Epiphany: Reading

As I was walking through the library, an epiphany dawned on me slowly at first but then gained weight, eventually smacking me hard in the face, stupid Ashley you knew this all along, why are you only know acknowledging it…

I need to consume more. Not like consuming food, but consuming books, news, art. Just by walking around book shelves, titles called out to me like they were waiting for me all along, to find them. “Over here! I have some morsel of the universe to share with you! Won’t you just stop for a bit to hear my story?-” Continue reading “Epiphany: Reading”

Night Thoughts: The Ark, Intentional Music

*gosh darn, I wanted my next post to be about something else but oh well…that’ll be for later…*

Hello all. Sorry it’s been a while but I’ve been busy (AHAHAH nothing’s changed) and yesterday was extremely bizarre because I had a hot flash in the middle of the night and also the whole what will I do with my life thing still exists and now I’m rambling oh dear…

Point being said, I treated myself after my programming exam today by catching up on the latest Korean MV releases. First, I watched Jinusean’s “Tell Me One More Time” which made me happy because old-school music always does. (wow, your sentence structure and grammar is so on par, Chong…)

Then I watched this. Continue reading “Night Thoughts: The Ark, Intentional Music”

What University Taught Me: MONEY

Money is green.

Money is mean.

Money is important

and you’ll always really need it.

Even if you don’t agree

sooner or later you will see

that money is a necessity.

I should have learned this rhyme (that I made up on the spot ahaha) when I was younger. Before university, I never had to worry about money. If I ran low on it, I just had to ask my parents. And my parents always had money and my dad had a nice secure job. I never had to strain over dollars and coins to buy a meal. I never had less than twenty dollars in my wallet.  Continue reading “What University Taught Me: MONEY”

From A Different Age

The holidays have passed. The majority of us have spent time with family, seeing grandparents and aunts or uncles. Perhaps some of us have good memories with our extended family, and some of us maybe not.

But have we ever stopped to imagine our older family members when they were our age?- Yes, it’s a weird thought. But let’s try to explore this mind experiment for a while. Continue reading “From A Different Age”

A State of Okay

Preface: this is going to be a more philosophical/deep post compared to my last ones. Don’t expect this to be as light and fluffy, haha~

So. This past week was kind of insane for me, if you couldn’t tell by my random dipping into philosophy while drinking tea post X). It was midterms week and just kind of in general, I’ve been feeling down about myself, my body, my time management skills and well everything.

But now, just sitting in my room listening to some Christian music I feel at a state of okay. With my cup of tea and in my pyjamas, for some reason now everything is shifting into focus. I think, no, I’m positive a big reason why is the simplified, solid music that I’m listening to. Christian music always recharges me like nothing else because of the messages it holds. And in comparison to the circus act of KPop, this music is so much more substantial and filling. Not to say that KPop is less or anything, but I believe that each type of music has its own purpose. KPop, I think, is more of an energy boost or mood shifter while Christian music is my go-to for slice of peace, joy, or something to really hold on to.

It’s not like I totally forgot about my other worries; trust me, I still have to work on my time management and work out (as in exercise). But just in this moment, it’s not like everything’s frozen, it’s more like everything makes more sense and I’m feeling a little bit more okay.

Also, here’s some of the songs I was listening to~

-Calling Glory: Teach Me to Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ5v9_BOLk8

:I am With You

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmIhlfqLXf8

-Everfound: God of the Impossible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kBSB_5ogPc

Surprise me, please

surprise: an unexpected or astonishing fact, event, or thing. ORIGIN: late Middle English, as in ‘unexpected seizure of place or attack of troops’. From Old French, feminine past participle of surprendre, from medieval Latin superprehendere seize.

I have never been surprised. I have been startled before by Chris scaring or jabbing me from behind, but I’ve never been surprised in a pleasant way. More specifically, I’ve never been surprised by how much someone knows me.

And I really want to be surprised. I want some present that perfectly fits who I am and is exactly what I want. And I don’t want to know about it beforehand because of some slip of the tongue or unintentional discovery. I want to be given a gift that was ‘out of the blue’ because it reminded someone of me. I’ve done this to my friends before and the expression on their faces is one that makes me continue to do it, showing them that I think of them, I care for them.

But then my actions are a double edged sword, because after the gifts are given, a small voice always wonders if anyone would do that for me. So far, no one has. Which, okay, I don’t think that it’s the equivalent of NO ONE LOVES ME but still, I’m kind of taking it in a way that perhaps people don’t truly know me.

Then again, maybe it’s not always other people’s fault, because in order to get to know someone, its a two way street; I also have to share some of myself. I have to be vulnerable as well and show who I really am…

Visiting Childhood

I’ve never been able to visit my elementary schools or childhood home. If I wanted to, that would mean several plane tickets to go to Manila, Jakarta, and Singapore.

But now, in Korea, my dad was able to visit his elementary school and hometown. It was endearing to see him recount stories about that other elementary school that they used to fight with or the big soccer field where he used to play the tuba for the school band. He reminisced about how big he thought the elementary school was and laughed at how it looked different now that he was older.

IMG_5596

Seeing my dad revisit his childhood home made me wish that I had one. When I’m asked where my hometown is, I usually say Chicago or Peoria, but I never lived in Chicago and I lived in Peoria for only five years. And five years is the longest I’ve ever lived in one place.

Not to say that I’m bitter for living in Asia. It was a blessed experience and shaped me into who I am today. But at the same time, I do wish that I had lived in one place to cultivate long-lasting relationships and watch a community grow.

For me, childhood memories are scattered across several countries and with different faces. My friendships lasted long enough to be comfortable but too short to last. Granted, Facebook and email has helped me keep in touch but there is always so much you can learn about someone in two to three years.

I’ll never be able to do what my dad can. I can’t go to one place to visit my elementary school(s) and house. In a way, for me home is never one place. Home is rather where I feel comfortable and safe. It’s where I know where things are, where I know the inhabitants (my family), and where I don’t have to worry.

So then, what will my home become as I go on my own? I suppose in university it’ll become my dorm…or will it? Will Montreal still be my home? In fact, just writing that a certain place is my home seems weird to me…

The Other Part of Me: Classical Music

I’ve never invited my friends to my concerts. My logic was that they wouldn’t like it because it was classical music and kids nowadays (AHAHA that sounded really weird…) don’t enjoy or appreciate that as much.

But now maybe it isn’t that. Because I still remember during some of my orchestra concerts how my friends’ friends came regardless, always the same people with flowers and huge smiles, being there for their friend no matter what music was being played.

And seeing that made me wish I had invited my friends. “Don’t, Ashley,” I would tell myself, “they wouldn’t have liked it anyway.”

But does it matter if they do or don’t?

Because as I stop to think about it, perhaps the reason why I didn’t invite friends to my concerts was because it was too personal for me. For me, playing the violin is almost like a second life, something different that not necessarily everyone knows that I do. Through orchestra and solo work, I get to enter a different world that only few understand. I get to experience a world that rips apart any barriers and brings people together in an almost magical way. It’s like a sort of refuge for me, a chance to excel and forget everything in the midst of notes and dynamics. And the thing is, when I play my music, it’s not like I can hide. If anything, playing the violin draws out a part of me that can’t be seen except when I play.

And by inviting people to see me play, I’m inviting them to see that part of my life. Do I want them to see it? It’s not like it’s something bad, just it’s close to me and I cherish it. If say someone made fun of the music, it would go a lot deeper than a regular taunt. So then, am I scared to get hurt?-

Well now, I have my last recital this Thursday and I invited some close friends. At the least, they should get the chance to see this part of my life before I leave for university…

Investing in Myself

It’s 10:30, I’m not tired, and I’ve already accomplished everything I wanted to. I’ve already done my share of scrolling through Facebook and Youtube, and now, I’ve reached the point when I want to create something of my own.

It’s kind of surprising even for me. When I hit this point, that means that I must have gotten bored of stuff for a while. I mean, I’ve pulled several hours on Youtube/Facebook mindlessly scrolling through, looking into other people’s lives. Maybe that’s what it is; surfing those websites is investing your time in other people’s lives, immersing yourself in them, forgetting your own.

So then, in that logic, perhaps now my life is becoming more fascinating than any celebrity or friends’. I’m waking up to realize that my own life has its merits and is worth investing in. I can create my own things, my own songs, my own writings. I don’t have to mooch off of anyone else’s life to entertain myself: I can also educate myself, improve myself, read a book, write a story…

It’s actually exciting.

The Power I Have

As summer rolls on, I’m starting to realize how much time I’m wasting. And then, naturally, I start blaming it on everything but me. But it’s not like when I’m in school; I don’t have any exams or assignments to do, and on top of that, I don’t have a job…So ultimately, it’s purely my fault that I’m not accomplishing what I want to do.

This epiphany is a bit scary to me because it’s saying that I have the power to decide what I do in my day. I have the power to be extremely efficient with my day. I have the power to improve myself a lot over summer break. I have the power to learn more things. I have the power to whip myself into shape. I have the power to read lots of books. I have the power to write songs, to learn new songs, to learn music theory.

But at the same time, I have the power to say, “Maybe another day.” I have the power to convince myself that it doesn’t need to be done right now. I have the power to persuade myself to stay in bed for just thirty minutes more…or maybe an hour more. I have the power to tell myself that it’s pointless to try to do something.

…I have the power to stop my own dreams and ambitions.

And that’s pretty scary.