Her name starts with a T. She has long black hair just like me. She has braces just like me. She is lovely.

(Other perspectives) We look like twins, but we are so different. 

It was dark, and it was warm, except when I turned my body around and the air slipped in, it would be extremely cold. 

I starred at the ceiling. It was dark outside, and that didn’t give me any sense about the time or the location (although I knew for sure I was in my room and my house didn’t move). 

It was nice of her to tell me I should go home earlier. But I would tell her, 

When 5pm is as dark as 8pm, what is the point of going home “early”?

She is the best housemate, first of all compared to me. She was a good listener and friend, a smart student, and a beloved daughter. I adore how she did things the way she did. And in me, there would never be a feeling of trying to be better than her, even though I sometimes felt this way with other people. 

I starred at the ceiling. Thinking about what to do today. I miss her. 

Tilted.

(Other perspectives) Every day. Same thing. But not nothing. Every day. We grow. I grow. Towards the sun. 

Her head tilted, thinking about what to write. She has been doing the same thing over and over again for days, and there seems to be nothing new to share. Tilted. Is that all life offers? 

I have known about Jiro – a Japanese senior who has been making sushi for over 75 years – when I read a self-help book for the very first time. The author was discussing about how hard-working would bring people far, far away from where they initially were, just like Jiro owns the best Japanese sushi restaurant in the world by making sushi every day.

Every day. Same thing.

When I think about this now, I wonder what this patient and perseverance bring forth to our life. I mean, literally? It takes years and years for a person to be success in something, but they will not have any story to tell until that day.

Every day. Same thing. 

Over the summer, I play the piano every morning and evening. When my parents asked me what had I done all day, that’s what I would tell them: piano. I believe practice makes perfect, and I believe my skill only sharper as days pass. But how good I am actually? It is impossible for me to devote my whole life in one thing, when there are just so many more things that I want to explore.

Back then, I wanted to play the piano, but I also wanted to improve my English and Spanish skill, I also wanted to hang out with my sister to bond our relationship, I also wanted to swim and swim a lot because it was my most favorite way to get fit. It is just impossible to just do one thing the whole day. 

So then how can I be success in anything? 

My head tilted. I don’t want to tell no story. But I also don’t want to have no significant story at all. Doing many things helps me to grow in different fields, but lessens my ability to be in-depth in any specific area. I would try. I would try to make my “sushi” every day, but would also try to make “ramen”, “pho”, and many, many other types of food that eventually I would have a diverse variety. 

My head then wouldn’t be tilted. I would confidently and excitedly wrote down what I love doing and what I have done. 

Until then, I have to keep practicing and exploring. I have to be persistent in order to be good. 

Mệt quá đi hiu

(Other perspectives) Looks like tears. 

Sáng mở mắt dậy mà cứ hiu hiu không muốn đi học đâu, không muốn làm bài đâu. Nghĩ tới cái lịch kín mít chẳng có nổi nửa tiếng nghỉ ngơi mà buồn xịu. Rồi dần dần cũng nhận ra hình như dạo này mình đang xa cách với tất cả mọi người vì bận, vì bài vở, nên ngồi một lát cũng ngẫm lại vậy liệu học hành thế có đáng không. Đáng không khi mọi người quên mất mình là ai, và mình cũng quên mất mình là ai. 

Mà phải chịu thôi chứ sao, mình phải ráng ráng, vì mình mong muốn được vào một nơi cool cool, vì khi nhìn lại quá khứ mình biết cuộc đời mình đã thay đổi chóng mặt nếu không được vào trường cool cool như bây giờ. 

Mệt quá đi huhu. Cũng khó có thể nói với ai vì 1. hoặc là ai cũng bận bịu vậy, 2. người ta không thèm hiểu, và 3. người ta không thèm lắng nghe mình. Mình gặp nhiều khó khăn nói chuyện với các bạn gái hơn là con trai, mình không nghĩ vì mình hợp với con trai hơn, mà đơn giản chắc vấn đề nằm ở mình – mình không cởi mở đủ nhiều nhỉ. Mình hứa sẽ thoải mái thân thiện cười nhiều hơn mỗi ngày. Mình không muốn bị bỏ lại đâu dù giờ mình đã cảm nhận điều đó thật rõ rệt. Mình mệt mỏi và bận bịu tới mức chẳng còn quan tâm tới ai khác. 

Tại chính mình mà mình cô đơn. 

Mình mong mọi người hiểu. 

Invisible Love. 

The mind and the heart. 

Which one wins? 

Ừa vừa mới nhắn các bạn ơi đừng buồn mình vì mình bận quá nha. Communication is key. 

Không biết nữa. Love is invisible, but that doesn’t mean you can still claim that there is love when there’s no sign of care. When I stop asking, I also stop them from being my friend.

At the age of 17, I understand that I am still young and life still has so much things for me to learn. On the one hand, it’s easier for me to forgive myself when I make mistakes and also easier for me to be open-minded about the world around me. On the other hand, being 17 exposes me to emotional changes that are just really hard to bear. It will be better later, but the feeling at that moment sucks. I don’t have experience in getting over things, hard things, and learning them also brings about hard feelings… 

But I’ll make this time of my life valuable. I will not waste it because I understand I am still young and free. I know I can work and study as much as I want without worrying too much about my health (well, I don care a lot about it, otherwise I will die pretty soon), I can eat or not eat whenever I want, and I can go back home to visit my family without thinking about how much time will it take for me to adjust the time zone. 
And it is also awesome when I am young and adaptive. Changing environment seems to be nothing, and that is extremely important because the world is changing fast. 

My mind tells me to study hard, stay healthy, and do what I want to do.
My heart says I should care for others also because they are the core of my life. Without them I am nothing. 

What do I do? 

Being that “odd” – in quotation mark not because it has a different meaning, but because it is simply different.

(Other perspectives) An odd starts its journey. 

I am too used to being an odd that I gradually forget how to blend in. 

And sometimes the Devil in me say because I’m too weak that I try to be a different kind. 

I have never bothered. But oftentimes I would stop and ask why never had my choice been chosen also by someone else. Why never had my thoughts been understood by another odd. 

I have met people who love me just because I am who I am. But I also have encountered those who say, “It is beautiful the way it is,” just to stop me from pursuing more, from satisfying my own desires. The changes on a person’s face when I say what I want to do remind me every time to be secretive about what I love, so that I can prevent other people from discouraging me. 

It is hard to find someone that truly understands. Before, I thought seeing more of the world will give way to more opportunities for me to meet “the odds” that know me by souls. People are, as lovely and caring as I have always hoped, but on the other hand they push me more towards the people I have known for long. They help me understand that there is no place for greedy, that leaving a place doesn’t mean I am capable of leaving the people and the culture. 

Becoming that “odd”, I know how to appreciate what should be appreciated. I know for the sack of life that blending in is important because without it, I live by myself. I did. Everyday I do my best to aquire skills that I believe will get me towards where I want to be, but other days I will let myself be lazy and read a book and stay far from the center of the world. 

I talked to one of the odds today. She, I believe, is no longer the “she” that I have always loved – as a friend. The odd asked me to hang out, and it made my day. 

After all, she loves me the way I am, but I never learn to love her as I used to. What she is doing offends me as a friend, but I never speak up. 

But for I am an odd, 

I know what she feels. 

We, after all, need a friend who understand, not a teacher. 

Yêu thương vô hình – Invisible love

(Other perspectives) Invisible but reflective. 

As I grow older, love, to me, becomes more invisible, even though it has always been. 

I grew up in a Catholic family. My grandparents witnessed the love of God, and since then following God is what every person in my family has to do. I believe in God, so at the age of 5, I claimed to my Dad that there was no such thing as Devil, for God will never let those things present in human’s life. 

But he said there was. 

If there was no Devil, then where did all the temptations in the Bible come from? Why did people try to fool Jesus, although he had never fell once and although they knew He was the Messiah? 

Devils exist. 

Dad’s words impacted me so greatly that I always imagined besides me presenting two different parties – Devil and God, black and white. I feel confident because God protects me, but I can also feel how hard Devil is trying to make me fall. And I do fall, many times. 

Devil in a kid’s mind is simply a bad person. 

I will be 18 in 3 months. Pre-adult, I realize Devil has consumed my mind and others’ worse than I have always thought. Waking up one morning, I was upset about how small I am. 

Broken. 

Hopeless. 

Forgotten. 

That are exactly three words I wrote down in my personal note. My mind told me these are not true, but my heart kept bumping blood into my arms and hands and fingers and leading me to type them. That’s Devil’s force. 

When Love is the fundamental of creation, it also comes in a form that cannot be seen. It is invisible. I can never see my parents’ love for me if they didn’t show it: if my Mom didn’t stay up late to cook the meal I requested, or if my Dad didn’t talk to me in my sleep every early morning before he left the house. The act of caring is not Love, it is the impact of Love, but people ask for it when they see nothing. They misunderstand that Love can be presented in many different ways.  Therefore, they are more capable of thinking that oftentimes there is no Love, and people become more vulnerable. 

But Invisible Love is not the reason to stop someone from caring. Because as a person who doesn’t fully understand the important of relationship, I slowly push many people away from me with solely a reason, “I am busy,” which is not an appropriate excuse. There is no guarantee that there is still Love, because it seems that what I care is just myself. 

At the age of 17 almost 18, my life and many, many other people’s are filled with deadlines. We keep time for ourselves – our commitments, our homework, and our personal interests. Not that because we think friends are less important, but because we believe Love can be felt without actually be witnessed. We stop asking, “How are you?” and assuming that everybody is fine. 

I was fine. 

Until the day when I woke up and felt there was no Love. God loves me. But I allow Devil to be stronger in that moment. 

I jotted down words. 

and understood that Love should be seen through actions. 

How long has it been since the last time I asked someone, “How are you?”

.

.

.

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It has been a long time since I actually write a blog with the content goes with its title. 🙂 

The love that was once faded.

(Other perspectives) Almost gone.

I have been thinking a lot about how people in my home country sacrifice everything just to be able to live in the United States. Many Westerners whom my parents have met, they told me, love Asian cultures because of how people embrace each other, of how being collective is a norm, while in their home countries – the United States – children fly away from their birth places as soon as they are legally considered adults. 

For many generations in my family, people dream American dreams. But I would tell my parents, why would they want to come here when that means they will lose everything – their houses, wealthiness, as well as their connections with relatives and friends. That, I admit, is my selfishness. 

The more I encounter different cultures, the more I understand what are the true values. I’d love to wear my country’s traditional clothes – ao dai – just once more, despite the fact that I hated it for having to put it on every Monday morning back in high school. I’d love to eat all of my mom’s food, even though her cooking is not the best in the world to me. I’d love to speak my own language whenever I can, and to spend my one-hour salary to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant. 

However, the truth is I don’t speak Vietnamese whenever I can. As an foreigner in the United States, many times I try to blend in, to work, to study, as though I am an American, just to close the gap between cultures. 

I feel sad about how much Vietnamese have endure to live a life of someone else. The norms at other countries are adapted into our norms, while ours have be ignored just purely because of our identity. 

My generation exposes to better chances to learn and to grow in-depth. We embrace cultures, and therefore we understand our own values. We will all replace our parents, grand-parents, and many generations before that. We will eventually realize how important it is to live the way we are supposed to. 

But our ancestors will not. They have been and are waiting for what we refuse to offer them. They have been waiting to bury our history. 

This is me – with a really typical Asian looking – wearing ao dai. I am delighted every time friends from other countries say, “Hey that’s traditional clothing!” 

My role

(Other perspectives) Open for greatness. 
My sister many years ago. She is now taller and slimmer, and she is wise and creative. 

When my sister was born many years ago, my Mom usually joked that she would repeat classes many times because she seemed to be not good at studying.

Until, studying is still not for her. From my observation, many second born in a family tend to make more mistakes, not because they cannot do something, but only because they don’t want to finish things perfectly. My sister is different from me. She is patient and creative. She recycles daily objects to what she needs – a doll house, a notebook, or simply just a painting. I will never be able to do that. 

It takes me a long time to learn to love my sister. Perhaps because we have never been through enough hard things to care for each other deeply. Because of the age gap between us, we each have different friends with different interests. I would never understand what my sister likes, and she likewise would never understand me. 

But as a big sister, I learn more and more every day. The time not being with her makes me miss her, and therefore when we get together every I go home, I know how to make the most when we see each other. 

My role. It is to be a better sister, but not a perfect sister. To love her with my sincerely, and to take care of her when my parents are not around. I miss her.