let's make believe
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A blogumentary of my life
as an ordinary girl striving to
live beautifully, dream passionately,
and love completely.
To be me, and only me.


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Anonymous asked: Any youtube channels you recommend for makeup, lifestyle etc?

I don’t really have time to watch YouTube vids lately so the only person I still keep up with is missglamorazzi. She’s great for me because we have the same skin and hair type, and her style is classic, comfortable, and cute! She’s super relatable and bubbly and I just love playing her videos when I’m getting ready in the morning or taking a break from work.

Anonymous asked: quick! what are 5 interesting facts about yourself??

OK! 

1. Jack Black just happens to be in 3 of my favorite movies: Nacho Libre, Kung Fu Panda, and School of Rock
2. I have slept for 22 hours straight before
3. I’ve been eating white parmesan cheezits together with cookies ‘n cream ice cream for the past week
4. The only place in the world where I will sing is in my car when I am absolutely alone
5. I like to make poop jokes

Anonymous asked: where did u get ur watch in the chicago building pic? i love it! u have so much style, chica!!!!!!!

Thanks! My mom got it from Fossil

Todayyyy was a pretty good day! We finally got to have a walk through of our new apartment. One more day of touch ups and cleaning before we can MOVE IN! I’m so, so, so ready to cook my own meals and have my own room. Hallelujah! :’) 
After the apartment walk-through, we drove up north to IKEA to hop around some beds and visualize our future Pinterest-worthy home. Can’t wait to furnish our place together! Someone needs to monitor us and make sure we don’t overspend. :p
To top things off, we also ventured off to get some REAL ramen (albeit dinky portions). I squealed a little when I smelled the broth. Both of us have literally been so heartbroken over the past couple months due to the lack of Asian food options. We have also grown to distrust general recommendations from locals because … how can they possibly know good Asian food when they’ve never had the real deal?! Philly rolls? Teriyaki chicken? No. -_- I’m so glad I have Ash to go on food adventures with me but I’m also slightly disheartened by the knowledge that there’s nothing within 10-15 minutes of where we live…or even 30… sigh. Miami as a whole just doesn’t have the same diversity of food choices as what we’re used to at home. When I go back to California in December, I’m going  to go on a crazy food binge for sure. Come with me if you’re prepared to be grossed out. 
All in all still a day well spent! =) I’ve admittedly been in and out of a constant grumpy state lately due to 1) lack of personal space 2) unpredictable weather 3) Miami traffic/confusing roads 4) Expensive bleh food and 5) people. Hopefully after moving in and finally being able to settle down, my mind and heart will get to reboot for real and I’ll be more pleasant again. 

Todayyyy was a pretty good day! We finally got to have a walk through of our new apartment. One more day of touch ups and cleaning before we can MOVE IN! I’m so, so, so ready to cook my own meals and have my own room. Hallelujah! :’) 

After the apartment walk-through, we drove up north to IKEA to hop around some beds and visualize our future Pinterest-worthy home. Can’t wait to furnish our place together! Someone needs to monitor us and make sure we don’t overspend. :p

To top things off, we also ventured off to get some REAL ramen (albeit dinky portions). I squealed a little when I smelled the broth. Both of us have literally been so heartbroken over the past couple months due to the lack of Asian food options. We have also grown to distrust general recommendations from locals because … how can they possibly know good Asian food when they’ve never had the real deal?! Philly rolls? Teriyaki chicken? No. -_- I’m so glad I have Ash to go on food adventures with me but I’m also slightly disheartened by the knowledge that there’s nothing within 10-15 minutes of where we live…or even 30… sigh. Miami as a whole just doesn’t have the same diversity of food choices as what we’re used to at home. When I go back to California in December, I’m going  to go on a crazy food binge for sure. Come with me if you’re prepared to be grossed out. 

All in all still a day well spent! =) I’ve admittedly been in and out of a constant grumpy state lately due to 1) lack of personal space 2) unpredictable weather 3) Miami traffic/confusing roads 4) Expensive bleh food and 5) people. Hopefully after moving in and finally being able to settle down, my mind and heart will get to reboot for real and I’ll be more pleasant again. 

“Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish, it makes you indestructible.” —Things I’ll teach my children

(Source: humblebackbones, via j-dao)

Everyone, let me officially introduce you to Aisha and Ashley! Ash is my long lost older twin from SoCal and Aisha is simply my sunshine. Ashley is the only person here that truly understands my Asian/California food cravings and we cry over the reality of how hard it’s going to be to get a legit bowl of ramen. Aisha has been making me laugh every single day since the beginning and shows me how to love wholly and unconditionally through all of her actions. Don’t know what I’d do without them — they’re the reason I’m not an absolute hot mess right now.

Ashley and I have been crashing with Aisha for the past week and a half while we wait for our apartment to be ready, and everyday is a freaking slumber party. We agree to disagree on cute boys, unapologetically stuff our faces, and gripe about all of our frustrations. We’ve grown so close that these two feel comfortable enough to belt out “Let It Go” to me while I take care of business in the bathroom (LOL). Tonight we put on clay masks, transformed into beautiful ogres, and took way too many ugly selfies. We’re such a cute little family already. :’) They’re crazy silly and I can’t wait to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of this upcoming chapter with them. 

The past two days have been such a breath of fresh air amidst the mess of assignments, prepping, and miscellaneous money-draining grownup things we’ve been stressing over. FINALLY got to go to the beach, get some greens in my body, and do some reading & light writing. (Someone please tell me where all the healthy and affordable food joints in Miami are hiding. Stat!) 

I’ve come to the realization that homesickness will probably linger for as long as my family and I are in different places, which is neither uplifting nor particularly depressing; it just is. I have a ton of things on my plate as it is so I just need to make sure I’m not making excuses for myself to slack off before I even make it into the classroom. We drove around the campus of my future school the other day and I got chills just thinking about the work I’m about to do here. I’m not here to save the world and I don’t want to be celebrated as a hero. I may have boarded that plane from SFO to FLL two months ago expecting to be a teacher, but the more I continue to plan for my classroom and explore the context of the community I’ll be serving, the more I realize how much I’m going to learn instead. 

Can’t believe it has already been one week since I left Chicago… which also means that I’ve been in MIAMI for a week!! :O

I’ve been meaning to write about my transition into living in Miami but it’s hard to write about the move while I’m still in the throes of transitioning. I don’t have my own place yet and I’ll probably be living out of my luggage for another 2 weeks at most. I haven’t been able to shake feelings of homesickness and I’m quickly realizing that it’ll be a lot more difficult to replicate life in California here in this city than I thought. I’m proving to be a lot stronger than I expected but many insecurities are also resurfacing. 

Hmm, that’s all for now. Brain isn’t working very well

Anonymous asked: if you had to move to any city in your 20's which one would it be?

This is a tough one! Today I’m feeling London or somewhere in New Zealand. :)

I miss home

 

Missing the weekend already! Oh how I’m going to miss Chicago.

I can’t even explain how thankful I am for the people in my life right now. I don’t care if I’m speaking too soon but I’m convinced these are some of the people that I will invite to my wedding in the future. :p 

Highlight of today: one of my students who used to only give me broken-sentence responses wrote a whole 2 paragraphs using evidence from the reading. :’) He acts like he doesn’t care about school but we could all tell how proud he was to show us his work. YES!

I also had a really great talk with a mentor this morning about the work I will be doing in Miami as well as the hardships I need to brace myself for. “It’s not going to be easy. Whatever you experienced this summer is nothing compared to what the classroom will look like at your school this fall.” It’s exciting to think about making Miami my home but it boggles me to figure out HOW. And how will I plant myself within the community of my students? So many things swirling through my head. I’m feeling nauseated — either from excitement, exhaustion, shitty dorm food, or a culmination of the three. Can’t wait to sleep in for 2 days straight after training is over!

Only 4 more days left before I officially move to Miami. Yikes :O

Anonymous asked: I knew you from a distance and you were sort-of a role model. It seemed like you knew exactly what you were doing with your life and you had it all put together. It makes me feel a little bit better that I'm not the only one who isn't a straight shooter and not following the expected path of graduating knowing what I'm doing. My own graduation is coming in a year and the pressure of the job search is beyond overwhelming. Any tips? Especially as I'm a poli sci major trying to into marketing...

Aww, glad I could be some sort of a role model to you. I think I’ve always been good at creating a facade of knowing exactly what I’m doing OR I’m just in good faith that things happen for a reason and that it’s all part of the process to get to my final destination. 

Don’t let preconceptions of your major dictate your career path. That’s my biggest advice to you. My best friend who majored in science is working her butt to pave her own path into marketing, and she’s been killing it in sales despite what other people in her major are expected to do. The good thing is that you know you want to go into marketing. Next, you need to learn what exactly you want to do with marketing — the creative aspect or data digging side. Ask around for help and for connections to people who can show you how to get there as well as the ins and outs of the industry. The thing about humanities majors is that we don’t have directly transferrable “hard” skills. However, our majors teach us to be critical thinkers and great communicators (for the most part…). It might feel hard to compete against business majors for these positions, but in acknowledging that, you need to educate yourself in the field so that you can work on your weaknesses. Nobody can tell you what you’re capable of.

Anonymous asked: what company do you work for now?

I’m a teacher in Miami. 

Anonymous asked: what did you major and minor in? and how was your experience with akpsi? i'm considering it but i'm wondering about the time commitment and any hazing, thanks!

I majored in sociology and minored in psychology and English. Loved AKPsi more for the network than anything else. Met a lot of my closest friends there as well as a few great mentors.

I don’t really know the leadership styles of the people running the fraternity anymore so I can’t tell you what it’s going to be like, but I can guarantee that it’s a significant time commitment — both for pledging and for general active membership. 

I gained some valuable professional skills but I also remember feeling like a lot of it was a colossal waste of time. In hindsight, I was just letting a stupid little fraternity take over my life. My favorite parts of my experience were organizing events, being an alumni coordinator, and mentoring one of the incoming classes before I graduated. You definitely get what you put into it!

G’luck!

Took a different route for my run today and was pleasantly surprised with this view!

Mondays are still not my friend but I’ll be alright. Always a reason to be happy and be better.

I only have 1.5 weeks left with my students here in Chicago and I’m really dreading goodbyes. To be honest, I fell in love with each of their hormonal, misbehaving, foul-mouthed selves from the start. Without that love I would have surely cracked. The way they call me “Ms. Shen” reminds me that I’m actually a teacher and I’ve got really big responsibility with that title. No matter how mad they make me sometimes, I still have to remember to hug them a little tighter everyday.

Today one of my closest friends here reminded me to make sure I share good moments with the people I love at home instead of burdening them with all the problems I’m going through and getting frustrated with them when they don’t quite get it.

It made me realize that my ratio of bad news to good is so disproportionate that my friends and family must think I’m miserable when I’m clearly not! Days are definitely rough but I’ve had so many beautiful moments that overshadow the others, so I just want to make sure I highlight the positive more from now on.


“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.” - Maya Angelou

Overcast adventures in Chicago! Wish we had more time to exploreeee