brb, i’m too busy

May 1, 2016

My mom never calls me because she thinks “I’m too busy.”

It hurts my feelings, but she doesn’t understand how or why it does.

I don’t know what I project, verbally or in my actions, that makes me seem so busy. Yeah, I got shit going on, as I am sure you do, too, but it’s not as if I don’t make time for the important people and things in my life.

There is this whole “busy” culture and/or lifestyle that annoys me.

We’ve been so conditioned to excuse people when we hear, “I am sorry, I’m busy,” when they fail to commit to plans. We brush it off, but that’s not cool. In my opinion, this whole “busy” line is just an excuse to not take any action, especially making time for someone or something.

Simply: it is a fucking excuse.

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Because in the end, if you wanted to make anything happen, whether time to hang out or go to the gym, you do, right?

It bothers me, that people fail to reach out or shoot a text, because we’re all “too busy” for one another. Yet, we have the time to utilize our phones for selfies, snapping mindless videos, and random shit. Why? Tell me you don’t get upset when you text someone, there’s no response, but they just posted on social media?

Trust me, I am not Saint – guilty of this, too. I check myself before I wreck myself in these type of situations though.

Aside from the lack of efforts to sustain any kind of relationship, there is this small thought that comes to my mind…

The feeling of importance – because I am so busy, my workload is superior than yours. Sure, that may or may not be true, but it’s a lack of respect in the bigger picture. Just because I am not launching a business does not mean my work is irrelevant or lack some importance.

It’s belittling.

We shame on the receptionist because all she does is answer phones and make copies, but I am sure there are more dimensions to her role than just fucking answering, “This is Becky speaking, how can I assist you?”

Have you acknowledged that before? Food for thought.

I hope you can connect the dots on how this whole busy culture affects us in how we communicate with one another.

Disclosure: I am understanding, but I am also honest. Like any sane soul, I will only tolerate a certain amount of excuses. After “x” amount, then I’ll interpret it as bullshit, and off you go…disappearing from my life.

 

writing a fantasy

April 26, 2016

My boss asked, “What do you want to do?”

“All I want to do is write,” I responded.

My fatigue for fashion has become transparent amongst my colleagues (and on social media). If this is a shocker to you, then please read the previous posts. 

I know, this constant battle of trying to navigate life is exhausting, and I hate feeling lost…especially in life!

To keep my hopes alive, somehow, I imagined three different “what if’s,” scenarios, or what I called them here “fantasies” because if life was perfect, this is how I’d have it:

‘Fantasy A‘ consists of working a job that supports my essentials and is less demanding, ultimately giving me more headspace and time to write. In Fantasy A, I am a successful columnist – regularly published and earning some monetary goods.

But when I take a closer look at Fantasy A, I ask myself: will I be happy? I don’t know, but I imagined myself not being challenged at my job – and this job would probably be something in admin or customer service/hospitality. Then again, my real job would be writing, right? Ugh.

‘Fantasy B’ is my current path, sorta. But I’d be making a lateral move from PR to editorial/ social, and focus on the audiences that share my similar interest: food, culture, and health and wellness. In other words, do what I do now, but on a content level and towards a different audience. Fantasy B will allow me to flex my writing muscle and work with creating visuals. Would it be a demanding role and take me away from my personal writing? Maybe, but I always make time for it.

‘Fantasy C’ is my quiet, but my deepest desire. The big one of them all! Have thecnnekt launch successfully and become the new avenue for young women to go to for profound, raw, and compelling articles. A series of events will be aligned with the monthly content themes. These events will unite women in major cities who wish to meet like-minded creative, passionate women, and cultivate meaningful relationships. I will write for this along with other contributor writers. This platform will evolve into a functioning business, and along with my partners, we would run our own company while educating, connecting, and inspiring young women. I’ve been working on this quietly. 

Now, that you’ve read through all my wildest fantasies, you can see which element remains the same, and what I really only want to do:

All I want to do is fucking write (for a living). 

post-grad regret

April 7, 2016

It is graduation season, y’all. Meaning the pressure to find a job is on and so real. I am familiar with this.

Our interns have been inquiring about any opened opportunities. And well, while I advise them there are endless opportunities in the Big Apple and being an opinionated woman that I am, I also threw in the whole landing-your-first-job-is-going-to-take-time comment. This conversation made me instantly reflect on my past decisions.

My last college semester was Fall 2012 and all I can think about is securing a full-time job. I was always in a fucking rush. With everything. Maybe that is why I am anxious all the time and when people tell me to “relax,” I do the polar opposite: not relax.

No one advised me the job hunting process would be months until I landed an “okay” job and it will not be my immediate dream job. That is the reality my soon-to-be-graduate-friends. Don’t let that shiny degree paper fool you. Unless you are very fortunate (or worked really, really hard) and you finish school and get your dream job right away, which makes you an exception to the damn rule. Lucky you.

What I wish I did differently was to take time to travel instead. Get lost somewhere.

But then, I was conflicted because with what money? No way my parents were going to fund a trip for me in any way. Yeah, no job equals no money. And we all know: mo’ money, mo’ problems and same goes for no money, mo’ problems. (Too cheesy? Eh, I tried).

Fast forward to now, adult-ish stages, even with a somewhat stable income, I can not find the means to travel due to time – in addition, to all the responsibilities I have now. Work is demanding at times, and I am constantly nervous about calling too much time off.

This is when I often think I should just work low maintenance jobs so I can have the freedom to roam whenever and wherever I want. Ugh, this is a whole topic in itself…

I told myself that when I am older that I will make traveling more of a priority, even if it is within the States. Enrich myself with new sights, people, and of course, food. When friends talk about exploring new countries and speak so excitingly about their past and future adventures, I am here sitting, thinking – I fucking wish I can do that, too.

Guess what? I am older now. So, it’s one of my short-term goals is to save smarter and more, for upcoming travels next year. This is me attempting to make up for loss time in my twenties. Wish me luck!

I made a board on Pintrest about places I’d like to visit in the future – aspirational board. Find it here. 

– C

PS: thank you for all the lovely birthday greetings! I felt so loved and sad at the same time…don’t ask me why. But a week in, 26 looks promising. My boss said it will be a pivotal year. I shall wait and see!

dear new york

March 27, 2016

bkny

This letter may be filled with overused sayings. 

Some say love at first sight is unreal. I once believed this, too, but then I met you. We met in 2008 for less than 24-hours, but I instantly fell in love with you.

I didn’t know when or how, but had a weird feeling we’d meet again. Alas, here we are.

Your energy cannot be duplicated nor can it be described. There are not enough words in the Oxford Dictionary that perfectly justifies how I feel about You. Is that cliche? Quite frankly, yes.

You’ve introduced me to wonderful people who I now called great friends. You also connected me to a community – I’ve never had a community before.

You make me feel alive, and freer than I’ve ever been. I can be my strange self. Crying in public spaces. Talking out loud and dressing foolishly. I never felt judged by you – not once.

You taught me how to go fearlessly into whatever direction I decide to take. You encourage me to continue to be bold and deepen my independence. You affirmed and shaped me into the woman I am today.

For that, I am forever grateful.

But there are days to months at a time, where I utterly despise you.

Often, you make me anxious. I find myself wanting to stop and smell the flowers, but you are constantly on-the-go, and I feel like I need to keep up. I want to continue this relationship, but it can exhausting. I find myself burnt out.

Another reason why I hate you strongly is because you know people who are rude and inconsiderate. People who are constantly “too busy.” My first love, California, knew people who were generally friendly with greetings, and always welcomed smiles. California had different types of friends, that’s all I am saying.

But thanks to you and your friends, I’ve become one of those people who hate people.

Then, there are plenty of times when I think you are extremely inconvenient, with everything. You seem to difficult my life yet I keep running back to you.

You suffocate me in August. You cloak me with your heat and humidity. I find myself wanting to running away from you, even if it is for a weekend, but by Sundays, I am dying to come back to you. You have this powerful, unapologetic magnet that pulls me to you.

Despite the adversities I’ve faced since we’ve met, I choose to look at the great things you have given and shared with me.

I guess you can say I love you, unconditionally.

Love,
A Californian Brooklynite
Chary

0 – 100 mph real quick

March 13, 2016

So, this may sound a little bit strange, but I don’t know how to slow down.

Believe me, I love New York and its addictive energy. It is an energy that I cannot explain and you need to witness yourself. But for a every “good,” there is also a “bad.” Did anyone tell you that the same energy can consume and drain you, too? That gets exhausting maintaining the hustle 24/7.

Time is money. And well, New Yorkers walk pretty fast. Like you, we need to get to places and don’t have time to stop and smell the flowers. Often, we are impatient. Or maybe that is just me.

I recognized that all this rushing and shit has heighten my anxiety levels and well, that is not good for anybody, especially for sanity and health purposes.

February was a hellish month for me, filled with long work hours. I was constantly looking forward to Friday because the weekend awaits. I’ve become those people who waited for Friday on a Monday. And truly, I am one of those who wake up Sunday and Monday with the blues…tumblr_o3m988fRzH1ralhjko1_540

image from here

Lately, I have been practicing to take my time with things and not rush. I am always trying to be efficient. It is just the way I am built, okay?

Usually, I pick up my coffee to-go and jet to my next destination. I never just sit and enjoy my coffee.

I do not know how to do nothing. I know that is grammatically incorrect, but you get the message. On top of that, I feel guilty if I don’t complete a task especially after knowing I have a free weekend to do productive things. I need to be more unapologetic about wanting to indulge in nothingness.

But it does take conscious efforts to slowing down. It’s real – I know I’ve expressed this to my friends and they’ve agreed.

I have to mentally address myself, “Chary, you have no plans tomorrow, why are you rushing to get out of the door? Take your time.”

Typically Saturdays I am up by 9a, get dressed, pick up coffee, and off to gym. 9am is considered sleeping in for me, but the last two weekends I have been waking up a little later and indulge in a slow morning.

Slow mornings is one of my favorite feelings. Especially Sunday mornings, where I try to refrain from moving. 

I have gotten better about my whole new approach, and I find it very satisfying not having to speed walk everywhere out of habit, or rushing to get somewhere when I really don’t have to. If I am not mistaken this is me practicing mindfulness.

I am looking forward to stop and smelling those Spring flowers coming our way. You should, too (:

– C

 

you should move back home

March 10, 2016

Today I woke up feeling sad. As I folded my blanket, I thought – maybe I should move back home. But I asked myself loudly, “What the fuck am I going to do with my life?”

I took a long walk during my break trying to shake off the feeling and called one of my best friends, Mommy.

You’d think after I have created a life for myself here and staying afloat, my Mom would stop the whole move-back-home-nagging-thing.

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She’s just looking out for me because she’s my mom – I totally get it. Or maybe she misses me…But I I understand her message – she wants me to save money rather than paying an arm and a leg for rent. I know her intentions are well, but this subject never ends up resolved or in positive spirits.

It was brought it up again… Asking me why I had to move across the country to do the same work that I could’ve done in LA. How do you explain to your parents that this experience will teach you, build your repertoire, and overall, the quality of life is better? 

How do I translate having a job from a career is different in Cambodian for my parents to understand? I try to find real-life situations and simplify them for her to understand, but I am at lost for words because of the language barrier.

Then it leads to a larger thought: I typically wonder if our parents understand why we do what we do and decide to take the unconventional path. Read: following our passions rather than finding financial security.

Series of questions, and it upsets me because I wish I can find solutions to this so-called problem. I don’t know what results I am exactly looking for…I guess what upsets me is that I wish my mom would give me more credit.

As much as I am stubborn about many things, I do consider my mom’s feedback important and maybe that’s why I get so defensive about this matter. Should we care what our parents think?

I’ll stop with the questions, now.

If you have similar feelings as I am, then you should read a piece written by a good friend, Jayda. She is spot on with every emotion and thought. You can find her blog here.

I have to constantly remind myself that today is one of those days. I’m just having a bad day, not a bad life.

– C

26 in 26

March 3, 2016

It was pure coincidence that today’s entry is twenty-six days before my birthday. It is rather good timing because last year, I wrote a brief reflection about turning twenty-five. I learned that no one has their shit together, and it is totally okay.

Being twenty-five is a strange age because most of the time I feel like an adult, but have childish behavior tendencies. When I tell people my age, some say, “Oh, you are still young. You have time.” Then other times, I get, “Well, you are not that young.”

It is such a confusing stage of adulthood, I think. I remember my argument was – I cannot say I am a post-grad because that was a long time ago, but I don’t quite feel like an adult. So what the fuck am I? Denial at its finest.

We always think we know who we are and what we want – and I’ve been told it becomes fluid as we continue to explore ourselves and age.

But in my last full weeks of being twenty-five, I never have felt more like an adult and grasping my sense of self. It feels damn good to know what you want and go after it – whether it is a dream job, a man, or an apartment. I feel secured and this feeling radiates confidence.

Feeling good, living better.

Love,
Chary

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you need therapy

February 27, 2016

This month I began seeing a therapist.

I often get two reactions when I share this with people:

  1. Good for you!
  2. Wait, why?

Which one are you?

I have to admit, it is very nice to talk to someone, who doesn’t know the ins-and-outs of my daily life. Someone who has the credential, intelligence, and is not judging my right and wrongdoings.

Naturally, I retain a great self-awareness, but lately, I’ve been wanting to deepen that knowledge. There are specific patterns I want to identify growing up that shaped me being the woman I am today. One of my main concerns I want to truly ravel is my personal life.

I wonder if there is a correlation between my parents’ marriage and my dating life. I will spare you the details, but let’s say it was not typical. Period. 

Studies say that our childhood strongly influences our adulthood. It is a no brainer, really.

I think what I am doing is healthy rather that self-destructive. I feel like we all have shit we need to work on to be a better version of ourselves – and not for anyone, but ourself. 

Truthfully, you all know I am quite transparent and I live my life shamelessly, as I encourage all of you to be. Hence, I did not feel the need to keep this new personal exploration under wraps. Also in sharing this bit, a part of me likes to think there are some of you out there who are curious as much as I am, or if you want to deepen that self-connection and/or awareness that you are not alone and there is a solution.

If you are opened to entertain the idea of seeing a complete stranger, but a professional who is willing to get an earful from you then I say go to therapy.

– C

 

style: a refined style

February 21, 2016

Fashion and style have two different entities.

Finding your style is hard. I don’t know about you, but I have struggled over the years and admittedly, compromised myself here-and-there with pieces that did not exactly went well with me. That goes for hairstyles, too. 

Similar to discovering my sense of self, personal style is the same way. I find myself admiring colors, patterns and appreciating rompers, but at the end of the day, I know that it is not my style signature. Plus, rompers make me look fat. You’ll never catch me in a romper.

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I know fashion is bold, fun, and evolves with time, but staying loyal to ourselves is something we don’t consider often. Have you ever taken a second look at your wardrobe and know which pieces you wear in a weekly rotation, often? And why?

While everyone is rocking trends that come and go, mine will forever be classic with very few updated styles and key pieces. Not only since starting my capsule wardrobe has helped me save tremendous money – that I end up splurging on beauty and skincare goods, but it truly has helped me refined my style and work with key pieces. I do get bored of my wardrobe, trust me, but when I attempt to walk into a store, I am easily overwhelmed and nothing is outstanding.

DSC06303 DSC06304 DSC06306While I can go into detail about which pieces I have - I am lying, I rather not. They’re just clothes…

I quickly wanted to share my thoughts and these cute photos I took last week. Obviously, turtle necks and knits are my favorites this season. I have less than 37 pieces to create my Capsule Wardrobe. 

Lighting is best before 11am in my apartment. Cute, right?

Alright, back to writing.

– C

 

i can outgrow a dream, right?

February 19, 2016

Long ago, I have always dreamt of New York Fashion Week.

Working alongside models, creative makeup artists, and seeing the talented designer. The clothes, the people, the crazy. Every little detail.

The rush gets addictive. Like coffee.

I was able to immediately dive into this world right after college. I would have never imagine myself in this field of work, or having the opportunity to walk the concrete grounds that I do now. Does it sound cool to utter: I work in fashion. Yeah, sure. I’ve work hard to gain the credibility that I have.

As New York Fashion Week wrapped up, I would not say I am a seasoned fashion week-er, but I know a thang or two.

I will always have a huge admiration for designers and their carefully thought-out collections, but fashion week makes no sense to me. There is so much money put into a 10-minute runway show or an-hour presentation. You cannot fathom the hard work, and time the teams put into these short-lived shows and presentations.

I am looking and talking about fashion on a larger scale. 

I have only participated in four seasons, including this past season. But as each season approaches, I feel less incline to participate in any parties and go to shows altogether. I find myself more disconnected from this world as seasons fly by. 

Fashion does not excite me as it used to and has caused me to be very anxious where it’s becoming unhealthy mentally. They’re just clothes, I say. 

I am still in my twenties, a decade of blur, uncertainty, and instability, where I still have some time to make moves. I am considerably young, but in my early twenties, I used to think I was meant for fashion. Devils Wears Prada, anyone? But now, after being in the industry for a few years, I am reevaluating my dreams.

Do I want to be in an industry where I do not identify myself amongst these people? Or when a sample goes missing, I am stressed the fuck out, or crying at my desk because I am bombarded by meaningless bullshit?

I’m ready to move on from my childish dream.

– C