Month: December 2016

Silver lining–2016

As 2016 comes to a close, I’ve decided to recap about all that has happened over the course of the year. This year (like for many) has been more-so challenging than most–mentally, physically, spiritually–Err politically.

It was as if the curve balls kept coming and I had to continue to find my way to dodge them at the last millisecond.With the challenges came the lessons and though it always took me some time to realize it; I always left the battles triumphant–one way or another.

I don’t do this enough, actually I don’t even write enough anymore for myself, but I don’t want this to be another year in the books where it just blurs by without a recollection.

For a mid-20 something who spent so many years living vicariously through other people’s virtual feeds, I’ve rallied through more than I could imagine this year..

  • Spent 3 weeks in Vietnam with my entire family rediscovering familiar cities and exploring new towns and meeting new friends.
  • Winged an hour-long solo presentation in front of my entire company & vendors with only 2 days of preparation. (I was petrified–voice shook the entire time, but I managed to get it done with some will power and polite nods in the audience)
  • He went into remission and has been clear since–God let it stay that way
  • Traveled to Kansas City, St. Louis, Birmingham and Memphis over the course of 5 days for business as the only female lead on the team–I call that my whirlwind trip with far too many plane rides, airports, hotel rooms and mediocre continental breakfasts.
  • Painstakingly decided to quit my job without a back up plan due to undue circumstances with a week’s notice. I said goodbye to everything I knew in the industry I grew up in and parted ways with some of the best people I’ve met in my life.
  • I then was offered & accepted a remote position with a trusted joint venture who’s known me for years within 2 days of turning in my resignation
  • Spent a long weekend  in Sequoia finding myself in nature– And oh so fittingly experienced all elements of weather in the same weekend (wind, rain, hail, sunshine & snow)
  • Also witnessed my best friend’s proposal there with the most magnificent back drop
  • Got my first tattoo with my sister to symbolize our love & protection for another
  • And then decided 3 days later to drive by myself for an hour and half to meet one of my favorite tattoo artists to get a second for just me–just because.
  • Went on my first solo business trip to Memphis & Nashville to meet with my new boss and team
  • Experienced Nash-Vegas
  • Learned the trials of trying to mix business with family–never again, not with a ten foot pole
  • Learned the blessings & tribulations of working remotely full time–It’s been hectic ride but it’s been a blessing more than anything.

I’m obviously just highlighting all the good–because thats all I need to remember. Despite the great experiences, this year was dark & I don’t need to go on and commemorate all the times I felt the anxiety, tears, stress and anger. I spent too many lost years dwelling on what was missing and what I didn’t have.

“Too many people miss the silver linings because they are looking for gold”
Maurice Setter

I don’t want to be one of those people anymore.

Notes from my 20 year old self

The way I see it…there are no legitimate excuse for me or any of us to be unable to attain what we aspire for..

I sat on the hard wood floor, going through my parents’ vast collection of photo albums. I smiled widely at the pictures of my father in college posing cheesily next to his pride and joy of a trans am back in the late 70’s. I flip further back to earlier pictures of those he left behind in Vietnam, a village full of our relatives. As I open my mother’s albums I found the same confident woman smiling back at me in the front of a coffee shop near Neman Marcus in Dallas, the last pages were mere remnants of her posing in her long flowing ao dai in the front of my grandfather’s old house with her sisters.

They left their comfort, their loves, their homes, to find hope in a place which exuded salvation. My mother flew solo letting go of her dreams and career in search of work to support her family despite her foreign tongue. My father and uncle experienced pain and anguish escaping incarceration by the communist only to be stranded in the Pacific for 21 days without food or water and then to be left in a refugee camp for over a year.. Their journey was no simple trip over to the states.

What did they have to face when they reached the shores of America?

Only to find more hardships fighting discrimination, loneliness, and unfamiliarity. Defeated? Never.

Barriers. There are no barriers they couldn’t climb. I couldn’t be more proud of my father for graduating Oklahoma State, and my mother for finding multiple jobs to raise my siblings alone as well as send assisting finances to the other side of the globe.. Somehow..They found their nitch, assimilated to the once foreign culture, built bridges and burned some and somehow their paths intersected…and there was me. Together we have a comfortable lifestyle. Both have yet to surrender their hard work ethic.

Headstrong. This is where I come from..

Hard on myself? I should be.

When I find myself stressing about school–I picture my father walking alone on the cold snowy campus in Oklahoma in his late 20’s holding his hefty Vietnamese/English dictionary and tape recorder as he scurries to his lectures after working 10 hours as a janitor at a local church.

When I find worrying about my finances/jobs–I remember my mother’s hands delicately weaving through white cascades of fabric, sewing intricate patterns of embroidery for hours then using the same hands to hold those of my brother and sister as they cross the street to return home to their small studio apartment.

So…here is the explanation on why I am how I am today.

Why I have little sympathy for petty problems, why consciously I am so hard on myself, why my expectations have no cap, why I do not complain about my parents being so unreasonable with me.

I have my reasons, because whatever complaints, worries, or anxieties I may have are surely negligible to what they have faced..

Now tell me what I want is intangible? No excuses.

That’s why it sickens me when I see kids take advantage of their parents. That complain about the minuscule things. That shrug their mother’s and father’s hardships as pennies of the past and disregard their advice. There is no excuse for you youngins’ to leech off your parents. If anything leech off their wisdom and pay your respects.

I came across this today from my old blog. It looks like 20 year old me was wiser than I thought she was.

I needed this today–Simple reminder that I really do have it good and I shouldn’t let my minuscule problems or insecurities weigh so heavy on my shoulders.