20 must-read lessons for my lovely me at 30

Dear myself,

If you turn to 30, please spend some of your precious time reading these lessons you learn when you are 23. Some of these might not be true anymore as time flies and you grow up bit by bit. However, some might be still applied and reminded you what you like, who you love and which should be reserved.

Here we go, shall we?

1. Eat what you like. No, don’t lie to me. I know you  like eating so just eat. It’s Ok to be chubby and you are more beautiful, skinnier than you think.

Captured by 3 craziest closest friends while I was getting sick. They love me so much!

Captured by 3 craziest closest friends while I was getting sick. They love me so much!

2. Don’t say “I love you” to your mother. DO it! Ride her to the city tour in the morning after you prepare breakfast for her. Make her smile everyday. It’s your life’s goal.

3. Remind and plan healthy meals for your family (when I say “family”, I mean the nest with your parents, brother, sister-in-law, nieces and your bunch of uncles, aunts and relatives), especially you mother. Even though she got through the cancer treatment, you must not give her any food containing sugar and beef. Are you clear? Except for some special occasions in a year, you can let her eat some sugar and beef because enjoying life is better than living empty.

4. If you got married, then good luck to your husband.

5. Learn Swedish or/and Japanese. It’s time to learn something new and you are always fond of Swedish and Japanese.

6. Travel more. You deserve it. Take your mother with you. She also deserves it.

7. Love your 3 crazy friends. They stick with you since you were 15. They will never leave you unlike others on your life path.

8. Try to spend sometime learning dancing. It’s time to stop watching dancing videos and start doing it!

9. By the way, congratulations! You got the MBA degree.

10. Don’t try to raise your niece because it’s your brother and his wife’s job. They are the parents, not you.

11. Read more. It’s never enough in reading.

12. Don’t drink alcohol. Don’t go to bars, clubs … too often. Understand that you’re a wild animal in parties but your stomach says different things.

13. Help the others when they need.

14. Be a respectable person. When I mean “respectable”, I do mean “keep watching cartoons”. The chasing of Tom and Jerry is better than James Bond and his big titties lovers.

15. Don’t focus too much on your career. As long as the wage is high and you’re happy, that’s totally fine.

16. Remember of your grandparents. They passed away but always show up at their death’s ceremony. Remembering people is a way to keep them alive.

17. Oops, almost forgot. You should know how to swim before 30. Better safe than sorry. If your husband tries to get rid of you by pushing you off the water, show him that you’re stronger than he thinks you are.

18. Keep creating, writing and caring.

19. Be grateful for the life you have lived. Just to let you know, I always prepare for the death. If something bad happens and you cannot live longer than 30, just focus on what you need to do with your family and your closest friends. They deserve the last minutes of you.

20. It might be a good time to write a letter like this to your 40-me. That’s Ok, I don’t want to put so many pressures on you, so if you can’t make all of these come true, then pass some to our 40-me. Well, never too late to do anything. In the case that I live more than that.

Love,

23 year-old-me

P/S: I’ve started my blog http://kimsimpleblog.blogspot.fi/ I’m now kinda busy for my thesis and some projects but I will try to write whenever I’m available. Visit me and we will have good time together, will ya? :)

Friends – Not all of them

There are many times I’ve asked myself – Do I really need a friend? Do we can live without people surrounding us? The ones that we call ‘friends’? It seems that there is no absolute answer for these questions. It depends on the situation, I guess.

To me, sometimes, I appreciate that I have friends in my life and sometimes, I just want to put a gun out and shoot people that I call friends in their face!!! You can say that I’m so violent or cruel, but admit that, speak to yourself, there must be at least a time in your life that you really want to put your middle finger in your friend’s faces and honey, I may not give the proper answer but I give you one advice, friends come and go. That’s life! Only the bestest best friends stay, the others, they might be your close friends, but they will leave. It’s just that when they come to your fucking boring life, appreciate happy moments that you have with them. And always speak to yourself that they might leave, and when they leave, be prepare that you will always survive. You can survive for such a long time before they mess up your world, so there’s no reason that without them, you can’t breathe. They are not the root of your life and they never will be. You’re the only one who can decide that and do not give strangers a reason to make you feel sad. After all, only you can make yourself sad.

You must be wondering that why the heck that crazy girl is talking in this nonsense way. Yes, I made mistake. The same that I made at the beginning of this year. Ridiculously, right now, at the end of the year, it comes back and haunts me. The early year taught me that nothing would stay with you till the end. If they are not your family, they can ditch you and, sometimes, hurt you. I told myself that never ever attached to anyone else. Just be normal friends with everybody. Try to appreciate and maintain my family and bestest best friends’ bonds. They’re the only valuable things in my fucking boring stupid life. However, I guess that I was like anyone else. I was afraid of the loneliness and emptiness. I mean I live in a very far away country from my hometown, far away from my hood, from people sharing the same characteristics like me. They accept me as they speak the same accent like me, they think like me, and they understand me. You think that it would be so easy to get to know the Vietnamese Community here, that they would help you and support you? Are you fucking kidding me? Hell no! You can’t imagine what would happen when a bunch of Northen, Middle and Southen VNese gathering. Even in the same Southern of VN, it’s still so different between ones who live in the Mekong Delta (like me) and the others. The most important thing is I am sick of their arrogance! I had thought they were my friends until they exposed their true purpose: They just want to make friend with me to tease me, to mock my accent (VNese accent – I bet that I can speak English with the better accent than them) and to remind them of their higher class. It’s not what you call friendship!

Silly me that I used to bench my back to force myself forgetting what they have done to me. I was so afraid that they would abandon me and obviously I would be back to my lonely nest. Therefore, I let them manipulate me. They ask me to bring them food. I spent a whole day cooking for them and when they ate, they nearly spit it out. I pretended that I didn’t see it. They told me that I was so stupid. I smiled. They yelled at my face when they couldn’t argue with me. I smiled again.

 

I was fucking tired! Today, she yelled at me that I am so stupid in the middle of a party. Enough is enough. True friends will never treat you like you’re their maid. I readily let one person get rid of my life if I know that she doesn’t deserve to be in my list. I deserve better thing. I deserve to be respected. I deserve to be treated equally with people.

Being alone is so scary that sometimes, we do everything to avoid it. Whenever you do something, just ask yourself that whether you like to do it or not. You’re your only God. Let’s worship your identity, not some strangers who suck all of your energy and ditch you when you have the shelf left. Your parents give birth to you painfully and is it worthy if you let someone freely use you? Yes, loneliness is not easy to be adapted, but time will heal everything. You get used to your own free space.

I didn’t say that I don’t need friends. However, between a few truly good friends and a bunch of ‘ugly’ people who called themselves your friends, who would you choose? Respect yourself first, then ask from people.

 

My family – My pride

If you live in society where people are from “upper class”, then you can develop yourself, blend in with them, and be a part of that high status.

You may want to think twice when you really think in this way!

I used to have that kind of thought, but it was years ago, before I study abroad.

Right now, I actually feel so sorry for a person if he/she “has a chance” to live among “higher class” people when he/she has an original which is absolutely opposite. Why? Because I have been experiencing it. I know that you cannot deny your root. If you try to deny or hide it, then I feel regret for you since you have no identity.

Starting from my grandparents – But first, I would like to emphasize that from now on, if I mention anyone in my family, they must be from my mother’s side. I have no idea and have no relate to anyone from my father’s side and they are invisible to me. Although my mother’s original is from Mekong Delta and they are all farmers, or used to be farmers, I still want to be seen as one of them because I love them and I appreciate their rough but kind characteristics.

Back to my grandfather: He was a farmer and a “xe lam” driver (want to know what is “xe lam” – Ask Google-sama for more images). He could read and write but not much. What can I say? His family was so poor that it seemed to be a miracle that he could read and write. My grandmother was a farmer and she knows neither read nor write. She was exactly like a female rustic farmer, the one who usually appears in your mind if I give you 5 seconds to imagine a typical countryside woman with “ao ba ba”, “non la” and a shoulder pole. Yes, my grandfather was not a doctor like yours and he never would be. My grandmother was uneducated and she, again like her husband, didn’t come from a royal root. Their feet stuck with mud and soil. Their skin was dark and burnt. Their faces were reflecting the hardships they overcame. There were days on which they cried. And there were days on which laughter coming up in their coconut-leaf house. But they were happy and they are still now.

My father was a “xich lo” driver (Ask Google to know what is “xich lo” if you don’t know) while he was a college student. He was so poor that he volunteered to drive a “xich lo” to earn enough money for food and school fee. My mother skipped studying when she was in 9th grade, and again because her family was so poor to pay the school fee and she has so many siblings to take care of (she is the 3rd daughter in a 7-children family). She has trouble in reading and recognizing words. But you know what, she was as strong as a young man. She worked 2 jobs while she had me. She was a worker in a factory and she worked 7 days a week from 6.am until 9.pm for at least 15 years. She was also a tailor, not fancy like you are imagining now, she received ragged clothes and fixed them to customers. She made uniforms to the factory with cheap price (she used to quantity to increase the amount of money she would get – so the more clothes, the more money). I saw her stay up until 2.am just to finish delivered clothes on time. They are retired now. But still, it’s not the end. Due to her past hard work, now she is suffering several diseases from weak bones to bad blood. My father’s feet are so horrible with broken veins which can be seen clearly through the skin and it gives you the feeling that those can explode under the skin at any time. Yes, my father doesn’t work for a governmental corporation. My mother is not a teacher and she is not an owner of any big kindergarten. My mother is not beautiful and she even looks older than her age. To me, my parents are the best: Best beautiful and handsome. Best dedicated. Best patient. They deserve the gold medal for their suffering ability. They deserve the best!

All of my cousins, they are workers for some small clothes/shoes/pens companies. They work all 7 days a week. They all haven’t finished high school. They usually use bad words when speaking. They are absolutely not an honored students from any gifted school. The way they treat our family, our grandparents, and me is the best. They bring me laughter and happiness. When I’m with them, I don’t need to hide my true identity. They are the best cousins I would wish for in my whole life.

My uncles and aunts: farmers, workers. However, when they know that you need them, they would be there for you. I completely trust them! The way they speak is very funny, typical Mekong-Delta accent but it shows that they are truly originally rustic farmers and they don’t even care to hide it. You will be free, just be you, when you’re with them!

And yeah, my family doesn’t have anyone who works in the government. They are not royal. Noone is a doctor. Most of them never finished either college or high school. They are rough, tough, much more comfortable,generous, humorous, kind and helpful. They can be very cloddish, boorish, rustic and look dummy. They don’t know any second language beside Vietnamese and they have heavy Mekong-Delta accent. What do you ask for? With these characteristics, they are the best and most wonderful family a person can ask for.

They are a part of me and they grow me up to let me become myself nowadays. Without them, I don’t exist. Without them, I cannot be here, sit with you guys, talk to you guys. You may come from honor root, but the fact that I still can study abroad, I am still studying in the same university as yours, I can argue and make you shut your mouth up with your weak, shallow and silly points of view prove to anyone that it doesn’t matter where you’re from. It is about how they raise you and how much determination you can have to make your dream come true. It is about yourself when you choose the path ahead. So if you fail, appreciate that your family is with you and never ever blame them for what you have done to yourself.

Be with your family when you still can. Be proud of having them in your life and be thankful for being a part of their life.

 

Turku, 20 August 2014 – A rainy day with an interesting discovery ;)

I read a blog of my friend. I wonder whose this blog? Is it my friend? If I can, I give her green and pink color but this blog is so blue and grey.

She seems happy all the times and it seems that she has everything a girl needs to have. She has a nice family with both her parents are still working and enjoying living. She has a younger brother who is smart, matured and independent. They are not super rich but they have an upper living standard. She smiles with me every time I see her and talk to her.

Yes, she is smart and pretty but she is very sensitive, fragile and still, lonely.

She is an artist with beautiful pictures painted and photographed by herself. Her style of using words is very strange, but still, can make you cry and laugh constantly. Maybe, just because her soul is so, I named it, “artistic” that even a small touch, a whisper or a single tiny purple syringa leaning on the pavement can make her think and relate to something that only she knows. She’s sad, inside.

A clown can cry, don’t you know?

Although a clown makes people laugh, who will cheer her up when she’s upset? A clown person is still a human being, but sometimes we forget that basic truth. Especially with an artistic clown, her world is on another planet which is different from ours.

It is more difficult to get into her world because we don’t know when she needs us, tomorrow, yesterday, next week, or just right now. I am not the one who can be touched by something I see or hear randomly and it is double hard level for me to understand her – the crying clown.

I was not so sad when I read her blog. However, I did find out that, like the leaving of Robin Williams, when somebody smiles, it means she’s just smiling. It doesn’t mean she is happy.

Human is so complicated, isn’t it? Having more than one face and then sometimes, we ask ourselves, what is this for? Such a paradox but without it, a life would be so boring.

Turku, 20 August 2014 – A rainy day with an interesting discovery ;)

 

When I turn to 30 – A message from my 22

I am thinking about doing a message from myself right now – when I am 22 to myself when I become 30.

It is about all of my wishes, hopes, and expectations to the person that I will turn to be in Feb, 2022.

After watching a movie called Sunny, I have this idea.

There are 2 options:

  1. I can become what I want myself to be (or even I get more than I expect): I will be happy to watch myself now at 22 years old and maybe a little laughing at the old me.
  2. I fail: Cannot reach to the goals I have planned. In this way, I know that maybe I turn to another path or maybe at some points in my life, I give up.

Either option 1 or 2, I get track of my life. I see what/who/how I grow up and be matured. I am able to realize how strong I am in life and at the same time, how weak I can be at some certain points.

But one question: Should I do this by writing or should I do this in video blog?

Hmm, Let’s wait and see :)

Dear mom,

“So if your life flashed before you, what would you wish you would have done?” I would have told my mum and the others in my family: “I love you” “I love you so much! Thank you for being with me all the times”

—————————–

Got a fight with my mum. She called me at 4am. I didn’t pick up the phone since I put it in silent mode. Then she called my friend and asked about me. When I tried to reach her, she said that she just wanted to check if I was Ok or not. I was too mad for that stupid reason that I yelled and shouted at her. In the end, I said that I wished her stop calling me. You know what? The next day, I knew that there were about 300 people died from an airplane tragic accident. Their stories made me wonder, what if my wish comes true? What if one of us disappears and these would be the last words that I could tell her? “How come we don’t say “I love you” enough?”

—————————–

If your plane fells out of the sky, who would you call with your last goodbye?

Dear mom,

I am sorry for what I have done and said to you. I didn’t mean it, not at all! But you have to understand that I am living abroad and I have so many things to deal with by myself. The time is very different and I cannot always stick with the laptop or the phone, to wait for any second you may call. I love you so much, mom and when I cannot reach your phone, it doesn’t mean that I ignore you. It just means that your daughter is actually having something to do and she is not a useless one who stays at home all the times and does nothing. I have my own life but it doesn’t imply that you are left beside. You are and always will be an important part of my life. I can say that I don’t need a man, but I need you wherever I am, in our hometown or in Finland. I am your daughter no matter where I live and what I’ve done.

I try to do so many things because I want to achieve something. I want you to be proud of me, mom. I want to see the light in your eyes when you mention my name as your daughter. And I can trade off everything I have to receive your words “I am proud of you everyday”.

Mom, you don’t need to feel ashamed of yourself because you were just a worker. I feel that when you knew all of my friends’ parents here come from educated class. Mom, you are the most highly educated person I’ve ever known in this world. You’ve raised me for who I am now. You gave me the first lessons of how to read and write, more importantly, how to love. You didn’t finish high school? You didn’t have a college degree? Bullshit! It just can prove that you are a superwoman who got super strength, persistence and kindness to grow your two children and gave them the best things on earth. You deserve the highest respect and those are people who should feel ashamed for themselves, not you, mom, for looking down on you because they have no idea what you’ve been through. To me, I feel so proud of you, mom, from the moment I was born to the day I am no longer exist – everyday.

“Every second counts on a clock that is ticking”

” Gotta tell them that we love them while we got the chance to say”

What is university?

I finished high school 4 years ago. I started registering for the university entrance exam like everyone else. And I didn’t have any clear goal, motivations or purposes of what I really wanted to do, how I could achieve it or even, what I have skilled strength at. Nothing. Like I said, I followed the trend of society: I blinded myself and just tried to get into a university, then have a decent job, and then again, try to survive. The pressure from my family was also a weight to force me with the thought “Choose any university that I might have a chance to pass and that’s it”. My brother even threatened me that if I had not been accepted to a fine public university (my family couldn’t afford the private one), I would have been sent back to my mother’s hometown (Long An) to do some shitty jobs. Plus, my relatives would make fun of my family. Such a shame!

I chose accidentally a “fine” university, majoring in Finance and Banking, and again, the major was chosen by my brother since he thought it would be a safe path to earn money in the future. The financial world is always a hidden treasure. I didn’t even understand what I will learn in Finance and Banking major, properly about figures and money I guessed. Some orientation days were held in my high school, but sadly, those were like advertising days for universities and not all of them could show up to introduce us their programs, just a few of them could appear and half of them were private or foreign ones with high tuition fee (some had extremely high fee and my family definitely goes bankrupt before I can graduate, for sure).

Anyway, I passed. I studied well. The problem was that I was not happy. I was sick of those numbers more than I hate onions. I wanted to feel the excitement when I opened the next page of the text book but I didn’t. I wished I should have been more enthusiastic when I learned a new theory, but I couldn’t. I was tired.

Being good at something doesn’t mean that you love to do it.

I went to study abroad at a broader major, International Business, but you know what, I didn’t get confused for that vague name. I read from the university’s website about what they would teach me in each year if I pass their entrance exam.

After 2 years studying abroad, I know what I like: Marketing and it will be my professional major. There’s nothing more to make me feel excited than Mkt theories and how companies have applied them in real life. Such a brilliant way! I know there are so many universities in VN teaching Mkt, however, when I was preparing for the university exam, I couldn’t find any specific info of the major in each year, except for the bombing beautiful sentences about how good this university is =.=

Therefore, my point is, the university exam is not a very big deal in your life. Trust me, when you have enough experiences, you realize that it is just a tiny single knot in your infinite-long rope of life. And 100 % of students who’ve just finished their high school and passed the uni exam, 80% of them do not have a clue of what they want, and how they can do it. Like I said, they just follow the trend. Only 20% have a little bit consciousness of what they are doing but nobody assures that they will stick with their choice or they may change it in the future. Some of my friends changed their career after graduating and working for a while.

18 is a very young age. It is not even 1/3 of a person’s life. If you fail this chance, you still have time to re-do or find another interest and pursue it. It is your life, you can do whatever you want to do and believe me, forcing yourself to do something will lead to an empty soul. Sooner or later, you’ll quit. Just remember, always try all your best and live like “living”, not “surviving”.

If somebody asks me “What is university?” – It is just a place to study and experience. I answer.

YOUR ANGEL (Collected poem)

mom

If ever you need to talk,

if ever you need some cheers,

remember you have a friend -

who always will be here …

She doesn’t want a lot, only to see your smile;

and just to see you happy,

she’ll walk that proverbial mile.

Always know she cares,

no matter what you do.

You’ll always find her there

to give you hugs when you are blue.

There is a saying that goes:

‘You don’t have to love in words,

because even though silences,

love is always heard’

(Collected from the “Donald Duck and Friends” magazine)

 

Jim and Anna (Part 2)

It is just a babysitting job, isn’t it?

- Second screen: Let’s turn back to the first day when Anna had met Jim.

*Knocking the door*

 ‘Hi, I’m Anna Blanche. I’m the new babysitter that the office must have informed you a few weeks ago.’ => A plain, little girl with simple clothes and huge smile. Not beautiful like sunshine but nice and tender like a light breeze.

 ‘Uh huh … *pausing to think* Oh! *Tap the head* Oh yeah! Coming! Sorry, I’m kinda busy. Please have a seat!’ => A proper 40-year-old man who looks tired but still very attractive. If you have a chance to watch the movie “Pretty Woman”, then imagine him as Rechard Gere who played the main male character alongside with Julia Robert. His large, very glamour chest flickered under the big white shirt  made you cannot resist. Oh and he must have black hair and black eyes, also :)

 ‘I’m sorry, I’m …’

Anna: ‘Mr. Jim Fisher, I know’ She smiled, a smile of a winner. ‘Ms. Brenda Reed from the office has told me about a few troubles that you have solved lately’. She looked around the room. The whole environment there was cold and empty. She felt a bit of relaxed because the room didn’t seem so messy.

Jim: Walking from the kitchen with a tray of 2 cups of tea – ‘A few troubles? No, just only one but it is a huge big one’

Anna: ‘ Thanks. This is my profile. You can find here everything about me, including my ID, my phone number and the address of my dorm where i am living now’.

Jim: ‘Your dorm? Are you a student? I’m sorry but do you have any experience in this job?’

Anna (smile): ‘I’ve become a babysitter since the first year of my college and right now I am in the final stage of the second one. I understand that some people don’t trust the college students because they are students and they are famous for a carefree lifestyle. I am different. I like children and children like me. You can check in my profile that I got good reviews from the previous clients. tell me, what else do you need?’

Jim: ‘A half-wife’

Anna: freezing with a mouth full of tea. Her big, round eyes became more big and round.

Jim: Burst out laughing – ‘You know, you look very cute right now. Ok, I’m just kidding’

Anna: ‘You funny man!’

Jim: ‘On second thought, no, I’m serious!

 – The second screen ends with a look-so-stupid face of Anna.

<TO BE CONTINUED>

P/S: The song is nothing to do with the story. I was simply listening to “The Lemon Tree” while I was writing this.

P/S of P/S: It is such a nice weather in Turku! And again, it has nothing to do with the story. Just want to tell you that :)

Jim and Anna (Part 1)

It is not a kiss, is it?

– First screen: Jim and Anna are in the kitchen.

Anna is typing and Jim is behind her. The light is slightly dark and the music matches perfectly with the view at that time “Close to you”.

‘ How old are you?’ – He asked me when he was leaning his head on my neck. Oh my God! I could feel his breath on my skin.

’20, Sir’ I closed my eyes while answering him in quiver – ‘Hold your mind! Control your thoughts, girl!’ – Whispered myself.

‘A young fresh flower’ – That damn smirking smile on him! – ‘Uhm… your smell is nice. Lilac?’ – His nose touched my hair.

I nodded hard.

‘You know my favorite smell huh?’. His voice was so sexy that I thought it had a power to let me think about what I never allow myself to think about, if you know what I mean. Not with him, my client, who paid me to take care of his children.

I am a babysitter.

‘It’s too late. You should go to sleep…’ – I quickly cleared the table up and turned back to get out of this goddamn luxury kitchen ASAP. In that moment, I realized that his lips JUST TOUCHED mine, slightly, but still, TOUCHED! I pushed him back but it was too late, my eyes looked at his directly rather like there was an invisible string connected me to him for ever.

‘Good night, sir!’ – I ran back to my room. Thank God for nothing happened further. There was a mixture of feelings in me, something surprised, something nervous, but there was something touching and something blushed. Me in the mirror was so confused but when I looked closely, I could see her tiny sleazy smile.

<TO BE CONTINUED>