Category Archives: #TOTD

#TOTD : Bring It, 2018

January 2, 2018

Even though I had stepped into the year on a sour note, 2017 turned out to be my favourite year, thus far, which explains why I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to it just yet (hence, the delayed post).

If we take a look at my professional life, I did end up getting a promotion, where I am now managing people.  My financial management skills has gotten way better, where I am now putting it towards adult shit (oh, how millennial of me).  Crossed-out the last item off of my childhood “goal” list, which was to get my ass to London, Paris and Rome – something that I’ve attempted to achieve several times over the past few years (also something that I have yet to share with you all).  Developed stronger friendships with the people I made the year before, and I’ve learned to trust my friends can pretty much take care of themselves.

2017 felt more settled than any other year, and 2018 will be more defined.  What I mean by that is I, now, have a greater knowledge and wisdom that can be passed onto others.  There’s a lot that’s going to happen in 2018, which makes me rather nervous, but I’m so ready to tackle it heads-on – it’s because I crave that shit.

My goals for the new year has been shifting lately, and that’s probably because for the first time, I actually do not have a I-need-to-do-this-or-else-kind-of-goal.  Everything is dependent on factors that I have no control over, so you’ll notice my goals are pretty basic:

  • Chef Laurie (thought I’d go with a fancy spelling).  Not really trying to be a chef, but I do want to spend more time in the kitchen (sounds totally wrong).  I’d like to cook more than what I do now, as I have just discovered the peacefulness in laying out ingredients, throwing them altogether and creating a dish that I can actually enjoy.
  • Off To Scandinavia!  Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland are the next destinations on my list for next fall.  Why these countries?  I want to head-straight into places that is a total opposite of California, and Scandinavia is the place for it!
  • Open Up Your Mind. Can’t stress enough how much I have been working on this.  I don’t remember saying this before in a previous post, but sometimes I find myself seeing things as black and white, when there is actually a gray area.  It’s affecting all aspects of my life in a negative way, so this is something I am constantly working on.
  • Continue To Practice Patience.  Got my grandfather’s genes!  I’ve learned that timing is everything, and I just have to trust that everything is going to be okay.  Sometimes, there are certain things you can’t rush, and try to take control of.  Trust in the timing!
  • Take More Risks.  Half of me can be very spontaneous, while the other half plays it safe.  This past year, I took my chances in the work environment and got myself somewhere I didn’t expect.  For 2018, I want to take more risks in my social life like accept more group invitations, get back in the dating game and do whatever people are doing nowadays.

This new year is going to be a tough one for me, but I’ve learned that I can definitely take on whatever I set my mind to, so bring it 2018!

Aside from that, I hope everyone had a wonderful new years 🙂 I had celebrated the new year in Vegas with my family, and couldn’t feel more grateful for them.  Vegas has been a bit quieter than previous years’ due to the shooting a couple of months ago – something our government needs to start addressing as we consistently encounter these situations…(yeah, had to throw that in there).

Either than that, Happy New Year, everyone!

#TOTD : It’s Time To Face Them

October 14, 2017

There are so many different ways in how people deal with their problems.  Some like to tackle them heads-on; some won’t hesitate to ask for help; and some would just completely avoid it.  Depending on the situation, people can respond to problems in any of these various ways.

For instance, when I found out that one of our vendors at work wasn’t able to deliver on time, my head rang in high alert.  Instead of chocking on the news, I immediately took action by formulating a back-up plan, doing what I got to do to make this deadline.  Even though my heart was racing in sheer panic at the possibility of failing, my immediate reaction was to tackle the problem heads-on because it would be a bigger disappointment if I didn’t at least try to make this work.

Now, have you ever heard of the stereotype that “Asians are really good at math”?  Well, don’t count on me to live up to that.  One of the reasons why I majored in Communication Studies is because I didn’t have to take any math classes.  With that said, I stumbled onto a problem, where I had to calculate the cost of a booklet per page – a task that was beyond my mathematical skills.  After multiplying and dividing numbers that made my head go round, I decided that it was time to ask for help.  Sometimes, two minds are better than one.

No matter where we come from or have gone through, we all have problems that we like to refer to them as our “demons.”  One of the demons that I am, currently, battling are the constant voices in my head saying — you’re doing this wrong…why didn’t you think of that in the first place…you can’t do this.  These voices are constantly telling me that I am a total failure.

For the past couple of months now, it feels as if bricks were being dropped onto my shoulders, pushing me into the ground.  Even though every step I take gets a bit heavier and heavier, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been fighting through all that weight.  To relieve me of these thoughts, I went on a solo hike, took a road trip, bought a new hat and got myself a new hairdo.  Unfortunately, what was perceived as solutions for me in the past apparently are not solutions for me in the present moment…

I’ve realized that my lack of confidence and self-doubt are problems that have always been present, and what I had thought were “solutions” are actually distractions.  Because these distractions can no longer shield me from the bigger issues, I am at the point in my life where it’s time for me to start facing them.   

Anonymous Quote

#FridayReads : Acceptance At Twenty-Five

April 21, 2017

Over the past year, I have been trying to pin-point this apprehensive fear as my birthday draws nearer.  As I am about to officially reach a quarter-of-my-life, I feel this great deal of pressure from the people around me.  People are asking me questions about where I am headed in my career, when am I going to start dating and when am I going to start investing in my retirement.

This is all just part of being your twenties, and it’s hard not to avoid getting “lost” within your journey in figuring it all out.  Tired of being soaked in this fear of aging, I started to ask myself what makes getting older a great thing?

For the first time ever, I had pitched and submitted an article to Literally, Darling, discussing how I’ve reached my mid-twenties with a sense of acceptance.  In the middle of the night, I had awoken with a sudden urge to spill out all that I had difficulty to explain onto what we’ve replaced paper with today, Word Doc.  Hopefully, some of you can relate to what I am addressing and that it can help provide you insight to what you’re experiencing as well.

Without getting into further detail, check out my published piece here!

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#TOTD : Grateful For 2K16

December 31, 2016

“Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by 2016.”

While everyone feels as if they’ve been victimized by 2016, I, however, feel this past year treated me very well.  Considering that I had spent the last two years, stumbling around like a “lost puppy,” 2016 was the year where I had found my footing.  As everyone is ready to say goodbye to it, I am having trouble letting go of what was an amazing year.

One of my greatest accomplishments in 2016 was obtaining a new job.  I didn’t step into the year, looking for my “dream” job, but I was hoping to find a place where I would “fit-in” instantaneously and be able to do something that I’d be passionate about.  When I got myself into the chaotic world of advertising (never a dull moment by the way), I didn’t expect to find a clear path of where I wanted to grow professionally.  So, when people tell me about how much they “hate” their jobs, I simply say this,”A job is a job, and nobody likes to get up for work.  But, if you can find a job that you love, it makes getting up for work a lot easier.”  If you missed out on my previous post about my new role in advertising, you can check it out here.

Even though this time of year is when we all self-reflect, it is good to focus on the future because 2016 will just be of the past, starting tonight (if you’re in Pacific Coast Time).  2017 will bring about new opportunities, adventures and experiences so we should all step into the new year with excitement and an open-mind.  As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts here, I do not partake on making a list of resolutions because, let’s be real, I can never be that avid gym goer.  Honestly, I tried it out and cancelled my membership for 2017…

For 2017, I want to step into it with a different mindset, where I’d focus my attention on the following:

  • Believing in myself.  Even though I may act as if I have all my shit together, deep down I am actually shitting myself.  While others are able to see my value and self-worth, I, however, cannot.  This is a never-ending internal struggle for a lot of us, and something that comes with being a human being.
  • Taking more risks.  As Richard Branson once said,”The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.”  Over the past few years, I’ve been living my life cautiously, fearful of the “what ifs.”  By taking more chances and risks, I’d be able to learn more of what I am capable of, and that’s also accepting the mistakes that I make along the way.
  • Focusing on my health.  I wish this wasn’t true, but I am not getting any younger nor am I invincible.  This past doctor visit made me realize that (don’t worry, it’s nothing drastic), and now I have to start taking care of my body.  That means, no more hot cheetos before dinner…
  • Managing my money.  Not like I have any anyways, but it’s good to start learning how to financially manage my income and savings.  The thought of wanting to own a home, building a family and planning for retirement has been a discussion that I’ve been dwelling on, especially since time is going by so fast.
  • Traveling a lot more.  In 2016, I had focused all of my energy into my professional life.  With the upcoming year, I hope to find myself on a plane, traveling abroad.  Traveling is so important because then you become more cultured and knowledgeable about the world outside of what you’ve always known.

As we begin to countdown for the new year, I want to say thank you to everyone who has got me to where I am thus far.  2016 is the year that I feel most grateful for, just because it had given me much more than what I had expected.  I now know from here, it can only get better so I can’t wait to spend another year with you all (if some higher-power doesn’t decide to shoot me down anytime soon, of course)!

Cheers to you!

Image via Pinterest

#MotivationMonday : As An American

November 14, 2016

Originally, I wasn’t planning on participating in this year’s election.  First of all, I didn’t keep track on any of the candidates’ campaigns so I didn’t want to falsely caste my vote; secondly, this presidential race was a laughable one due to the fact that Trump was actually running; and thirdly, there’s no way in hell that the American people would allow an unqualified candidate become the leader of our nation right?

The days counting down to November 8th freaked me out a bit as I started noticing Trump and Pence’s signs outside of people’s homes.  I think it was the first time that I had realized we are all not on the same page.

As a result of the election, it clearly demonstrated how divided our country is.  Just to be clear, I am in no way patriotic, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel the overwhelming fear that so many anti-Trump supporters have felt that day or continue to feel.  It’s daunting to know that our neighbors, colleagues, friends and/or family had placed an inexperienced candidate, who used “hate” as the basis of his political platform, in the White House.

But, I am not here to go on a rant about that because, at this point, we can only hope that Trump will not burn this nation into the ground.  What I do want to discuss are the people who didn’t have any opinion on the matter.  To me that’s worst than not voting, and not voting is worst than the people who actually voted for Trump.  If you are an educated, privileged citizen of the United States of America, you should care about what is going on around you, and exercise your rights as an American.  As a reminder, “silence is also an answer.”  You have the opportunity to use your voice where others less fortunate than you do not.  You have the power to change lives no matter how big or small.

As an American, I strongly believe that’s what I owe to this country.  People have fought for my rights, so to avoid stomping on their efforts, I try to be politically aware of what’s going on around me (as much as possible) and participate in it as much as I can.

Why do I feel so strongly about this?  After my dad had passed away, my family and I had hit a financial rough patch, where we needed government assistance.  Regardless of the corruption behind the government, which I am not naive and ignorant of, the U.S. government has helped my family and I stay afloat when we most needed it.  Although my family and I no longer accept government assistance, there are still others who do (speaking only to those who actually need it, and not the ones who cheat the system).  Other than welfare, there are other issues that requires your participation, such as healthcare and education.

This election reminded me that I have a greater purpose than just trekking along with whatever is going on in my personal life.  As an educated young woman with a decent job, I know my voice can be heard if I scream loud enough.  So, I am proud to say that I did end up getting my ass to the polls for this year’s election, and submitted my vote for Hillary Clinton.  Even though America is not ready for our first female president just yet, Hillary has left cracks in this ceiling for the next female presidential candidate to shatter.

To all you who are not politically aware of what’s going on around you, I highly encourage you to start.  Because, regardless if it affects you or not (which it does by the way), other people’s lives depend on it.

Image via various media sites

#TOTD : Needing ≠ Wanting

November 6, 2016

As I begin to enter my mid-twenties, I can say that I’ve only been in one real relationship in my life, and I haven’t dated much to be label as an “avid dater.”  For most of my high school and college years, I was in a long-term relationship as I’ve previously mentioned here.  My boyfriend and I at the time ended things on good terms, so there wasn’t really any reason for the breakup besides the fact that I was tired of being referred to as “John’s girlfriend” (using a fake name to respect his privacy).

Since then, I’ve been categorized as the woman who is strong, independent, confident, career-driven and someone who is far capable of taking care of herself.  Unlike most girls who need a man’s validation in order to feel valued, I take pride in knowing that I don’t need a man to be fulfilled (it’s been me, myself and I for the past 4-5 years).

But, over the past few months, I’ve encountered this new sense of emotion that I can’t even understand or begin to describe, which is ironic because I’m usually in tune with them.  However, what I can tell you are the five things that bring them up:

  • I’ve made the mistake of scrolling through my Facebook feed to find a bunch of my former acquaintances announcing their engagements, changing their status’ from in-a-relationship to married and studio images of babies that they have apparently just popped out.  Although I think it is absolutely nuts to have all of that by our mid-twenties, I can’t help but think that I am falling a bit behind.
  • My friends are all in a relationship, so being a second priority on their list is never fun.  But that doesn’t mean that I am not happy for them.  Because at the end of the day, I’d want them to have that special person by their side.  As for me, I just need to know where all my single sistas’ are at!
  • At every family function, there is always someone who is going ask you the inevitable question, “Are you single?”  For every answer give, I always feel the need to explain myself in fear that they would see me as pathetic.
  • My mother consistently reminds me that I am not getting any younger.  Whenever she compares my youthfulness to fresh meat, it cracks me up a little because now I’m actually starting to fear wrinkles, random stretch marks and sagging boobs (not to mention our vaginas).
  • The lowest point of all points — embarrassingly, calling the ex-boyfriend

So, after I had out-of-the-blue dialed my ex, that’s when I immediately went into a panic.  What the hell is wrong with me?!  My best friends, who I love so much, dropped everything that they were doing to dissect my craziness (glad to have entertained them with this as well), and here’s what they came up with:

Lori, maybe it’s because you miss having that companionship?  I mean, you’ve been single for almost five-years, and I get that your mother has been the same way so that’s all you’ve known.  But you’re not 40-years-old, Lori, so stop acting like it.  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  This doesn’t mean that you are weak.  We all know that you don’t need a man, but it’s also okay to want it.

My girls helped me realize that “needing” and “wanting” are NOT synonymous.  It’s actually okay for me to want to be loved and to be taken care of by someone other than my family.  This desire does not diminish my self-respect as an independent woman, and that’s what I’m learning to understand.

Image via Pinterest

#MotivationMonday : Real Strength

August 1, 2016

As I watch my mother fall in-and-out of sleep, I am left reflecting back to the last time I saw a parent of mine on a hospital bed.  It’s amazing how it’s already been over ten years since my dad had passed away, and how much of our lives had changed since then.

At just ten-years-old, I was mad at the world.  I had developed this sense of self-pity, feeling as if the world had owed me everything for not only taking my dad away, but for having my family go through one crap after another.

But, now as an adult, I look back to realize that I have absolutely nothing to bitch about.  Everyone has lost someone, and everyone faces the challenges that follows so I am definitely no different from the rest.  I was blessed with such a nurturing mother, who gave me literally everything that I had ever wanted, and, yet, I, out of all of her children, gave her the most heartache.  I was blessed with such amazing siblings, who took my abuse and still manage to stand by my side no matter what.  I was blessed with opportunities like getting an education and offered potential career paths that I had taken for granted.

When people tell me how “strong” I am, I cringe at the word because I have never known suffering before.  My mother, on the other hand, had escaped from Vietnam during the war, assimilated into a new culture, gave up her education to provide for her family and supported her kids as a single-parent.

So, when I arrived at the emergency room, I turned the corner to find my mother with a huge smile on her face.  She sat on the wheelchair, conversing with the nurse, giggling like a small school girl.  Regardless of what life has put her through, my mother still manages to put-up a smile.  To me, that’s real strength.

Now, “don’t freak out” as my sister had used earlier with me, my mother is doing well and is going to be fine.  She just had a minor emergency that required her to get a blood transfusion.  Heck, she’s back on her feet and is already getting back to work!

#ThoughtOfTheDay : Feelin’ Like A Child

March 10, 2016

When I was a kid, I was always rushing to grow up.  During my childhood, my cousins were all in their twenties, discussing their careers, dating life and the craziest things that had happened the previous night.  As a ten-year-old, I was attracted to the whole idea of adulthood because of the self-assurance, independence and sense of control that grown-ups exhibited.

Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, I’m practically considered an “adult.”  It’s ironic because I’ve been anticipating this moment for so long, and, yet, I feel far less grown-up than I thought I would be.  In some aspects, I have obtained the freedom that I so admired as a child, but at the same time, am limited as well.  Because with adulthood there are responsibilities and obligations to deal with whereas a child you didn’t have to worry about any of that.  As Nigel Cole once said:

“…I think it’s tougher to be in your 20s because you’re expected to be a grownup and expected to earn your own living and be successful and I think you feel like a kid still.”

You would think that “who-am-I-phase” in your life would just end after your teenage years, but that isn’t necessarily true.  I’ve learned that I will be spending my entire life trying to find the answer to that question as so many wise individuals before me have said.  I thought that by now I would know what I want and have a blue-print of my life, but it’s actually the opposite — I have so many wants’ and have no idea of where I’m headed.

It seems as if we’re all trying to appear put-together when in reality we’re all just making it up as we go.  You know that saying, “fake it till you make it”?  It applies here because no one ever knows what they’re doing as long as they’re doing something and that something is moving forward.  At the end of the day, you can only hope for the best, and trust that everything will be okay.

It’s funny how life works isn’t it?  As a child, you want to be a grown-up but when you’re finally a grown-up, you’d wished you were that 10-year-old self again.  At this moment, I feel like a child stuck inside an adult body.

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#MotivationMonday : Another Year, Another Letter

December 28, 2015

Sick of making resolutions that never get fulfilled?  I sure never followed through on my workout plan!  Instead of making a list of things to check off, my best friend and I started exchanging letters to each other at the end of the year.  We never read what each other wrote, but handed it off to one another for safekeeping.  Until the new year comes around, we would unseal our letters and reflect on thoughts that we once had before.  Unfortunately, the exchanging of letters never caught on, but that didn’t stop me from writing letters to myself.

These letters are not a list of “to dos” that simply gets checked off  — they are long-term goals that I hope to continue or implement into my daily life.  It’s a way for me to strive to be a better person (or a better me).  They are also a representation of how far I’ve come!

Below you can see what I’ve consistently concealed in my letters:

 

  • Go after your dream.  I have a simple dream really, and it’s to get that dream job.  It has definitely been very discouraging during the past few months, receiving one rejection after another, but I’m not the type to give up so easily.  So, I encourage all of you to find your passion, work at it and to never give up!
  • Know your worth.  There’s a saying, “If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will?”  There are going to be plenty of people who will discourage you, lower your self-esteem and push you down.  Keep in mind that you are the only “you” in this world, and no one can take your place.  It is your job to fight for yourself because no one else will.
  • Who cares what they think.  At the end of the day, what matters most is what you think of yourself.  Trust your instincts, do what you believe is right and live the life you aspire to live.  As stubborn as this may sound, this is your life and you only get one chance to live it.
  • Hold onto the good people in your life.  There’s a few people I can name on the top of my head who have proven from time to time that they got my back.  If you ever find those kind of people who would be there for you in both your successes as well as your darkest hour, hold onto them — they are the ones who you can actually count on.
  • Change your attitude.  You’ll learn that what constitutes a “good” day from a “bad” day is partially due to your attitude.  The secret to finding happiness is you — you can decide to be happy by waking up every morning with a smile or waking up every morning wishing the day was over before it even started.

This past year has taught me many things, including patience.  My family is not known to have it, I can say we all got it from our grandfather.  Our low patience is what gets us easily frustrated and aggravated with ourselves and others, and from the trials I’ve been put through this past year, I can definitely say I’ve been tested.  Even though I haven’t reached my goal just yet, I know I am slowly making strides.  Right now, I’m just going to keep putting myself out there, and trust in the timing.  Because as Yoda says, “Patience you must have!”  (A little Star Wars reference for all the fans out there).

With hard work and patience, I’m going to continue to work on myself each and every day. So, if you want to move on from making the traditional list of New Year’s Resolutions, try out what I’ve been doing here!  There’s a sense of romanticism about opening a letter that was written over a year ago.

Here’s to another year, another letter!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

Image via Elite Daily

#WisdomWednesday : Defining Your Own Success

October 21, 2015

In a call-to-action, Julianne Hough discussed her journey in defining the word success.  As confirmed in the dictionary, success is defined as the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.  Even though I am appalled by the definition, I couldn’t help but remember a time when I agreed with the folks behind Webster’s Dictionary.

When I was growing up, my idea of success would begin when I receive that college degree.  Waiting for that big day to come, I can still remember what I imagined my graduation to be like — I’d be wearing a big smile on my face, laughing along with my friends as we throw our caps in the air.  When the day finally came, I sat at my seat conflicted as the dean spoke of our achievements.  At that time, I was secured with a full-time position and was in the midst of moving out.  You’d think I’d be happy with all that I’ve “achieved” like graduating and all, but I wasn’t.

I ended up leaving what I thought was going to be my next chapter.  But, instead of feeling relieved, I felt just as unhappy as I was before.  Well, what’s the problem then?  Because success and happiness goes hand-in-hand, I eventually realized that the problem was me.  The problem is that I wasn’t happy with myself.  With this revelation, I know now that no one and nothing is responsible for my success and happiness because only I can create that for myself. Like Julianne says:
 

“We get to create our own success.  Success is about being happy with yourself and doing what you love and being surrounded by amazing people.”

So, what is success?  For me, success is about being the best that I can be because that’s all that I can ask of myself.

This topic is so abstract and complex that I hope you somehow figured out what I’m trying to say.  Trust me, I got lost in here a few times — I’m still lost to be honest…Regardless, it is your turn to share your definition of success.  The word can be interpreted in so many different ways, and that’s okay!

Visit juliannehough.com to get a further reading!  Also, please sign the petition at Strayer University to change the definition!

 

XOXO,

– Lori