That unknown place

I’ve kept my poems safely tucked in a folder on my desktop. I’m slowly getting comfortable with putting my poems out there. I’ve hesitated for a very long time to put my writing out there, for fear of showing my past, but now I just hope that someone out there finds comfort in them or can relate. Feel free to follow kfaypoetry.wordress.com, which is where I have started to post my poems, and will post them there from now on.

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Waiting seasons (motivational long read)

Those seasons in your life where you feel like you’re stuck in the darkness, in a never ending tunnel, or walking for what feels like ages in a desert, are definitely not easy to stay in. You feel like you’ve been waiting for so long in this season and you want to get out of it. Maybe you’re wondering “why me?” or “why am I here?” or “when will this season end?” or “will anything good happen to me?” Maybe you’re tired of waiting and at this point lost all hope. This is the waiting season.

I’ve had my share of waiting seasons in my life. The last major one was years ago in my earlier 20s. I finished my undergrad in university and was working a minimum wage job that mentally drained me and made me miserable. I was at my lowest point. Eventually,  I quit that job; good move for my mental well-being but then felt purposeless. “What am I going to do with my life?” I thought. After endless searching and applying for jobs and getting no answer, that began the season of waiting; waiting for a job, waiting for the idea of what to do next with my life, waiting for something good to happen to me.

As difficult as the waiting season might sound like, it isn’t all that bad. It teaches you to focus on yourself, on what you like, what you want out of life, to do things you never had time to do before, or to pursue the things you’re passionate about again; self-discovery. That’s exactly what I got out of that waiting season. I had time to start writing again. I wrote poems and motivational paragraphs. Writing was part of what kept me sane during this season, and I came to the realization that I wanted to pursue my passion for writing.

My major in university, however, was nothing related to creative writing or writing. This meant that I had to start a new path. It was risky and I hesitated for a long time. Finally, I enrolled in a graduate certificate program related to writing, and I finally felt like I had a purpose again. I felt happier for pursuing my passion, and I finally felt like I was making my way out of the tunnel. I graduated in a year and immediately began working in a field where I was able to write. I made it out of the tunnel, out of the desert, out of the waiting season.

This is proof that even if you’re in the waiting season, you will find yourself out of it. The best things are yet to come if you keep believing that it will. Waiting seasons happen to:

  • give us time to realize things we might not have realized when we were busy doing life
  • allow us to appreciate what we have
  • allow us to slow down and really evaluate ourselves and our life
  • allow us to discover or rediscover our passions and pursue it
  • give us time to recharge
  • build our patience and teach us to trust the timing of our life
  • build character

If you’re in a waiting season right now, I promise that something will come out of it; you need only to be patient. There’s a purpose to this season. Live in this moment. Let me also remind you that you are not being punished. You might look at the people around you and wonder why their circumstances look better. Stop that thinking. You are being kept in this season because you are meant to be somewhere better, and what’s about to happen to you is not ready to be revealed to you yet.

Believe it or not, even though I told you that I made it out of that waiting season, I’m back in that waiting season right now. Waiting seasons don’t just happen once in your life; there are always more tunnels and deserts out there. But this time I know what to do and I feel more assured that something good will come out of this; in fact, I’m enjoying where I am right now even if it’s in the darkness. I’m trying to understand my purpose for being in this season and I’m pursuing that. That’s what we have to keep in mind. That no matter where we are in life, we need to be thankful and enjoy it because it’s temporary. Seasons change.

Your breakthrough is coming.

Sheet masks: Why I love them and why you should too

Sheet masks are not only good at making you feel calm and like you’re at the spa, but they’re also packed with skincare benefits. It’s pretty simple. Face serum contains powerful ingredients that target a specific or numerous skin concern(s), whether it’s dry skin, aging, and so forth. Sheet masks are drenched in serum. Why don’t you just use a serum then? Rather than just applying serum to your face with your fingers, sheet masks are meant to stay on your face for an amount of time (usually 10-30 mins); this allows your skin more time to absorb the product and penetrate deeper into the skin.

Do the results show? Yes, if used consistently. But I find that a good sheet mask will still leave my skin brighter the next day. Not only that, but any signs of dryness/flakes can disappear and skin feels softer. I aim to use sheet masks twice a week.

It’s easy to think that all sheet masks are the same: sheet + serum. But I’m actually picky when it comes to my sheet masks. I picked up some Korean sheet masks from Marshall’s that I actually did not like. One of them was hydrogel, think of sheet masks made out of gel. They also had two parts to the sheet mask: one half for the top half of your face and another half for the bottom half of your face. Why make the extra hassle of having to apply two sheet masks to the face? I thought it was annoying, and the sheet masks did not stay well on my face. The other sheet mask was not hydrogel, it was an ordinary sheet mask but even that one was not any better. The face shape did not fit comfortably on my face. The mouth hole was too small. It also did not stay well on my face (perhaps not drenched with enough serum). A good sheet mask should fit comfortably on your face to cover your whole face and it should feel like your whole face is drenched with the serum.

With that being said, here are some Korean brand sheet masks that I have tried and trust (Top to bottom: Real Nature , Tony Moly, Etude House):

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Mochi’s first few days at home

On Thursday, I brought my little fur baby home. She cried during the whole car ride. When she arrived, she explored her new home, and then immediately fell asleep on our living room carpet.

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She is an adorable, well-behaved, adventurous, funny little puppy. Over the past few days of her being home, I’ve seen the things that were expected to happen based on articles and infographs that I’ve read but I’ve also seen unexpected things.

Sleep. You will definitely not get a full night’s sleep for the first few days with your pup, even if you put her play pen in your room and even if she has a blanket with her mother and siblings’ scent. She would wake up around 12 a.m, and on another night she woke up at 3 a.m. Whenever she wakes up in the middle of the night, I take her out of her play pen and make sure that she’s on the paper laid out on the floor in front of her play pen, and let her pee. Then, I immediately put her back in her play pen to sleep. Last night was her first night to not wake up in the middle of the night. She slept from 10:30 p.m all the way to 5 a.m. Still not the time I’d like to wake up to haha but I’m glad she slept straight.

Nap time. I didn’t know this but puppies nap a lot. I kind of worried that there was something wrong because she would take so many naps. But after some research, I realized that it’s normal for puppies to sleep so much because they need at least 17 hours of sleep a day.

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Potty places. Mochi was paper trained by the breeder so she does know to go potty on the paper that we lay out on the floor. However, there are some times that she does not go potty on her potty place. So far, she has pooped once on our carpet. As for pee, she has had some pee mistakes on various areas of our floor. Right when I notice, I carry her to her potty place. Once, she even peed right beside her potty place but not quite on the potty place. At times it can be frustrating because you think that she would know where her potty place is after peeing there numerous times, but then she would do something cute and I can’t even be mad at her. Puppies just can’t hold their bladder that well yet and will just go when they have to go. That’s why it’s good to reward her when she does pee on her potty spot, and also to observe for signs that she has to go pee and take her to her potty spot, and understand when she makes a mistake.

Collar and bows. I don’t know how some instagrammers are able to take pictures of their Shih Tzu wearing a bow. I’ll put a bow on Mochi, and in the next second she scratches it off. Same with her collar. She always scratches herself around her collar. One time, I even found the front of her collar in her mouth. I panicked because I saw something pink in her mouth and I thought she was going to swallow something she shouldn’t but then it was just her collar in her mouth -__- . I even tried switching her collar to the one the breeder gave to see if it was just that one collar, but she still doesn’t like it. Hopefully, I get her harness in the mail soon. I ordered one off of Ebay last month because I read that it’s much more comfortable than collars + leash. As for the bow situation, I’m hoping she will be okay with wearing bows when her hair grows longer.

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Carpets and slippers. It is so important to have chew tows but Mochi will even chew our carpets and my favourite penguin slippers. Actually her first day here, she didn’t chew any of her toys. Instead, she enjoyed chewing our carpets. Luckily her teeth are still too tiny to even cause any damage.

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Things to realize before getting that puppy

There are a lot of things that I learned in the process of getting my puppy, who will finally be coming home tomorrow 🙂 Here are a few things worth thinking about before making the decision to get a puppy:

  • Having a puppy is like having a baby. I had to puppy proof my home, just like any parent would child proof their home. I have a baby gate that now stands tall, blocking the stairs in my home. I had to get rid of any hanging wires or cables hanging from outlets or furniture, plants that were on the floor, and any small items that she could swallow. I also prepared a housebreaking schedule for her that consists of times in the day when she has to eat, go potty, and so forth. The toys! She is spoiled with a box full of cute toys for her to chew on, which is important to keep her entertained and useful for when she starts teething (yes, dogs have a teething phase too!). Training a dog is almost like raising a child; you have to commit your time to the growth of this little one (especially during their first three weeks at your home for training). A question to ask yourself is: Do you have the time? And if not, can you hire someone, get a friend or family member to help, or get time off work?
  • Your wallet or bank account will probably cry for the first month before you get your puppy. I didn’t realize how much things a dog needs. Here’s a list of some of the things I had to buy:
    • Play pen
    • Dog bed with blanket
    • Toys
    • Collar
    • Harness
    • Leash
    • Pet I.D tag
    • Treats
    • Food
    • Two bowls for food and water
    • Hair brush and comb
    • Shampoo
    • Nail clipper
    • Nature’s Miracle stain remover spray
    • Dog poo bags
    • Dog car booster seat

So you can imagine that there are indeed a lot of dog necessities. It’s important to think about this if you’re thinking about whether or not you are financially ready to own a dog. Apart from this list, there are also other expenses to keep in mind (vet shots, check up, getting spayed or neutered, and so forth).

  • Do extensive research on different dog breeds. This is very important to do before you adopt that pup. Believe it or not, every breed has their own kind of temperament and factors to think about. For example, Pomeranians are said to bark a lot because they are small dogs that think they are bigger, Poodles are active and intelligent dogs that will be bored if they don’t have some sort of stimulation or activity, some breeds are more hypoallergenic than other breeds, and so forth. These are important things to consider because if, for example, you have allergies and want to get a dog, of course you’d want to look into getting a hypoallergenic dog or if you don’t think you can handle a lot of barking then you would know not to get a Pomeranian. In short, knowing more about the breed before you decide on which puppy to get will ensure that you don’t get any surprises later on and that you know what you’re getting yourself into.
  • Make sure you are adopting the dog from a reliable place. Do some background research on the breeder or the rescue place or wherever you’re thinking of adopting the dog. I honestly almost got scammed once. I found a website that was selling a rare dog that I was looking for and I emailed them to inquire and they emailed back but their email was really fishy. For one, they referred to the dog that I wanted as a “he” when the ad said it was a “she”. That should have been a big red flag to me because as breeders they should really know their dogs.Secondly, they said that they could ship the dog to my local airport for an additional price or ship to my house for an additional price. A breeder that you can trust won’t keep adding additional prices on top of things. Anyway, I did a Google search on this website and a bunch of reviews showed up saying that they scammed a bunch of people. So, do your research. If your gut feels something fishy or wrong about them, don’t proceed to adopt from them. And make sure to ask a lot of questions about the dog; a breeder you can trust will be able to answer each one.
  • Know when the price of the dog is a rip off or not. People these days are selling dogs in the $1000s now. I was truly shocked when I started looking around. I guess some reasoning behind it is the rarity of its breed or its coat colour, and its quality. Before I adopted my puppy, I had to think about what was included in the price (because it was not that cheap). I personally thought the price was fair because the first shots and deworming was included in the price, the breeder herself takes care of the pups from birth until their 8th week, the breeder sends pictures of the pup every week, the pup is a healthy pure bred, and the breeder’s location is in my own city (don’t have to pay extra to travel far to get the pup). If the price is really low, that’s something else to watch out for too. The seller might be really trying to get rid of the dog asap for a reason (perhaps there’s a medical issue that he or she won’t point out at first or a behavioural issue). Before buying, be sure to ask the seller or breeder if the dog has any medical conditions. These are things to consider before really putting your money down.
  • Learn more about dogs and the ways you can train them. When I adopted my pup, I spent almost every night before bed researching more about dogs. I even have a Pinterest board specifically for dogs that has a lot of infographs. This will prepare you for when you finally have your pup in your home. These are a few tips that I learned:
    • Positively reward your dog instead of negatively punishing them. Punishing them will only teach them to fear you and won’t do what you want.
    • Some basic important things you need to teach your dog first is their name, how to sit, and how to be quiet when they bark a lot.
    • Leash training is important.
    • Dogs have to brush their teeth too, and they have their own kind of special toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Do not say their name when you’re mad or to punish them. Only use their name when rewarding or else she won’t come to you when you say their name.
    • When you take your pup from the breeder’s home, rub her blanket against her siblings or mother so that your pup will have their scent even when separated from them. This will prevent your pup from crying on the first night at your home. You can also sleep in the same room as your pup to reduce crying.

There are a bunch of things to learn about dogs before getting one of your own. Although it might seem like a lot, I think dogs are definitely worth it 🙂

Do you have any tips or first time experiences with a puppy? Feel free to share below.

Advice after ending 2016

  1. It’s okay to outgrow people/friendships. Not every friend you make is meant to grow with you (no matter how long or how strong the friendship was). This was an eye-opener for me. But it showed me that the right people want to stay in every season. If anything, I became even closer to the existing people in my life and/or discovered new friendships.
  2. Stay humble with what you’re given. If you’re not getting what you thought you would or you’re getting less or just not getting what you want, stay humble and grounded. You could be doing your all to get what you want but it could just be that right now is not the time yet. Your time will come. For now, be thankful with what you have.
  3. For every loss, there is a blessing. Losing something or someone is painful. I’ve experienced a death of a loved one, and more within the last year, but there were also gains. Don’t think that it’s over. In time, life surprises you with blessings.
  4. Get out of your comfort zone and take risks because it will reward you. I think some people don’t take risks because they’re scared of what they might lose. In my experience, the risks I’ve taken have rewarded me. I went after my passion (even though I knew it was risky), and I now have a career in it. I wouldn’t have what I have now if I just stayed in my comfort zone. Go after what you want, even if it scares you. That just means it’s a big goal. You are capable of anything. No one is stopping you but you. You have the freedom to make your choices. How can you experience what life has to offer you if you stay where you are? There is more to life and you deserve to experience it.
  5. Stay patient in uncertainty. Man, this was a big one last year. There were situations that I was in where I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be if I stayed in it. It would make me feel discouraged at times because I wanted to know that what I was doing in the situation would be purposeful and not eventually become hard work for nothing. I wanted to have a secure future. But I learned to have faith and let go of that worry and uncertainty. Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing is tied to you. Just do your best and give your all anyway for now. If it’s for you, then it’s for you. If not, your destiny is somewhere else. Deal with things as they come/happen. After all, you’re living in the present.
  6. The only person to compete and compare yourself to is yourself. It’s easy to look at the other person and push yourself to be better and do better than them. But this is exhausting and stressful. Everyone’s running their own race in life; focus on your own race. Focus on you.
  7. If you don’t like a situation you’re in, adapt to it or find a way out of it. This goes to the job you have, and so forth. Many people get into this pattern of thinking, that they’re stuck with their situation (job, partner, etc.) and can’t do anything about it. But you can. You have the power to get out of a situation or to ask for help or to think positive thoughts in order to stay strong in your situation.
  8. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers sometimes. Everyone has to work to make a living but don’t forget to live too. Don’t fall into a robotic routine. You haven’t gone out on a romantic date with your partner in a while? Do it. Cherish those around you. You don’t know how long your time on earth is. You don’t want the sum of your life to just be all about work or being too busy for your loved ones.
  9. Stay hungry. And I don’t mean for food (even though I always am hungry for food). Don’t just achieve your goal and get comfortable. One day, you’ll wonder “is this it?”. Or you’ll get discontent with life. Aim higher, make new goals. Ask yourself “what else can I do?” As always, there’s so much more to life. There’s so much more you can do and achieve.