I hate when people say “I am obliged to do something even when I don’t want…”

One thing complicating and actually irritating taking over my mind for such a long time urges me to write to release all the negative feelings before they become kind of hatred towards someone, who actually do not deserve such hatred from me.

One sentence I hate listening from the grown-ups: We are obliged to do something even we don’t want….. or We have no other choices but ……..

What I mean here is not this sentence that put in a specific circumstance but the attitude that these grown-ups told when they wanna look like miserable or try finding excuse for things they dare not do.

What I mean here is not the obligation stipulated by law, or the obligation coming from the external forces.

I have a friend. She is somehow nice and hardworking. Her financial condition is not as favorable as the others, which makes her work so hard to earn money for her family. She works from 9 to 9 and spends her weekend tutoring to earn more money. Things, however, that make me annoying when she told that she is obliged to do this or kind of it is her life that forces her to work that hard (and actually she did not want to work like that). It makes me feel like she tries to be miserable and win the sympathy from other people. It makes me feel like she is the most miserable guy in the team . It makes me feel annoyed because if she could do something to help her family, it should make her happy rather than  become her burden. People may say that if I am not in her shoes, I do not have the right to judge her. However, when it comes to the condition matter, I mean the happiness or the misery of one life, it would be difficult to be measured exactly. No one can say if his or her suffering is much more unbearable than the other’s. We can never understand the sufferings that the others have been through and hardly can we do anything to change our sufferings by being miserable and winning the sympathy of other people. The only thing we can do is to be stronger, to feel satisfactory with what life brings us and to be happy. Instead of saying we are obliged to do something, why don’t we say we want our life to be that way, therefore, we have something to do with my life. I want my family to have a better life, therefore, I try my best to earn more money and it makes me happy. I want to be simply rich, therefore, I work harder and harder and I know I will get a lot of money in the end. All our efforts will count one day, therefore, instead of feeling obliged to earn money for family, feeling obliged to work harder, just think about the results awaiting us.

It sounds reasonable after all, doesn’t it?

Or I am talking like a mean girl or I am not old enough to understand such grown-ups’ stuff?

And if our life (at least my life) is filled with obligations, we (at least I) will feel damning bored sooner or later.

After all, I do believe (and I hope that I will keep this attitude after many ups and downs later on) it is still our choices that count.

 

 

 

It is simply “About Time”

About-Time-UK-Quad-Poster

“We’re all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish in this remarkable ride.”

The story starts with an awkward-looking boy, who has a weird introduction about his eccentric family. It, however, turns out to be a story about an ordinary man, who proudly tells about his ordinary life that filled with remarkable moments.

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Have you ever thought what you would do if you were endowed with the ability to travel back in time? To Tim, the main character of the story, it did not take much time for him to figure out the thing he would focus on when he was informed about this supernatural ability by his father on his first day of 21. Fortunately, his father has warned him about the things that he would choose to focus on, things that he really wants to have in his life. Fortunately, the story has a very simple yet awkward opening with father’s advice given right from the beginning. Fortunately, Tim has chosen Love to focus on right at the beginning of the story, therefore, he did not waste time figuring out important things among career, money, or the alike. Fortunately, the story has been shaped like this right from the start, it is purely about love.  But what makes this movie touching is not an extremely romantic love story that may be frequently caught in kind of general chick-flick, it is the lessons about love for life, for family that left me with satisfactory smile at the end of the movie.

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Some lessons are explicitly expressed throughout the movie. Some, however, are subtly implicitly mentioned in the line. Another interesting thing about the movie is that you may find something not necessarily a lesson but worth thinking.

#1“All the time travelling in the world can’t make someone love you.”

It should be the first lesson realized by Timmy after his unrequited love with Charlotte. Sometimes, it is the first expression that could decide whether you fall in love with someone. No matter how hard you try, if someone does not like you, it is still a slender chance for you to win someone’s heart. Even time travelling cannot help, unfortunately.

#2 You cannot have it all in a fixed moment.

Tim tried saving Harry’s play from terrible failure caused by an absent-minded actor (a so-called Mr. A) by traveling back to the time to remind this actor of reciting the line once again before stepping to the stage. By doing this, however, he missed the chance for meeting Mary, the significant one of his life, losing her contact. A lesson was implicitly drawn from the situation. You cannot have it all in one moment. Your energy, your money may be infinite but time is surely finite, even when you can travel back to time.

#3 You cannot help the others escape from their own faults

Tim tried changing the life of his younger sister Kit Kat by traveling back to the New Year’s Eve Party when Kit Kat first met Jimmy Kincade, preventing such bad relationship from happening. It seems like he almost managed the situation by bringing back his naturally artistic Kit Kat and helped her be in love with Jay. However, this time travelling totally messed up his own life, when he came back and found out that his daughter, Posy turned out to be a little boy, instead. (Fortunately, once again, his wife was still Mary.) Tim, eventually, decided to let it be by having Kit Kat experience the car crash and learn the lesson by herself.

#4 It is still your effort that counts.

You cannot make someone love you by travelling time. But you can travel back in time to fight for the love of your life. It is about what happens between Tim and Mary. Though it is not that relevant to sum up a lesson from their story, I still do think it is not the magic but Tim’s effort that helps he get Mary.  Sometimes, it is your own instinct that gives you a hint about the other half of your life. When you know someone should be the one you want to be together with, it is the matter of moment to decide you two to fall in love.

#5 You have to give up the past to move forward to the future.

Everything has a price. Traveling back to time costs too. You may lose the present for carelessly change something in the past as one minor change in one event in your life may cause other afterward events to change accordingly. Tim decided to give up the idea of travelling back to time to meet his father if another child of him is born. The situation, simple though, reminded us that you cannot move forward to the future when you keep yourself living in the past too long. This tiny detail, which may have been missed by lots of audiences, however, is the one that brightens my mind in the movie. And owing to this subtle detail added, the scene of the last meeting between Tim and his father is more touching.

#6 It is the attitude that decides the way you look your life

It is the secret formula to happiness shared to by Tim’s father on the verge of leaving life: Try living this life twice: firstly, get on living the ordinary life, day-by-day like everyone else; secondly, just feel the life in a different way, try enjoying its beauty which have been disguised by the trivial tension and worry. “The first time with all the tensions and worries that stop us noticing how sweet the world can be, but the second time noticing.” This message is simple yet truly inspiring. It is still our attitude that counts. Unlike Tim, we only live once, just smile and let ourselves be embraced with love, we will feel life much easier.

#7 I just love number 7 so I will end up with the #7 lesson: You all actually can travel back in time if you want.

Tim is actually an ordinary man. The movie is about the life of an ordinary man with the ability to travel back to time. During this supposedly remarkable journey, Tim figured many simple yet meaningful lessons for his own life. The presence of the time traveling concept is just a way to make us think about what really counts in our life, what if every moment in life came with a second chance and then, decide how to relish every moment in our life as time flies and we could not travel backward.  The story, starting off with weird factors that capture curious minds, ended up with simple happiness of Tim and his family that make every audience smile satisfactorily.  It is just like the quote that ends the movie: “We’re all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish in this remarkable ride.”

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Other trivial note to end this long note: If you find a simple yet meaningful romantic comedy to watch with your loved ones, “About Time” should be in this list, some hot scenes may be not suitable for children, though. :P. Rachel McAdam has performed well in Mary, as she did to The Notebook’s Allie but my attention was drawn to the main character, Tim by  Domhnall Gleeson. His not-so-impressive appearance somehow turns out to help the audience focus on the story narrated by the main character, which help contribute to the conveyance of ideas. Richard Curtis, the screenwriter has done a good job in not making his fans disappointed after his string of big hits like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Notting Hill, and Love Actually. The other thing that strikes me significantly is the so-British factor of the movie with pale and skinny Domhnall with his traditionally blonde hair, his wild, natural yet cute sister by Lyndia Wilson, and exotic background with gently rolling hills and green meadow of Cornwall, England, which is perfectly matched with the beautiful soundtracks like “Friday I’m in Love” (by British rock band – The Cure), “How long will I love you” (originally sung by Scottish rock band The Waterboys and performed in the movie by other English folk singer like Jon Boden, Sam Sweeney and Ben Coleman), or “Push the button” (by Sugababes – another famous English girl band). It is just like the feeling I write about in my post “Writing for the dream of 17 waken up”, a dream of walking right at these exotic places and find the peace filled your soul.

Conversation of wisdom shared between father and son is also something that I like in this move

Conversation of wisdom shared between father and son is also something that I like in this movie

 

Random words for hectic days

autumn4

Should it be the life I am longing for? Should it be worth working that hard? Should it be a blissful ignorance or a callous disregard? I realize I keep asking myself too much recently…

Just another Friday comes. Just another weekend to head for after busy days at work.

It is Friday and I tried to come back home earlier than other weekdays. By the way, for your information, it is kind of early for a tax consultant to leave office at 8p.m at such peak season.

Recently, I often wonder: Should it be the life I am longing for?

I do love what I do so far and I just keep working hard every day for I think it is really interesting to get work completed and be recognized. And for the first question, I do love my life or at least, I never complain about what life brings about. I have a decent job, good health, having my family support me.

I try to perform well at work, partly for the positive review from other colleagues, from the senior ones in the company, however, mainly for the need of satisfying my self-esteem, just like the way I am from primary school, never failing to perform well. And it is also the idea I relish thinking about everyday: Once perform, outperform.

Should it be worth? As observed by mine from many famous Chinese dramas, people keep asking one question and trying to find the answer to such question throughout the dramas. It is not the question of being good or bad, but the question “Should it be worth?” Should it be worth sacrificing for the one you love? Should it be worth chasing pavement even if it leads no where? Sometime they say definitely that: “It is worth no matter what.” Sometimes they bitterly say: “It is not worth.” To me, it is such a meaningless idea of thinking about the effort expended being worth or not. It is not worth looking back and regretting about thing you have done but looking forward and smiling, saying: “Thanks as it happened.” I love what I do for every moment and I will refrain from asking such question if it is worth or not. Particularly, in this circumstance, I will not ask myself: “Should it be worth working that hard?”

I’d rather ask myself a question: “Should there be anything missing in my life?”

Sometimes, I really want to get out of my room, taking a walk around somewhere in Hanoi, feeling the sunshine embracing my face or sitting right beside the lake and observing what people do. Like it or not, I have to admit that I am too lazy to get myself off from my warm bed in a winter day.

Sometimes, I really want to hang out with some friends, whom I have not met for a long time, but I do not summon enough courage to send an invitation for I am not sure what I will talk to them during such talk to keep them excited or at least concentrated. And sometimes I wonder if they are interested in my invitation.

Sometimes, I think it would be better to stay here, writing something or typing something. Sometimes, I am afraid of getting new friends as I am afraid that they will not consider me friend as the way I consider them.

And I don’t think that way is okay. That way is absolutely not okay.

I was brought up as an independent girl. It is just not about making decision or depending financially. It is also about the way I am not reliant on other people’s feeling but act in the way that suits my feeling and be relevant of the common standard of the society or not too emotionally attached to anything. You may imagine me the one who is indifferent to other people. It is right sometimes. However, I see my mood swing relentlessly most of the time. I can be easily burst into laugh but sometimes get calm immediately. I let myself behave freely, following my own mood, not caring about what other people says. Should it be a blissful ignorance or a callous disregard?

I am afraid that I will repeatedly follow this routine day by day and eventually forget all of my craziest dreams. I am afraid that I will not be inspired anymore. I am afraid that I cannot find this one in the world, the one for me only and going through my 20s alone.  This idea, silently confessed, gently came across my mind sometimes.

And I even think if it is okay to type such words when I am still at my twenty something…

2014.02.08. Random thoughts

There was a time when the media is filled with many articles, of which the title starts with “Date the girl who…”. The verbs that are filled in the blank were also various, ranging from read, write, travel to cook, dance, or blog. I was first interested in the very few posts of this series before getting annoyed when such kind of posts kept appearing on my Facebook news feed. Sometimes, I just wonder if such articles are just the products imagined by girls who yearn for romantic dates badly.

Recently, I have been cynical about the beautiful prospects drawn by screenwriters in which girls will find out their charming princes sooner or later in their lives. However, I also hate being scolded by my aunts or other elder ones in the family for being addicted to work or career development, and advised to quickly find someone to date with, accepting some guys that they thought are kind of mature and early settled. Should it be fine for me to be with anyone as long as they like me? (And I even wonder if any guy ever likes me since my teenage. Should it be fine to me to be less ambitious, to be less career-oriented, to be less awkward for not mentioning things about arts, languages? Absolutely not fine, at least now.

 

Should people grow up in their loneliness?

walking_alone

Loneliness should be common feeling shared among people, no matter where they are in this world or the stage of life they are stuck at. People cannot avoid such feeling at least once during their whole lives and sometimes, I wonder if struggling with the loneliness crowding deep inside their minds could be an effective treatment for your fragmented thoughts and provide with inspiration for your next move?

Feeling lonely should never be associated with the idea of being alone. You may be surrounded by couples of friends but fail to share with them what are clinging to your mind, which should be considered a symptom of being lonely.

I am not a great thinker to summon all the forms that loneliness exists in this world or not old enough to have a nearly comprehensive understanding of the loneliness invading other people’s lives. I can just share about the loneliness of mine in this post, which appears once or twice during couples of months, exerting profound impacts on my mind, though.

I am used to feeling lonely when facing with failure, with the uncertainty and sometimes, with the success. If the uncertainty often comes after the failure or the success, I do think it should be the main cause of such lonely feeling or “what comes up next” phenomenon.

I used to actively post something on my Facebook when everything ran smoothly in my life and retreated back to my own shell when things did not come in my way and as observed from my friends on Facebook, I do realize the same thing happens to them. We often talk a lot when we are enjoying success or enjoying an easy time in our life but keep quiet when we face up with failure or uneasy time in our lives. We sometimes refuse to go to a social event or hangout with friends as we are afraid that people will ask us about what’s going on and we are afraid our answers will disappoint them. And this feeling is hardly shared with the others, which results in the deeper loneliness.

Loneliness, as considered being miserable or negative, does have some positive impacts in one’s life, or at least mine. As written in a famous Vietnamese song, “people only grow up in their loneliness”, we certainly get something from the lonely period of our lives. To me, it is the time to reminisce about the past, pick up the fragmented lessons and think of next steps to take in my life. Loneliness caused by the lack of understanding from our surrounding people urges me not to rely on my old sources of inspiration but step out and find other sources, i.e. find somebody who may share the same stage of mind with you or read a new book. Loneliness urges me to change, to be better day by day.

Feeling lonely is not necessarily bad. I think in our life, we need some moments of feeling lonely to fill the gaps between different periods of life. Time of loneliness is like the time to have our minds take a rest after life turbulence or to recharge our minds with meaningful thoughts. Just treasure the loneliness when it comes but remember not to have it crowd in on our minds for so long but to spare some spaces of our minds for the sunshine…

Entry for the end of 2013 and resolution for 2014

newyear

Another year is about to end and there are only few hours before 2014 comes. I am just struggling to start this annual review in better English but words somehow are stuck at the tip of my tongue (actually, it should be my fingers as I am typing :P) and I find it hard to summarize my 2013 in few words. If 2012 is an aspiring and prolific year of mine when I ran without being worn out for events, competitions, and part-time jobs, 2013 is a little bit quieter and I spent more time reflecting myself and regurgitating the taste of failure as you can see some posts of mine during May or June. 2013 did not bring me with a lot of success as I expected, though, it is still a memorable year when I have finished lots of milestones in my life and crossed out some important targets set in my resolution for 2013. I have got the offer for internship in IDGVV, graduated from university, and got my very first full-time offer with KPMG. It should be a struggling year with me when I found myself fail in loads of interviews and get lost for sometimes in the way leading to the future. Fortunately, the second half of the year treated me quite well with a job offer (eventually), a trip to Ho Chi Minh City (where I have been longed for, and I forget to recap my 4-day trip on WordPress :-/), finishing translating the novel “You are the apple of my eye” and new colleagues with tons of fun.

I also think of writing my resolution for the new year in this post as well however, I have not had much idea about what I am about to pursue next year. Yesterday, while checking my mailbox, I read the email from Victor Cheng (a master of case interviews for ones loving getting into consulting firms), which mentions about the right way to set annual goals, which makes me hesitate for a while before start typing my goals for the next year. In this email, Victor Cheng pointed out the common mistakes made by people when determining the resolution for a new year, one of which is that the goals are not aligned with your long-term goals and long term, as defined by Victor, stretches over 5 years.

I am a little bit shocked at reading this definition of long term for I am still quite uncertain about what comes up next for me in the next 3 years. I have tried imagining my life in the next 3-4 years for many times: getting promoted to AM, spending 6 months learning Chinese in Taiwan, winning a scholarship to study MBA in the US, mastering my Chinese and Russian and maybe spending another 4 months in  a Tax trek as a part of KPMG Life and hopefully, finding someone to love. I wonder if this list is too greedy but I will try to cross out 3 goals at least. I also discussed with my former mentor in IDGVV yesterday afternoon about what I should do next year and she asked me to equip myself with designation (like CFA) or a diploma (MSc of Finance or kind of MBA) before getting left behind. I find it true somehow but I have not known if I need CFA to fulfill my desirable life or if it would help me achieve my own ideal life. Leaving this mess behind, I think of something I want to do so bad next year:

1. Learning Chinese: I aim at HSK Level 6. I find it extremely happy to employ my limited Chinese at work and get some compliments from my seniors so far. I’d love to hone my Chinese reading skills by starting reading Chinese e-books (which has been saved for so long in my computer), and improve other skills like listening and writing as well.

2. Writing English: To be honest, I have not seen any breakthrough in my writing so far. I consider spending time refreshing my writing by reading more pieces of writing from The Economist, Project Syndicate, McKinsey Insights and Publication, and some books which provide more guidelines in writing. I have visited MIT Open Course Online to find some courses in writing and tried finding some reading materials to help boosting up my deteriorated writing skill. A detailed project for writing will be implemented tomorrow, I promise.

3. Travel: In 2013, I have ticked 3 provinces on the map of Vietnam for the first time (Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, and Ho Chi Minh City). Da Nang, Hoi An and Hue is in my agenda this year and I also think of putting Thailand or China (Shanghai – Suzhou – Hangzhou) in the list for 2014.

4. Be happy and be beautiful. I am happy for everyday I wake up and have tons of fun to expect. I try to be more beautiful no matter how many times I am with the state of being unrequited.

5. Few hours ago, I consider learning CFA and take CFA level 1 by December 2014. Perhaps I will postpone this point 1 day and come back to it on 2 January, hopefully. :P

Happy New Year and wish all of you the best.

We are both special!!!

We are both special!

Everyone, in our journey heading to the future, needs someone to remind us about what makes us special or the way we are different from the others.

What I am about to write below does not have anything to do with the renowned speech, popularly known as “You are not special” of David McCullough Jr. delivered at the commencement day of Wellesley High School in 2012, let alone against the prevailing ideas embedded in this speech. McCullough, as far as I understand, keeps emphasizing the idea that “you are not special” to warn the students not to be buried in the complacency created by the academic achievements or not harbor the ideas of counting themselves as elite for graduating from one of the most prestigious institutions of the country, but force them to move forward “for today is just the beginning. It’s where you go from here that matters.” I myself totally agree with the underlying ideas of McCullough as his ideas, in general, coincided with what randomly come across my mind for long, especially, his words of the ultimate purpose of education, which “should be for, rather than material advantage, the exhilaration of learning”, have made my face brighten up visibly.  However, as you can see from the headline where I stated that “We are both special”, I want to dedicate my next passages to further elaborate on this idea or explain how the feeling of being a special one has made me feel different.

In my childhood, it was not the fairy tales or the lullaby that I heard the most from my mother but her stories in which my childhood was described in detail. I remember my mother sitting by my side in the winter morning waking me up not by shouting at me for lingering at my balmy bed but by keeping patting at my back and telling me about the day I was born, how long did it take me to make my very first steps or how she was proud of me at the parent meeting with my teachers and sometimes, how she expected me to be in the future. I remember myself pretending not awaken already as I loved hearing these words so much and after few minutes staying on my bed, I would take all of my courage to leave my warm blanket to go to the bathroom and prepare for the morning. I also love spending time listening to my mother telling about the time she was about to give birth to me and she may end the story by claiming that I have some special characteristics running in my vein because she did something different during her pregnancy. And I love hearing her tell me that she believed I could thrive in what I did as I was not as the other kids she knew. Although I know that sometimes a mother can flatter her own kids for the special bond shared between mom and kid, a.k.a motherhood, I still believe that it is the self belief in our own special characteristics that may have positive effects in our personal development. Whenever thing does not come my own way, it is the strong belief in my distinctive personality that raises me up and makes me feel determined. This belief in our own personality helped us consolidate our fragmented memories in the past, underpinning our present and lying the sprinting for us to move forward in the future.

Therefore, I do not find it wrong to consider myself special. I know that I am as special as anyone in this world and both of us possesses special characteristics which were passed down to us as a part of our family tradition, determined by gene or nurtured through our special life experiences. These special characteristics will somehow determine our different ways of approaching, understanding and responding to the external events. We understand that we are special in our own ways as determined from the day we were born; such special characteristics have helped us survive till these days, so there is no reason for us to be defeated as long as such special characteristics still run in our veins. We understand that we are special, we are different from the others, therefore, we do not let the others determine our own life, do not allow us to blindly follow the mainstream but stand on our own feet and create our own marks.

For the final words, as I have stated right in the first sentence, everyone, in our journey heading to the future, needs someone to remind us about what made us special in the past, or how we are different from the others. I hope that this piece of writing could help you rethinking about your own personality that makes you special and consolidate your belief in your ability to do something special to our own life.