XXI | ucla | driven

People fascinate me.


I was helping a friend with her supplementals tonight which led me to read my own responses to those tough and somewhat insightful questions. One of the questions was: Which of your personal characteristics makes you stand out as an individual?

My response was:

The roots of my personality arise from numerous experiences I’ve encountered in life. In particular, my determination, persistence and hard work have formed the foundation of my character, stemming from a very important lesson of failure. When I was nine years old, I picked up my first brush and began practicing the art of calligraphy. Stroke for stroke, I drew unreadable, lopsided characters during my first year of practice. Standing behind me, my father would shake his head and say “no, no, no.” Embarrassed, I would secretly throw away the sheets of rice paper I spent three hours writing into the trashcan. When my dad found out, he would take my hand that held my brush and draw a beautifully balanced character, advising me to analyze the word. He would explain how calligraphy is not about perfection but about improving upon my imperfections. If I continually throw away my mistakes, I am throwing away my confidence to do better. His teaching from that experience is one I will never forget. For several months after, I would spend two hours every other night writing multiple sheets of calligraphy, analyzing mistake for mistake that could have contributed to the imbalance of my characters. When I felt as though I was ready to compete, a year has already passed. Exiting that test room and waiting for the results felt like a fast forward memory. I do not remember the anticipation or how confident I was to see the results. All I remembered was questioning why I couldn’t find my name on the winners’ sheet. For the first time, I felt as though the persistence and hard work I spent on hundreds of sheets of rice paper was thrown away within the few hours of testing. At that time of disappointment, my father placed his hand on my shoulder and told me I was a winner.

I started discovering the meaning behind my father’s words during the silent drive home. I looked at my empty hands and realized I won far more by losing the competition than by carrying a trophy home. Calligraphy is not a form of art that can be perfected within a few days, let alone six months. By dedicating two years of my time to calligraphy, I developed patience and balance that ultimately translated to the approaches I take in life. In a way, writing Chinese characters has become a gateway to my personality. It requires a lot of mental crafting to construct a well-balanced character. As strong as I apply pressure on my brush, I emphasize in my academics. The lightness of my strokes and the patience involved in writing each character demonstrates my soft and calm demeanor. Looking at my empty hands, I discovered all that I’ve learned and applied by learning the techniques of calligraphy and the feelings of comfort replaced the sadness that encompassed me. What I learned through the process, patience and balance, was far more valuable than winning a piece of plastic. In that sense, my father was right—I was a winner.

Losing did not stop me in my tracks. Instead, I practiced for another year and won first place in my age group. I competed in other stages three years consecutively and placed first in all competitions. Hard work, indeed, pays off. My prominent traits such as determined, hard working, and persistent have defined me over the years in times of stress, hardships, and failure. Inevitably, I will face difficulties in my life, but my focus is to bring a brighter light to aspects that can’t be changed and improve upon aspects that can be changed. Admittedly, I have failed plenty of times in life other than this particular incident, but if there is one thing I have not failed in doing, it’s to motivate myself to keep trying. 

I need to constantly remind myself of this and stop losing sight of who I really am. 

— 1 week ago with 1 note
long time no post

somehow it’s always those times where I hit some low when I think of writing things down. And man, did I hit a low in my life. There’s a lot of mistakes that I can make in my life but never did I ever think that I, Christine, would make this kind of mistake. And that’s probably what led me here, to a place where I can fill this page to remind myself in a year, or maybe five years down the line, that I fucked up but I need to slap myself back into shape.

you fucked up Christine. And you fucked up hard. 

alright, that’s enough of that. Most days, I call myself an optimist. I tell myself that with every bad comes some good. And heck, I guess I have found some gold during this past month of torture. This gold I’m talking about are the family and friends that stick it out with me and hold me up when my legs get shaky. These gold pieces who aren’t just there for me the moment of but have followed through with me over this past dreadful month of anxiety and borderline depression. I’m glad I have this pot of gold at my fingertips. Damn, without them, who knows how low I could go. 

with all these problems put aside, I’m looking up and over on the bright side. I feel like I’m quite fortunate. Fortunate that things didn’t turn out worse. This is a wake up call though. Because of this, my life just got 10x, no 100x, harder for me. But I have to suck it up and face it. Some people have shit days but I just happen to have shit months. But it’s alright. Time to learn from my mistakes and move the fuck on. Because I sure enough know that this isn’t going to stop me from doing what I want to do in the future. 

get your head out of the toilet, Christine. This is your reminder. 

— 1 month ago

Elli Ingram - Poetic Justice

(Source: justinancheta, via fuckyeahslowjams)

— 1 year ago with 3685 notes


Me:should I buy a Northface Jacket? It's on sale....
Him:Hmm do you need boots, scarf, shoes, makeup, sweater, jacket, backpack, glasses..they're all on sale
Me:hahah fine...
— 1 year ago
"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming."
John Wooden
— 1 year ago with 1 note
it’s been a while

I never realized how important these little blogs are to me until now. I’ve had a few chances to look back on what I’ve written in the past and it made me reflect on whether or not I’ve actually put what I’ve learned from myself or from other people into proper use. And I haven’t, but it’s a good reminder to try harder when I reread my silly posts.

Things are looking up in pharmacy school and it isn’t quite as bad as I imagined it to be. I mean, aside from the seven straight weeks of examinations, I guess it’s decent. My grades are all over the place but does it matter? No, because the final is worth 60% of my grade anyways. Getting an A now can mean getting a B/C later depending on my how I score on my final. My studying method has changed since I’ve noticed I’m studying more, not for the grade but for my patients. I’ve definitely gained a deeper sense of the concepts i’m learning by simply training my mind to think this way. I’ve also found myself a hospital internship in the inpatient pharmacy - something I completely didn’t expect but grateful I was given the opportunity. It was my ideal starting point and I am so happy and grateful to be offered the intern position out of the many qualified students. Looks like my plan of coming back to Los Angeles will be put on a hold for a little while longer. 

Sigh, one week of hardcore studying before five days of back to back finals. Wish me luck!

— 1 year ago with 1 note
the hardest people to teach

are the people who think they already know.

— 1 year ago
"just drink fool, friends don’t let friends study ahead"
— 1 year ago