fear and anxiety · inspiration · personal experiences · taking risks

Why I didn’t go to art school.

When I got to high school, I had many interests: physics, biology, art, music, mathematics, writing, business, finance, and entrepreneurship. However, the biggest one was art, mainly because I had cultivated that interest ever since 4th grade. With my many interests, it was difficult choosing a major for college. I was encouraged to major in art/animation, but I didn’t want to.

I didn’t want to go to art school because:
1) I hate people “grading” art, because art is too subjective
2) Won’t get a stable job in the future
3) I had other interests that I was more potential at

Those are the three reasons why I didn’t go to art school. But there is one more that I have never EVER admitted to anybody; one that was detrimental and made the decision:

4) I was afraid I wasn’t good enough.

WHY did I feel this way?

I started drawing again just a few days ago and for some reason I felt sad. I felt sad because I am not as good as my other friends who draw. This was the same feeling that hindered me from pursuing art/animation. I have always lived with the mentality that I should be 2-3 times better than everyone else. If I was better by a little, that was not enough for me. WHY? Even though I am conscious of this, I keep thinking this way. I don’t get it.

I’m having a mid-life crisis. I am having it around 5 years before I’m supposed to. I have been thinking of going to art school for a year, taking a break from my engineering degree. But now the feeling of “not good enough” is still there. Why?

inspiration · personal experiences · taking risks

Why It’s Important to Stop Playing Video Games

A friend of mine just recently graduated with a college degree. You see, that friend is a hardcore gamer and anime lover. Nicest person ever. I feel sorry though because I can tell that my friend doesn’t really have a passion; and therefore, don’t know what to do with the college degree.

First, let me tell you that I don’t really believe in destiny. I don’t believe that a college degree defines who you will be in life. I think it is OKAY to not know what to do with life. However, the problem is that my friend REALLY didn’t like to do anything but playing video games. This is a major problem.

I think it’s really important to find a passion, specifically one that people would pay you to do it. Life IS scary and there are a lot of times when you really don’t know what you want to do with life. But that doesn’t mean you should literally do nothing, give up, and leave everything to chance. Playing video games is totally awesome and it makes you feel great once you complete them; but unless people would pay you to play video games, you better stop and find something you really like to do.

For example, if you like video games so much, try learning 3D animation, game design, or character design. If you are not that artsy, maybe you can go to coding and computer science. If you don’t like that either, keep looking and don’t give up. Everyone has at least a passion locked deep inside, but only those who keep looking would achieve them.

Trust me, you do NOT want to grow up only knowing how to play video games. So once in a while, put down that game console and think about who you really are.

depression · fear and anxiety · personal experiences

Nothing Lasts Forever… the Bad AND the Good.

I’m writing a rather depressing topic today. Sorry in advance.

I was scrolling though my Facebook feed the other day and found my friend’s screenshot of Timehop, an app that tells you what you did years ago on your social media. I don’t know why this app got so popular. I mean, why would you wanna know what idiotic things you wrote when you were 10?? But oops I downloaded it anyway. I found posts I wrote when I was 14, and DANG every single one of them were depressing: “I hate life,” “life is unfair,” “I want to commit suicide,” “is depressed,” “DED” (which, by the way, meant ‘dead’), “I’m gonna die,” “my death is near.” All of these were in addition to lyrics of depressing songs. I was also surprised by how many ‘when will you die’ quizzes I had taken.

I’d like to say to 14-year-old me that her depression will vanish by the time she reaches 20. But then I’d be lying. Even until now, depression hits me occasionally to the point that sudden suicidal thoughts do not strike me as surprising. I have difficulty sleeping, not because of insomnia, but because I am just afraid of waking up the next day. I make excuses for not hanging out with my friends by day, and then I’d cry myself to sleep by night because I feel lonely. I’m weird.

But this got me thinking.. six whole years and nothing has changed. What does this make me? Have I done nothing these past few years? I’ve heard that nothing lasts forever. But deep down I am just really afraid that my depression, my failures, and my stupidity as human beings are just meant to follow me to my grave. Even if they did get better at something, I am afraid that because ‘nothing lasts forever,’ my good improvements would revert back to being what I had just started with.

Ever since young, I have always been very shy around people. When I was in high school, my friends made fun of me for not being able to do public speaking. Well, nothing lasts forever. Over the past 2 years, I used all of my courage to take a teaching job, be master of ceremony at several events, and spoke on videos that were to be shown in front of hundreds of people. I joined several organizations, relatively became MUCH more outgoing, and made some changes in people’s lives. I was not the same shy girl just 2 years ago that people liked to make fun of. But, yet again, nothing lasts forever. Because here I am right now at 5AM, writing this post, because I feel like a lonely loser. I starved myself in my room because my roommate and her friends were in the kitchen all day and I just don’t want to experience any social interactions. I purposely pulled an all nighter just so I could tell my friends I was ‘tired’ as an excuse not to hang out with them. I feel like I’m just back to square one. Yet AGAIN.

I guess the reason why I feel like this today is because I was drawing before I started writing this post. I feel a lot of pressure right now because I am working on an application for art school. I felt depressed because the drawing was not as good as the drawings I did only a few weeks ago. All the proportions were out of hand and the colors were all off… I was back to square one. This made me question if my drawing ‘talents’ were real… because it doesn’t seem like it is right now. Nothing lasts forever.. not even the good ones.

This also made me think about my good buddy of mine. Her parents were rich. The family lived in a big house and had maids. Her dad was an inventor and was quite well known. ‘Nothing lasts forever’ strikes again. A few years later, they moved to a different country, and they are living a difficult life. Her mom is working 18 hours a day with three jobs. Her dad is working hard to finish a degree and it seems that everything is going way out of hand. It’s sad.

Honestly, I’m just really scared of this uncertainty. I’m scared that I will never improve my skills/my life. I’m scared that I would get worse instead of getting better. Every single day, I feel useless.

fear and anxiety · personal experiences

How I Lied to Myself

Sometimes I think about how glad I am being in a Computer Science program. But sometimes I believe that I am making the biggest mistake in my life, and I am wasting my talents.

Well, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy programming, problem solving, and learning new languages. The best part about computer science is that you get to create programs that can do what humans need to do repeatedly. Just make the program once, input some data, and then boom, you get something that takes ages for a human to do.

So why did I say that I lied to myself? Well, ever since forever, I had always been with my creative side of the brain. I drew all the time, I had too many sketchbooks, and I loved anything that had to do with animation. I especially loved making art with the computer. I even took a lot of time being cooped up in my room self-teaching photoshop and adobe flash. In fact, when I got my first ever (gigantic) computer in 5th grade, the first thing I did was draw Cosmo and Wanda from F.O.P. on Microsoft Paint. I also learned a lot of HTML from Neopets so I could build do web design. I did all of these at quite a young age.. As a 13-year-old, I thought I was pretty awesome.

When I was in middle school, my dream was to become an artist/designer. My grades were pretty bad because I spent everyday drawing. I spent most of my weekends drawing avatar art for people online to get virtual money (if you’ve been in GaiaOnline, you know exactly what I’m talking about). Because it was a huge success, I kept on going with everything I was doing.

When it came to my last year of middle school, I realized that I had to do something about my grades. So I started studying really hard and eventually got my first 100 on my Math final exam. Ever since then, I changed from a straight-C student to a straight-A genius in the course of 6 months. Everybody started to like me and I finally was not bullied anymore. However, all of this came at a huge price – I stopped drawing.

I still couldn’t decide if that was actually a bad thing or not. The thing is, ever since I don’t draw that often anymore (I drew probably one thing every 6 months), I started to become a learner. Everything suddenly interested me: music, physics, biology, mathematics, computers, finance, etc. This definitely complicated my decisions on what to major for college. Other people say “follow your heart” but I felt like I wanted everything. I wanted to be a doctor who does electrical engineering while doing research in a biology lab.

Here’s where it gets ugly.

Even though I stopped drawing, I was still able to draw very well. Occasionally, I would draw and people recognized them. The people who knew me ever since I was little suggested me to go to art school. But I didn’t really want to listen to them because psh, come on.. art school? How am I supposed to get a job? How am I supposed to support my family by going to art school?? Plus, I didn’t really believe that I could do it because I didn’t draw that much anymore. So instead I majored in Computer Science where the prospects are (supposedly) better. Because at the time, what I wanted to do was to get a job. That’s it.

Two years down the road, I felt like I lied to myself. Again, I don’t HATE computer science; it’s just that at most times, I feel empty and wish that I had gone to art school instead and follow what I wanted to do ever since I was brought to this world. For some reason, I convinced myself that as long as I get a job that pays well, I would love it anyway. However, this assumption quickly fell apart when I got my first job (you can bet I was excited for this). I was only sane for about 2 weeks, and then I lost my mind. But it might because I was working in customer service, which was something that I really don’t like to do. Then again, every time I decide to apply for computer science positions, I hesitate and ask myself: do I really want to do this? My heart says I don’t. My brain says I do because I need the money. My gut says I should go build a business because I truthfully don’t like to answer to anyone.. that’s probably why I can’t stand a job for more than 2 weeks. I don’t like having people tell me what to do.

So the question still remains.. do I really want to do this? Heck, I don’t even think I fit in the computer science community. I don’t really connect with my colleagues! But that might be because I don’t get along with humans. Ugh, I don’t know! My life is confusing.

How on earth did I end up in computer science anyway? Bravados? Possibly. Some part of me also wanted to impress other people because most of them are majoring in things like accounting, business, engineering, mathematics.. you know, things that make other people seem stupid. I was very competitive, so that’s probably how I defied myself in the end.

I don’t know who to blame. I absolutely don’t know. I just wished that my parents were more supportive of my interests in art, instead of pressuring me so hard with getting good grades. “You better get your brother into a good school,” they said. “Your sister is your responsibility,” they all scold. I wish that they noticed that I was only a 18-year-old who couldn’t even take responsibility for her own life… excessive pressure don’t make diamonds – they kill spirits. They have certainly killed mine, but I really need to rekindle it somehow.

Now I am 20 and I absolutely hate life. I am working jobs that I hate, doing homework on things that I don’t particularly care about, and I do not know where life is going. Learn from me, money is NEVER EVER the reason to do something (dear future me, please don’t ever forget this). I don’t know if you’re ever gonna see anyone else say this, but I wished that I hadn’t became a “genius” in the first place.

fear and anxiety · inspiration · personal experiences

My (and probably everyone else’s) Biggest Fear.

So you know the feeling when you really just want to graduate college as fast as possible? Yeah, everybody has that feeling once in a while. I’ve had that feeling ever since I stepped foot in my university building. But now, two years down the road, I somehow don’t want to graduate because I am scared.

I am a straight-A student, flawless when it comes to homeworks, exams, and projects. You and I know for sure that these are not the most important things in life. Getting A’s is easy, but grades don’t define your future. Not even close.

I am in the process of creating my own business.. yeah, real life business. It’s scary. I keep finding myself procrastinating and making excuses. Most of the time, I keep thinking that I am not good enough. I’ve bought many many books and many online courses in order to start my adventure, but I feel like it’s still not enough. I still feel like I am not competent enough.

After a long day of working on my business, I get on my schoolwork. For some reason, I get a huge sigh of relief… because I finally get to some work where “the goal” is defined, namely to get an A, and I would achieve it if I study hard enough.

Here’s why we are all scared of real life: we don’t know what we need to do next and we can’t predict the outcome of our decision.

Think about it. Why do we like playing soccer? Because if we score more than the enemy, we win. Why does going to college feel safe? Because if we just study all of the materials your teacher tells us to, we’ll definitely get an A. Why do we put all our money in a savings account? Because if we put it there for a long time, we’ll definitely get interest and will never lose money.

Life is a villain. We won’t know if college would really help us succeed. We won’t know if we would end up liking a job. We won’t know if we’ve tried everything we could for this non-academic project. Even after great calculations, we won’t know if investing in stocks would be the best option.

Ah, risks. It’s scary. But we all gotta do it. Even though we might now know what the outcome would be like.

In life, we don’t really know if what we are going is “right” or not. At school, we sort of know when we are on the right track. If we get all A’s, we’re basically on the right track. On graduation, we know we’ve FINISHED college and that we are correctly following the plan. But in life, we won’t know. Plans change and people change. We don’t know if we should take Job A or Job B. We won’t know whether or not what we are planning out so hard for would ACTUALLY work. We won’t know when we’ve finished doing what we’re doing. For example, have I already made enough money to support my family? You won’t know because needs will change. At school, you just need to aim for the A; it is specifically defined and there’s a ceiling.