What I think success looks like?

I’ve seen this on Facebook and my bosses’ office. I definitely agree.

I’ve found myself in really sticky situations especially lately but like all other times, I try to turn it around. Lately these last few situations have been a more serious degree. I really enjoy my new job.

Not too long ago, I got laid off from my job. I’ve been working in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry since I graduated from college. I saw that as an opportunity to re-think my goals and choose another career path. That was when I changed gears towards public health and I am currently working for a non-profit.

Also my most recent one was walking away from a promising (once-so-promising) start-up. I’ve been with this group since February and we got ourselves a grant and an accelerator. When the accelerator started, my partner was fighting over silly things like money even though my partner said we should try to avoid fighting over money. The thing was I never fought back over money but my partner kept starting the fires. The reason why I never fought back is because I had no money to really keep in the first place.  I already knew what was coming. When you’re an entrepreneur — expect to be without a paycheck for a while. I’ve heard various answers — it could be months and it could be years. I didn’t mind behind without a check from the start-up. I guess my partner was stressed for putting her eggs in one basket. Also my partner and I had very different visions for our start-up — one driven by commercialism, the other was driven by passion. I left not just the accelerator and told the program to just give my stipend to my partner, but overall I left the start-up. Like I said, I had no money to even take in the first place. There was no point fighting back.

That is the ugly side of being in a start-up. Make sure your partner is a real partner and shares the same vision with you. My partner and I saw things differently and it simply wasn’t working out.

It was really hard for me to leave because I was the spokesperson for the start-up. I attended networking events and everywhere I went, people told me that I seemed extremely passionate about what I was doing. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen the next time I was going to see these people about what happened. But now since the worst is over, if I were to ever bump into any of them again, I’m all right telling them what happened. I am posting on this blog after all.

I was afraid of leaving because I was afraid people would think I’m no longer interested or was not willing to take on the work. Not true, I felt because of what happened, the relationship was going to be so toxic and not salvageable — the easiest thing for me was to walk away. I knew I had other avenues to pursue.

I know these won’t be the last time I’ll encounter difficult situations. My boyfriend tells me that my stand-out quality would be tenacity. I encountered some pretty unfavorable situations but I try to do the best I can with whatever cards I’m given.

Rest in Peace Janet Liang

This morning I heard the news about fellow UCLA alumna, Janet Liang from her Facebook page:


To all of Janet’s loving supporters, It is with a sad and heavy heart that we announce the passing of Janet Liang. Janet has served as an inspiration to all those who knew her. Her big heart and big smile was something that we all cherished. And although she never fulfilled her dream of being a teacher, she has taught us all one very important lesson: love. Despite battling leukemia for 3 years, she has always found it within her to make her situation more than about herself. Her campaign to raise awareness and advocate for bone marrow donors was for the love of her fellow human. She has certainly taught all of us to love one another, and live each day as if it were our last. After bravely fighting cancer for three years, she has finally found her peace. We ask that you provide her family with privacy and respect during this difficult time. Thank you to all of Janet’s supporters. Your outpouring of love and support has always been a constant source of strength for her. Please help to honor her legacy by continuing the fight for leukemia awareness in her memory. Last week she was suppose to get her bone marrow transplant after 2 years of finding a match — it was called the “Second Birthday.” I’m proud to call myself a bone marrow donor — been one since college. Her life will bring more awareness about being a bone marrow donor and how awesome it is to give the gift of life. Rest in peace Janet.

Yay! May is over!

I’m glad I did NaBloPoMo because the daily postings helped me experiment with different topics, memes, and finally finish up some drafts. In the beginning I did follow the theme but along the way the daily postings helped me exercise my creativity muscles beyond talking about how my day went . When I first signed up, I had doubts of successfully completing a month’s worth of daily postings but I did it. But now I feel like maybe I should post a non-365 photo post probably once a week.

Now according to wordpress, the top search engine word people are using to end up in my blog is atmosphere alongside other search engine words people use.

Also I’m happy to go to bed by 10 pm again instead being up at 11 pm still typing up a post (I start my work day at 5 am).

Cliques through adulthood

Yes! Tomorrow is my last day of NaBloPoMo! It’s been a good month of daily blogging that is NOT a 365 day photo project and it made me able to post all things I’ve been meaning to post about and some days I’m so stumped I’m typing up at 11 pm.


So I know throughout the month and pretty much majority of this blog, I’ve been talking about relocation as an adult and a professional and even though it’s nice to have a change of scenery, inside it screams social anxiety. Maybe because growing up, I did not have the best social skills and I’m still learning. It brought me out my inner anthropologist–or is it sociologist? Whichever it is, my head writes field notes. I’ve noticed even as an adult, we still act like high school students from work to a house party–there’s still gossip and peer pressure. Or is high school really a microcosm of the rest of your adult life? Anyways the thing that did surprise me the most so far is cliques in your adulthood.

God, I never thought I’d ever encounter this word again. Before I was always taught to never do the clique thing and don’t exclude people out if they want to get to know you and how cliques retards your growth as a person. And now when I talked about my parents how people just seem so self-segregated in their comfort zones, my parents go “what’s wrong with that?” Now “cliques” has a twisted meaning and I don’t understand how someone can teach me that something is wrong to exclude people who want to be your friend throughout my school career and now tell me it’s kind of all right. I always believed in widening and making various circles of friends to create myself a well rounded person and I’d like to keep it that way. But then again, I am the type of person that does talk to anybody about anything. And even if I don’t know about something, like let’s say about my conversation with my pharmacist friend and his colleague on holistic health–something that I don’t understand too well but I already have an opinion about it, I’d still ask without slamming it down. I’d like to understand more about all these alternatives to conventional medicines and pharmaceuticals and their research behind it. Anyone I’ve talked to who had acupuncture told me it works after going through 5 years old back pain and hey, it’s been around a lot longer than ibuprofen so it has to work. Also I like to share with other people about things I learned in my convos from other people, before people thought it was cool and interesting and they share something they found. Now I can’t seem to hold people’s interest or I get a slammed or that I’m told I’m talking nonsense. Now I’m left with gossip. I hate hate hate gossip and telling stories that aren’t mine. Now I wonder how does one start a conversation?

I always thought this clique thing would be over after I finished school. I never felt like I needed to be part of any special group in high school and in college and if I felt excluded out, to me, it didn’t matter. I’ve got other people who would like me anyways. But why do I think this feeling of being excluded hits harder as an adult/professional? Maybe because now the relationships you make do matter. Being excluded in the work place means an opportunity being shut down from moving up the ladder at work. It doesn’t matter if you’re talented, smart, and good at what you do–if you can’t work with people or people can’t work with you, then those qualities don’t matter. And life is sure lonely–it’s a topic brought up by someone every week.

Here is an excerpt from an article on BellaOnline, Mandel talks about dealing with feelings of exclusion:
Move past the small, limited world of the clique. Meeting new people is energizing and stimulating. Moreover, friendships are forged on many levels fulfilling different needs. They don’t all have to be equally intense. By the same token, newcomers to any group need to be patient, taking things slowly and lightly. Friendships take time to deepen.

It all boils down to cultivating a strong core of self-confidence. Accept who you are. Comparisons to others drain you of personal power, robbing you of a perception of your own uniqueness. Express yourself genuinely and take yourself out of the competition.

Here is how adults can move past feelings of exclusion:

  • Don’t let others have power over you. Realize that even the most popular feel insecure. In fact, you might be excluded because you seem unapproachable – they might feel undermined by you hanging on the sidelines! Reach out; leave your comfort zone to make the first move.
  • Emit positive vibes. People gravitate to positive people. Be the best that you can be and others will be attracted to you.
  • See the basic comedy of manners in the clique. Don’t take them so seriously. Laughter generates endorphins and will help you see other possibilities.
  • Get rid of that air of desperation. If you act like a victim, you will be treated like a victim. Living well is really the best antidote. Act as if and soon you will be feeling much happier and relieved. Have confidence that things will work out in the end.
  • Focus on past successes and what qualities you incorporated to make them a success. Transfer these qualities to other areas of your life- like making new friends.
  • Keep growing. Get out and learn new things and visit new places. If you have other sincere friends in your life, who cares about one or two less. Focus on who and what you have- not what you are missing.
  • Get involved at your child’s school: class mother, committees, school programs, etc. You will help your child by being in the know about school. You can be creatively involved, suggest improvements and be there to have some input
  • (source)

    Looking up for meetup events

    Lately I’ve been into Meetup.com which is basically joining groups based on special interest like photography, dancing, book discussions, volunteering, networking, etc. And there would be events to meetup. Personally I’ve never attended one myself but I’d like to go just out of curiousity.

    So far I have:

    San Diego Biotechnology Network

    New Friends to Explore SD with – I’m actually trying to convince Amber participate in this mixer party this weekend–aka speed dating but it’s for meeting friends and maybe if you’d like romantic relationships.

    The San Diego New In Town – this one has some regular events like at the last Friday of every month is a birthday dinner.

    San Diego Coffee Club – going around trying different coffee shops? My type of group!

    Drinking with Strangers - I joined but…eh…

    San Diego Book Readers

    Short on money but I’m long on time…

    After looking through my pictures from Japan and living in this less-than-minimal apartment, I came to realize one of my favorite things in life is to LIVE BIG with less money (please no credit card). That’s something you don’t go around saying because everyone kind of thinks you’re crazy. You don’t live BIG because of what you own, you live BIG in your head.

    I remembered in my trip to Japan which was three weeks long I brought only 700 dollars in spending, transportation and food. My sister brought had 2,000 dollars to spend and this girl that came along with us had 2,000 dollars too. So three weeks and fourteen cities later I still had some yen and I spent the last of it at the airport in the last city, Osaka because they could not convert coin money to USD. The other girl who brought in 2,000 dollars who bragged she was on a shopping ban for 6 months to save up for the trip ended with nil two days before leaving. I remembered me and my sister suspected that she stole 10,000 yen (that’s 100 dollars) from my sister one night but wow…how on earth did she end up broke before the trip? Even though she took 100 dollars sometime during the trip she still was broke? I remembered I offered her some noodles I got at the 100 yen store (dollar store) because she had no money and she said “god, you and your 100 yen” and left to used her credit card to buy a dinner at Outback Steakhouse. Really? Did she go all the way to Japan to get Outback?

    Let’s just simply leave it at I will never understand how she blew 2,000 dollars before the trip ended. I had 700 dollars and I bought food, I bought wine, same items in different colors, models of special monuments, clothes, subway tickets, plates, bike trips and I bought another suitcase to fit all my souvenirs. I ended the trip satisfied despite how little cash I brought with me. People commented I probably wouldn’t be doing much since I did not bring much. Maybe I just knew where to go like the 100 yen store–you really have to make the effort to look for those stores because I remembered all the places me and my tour group went, we did not see a 100 yen store until I did my own exploring. Usually tour groups take you to most expensive parts of the city/town.

    I actually want to get back into that attitude of living big on little money again. It’s more of mindset though–like I get high out of it…not so much about the stuff you get but the experience out of something. I look at my souvenirs, they’re pretty cool and they look good in my room but it doesn’t compare to the memory when I rented a bike for the afternoon or watch a tea ceremony performance.

    You kind of don’t go around saying that that because everyone goes “what are you talking about? Everything revolves around money!” Yes it does, but it’s not necessary that I dined in the nicest restaurants and bought the most expensive souvenir to get the best experience from my trip(s) or anything. Maybe I’m rambling about this because I grew up with people who praise material things and the latest greatest things. I felt like I had to buy myself into that belief because I have a job and I felt maybe I’d more liked I guess if I had a nice purse. But then I learned a couple things like I really don’t like talking about money and lifestyle with anyone related to me because we’re going to almost always clash. And that buying a designer top is not worth the money if no one is ever going to see it because you can’t wear it to anything or what-a-shame they can’t recognize that you’re wearing blah blah blah. Sure I’d like to own a Chanel 2.55 bag or an Hermes scarf someday but I won’t make it my life. There are even some people who work to buy designer things but willing to skip food and a social life. Also another thing is that there will always be something bigger and better than version A, B, and C so I don’t see the point in competing in who has the latest greatest things.

    So anyways since people liked my pictures from Tokyo, I got some more (and more and more in future posts). This set are pictures from my bike ride around Kyoto. I rented a bike that afternoon (Click on the thumbnails)

    It’s almost June…

    Wow…the month of June’s budget does not look pretty.

    So I have to pay this month’s rent for my current apartment since my lease ends in June 20th and I have pay this month’s rent at my new place and it would total up to 1300 dollars…and I am looking for a new futon or a sleeping mat because my current mattress (that I got from a friend and who knows how old it is) has springs popping up. And I still have to pay my bills. And oh…I have to eat.

    Maybe I should’ve brought my car and lived there until I found a set address hahaha.

    I don’t really have a problem paying these off since well they’re necessities but still that’s a lot of money. But I’m sure glad I saved all along. Except I kind of feel that money could’ve gone to something else.

    Anyways here my summer plans are


    - I might be going to the Bay Area 3rd week of June but we’ll see how that goes when I move in but then I got the rest of the summer to visit some old friends

    - Watch the FIFA World cup at the nearest British pub

    - Visit my aunt and uncle before they leave for the PI for July

    - My little sister’s bday

    - Del Mar Fair


    - Trip to Vegas (One of my goals is to go somewhere other than Vegas)

    - Avenue Q at San Diego Civic Center. Alice has been planning this for a while


    - Street scene

    Other things I’d like to fit in for the summer:

    - Go to Mexico and volunteer at the orphanage with a couple of my friends.  I’ve been meaning to join along with them–but I have to renew my passport

    - Read more books

    - practice my guitar more

    Then when fall comes, I am planning on taking some classes at UCSD–I’m debating whether to work towards a certificate at extension or audit classes. Or maybe sit in a lecture. Anyways that’s all I have so far.

    What are your summer plans?