Yes to Progress

Lesson I’ve learned over the course of a couple of weeks or so – turn every negative into a positive. Incident #1(-): I got a cold sore breakout three days after my trip to Las Vegas

(+): I need to take care of myself better and apply lip balm with actual SPF

Incident #2(-) someone I thought I admired and could get along with ended up being the exact opposite

(+): Hardship is not a permanent situation and encountering bad people is just all part of the whole process.

Incident #3 – (-) It rained pretty hard as my friends and I drove to San Bernardino for DadaLand

(+) I learned how to ignore the fact that I was in an ugly yellow plastic bag and instead focus on the music and of course, dance in the rain

Within the month of June – July, I’ve lost weight, gained it back, and then lost it again. Sometimes, I would go home and I would feel a significant amount of stress. The journey to building my empire has been anything but easy and sure enough, I’ve spent a few nights imagining how my life would be had I walked away from it all.

It's always easier, am I right? To run away and not have to deal with the situation entirely. Though the thought have crossed my mind, at the end of the day, I'm not a quitter. The road, as uninviting and rough as it is, enables me to toughen it out and work even harder. It's hard and I completely get it. When the expectation and vision that we have for our future doesn't align with our reality, we can get a little impatient. It wasn't until I took a few steps back and breathed did I finally cut myself some slack.

I hope you understand that I've been struggling and although I complain every so often, I've never been hungrier for progress. However, progress (like many things in life) takes perseverance and time. So I hope you take some time today to press pause, reflect on your current situation, and know that this journey towards progress is only the beginning.

This is only my beginning.

2014 In A Nutshell

I'm back, guys! And Happy New Year to you all! 2014 has truly been one of the most life-changing years of my entire life. I've loved, lost, gained, and learned. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we? January 

I rang in the year with Emily, Willy, and Jesse. Although we've all been friends for years, this was the first time we ever went to an official rave event together. Also, White Wonderland was where I received my first New Year's Eve kiss in two years from my good friend of six years. Thanks, Jesse!

A couple of days after, I received a phone call from KTLA5 and pretty soon, I went in for an interview. I left the studio with a huge congratulations packet from the company for accepting their prestigious spring internship.

February 

I made my very first national television debut while continuing my work at Lionsgate for their fitness channel on Youtube.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbtHToLo3KM[/embed]

For Valentine's Day, I surprised five of my girl friends with fake roses (because they never die), my best friend with a bouquet of assorted flowers, and a homemade card. I wanted to show them how much I truly appreciate their endless love and support.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7A9hCWzq5A[/embed]

March

This was definitely an exciting month for me. My pledge bro from Stanford escorted me to my very last sorority formal and I got to welcome not one, but two little sisses to the best sisterhood ever. Yay, Deltas!

April

My sorority and I did an entire Beyonce-filled set for the Asian Greek Council Talent show and I got to MC the whole thing! #yonce

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH53BDMm2Q4[/embed]

May

I received a diploma from University of Southern California Annenberg as a Communication major with a specialization in Entertainment. It really was the most important day of my life (thus far) Thank you to all of my beautiful friends for flying, driving, and skipping work that day. I love you guys so much!

Fight On, Trojans!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNpb1rL7GDM[/embed]

June

I went to my 2nd Electric Daisy Carnival with my best friends and celebrated one year with my amazing Stanford big bro. I took an offer for freelancing at ABC7 and even got to do my very first bridesmaid toast ever! (Speaking in Vietnamese is a lot harder than you think!)

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaQzesiHIOU[/embed]

July

I hosted the annual Los Angeles Shorts Film Festival. Next to some of the actors and volunteers, I was the youngest person there.

August

My mother surprised me with a trip back to the Motherland. I got to visit the extended family, see my younger sisters, travel to all different parts of Vietnam, and even find myself a little bit of romance.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMIgUp1MFT4[/embed]

Also, I got to celebrate my 22nd birthday with ALL of my best friends. Thank you for celebrating yet another year with me, guys.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4ZFWaDLH64[/embed]

September

Met my childhood crush, Zac Efron at his private film shoot. I fan-girled so hard.

October

When nights turned into mornings and strangers became friends.

November

USC beat Notre Dame.

This was a very important self-reflection month for me. I decided that I would eat Vegan twice a month from now on out.

December 

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjXGZStBjrY&list=PLCkOlKHuFfUcJKNHbPd-QhwziKtJkB9w8&index=1[/embed]

This year, I wanted to do something different and by that, I mean I ended up celebrating 2014 for three straight days. The first two was spent in San Diego with the most amazing group of people. As for the last day of 2014, I got to be with Danny and my overly-protective little bro, Jeff. No one spoils me more than them.

And although I had to make him wait, our midnight kiss was perfect. Happy 2015!

Overall, I can say that I had a pretty successful year. I met so many people, lost a couple along the way, but I've learned so much from each and every single new experiences. So I wanted to conclude this post by thank you for reading my blog and for giving me your feedbacks/thoughts. I am able to evolved as a person and as a writer because of your support so thank you.

As always, you know I love you. Fight On!

Bucket List - 4 things before 2015

Christmas is officially over, which means that a new year is only a couple of days away. Five, if you want to be exact. Five days to round up a chapter of our lives but more importantly, to end it the right way. Here are a couple of things I would like to do before 2015.

1) Reflect.

As part of the human experience, I've always felt like reflection has become a habitual thing. Every night, before I head off to bed, I would think about my day and what I've done that day. I think about what's wrong and what isn't. I think about the people who are in my life and how they were able to impact my well-being.

Reflections are so important because it gives all of us a chance to look at the bigger picture aka perspectives. It allows us to learn from previous mistakes and experiences. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, a professor of education, psychology and neuroscience at USC said that reflection is an inward focus that impacts the way "we build memories, make meaning and transfer that learning into new contexts."

I use this blog as a tool for me to do so. Why? It's easy, it's free, and it's powerful.

2) Forgive

It's always easy to fixate our minds on what people have done wrong or how they've disappointed us. It's also easy to give those people the cold shoulders or dismiss their presence completely. However, I've learned that the act of forgiveness is not a gift to the oppressor. Instead, it is one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves. We are deserving to sleep with a peaceful mind. By removing those old wounds and growing from them, we'll also be able to become a bigger and better person.

3) Let go

Deborah Reber, author of Chicken Soup, says that letting go is just you realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself. I no longer want to surround myself with a partner or a friend who lacks sensitivity and sensibility. Instead, I am going to make my happiness a priority because at the end of the day, I'm the only person who has to deal with me so I might as well be the best, happiest version of myself.

4) New Year's Eve kiss

It is the one last hurrah between the end of one thing and the beginning of something else. I've been told (and I could be wrong) is that the first person I encounter in a new year—and the nature of this encounter—sets the tone for the rest of the year. Last year, I made a promise to an old friend that I would be his NYE kiss. This year, however, I want it to be with someone special (whoever it may be because honestly, I have no idea at this point). He could be a friend, a crush, or if heaven forbids, a stranger. Worse comes to worse, I'll just pull the closest, most attractive looking, single guy. No biggie. After all, isn't the upcoming year whatever it is that you want it to be?

Hope you all had a wonderful holidays, my friends! Stay safe and stay warm.

XO

A Week's Reflection

"You look beautiful," my friend said as he gave me the biggest most welcoming hug. After all, the last time we saw each other was at his grad school orientation for USC."Then why am I still single?" I jokingly responded as we were trying to hide our excitement. He laughed at my response and then said to me, "They don't know how special you really are." This past week has been a strange one for me. I don't even know how to describe what I'm going through, but a good word for it would be discomfort. I feel uncomfortable in all sorts of manner. I don't feel like myself and I most definitely have not been acting like myself. I spent all day yesterday in bed, recovering from the night before, but I have to say that one of the best decisions I made all week was to go out yesterday night.

I bumped into a lot of old friends and by old, I mean I've known these guys for years. Luckily for us, there was also an open bar and since we are all of legal age, we took advantage of it. By we, I mean me.

The rest of the night was filled with small, fun conversations and obnoxious antics. It was great. I've always love unexpected reunions with people I adore. But every now and then, when no one was watching (or so I thought), I would take out my phone and look to see if there's any new notification. Yep, I was waiting for someone. I shouldn't have, but I waited for a response anyway. Then all of a sudden, in the midst of a very chaotic crowd, I felt that uneasy, tingling feeling again. The feeling of discomfort. There I was surrounded by an incredible group of people and the only thing I could think about was 'When is he going to text me back?'

Okay, woah woah. Let's back track it a little. Since when did I allow myself to start caring so much? Why should it even matter? I could not stand it anymore so I grabbed a bunch of small ice cubes and started to eat them---wishing that it'll keep me distracted for just a while longer. Granted, the heavy drinks finally kicked in (I'm telling you...when Khanh drinks, she really drinks) and the rest of the night became a big fat blur, kind of.

This morning, with a clearer or should I say more sober state of mind, I started to think about this feeling of uneasiness and why it has occupied so much of my internal thoughts. I shook my head. 'Khanh, you're ridiculous.' I, a firm believer of all things self-love, have unknowingly stopped executing the one thing I believed in. I stopped loving myself.

I haven't felt beautiful in a very long time, but that's because I was looking and turning to all the wrong people. I wanted validation from those who knew very little about me. They don't know my interests, my hobbies, my values, etc. The worst part about all of this realization was that I have let myself down.

After awhile, I started to think about my old friend, his words, and how genuinely warm his expression was when he told me I looked beautiful. Now I know I may not have been feeling all that great this past week, but today is a new day and I'm all for a fresh start. Time to start giving my soul, mind, and body more lovin. We are all deserving of at least that much.