First Things First

I’m not sure if what I’ve poured all of my hard work and effort into will actually lead me to the path I want to walk in life.

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1/14/18

A walk with my dog at golden hour does wonders to silencing the self-doubt in my mind.

The visibility today is AMAZING.


“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

         -Anaïs Nin


Haters are going to hate and liars will always get caught.


“I know my worth and if you don’t see that then…” TIFF H PREACH

Hakuna Fermata

Orch was more than just an after school commitment.

The band room was more than just a place where we stored our stands, rearranged the chairs, and sat for rehearsal.

The other orch members were more than just people we spent an hour with every day and sang happy birthday to.

I miss the profound sense of acceptance and community and overwhelming feeling of comfort the moment you walked through the doors of the C building. I miss the slam of the locker doors as people shrugged off their worries from tired shoulders and eased out black binders full of music they never bothered to clear out. I miss the crowd of the students who lingered in the halls as they sat around waiting for rehearsal or said goodbye to friends before seventh started. I miss the laughter and the smiles and the drama (esp during musical season HA) and the sense of home away from home. I miss the burdensome move-in/move-out days where we hauled everything that mattered into a space that was about a third of the band room. I miss the frustration after a difficult passage and the rush of dopamine after you finally hit that note in that one measure in that one piece in time for the concert. I miss the anticipation before the first down beat and the ringing finality of the last note after a successful musical run. I miss the cramped orch pit and the sleepless nights during which you didn’t even bother to message the rest of your friends because you knew that they were just as stressed and exhausted as you were. I miss the proud smile of the conductor and the beautiful solos from the concertmaster. I miss stifling laughter when you know that half of your section missed the cue but had no choice but to keep going (not to mention all of the measures that you know that everybody bs-ed their way through). I miss the collab boba runs and the homework cram sessions executed under the dim glow of stand lights. I miss tuning with the rest of the orchestra and trash talking the other sections (haha oops). There’s nothing that can compare to the moment the concertmaster stands and plays that A. I miss the random jam sessions during rehearsal when we played a throwback musical number with an amazing drum part. I miss being a part of the swell of the music, from the crescendo to the diminuendo and through all of the frantic accelerados and the bittersweet adagio. I miss the Exploding Kittens sessions and the friendships that formed within sections. I miss falling asleep in the pit only to be woken up a few seconds before you had to come in. I miss all of the meals we shared together as a family. (That garlic bread was unforgettable.) I miss scribbling notes in the margins of the music and gossiping about the cute boy you got to talk to the other day. I miss having a stand partner who was always there for you through the beautiful, the out of tune, and all of the crap thrown our way.

So that’s why tears stream down your face on the day of graduation and after you finish the last show in a musical season. There is nothing that can replace the home that you were accepted to four years ago and the family that you became a part of. You could care less about leaving your high school behind; after all, it was just an empty shell holding everything that actually mattered. As you slowly pack up your instrument and put the sheet music away one last time, you understand that all good things must come to an end. You just can’t accept it.

Looking back, something as magical as orch seems too good to be true.

1/11/18

I forgot how much fun it is to debate about theoreticals until today (What is truth?)

A Memento with You

1/9/18

  • “Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you’re in love or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.” -Paoloraeli
  • “It was 4am, and we were laughing way too hard, and I felt happy for the first time in a long time.” -Paoloraeli
  • “You don’t need another human being to make your life complete, but let’s be honest. Having your wounds kissed by someone who doesn’t see them as disasters in your soul, but cracks to put their love into, is the most calming thing in this world.”  -Emery Allen

Mimo Chai

February Empathy by Mimi Chao

I love this picture so much.

Good Quotes:

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe

“You can acknowledge and learn from the mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.” – Eckhart Tolle

A good criterion for measuring success in life is the number of people you have made happy. – Robert J. Lumsden

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” – Dalai Lama

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – C.G. Jung

“We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.” – Ray Bradbury

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss

Late Late-Night Thoughts

“Rescuing strangers just because they needed saving” -ES


“Too lazy”

It means you don’t want to put in the effort

or that you don’t even CARE to put in the effort

What you do is in your favor and in your favor only

so I don’t understand why you don’t take the initiative to better yourself


Hear “Piano Man” at an actual piano bar ✓

The Last Day

A few hours before the NYE countdown, I ran into an old friend who asked which college I attended. It was such ironic timing, considering that I had been running from this question for a majority of 2017. I was surprised by how quickly I replied and I knew then that I had grown a lot these past few months. Just yesterday at a reunion, it was interesting knowing that half of the people there knew the truth and half of them didn’t. Only those who care enough will come to know/know already, but then again, I should care less about what everybody thinks in the first place.

At Musing’s End (1/5/18)

A day can be lazy and unproductive but not wasted.

Today I got up early, met up with old friends, and headed to the beach. We rode for miles along the shore and sank into our own thoughts. One of us strayed towards the rocks. She was the solid, realistic one in the group. One of us sat in the sand and watched the waves come forward and recede. He was the one who had the hardest time dealing with change and could only watch as everything unfolded. One of us walked along the shore. She was the one who tired of monotony and couldn’t help but seek the next big thing in life.

We were quiet for a majority of the time. Each of us had our own thoughts and worries. Each of us missed different people. Each of us had our own paths that we intended to walk in life. But today, we stayed on the same trail. We raced past one local business after the other until everything became a blur. Today, we were together, although our minds and our near-future selves couldn’t be further apart.


Funny how sometimes you realize that you are in a place you never would have thought that you would have ended up at with people you never would have imagined you would become this close to

It’s these surreal moments that make you look back and wonder what you did to deserve such amazing things.

These are “the moments that stand alone and never falter.” (WFP)

  • Tea Brick (J+I)
  • ZR in Boston
  • Valley Forge
  • on stage for airband round 2
  • MFD ’17
  • all of the dinner runs during calc meetings
  • APUSH beach fire pit+drive back home
  • 1/5/18
  • biking @ the beach (R+T)
  • chick fil-a (chem)
  • AU talks
  • thai food in the middle of nowhere before FTC
  • Identity LA (SM)
  • Boeing company reception
  • McDonalds after service event
  • Little Tokyo+mall (mochi^2)
  • 85 degrees (Elite)
  • Bon Appetea (Math 5C)

“Second chances are rare”

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