being grateful for just being alive and well

This morning, I read a news article about a cancer fighter passing away after two years battling lung cancer. The feed was shared by Thuy Muoi, a person I follow on Facebook who is a cancer fighter herself. I had known about her in the past after reading inspiring news about her phenomenal success as one of the most talented start-up entrepreneur in my country. A few years later, I saw her name on the news again, this time about her being diagnosed with stage-IV cancer. Courageous and strong-minded as she always was, she decided to not only win the fight and become a survivor but also contribute to the research and raise awareness about this deadly disease so that people in the same situation could stand a better chance of being cured and improving their quality of life. Both of these cancer fighters kept a journal to share with other their struggles and hardship, but above all their optimisms, gratefulness and love for life.

Reading those brave but heart-wrenching blog posts is such an awakening moment for me. I realize that I have been whining so much recently that I forget to notice how fortunate I am. How blessed I am to have such a darling little daughter, a caring husband, a supportive family and a job that pays. How blessed I am to be alive and relatively healthy. How blessed I am to be able to do things that many people are still dreaming of such as studying abroad, travelling to many stunning places, and having life-long friends.

True that I am at a low point in my life where I feel trapped and stagnated, where I make no progress for a few years, and see no escape route in the near future, I still have so many things that many people are praying for. True that my parents are quite dominant and always want to interfere with my business, they have the best of intentions and I should be thankful that I still have them to depend on in the darkest of time. True that my husband may be thoughtless at times, he is faithful and loves me unconditionally. True that my baby might cry too much every now and then and she is such a light sleeper, she has the cutest smile that always melt my heart; she also brings hope and purpose to my life, and represents the future, I should be thankful for that. True that my job sucks and it has been eating away my time, energy and patience, I can retrain and find something more meaningful to do later once the time is right.

So this is a note of gratefulness to my life. It is not perfect, far from it, and I need to work hard to fulfill my dreams, unlock my potentials, and get what I want. This is also a note of revelation that I have been given so many things, I have taken so many things, but I have given back so little to my family, and even less to my community and life. This is a note to declare that I love my life since I was in tears when trying to imagine being in the other two ladies’ shoes. I am thankful to be alive to witness my daughter’s amazing developments, to be there for her first’s. I am thankful for every morning when I wake up, next to my dear little daughter, kissing her, hugging her and having her nagging around; she’ll grow up fast and leave before I even realize. I am thankful to be able to breathe easily with no fear of losing my breaths any time soon. I am thankful to have a roof over my head and a fridge full of food. I am thankful for having all the loved ones in my life and know that they are safe and sound as well.

So thanks to those women whose love for life and will to survive also shed light on and inspire others as well. I hope you’ll win and make history (those you already did). I also secretly hope my daughter can become a doctor too so she can save people (though of course I’ll let her choose to do whatever her heart tells her to do).


Getting stuck in time and space

Some days like these, I am again overwhelmed with my own feelings of getting so stuck in time and space. It was the understanding of time tik-toking away and me doing nothing that sucks. Like once again I am uncertain of my career path or life goals or ambitions or even my likes and dislikes. Everything is covered with a thin layer of mist, duties, responsibilities, obligations, dreams and even things that I cannot name names. Feeling left behind hurts, but the fact that I don’t even know what my beginning point is sucks even more.

Really, I read somewhere that every life has a purpose, everything happens for a reason. What is the purpose that I desperately search for?  I know this is not the first time I ask myself that question. I’ve asked it over and over again for so many years, but somehow the answer eludes me. Or at some point I thought I knew it, and then at some point I pretended that I am content with everything that is going on, and then at some point I came back to the question again, hastily looking for an identity, a return to my constant prayers.

One once said those words that if you don’t know your true calling yet, sit still, don’t do anything, listen closely to your heart until you know your way. Hey, but I can’t sit around waiting for my whole life, can I?


When I was little, life was so simple and straight-forward. Growing up in a  communist country where obedience and discipline are encouraged, I did not have to think much about what to do because everything was pre-programmed and all I had to do was to follow the prescribed path. For example, if I wanted to win that prize, I should have learned and memorized certain formulas, gone to study with certain teachers, written certain things in the exams and then just waited for the results. I did not even need to think about what to dream because again everything was pretty much decided for me. For example,  I specialized in English in high school, it meant that in college, I would major in either education, business or language studies.  This also meant that once I graduated, that was what I would do for the rest of my life. Now thinking back about that, I would compare the situation to that in North Korea where even hairstyles are regulated and narrowed down to a few choices approved by the country’s leaders.

As one of the students who prospered under that situation, i.e. being one of the top students in most classes, winning various academic prizes and always conforming to the rules, I never had to spend a minute to really think about myself, my dreams or anything like that. To make it worse, none of my close friends deviated from that norm, and those who did was condemned vehemently and became the “bad guy”. I accepted everything, never questioned and just kept following the path.

However, all of the sudden, things changed so fast that it just seemed so unreal. Somehow things that were praised before now fell out of favor. Somehow the life everyone dreamed of, or was deemed to be most desirable now became antiquated. And somehow I got out of that vicious circle, and was forced for the first time to think for myself and what I want to do with my life. Hey, sound fun? Maybe, but maybe not. Now I have so many things that I want to do, so many goals that I want to accomplish, and yet, as we live in a world of scarcity, and constraints, I have to budget my time, health, financial capability, and now a family into the equation. Sometimes it is so painful that some goals seem to be mutually exclusive, that I cannot have it all, but that I cannot leave anything behind. These days I live in the mess that I myself created, the harder I try to resist, the tighter the invisible string held onto me. Time flies, youth does not wait. And here I am, at the crossroads, thinking about my way…

Top 30 love quotes


1) Love is one of the most amazing things that happen once in a lifetime. I hope we will fulfill our love wishes together.
2) Every single day I whisper my love wishes to God, and the moment when I see you, I know those wishes finally come true.
3) When I was little, I wrote all of my secret love wishes on a paper so that I can present them to you today.
4) The moment you kissed me, you also fulfilled all of my childhood love wishes and dreams. You are truly the love of my life!
5) When you walked out of my life, I felt like all my world was shattered and all my love wishes turned into desperate cries.
6) To my special one, may all of our love wishes will come true, and may our life together will be full of happiness and joy.
7) Whether our love wishes will come true or not depends on how determined we are to stick together whether it rains or shines.
8) I will never forget the day when I first laid my eyes on you and realize that my love wishes finally come true.
9) True love wishes fill the world with hopes, true love kisses save a thousand souls, and you, my true love, give my life meaning.
10) Even during my darkest days, I still believe in love and made love wishes, which gave me the strength to overcome all challenges.
11) My love wishes come to life in the shape of the most beautiful woman I have ever met who of course is you.
12) Words are most meaningful when they are used to express sincere love wishes that come from the bottom of a lover’s heart.
13) Let’s grow old together, let’s create our list of love wishes together, and let’s make our own world for just you and me.
14) Love wishes should come from heart to heart; otherwise they are just a bunch of lies that are worth nothing.
15) Even if my love wishes will not come true for me, I hope they will still come true for you because I love you.
16) When I said I wished all your love wishes would come true, I secretly hoped that I were also mentioned in your love wishes.
17) I never believe in fairy tales and love wishes. But if they do exist, I hope we can be in the same story.
18) I do the same thing when waking up in the morning and before going to bed at night: silently sending my love wishes to you.
19) There are three most amazing ways words can touch us: prayers to God, poems for dreamers, and love wishes for true lovers.
20) You asked me what my love wishes were, well, I can answer your question in just only one simple word: YOU.
21) In a day, millions of love wishes are said, but I assure you that the most fervent ones come from me wishing for our love.
22) People say we should save the best for last, and that is why I save all my best love wishes until I find you.
23) I promise you that I will do everything in my power to realize our love wishes, our hopes, dreams, and future together.
24) Although actions speak louder than words, love wishes are still highly appreciated. I wish you a lot of love, my sweetheart!
25) No amount of roses or love wishes can ever fully express my love for you. I love you more than anything else in the world.
26) The love that we are sharing now is even more beautiful than the one in my best love wishes. Please be with me forever.
27) I think the angels finally heard my love wishes; therefore they decided to create a nice warm spring day and brought you to me.
28) Perhaps we did not just happen to fall in love because I had made millions of love wishes until you said yes to me.
29) You know you are in love with the right one when the woman you love and the woman in your love wishes is the same.
30) Love is the strongest when comes from the genuine hearts, blessed by sincere love wishes, and spread all over the world by united determinations.


Amazing Vientiane

Amazing Vientien

So I have just got back from amazing Vientiane. This is the first trip abroad ever since I got back to Vietnam so even though it’s just Laos, I felt so excited and free for the first time in months.

Vientiane treated me quite well. The weather was pretty nice during my stay. It rained a little bit in the morning and I was caught in the rain once but it was part of the fun I had. Vientiane is a combination of religious atmosphere with tons of temples and pagodas at every corner and the more modern and Western architectural buildings. Compared to the city where I lived, it is a whole lot more peaceful with fewer people, less hustles and more green space where I can enjoy the fresh air. There are parts of the city that feel so Western that it reminds me of the U.S.

The fun part about travelling is of course meeting new people. During my travel, I felt so blessed to meet with some amazing travelers who stayed with me, talked to me and shared with me their amazing stories. There were some random acts of kindness that I myself witnessed that really touched my heart and made my day, like the stranger who took me on his motorbike in the rain to ride me back to my hotel when I got lost, or the friendly Chinese guy who tagged along with us and kept us company, or some very helpful local people who even helped us to negotiate with a tuk tuk driver. I am grateful to be able to meet them, and they make me believe that in this turbulent mess of life, there are still hopes and kindness spreading around from one human being to another…




So this morning, I came to Huong Dong Que restaurant for breakfast with my mom and her friends. The food was okay, not so special, but I guess that was fair for the money we paid. So after everyone was full and could not eat anymore food, we started some small talk and as usual with old people, the topic would be about their children or grandchildren. Kids nowadays are so different from how we used to be. They are different from my generation, and even more different from my mom’s generation. That is pretty obvious since with the passing of time, life-style and living condition have changed considerably as well. However, from my own observation, I think the children most of the time resemble their parents. Well, maybe, but maybe not though. I am a lot like my mom, but my sister is quite different from me, so yeah, but still they say like father, like son…, family still has a big influence on shaping a child’s personalities and life’s perspective. That leads me to the question how I would like to raise my own children if I ever have one or more than one. This of course won’t depend on me alone, but also my husband, my family, and his family as well, but sill I wonder how should I educate my children, what will I tell them about life. Apparently, there are so many ways to live this life now, and there are so many events that can happen during your lifetime that you will have no control over at all. When I was young, I was taught that good things would come to good people, who were nice, selfless, honest, caring, and so on. Of course when I grow up, I understand it is not always the case now, especially in a country like VIetnam where all kinds of values are mixing up, and we are in the process of transitioning our economy to a market-based economy. People talk about money everywhere, and how money is important to our life. Older people try to somewhat keep the old way of controlling their children, while young people are craving for freedom to live their life as they please. Some people want to be rich and hold important positions in the society; some people want to find happiness in pursuing their passions, being a traveler, a writer, an artist; some people want a stable life, and a well-paying job; some want to just make it day by day and enjoying life. I think it is okay for me to choose a life for myself, but when it come to my other responsibilities as a child, as a parent, things get messy. You can not have it all, so there are things that I will have to give up…

But anyways, so when my children ask me about life, what should I tell them? Should I tell them the world is a wonderful place where everything is fair and safe and they can have faith in human beings; or should I tell them to be reserved and protect themselves from many unexpected  mishaps; should I tell them to be honest when so many dishonest people are rich and get things done the easy way; or should I just simply tell them to live, explore the world and have their own answer? I know I want them to be happy, to fall in love, to get the best of their life, but then, what do they expect from me? I think parents rarely ask that question themselves. They have expectations for their children but they never ask their children what do they want…

Anyways, just some thoughts I wanna share today, and I am curious as to what others may think about it 🙂


A long over-due goal

I have always wanted to a start a very blog of my own. However, for one thing or another, I keep putting it off until now. I am still not sure what I am going to write about in this blog, but hey, whatever, here I am and hello the world. I’ll try my best to keep this blog going and post as regularly as I can! May all the best ideas and inspirations will come from just the everyday life stories…