of a Saudi Journalist, Louis C.K coming back to comedy after being accused of sexual misconduct, and news about Trump or about world news, then this is the place for you.

I just finished the episode about letting Louis C.K. back in the comedy world. Noam Dworman, the owner of the Comedy Cellar, lets Louis C.K. take the stage. One of the sub-topics they’ve discussed was, how long is it okay to ban someone who has done a horrible action until they can have their career back?

There is no definite answer because there are two sides you can look at. What happens if he’s back on stage where he can travel or find more women to assault? Would women have to see how they are dressed and keep caution? But also, would it be right to ban a man from doing something that has brought his fans joy?

Taylor Nolan

  1. Let’s Talk About It

Taylor Nolan was from the bachelor and there was something about her that I adored. If you take a peek at her podcast, she speaks on topics such as self-compassion, infertility & sexual assault and understanding those that are misunderstood.

She is not afraid to voice her opinion on such topics and that is what I love about her range of topics. One of her episodes that resonated with me was, “Is Self-Compassion Selfish?” What I’ve understood from this episode was, in order to fully heal, we must understand what is causing us pain.

When I heard this, I could not agree more. Everyone has dealt with suffering in different ways but as humans, we tend to bottle it up because it’s easier and we think we can deal with it ourselves. It’s better to express your emotions into writing so you can pinpoint what areas of your life you should improve on. It’s definitely not selfish to stop every now and then to ask yourself how you are doing. If you don’t, what if you feel like you can’t take life anymore and are about to explode? It’s better to check in with yourself than wait for others to ask. In this episode, she speaks with Dr. Kristin Neff, a self-compassion researcher and it’s definitely worth a listen.

Left Photo Credit: Arbela Capas

Cover Photo Credit: Arbela Capas

Right Photo Credit: Aaron Richards