Closing Time


It saddens me to do this, but I finally decided to let go of Xanga… and continue blogging on WordPress. I have been extremely loyal and this has been a great source of outlet, but I think it’s time to upgrade and move on. Xanga is just falling behind every blogging site and I have some catching up to do. But who knows, I may be back someday again :)

Find me below!

https://dreamlessnightzzz.wordpress.com

Peace out.

R.Kiu

Self-Conscious


I changed my blog layout (again) to something more colourful and less plain, and after seeing the effect of it, I felt like writing another post. So I’m sure a lot people who know me well has heard me saying this, or has noticed this about me. There is something I struggle with, and that is being self-conscious. I know this can either be a good or bad thing, and I guess although I like to “play it safe”, it does get in the way often times when I want to change myself or try something new. I’m not too sure how I became this way because when I was a kid, I was totally carefree. It’s even hard for me to imagine, but I was never shy and I used to dance like nobody is watching. I loved performing and showing off. I was a very confident girl because everywhere I went, no matter who I meet, from immediate to extended families, to family friends.. everyone would say I was a pretty young lady. It was to a point where I knew it myself and I would be disappointed if one of my mom’s friend or distant cousin from out of the town failed to acknowledge my pretty face. Yeeeaaah…arrogant much.. (I think that is also the trigger to my big bully persona, but maybe I’ll talk about that another day).

Everything changed when awkward stage hit. That’s when the nerdy braces came on, the acne appeared all over my forehead and chin and I started to gain some weight. If I wasn’t already self-conscious then, I certainly became so when the people around me started pointing out my ugly traits. My self-esteem dropped and I no longer fought for the spot light. It was a bit traumatizing, to be honest… although I didn’t have it that bad or change that much, to me it still felt like a very dramatic change. From then on, I became super self-conscious and I still am. The hardest thing for me is to improve, especially when it comes to my outer image or things that people can notice. It’s really difficult for me to change how I appear to people, little things like changing hair styles, my clothing style, make-up styles (“what make-up?” you may ask).. I am always too self-conscious to do anything big with myself, even though I am curious in trying new things.

When was the last time I had a new hair cut? Mostly when I go cut my hair, I would tell the hair dresser to “keep the same style, but shorter“. Usually my family members don’t even notice when I cut my hair because it looks the same. But I really don’t enjoy having the same look for years and years, which is exactly the case! I want to do something different, like curl it or cut it short, and even shave it completely. But every time I’m set on doing it, I change my mind and prefer to play it safe. It’s also very hard for me to change my style in what I wear. Although over the years, I have gotten better at accepting things, it’s still a very slow process.This applies to anything I do that makes me stand out from the crowd, like playing a solo on an instrument, or receiving the ball in a sport… I feel like all eyes are on me and certainly when I screw up, which happens a lot, the entire world will see it. And in that sense, I’m slow at improving.

Usually when I really want to wear something new, whether it be styling my hair a certain way, experimenting with make up or clothing, I would do it behind closed doors for awhile until I get comfortable seeing it on myself. Then I would feel confident enough to wear it out in public, and when a friend says to me, “since when do you wear that?”, I would simply reply, “oh, I’ve had this for awhile now; I guess you haven’t seen me in the times I’ve worn it.” Completely the truth! Well all this to say, I feel very insecure on the things I’m not used to doing. In everything I do, I like to prefect it in private so no one can witness my trial and errors. I know it slows me down a lot in life, but it’s something I hope I can overcome….. slowly!

-R.Kiu

The Future


I noticed it’s been some time I haven’t written a real thought-out entry. Last year, I was thinking about my eventual career after my University degree, but I was too confused to figure out what I wanted to say. Tonight, after reading a blog from Anna concerning our decisions for our future, I was inspired again. So I decided to write a reply:

Being a little girl, my vision of what I wanted to pursue has always revolved around one thing: the arts. I remember taking the initiative in asking my mom if I could learn piano at the age of 4. The next thing I knew, I stood aside, looking on as my first piano came rolling through the front door. And that became the seed that sprouted many teenage dreams. I went through phases of wanting to become a celebrity, a songwriter, a singer, an author, a musician and an artist. Believe it or not, I wrote and recorded (on those ghetto tape recorder back in the days lol) several songs. I also used to write short stories and Fanfics online. Of course, I’m very much ashamed of them as I grew into reality. Slowly, my passion for “arts” dropped one by one, and it never did really become a passion, but remained a hobby. I quit piano, my only solid pride, at secondary 4. Having been so close to obtaining my certificate, I think I somewhat regret it to this day. Anyway, I digress….

In elementary school, the one class I detested was Science! It was horrible, I had no interest, I understood nothing, and I cheated off friends to pass my tests. I told myself and my family that I would never become a scientist and I would have nothing to do with biology and medicine (the irony…). I never gave my professional career much thought until Secondary 3, when I was introduced to Anatomy. It was unexpectedly like love at first sight. From there on, I never turned away from this target and just last month, I got my degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology. Well, now what? I still don’t know. Although I really love what I study, I still don’t know where I want to take this life. The only reason I’m applying to Masters is because I still don’t know what I want. And what better thing to do in hesitation than to open more doors? I’ve talked to a lot of people in my field, and unless they aim for Med school or the likes, everyone just doesn’t know what we can do with our undergrad. If we hate research, there aren’t many choices out there for us to make a living off of.

I don’t regret what I’ve chosen, but it makes me wonder why we are forced to commit to one path so early in life. I wonder how many students really know what they want at the age of 16-17, when even at 22, I am still confused. For me, since Secondary 4, we were already given a choice to study Chemistry or Economics, and that would determine what we can enter in Cegep, and that would lead to University. Although it’s never too late to turn around and change fields, many people prefer not to fall behind their peers. I think a lot of students just suck up to what they’re stuck with for the sake of keeping up with the world. Society imposes so much emphasis on salary and profit and the market that everyone is pushed towards that goal. Myself included. I’m slowly learning that everything is a business, and all about gain. Whether it’s a company, hospitals, sports leagues, or even churches.

But I believe that everything turns out fine in the end. One thing will lead to another and with the support of people who care, we’ll survive fine. I worry about my future a lot and sometimes I can’t see how I’m going to step out into the world. I grew up in my comfort zone. In my mind, it’s a big leap to the other side, like a sudden transition. But here’s a quote that I always remind myself of; that it’s not going to be scary if we take it as it comes.

“Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.”


R.Kiu

Opinion Matters


I wish I could say that I don’t care what people think of me. When people assume the wrong things, believe false rumors, or misunderstand me, I often brush it off and say, “whatever, I don’t really care.” To the general public, it’s not a big deal, but when it comes to friends starting to make assumptions and change their view of me, I feel burdened. I try to live a life true to myself, which is simple — do the thing I value, and avoid the things I don’t. But since we live in an intercalated world, it’s about functioning as a group… living to please the people around us. Everyone lives with a certain commitment to their friends and family. It’s never “all about me”, and “having everything my way”.. it’s always about a group of people functioning around a common consensus. And that’s where the grey area of living independently or living to follow comes in. When one person falls out of line, all eyes and mouth start concluding away. It could be small things, but the smallest things turn heavy when you let it bother you all this time. People who truly don’t give a damn about other people’s opinion would never feel the need to explain themselves. I guess I’m not one of them, because the opinion of my friends and family matter to me. They matter so much that sometimes I’m living their envision of me rather than the vision I have for myself. It can be really encouraging and it builds me up, but it can become a false reputation also. I’m learning to break away from that… but I already feel a little pressured. Anyway, let me say this:

I know what I’m doing. You may not agree, but I know what I’m doing. Because when I’m smiling, it doesn’t mean I’m good. When I’m missing, doesn’t mean I’m astray. Just don’t take anyone at face value. Don’t assume and don’t judge. Be neutral to people’s lives when you don’t know their story. C’est tout! :)


-Rkiu

The Conversation


“What are your plans this evening?”
“I’m going to see a movie.”
“With your friends?”
“A friend.”
“Haha…  One friend?”
“Hehehe …..”

…………………* Pause ……………..

“You know, in the future. When you find someone. It’s not about the money or anything.”
“Mm Hmm”
“Nothing else matters, as long as he loves you. That’s a fact and it’s the most important thing; He has to truly love you and treat you well.

“Yes, I know.”

………

I know, grandpa. I think I found him :)

What people talk about before they die


Reading this was very touching to me because I find it very true. It made me think of my loved ones and how much we experienced as a family together. I really miss the family life, and as always, I wish that they were still here. Family is life, and all we know about life is found in our families. I can’t word it better so here it is copy/pasted:

……………………………………………
By Kerry Egan:
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/28/my-faith-what-people-talk-about-before-they-die/?hpt=hp_c1

As a divinity school student, I had just started working as a student chaplain at a cancer hospital when my professor asked me about my work.  I was 26 years old and still learning what a chaplain did.

“I talk to the patients,” I told him.

“You talk to patients?  And tell me, what do people who are sick and dying talk to the student chaplain about?” he asked.

I had never considered the question before.  “Well,” I responded slowly, “Mostly we talk about their families.”

“Do you talk about God?

“Umm, not usually.”

“Or their religion?”

“Not so much.”

“The meaning of their lives?”

“Sometimes.”

“And prayer?  Do you lead them in prayer?  Or ritual?”

“Well,” I hesitated.  “Sometimes.  But not usually, not really.”

I felt derision creeping into the professor’s voice.  “So you just visit people and talk about their families?”

“Well, they talk.  I mostly listen.”

“Huh.”  He leaned back in his chair.

A week later, in the middle of a lecture in this professor’s packed class, he started to tell a story about a student he once met who was a chaplain intern at a hospital.

“And I asked her, ‘What exactly do you do as a chaplain?’  And she replied, ‘Well, I talk to people about their families.’” He paused for effect. “And that was this student’s understanding of  faith!  That was as deep as this person’s spiritual life went!  Talking about other people’s families!”

The students laughed at the shallowness of the silly student.  The professor was on a roll.

“And I thought to myself,” he continued, “that if I was ever sick in the hospital, if I was ever dying, that the last person I would ever want to see is some Harvard Divinity School student chaplain wanting to talk to me about my family.”

My body went numb with shame.  At the time I thought that maybe, if I was a better chaplain, I would know how to talk to people about big spiritual questions.  Maybe if dying people met with a good, experienced chaplain they would talk about God, I thought.

Today, 13 years later, I am a hospice chaplain.  I visit people who are dying in their homes, in hospitals, in nursing homes.   And if you were to ask me the same question – What do people who are sick and dying talk about with the chaplain?  – I, without hesitation or uncertainty, would give you the same answer. Mostly, they talk about their families: about their mothers and fathers, their sons and daughters.

They talk about the love they felt, and the love they gave.  Often they talk about love they did not receive, or the love they did not know how to offer, the love they withheld, or maybe never felt for the ones they should have loved unconditionally.

They talk about how they learned what love is, and what it is not.    And sometimes, when they are actively dying, fluid gurgling in their throats, they reach their hands out to things I cannot see and they call out to their parents:  Mama, Daddy, Mother.

What I did not understand when I was a student then, and what I would explain to that professor now, is that people talk to the chaplain about their families because that is how we talk about God.  That is how we talk about the meaning of our lives.  That is how we talk about the big spiritual questions of human existence.

We don’t live our lives in our heads, in theology and theories.  We live our lives in our families:  the families we are born into, the families we create, the families we make through the people we choose as friends.

This is where we create our lives, this is where we find meaning, this is where our purpose becomes clear.

Family is where we first experience love and where we first give it.  It’s probably the first place we’ve been hurt by someone we love, and hopefully the place we learn that love can overcome even the most painful rejection.

This crucible of love is where we start to ask those big spiritual questions, and ultimately where they end.

I have seen such expressions of love:  A husband gently washing his wife’s face with a cool washcloth, cupping the back of her bald head in his hand to get to the nape of her neck, because she is too weak to lift it from the pillow. A daughter spooning pudding into the mouth of her mother, a woman who has not recognized her for years.

A wife arranging the pillow under the head of her husband’s no-longer-breathing body as she helps the undertaker lift him onto the waiting stretcher.

We don’t learn the meaning of our lives by discussing it.  It’s not to be found in books or lecture halls or even churches or synagogues or mosques.  It’s discovered through these actions of love.

If God is love, and we believe that to be true, then we learn about God when we learn about love. The first, and usually the last, classroom of love is the family.

Sometimes that love is not only imperfect, it seems to be missing entirely.  Monstrous things can happen in families.  Too often, more often than I want to believe possible, patients tell me what it feels like when the person you love beats you or rapes you.  They tell me what it feels like to know that you are utterly unwanted by your parents.  They tell me what it feels like to be the target of someone’s rage.   They tell me what it feels like to know that you abandoned your children, or that your drinking destroyed your family, or that you failed to care for those who needed you.

Even in these cases, I am amazed at the strength of the human soul.  People who did not know love in their families know that they should have been loved.  They somehow know what was missing, and what they deserved as children and adults.

When the love is imperfect, or a family is destructive, something else can be learned:  forgiveness.  The spiritual work of being human is learning how to love and how to forgive.

We don’t have to use words of theology to talk about God; people who are close to death almost never do. We should learn from those who are dying that the best way to teach our children about God is by loving each other wholly and forgiving each other fully – just as each of us longs to be loved and forgiven by our mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.

“Don’t cry because it’s over.
Smile because it happened.”



  Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry. You don’t know how lovely you are.
I had to find you, tell you I need you. Tell you I set you apart.
Tell me your secrets, and ask me your questions. Oh let’s go back to the start.




Nobody said it was easy. It’s such a shame for us to part.
Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard.
Oh, take me back to the start.

2011


The year is fast approaching the end. I must say, it was quite the interesting one. I learned that life doesn’t allow you to drive on its paved road for long. Every now and then, it cracks open a pothole. This year, I guess I’ve hit another one of those big ones. 2011 started off with nothing more to wish for. I entered it with the most wonderful friends of my life. The family time was great, school was going well. There was not much to worry about for once. After all the highs and lows of the past few years, I finally found myself on peaceful grounds.

The new school semester came and went very smoothly, I went on a cruise for the first time, something I have always wanted :) I did research during the summer, my “dream” since high school. I met some new, amazing friends and developed a stronger friendship with others. This was also the year that I really deepened my relationship with my mom. Although we do talk whenever we get a chance (when moods are good), for the last half of this year, I’ve learned to spill out my all. And it really feels great to have someone you trust completely, that knows you better than yourself, share some of your burdens with you. Whether it’s bliss or despair. I’m very thankful for her understanding.

But as life would have it, when  things cannot get any better, it naturally gets worse. When mid-2011 turned the corner, my mind was bombarded with confusing, helpless and frustrating thoughts. I was half devastated and discouraged. It was a very heavy feeling that lasted for many months. It felt like wanting to give up, but there was nothing to give up for. There was nothing more to lose. So the feeling persists until it drains you out and even then, it lingers. There are so many things we have no control over. But it’s also true that our attitude can make the difference. This was not the best year, but in a way it made me a lot stronger. When one door closes, you just have to open another one yourself. You drop yourself down, and eventually you have to pick yourself up. Looking back, I still don’t know how I lasted through the fall semester! In that regards, I’m very proud of myself. Things are still not great, but it’s coming to an end and there’s nothing really to complain about. I’m finally getting some closure on all the uncertainty I was struggling with. The unknown is very scary… when you can’t find the answer, it literally drives you insane.

When you say that life is unfair, it’s also very fair. It gives and takes and when you really open your eyes to your surroundings, most things do balance out. At my lowest of 2011, there was a friend I recently got to know that just brightens up my day. As the cliche goes, he made me laugh when I didn’t even want to smile. There were days when I was so out of mood, but somehow he provided the energy to help me carry on. Tough times bring people together. Whether it’s friends, families, enemies even. It brings out the best in people. No matter how bad things are, there is still something to smile about. This is a message that cannot be reminded and emphasized enough. It’s important to know how to be happy, even when you’re sad. It’s possible. I would say this is what 2011 has enforced in me, and I’m glad.

I can’t wait to say goodbye to this year, haha. I wonder what 2012 has in stores (Graduation… the end of the world?) Well, come what may :)

I hope everyone had a warm Christmas, and wishing y’all a Happy New Year!

– R.Kiu

The Little Things In Life


I’m starting to appreciate more and more the small things of everyday. As a kid, it was all about the excitement of big adventures. Theme parks, slumber parties, trick or treating, Disney world. I would have trouble falling asleep from the sheer anticipation of it. Actually, I still do, hehe. As for dreams, kids tend to dream big. We wanted to be policemen, astronauts, teachers, doctors… all the big labels in society. That’s a great ambition and the world needs that. But as I grow, my dreams and lifestyle are getting more refined. For now, I’m discovering the lesser things.

Although I still love adventures and wild things, I would settle equally for 1 on 1 quality times with different people. One of my favourite things is just to talk. It can be over a cup of coffee, at a park, sitting up all night, under the stars or over fishing. I can be very silent in a group, but I love listening in on conversations. It feels very refreshing to spend time with someone with many hours ahead and talk about anything that comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be intimate. Just catching up, things that have been going on lately or any upcoming plans. It’s amusing how one topic can flow into the next and sooner or later, we forget how we came about a subject. Talking and listening is the best way to connect to a person :) It doesn’t always have to take crazy intense memories to build a bond.

I foresee I will be stuck at home studying for the next few weeks and I miss the good warm days where I could take long, aimless walks. Following the streets of downtown under the sun, and then enjoying an ice cold drink. MMmmhhh!!! Or hiking up mountains and then enjoying the well-deserved view. These things are like food to my soul. As the winter days approaches, I can’t wait to savor a hot chocolate over a fireplace. I’m dreaming now, I have no fireplace.

I guess now, I look forward to Christmas holidays: have big parties, play video games and shop my heart out. But even in the busy times, don’t forget to appreciate the little things on the side of road. The lovely snow (where is the snow???), the Christmas lights, the happy music and the love! Passing out a few dollars here and there for the homeless, wrapping our smiles in with our presents, saying words we haven’t said in awhile. I can’t wait! Giving and receiving. Christmas time is all about the small things. After all, sometimes less is more :) 

For now, back to studying. Good luck on finals everybody! We’re all in the same boat.

– R.Kiu

I couldn’t…


It’s almost 2012 and I’ve been making the same resolution for years. I wanted so badly to donate blood since I turned 18. I see the signs everywhere I go, but could never do it on impulse. I always need sufficient time (lots of it!) to gather courage and I need friends’ support. I attempted 6 months ago but they denied me because I recently went to China. Back then, and I’m not going to lie, I felt so relieved! I came out as if they spared my life. Haha. 

I’ve grown up with 3 fears: spiders, heights and blood. I cannot overcome my fears, I can only face them. Having phobias are annoying because I have no reason to justify it. No, I am not afraid of heights because I might fall. I’m not afraid of spiders because they might bite. And I am not afraid of blood because it may hurt. I just don’t know why. But I learned when it comes to facing fears, it’s pretty much “just do it”. Don’t think, don’t turn back, ignore the urge to want out. I’ve climbed high up before, I’ve held a tarantula; I felt like if I pushed myself, I could finally give blood. And today, I was so close…

Everything went well. I sat on the chair thinking this is it. Until they poked the giant pole that was the needle in my arm… released the pinch in the tube…. and nothing came out. The worse has happened. She adjusted the needle a few times. I was scared stiff. Then the blood started to flow, but barely and very slowly. My arm was becoming numb. Oh gosh, kill me. She called over another nurse and by that time, it created a big bump in my arm. They started to detach the tapes and every time the needle moved, I could feel it in my veins. They suggested to try it on the other arm. That was when fear overwhelmed me. I was shaking, I couldn’t even talk properly. I could no longer suppress it. I didn’t want to go through this process again. I told her I didn’t want to do it anymore.

It sucks because I try very hard to stand by my words. I think it’s very important to do what you say. Everything that comes out is an automatic promise. That’s how I see it. One of my tricks to force myself to do something is to announce it, because then I will have no excuse to back out. It was quite emotional for me because I didn’t know I was so weak. This is definitely one of the few times I’ve backed out on myself. The worst is I see so many girls doing it like a walk in the park and I couldn’t stand the fact that I’m scared. I mean, if they can do it, why can’t I? Is fear a good enough reason? I feel like I wasted everyone’s time and let everyone down. I always thought I could do it. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself and I know it’s a personal choice. But nothing compares to knowing you have a choice to save a life, but decided against it :( I’m embarrassed and ashamed. C’est vraiment dommage. I don’t know how to convince myself to go again. I don’t know if I can do it again. We’ll see… I just took off the bandage… and there is a big bruise. I need a long, long recovery period. lol, yes I am traumatized!!!

– R.Kiu