Climbing Out of the Trenches

Hey guys! Happy Saturday! Hope you all are doing well. I just finished acupuncture treatment and am headed back home. Just thought I’d give y’all a happy life update while I’m sitting in this uber!

As some of you may know, this transition into post-grad life has been challenging, to say the least. Most of my friends are still in LA, and I’ve never felt so lonely in my life. The sluggish pace of the Bay Area is completely different from the vibrant energy of Los Angeles. Some see it as tranquil—I, on the other hand, find the Bay Area boring beyond imagine. I miss the complete freedom I had in college. I miss the structure that student-life brought me. I miss the commercial dance scene of LA. I miss my old job at the skating rink. I just miss… everything about my old life in LA (except the traffic, paying rent, and living with roommates).

It’s been a month-and-a-half since I moved back to the Bay. The first month was complete misery. I had many goals for my gap year but found myself devoid of motivation to tackle them. I was burned out from school—graduating in three years takes a lot out of you! The process of uprooting my life in LA and moving back to my childhood home was mentally and emotionally difficult. Getting back into dancing was challenging as well. I took a long hiatus from competitive ballroom dance to focus on school. As a result, my technique regressed drastically, and I gained a lot of weight from lack of physical activity. I remember feeling so scared the first day I returned to the dance studio. I worried about others judging me and comparing the current-me to my past self.

Last week, something in me changed. For one, I attended a local ballroom dance competition—Autumn Dance Classic—and was inspired by one of my favorite amateur Latin couples who competed. Watching them dance was enough to rekindle my love and appreciation for ballroom dance. The flame grew as I took more dance lessons that week. On Tuesday night, I took a group class that focused on technique. I don’t remember the last time I sweated that much! I was physically exhausted, but for the first time in ages, I felt like my old self again. I loved being pushed to the mental and physical breaking point during that group class. As I danced, I realized that my technique did not regress as far as I had imagined, which gave me hope.

Dance is helping me regain my structure and discipline. I have goals to work towards and love the feeling of getting addicted to improvement. I find myself waking up each morning excited to dance!

Needless to say, I’m in a much, much better place than I was a few weeks ago. Work has been going well. I am helping two kids with their college applications and am tutoring three others in middle school/high school English. I also work as an assistant for an SAT English tutoring company. I find fulfillment in helping high school students improve their SAT critical reading test scores, so they have a better shot at getting into top schools.

I’m also starting my own business as a distributor for a health and fitness company! The job allows me to work from home on my own schedule. I basically advertise and sell products using social media! It’s been a great learning experience and an easy way to earn extra money to pay for those expensive dance lessons!

Well, this uber ride is about to end, so I must go now! Thanks to my loyal readers, I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to read my blog!


Much love,


My Unquiet Mind

Hey guys! It’s currently 12:34am on this early Monday morning. Sleep isn’t coming easy tonight (probably because I took a nap earlier in the day) so I decided to write this post.

My thoughts are racing, despite it being the middle of the night, my fingers are swiftly and deftly moving across the keyboard, and my heart is beating out of my chest. I feel at once inspired and down-trodden with loneliness. The days have been listlessly passing me by, and this transition into post-grad life has not been easy at all. Presently, it’s just me and my dad in the house, as my mother and grandmother are both in China. The house is oftentimes empty, and at night, I find the need to turn on all the lights in my room, as if the illumination will somehow fill the void in my heart.

I don’t know why I started this post. Perhaps I needed a pick-me-up, anything to make me feel inspired and alive. Writing usually does the trick for me, though it is a mere temporary fix to underlying issues.

I had my first day of work at an SAT English prep center today. I am working as an assistant to the owner of the company, who also happens to be a family friend and mentor. Grading essays for 4 hours was tedious for sure, but I need a way to pay for my dance lessons, and a steady gig is a step in the right direction.

I love ballroom dance, but it sure as hell is a money-suck. Sometimes I wonder if the (measly) income I earn would be better spent on saving for graduate school. But I told myself that this gap year, I would throw myself into my dance training and see where it leads me and how far I can go. I just need to find a way to support myself, as my parents can no longer finance my dance expenses– nor do I want them to.

I’ve been applying for jobs as a dance fitness instructor at local gyms and studios but have yet to hear back from any. Linkedin is my new best friend. I miss my boyfriend dearly, but I will be seeing him this Wednesday when I visit LA! He’s been such a sweetheart by sponsoring my trips to LA and back.

As for my mental health, I’ve been attending group therapy and going to acupuncture twice a week. I’m staying on my medications and getting enough sleep every night (usually I sleep way earlier than I am, tonight). I’ve been meaning to get myself to meditate for 20 minutes a day, but I just haven’t mustered up enough self-discipline to commit to silencing my unquiet mind. I guess I just have to do it, no questions asked.

It’s nearing 1am. I need to sleep, as I have a long day tomorrow. Visiting my late godmother’s grave in the morning, followed by a tutoring session in the afternoon, a dinner appointment in the evening, and a phone call with my student at night. So I’ll talk to you guys later!





The Lonely Shepherd

My latest song obsession has been this song from the Kill Bill Vol. 1 soundtrack, “The Lonely Shepherd”. I feel that it perfectly encapsulates my present situation– a lone ranger treading her own path.

I finished school a couple weeks ago, and honestly, post-grad life hasn’t been all that glamorous. I started by going on a family cruise vacation to Alaska/Canada, which was relaxing, but also anxiety-provoking, as I spent the majority of the cruise antsy to get back home and get to work on my myriad of personal projects and goals.

When we got back from the cruise, I started dancing again, which has been going pretty well! Slowly but surely, I’m getting back into the groove of it, and as irritating and oftentimes demoralizing it has been to see how far my technique has regressed since my hiatus, I am trying to maintain a positive spirit and trust the process.

I’ve been swamped with personal projects and goals, including building my website, writing my book, studying to become a certified rhythmic gymnastics judge, working (I do mostly tutoring these days), and taking care of my mental health (I’ve been attending group therapy sessions and experimenting with acupuncture). The thing with having so many goals at once is that you can easily lose focus and feel overwhelmed. These past few days, I found myself seated at my desk, ready to work, but as soon as I’d begin, my mind would wander elsewhere to another goal, and at the end of the day I’d end up not getting any work done! That’s why, this morning, I took a look at my master-bucket-list and highlighted my top 3 priorities, which ended up being mental health, work, and dance. Everything else, including my website, my book, and my rhythmic gymnastics judging certification, could happen in my spare time. No need to stress about it.

The thing no one warned me about is how lonely post-grad life can be, especially when you fast-tracked your college years and squeezed a four-year program into three years. All my friends are still in school at UCLA. As is my boyfriend. That has been the hardest part of this whole thing– leaving behind my past relationships and having to forge new ones here in the Bay. I feel like I have to start over. Back when I was just starting college, I welcomed this change, because I wanted my college experience to be nothing like my high school days. But now… I honestly really miss college in its entirety. I miss attending classes; joining clubs; making friends in the blink of an eye; experiencing tremendous personal growth each day. Looking back, I feel like there was still so much I wanted to experience in college, but never got around to doing. But I mustn’t think that way. I still had a rich college experience filled with wonderful memories. I can’t just discount those.

This past week has been tough. I just returned from visiting my friends and boyfriend in LA, and am getting back into the swing of things. My mother and grandmother are in China for a month, so it’s just been me and my dad in the big, empty house. I wake up each morning not with excitement and passion, but rather, with feelings of emptiness and nostalgia. I have so many goals but have no idea where to start. My boyfriend was in town for the past few days, which helped a lot with the loneliness. But now he’s returned to LA, and I feel all alone again. But I mustn’t fret. Starting over is hard, and transitions can be rough. But I know that I will find my footing soon enough and get back the momentum I so need. Heck, I’m training for a competition in end of November, so that should be my immediate focus and driving force. No time to mope.

Alrighty, guys. I feel a lot better after writing this post. Time to eat breakfast, then work out. Peace out, everyone!