Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful break. I had such an amazing time back in Vietnam. Now I’m back at LMU and I already have homework 🙁 This post isn’t exactly in line with the whole “new year, new me” kind of blog post. In fact this blog post has nothing to do with new year resolutions. I hate setting resolutions because at some point I fail and do not follow through.

However, I wanted to take this time to reflect on some of the painful lessons I’ve learned about moving abroad, working to attain my goals and living alone. I like sharing with you all my past. Whether it’s mistakes, accomplishments, failures, heartbreaks and etc… I like it when my readers can connect to what I’m saying.

Can you believe it?

3 years ago, I was just in Vietnam not knowing what I was going to do with my life. I had just dropped out of college and was back home living with my parents again.

I felt like the biggest loser on the planet. 

I remember those nights so clearly when I would just cry in bed because I was so upset with my ‘unconventional, messy’ college journey. I had a bad habit of comparing myself to others which led me to poor self-esteem and always the need to seek validation from others. Because I couldn’t validate my own feelings or self-worth. It was a dark time for me.

Now, fast forward today! I live in Los Angeles and go to an amazing school.

That’s why I am so grateful for my past failures, heartbreaks and mistakes. It was pain that gave me the drive, determination and also served as a stepping stone for me to go after my dreams.

I used to be so embarrassed that I was two years behind in college compared to my friends. But whatever! I’m just happy that I’m nearly done, moving forward and kicking butt!

But that doesn’t mean I don’t experience pain until this day. Pain is inevitable. I’m not talking about physical pain. I’m talking about mental and emotional pain:

  • The pain of missing my family and not being able to see them daily
  • The pain of being alone (sometimes living alone can be the loneliest and the most depressing thing ever)
  • The pain of being misunderstood by my friends and family

But what’s different about me this time is that I choose to not let pain consume me. Instead I let pain be my stepping stone, my motivation, my fuel, to push me to work even harder. When I got off the plane last week I made a promise to myself that I would never give up on myself again. Last year I was going through a lot of painful relationsh*ts and instead of doing something about it, I just felt pity for myself and did nothing.

I’m so done with feeling sorry for myself. I’m taking my health more seriously and I can’t wait to see how much I can push myself this year.

Strive to be the best version of yourself vs. being the best.

Whatever you’re going through right now let that feeling catapult you to being the best version of yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally:


Ask why does it hurt? Did someone betray you? Did someone lie to you? Family drama? And etc…

Then identify the beauty in your pain and create your goal.

In other words what can you do to move forward. What can you do to better yourself out of this situation?

For me, it’s lifting weights. I find it so therapeutic. I go in there wear my headphones and just do my workout. Sure my muscles are screaming with sores and aches, but I know it’s so worth it than binge watching Netflix and crying at home. I love the jello legs after leg day or how my arms are tired from arm day.

I love how I feel stronger even though the gains will not show for a couple of weeks.

Also, after a rough/stressful day, going to the gym makes me feel 100% better.


Behind those closed doors, what you do is very important. When no one is watching you what do you choose to do to stay on track with your goals? Sure once in a while you might slip up and fall off the wagon but what keeps you going?

Have an honest conversation with yourself.

Then get back up.



Following a plan, a goal, a dream is incredibly hard. It can be very hard to stay motivated all year round.

What I’ve been doing recently to help me stay focused is just to purely focus on that day.

And when I feel like giving up again, I look back on the past days and weeks and remind myself to keep going. When I catch myself thinking negatively I change my thoughts.

I am more kinder to myself when I feel at my lowest. I used to beat myself up when I would mess up.

I literally say this to myself when I feel like giving up:

“It’s hard, but you can do this. I got you!! It’s supposed to be hard but so worth it.” And then I cry, go to bed, dream of carbs,  wake up and kick butt again.

You’ve got this. Whatever your goals are. Pain is the best motivation.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I had a fun time writing it on the airplane on the way back to Los Angeles from Vietnam.

Goodnight all 🙂



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