Writing From the Heart: Question #10-11 (I Told You So)

Don’t go out with assholes. Study more. Why do you need to go clubbing three nights a week?! Stay away from JDs (somebody should have really told me that one).

Okay, what would you really say to your young self? Is it not true that you have to experience certain things when you’re growing up? Figure it out by trial and error? Learn from your mistakes? Blah, blah, blah?

I used to think I was the smartest person in the world. Had myself all figured out. All at the ripe old age of 16. Parents? They clearly didn’t understand what I was going through and just wanted to be strict about going out with my friends and coming home late. The injustices were just too horrendous to bear.

In a way, I don’t think there’s anything we could say to our young selves to drill it into our heads that when parents or older people tell us not to do certain things, it is because they understand. They’ve been through shit. They’ve experienced so much more in life. I mean, come on, give them some respect. There has to be something good about getting old.

Eh heh, I kid.

But my point is that as I did get older, I realized how much of what they had said to me was sage advice. How important it was to wake up for school (I blame the insomnia), and spend more time with family and less time grindin’ .. I mean, socializing in da club.

In my opinion, even though kids will often ignore what they’re being told at the moment, I believe it still has an impact down the road when it all starts finally sinking into their brains. So don’t throw your hands up in the air just yet, parental units!

As for Little Janice, there’s a lot that she could have done differently. But in the end, kids will be kids. Their brains are not designed to think about the future, to not be impulsive and in the moment. So I think I won’t be too hard on her. She didn’t turn out too bad in the end ;)

- Cafe

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: If you could go back in time and tell a younger version of yourself one thing, what would you tell? And What’s something you changed your mind about when you grew older? Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)

Photo Credits: Questions 10 & 11
Writing From the Heart: 20 Questions

Writing From the Heart: Question #5 (I Am Not Who You Think I Am)

I was pretty sure that I knew the answer to this question. But I needed to confirm my suspicions.

So I asked some of my closest friends: If you were to meet me for the first time, what’s a misconception you might have of me (knowing what you know about me now)?

Here’s what they had to say:

That you’re quiet and shy.

That you might be a cold, disinterested, arms-length type of person, which is so not it! … Once people get to know you, you’re very warm, personable, and approachable.

That you are delicate, focused more on make-up and not getting your feet wet than on portages and adventures.

That you’re a quiet, proper, cute, innocent little Asian. Hahaha!!

[The first part of this answer cannot be disclosed to the public, but here's the second part:] It’s been fun getting to know you. It’s been a constant fun journey of discovering Janice.

Well, you look sweet and dainty but I’ve heard you go off before like: “Yo, f**k that s**t!” So perhaps the potential fire in your belly isn’t evident on the surface.

Just as I suspected.

I guess sometimes I can take a while to open up to people. Sometimes it’s because I am shy and other times it’s because I have become jaded and distrusting of the world. I also think that I have always been an observer first, and a talker second.

There have been so many instances where I feel people have assumed that I am a certain way, when it isn’t the whole story at all. Having a conversation or two — or even twenty — with me doesn’t make you an expert analyst on who I am. I think because of this, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt when I’m getting to know them. There are so many different kinds of situations that bring out different sides of one person. I have friends that I’ve known for years and I’m still discovering new and interesting things about them!

Only time will tell — whether you are willing to wait around that long to find out is your decision. But if you are open-minded and non-judgemental, if you ask questions and really listen, it is amazing the kinds of interesting things you will learn about others!

- Cafe

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: What’s a common misconception people have about you? Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)

Photo Credits: Don’t judge us

Writing From the Heart: Question #3 / Lean On Me by Bill Withers (Cover) (Guitar & Vocals)

Being a good person and helping to make other people’s lives better.

It’s easiest for me to answer this question by imagining that my time had come and now here was everyone gathered at my funeral — *knock on wood* — thinking back to .. well .. me, and their time with me.

As everyone stood over my grave — sobbing uncontrollably, of course (hehe) — I’d want people to be thinking that I had a good heart. That I always tried to think of others and what it would be like to be in their shoes. That I had a lot of compassion and empathy, and that I continually tried to improve myself as a person — not just for my own betterment, but for the ones I loved around me.

I’d hope that people would feel like I had made their lives better, not necessarily in some profound way, but even in the little things. I guess, in other words, these are the things I want to strive towards being remembered for. I hope I am well on my way :)

So with that, I’d like to send you all off on your weekend with a cover of “Lean On Me” (originally by Bill Withers), dedicated to my dear friends and anyone who needs a shoulder to lean on. I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on! :D

Have a great weekend, everyone!

- Cafe

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: What do you want to be known for? Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)

Photo Credit: Question 3

Writing From the Heart: Question #2 (First Comes Love)

Love, health, happiness, money, fame.

Maybe it isn’t as simple as it seems. But it seems pretty simple to me.

Love: I feel that for most people, finding that person who they want to spend the rest of their life with is ultimately what we work towards. Of course we don’t want life to only be about that — we want to have our own personal achievements, maybe travel the world, excel in our careers. But it seems to be human nature that much of what we do — from making an effort in how we look to finding a “good” job — are ultimately to make us more “attractive” to potential life mates. Am I sounding like an evolutionary psychologist yet?

But — and I don’t know if it’s me just being a softie at heart — I don’t know that it’s just for us to find a partner who we can make babies with to carry on our lineage (*it’s the circle of liiiiife!*). Okay, seriously, I really believe that for most people, we want to feel that love and passion that you can’t just find in a friend. I remember that even throughout all those years where I was a total man-hater *ahem* I still found myself always writing in my journal about how I wish there was “that guy” out there. Blegh, so corny. But true.

Of course, love can also be referring to the love from family and friends. I don’t see how anything can beat being surrounded by people you love and who love you. If love is not at the top of your list, I need an explanation!!

Health: I feel like this could be a hard one to put at the top of the list unless you’ve experienced what it’s like to not have good health. Doesn’t matter if you have all the money in the world — if you have to be confined to your bed or hooked up on tubes, or are constantly feeling unwell, how do you enjoy life? I’m sure there are people who find ways, but I’m going to guess that they have some serious support and love behind them, which brings me back to my first point ;)

Happiness: Where does happiness come from? The true feeling of happiness that I’ve experienced has mostly come from love, which is why this is not right at the top. But happiness does also come from having peace of mind, good mental health, a strong sense of self, and so on — things that come from inside the individual rather than from another person. If I think about it like that — happiness as good mental health, it’s actually hard for me to decide which to put on top, happiness or health (which I think of as physical health), because mental health is all-important to me. Hmm, maybe not so simple?

Money: I do understand how money can make life easier and I’d be naive to say that it’s not important at all. Money lets me have amazing experiences around the world and go out to relax on weekends. I love those things!! But I would never trade money for love, health or happiness and I know that you could be rich but still totally unhappy and feeling like you didn’t have enough! Blegh.

Fame: This was easy to put at the bottom since I don’t think I’d like the famous lifestyle. I’m actually a pretty private person and there are certain things I like to keep to myself. I could imagine myself being one of those people who would punch a nosy reporter in the face if they got all up in my biz!

- Cafe

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: In order of importance how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame? Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)

Photo Credits: Question 2Love, Health, Happiness, Money, Fame