Kokoro 一

Blogging Challenge, Days 1–3

Jordeen, Mag, and Tiff, I’m gonna join you guys on your 30-day blogging challenge! I’ve never blogged before, but I’ve been keeping a personal journal of thoughts and ideas for quite some time that I’d like to share. I figured it’d also be good practice to regularly reflect on the more human aspects of my life like my current goals, desires, and sense of self-identity. As a college student I feel that I don’t usually have enough time for this (#EECSlife, sigh), which is a little scary, because college is recognized as the golden era to do all this.

That all being said though….I’m 3 days late, so I’m going to cheat a little bit.

The first 3 topics were: Your Blog’s Name, 20 Facts About You, & Your Favorite Quote. Here we gooo:

22 Facts About Me:
  1. My blog’s name will be Kokoro. It means “heart; feeling” in Japanese. The character for it is 心, which is also my father’s name.
  2. I am Chinese, not Japanese. I am a huge anime nerd. Watching a lot of shonen growing up has actually shaped who I am.
  3. Symptoms include: optimistic and (probably) oversimplified outlook on life, a strong “save-the-world” complex, a drive for perpetual self-improvement, #YOLO tendencies, and an uncanny ability to always be flooded with a deluge of women with little to no effort.
  4. I’ve been single for 21 years. The first four symptoms are true though, I swear.
  5. I was born in NJ, but flew to Beijing when I was 4 months old to live with my grandparents. My mom and dad were the first and only of their families to immigrate to the U.S. They were poor at the time and needed to focus their energy on saving up more moolah for me and my sisters’ futures. #immigrantstruggles #datU.S.citizenshipdoe.
  6. My first childhood memory is meeting my mom and dad again at the JFK airport in NY, when I returned to America at the age of 5. My first thought was: “dafuq? who are these weird-looking strangers? My mom then bribed me with a fluffy white panda backpack and a Winnie-the-Pooh lunchbox. I happily got aboard a van with these strangers.
  7. Because of my early days in Beijing and many summers spent there afterwards, I have very fond memories of China. I feel more at home there than I do in America, which is admittedly a little unusual for an ABC.
  8. Going to UC Berkeley was my first time leaving the east coast. Best decision of my life. Sorry east coast/NYC, west coast = best coast.
  9. I was cross country and track captain in high school, so I ran almost every day for 4 years.
  10. Because of #9, exercising is like a cathartic experience for me. It clears my head and gives me the deepest sense of satisfaction and inner peace. I need to do a high-intensity workout at least every other day or I’ll feel like a banana slug trapped in a condom. Damn I come up with the best analogies.
  11. I’m currently a senior at UC Berkeley studying Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, with a lil bit of Bioengineering.
  12. My favorite subjects in high school were English and History. I guess I’m where I am now because…
  13. I’ve been incepted with the desire to make the world a better place. I’m not trying to brag; Leo and his team literally went 10 dream levels deep in and planted that shit into the crux of my soul. I can’t get it out. Anyways, I currently believe in the potential for technology to improve lives, hence why I’m studying it.
  14. I lost my older sister of one year when I was a freshman in college. It was a very transformative time for the then 18-year old me, and it made me really realize that:
  15. My time here is limited,
  16. There is nothing in the world like family, and…
  17. Love is all you need.
  18. Because #15 made me painfully aware of my own mortality, I’ve become a little bit obsessed about death. I think about it several times a day. I prioritize making a difference in the world and extending my own life/health as much as possible.
  19. While these are usually powerful motivating factors, I need to remember to stop and smell the roses from time to time. And remember that not everyone is wired this way, and that is okay. Thank god to my roommates and friends for helping me with this.
  20. I am a strong ENFP.
  21. If I were the avatar, I would most likely master the elements in the following order: water, air, fire, earth.
  22. My favorite quote is “Who knows what’s good or bad?”. It comes from a famous Chinese story that goes like this:
There was once an old Chinese farmer. One day, his horse ran off.
When his neighbor came to console him, the farmer said, “Who knows what’s good or bad?”
When his horse returned the next day with a herd of horses following her, the foolish neighbor came to congratulate him on his good fortune.
“Who knows what’s good or bad?” said the farmer.
Then, when the farmer’s son broke his leg trying to ride one of the new horses, the foolish neighbor came to console him again.
“Who knows what’s good or bad?” said the farmer.
When the army passed through, conscripting men for war, they passed over the farmer’s son because of his broken leg. When the foolish man came to congratulate the farmer that his son would be spared, again the farmer said, “Who knows what’s good or bad?”
When do we expect the story to end?

The story has taught me to be at ease with the fickleness of life that is often outside our control. Apparent immediate rewards can lead to empty outcomes. Similarly, crushing misfortune can lead to amazing blessings down the road. It has helped me a great deal with enduring personal misfortune and loss, and is the key to how I build resilience.

Phew, that was a mouthful.

See you tomorrow!

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