Choco

I miss you.

I miss the way your tail wags and hits me in the face while your butt wiggles because you wag it so hard. I miss the way you would just lie down on the edge of my bed or curl up right next to my leg. I miss the way you would get up when I got up. I miss the way you would grab a toy and show it off to us when we came back home as a little present. You'd carry the toy and walk like you were in a beauty contest and it made us laugh so much. I miss the way your butt would wiggle in the air and you'd have your head on your paws and look up at us.

I miss your cute little white paws and the way you'd give it to me when I asked for 'hand' or when I would ask you to beg and you'd place them together to beg for your food. I miss the paws that held onto the bones we gave you whether it be the Smackos bone or the pork bones you loved so much.

I miss the times you'd follow me everywhere or just check up on me. I even miss the times you'd just sit on top of the sofa and look out of the window. I miss your face in the window watching us come back home and wagging your tail. Sometimes we'd see your face - other times you'd go into our rooms. I miss seeing you lying down on my bed and just wagging your tail when I turned on the light and seeing you wagging your tail on the edge of my bed. I miss you cleaning up my plate. I miss waking up in the morning and finding that you were curled up sleeping right next to my face, my legs, on the edge of my bed, underneath my bed covers when it was Winter. I miss getting woken up by you early in the morning telling me to pick you up onto the bed.

I miss the sounds of your paws in the house. I miss your barking. I miss your howling. I miss the nagging sounds you'd make to tell us to do something - letting you out, letting you back inside, 'take me out for walkies,' picking you up on the bed. I miss your face out the car window and your smiling face. I miss your face. I miss your perfectly white and aligned teeth. I miss you sticking out your tongue. I miss seeing you so hyper. I miss you jumping everywhere and going back on forth just to get up on the sofa. I miss how your ears perk up. I miss playing with you - tug of war, training you, feeding you. You made us all so happy. I miss the touch of your fur and body. I miss massaging you.

I miss seeing how happy you were after the park. I miss you wiping your nose on my mat. I miss you just running so free across the grass fields. I miss the way you'd communicate with dogs and jump everywhere. I miss the way you pee and poop. I miss the way you'd follow me everywhere. I miss your face when I hide away from you. I miss the way you freak out when you can't find me and run away. I miss the way you loved us more than other people. I miss how loyal you were and how you showed us how much you loved us. I miss your growls. I miss you jumping. I miss how obedient and intelligent of a dog you were. I miss giving you belly rubs. I miss you in my car and going back and forth between the windows. I miss seeing you eat the food I cook for you. I miss cooking for you and making your food. I miss dressing you up in clothes. I miss the way you would avoid the beach water at all costs but loved going to the beach. I miss seeing you sunbathe on the grass and go exploring the backyard.

I miss you always checking up on me and Mandy. I'm sorry for always annoying you and making you scared. I miss your sleeping face. I miss your big dark brown eyes. I miss your puppy eyes. I miss you licking my face. I miss you licking me.

Quarter Life Crisis

Common symptoms of a quarter life crisis are often feelings of being "lost, scared, lonely or confused" about what steps to take in order to transition properly into adulthood. Studies have shown that unemployment and choosing a career path is a major cause for young persons to undergo stress or anxiety. Early stages of one living on their own for the first time and learning to cope without parental help can also induce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Re-evaluation of one's close personal relationships can also be a factor, with sufferers feeling they have outgrown their partner or believing others may be more suitable for them.
Am I perhaps going through a quarter life crisis right now? I'd consider myself pretty lucky in the fact that I found a job pretty quickly after graduating high school and was working while my friends were still looking for jobs. However, now that I've been unemployed for a bit and living off savings, on the verge of graduating with a bachelor's degree, and labelled a millennial with no prospect of owning a house anytime soon - I feel completely and utter 'lost, scared, lonely AND confused.'

What the fuck do I do now?

I feel like being away from home and taking up the Disney International Program had some negatives but I feel like it prepped me up big time in being able to answer questions such as 'Will I be able to survive living by myself/paying rent/cooking for myself/doing laundry?' The answer is yes. I survived and I experienced firsthand what it felt like having roommates, working full-time hours, coming back home from work and having to cook for yourself and budgeting so that you would have enough money to pay for rent - all without the help of my family who were on the other side of the globe and offered no extra financial support apart while I was in Orlando. I did it and I overcame the loneliness.

As of right now, my major life crisis springs its focus on my career prospects and the fogginess of the future regarding how I'm going to spend the rest of my adulthood years. Unemployment and career paths definitely do give me a lot of stress and unnecessary anxiety when all I want to do in life is aim to be happy but I've soon realised that I can't even be happy without the basic, necessary funds to feel comfortable. I can't be happy when I keep comparing myself to my close peers who seem like they all know what the future holds for them but I'm kept back from achieving anything significant and still my future is seemingly covered by a heavy cloud.

I think the first step would be to plan everything out but I've always been more of a go with the flow kind of person and it's exciting to see where this has taken my life. I think my best abilities as of now is being able to express myself, write with passion and being able to persuade people. I hope I can persuade recruiters and potential network of people my ability to be able to get the work required of me to above their standards. Just like how all amazing marketing should be - exceeding people's expectations. I hope I can do that because I love to set people's expectations of me so low that that I end up exceeding people's expectations.

MIISHKA: A (Free) Lesson on Conflict Management

Edit:// Felt like this was a very relevant article: http://www.digitalmarketer.com/pokemon-go-community-management-mistakes/

Growing up in the age of technology surely has a lot of benefits and allows me to engage in thought-provoking and interesting discussions, read and engage in a lot of interesting articles and information. On the downside (or upside depending on how you see it), you're exposed to a lot of unacceptable behaviour and attitudes you wouldn't have access to before thanks to easy accessibilities to smartphones, tablets and cameras that can capture these unethical, prejudiced and racist moments.

Today, the world is becoming less tolerant of racist behaviour (thank God!) and in an age where information is so easily accessible it is no excuse for people to be so uneducated and culturally unaware. There is Google and YouTube and so many news resources for you to look into. I learnt all about the Iambic Pentameter for English class through YouTube - it was amazing and hopefully the education system will change to keep up with the changing technological times.

However, that's not what I want to focus on. My post today is on an Australian vintage online store based in Melbourne called Miishka. Yesterday I came across this post my friend tagged me in on Facebook where they were culturally appropriating the Vietnamse Ao Dai and other Asian dresses that hold cultural significance.



Basic gist of an Ao Dai (from Wikipedia) - it's a national dress worn by Vietnamese people usually for weddings and tea ceremonies but can also be uniforms. Basically it's a dress for special occasions similar to the Chinese and their cheong-sam, Japanese with their kimonos and yukatas and Koreans with hanboks.

Here's a complete 401, ELI5, Culture 101 lesson for you and everyone else that doesn't want to have the term 'racist' on their forehead.

By the way, if you didn't want to educate yourselves now you can (thank you 2 second search on Google):


So guys, here is a traditional and beautiful Ao Dai (took me 3 minutes to search, look up images and save these):


Now here is how Miishka culturally appropriated it and sold it for AUD$95 under the name of "Azure Oriental Tunic Dress": 




First off, you need to stop using the word 'Oriental' because;


Once again, thank you Google for a quick 2 second search and a 1 minute read on Oxford Dictionaries. 

You know what sounds better? Ao Dai - 

but coming from a Marketing perspective an Asian and taking into account that most people aren't culturally aware or accepting of other cultures that aren't their own and your target audience is generally a Western market......

Going for 'Vintage 90s Azure Vietnamese Dress' would have done the same thing without any offense given. Or even 'Vintage 90s Azure Asian Slit Dress' if you couldn't be fucked doing any research or asking any Asian group if they'll be offended. But nah, lets use 'Oriental Tunic Dress.' 

Secondly, the slit. I have so many words to say on how wrong showcasing a national dress in a mere sexual and tacky way is to the Asian community. It further endorses the belief that Asian people can be fetishised and Asian women can be sexualised. You may not see it that way but search up Asian costumes on Google and you'll soon see what I mean. I can't be bothered doing this homework for you because it's disgusting. Also notice how traditionally the way to wear Ao Dai's is with pants underneath.


Third of all, I noticed from the post, comments and Instagram that Miishka were quick to block, delete and report instead of first of all apologising, responding to criticisms and learning why they had offended so many people. 

A (Free) Lesson on Conflict Management


Here are each of the steps that Miishka could've taken to avoid this whole conflict in the first place - if they had at least done any of these steps the whole controversy wouldn't have blown up to the size it is now: 

  1. 1. Educate yourself edit:// even more on diverse social issues and surround yourself with different belief and values
  2. 2. Research on the pieces you're selling 
  3. 3. Don't culturally appropriate
  4. 4. Don't sell and market national Asian dresses as 'Oriental' or any other offensive, racist term
  5. 5. Don't get a white person to model an Asian piece and especially a cultural piece (this will piss people off no matter what even if you're not culturally appropriating and naming it the correct term)
  6. 6. Don't style and model it so provocatively (Commerce student thoughts: you could've sold a pants or shorts item underneath...damn.. missed opportunity)
  7. 7. Stop deleting, blocking and reporting comments in general (censoring people) - angry people need to vent and rant and if they can't do it on your platform then they're taking it elsewhere with 10x the angry react
The irony that this is in my blog post
  1. 8. Be accountable for your own actions (aka be responsible for your own actions)
  2. 9. Actually listen to why people are offended, angry and why you're getting backlash 
  3. 10. Actions speak louder than words 
  4. 11. Don't make yourselves out to be the victims - people are angry they don't give a shit that you were abused or threatened...you hurt them first, you started this conversation. 
  5. 12. Don't put out a general 'sorry we got caught. sorry you're butthurt' insincere apology
  6. 13. Don't put out an apology that doesn't address any of the issues directly. "Particular community" "This piece" "Similar items" "deep appreciation" "Celebrate the beautiful uniqueness of everyone" (Angry Asian Lady thoughts: Your whole facebook, instagram and tumblr feed only fits into a small minority of what you think is "unique" aka pretty, skinny, white, women ... ) 
  7. 14. Don't pull a pepsi with a 'love solves everything' 
  8. 15. Don't act like an apology automatically solves everything
  9. 16. Actions speak louder than words - how are you going to solve this? did you ask the offended how you could reverse the damage? did you try to understand what you did wrong? why did i take the items off the shelf? 
  10. 17. In a world where we can be anything, BE ALL OF THE ABOVE AND BE KIND 

Here is Miishka's apology which I felt wasn't very sincere especially when paired up with deleting off ALL comments that they felt were offensive (which, in my opinion, the ones I've seen haven't been offensive at all and simply pointing out facts) 



 Except for this one - they couldn't delete this one, of course.






An Outsider

I was reading an article today about how they were almost about to cast Lewis Tan as the leading role of Iron Fist as Danny Rand but ultimately gave the role to the white guy in the show. Here is the article: http://www.gamesradar.com/meet-the-asian-american-actor-marvel-seriously-considered-for-iron-fist/ 

Lewis Tan, is half white and half Asian, an American born in England. In the article they quote him on saying that he understood how it felt to be an outsider both in Asia and in America. I resonated well with that as I understood how it felt and I feel as if being mixed race there were even be more of an identity crisis.



I remember my friend, whose half white and half filipino, telling me that when she's in Australia she's Asian but when she's in the Philipines she's white. It's like she doesn't belong in either places she's part of and can you just imagine how confusing that would've been for her when she was younger?

When I finished reading the article, I scrolled down to read the comments section and one of these comments stood out.



Hey Orange Apple, your comment meant no harm at all, but I feel like I just need to inform you and help you understand what this 'whole outsider thing' is about.

While I can't speak on behalf of mixed race people as I feel as if their experiences would somehow be completely different to mine but I can speak on behalf of my own experiences.

As Lewis has said, there's no more of an outsider than an Asian-American. What he means is that as an Asian who grew up in a Western country - we're told constantly that we don't belong even though we may dress the same, act the same, and speak the same way as our white peers. We simply just don't look the same and so people don't accept us as just a normal citizen of America/Australia/Europe.

We have people telling us to speak English when we speak our mother tongue and when we do speak English we have people telling us that our English is really good and asking us where we're really from.

When Lewis mentions that we feel like outsiders when we're at home. I can bring up a story my friend, who is Asian but has only ever lived in Australia and hasn't been to her mother country before. She told me she felt disconnected to her grandparents because she can't communicate with them as they don't understand English. She feels disconnected with other Asians because she can't relate. She doesn't even like Pho. Yet constantly, again and again, she has people asking her where she's from and they don't believe her when she says the honest truth that she's from Australia.

My experiences are a bit similar when I go back to Hong Kong to visit my extended family. I can't communicate with them. There's just a big cultural difference in how we live our lives. They see me and start talking Cantonese with me but I can't piece the words together as eloquently as I would like and I end up sounding like a 5 year old child. They way we do things over there are different and even my FOB friends call me the ABC of the group and list out the ways in which I do things differently.

There's just no winning for us and I don't see this kind of thing changing anytime soon. The other way in which I see a slight change is when people point these things out and educate people on what it means to be considered an outsider.

A lot of controversy surrounded Ghost in the Shell also and a lot of the arguments they used was that it was a film for Americans so of course they would use American actors and actresses. When people use this argument, it irritates me so much because this is another way in which people see other non-white Americans as outsiders. They're not Americans - is what they're simply saying. They can't cast an Asian-American actress as Motoko Kusanagi - it's either got to be a white American actress or a Japanese actress. Asian Americans are never considered.

So, Orange Apple, I hope by now you would have at least grasped the gist of what Lewis Tan meant to be 'an outsider as an Asian-American'.





I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype | Canwen Xu | TEDxBoise


being asian australian

Growing up as an Asian-Australian, I had to deal with people throwing racist remarks at not just me but hearing about it from my parents and my sister and how upset and helpless they felt when being attacked.

Growing up Asian-Australian meant that my life would be completely different to the lives of Asians growing up in predominantly and homogenous countries like the city I'm from - Hong Kong - they wouldn't need to deal with being oppressed or being discriminated against just because of the colour of their skin.

Growing up Asian-Australian meant that for most of my life I had an identity crisis and going to a predominantly-white Christian-religion school did not help. I remember coming back from Hong Kong and being at school and trying to share my culture and what I had learnt from being overseas to my friends and they told me I had changed and became more Asian. Like it was a bad thing.

I had an identity crisis over how I should act and dress and I tried to hide my culture because it didn't fit in with this particular society's standards. There was only one way of doing things and if I didn't do things their way I was considered 'different' and 'weird'

I was labelled weird throughout the majority of my high school life and it was me not understanding that I needed to have dual personalities to fit in - the one at home and the one outside of home and sometimes the one I had in front of white people.

Growing up Asian-Australian meant that I wanted to learn about my culture but there was nothing here to learn from. Nobody talked about it and there were hardly any history books about Chinese history or culture. Even if there were - it was either all in Chinese or from a Western point of view.

Even now, being Asian-Australian and coming over to Australia before I even turned 1 - I still get people asking me where I'm really from, where my parents are from, if I'm really from Australia and telling me that I speak English really well...for an Asian. They start asking me questions about China that I don't even know the answers to. I want to embrace my culture but the culture I've ever really known is Australian culture.

I've been in Australia my whole life but to them, I'm not Australian. I hardly know anything about China or Hong Kong because where am I supposed to get any of this information from other than my parents and Google? The only thing the white education system has ever taught me about history was it's Aboriginal Australians, World War 1 & 2 and the gold rush where they completely missed out on how they attacked the Chinese.

2016 was such an important year for me. I've learnt so much and heard stories from people of different races and backgrounds. Listening to stories about what it's like to be African-American, Latina and a Muslim haunts me to this day and watching all these documentaries has educated me so much about the world and so I've decided that 2017 will be the year that I will stand up for my beliefs and core values without even caring about what people think of me or if I offend them because people have already offended me enough already.

Pro Choice

I went to a Christian school and what this means is basically that our sex education was short, sweet and incredibly one sided. The gist of our 'education' is that we had to wait to have sex after marriage otherwise our lives would be ruined and our options are cut - that we won't have a successful life and that life will be a struggle after having sex.




They didn't tell us that there were other options. There was only one option - don't have sex. The worst part was that they separated the genders up so that females were in one room for sex education while the males were in another room for sex education. We didn't even received the so called education until we were around 15 years of age. It's just ridiculous looking back now on how my religious school has failed us so hard. 

I want you and everyone to know that there are options - there are options beyond pregnancy or even options before sex. There are contraceptives. Your life doesn't just end there after getting pregnant. You should be able to choose for yourself. It is your life and your body and nobody should be taking these basic human rights to CHOOSE from you. I so strongly believe in educating both men and women in sexual education in all forms and I am so passionate about having the ability to choose what you do with your life FOR YOURSELF. You should be able to have the option to keep the baby or have the option to abort it. 

When we lose empathy for others is when we lose the essence of what it means to be human. 

Why do women have abortions? 

Do you understand or even know why abortions even take place? It's not only just because they happened to fall pregnant after having sex - it can be so many other reasons.

The top 3 reasons: 

  • having a child would interfere with a woman's education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%);
  • that she could not afford a baby now (73%);
  • and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%).

I just cannot wrap my head around the reason why people would want to barge their way into somebody else's business in regards to a person's body. I've read and heard people wanting to keep the baby but what happens to the baby THAT NOBODY WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE? It's a destructive cycle. The child is left unloved in a world that's already broken. The adoption process is difficult and numbing for the child who goes from home to home. Nobody should have to go through the process of foster care when so many people cheat the system and are in it for the money instead of actually looking after the child. It's a never-ending cycle. 

We should be educating both our sons and daughters. Men and women. Into proper sexual reproductive education and how our bodies work. I've always wondered why we need to pay sanitary tissues. They're not even that cheap either. Why is something so necessary and part of every single woman's life (a necessity) not free? Why do people give out condoms for free but not sanitary pads? I don't understand how this works. 

Making abortions illegal doesn't stop abortions from happening. They decided they don't want the baby - people will find a way to not have a baby. Making it illegal isn't going to do anything. In fact, actually, it will make it worse. 


Updated Skincare Routine (2016)

(Left to right): Etude House: Baking Powder Cleanser and Wonder Pore Freshner, The Body Shop: Aloe Soothing Cream Mask, Banila co: Clean it Zero Balm, The Face Shop: Natural Sun sunscreen, Etude House: Wonder Pore Serum, The Body Shop: Seaweed Mattifying Moisturiser and Seaweed Pore Cleansing Exfoliator


Recently I've been investing heaps into my skincare routine as my skin has been breaking out heaps and is super bumpy due to millions of whiteheads and blackheads popping up everywhere. I've developed my own 'Korean' 8-step-skincare routine with these products!

Cleanser

I just use the Etude House Baking Powder cleanser and to be honest, I'm not in love with it but it gets the job done and it smells quite nice. It leaves my face feeling clean.

Double Cleanser

I used to use the JUJU AQUAMOIST Cleansing Oil which I absolutely love but decided to try out the Banila Co. Clean it Zero cleansing balm as I heard a lot of good reviews about it. Didn't realise it came in such a huge tub and is totally worth the money as I've had it for a couple of months and barely made a dent. I use it to double cleanse and it smells amazing but I'm not sure if it's because I'm not using it right but it still leaves a lot of balm residue on my face even when I've washed it off.

Toner

The Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner is an absolute favourite and I'm so sad it's nearly all gone as they don't stock it in stores over here and I absolutely hate waiting for packages when I online shop. This toner does a lot - not only does it balance your pH levels after you've washed your face but it reduces the size of your pores! My pores definitely have noticeably gone smaller after using the freshner and the serum.

Serum

The Etude House Serum is amaziiiinnngggg!!! It does such a great job and definitely locks in the pores to make them smaller.

Moisturiser

For the longest time ever, I've had so much trouble looking for a good moisturiser for my skin. My family has been recommending me these moisturisers when I go back to Hong Kong but then I can never find them when I go back to Perth so I'm always left with a really sucky moisturiser as I don't know which moisturiser here does the same job as the Hong Kong brand moisturisers. Then I discovered the Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying moisturiser and IT IS SO GOOD!

Not only does it moisturise my face and leaves it feeling smooth and supple but it takes care of my oily T-zone so I don't wake up in the morning feeling an oily mess (which most moisturisers I used did). It also has a slight tingling sensation as well which the sales assistant told me was normal.

Exfoliator

The sales assistant at the Body Shop also recommended I purchase the exfoliator as I told her I had a lot of whiteheads and she said it was probably from the build up from my dry skin and dead skin cells as I wasn't exfoliating my face and getting rid of the dead skin cells. After using the exfoliator I noticed that a lot of the bumps started disappearing and they would come up to the surface and form pimples and then disappear! I was so glad as the bumps were so unappealing. 

Mask

Still in the process of looking for more masks to try as I absolutely love masks! Recently purchased the Body Shop's Aloe Vera Soothing Cream Overnight Mask as Winter is coming and my skin gets more dry during the winter time. This mask smoothes my sensitive cheek area which is really dry and I can leave it on overnight and my skin feels absolutely amazing in the morning. 

Sunscreen

Last but not least, SUNSCREEN!

My friend gave me this sunscreen spray puff from the Face Shop where you pump the sunscreen onto the puff and pat it onto the skin like a cushion foundation. It also has a cooling sensation and has 50 SPF and PA++++ which is so good! I love it/would repurchase again.





Water, H2O -- BLUE GOLD

You ever just watch a documentary that completely changes your mind and thoroughly provokes your thoughts. I've been watching environmental documentaries lately and I highly recommend Blue Gold.


Wars of the future will be fought over water as they are over oil today, as the source of human survival enters the global marketplace and political arena. Corporate giants, private investors, and corrupt governments vie for control of our dwindling supply, prompting protests, lawsuits, and revolutions from citizens fighting for the right to survive. Past civilizations have collapsed from poor water management. Can the human race survive?
(taken from IMDB) 

The environment has always been a stressing issue and a huge reason why I love the Lorax by Dr. Seuss. There's a good quote from a Chinese film I watched recently, The Mermaid, and one of the characters asks the main character a really good question:

'Hypothetically, if you had only one minute left in your life. Hypothetically, if the earth didn't have a single drop of clean water left or a single breath of clean oxygen left. What do you want to do most?' 

- The Mermaid (2016)

We're depleting the Earth of oxygen and water all for the sake of money. What happens once we've gotten our money? Money isn't important anymore when the Earth is damaged because of it. You won't be able to breath or drink clean water and then your health suffers and making money was for nothing because of it. 

We are a circle of life and so is the environment. We are born, we grow up and die and turn into soil. The trees grow from the soil, then give out clean oxygen for us to breathe. We all learn about where water comes from right? Water comes from rain water, then it falls to the ground, the soil soaks it up and the water goes back into the ocean and the clouds evaporate it and then the clouds make it rain. 

BUT HOW CAN WE HAVE WATER WHEN WE'RE AFFECTING THE CYCLE?

1. We're destroying forests
2. We're building dams
3. We're polluting rivers

The reason why there is less rain water is because the clouds are taking less in less water from the oceans! The reason why there is less water in the oceans is because there isn't enough water in the ground. The reason why there isn'ts enough water in the ground is because the roots of the trees aren't there anymore to push the water into the ground. The roots of the trees are getting removed because we're removing the forests to build houses and infrastructure established by big companies that care more about money than the environment! They don't care about us - they're rich and they can just buy bottled water. 

The only ones at stake are lower and middle class people. We can't afford to pay bottled water every day. We need to protect the environment from huge companies that will (in the future) make us buy water because water is and will run out. 

I highly, HIGHLY recommend this documentary and urge you to watch this. It is eye opening. 


What I Learnt Last Year/ New Years Resolution

I know it's pretty late into the 'new' year (it's March already..what) but instead of creating a New Years Resolution I wanted to create a post about the many things I learnt last year and wanted to reflect on the many things that have moulded me into the person I am as of right now and have a mini resolution at the same time.

Coming back from travelling, I always tend to learn something new and exciting - culturally mostly and geographically - but this year it really opened up my eyes.

1. Chinese Identity

E.g. America, where everyone seemed to idolise and see as the 'Great American United States wow land of the free and celebrities.' However, I saw it differently when I came back. I learnt to really appreciate how so many immigrants and families sacrificed their life in their hometown for their children's future and for a better life even though the first couple of years moving to this new and foreign country were probably the worst years of their lives. They can't speak English, they don't know anyone, they're struggling financially and they have to look after their children. Who are they supposed to rely on?

So many people moved over to America for a better life and before, I never learnt to appreciate those kinds of things. I actually felt kind of embarrassed ~ like why can't my parents act more westernised? We're living in Australia - learn to adapt to the Australian life. But it's difficult for them. Their sense of belonging and identity belongs to a certain group and they feel like they belong to this group and thats why having a Chinatown in San Francisco was so important to them. It was a place where they belonged and they'd honestly be lost without a community like that.

My Aunty, who can't speak English but is the most outgoing person I know, blended in so well with the people in Chinatown even though she was so worried about not speaking English well in America. She just talked to strangers on the buses, trains, planes and even learnt about someone's background in San Francisco. Everyone's just kind of blending in and living their life - everyone is the main character in their life.

Coming back from America has made me realised that there are so many people whom I share a similar identity and position with and I think that was a really big eye opener for me.

2. Australia is the best
Honestly, Australia is the best. I take back whatever I said about moving to America when I grow up. I'm staying in Australia until I find a better place to call home. The houses are nice, the transportation is OK - but the public transport is easy to navigate through, the weather and beaches are nice. NO TAXES. NO TIPPING. No severe traffic. Whatever, screw you all Australia's the best in my eyes.

3. Skincare and Health first
Never thought I'd be so envious of so many people until I went to Hong Kong and everywhere I went all the girls had such nice skin and beautiful, crystal clear complexions. I am in awe. This year, I am going to focus on improving my skin complexion and less on purchasing makeup which will just make my skin worse than it already is. Even though I'm a makeup junkie :(

Another aspect is that I need to improve my overall health and fitness. I need to exercise more and stop eating so much unhealthy food. My cousin in San Francisco walks everywhere and their roads are so steep and slopey! I was out of breath already not even halfway through and we had to take the bus back because I couldn't deal. Australia's roads are so flat so it's not even that difficult and yet I still drive everywhere!

4. So many people on this planet
There are honestly so many people on this Earth it's unbelievable. Every single person is a main character in their life. Especially when I went to China and around just the California state. There are so many people on this Earth and I can't believe that there are enough resources for so many people. Does it ever occur to you that water, food, air will run out? Where are all these resources coming from? I went to so many buffet places this year and each time I just thought - the sashimi, the oysters, the fruit, the poultry - it's all going to run out someday right? How in the world do they have such an unlimited supply of fresh seafood and fruit?

Some people earn their income from working, some earn it from their own business and just everybody is working hard to make a living and it made me think about the type of life I want to have in the future more.

5. Time is precious
You honestly only live once and there is no going back. You can't rewind time you can only look onwards that's why choices and the decisions you make are so important. I have always known this but I never understood the importance behind this aspect but now I know the true, utter importance of time. There is absolutely no way I can go back to last week to change whatever I wanted to do. Each second is important and I could've been spending it working and earning money or studying but I didn't - I don't and I really should this year. Instead of staying at home - I can volunteer, go out and catch up with friends, join a club or class or work on my health. Each second and minute is valuable time and we all only have a limited lifespan and I'm going to spend each second like it's truly my last.