Relationship Lessons I’ve Learnt in 2018

Relationship Lessons I’ve Learnt in 2018

I can’t believe we’re in December! It feels like 2 seconds ago I was just starting graduate school and now I’ve been here a year. Moving to a new place was challenging, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed my to interact with different types of people. With this, I had my ups and downs. I had to learn how to properly navigate interpersonal relationships with different types of people. I’m still working on this, but I’ve learnt some lessons along the way…

ITS IMPORTANT TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m easy-going, or because I’m just hyper-sensitive to people’s feelings. But there were several situations I encountered this year where I could have just put my foot down and spoken up. I think because of this, I’m probably at risk of becoming oppressed. This a serious fear I have always had so it’s disheartening that I keep finding myself in these situations.

I noticed a reoccurring theme with me this year: Something would happen that I don’t like, a situation that I was not comfortable with and instead of just speaking my peace, I would manage the situation poorly until after a long time I would finally realize I’m being taken for granted then speak up.

Remember how I said I need to take into account people’s feelings and how it affects them? Well that backfired. A lot of people tend to take advantage of that. They begin to manipulate and use this thoughtfulness or are too selfish to meet me at the middle. Because I am thinking about them and they are thinking about themselves, there is a massive imbalance. On one hand, I don’t want to be an absolute savage, but the serious peace of mind I had when I was savage was just amazing.

In light of this, my goal for next year is to figure out how to balance my savagery and putting people’s feelings into consideration. I need to properly vet people and see if they deserve this consideration, because not every person is deserving of me. Else, I run the risk of being taken advantage of.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF CONFLICT

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I think it’s important to fight sometimes. It’s weird but observing people’s relationships and mine, I think the only way some solutions can be met is if there is an argument. Arguments are completely natural. However, what I think is important is how both sides handle that argument.

I usually don’t like conflict, I’m more of a “agree to disagree” type of person. However with conflicts I just know how quickly things can devolve into a screaming match and I hate that. But if two parties come into an argument with a place of humility to listen to the other person and accept their faults, this is a great way to handle conflict. It’s not always easy though.

I’ve seen conflicts work this year….even screaming match, throwing chairs conflicts. I still hate it though. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to handle conflicts properly.

I’VE REALIZED THE VALUE OF A SUPPORT SYSTEM

Honestly I don’t know how I would have survived 2018 without the support of my family. This was the toughest school year I have ever experienced and I was at one point I was the verge of tears. Having my family (especially my mom and dad) constantly reassure me that I can do it was really the push of confidence I needed to see through my school.

Being around people who are always looking out for you is very hard to come by. Handling tough situations is so much easier when you have people by your side cheering you on. I think this semester really allowed me to realize that and I will never take that for granted.

Those are the relationship lessons I’ve learned in 2018. Thank you so much for reading! What have you learnt?

Travel Diaries: Epcot, Disney World Florida

Travel Diaries: Epcot, Disney World Florida

Last year, I visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom on my 21st birthday and I had an absolute blast. This year, I wanted to visit a Disney park that I haven’t been to in almost 14 years:  Epcot! Epcot is one of Disney world’s six theme parks. The theme of Epcot is not as obvious as Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom but it all ties together nicely. Epcot is used to display modern innovations as well as world nations and their exhibitions.

Epcot has several pavilions dedicated to specific countries. The buildings, stores and restaurants in each pavilion are very reminiscent of each country. In Morocco, there’s a Souk selling traditional Moroccan outfits and a restaurant with belly dancers. In Japan, there are traditional restaurants, buildings and live Taiko performers in the street.

The same thing can be seen in “United Kingdom”, where there are Fish and Chip shops, english pubs and phone booths everywhere. In France, there’s a mock Eiffel tower and several French luxury designer shops like Coco Chanel, Yves St Laurent and others.

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My favourite country to “visit” was Mexico because they had a whole building dedicated to the movie “Coco” and the Mexican holiday The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos). I absolutely LOVED Coco so I was pleasantly surprised to find it at Disney!

There’s also super futuristic rides at Epcot like Spaceship Earth, which is a simulator thrill ride depicting flying into space. For extra science-ey talk, the G-force simulated on spaceship earth is 2.5G, which is more than twice the force of gravity on earth, essentially this means the rider’s weight is multiplied by 2.5. I felt like shit after this ride and I was dizzy for several hours. It’s not for the faint hearted, but the adrenaline rush is something else and that made it super fun. Will I do it again? Probably!

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I also did several other fun rides like Test Track, which is a fast paced, simulation ride of a Chevrolet concept car. I watched a Guardians Of The Galaxy musical in the American Pavilion a Frozen ride at the Norway Pavilion where I had a delicious pretzel for the first time!

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Speaking of food, in every World Pavilion, there are several restaurants serving the native food of each country. But for some strange reason, I was craving a burger that day and just decided to eat at a general space-themed restaurant. It was delicious!

I’m really glad I visited Epcot because the last time I was here I was 7/8 years old. Epcot is a beautiful park that should be on your list if you want to visit a Disney theme park besides Magic Kingdom! Thanks for reading!

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Chit Chat – Life Update

Chit Chat – Life Update

I’ve been away from my blog from several months and I thought it would be fitting to write a life update! As I mentioned in my New Years Post, I’m moving towards a more quality centric blog instead of quantity. The pressure to blog/vlog has had very bad consequences in the past but blogging when I feel like puts me at ease. However, I always worry that if I’m away for too long, you’ll all forget me! So a life update is awesome to just catch you up to speed on what I’ve gotten up to in my absence!

If there is anything on this list you’d love me to expand on and write a blog about do let me know!

Graduate School

I’m now in my second semester of graduate school. It still feels strange sometimes that I’m doing my masters because I never had a concept of what graduate school would be like. It’s a lot of work, but it’s given me a lot of skills in a few months. My favourite part about graduate school is learning coding/programming languages. I was excited, but nervous to learn it from scratch coming here but I’ve learnt so much and its now one of my best parts about the course. I think it’s that eureka moment I get after stumbling on a code for hours and finally seeing it work. It’s an emotional rollercoaster but I love it so far.

Move Back To WordPress.com

Earlier this year I moved from my blog, which was hosted on WordPress.com to a self hosted site. This inadvertently caused a massive amount of headache as my website crashed multiple times within this time. Also, trying to find the right themes and customizing was also challenging. However, the final nail on the coffin was the lack of engagement with the WordPress community! I hate it. I realised that I don’t care about SEO, domains, self hosted, traffic or any other blog things I “should” care about. It produces a lot of negative feelings for me and makes me unfocused on producing blog content.

I decided to move back and I’m happy and calm not caring about all the extra blogging stuff. I just want my likes and comments over blogging jargon that gives me headache any day!

My site currently looks like a headache so bear with me because WordPress is currently facilitating my transfer! Everything will be back to normal after October 5th.

Self Awareness

I’m striving to be more self-aware. I was really inspired by a Japanese TV show called Terrace House (It’s on Netflix, thank me later).  Besides being amused by all the cultural differences Japanese people had with the Western world, I was particularly impressed by their self-awareness and reflection on all aspects of their life. There is also a strong desire to be better, and think of other people’s feelings and how their interactions affect people. I tend to think of how interactions affect me instead of the other way around, which upon watching this show, exposed my selfish tendencies! I know, strange. I can learn from anything, even reality TV shows. Haha

Dreadlocks

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I started dreadlocks! Myself! They’re currently 4 months old and coming along nicely. I guess you could say I gave up on my natural hair this summer. The breakage and tangling was real so I decided to lock it since my hair tends to want to lock itself every 2 seconds. My locs give me even more peace of mind since I use less products and only have to deal with my hair every 2 months. I ALSO DONT HAVE TO COMB IT OMG YESSSSSSS!!

Weight Loss

I’ve lost a total of 8kg (17lbs) since the beginning of the year.  I lost a lot of weight, but I lost it slowly to preserve my madness. I attribute the first few months of the journey to eating low-calorie alternatives of the things I loved like brownies, ice-cream and spaghetti. However, towards the last few kilograms, I attribute my weight loss to intermittent fasting and eating one massive, delicious, calorie dense, meal a day. I have my hangry, binge days but all in all its going pretty smoothly since I always feel very satiated after each meal.

That’s it for my life update! Theres many little other things that have happened but this is just the main stuff. Thank you for reading!

Getting Summer Ready: With Influensters Spark VoxBox

Getting Summer Ready: With Influensters Spark VoxBox

I love experimenting with my hair, skin and makeup during the summer. I think taking a couple of months during summer to discover new techniques and routines is a perfect way to add new tricks to your beauty routine.

Just in time, I received a complimentary VoxBox from Influenster! This is actually the third beauty box I have received from Influenster but because of graduate school, I hardly had any time to review some of the products I was sent. I’m so happy I finally get to talk about how I’m using these products with you!

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Pure Silk Contour 6 Razor System

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Firstly, because it’s summer and my legs are out every 5 seconds, a shave is an absolute must. Granted, I’m not a really hairy person but I love a smooth shave and a good razor. This razor was pretty fun to use because it has dual moisture bars at each end of the head. This means that I didn’t need to use a shaving cream because it moisturizes the skin as I shaved and avoided any nicks or cuts. It was really convenient to use and I just loved how cute the pink packaging was!

Live Clean Coconut Milk Lotion

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Once I’ve gotten a clean shave, I pop on my Live Clean coconut milk moisturizing lotion. It’s a light weight body cream that hydrates and restores the moisture balance to dry skin. This is perfect for me because I’m obsessed with body lotion. My skin gets dry really quickly after a shower/shave so I always need a moisturizer.

That being said, I think the hallmark of a good body lotion is being able to moisturize the skin without being too oily or greasy. This lotion is all of that! It also does not have any overpowering scent and it lasts long. It has also become my new leg lotion to pop on before heading out of the house.

Swisspers 100% Cotton Makeup Removal Wipes

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Lets face it: it’s sweltering hot in summer and because of this, I usually need to take off my slimy makeup at the end of the day. I usually look like melted chocolate by this time. LOl.  I’ve been using Swisspers 100% cotton makeup removal wipes to take off my makeup. These wipes are very soft and they remove my foundation and eye makeup nicely. But they’re unfortunately no match for my waterproof mascara! However I don’t mind since I’d usually shower in a few hours!

Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Foam Conditioner

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This conditioner is possibly the least favourite product I was sent by Influenster. Not because it doesn’t work, but because I have no use for this conditioner on my “actual” hair at the moment. I am in the process of getting dreadlocks on my natural hair and I am supposed to be avoiding conditioners at this time. Because of this, I can’t use conditioners. This makes me slightly sad because this conditioner smells heavenly. But overall I’m just happy to not be using too products on my hair at the moment!

There is still use for this product though, I own an unhealthy amount of human hair wigs  so they definitely need conditioning lol. The conditioner is really light weight and is meant to be used in the shower and rinsed off. It’s a mouse like consistency and it conditions fine-hair without weighing it down!

That’s it for the Influenster Spark Voxbox products! Have you tried any of these products? Whats your summer go to beauty product?

 

 

 

The Introverts Guide To Having A Social Life

The Introverts Guide To Having A Social Life

Most people I meet in real life seem to be shocked that I am an introvert. I think it’s because introversion is mostly confused for being shy, or socially awkward. I’m neither of those, I just get drained and over-stimulated in social situations. This has been a source of some social anxiety for me because on one hand, I love connecting with people but on the other hand, I just want to sit and chill in my room alone all day.

I think another thing that most introverts can attest to is how much they detest small talk. I’d rather stand in a room in front of 20 people and give a speech than make small talk, thinking about this makes me less nervous than sitting face to face with someone new. I think I’m more anxious of a personal interaction than public speaking, but this anxiety may be only peculiar to me.

However, small talk is a struggle sometimes. I usually just want to go about my day not speaking to anyone but someone bursts my little introvert bubble then I have to derive the mental strength to think of something to say. It sounds dramatic, but it happens often, especially after I have been in a social situation for more than a day. So without further ado, here’s my introverts guide to having a social life, from an introvert, me!

Don’t Sweat The Small Talk…

One thing I would say about becoming more social is to not be afraid or annoyed by small talk. It’s a basic nuance of life. It’s also not really important so it’s not something that much emphasis should be placed on. When I don’t have the mental capacity to make small talk I just smile, or laugh and nod.

It’s Okay To Blend In….

It’s okay to blend in the background of a conversation. Especially in a group setting. I understand the pressure of trying to not seem quiet when there are 10 + people screaming over each other. Introverts often want to pretend like they are extroverted in a social setting. This makes you put up an act that can drain you mentally very quickly.

I always appreciate the fellow introvert in the group who only speaks once or twice within a 5 minute period and just listens to everyone talk. Observing other people can be so much fun (and eye-opening), especially since we are very introspective people. There are things I would have never noticed about people if I was talking the whole time.

Listen And Observe, Our Most Powerful Quality

Listening to other people and asking questions is our most powerful tool. I’m usually relieved when people tell a story to me because it takes off the pressure for me to say or think of something. I also enjoy stories because they draw you nearer to the person you’re speaking to. This makes me feel closer to them and much more comfortable. People generally love to talk about themselves so this makes it easier to take the pressure off you!

It’s Okay To Be Uncomfortable…

Strive to get out of your comfort zone. This is different for everyone so I can’t give hard figures and advice. For me, my comfort zone is sitting at home week in, week out reading a book. Leaving my comfort zone means going out and meeting new people. Because of this, I started following a rule of saying yes to almost anything I was invited to.

It’s okay to be uncomfortable and anxious in social situations. Those nerves are irrational when I really think about it. But they’re there regardless. What are you really afraid of? Embarrassment? You’ll choke up and have nothing to say? Awkward silence?

And when all of that happens. So what? But did you die? LOL in fact you’d find that it was a learning experience. My most awkward and draining experience as an introvert was when I went to a party where I knew absolutely no one. For the life of me I could not mesh with this crowd. Trying to make conversation became tiring very quickly. I just picked up my self and went home calmly. What I learnt from that experience is that my interests do not jive with every crowd, and that is okay.

It’s okay to be uncomfortable, but if you are consistently dreading the thought of hanging out with people you meet often, it may be less of introversion and more of social anxiety. It can also mean that you just don’t like the people you hang around so much. I’m not a big lover of massive, crowded events and parties. This is something I do very rarely. I love travelling, eating out and museums, so if someone consistently invites me to places I don’t want to hang out in, I’d know that our interests at a basic level do not match.

Final Thoughts….

It’s okay to say no. You’re not the life of the party and that’s okay. You’re the sit in the corner kinda girl. The only have two friends kinda person. The only person in your friend group that legitimately looks forward to doing nothing on a Saturday night. Prefer to text than call. Just an all round cute little, introverted potato.

I guess this whole post is just trying to say that you should embrace the introverted side of you. It’s what makes you unique! You don’t have to fundamentally change your personality, you just have to exit your comfort zone more often.

Thanks for reading! How do you balance a social life as an introvert?

Graduate School: A Semester In Review

Graduate School: A Semester In Review

I think I should skip a long winded excuse and give a perfectly good reason for my hiatus; Graduate school has been kicking my butt! It really hurt me to not blog consistently but I could not give a hundred percent to both blogging and school. One had to suffer. In this instance, it was the blog. But I’m so glad to be back!

I started graduate school in January after a looong gap year. The gap year was fun (and very much needed) but I was excited to go back to university and study again.

A Steep Learning Curve…

Right off the bat I knew my degree would be challenging. My Masters is completely different from my Bachelors degree because it requires more Math knowledge than Biology (which is not my strong suit).

In my Bachelors degree, I studied cells and peered down microscopes. But in my Masters, I’m staring at codes and computer screens. I’m really lucky my program required no formal college background in computer science, but there was a learning curve at first. Learning programming languages is challenging, but so rewarding and fun in the end.

I’m Married To Coffee

Before graduate school, I was a very casual coffee drinker. By casual I mean a Frappuccino at Starbucks once in 2 months. Now I guzzle down record amounts of expressos every few days. My coffee relationship started because all my classes are taken at night (7-10pm), which is a huge adjustment for me. However I fancy myself sort of a night owl now!

Grades Don’t Really Matter….Or Do They?

They never really did, but this is more emphasized in graduate school. As long as you’re not flat-out failing and you understand the basics of the program, you’re in the clear. However, the failing grade is B-, below a 3.0 gpa which is a HUGE oxymoron. They say that it’s more about what you know, than cramming and getting A’s, but your grades must still reflect your knowledge. But the perfectionist in me is still irrationally obsessed with grades and if I don’t get an A or A-, I’m usually not happy. So thanks, but no thanks. LOL

Moving To America

I have been visiting the U.S for over a decade now, but studying and living in the U.S is a different beast of its own. It was not so difficult moving to the U.S so much so as it was moving to a new place where I knew no one and had no family nearby.

There are things that I’d usually brush off for my brother or father to do for me, especially the stereotypical “manly man” jobs. But this time I had to do everything myself because I was on my own. It was a fun experience to be much more independent but I’d rather not do that again. Lmao

So here’s to next semester! AND PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LET THERE BE NO MORE GROUP PROJECTS OR THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Jk, not really, okay bye.

I Don’t Know What To Blog About Now….

That being said, I missed you all! I’m going to have to slyly infiltrate the blogging community again because no one will remember who I am at this point. I’ve also been gone so long that I don’t know what to blog about any more. I need a fresh dose of inspiration. Suggestions?

Do you have any questions about graduate school? I would love to answer them. Please comment below!

What Does Love Mean To Me?

What Does Love Mean To Me?

Love is such a strong and peculiar emotion that is very interesting to me. I have never been “In love” but I have loved and experienced the love of other people.

In the spirit of Valentines day. I thought I should revive one of my short, rambling posts and publish it since it’s so fitting for the season! What does love mean to you?

Here is my understanding of love. Love to me is like a sacred, safe place. It’s knowing that I will be always be a part of you, no matter what. I will always have that person to turn to. They are not afraid to tell me the truth, chastise me, and they always do things with my best interests at heart. They always want the best for me and consider you at every step of the way.

Love can mean being vulnerable…

Love can mean being vulnerable. There is that element of trusting someone with your innermost feelings and insecurities in the hopes that they will comfort you, accept you or understand you. It’s scary and liberating at the same time. I used to be afraid of being vulnerable with someone, but I strongly believe you can never experience great love without being vulnerable.

I cannot put conditions on the people I love…

Love isn’t selfish or self-serving. I cannot put conditions on the people I love. Meaning that if they don’t do XYZ I will decide to take my love away and stop loving them. I may be disappointed, sad or hurt but I will still love the person.

Love is being able to trust that person with your life. I can’t imagine anyone I love having bad plans or hoping something bad happens to me. I always hope for the best for the people I love and I genuinely want them to progress in life. No jealousy!

Love to me means forgiveness. This is huge, but I think a great hallmark of love is the ability to forgive. First things first, people are irritating as hell, lol.  Someone is always going to do something that will annoy you. And you can place your trust in people,  but they’ll eventually disappoint you. I can’t hold their mistakes against them and this means forgiving and forgetting. Love is not perfect!

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Romantic love is peculiar to me seeing as how I’ve never experienced it. I’ve never been at that height of emotion with any one, but I personally think it is a beautiful thing for two people to care so deeply for one another. Even more so when they decide to tie the knot!
I don’t consider myself to be a very romantic person. I’m pretty simplistic in my views when in comes to love. I don’t believe in the concept of a “soul mate” or “prince charming”.  I am definitely open to idea of falling in love but the thought of falling deeply in love with someone is completely unfathomable at this point.

I just wonder how the transition from “boy I think is cute” to “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” happens? I just don’t understand it yet. I hate people too much for that. Lmao

How did you celebrate valentines day? I went to class, stayed at home and watched One Punch Man! Very uneventful for the occasion, but also relaxing!

Anndd how did you know you were in love?

What does love mean to you?

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