Elegance

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I don’t want to be pretty. Pretty is pretty overrated if you ask me. I want to be elegant. For elegance is a refined grace. Dignified propriety. First thing that comes to my mind when the word elegance appears, is a swan. Swans are elegant, appearing to be gliding effortlessly across a body of water. Yet, underneath the surface, are the webbed feet that tirelessly move. And so, when I say that I want to be elegant, I mean it in the terms that I want to be the best that I can in whatever I do. The swan’s movement is a great metaphor for expertise and excellence. The reason why we admire great minds and athletic champions alike is because they make the sublime look easy. Effortless. They do all the hard work in the shadows, then display elegance in the open.

“Elegance is not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered.” – Giorgio Armani

 

– J

via Daily Prompt: Elegance

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My favorite fictional character

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is…..*drumroll* Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games trilogy (or tetralogy for the film series because the producers wanted to bank in more money for making Mockingjay two parts like Harry Potter).

Why? Well here are my top 3 reasons:

  1. Her family is the most important thing to her.thehungergamesThis family value of hers is what drew me into loving the character of Katniss Everdeen in the first place. Yes, I was one of those people who read the books before watching the films. And I will never forget Katniss’ underrated line in the book: “How could I leave Prim, who is the only person in the world I’m certain to love?” Her iconic sacrifice in taking Prim’s spot in the Hunger Games was a catalyst for the entire Hunger Games series. It all starts with Katniss’ love for her younger sister. It’s such a beautiful theme that I think is lacking in many films today. There are many young adult films that revolve around romance, but only a few that primarily focus on family love. And for that, I appreciate Katniss Everdeen even more.
  2. Her personality.KatnissBraidShe is not the typical heroine that’s written out to be this absolute goddess who is this immaculate, perfect person. Instead, she is hard to approach, masculine yet also feminine, sarcastic, and more of a pessimist than an optimist. So at first glance, she does not carry the same like-able traits as many strong female characters. She is catapulted into a dystopian bloodbath and doesn’t have time to play nice. Yet she displays her warm, feminine side through her care for her sister, Rue, Peeta, and the districts in the revolution. Even after the first Hunger Games, when she was deemed a victor, she never changed. She was never manipulated by the Capitol and she still managed to stay true to herself throughout the series.
  3. Her resiliency.102914_HungerGamesMockingjayPart1_KatnissEverdeenI wanted to tear the book apart when I read that there would be another Hunger Games in Catching Fire. Yet, Katniss Everdeen was able to still persist and fight through all the bad cards that she has been dealt with. Especially in Catching Fire, when she had to go back to the horrific games, she was still able to make it out alive. She was much more vulnerable after being traumatized by the first games and also had to undergo another challenge: being forced into a Capitol endorsed love story which made her conflicted with feelings for Peeta. And, it gets even worse in Mockingjay, where Peeta, Katniss’ one true friend during the Hunger Games, is brainwashed into hating Katniss herself. Prim, Katniss’ main reason to persist and survive the Hunger Games, unfortunately dies as a result of the revolution. Katniss, in the end, was able to marry Peeta and have children. She is still able to love Peeta and her children, despite all the horrors she had to face.

And there you have it. Katniss Everdeen is the type of person that I, personally, connect with and I try to channel her whenever I’m working out (to feel like a bada**). Her love for her family is something that I deeply relate with her, and also her ability to stay true for herself is something that I admire and strive to have.

Fun fact: When asked to write about a literary hero/heroine during my AP English Language and Composition class back in 2014…I chose Katniss Everdeen.

 

– J

Degree

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As the degrees plummet

The campus hills look like snow summits

At this time of year

Finals is near

Important for my degree

But soon I will be free

To the warm and radiant California

But only to some degree

As I will return back

To colder degrees

In three weeks

 

– J

via Daily Prompt: Degree

*I realize I haven’t posted in such a while! I will try my best to be more frequent with my postings.

In flight

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First off, I would like to apologize for the lack of activity on my blog. This past week I was involved in an intensive one week course of maritime rules of the road. This week meant lots of late nights, cramming, and monotonous memorization. But I passed and it’s over!

But I am writing this post thousands of feet in the air as we speak. I am headed home! Home is Southern California for me and I am sure that wherever your home is, that there is nothing else like it.

But in this post I want to talk about flying! I may be part of the minority, but I actually enjoy flying, for the most part. I say most part because there are times when flying is not so enjoyable (last minute boarding gate changes, noisy people, flight delays, etc. etc.). Why do I like flying? Well…

  1. “Me time”
  • When I’m on a plane, I am sitting with complete strangers. Sure there may be some small talk, but for the most part, I am able to zone everyone out and just relax. It’s nice to just have some quiet time to yourself without any stress. I always bring my journal and write in it, as a calming activity.
  1. No phone service
  • I actually like the fact that I am disconnected with social media, texting, and emails. Yes, there is wi-fi onboard, but I have never actually used it. With no phone service, I am able to do things that I normally am not engaged in on land. For instance, I get a lot of pages read from a book that I have been meaning to read for a while. I am also able to finally watch that movie I have wanted to watch for the past couple of months. Once again, “me time” is emphasized here.
  1. The window sights
  • I always fly trans-continental U.S. flights due to my home and my school being on opposite coasts. Therefore I get a “free” overhead look of the entire southern half of the country! I am always at awe at how different the terrain/environment is in each state. My personal favorites are Colorado and Utah for their gorgeous canyons and mountains.
  1. The refreshments and snacks
  • I almost always fly with Delta (on some occasions Southwest) and I love their snacks. Biscoff cookies are my absolute favorite. I would die for those cookies at any time, any day. As for drinks, I usually go with Ginger Ale because I never drink it on land.
  1. The destination
  • This section applies mostly for when I am going from college -> home. Whether or not you enjoy flying, I am sure that you want to get to your destination. Always around 2-3 weeks before a flight, I am looking forward to go home. There is nothing that makes me happier than being on a plane and hearing the engines roar as I am brought from ground zero to thousands of feet in the air. Why? Because I will be able to go home with my loved ones. The destination is by far, the top reason why I like flying. And of course, if you’re flying for a vacation, there’s that kind of anticipation and excitement as well.

Final

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The word final scares me.

Final reminds me of the dreaded finals in school where you spend a couple of weeks scrambling to remember information you’ve been learning for the past few months.

Final also reminds me of sports. The last, final race/game/competition. You want to perform your best in the final because more often than not, it’s what matters most.

But the word final, most of all, signifies reality. Everything of value has a final date, a final moment. Eternal is an illusion. Final is real. That is why we mold our lives so that when we reach the final date, moment, time…we are at peace. We strive to be alive. We strive to be final.

– J

via Daily Prompt: Final

Maze

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Life is a maze.

Mazes are human creations made to challenge our most basic skills: the ability to create a cognitive map of our environment and to be able to navigate this cognitive map.

Now, connecting the concept of a maze and life itself…life is complicated. Life is not a straight line in which we depart at point A and arrive at point B. Life is trial and error, and here are some correlations I have made with mazes and with life:

  1. Wrong turns that lead to dead ends. These actions are frustrating in both mazes and in life. But to be honest, how are we supposed to know the right turns unless we discover the wrong turns? Wrong turns equate to failures in real life. And to be frank, I learn heck of a lot more from my mistakes than from my successes. Failures are not really failures if you are able to learn from it and become a better person than before.
  2. Lost time. Ever spend a whole day at home doing absolutely nothing productive and still feel groggy? I have. Time is a precious, intangible concept that we should all value. While it is nice to not do anything (and by all means we do need some of these days!), doing something of value is much more healthy for us. Just like how in mazes, you do not want to just stand still. Movement (forward or backwards) is trying. We humans derive happiness from little accomplishments. So I challenge you to have a small to-do list everyday of things you want to be productive at. Whether that’d be a nice outdoor run, getting groceries, organizing your drawers, or finally working on that art project you ignored for weeks…do something.
  3. Be patient. Yes, you may take 14 wrong turns before making the first right turn. Or you may attack tasks head-on with very little thought process, which ends up with you being exhausted with no success made. What I always say is, “slow and steady wins the race”. Remember the old fable about the tortoise and the hare? How the hare knew for a fact he would win so he underestimated the tortoise and lost sight of the race. Meanwhile, the tortoise, at a very slow pace, perservered and ended up winning the race. We should all aspire to be like the tortoise. Be thoughtful, precise, and never lose sight of your purpose/goal/aspiration.

– J

via Daily Prompt: Maze

Pink

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I never really did like pink.

I always thought the color was too generic for girls. It was also a very artificial color I thought. I loved being outdoors since I was a young girl, and therefore I was always more of a blue/green person since these colors were abundant in nature.

To me, when I was younger, the color pink reminded me of:

  1. Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape. Not the gum, but the gum that was made into a tape-like roll, in which you can ‘cut’ off the desired length of gum you wanted. I remember always asking my mom to buy me more bubble gum from the liquor store because I loved the fact that I could now play with my candy (by blowing bubbles).
  2. Pepto Bismol. I had the occasional indigestions, and I remember being fed a spoonful of this by my mother. I thought pepto bismol was magic because it always cured my indigestions. Not going to lie, but once, I remember taking pepto bismol even though I was not sick, but because I ended up liking the taste of it.
  3. Barbies. I was such a tomboy when growing up, but one thing I did like that fit the ‘girly’ category was barbies. I just liked the fact that I could customize each barbie doll with different clothes and also make up stories for them.
  4. My sister. She is my polar opposite. Yet some of my best memories include her in it. She is the total opposite of me, so, not to my surprise, her favorite color was pink. When growing up, we were possessive of colors. My sister got everything in pink and I got everything in green or blue. This color coordination made our possessions very easy to distinguish.

What pink means to me now:

  1. Flowers! I love nature and especially the flowers that are bloomed in the spring. Some of my favorite flowers are pink: peonies, lotuses, cherry blossoms…
  2. PINK by Victoria’s Secret. They have the comfiest and cutest garment wear.
  3. Valentine’s Day. I do not have a significant other, nor have I ever, but the color pink is pretty much synonymous with Valentine’s Day.
  4. Lipstick. Pink is such a feminine and sweet color. Pink lipstick is a must-have for all girls.

– J

via Daily Prompt: Pink

Pursue

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So today’s daily post is revolved around the theme “Pursue“.

So I pondered a bit, and realized that I don’t have a definitive end-goal that I am pursuing.

If you’ve read my past post “Lifestyle(s)” (if not that’s totally fine), I mentioned that I am a cadet of one of five service academies in the U.S. Many people often perceive cadets as young mature adults who have a clear-cut, envisioned plan for their future. Some do, definitely. But most, including me, are just in it for the ride and doing the best we can with what we are currently tasked with.

Therefore, I am pursuing to be the best at what I am currently doing. Being both a student and a military member. I want to strive in my academic studies and eventually go to graduate school.

School is and has always been familiar to me. Sure, I despise the late nights where I stay up studying for exams or writing up laboratory reports, but these times remind me of my civilian life in high school. And most of my accomplishments in life came from my achievements in school, be it good exam grades, good papers, good reports, etc. etc.

I am also pursuing to be the best leader possible. I always thought leading was easy because you just told people to do this and that. But I learned that that is not leadership. That’s management. Leadership is not only being able to tell people what to do, but is more of influencing and inspiring. True leaders gain the respect of followers through hard work ethic, compassion, knowledge, and confidence.

– J

via Daily Prompt: Pursue