My Trip to China: Huangshan Part 1

via Daily Prompt: Witness

(NOTE: Please do not take any photos- they are all mine. Thanks!)

My family and I had to take a really long ride (like 9 hours?) from Shanghai to Huangshan. Unfortunately, it was the rainy season, so we got caught in the rain with only two rain jackets. Luckily we avoided some of the rain under this mushroom stone structure. We couldn’t go anywhere with a storm more than a 1000km above the ground.

The peaks were dizzying but the day was so beautiful.

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Yes, Sucking is Frustrating

I’m sure it happens to everyone. You step out of your comfort zone (maybe you felt adventurous or someone forced you) and then when first start, it’s like “ugh, I hate myself” and “why can’t I get this right?”

I started debating last year. Yes, I was scared, but I knew it would help with my public speaking. My first speech was the most awkward thing ever. It was terrible- lots of blushing and sweating and stuttering and looking down at my paper. I really wanted to quit- I was embarrassing myself in front of others who knew what they were doing.

But I didn’t quit. The more I spoke and practised, the better I got. You get used to it and progress slowly creeps up on you. The fear of speaking slowly faded away. I learned there really was nothing to be scared of. Your audience isn’t there to mock you and laugh at you. They’re just curious and attentive about what you have to say.

It’s okay to suck for a while. It’s expected and normal. I learned to accept it; everyone goes through the same phase. I know you do too. With a little (err.. I mean A LOT of) experience and practice, you’ll get better. I promise.

Our Tiny Existence

via Daily Prompt: Miniature

We are tiny, but we don’t think it when we are rushing around with jobs to go to, bills to pay, and other errands to do.

Just stop for a moment. Have you ever thought about what’s beyond our Earth, our solar system, our universe…our “huge” problems?  We are surrounded by a vast mystery.

Let me give you a better picture of how tiny we really are.

earth

Image Source: NASA

 

That’s us!

compare to sun

Image Source: Relfe.com

And here’s our blue planet compared to the Sun.

other stars

Image Source: Co-intelligence.org

Ha! And you tough the Sun was big?

antares-etc

Image Source: Co-intelligence.org

But guess what’s bigger? This is Antares, the 15th brightest star, and 1000 light years away. And how far away is that? The distance light travels in 1000 years!

But it gets even bigger. Here’s a video from Buzzfeed that makes you wonder “What really is out there?”

WOW! We really are nothing compared to the rest of this world. Doesn’t this make all the little problems in our lives seem small and irrelevant?

We are on this Earth only for so long. Why should we waste any time feeling upset? Why don’t we smile more and laugh more and live more?

Daily Prompt: Learning

via Daily Prompt: Learning

Learning is essential in developing and maintaining a healthy brain, which is important at any age. It helps with your creativity, imagination, memory, and adds interest to your life. It engages with the world. It brings us self-achievement and happiness, especially after a little perseverance. 😉

Below are just a few ideas of great skills you can learn when you’re feeling unproductive. Discover a hobby (other than staring at a screen, watching stupid videos)!

1) A new language *still learning French*
2) Coding *A super important skill to have nowadays! Codecademy is great for this*
3) An instrument *Improves your self-esteem. Learn to play piano or guitar or anything that appeals to you*
4) Photography *To capture the beauty around you*
5) Writing *It’s SOOO important, c’mon, your resume determines everything*
6) A sport *To stay healthy and find a hobby- I like swimming and jogging and I have been getting to yoga…*
7) Cooking *Who doesn’t like food? Ditch your McDonalds and learn to make real food*
8) Organizing *From folding clothes to room design- it helps keep your home (and life) in order*

So stop waiting for time to pass- use it to learn ( it can be fun) !

Eyes of the Ocean

via Daily Prompt: Eyes

Where did the sun go?
And the love? The laughter?
The clear, azure eyes that she said sparkled
like the Mediterranean
in which you could go for a swim?

Blurry eyes.
“Cataracts” says the doctor.
I call them fish eyes.
Blind.
No wonder I swam straight into the net.

Forever gone was the big, blue ocean
where you could dream.
I was left on the streets
with nothing
but enough oxygen.
Perhaps
I am not a fish.

Eyes are the windows to your soul.
Then is my soul coconut jelly?
Wasn’t it the Mediterranean not too long ago?
Which sparkled?
And waves gently lapped at you
as you swam?

 

The Essence of a Meal

Daily prompt: Feast

Mmmm… Who doesn’t like the idea of sitting down to a big, delicious feast? We all welcome the idea of gouging on that crispy roast chicken or chocolate cake. Scrumptious food- perhaps even those delicate plates and prettily folded napkins- is what we think a fancy meal is about.

We hardly think about what it means to sit down and enjoy our food. We stuff ourselves silly and then leave. Or maybe we weren’t even eating in the dining room in the first place.

What is the essence of a meal? Is it the excitement leading up to it? The gorging of food? Or is it the blissful feeling of fullness and picking your teeth afterwards for meaty bits?

It’s the people. The very people you sit down to eat with. Together, you eat and talk and bond and laugh.

Many people often don’t eat together with their family. Maybe it’s takeout in front of the TV, eating out late because of a job, pizza at a friend’s  house, or just eating by yourself in your room. Just 10 or 15 minutes of quality conversation during a meal is important. If you think about it, the whole family usually doesn’t spend much time together. Mom’s doing dishes, dad’s watching TV, the kids are playing or doing homework upstairs. Family time is important and that makes mealtimes together important.

Meals are a chance to catch up with each other, relax, maybe teach better eating habits, and ultimately lead to healthier relationships. Dinner doesn’t have to be the fanciest meal; it can be super simple. It’s not too much about what you’re eating.

If you eat dinner together everyday, for say, 20 minutes, multiply that by 365 and you’ll be adding 121 hours and 40 minutes more to the total time spent with your family in a year. It’ll be even greater if you eat lunch together on the weekends. So today, be sure to ask your loved ones about their day while you’re dissecting that chicken leg.

Nightmare

Daily prompt: Nightmare

When I was little, I used to be terrified of falling asleep. I had the worse case of nightmares ranging from horrifying operations to kidnappings and murders. I dreaded nighttime and went to bed at the latest possible time.

The worst ones were about people close to me dying. Death scared me. It still does.

Sometimes it was the same dream every night. It was of surgeries; I hated them. It became so bad that it mocked me even in broad daylight. I couldn’t go anywhere near the meat section in supermarkets- the posters showing the different pork cuts were human body parts. Tables reminded me of operation beds. Flickering lights assembled surgical lighting.

At night, I sometimes woke up screaming and crying. My mom had to wake up in the middle of the night many times to comfort me.

I talked to my parents about it. Death was a mysterious and dreadful topic. I remember them saying how everything was alright, that death was just a part of nature, and it was only in my head.

Slowly, the nightmares got better. Maybe it was just a phase. Maybe I just became less creative. I like to think them as the fears I didn’t know I had. And I’m happy to say I was strong enough to face them.