The difference between my junior year at USC versus my senior year at USC is so drastic, I don't even know where to begin. During my second to last year of college, a majority of my time was spent with my sorority pledge sisters. We ate together, slept together, cried together, traveled together; essentially, we did everything together. In fact, at one point, the situation got so bad with my awful apartmentmates that I ended up sleeping over at my pledge sisters' apartment in downtown LA 3 to 4 nights a week. I never went home on weekends. I barely talked to my mother or visited my grams. The only time I was back in Garden Grove was for Christmas and summer.
Two things that my recklessness costed me: quality time with family and my career was nonexistent.
Things started to change come senior year of college. I took on two internships (one in Hollywood and the other one in Santa Monica), enrolled in five upper division classes, held 3 officer positions in Greek, and etc. As I begin to see momentum with my career and academic pursuits, the relationship I had with my sorority sisters rapidly deteriorated. While I lived with three of them, I probably spoke to only one.
Every morning, I woke up at 4 AM, meditated, read, and got my hair and make-up done. By 7 PM, I would be back from Lionsgate and immediately, I would bike to school and stay in class until dismissal which was 9:30. By 9:45, I was already in bed. On the weekends, however, I manage to drive back home to visit my family as well as pick up my week's worth of food.
Two things that my ambition costed me: quality time with my pledge sisters and my love life was nonexistent.
In summary, no matter how hard I worked to be the gal that 'has it all,' I was essentially losing something (or someone) each and every single time. Coming from a person who has accomplished a great deal of things at 22, I can tell you that these are extremely high opportunity costs that often led me to feeling empty, alone, and confused. At the same time, I felt like I had a purpose...like I was finally going somewhere in life. The adrenaline of reaching one milestone after the next was too good and I couldn't stop. In fact, it was so good, I completely trained myself to continue to tackle on all of my tasks at 100 MPH. Talk to anyone who knows me on a person level and they will tell you that I was crazy. Then again, I'm always crazy.
What I didn't realize at the time, was that my craziness to fulfill my dreams meant that I had to sacrifice more than the average college senior. I turned down dates with quality men. I turned down hangouts with girls who used to occupy every single hour of my time. I turned down Thirstday outings, massive raves, and my little brother's award ceremony.
But things are different now. Following graduation, I've traveled and visited my extended family in Vietnam. I've received invitations to company dinners, networking mixers, concerts, dinners, gym sessions, and I even went on my first date in two years! [https://khanhpduong.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/my-first-date-in-over-2-years/] While I may have lacked a love life in college, the numbers of cute guys I met per week began to skyrocket. It didn't stop there. Suddenly, old friends wanted to catch up with me, new friends wanted to hang out with me, and men, overall, wanted to get to know me.
However, as always, there's a downside to everything.
The cost of me saying 'Yes' to every outing: time.
Despite forming new interpersonal relationships and eating great food with amazing company, I gave up something that was most precious to me. My time. For instance, while the guys that took an interest in me were objectively great guys, I knew right away that there was no potential for anything more. I've always known the man that I would wound up with and unfortunately, none of them felt right. But because I did not want to be impolite and was highly encouraged by my girlfriends to be more open minded, my bias towards courtesy led me to suffer some consequences. Nothing deadly, but consequences nonetheless.
What I should have done from the very beginning was that I should have been completely and utterly honest with those people as a service to them and myself. If I was straightforward about my feelings, or lack thereof, I would have had more time to focus on building my career and life path. More of my time could have been dedicated to exploring new hobbies or taking up pole dancing classes. You see, the luxury of getting all that attention and lust costed me some meaningful memories that could have been made with those I love and care about.
Point is, much like other members of this modern society, I've fallen under the trap of thinking that I could have the perfect balance. Incredible career, supportive peers, awesome boyfriend, hot body, etc. etc. But the truth is this--- I'm still working on finding that balance.
Recently, I've been feeling more pressured than ever before and the thought of losing out on enjoying the present scares the fuck out of me. I don't want to ever suffer from #FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Instead, I want to fully taking advantage of every single moment, doing things I am passionate about with people I love; all while ensuring that my time is distributed wisely, of course.
Afterall, isn't it one of life's biggest gifts?