San Jose

San Jose

I am in Berkeley, CA, and this will be a life-changing summer. It’s my first time living all alone, without knowing anyone (sort of–I have relatives and one friend within an hour away). It’s also my first time in the west coast, and I’ve heard that it’s completely different. It’s been seven days since I arrived here and it’s been amazing being here. Of course, I got the jitters and everything, but I’ve learned that it’s totally normal and that I will get used to it. I want to put out this quote, because I am an exploring existentialist:

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily; not to dare is to lose oneself.

– Soren Kierkegaard

I’m happy  that I made this decision, that I am risking a lot of things, mostly financially, to do this, and not because I don’t want to lose myself but because I believe taking risks is what makes life life. I was watching this film called “Harold and Maude” (1971) last night. It’s been described as an existential movie, and I couldn’t agree more. It has a lot of things to say about the paradoxes of life and the achievement of death. (Yes achievement–because life must end at one point and death signifies that one has lived.) But anyway, going back to risks and change, Maude, who is almost 80, says to Harold, who is still an adolescent,

Consistency is not really a human trait.

We change a lot, is what she is saying. We are not always consistent of our past or of what we are going to be. I myself live in inconsistency. How many times I have taken decisions that are just not me, I can’t count them (I tried to, on my last night in Columbus).

On this note, I bid adieu for now.


It’s a very early Saturday morning. I actually didn’t fall asleep until 4 am last night because I was working from 4pm to 2am. That night didn’t go to waste, however: Right now, I am at the library waiting for someone so I can discuss a research topic I thought of at 3:45 in the morning. Dear goodness. But I have other things that I have to do this morning, so I will do that as I wait. For now, I’m just writing and writing and writing and writing and writing…wasting the morning away for 15 minutes….and writing and writing and writing and writing…because I have to do this…and because I do want to really write, express myself, and improve my writing…oh i probably shouldn’t do a PhD if I can’t even form a good sentence. But there’s time. I have two more years til I graduate and I go waste away my life at a graduate program, maybe in Stanford, or Yale, or Northwestern, or maybe the state up north. JK, I’m not going to waste away my life. Last night I thought of something to blog, but I’m not going to tell you all because that would spoil everything away. Although it is kind of related to what i was saying in my ‘distractions’ entry. so yes. seven more minutes? this kind of writing…the stream-of-consciousness-writing? Haha, I miss this, I miss it when I just write random things and just write what’s on my mind, even if it’s just ‘blablablablablablablablabla’ yeah i’ve actually written it very many times. i really wish i stuck to writing. apparently ‘sticked’ …well…it doesn’t exist…i should have known (facepalm). anyway, i do wish i stuck to writing. i found that when i write i can also express myself quite well in oral communications. and i wish i was sitting at a different spot right now because there’s light literally heating my eye and distracts me and just blinds me. by the way, i will be talking french in the future. not just french topics but topics in french. yes, i will write them in french. but anyway. french fries. my ra told me last year that when he went to france, french people are so slim because of their eating portions. he saw this one guy order a pack of french fries, eating one very slowly, and just threw the fries away after that. yeah. haha. i have actually found satisfaction in just eating little things. european life. yeah, i’m kind of wishing to have a european lifestyle, especially with its minimalist (couldn’t find a better word) approach to things. mainly when it comes to eating. and also dressing. yeah they don’t have a lot of clothing honestly. there is this thing called the french wardrobe, where you only have very few clothes. i’m trying to put away some of my clothes, give them, throw them away, etc. but anyway my 15 minutes is up so bye.

There has been a lot of times I was distracted and I was unaware of it. And sometimes this can last an hour to a few days. Just this weekend I have been contemplating of switching my career path to French–as I said yesterday, I have a lot of space to do a French major, and I can take those to grad school, where I might do a Masters/PhD in French Literature. It’s all plausible. But that, I didn’t know, was a major life decision. It took a few people to make me come to my senses. That I need to go to sleep. I need some rest. This is why we need people, friends, acquaintances even.

But what if I went there? What if I really did quit all of my psychology classes and got a PhD in French and not in Psychology?

Well, I just thought of this yesterday: yes I would be taking the road less traveled, but I would be taking a road I’d more likely to travel to. Robert Frost was not that clear about this. For me, yes, I do love French, I can devote a life studying French literature, yet that’s always it. I’d be good at it (let’s just say, but not with certainty), but I probably would be  a less well-rounded person than I would be. If I quit psychology, it would mean that I would not go back to it. It would mean that I am done with psychology and other things: I’m doing this my way, and I’m doing this the easy way. Has anyone ever thought of this? Doing things the easy way? That’s the main problem with this whole thing. It’s a form of instant gratification!

However, I will be continuing to pursue a knowledge in French language, culture, and literature for the next century or so, maybe even learn another language. We don’t know, we don’t know.

It’s 11:00 pm. And I’m going to write this very carefully, as this is not really a freewrite–more of a resolution, a supposed-to-be carefully-crafted blog entry.

First of all, I am very excited for the end of the school year, the end of what most people call the “sophomore slump.” It’s been a tough year: I have an apartment, I started working in a restaurant, I started working as a research assistant. Having all of these thrown at me once? Well, I don’t know if I could have made it better, but what’s done is done. I think I can only really look forward to the future now.

And speaking of the future. It seems bright for me. This summer, I will be working as a summer intern for a lab at the University of California Berkeley! I submitted my resume and cover letter, had a Skype interview, and voila! I know it’s not magic, but I am terribly excited and nervous at the same time. For the rest of my semester, I will be in the lab more often and be more active with what’s happening research-wise.

And in terms of after summer, I will be collaborating with another research assistant for a project that we will be presenting at an undergraduate symposium (at least that’s the plan!) in the spring. We have not yet decided on what to research about yet, so it is our goal to reach onto that part. After that, I will either be doing a thesis, or continuing the project further and have more participants. We’ll see.

But that’s my two-year plan right now. Oh, and I will be completing a minor–or possibly a double major, just because I have plenty of space in my schedule– in French. Oui, j’aime le langue! And having more rest and sleep and exercise.

So, au revoir! (That actually literally means “until we see each other again.”)


Before 2015 began, I could not think of a resolution, until it dawned on me that I have been working on a (morning) routine for Spring semester.

Here’s what I have so far:

1. 7:00AM-7:15AM
Wake up and Meditate
Recently, with all of the stress coming from school and work, I have been trying to meditate regularly. (Yup, reality hit hard this semester.) First, I’d stay in bed for so-and-so minutes, then meditate by just lying in bed and closing my eyes and using the “Welcoming the Day” meditation from the “Stop, Breathe, and Think” app.

Another thing I’d like to really hit on is to wake up regularly–as in, waking up at the same time every day. I actually did this last spring, but then, summer came.

2. 7:15AM-7:45AM
Shower and Change

3. 7:45AM-10:00 (Except Tuesday/Thursday/Friday)
Review and Read/Gym/Yoga

7:45AM-9:20AM (Tuesday and Thursday)
Review and Read, Coffee

7:45AM-10:00AM (Friday)
Yoga: Yes, I am taking yoga this semester, and hoping to maintain a habit. I might change my schedule to do yoga after meditating after knowing and mastering some of the postures.

4. 10:00AM-10:20AM (Except Tuesday and Thursday)
Designated time for coffee (by scientific research)

5. Classes
10:20-12:30 (MWF)
9:35-12:30 (T/Th)

6. Lunch
12:30- 1:45

7. Research/Studying

8. Dinner
7:30-8:45 (Except Mondays and whenever I work))

9. Free time
’til 10:00

10. Reading

11. Lights off
10:30 PM

What prompted me to do this whole routine thing is that I felt the need for structure, a routine of some sort. Specifically, morning routine. Does anyone ever feel that life is easier when you have your own routine (if you’ve tried to have one)? I do. I would not have to worry about anything to do the following day; I’ll just be wake up, change, then coffee. Anxiety and indecisiveness, two of my most negative traits, do not have to happen so early in the day involving such little things as what to have for breakfast (actually, I have been skipping breakfast since summer, but that’s another story).

Just a week ago, I have found this video about how we identify ourselves with our routines and how those routines, as the description says, “give us as sense of ownership.”

Although doing a morning routine looks easy, it’s not. The times, especially, will be hard to master, since I might be somewhere else sometimes and I might not be able to sleep until midnight, etc. It’s also for this semester, so I’d have to change it, as life changes.

And in this constancy, in this complete indifference to the life and death of each of us, there lies hid, perhaps, a pledge of our eternal salvation, of the unceasing movement of life upon earth, of unceasing progress towards perfection.

The Lady with the Little Dog, Anton Chekhov