As the clock is ticking

It’s not a new idea that life is so finite. I guess everyone of us sometimes think about our death, but we only deem death something of the unforeseeable future. That’s how most of us procrastinate, as we always think of tomorrow as another chance to do it all again.

Until it’s not that far away. A healthy person can be diagnosed with metastatized cancer to find out she only has some more months to do all she plans for her life. A walker-by can become a victim of a terrorists’ attack on a beautiful day while the sun still rises and the birds still sing. Everyday, there are some people saying a casual goodbye to their family, not knowing that it would be the very last. Death is of the unforeseeable future not because it’s too far away, but rather because it’s insidious. As the clock is ticking, most of us do not know how short our life may actually be.

However, I don’t think it’s possible to live a day as if it’s the last day of our life. I know, the idea’s tempting at first, ‘cause who doesn’t want to have a fervent inspiration to live fully and whole-heartedly to never regret anything unsaid or undone. The truth is, the bullet points in our bucket list normally take perseverance and hard work to be fulfilled. And one day is not enough to actually and truly live. We do not live a life of snapshots, we live a life accumulated with passions, emotions and feelings of different sorts packed in the unit of minutes, hours and days. It’s better be reminding yourself that you only live once to truly live your life, regardless of how much time we’re left with.

The clock is ticking, by the way.

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(Ảnh Anh Lộc)

Dress to feel best

I used to think that we dress to impress. That’s why I used to rotate my clothes quite often and almost felt ashamed being caught wearing a shirt twice a week. It’s a huge mistake though. Thinking that way, I wasted a lot of money on a fattening wardrobe full of junk. Also, as I thought too much of a crowd that actually paid nothing more than a quick glance at what I wore, sometimes I just forced myself to wear something that made me uncomfortable and deeply regretted the whole day long.

In the middle of the chaos, luckily I ran into the idea of “The 10 item wardrobe” brought about by Jennifer Scott. She hailed the true power of a wardrobe made up by the so-called “core items” which were defined as high-quality pieces of clothes that could be worn with heavy rotation. She also brought about the philosophy of “being presentable always” which does not seem to share much resemblance with the motto “dress to impress”.  “Being presentable always” is more about how you dress to be more confident, stemming from the fact that you appreciate yourself on a daily basis and regardless of the situation encountered rather than merely stressing on the impression you give people around you.

If you only dress to impress, you will be someone else, maybe a patched version of soon-to-be outdated magazines and overrated movies. As you wear clothes on a daily basis (hopefully), you should dress to feel best. At least, wear something you don’t regret about the minute you step out of the door.

You can find out more about the 10-item wardrobe here. I really love the way Jennifer dressed by the way.

Sad

If my mind was a rock

I will throw it

Deep into the dark blue sea

‘Cause being forgotten

Is being free

If hope was like a rain

Apparently life was a desert

People all dreamt about the oasis

But they were all dead halfway through

-T.H-

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(Ảnh Anh Lộc)

The real tough bitch and the weird guy I used to know

I had lunch with my colleagues at a nice restaurant run by former Masterchef contestants today, and our conversation somehow swirled around M.N – the Masterchef who owns a famous bread branch with a rumor-has-it revenue of about 40 billion VN for the year 2014. I told my friends what I heard about M.N, that she was a real tough bitch back in college. My roommate was in the same class with M.N, and she couldn’t shut up about her, about how she showed off her crankiness without any slightest intention to ease it out and how she stood out in class, arrogantly like a peacock. I graduated with a vague idea of what I am going to do with my life and not many names and faces in my memory, but I’m quite sure that M.N was there, among those names and faces, labelling: a real tough bitch. Little did I know that only 2 years later, she would be once again in the spotlight, only on a bigger stage this time. I was in the middle of my stories when all out of my expectation, one of my colleagues told me: “That’s why she’s there, and you are, well, here.” I shut up immediately ‘cause it really hit me with the god damn truth.

A few weeks ago, a college friend of mine shared a picture of a young successful entrepreneur on our facebook group, and like everybody else in my class I remember him well. He’s the weird guy I used to know, back in military camp. He used to have a crush on one of my roommates, and even stole somewhere a lousy rose to come to my dorm room asking her out. In front of us mischievous young girls who really intentionally humiliated him with our sour tongues and blunt mouths! I remember laughing so hard at him, a weirdo with sluggish style and flabby hair.

It dawned on me. The real tough bitch and the weird guy I used to laugh at both possess some qualities I used to neglect. I used to think that they only showed off themselves back then, with the mere excitement of being recognized and being admired that every single teenager experiences during the most troublesome years of their life. Little did I see beyond the surface, to realize the sparkles of potentials from these kids. On retrospect, it’s so brave to be a real tough bitch and to be a weird guy. While I tried to hide my personalities in order to blend in, to be accepted, and to secure a place among birds of feather, they courageously stepped out, taking full responsibility for their actions, being true to who they are, and asking honestly for what they want. Outrageous fellows might not be warmly received at first, yet if they are willing to put hard work to what they believe in, you will see a swan growing out from the ugly duckling you used to know.

 

Trouble comes out of nowhere

When I was just a small kid, my worst nightmare was waking up in the middle of the night in the middle of my parents’ fights. At that age, all I could do was to pray that disaster away. I also tried to minimize the possibility of my parent’s fights by forcing myself to think about it, like: “Maybe dad and mom will have a fight tonight.” By that, I was quite secured that this horrible scenario could not sneak in and catch me by my toe, ‘cause I was prepared for it.

So many years have gone by, and at the age of 24, for the first time in my life I was caught by a real disaster, even when I tried to prepare for it way way ahead. I have to say, at the very beginning, that disaster almost broke me into pieces. When you had to wait for more than 9 hours outside the surgery room with your mom in her silent tears, you know that all your days before that were like light-hearted sunny laundry days. When you saw the one of you love the most in pain, you know what I did back on that day – I talked in my head over and over again: Don’t be a human in another life! Don’t be a human in another life!

Trouble will come, out of nowhere. Even the clearest sky habours a disastrous storm, and even the finest road hides a dark hole that can swallow a person alive, leaving only fading footmarks. I cannot pray the fear away like I did 15 years ago, yet I still hope for the mercy of God. Not to lighten up my heart. Not to cast all the worries away. I hope for having one more chance. To love.

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(I smiled, but those are the worst days of my life.)