Summer Diaries 2: Moving, Long Talks, and Reading for Fun

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We are already halfway through 2017! I have finished the first batch of summer classes, and although final projects and exams were quite overwhelming, I have been trying to remind myself that tests and school are not the only things in life. The weather has been pretty nice these days, but I can’t decide which is better: a super sunny day that makes me sweat like a waterfall or rainy weather that literally feels like a waterfall.

I spent the first several weeks of class living with my younger sister Lisa. Not only was she a tremendous help when I was in the process of moving out of my apartment that I had lived in for over two years, she really supported me emotionally through all the changes and the tough times I was having recently. Being just two years apart, I feel like she has been kind of like my best friend. Yes, we fight nonstop, especially when we are physically together. But we spend way more time laughing at stupid things and having each other’s back. That’s just how siblings work, right?

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Lisa and me in our kindergarten years, cheesing with Grandma at a resort back in Korea. I remember those dresses were custom-made to match.

 

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Summer Diaries 1: Graduation Week!

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I’ve always strived to be good – to ace that test, run the race, to find the answer. But I had never really thought about my life as a whole. Who am I, and where am I going?

In May 2017, I was officially finished with my undergraduate education! I was especially excited to have my family here to celebrate this joyous occasion with me. But having my parents and my sister stay in my measly midtown apartment wasn’t so easy. ‘This week was supposed to be about me’, I thought. I had successfully completed four painstakingly arduous years of college education away from home, and now it was time to honor that. But as the week went by, I was starting become tired down by the constant need to satisfy my parents’ jetlagged, awkwardly-timed hunger, both for food and visiting attractions in New York City. On top of that, I was in the process of moving out of my apartment, so I couldn’t even find where anything was amongst the storm that was the disarray of suitcases and clothes. Disoriented and stressed out from having to play the tour guide… There I was, kindling a love-hate relationship with my family all inside my own head.

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The night before my all-university commencement day, I suddenly realized that this week wasn’t about celebrating my achievements. In fact, this was all thanks to my mom and dad. They had poured their support and resources into my education and to helping me study what I wanted to pursue in life. I had been so preoccupied with getting the attention that I did not even deserve that I’d totally been ignorant of how thankful I should be for my parents. Truthfully, sometimes it’s the people who are the closest and most precious to you that you find the hardest to be grateful for.

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February Catch-Up

Hello! It’s been about a month since I last blogged. Every time I go on a mini hiatus like this one, it means that I’ve just been crazy busy either too caught up in work/school. But I always make sure to try and document daily moments as best as I can. Here are some highlights from February that I want to share with you:

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This month, I went to a retreat with my church family. I also happen to be on the planning team, so the whole process of coming up with the schedule and the recreational events was quite a challenge. But with the grace of God, we were able to pull off a great afternoon filled with fun and meaningful activities! We stayed at a Christian Academy, with all the girls in cozy little bunk beds (although I probably got around six hours of sleep over these two days). But most importantly, the seminars were quite eye-opening, and they really made me think about what kind of Christian I want to be.

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With February also came Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend and I spent the day with a nice dinner and a movie – all with flowers and a fluffy teddy bear 🙂 I gifted him a box of handmade chocolates.

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One night, we were just having dinner in Koreatown – and as I was walking out of the restaurant, I saw Claire Marshall, one of my favorite Youtube beauty bloggers! She had flown from LA for New York Fashion Week, and it just felt so surreal to see her in real life. I felt really nervous about approaching her because it wasn’t a meet & greet or anything, just me literally walking up to her. But she was incredibly nice and cool about taking a picture by stepping outside of the restaurant as well.

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(Still can’t believe this happened.)

I told myself that I would continue to try new things and challenge myself in 2017, and I think this next item definitely falls in that category. I signed up for a week’s worth of aerial yoga classes this month, and I really liked it! I was actually really scared that I would fall off the silk and embarrass myself, but like any other yoga class, everyone was very considerate and the instructors were very encouraging. The one thing I like about yoga classes is that you can always take the class at your own pace and do what makes your body happy. After just a week, I can already tell that these classes really strengthen my muscles – I am strongly considering going back! Plus, who doesn’t like swinging on a floating hammock?

I’m still walking to and back from school, but with preparing for the CPA exams and all, I feel like I haven’t been living on the healthiest diet & exercise schedule. I’m really hoping to get in shape before spring break. I should probably start drinking more water (since I drink A LOT of coffee as well) and really work on developing those toned muscles.

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That wraps up my February catch-up, and I leave you with the unbelievable fact that we only have two days til March. Time really flies…

10 Things that Always Make Me Feel Good

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Internships and hectic travel schedules might take up the majority of our summers, but there’s still time to sit down and reflect on the things that make you happy. Especially because there are some days where the worst possible things that could happen end up happening. (Not gonna lie, I spilled water on my Macbook and got my bathroom lock jammed from the outside today.) Sooo, to make myself feel better, I wanted to share with you a few things that make me happy.

1. Anything GHIBLI. I could watch and rewatch all the films produced by Ghibli studios, with my top favorites being Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Castle in the Sky. The best thing about these beautiful animation films is that they have amazing soundtracks. Music box? jazz? those melodies always get to me.

2. Showering in the middle of the day. To me, morning and night showers always seem very routine and often rushed and sleepy. But when I have the time to relax and take a nice, long mid-day shower, I can blast whatever music I want and enjoy the warm water and the floral scent of soap (fully conscious HAHA), and I love the fact that when i come out of the shower, the sun is still bright and shining outside.

3. Taking a walk through the city with my earphones in. Throwback to those elementary school days when my sister and I sang along to the soundtrack of Barbie as Princess and the Pauper, pretending to me inside a music video. I might not openly admit to still doing this, but I do love feeding my ears music while walking through the streets of Manhattan. Bonus points if the song on shuffle perfectly matches your surroundings/mood.

4. Dessert. For those of you who have a sweet tooth like me, you know how good it feels to have a delicious treat waiting for you to top off a good meal. Especially with the plethora of dessert venues all over NYC, I get so excited thinking about dessert even before I start eating my main course.

5. Shopping. There is nothing a little retail therapy cannot solve. It doesn’t even have to be anything extravagant – it can be a small treat to yourself. For me, it’s a little something at the cosmetics section, or if I’m feeling it, a pair of nice shoes.

6. Taking off my bra. This may be a little TMI, but taking off my bra after a long day is such a liberating sensation. Body, be free!

7. Waiting to tell someone good news. Hearing good news is a fantastic feeling to begin with, and when you can share it with someone the joy is multiplied a thousandfold.

8. Eggs. Are not just for breakfast. They can go with anything and everything and completes any meal with a boost of protein. Aside from the brunch scene (#yolkporn #eggsbenedict), I like to eat my eggs scrambled with lots of cheese, in a framble kind of way. In fact, they are kind of a comfort food for me, competing in the top 5 along with chips and dip, anything deep-fried, and sushi.

9. Good weather. My definition of perfect weather is a nice, breezy weather in the 70’s with some sunlight bright enough to warm my soul but gentle enough not to burn off my skin. Sadly this applies only to about three or four days out of 365 in New York, but when it does I just love to walk outside and bask in that sunshine.

10. Compiling this list. Just sitting down and thinking about all the things that make you happy can make your life so much better. It reminds me that I have so many things to be grateful for, and it gives me an opportunity to perhaps take action and express that gratitude.