The Story Behind the Highlight Reel

(I wrote this 3 years ago, but still feel it is still relevant today)

“How often in our daily lives had we put conditions on our happiness? When we get the house paid off, then we can be happy. When things settle down with the kids, then we’ll be able to do more together. There is so little joy for the here and now in the uncertainties of the whens and thens.”

– Jeannie Lancaster (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

This resonated with me more than I thought.

Once I graduate, I can get a job and be happy.

I can get married and be happy.

I can have kids and be happy.

We wait until particular milestones and assume that those milestones would equal happiness.

I graduated from college in December 2013 and for a very long time, I had high expectations for my special day. I wanted everything to be perfect.

The moment came and gone… just like that.

We put a lot of pressure on those “high” points, whether it’s graduation, getting married, having kinds, getting a new job, etc. It’s our highlight reel.

But it’s very easy to forget… the behind the scenes story.

The story line that shows those sleep deprived nights in college, the nights falling asleep studying, the moments with friends when you probably should have been studying lol.

We wait until that “highlight” to celebrate. Why put so much pressure on that moment?

We shouldn’t forget to celebrate that good grade on that quiz, we shouldn’t forget to celebrate the hard work coming, we shouldn’t forget to celebrate the smaller moments.

We shouldn’t wait until the highlight.

We shouldn’t wait for the “perfect” moment, because why wait? Life is short.

We are so concentrated on societal milestones that display our current status that we fail to do it for our own happiness.

I have that problem. I’m working on it. I cannot spend my time having my life depend on someone else’s views. we give SO MUCH value to someone else’s opinion,  but we forget our own.

You are important.

Your views matter too, you are no less than that “other” opinion.



Home is Where the Heart is

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on

The home I currently am living in, I’ve been here for 18 years (with the exception of moving off to college.)

There has definitely been loads of memories. Heartache, tears, and milestones that have happened over the past 18 years. I’ve graduated high school, college, kick its, and just overall good laughs.

This house definitely has a very sentimental place in my heart. Very nostalgic.

I always thought that my parents would never move away from this house, but issues are starting to arise that make you question if it’s fixable.

I compare it to my dad’s old SUV. My dad owned a car for 17 years before finally trading it in. The expenses finally just started piling up and exceeding the value of the car.

Same goes for the house.

You just have to make the call before it gets worse.

If you’re unfamiliar with living in California, I have one word to describe it: EXPENSIVE.

I’ve lived in California all my life, so I can’t really compare to other states, but I’m aware of how expensive it is.

But when it’s all you know, sometimes making that move isn’t the easiest step.

I’ve been thinking about moving out for awhile, but the question is where?

I’ve always been calculated in making steps in my life, but maybe in this case, one step is all I need and see where life will take me next.


The Confident Soul

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Do I consider myself a confident person?

No, I don’t…

But that doesn’t mean I cannot become confident.

Confidence can be seen in so many different ways. We all can interpret the word, “confidence” differently.

If you thought of yourself as confident, what would that look like?

When I imagine my most confident self, I think of the following:

I imagine someone who knows what she’s talking about.

I imagine someone who holds her head high.

I imagine someone who has a certain energy to herself that you can’t put your finger on, but she owns it.

I imagine someone with a kind heart.

I imagine someone who is very comfortable in their skin.

I imagine someone who is stylish.

I imagine someone who isn’t afraid to be vocal about how she feels.

The goal is to change all those “I imagine” statements to “I am” statements.

It’ll take time, but one day… I’ll get there.


My Life’s Purpose

My life’s purpose is to help people.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

I’ve always known that.

Even in the professions that I wanted to be when I was younger…

Weatherwoman – Help people prepare for weather

Physical Therapist – Rehabilitate people back to good health

My career thus far has been in customer service. Although I’m an introvert, there is still an urge to help others.

But my purpose has been hidden a bit, I haven’t highlighted my purpose as much as I’d like. I’ve suppressed my feelings in sacrifice for financial stability.

As I’ve used this time of working from home to reflect, I’ve realized what really matters to me at the end of the day: To put out meaningful work.

That starts with me.

Something stemmed from my soul.

Something I’m proud to show.

Something I want to show.

Not something I HAVE to do, due to obligations, but something deep down in my soul that I want to show to the world.

In many ways, this blog is satisfying that part.

Even as I start to post on a more consistent basis, I can’t help but be amazed to see the various countries readers are from and I am very much grateful to you all.

However you may stumble on my blog, I hope my thoughts and stories can provide guidance, reassurance, or even just a “Me too!” moment from where you are in the world.

As I maneuver this journey in life, I hope you are as well.


The Pursuit of Unhappiness

I’m guilty of falling into routines. I don’t publish everything that I blog and I recently was skimming through my drafts. I couldn’t help but see a pattern.

“I’m unhappy because of this…”

“I’m unhappy because of that…”

For someone who is afraid of the lack of control, I unfortunately let life control me.

All of sudden you blink…

1 year… 2 years… 10 years of your life are gone.

One thing I’ve learned from this pandemic is to slow down. Do not forget to appreciate what you currently have, because you don’t know if that’ll change in an instant.

But also, do not forget to strive for what you want out of life.

I’ve spent a good portion of my life living a life that isn’t necessarily mine, but what others may have thought was best for me. ‘

It’s time to take control and tune more into what makes me happy.


Feel your Feelings

It takes a lot of courage to put myself out there. It’s just not my natural instinct to tell the world, “Hey! This is how I feel.”

As a result, I’ve definitely suppressed a lot of feelings.

I’ve questioned myself countless times…

Why didn’t I just I say how I feel?

Why did I hold back?

No matter how well you know a person, you’ll never truly know how they feel, unless they communicate it.

Whether it may be feelings of heartbreak, a sudden loss, a major life change, there’s strength in acknowledging your feelings as they arise.

Especially at the state of the world now, I’d be lying If I hadn’t experienced bouts of anxiety, loneliness, and fear in these last 6 months.

With that being said, I recently signed up for counseling. I walked away from the session feeling relieved. There is a definitely a sense of vulnerability, but to me it provided guidance in a way that I didn’t think I needed.


Life on Autopilot

Photo by Lu00ea Minh on

My early 20s in retrospect for me, felt like years of being on autopilot.

Cruise control.

Driving from point A to point B, but never realizing the journey in between. 

Digging my mind and life into distraction.

All along suppressing my true feelings of happiness for stability.

After college graduation and a breakup, I decided to remain single, to concentrate on my own wellbeing.

Although I healed in one aspect of my life, others took a hit. 

I retreated. I isolated. I distracted. 

I recently got a glimpse of where my life could’ve been and since then it’s made me realize…

You can’t go through things alone. 

It can only get you so far.

As I’ve gotten older, my introversion has gotten stronger and I am more inclined to retreat now.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I have realized the walls I’ve built are very high.

I definitely have a challenge ahead of me, but in a time that the world is going through a life changing event, I will be as well.


Find Your Voice, Speak Yourself

We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to speak yourself.

What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat?

Tell me your story.

I want to hear your voice, I want to hear your conviction.

No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity, just speak yourself.

Find your name and find your voice by speaking yourself.

– RM (Leader of BTS)

I’ve spent 20+ years letting someone else speak my name and voice.

I’ve been raised to not speak up, in fear of disappointment, in fear of making someone angry, in fear of judgment.

But over countless years, that mutes YOU.

It causes a wall to be built. A wall that you can’t climb over because you spent all these years guarding your soul, that people don’t get to see.

It mutes your thoughts, likes, opinions, all because of the value held on the other individual.

What makes this other person’s thoughts more valuable than yours?

Because it’s your parent.

Because it’s your manager.

Because it’s your significant other.

Because it’s your best friend.

Are you sure?

Because the last time I checked, they weren’t in your shoes. They don’t have to live with the results.

The only person feeling YOUR feelings, is YOU.

We all are going through inner battles that we may not express, but it’s unique to our own story. It’s only us that can tell it.

I’ve spent 20+ years building up a wall, that I didn’t have to build in the first place.

This wall needs to come down once and for all.

It’s time to find my name and voice, and finally speak myself.


My Worst Enemy… Me.

I never realized how much I held myself back.

The topic of the podcast I listened to today: letting go of what holds you back.

The suggested journal prompt: What rules do you have about how you behave?

A few I jotted down:

  • I cant push forward unless I have a plan.
  • I have to know all the answers.
  • I can’t speak up all the time.

I wrote down 19 statements about my behavior rules. Out of 19 statements, 15 get in my way of moving forward.

That’s heartbreaking.

I have a good work ethic, I know I am capable of doing bigger things, but to visually see the self doubt and perfection written down on paper, it’s tough to look at.

As a woman in her 20s, its unfortunate how much we critique ourselves on how we should act. I’m guilty of this. It’s as a result of upbringing, societal roles, and judgment by others.

It’s beneficial to have good standards, but to take it personal if those standards aren’t achieved, shouldn’t be the end of the world. It’s a simple slip up and all it takes is to brush it off and take it as a lesson learned to improve next time.


The Case of the Mondays

Monday is definitely not my favorite day of the week.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always dreaded them. Pre-COVID, I would wake up each Monday thinking, “Ah.. here we are again, start of the new week, same thing, different day.

I work an 8-5 job, but prior to the stay at home orders, my commute was at LEAST an hour each way. In the afternoons, it’d be closer to 90 minutes.

Hello Bay Area traffic… HATE IT.

So whenever Mondays would come around, it was always a reminder of my work routine. Although I’d spend 8 hours out of my day working, I’d end up dedicating close to 10 hours. Sleep. Eat. Commute. Work. Repeat that 5 times a week.

On my rougher commute days, what I’d listen to on my commute would vary.

If I was really stressed, I’d drive in silence.

Yes, you read that right. Sounds weird, but it works.

My inner monologue would just go crazy, anything from thoughts about work stress to maybe a dream I had the night before or to even just appreciating the sunrise.

But on most days, my commutes were filled with music. My playlist was and is still FILLED with Korean music. BTS, Hyolyn, Jay Park, Dean, Hoody, sprinkled in with some Western artists as well such as Jojo, CHIKA, and Ella Mai.

On the commute home, I’d sometimes change it to podcasts.

Currently on my podcast list: Genius Brain, Fun with Dumb, Perfectly Imperfect, Asian Boss Girl, Get Real, and just today I’ve added one that honestly inspired me to do this post based on the first episode.

The Habit Coach with Ashdin Doctor.

The first episode is ONLY 4 minutes and I already have walked away from the podcast applying his tip: The Monday Highlight.

To essentially add something to your schedule on Monday to look forward to.

My first thoughts… GENIUS.

I am guilty of getting stuck into a routine and unknowingly letting that routine suck out any mental capacity I have left at the end of the day.

So I applied his tip to my day tomorrow. First Monday highlight for me? I signed up for a virtual escape room.

Ashdin goes on to say in the episode that by applying the Monday highlight, it is likely to pass onto other days of the week.

I was purely amazed over the fact, by listening to this podcast today, my Mondays will be forever changed.

Goodbye, case of the Mondays!