#InspireChallengeWeek20

Keyword of this week: travel

Challenge20

0310 Saturday

129Travel

I drove 3 hours to Houston with Serena! A nice friend invited us to his home and we had an authentic Chinese food~ Later, we walked along the lake and the park. To be honest, it is not a great trip at all. The weather is hot, the friend is too nice to get along with, and the trip is too long. We were so exhausted at the end of the day.


0311 Sunday

1302nd Travel

We went to Kountze (Big Thicket Nature Reserve), China, and Beaumont (port near the sea) three cities in Texas, drove up to about 5 hours, and had a big Texas mean in a traditional Texan steakhouse. The friend took cares of us a lot and tried to show the best scene around Houston, and we do feel something which we could only feel in China. For such a long time, in Austin, at UT, we have been exposed to American culture and quite forgotten.. nice to remember:)


0312 Monday

131Sadness

In past three days, I’ve driven up to 9 hours. Today shopping at Target and picking makeup materials, I felt extremely dizzy and barely able to stand straight.

Actually, however, my tiredness comes from mentally not physically. Two days of bad sleep, long driving, and endless travel made me feel I suffer a lot. Used to express emotions poorly, now I have to suppress them. All I want is from my friend a word You suffer. Sorry. I feel terrible for you. She doesn’t know what I feel and I don’t know how to express them. After I told my mom, she shared non-violent communication. I cried. Thank you for the experience and I realize I take care of my mental wellbeing terribly.

However, we’ve finally arrived at San Marcos and so ready for shopping tomorrow! No matter what type, a girl will always get attracted by the idea of shopping – browsing one store by another, comparing prices, trying on and looking self in the mirror, and carrying bags! Lolol


0313 Tuesday

132Shopping

Could you believe that two of us spent half of a day and shopped the entire two outlets in San Marcos?! (She is an autumn skin type while I am a spring one; we bought completely different clothes.) One good thing about it is that I finally disclosure myself to her and showed her my vulnerability. I am not that tough and strong as she thought. During the Houston, I actually felt I suffered a lot while she didn’t know. Glad we finally resolved, understood each other, and tried to take care of each other in a different way.


0314 Wednesday

133Movie

We watched the People Republic of China, an SXSW independent series documentary directed by Hao Wu. It is a story about Chinese young people seek fame, fortune, and connection, but find the same perils and promises online as off. At the last, I cried as I could feel two main characters representing family, fan, and agency’s dream and struggling in the virtual world.

One thing very touching is that Serena, on the way home, kept saying how depressing the movie is. Well, I thought she did not understand the essence and kept explaining, but she suddenly cried out and told me the great responsibility she feels watching those people stupidly chasing the unrealistic dream. She felt a great obligation to be successful, make money, and invest education so people could better. However, she felt so powerless. At that moment, my empathy made me feel her deep sadness and started to cry again. Well, people respond to things differently. Under her cold, rational brain, I could feel the warm, kind heart. I connected with her at that moment.


0315 Thursday

134Interview

I interviewed with two companies today – one technology start-up and one non-profit. Somehow, however, I feel a deep distortion. Both jobs look for an advertising/promotion/design professional to create marketing materials for them. I have a lot of experience and skills which definitely could help them.

However, that’s just the strategical part of me. I definitely enjoy creating and helping businesses grow. Somehow, my intuitive part, however, looks for nourishment. I look forward to opportunities to write, to connect, to empathize, to helping people grow. Somehow I don’t know why I rush to chasing countless opportunities and feel so overwhelmed. Even though this spring break I had a great rest, I am not ready to be back yet. I want to do something just for myself…


0316 Friday

135Awake

Feeling lost and stretched, I remained awake all night. “I feel my emotional part was neglected. I have to exaggerate my 30% professional, strategical part up to 90% and squash my 70% to 10%” I told to Shanon, “I felt so tired. so tired.”

At 2 p.m, I opened my MacBook and randomly searched keywords “how to find yourself.” A blog post “6 Questions to Help You Find Your True Self” popped up. The writer, same as I am, is a marketing professional, gave the following questions:

  1. What do I love absolutely?
  2. What do I consider my greatest accomplishments in life?
  3. What would be my purpose if I knew no one would judge me?
  4. If there were no limits to what I could have or could want in my life, what would that be?
  5. If I had all the money in the world, what would I do?
  6. Who do I admire most?

Not just inspired by answering those questions, I am also inspired by Lisa’s title “re-branding agent.” She has the same passion as I do to promote right images, to tell stories, to help others. I used to think two parts of me, logical and emotional are completely separate. However, either account management consultant my professional dream or life coach my personal dream, I simply want to communicate changes and connect people. They are the same.

After the night, I feel so relieved. I am so awake.

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#WeeklyInspireChallenge 10th Week!

1210 Sunday

Trail of Lights62

 

On a cold Sunday, I went to Austin’s Trail of Lights – UT Night.

What could be special just to see lights? My boyfriend was not interested at all, especially knowing we have to pay the $18 parking fee…

However, he changed his mind after seeing so many beautiful lights and decorations.

What I didn’t realize is that this is actually a family event. Families taking pictures of the light, couples sipping hot cocoa, children getting free Chrismas candies and illustrator books… Everyone is having fun and enjoying a good bonding night.

What about me?

I just stood there and observe people smiling and laughing. This country did a great job to keep holidays as community bonding and family gathering traditions. The love and support protect people from hatred, suffer, and sadness.

I love the night so much.


Monday 1211

Gift63

I am sitting on the bus to school. Plenty empty red seats are shining under the sun and lightening my mood for the day.

Perfect time to reflect the beautiful yesterday.

At the last Mental Health Class, Michelle provided cheese bagel and personalized gifts to thank for spending the semester together (later she shared her love language is service and really valued this year’s cohort)

“Clear, your work in VAV is fantastic…”

“Your presentation is differenet.. has a lot of critical thinking”

 

This is the place that I feel accepted and appreciated.

Sometimes I view depression and anxiety a powerful tool for personal growth. If I didn’t experience depression, I would not go the school’s Counseling and Mental Health Center; if I didn’t go to therapy, I would not have the courage to participate in Mental Health Monologue; if I didn’t sign up for Peer Educator interview, I would not have the chance to be there.

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My problem helps me discover my unique strengths, and remind me to take care of missing life elements – gratitude and self-acceptance.

You will never be satisfied if you just keep moving on. Take a pause, notice the beautiful things around, and remind of your efforts that bring you here.

The gratitude will solidify your strengths and empower love to achieve higher, happier and better.

I received the Gratitude gift from Michelle. And now, I want to pass this Gratitude gift to you. 


1212 Tuesday

Book64

9:00 a.m. I am sitting in Honda store, waiting for the oil change, and writing reflections.

Thoughts come out more smoothly at the next day because my intuition runs so fast at that moment that my brain has a hard time catching on and solidifying them.

It’s the final week so I have nothing but to prepare the upcoming two finals. Last week I bought a Kindle book Gratitude and Trust: Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life by Paul Williams and Tracey Jackson.

They offer me some insightful prompts to reflect and prepare for behavior changes. And I’d like to share with Y’all (My answer to those questions is variety and change):

What makes you unhappy?

What is missing from you?

What did you set our to accomplish that you have abandoned along the way?


1213 Wednesday

Normal

65

I started to savor food – made a green smoothie, baked a large sweet potato, and cooked some spinach and meat.

I started to enjoy nature – At Austin’s autumn, clear blue sky and golden trees set each other beautifully.

A day binge-free, stress-free.

A normal way worth of appreciation.


1214 Thursday

Coco66

I went to watch fantasy film with my friends! Wow when the movie ended, everyone was full of with tears and joy.

Coco

I want to share here(spoiler alert):

The minute that Héctor agreed to take Miguel to his “great great great great grandfather” Ernesto in return for putting Héctor’s picture back in real life, I got the intuition that 95% of chance that Héctor is Miguel’s actual great great great great great grandfather. Otherwise, the whole journey they spent with to inspire each other would be a complete waste of time.

And I am right. Piecing cues to know where the story will go ahead is one of my natural talents.


1215 Friday

StrengthsFinder67

Have you ever heard about Gallup’s StrengthFinder?

Today Rowen shared her management class that professor divided people into different teams based on their different strengths, the talk which reminded me of my strengths tested during sophomore year.

I’m Woo| Futuristic|Empathy|Communication|Activator.

Rowen was surprised that my top 1 strength is Woo because Woo stands for winning others over. She thought Woo is the kind of aggressive and demanding person who wants to compete with others and win.

Well, as I later searched Google, the explanation was different.

You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport.

Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don’t. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection.

Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet — lots of them.

I do want to win, but not to win success but people’s appreciation and popularity The idea behind Woo is to be likable, to entertain, to connect with others instantly and deeply.  I am a natural communicator so let me take public speaking as an example. What makes me stands out is not my logical thinking and substantial knowledge but my lovely smiles and charismatic character.

At last, in China, when people said nice things about me, I would downplay  compliments and replied back “No no no, I am not that good” or “I still have a lot to improve.” If someone appreciated me being Woo in the past,  I would say “Well, Woo made me hard to develop close relationships.”

However, now in the U.S., if someone acknowledges me, I will say thank you and accept compliments. If you appreciate my Woo strength, I would say “I really like being Woo, discover people’s uniqueness, and have a large social network.”

I feel like my inspiring challenge is helping me develop a habit of self-acceptance and self-appreciation. Why do I have to do self-criticism to devastate confidence and chase for perfectionism in the old times?

Also, strengths and weaknesses together shape one’s uniqueness, just like light and dark complement each other. Both are worth celebrating, aren’t they?

What’s your StrengthFinder theme?


1216 Saturday

Failure68

Today I only slept few hours to take the International Trade Final in the morning. Around 12 p.m., I got my test score back – lower than my first midterm.

Devastated, hopeless, angry.

After failing the first midterm, I studied and studied for the second midterm. After failing the second midterm, I prepared and prepared for the optional final. Completely useless! It has nothing to do how much extra time you prepare but whether you pay 200% attention and capture the tiny but “important” details which professor mentioned briefly during the class.

I have to learn to accept the fact. There are always some classes no matter how hard you try that you just cannot master.

The old version of me will continue to indulge in the sad mood and blame others. The new version of me, however, decide to let it go.

I appreciate the failure, which helps me understand my limits as an international student. I also appreciate my efforts of trying. I tried but things don’t work out. There are other more important things waiting for me to do.

 

Halloween Special: Spooky Ted Talks You Must Watch

Happy Halloween! Bored with Trick-or-Treat and eating candies? Feel tired of watching scary movies? Feel empty after learning nothing except ghost hunting? Don’t worry!  Here are some spooky Ted Talks that will add some spice to your Halloween night!

Continue reading Halloween Special: Spooky Ted Talks You Must Watch

#WeeklyInspireChallenge Getting Better

1022 Sunday

Design13

I don’t like drawing, creating portraits, sketch at all, but I do like arrange, play with layouts, different fonts, sizes, colors…

Today after excessive amount of sleep, I immersed myself into Adobe Illustrator and created several link cover for my portfolio – later I could write my reflections as a person who holds only one major but never stops exploring interesting courses to enrich myself, to let my creativity both through words and images unleash (Oh gosh I love this word so much)


1023 Monday

Overthinking14

1)I met with my mental health coordinator and did a mid-semester check-in. She told me some my uniqueness – a thoughtful person.

2)At the night walking to the bus station with Amissa, I told her how much I am jealous of Will’s energy, that sometimes I have to put a mask because I want to influence people.

“But deep inside you still have it, right (the carefree, energetic character)? “

Well, that it occurs to me: do I believe that I have somewhat responsibilities, just like the superheroes given superpower destined to give up their normal lives and save the world?

Haha, I am just THINKING TOO MUCH! I want everyone to be happy. I have to learn to be happy first so that I could share how to do that:) It doesn’t have to always to vulnerable; so many ways I could do this!


1024 Tuesday

Inner Voice15

Please refer to my other post

 

 

 


1025 Wednesday

Marketing Class16

Today’s marketing class is one of the few I paid full attention, throughout the whole 43- minutes class.

Why? Because the professor introduced an interesting idea: it’s the best time as a student to do something. Join a non-profit, advocate for social causes, be crazy…

Because our value is $0 = nothing (or could be probably negative, has to pay loan).

If you straightly go to find a corporate job and earn $30,000, the time you feel that you don’t belong there and want to do something aligns with your passion, there is a $30,000 opportunity cost that you have to give up, not to mention the resources, struggles, financial concerns, even family issues…

But now, you, I, we are students. We have nothing to win, also nothing to lose. Beginning from 0, no matter what we want to add, we always get a positive gain

I feel so excited after hearing that.

The money will eventually, and definitely be an inescapable concept sooner or later for anyone, everyone, but you still have time. You still have the most intangible asset – your time and young age.

Who knows what will happen after a year, ten years?

All I want right now is keeping writing, keeping doing this challenge, and keeping spreading the message I want to share to the world.


1026 Thursday

Comment17

After finishing the post about why I open this blog at midnight, I went straightly to sleep, fulfilled and grateful. This morning I woke up, those likes from people lost – thank everyone for understanding and appreciating. Those mean a lot to me.

What is more inspiring is that I clicked into y’all’s blogs – so many contagious words, so many insightful opinions, and so much touching experience… so many souls, so brave and talented to tell your own stories in your own way. And I am so glad finally joined, to become one of the community.

Math

For more than two hours I have been stuck in this statistic homework problem. No matter how eager I want to crack it, I just, couldn’t. For an Asian, a Chinese with years of crazy math-day-and-night training, I somewhat feel ashamed to tell others that I failed “these easy math…(actually not that easy, and I did past AP Calculus with the full score) .”

It reminded me of days in my high school in my Physics class. My super smart classmate sitting next to me raised her hand every time the teacher asked a question; my mind, however, was a complete blank. The frustration feeling overwhelmed me at that time, just like right now.

But instead of blaming, I learn to accept myself.

Well, I’m just not good at Math, or not interested in it. 

If not coming to U.S, starting speaking a foreign language, and finding my talent in communicating and soft skills, I would probably still question my purpose of life and worth.

There is always a place waiting for me to contribute, probably not what most international students’ dominated STEM majors. I am still not sure what exactly it is, but I will keep the faith.


1023 Friday

Words18


Some conscious Chinese artists and therapist made a video How Harmful Verbal Abuse Bring to Children. They showed people those harmful phrases Chinese parents and teachers said to their kids.

The gif above is “猪脑子 = pig brain in Chinese = moron in English.” I choose this one because it’s not only impactful but also relatable. During my adolescence school years, I  witnessed several respectful teachers scolding students, exactly using this phrase with a dialect.

I’m grateful for that more and more become active and start making changes. Right now the education and family system are still immature in China, but it has been largely improved.

Always watching, always concerning.


1028 Saturday

Volunteer19

It’s UT Family Weekend and I, as a peer educator, volunteered to table with other educators together for CMHC.

Don’t laugh it’s my this semester’s first volunteer work. Also, it’s hard to imagine one whose freshman year volunteering weekly for at least two hours with tons of energy. Somehow, the older I grow, the less interested in “wasting” time on chatting and doing just for social good. And too old to remember the laughing, chatting with people, and thinking nothing else, study, social judgment, internship, food…

I listened to Andrea’s Mexico Thanksgiving holiday with a special pork stew and Mexican-style eggnog drinks, Alec’s little lawyer dream specialized in environmental law… What’s surprising that I became the person living in their ideal life – going back to China, flying to New York for Thanksgiving, and opening a Youtube Channel about my life in U.S…. In the past, I always had a feeling that my experience compared to others, worth nothing. As I recall my past and imagine the future, I forgot the amazing present I am living.

Racquetball

First time played Racquetball with my boyfriend together! I thought it was similar to badminton and tennis; and I am not bad at badminton, one type of sports Chinese students play during school (Chinese students play the same thing as American – basketball, soccer, etc. Sorry we don’t play ping-pong, although we have the best players).

How to say this.. I was not that type. Still fun though!

 

 

Here is The Tearful Antidote For Eating Disorder Recovery

Today is another tearful daily inspiration thought. 792 words, 6 minutes reading.

Once upon a time, there is an emperor cares about nothing except wearing beautiful clothes and dressing up. Two weavers came to the emperor and promised a new suit of most beautiful clothes. However, the clothes are invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as “unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent”.

Finally, a child, only a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”

Sounds familiar? Exactly, it is the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Why do I tell you this story? How’s this story related to my title eating disorder?

Or why Dr. Anita Johnston, the fantastic clinical psychologist shared this story in Christy Harrison’s the Food Psych Podcast, an eating disorder recovery community?

Continue reading Here is The Tearful Antidote For Eating Disorder Recovery