Blogmas 2018 Day 2/3: Self Growth


Hello, friends! Welcome to Blogmas Day 2!

It’s currently 5:33am as I sit at my desk typing away. I woke up at around 4:30am and couldn’t fall back asleep, for some reason. I was feeling very anxious about the prospect of visiting the rhythmic gymnastics club I used to coach at. The idea of seeing the girls and the fellow coaches is both exciting and intimidating. Intimidating because I worry they’ll judge me and my weight gain (the sport of rhythmic gymnastics places so much emphasis on being skinny). I know it’s mostly in my head. Most people probably won’t care about how I look. They’ll understand that it’s completely natural for ex-gymnasts to experience weight gain– especially ex-gymnasts who’ve just returned from college.

So, my plan for today is as follows:

Now until 10:00am– write and study Chinese (I’m taking Chinese 2A next quarter and want to get a head start)

10:15am– dental cleaning appointment 

12pm– lunch

2pm-5pm– exercise and dance 

5:30pm-7pm– write and read 

7pm– dinner 

7:30pm-9:00pm– study more Chinese 

9:00pm-10:00pm– read 

10:00pm– sleep 

I find that keeping a set, structured schedule each day really helps keep the depression away. For the past two winter breaks, I’ve experienced really bad depression during those three weeks at home. I don’t know if it’s partly seasonal, with colder, gloomier winter days, or if it’s simply the fact that my life lacks structure whenever I’m on holiday break. It’s hard– the nature of depression cripples you from getting done the things you need to get done. What I need to mitigate the depression is structure. But depression hinders you from sticking to a routine! How can you expect to engage in productive activity throughout the day, if all you want to do is curl up in a ball under your covers, curtains drawn and door locked, isolated from the outside world?

Alrighty, guys. I’m headed to the local health and fitness center right now, where I’ll sit in the cafe and study some Chinese. When I study, I find that I like to be around people, with white noise in the background. It helps me concentrate. It’s interesting how silence can be suffocating, at times. I’ll talk to you guys soon!


Arrived at the gym not too long ago. Sat down and started studying Chinese, only to realize that I was missing the textbook and only had the workbook to go off of, which isn’t too helpful when you haven’t read the corresponding text. Hopefully when I go home I’ll be able to find the textbook; for now, I’ll try my best to complete the workbook exercises. Man, I am so rusty at Chinese. I need to look up every other character in the Chinese dictionary, because I haven’t practiced for so long!


Hey guys! How has your guys’ day been so far? Mine has been pretty chill. As expected, I was unable to stick to my schedule– but note that I’m not beating myself up over it, like I would used to do, if I strayed from my disciplined routine! There’s a time and place for discipline, and because it’s winter break, I’ve decided to cut myself some slack.

So after I got home from the gym, my brother and I went to the dentist for our usual cleaning. The dentist told me that my lower right wisdom tooth was coming out and penetrating the gum, which explains the pain that’s been plaguing my mouth for the longest time. We’re going to remove the wisdom tooth on the 27th of December. Fun times!

After the dental appointment, we had a lunch of salmon, broccoli, and toast, all washed down with some homemade milk tea (thanks, Chris, for the new recipe!). After lunch was over, I headed upstairs to my room and spent the next few hours updating my resume and applying for as many jobs and internships as I could find. I used the app “Handshake”, as well as the website “”, to find job opportunities. I actually managed to score an interview for this tutoring company, which will happen tomorrow at 11:15am. I’m a bit nervous, since I really don’t like interviews. The thought of a superior judging and interrogating me is honestly pretty intimidating. You would think that after years of competing and performing, I’d be used to evaluation of any sort. But my strong stage presence does not necessarily transfer to everyday life. In fact, a lot of performing artists are indeed very shy and reserved when they are off the stage, out of the spotlight. But I digress. Where was I? Ahh, yes. Nervous because of the interview. I know that the key to overcoming this anxiety is being able to separate my self worth from my skills. Job interviews are used as a measure of your skill and ability to perform well at a certain task. Just because you don’t get a job, doesn’t make you a bad, unlovable person. It just means you weren’t the right fit for the job. It isn’t a reflection of your self worth. At the core of my fear of evaluation is a deeply-rooted fear of rejection, because any form of rejection is at once internalized, and my self-worth is then called into question. Once I’m able to move fast the fear of rejection and internalize healthier dialogues, interviews will no longer seem so daunting. Hah. If only it were that easy.

At 3:30pm, my brother and I went to the gym until 5pm. Exercising felt really nice– I stretched for the first time in forever, and though I inevitably lost a lot of my flexibility, I made sure to turn off the negative, judgmental voice that resurfaces every time I work out and am faced with the reality that I am no longer the athlete I once was.

After our workout, I came home, took a shower, and hopped back on the job search wagon. And now, here I am, typing away. It’s almost dinnertime, so I should really get going. TTYL!


Hello, everyone! Welcome to Day 3 of Blogmas. It’s been QUITE the day, today. I woke up at 11:00am and sped through my morning routine before my 11:15am Skype interview for a professional tutoring position. I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten the job!

In other news, we had a terrible toilet leak on the second floor of the house, which led to basically the entire house flooding with dirty toilet water. My mom had to call the plumber, and we spent all morning cleaning and mopping the floor. Yuck! Glad to report that everything in the Tang household is now under control.

On a brighter note, today was the first day I drove on the freeway, BY MYSELF, from my home to Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto! I almost hit another car when trying to change lanes, but not checking my blind spot first. Oops. But you know what? I am so proud of myself for doing something that’s scared me for the longest time. Driving’s just one of those things. You gotta learn by doing, and that’s how you gain confidence and experience. Just watching people drive is not gonna do the trick. Now, the prospect of driving on the freeway does not scare me nearly as much as it used to, because you know what? I SURVIVED IT! Today, I grew.

After shopping with my friend from UCLA (we were planning on buying Christmas gifts for people, but ended up buying new bras for ourselves), we headed back to my place, where we chatted while listening to music, until it was time for her to leave.

I didn’t realize how tired I was from a day of driving until my friend left, and I plopped down on my bed. Seriously, guys, driving is so underrated. It’s not an easy task. You gotta be on the lookout every second for merging lanes, ignorant drivers (I was one of them, today) and wandering pedestrians. Driving is especially hard when you’re driving in unfamiliar territory. At that point, your GPS is both your best friend and worst enemy. How many times has the GPS told you to make a turn the very second before it is time to turn? Like, how am I supposed to make it from the leftmost to rightmost lane in 100 feet?

It’s 10:40pm now. Didn’t do my Chinese studying today, sadly. I still can’t find that darn textbook! I guess I’ll just enroll in a free online Chinese course through Coursera or Udacity. Gotta get those Chinese chops going before I delve into Chinese 2A, next quarter.

I would write more, but I think this post is long enough as is. Plus, my brain is totally fried and my eyes are drooping. I’ll chat with you guys later!







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