Bao's weblog


Meandering thoughts of a Bay Area college student… be prepared for some bipolar vocabulary

Protected: Read this when you feel down (pw: AIM screen name. Does anyone even use AIM anymore?)

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Filed under: General

I don’t know how I feel about this…

It’s been a pretty stressful week for me. Finals are fast approaching, hiding just beyond the horizon. I had several papers due, all of which had double digit page requirements. Since it’s 3 AM and I have my final paper due in less than 24 hours, of course my mind starts wandering. It picks the worst times doesn’t it? But towards the end of every semester, I find myself reflecting anyways. It’s become a routine… I guess today, right now, is that time. At 3 fucking AM.

I’ve found my life to have drastically changed. I have become more active in my accounting organization. I won officer elections for the vice president of fundraising position. I’ve made new friends, all of which are ambitious and good, strong influences. I’ve met new people. I’m putting myself out there. I’m becoming closer to the ideal person I’ve always wanted to be.

Yet, sacrifices were made. I haven’t been going to church lately. I’ve lost touch of those group of people. Unacceptable. I’ve also lost touch with those who I use to consider to be my best friends back in high school. I should get back in touch maybe.

All of these experiences, which I pretend to take in stride, scare the crap out of me every time. My doubts always linger in the back of my mind. I’ve lost so much faith in the things I once held dear. I’ve lost faith in religion and I’ve lost faith in friendships. Sometimes I think to myself, “What’s the point of religion?” It feels so… inefficient. It feels like a distraction that slows you down, like another layer of bureaucracy to my life, just another procedure that isn’t worth the hassle.

And what the hell is with friendship? The more people I meet just results in losing touch with more people. I wish I could just fast forward my life to where I meet my permanent friends. I want to stop caring about the acquaintances who come and go.

Of course, wanting to fast forward my life contradicts with this next lingering thought: suicide. First off, I don’t want to scare anyone who reads this. I don’t seriously considering offing myself, despite the fact that I think about it quite often. But it would be such an easy way out, wouldn’t it? Sometimes I think that if there weren’t people who cared about me, I would’ve died a looong time ago. So now I sometimes fantasize about being in accidents. Maybe I’ll get hit by a drunk driver while walking to class. Maybe I’ll have died saving people from a building fire.

I guess the theme of this semester for me was “being comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Honestly, this semester has been incredibly uncomfortable, but it has been the most successful, personally, academically, and professionally. But I’m pretty scared of messing up. How does everyone go through this? Are they as stressed as I am? Is this all normal? Am I normal? It feels like walking along a balance beam suspended hundreds of feet in the air. No safety net of course. But it’s not just me; there are my friends and colleagues. Nobody seems to be scared and nobody is losing their balance. I don’t feel like I’m about to fall soon, but my mind is screaming where the fuck is the safety net!? I don’t know. Maybe I’m out of my league. But I won’t give up. What’s the point of giving up after having gone this far?

Was it worth it, Bao?

Filed under: General

Let’s just write!

I’ve felt that, ironically, the more I’ve progressed in college, the less I’ve been doing any reading for leisure and the less I’ve been writing. My writing block is as big as ever. My vocabulary that doesn’t have anything to do with accounting or business is swirling the drain. I can almost see the figurative cobwebs.

I don’t think I intend for this post to have any significant writing. I don’t expect to see much fireworks. There’s no poetry meant to blow your mind or mine. Come to think of it, I’m quite afraid to look back at my previous posts because I don’t think I ever was a strong writer. I can draw comparison to looking back at my iPod playlist from waaayy-back-when and mentally cringing. Hard. But, although the blog was meant to be an aid to improve my writing skills, I think its primary role was to be that emotional conduit to get me through the superficially emotional, immature, and turbulent era that I call high school. At least I didn’t care back then. I wrote for myself, although it felt incredible whenever I saw how many hits this blog has received.

But once again, this blog will be resurrected for the umpteenth time, this time to improve my writing skills that will hopefully make me more attractive to hire. Also I’m bored. Immediately, I can already think of a problem: how can I measure improvement? Do I keep count of every time I use big words? Should I have someone grade these… these emotional scribbles and give me a score?

But I’ll move on. Let’s just write.

Life lately hasn’t been filled with peaks and dips like in high school or the first parts of college. It sort of plateaus near the bottom on the emotional scale with occasional spikes of happiness. The plateaus are indifference laced with slight irritation at everything around me. The spikes are the emotional highs I get whenever I pass a test or get through a networking or club event. Did you know that accountants have to be social? Who would’ve thought!? I fucking didn’t. I was a shy kid and I was fine with that until I’ve realized the only reason you get to places is because of the people you know. And once you’re finally in the field (I’m shooting for auditing), you’ll have to talk with clients and coworkers and superiors. I had an amazing professor who taught me intermediate accounting and she warned me that it’s okay to be introverted, but I wouldn’t be able to survive this profession if I didn’t reach out more.

I remember I used to be all, “Friends are forever… loyalty above all…” basically those naive notions I had as recent as two to three years ago. But it really isn’t because life happens. It’s sad, really. People have to drift apart because everybody has their own different dreams. In the end, at least in my field, we’re all surrounded by people we only know on a superficial level. It’s nice talking to them because we’re all in the same situation and we’re all still human, but there’s that important element that’s missing. The relationship has no heart or soul, just a shell of a body. But it’s not anybody’s fault that this happens! Meetings are just too infrequent. The actual meetings are brief. We network only in passing and meet up once in awhile for coffee to talk about business. Friendships never have a chance to grow because there’s just simply not enough time. Nobody has time anymore, not even me.

It’s a similar situation with my friendships. Most of my closest friends from high school are now people I talk to maybe once in a few months. Everybody today I talk only know me on that small level. I look forward to the time when I meet friends who will last forever. Maybe I’ve already met them, maybe I will meet them, or maybe I’ll never meet them. I just hope I’ll have enough time.

This entry turned out more depressing than I expected. I’ll be more cheerful and lighthearted in the next post!

Filed under: General

This is the last remaining blog

It’s like a world, slowly dying, one state after another. Only it’s blogs! As far as I can tell, my friends and I have slowly quit blogging. Slowly, each person made their last posts and signed off with finality. Some of these blogs just ended without closure. Other people wrote heartfelt goodbyes and left without looking back, continuing their lives.

I know I haven’t written for awhile, but I never felt like it was goodbye. It felt more like leaving the back porch light on and I’ll be back whenever. I laugh on the inside because I remember posts about how this blog will be a time capsule for myself. I can remember other posts about this blog still being active when I’m thirty. I remember posts about a sitcom/comedy portraying my future. Everything had turned out very differently.

Since this small corner of our blog community has been very quiet (I think. I should check everyone’s blogs to see how active they are. Later.) it feels like I can write more freely. No, I’m not using this opportunity to write crap behind my friends’ backs. I can just write without worries now.

Through my search for God, I’ve found out that I’m a very prideful person. I’m also very weak. I’m always too ashamed of myself to ask for help. I’m constantly worried about how other people think of me. I feel like I’ve surrounded myself with a very hard, yet brittle, protective shield.

I’m constantly scared. I feel like I don’t have enough friends and that I’m not close enough to my current ones. I’m afraid of ending up alone. And yet, because I’m so damn scared of how others think of me, I’m shy. It’s difficult to meet anyone here and build up anything more than a superficial or professional relationship. And I expect myself to major in business?

I know this lack of confidence is very unhealthy. There’s an adage out there that is my last hope: Fake it until you make it. I feel like one good shot at me will bring me down. All of the bells and alarms are ringing in my head.

I have an interview for an officer position for a finance club tomorrow. I guess this is the first test. Actually, that’s false. It’s the first hurdle. I’m fucking scared because what happens if I actually get the position!?

I think I’ve changed. Writing out my problems no longer makes me feel better. Maybe this problem is so severe. Maybe I’m just treating symptoms here. The ultimate solution is changing who I am. But I can’t do that, can I? I can only fake it. And the problem remains and once again I’m treating the symptoms.

I think I have to learn how to swallow my pride and finally admit that I need help. Maybe I need a better friend. Or more friends. Nah, I just need more people who I can trust and confide in.

But then what?

Filed under: General

I’ve been thinking about Christianity for awhile..

Hey. Well, I’m back again… for now. I’m doing alright, thanks. How are you?

My life here has been filled with many ups and downs, many struggles and triumphs. But, like always, the struggles and failures always stand out more, right? Now, grades and internships are my number one concern. Ever since maybe a year or two ago, it has been smooth sailing when I entered the accounting major and I’ve been unused to any grade below an A-. Expectations definitely didn’t meet reality. Intermediate accounting is a vicious beast and the amount of people interested in any internship position makes my resume one in hundreds. I’ve learned that everything comes down to networking. If you don’t know the right people, there’s barely anything else that will differentiate you from the others.

I’m also struggling with religion. I’m worried more about finding a job/internship, but there’s just more to say about the idea of religion. I know a lot of people won’t be able to relate to these feelings I have, but this is just something that would feel nice to get off of my chest you know?

Lately, I’ve been wrestling around with the idea of being Christian. A real one, because apparently, simply declaring yourself one and believing in God just simply isn’t good enough. I guess the entire time, I was actually agnostic. Unfortunately, handing over my life to God is a very, very difficult life decision to make. To me, it means sacrificing control. Okay, so there is little doubt in my mind that God is real. It varies from day to day, but on average, I’m almost certain he exists. But even then, how can I give away control? I’m a college student. My source of money is from my parents. I don’t have the resources. Another reason for my hesitation is the fellowship I am in. Yes, these are incredible people. They are extremely generous even though I suspect they barely have enough to support themselves. They are understanding and caring. I bet I could talk to them about (almost) anything. But I think we have different core values, different principles to live by. In the long run, I wouldn’t be able to get along well with most of them. What differences in principles you may ask? Well, that’s not too important at the moment. The fact that there is a border between us to begin with warrants this discussion with myself.

I talked to a friend about it who said he had the same issues and he said to visualize an upright triangle with myself on a bottom corner and the others at the other bottom corner. We’re pretty separated at that point, but if both of us moved upwards towards the upper corner, where God’s supposed to be, we’re supposed to become closer and more united. Well, okay, you had to be there… it does sound kind of… meh right now. And even then, I was very skeptical. As of now, my decision whether or not to remain in this group is uncertain, which is very troubling for me because the majority of the friends I made at SFSU are there. That brings me to another interesting fact.

Statistically, people who become Christians are likely to shift their group of friends. Nothing has changed for me; I still keep in touch with my friends even from ten years ago. And if I was godless before, it means that these friendships were forged by mainly myself with God in the metaphorical backseat, and maybe it’s a sin for me to feel like those friendships are special because of that. Maybe it’s because I can’t help it. Maybe I can’t just be ready to give up nearly a decade of amazing moments with these people.

However, the number one reason I’m afraid to let God take control of my life is because I’m afraid of failure. This, supposedly, makes no sense. They tell me that it’s alright because as a sinful person, I am literally expected to fail. It’s supposed to be okay. I remembered listening to a message from one of the leaders of our church. He said that kids and adults accept gifts differently. Kids take their gifts and they are ecstatic about it. Whoa, I can’t believe you got me this bike! Thanks! When an adult accepts a gift, it’s more like Oh… damn… this is amazing. But you really didn’t have to do this. I must pay you back somehow. Well, I don’t know if that’s how you feel about presents, but that’s definitely how I feel, so that example really hit home for me. Why can’t I accept something “like a kid?”

I’ve got to get back to work. I’ll see if I can finish this thought later…


Filed under: General

Hey, it’s me again.

Hey! It’s been maybe a month since I’ve posted on this blog and here I sit feeling too warm in this heavy jacket while it’s cold and pouring heavily outside. It’s classic San Franciscan weather right now.

I haven’t at all forgotten about this blog. Quite the contrary, it’s been sitting in the back of my mind every other day. Bao, you should update your blog. It’ll be good for you. Then the next day. Bao, when you’re finished studying for the night, you need to update. Inevitably, I finish my studies in the library by walking the ten minute trip back to my apartment and just crashing.

But what to talk about?

I really don’t want to come to this blog with only problems; I still want to be able to associate this blog with a more golden, simpler time. Maybe that was just an excuse to not burden my friends with my problems. You see, there was a time not too long ago when I wasn’t the only person in my small group of friends who blogged. Commitments and priorities change, however, and for one reason or another people stop. In the end, this is the last one standing. That’s a pretty sad joke. Is it even standing? If it is, it’s barely standing with, what, one post a month maybe? That’s a far cry from the one or two posts every week. I can’t even come up with an apology that doesn’t ring hollow in my own head.

Not writing often does have some pretty detrimental effects. My vocabulary wasn’t as colorful as it once was. I’m having the most difficult time trying not to go on tangents (it looks like I’ve already failed). Most of all, I’ve become lazy.

However, this blog hasn’t failed its primary purpose: to be a place where I can be completely honest with myself. I feel like honoring this commitment today by talking about a problem. In time, hopefully, there will be more lighthearted things for me to ponder.

Religion. There has been an internal war raging in a secluded corner of my mind whether or not to truly accept Jesus as my savior. It sounds so cheesy. Everybody says that doing this would be accepting a gift. Who in their right minds would turn down a gift? Right?

But there are possibilities that I’m simply afraid of if I accept God’s gift. Will I still be me? Will I have to change my personality against my own will? Hell doesn’t sound that appealing of course, but Heaven looks… boring. I don’t want to spend eternity smothered in bliss. But who would spend it in the other extreme of eternal regret? I hope that in time I can change for the better and my viewpoint will change. But I don’t want to. There is a plethora of minute problems I have. And I know that many of them are flawed. Many of them are illogical and immature. But if you’re making a large investment in something huge, wouldn’t you want what you’re investing in to have as little flaws in it as possible?

I guess I’m deathly afraid of commitment. I’m not willing to be married right now and it’s safe to say that this decision is even larger than marriage. I can’t take it lightly. But there’s a sense of urgency. If I don’t make a decision, and soon, priorities shift, resulting in things like the eventual inactivity of my “blogging neighborhood.”

I really do want to accept this gift. I just don’t want to redefine myself at the moment? Will I really have to?

Filed under: General

Hello again everyone

I’m so glad to be back (on this blog) that is. It’s been quite an eventful ride so far here at San Francisco State.  There were a lot of ups and downs. I’ve lost a friend but gained many more. I’ve discovered some of my capabilities as a person and managed to chart out some of my boundaries.

For a business class, I took a test that told me that I’m an extrovert. I’ve always thought of myself as a sort of outgoing person… sort of. After awhile, networking becomes tiring. I’ve met too many people, these weak bonds I’ve quickly forged become saturated in my life. The older, stronger bonds strongly contrast against these. In the past, I haven’t had too many acquaintances, just people from friends to even closer friends. Now I find myself in a situation that I haven’t imagined myself to be in, not because it was impossible to picture it, but because it goes against who I am as a person.

This is probably one of my weaknesses that must be corrected if I’m to survive in the business world. Well, that’s not necessarily true; my professor once told me that in the business world, 80% are extroverts while the remaining are introverted. But. The one important thing I’ve taken away from these several weeks is that networking is key. Where you go depends on the people you meet and know. So, it goes to follow that the more people you know, the better off you’ll be. But that’s just it.

People you know. Is that all that’s required? It feels so impersonal to me. It’s not necessary to form a closer bond with them. Plus once you know so many, I imagine it’s very difficult to be very close to every single person I’ve met. My Facebook friends is a testament to that. The other day, a finance club I’m in went out to dinner. I shared a table with maybe twenty other people. I’ve never felt so alone though. I’ve taken a glimpse at the finance world. It’s fucking scary.

I’ve also joined a Christian fellowship. These guys are a bit better at forming close friendships, but again there are just so many people I need to meet and remember the names of. It’s an extraordinarily different environment though. Everyone is easier to talk to, subjects don’t remain on finance, what to invest in, and graduate school. None of you guys are reading this, but I appreciate you guys a lot. 

Despite these ups and downs, I’m still happy with where this path has taken me. 

Everything else in my life has been going somewhat smoothly. I’m still in a happy relationship despite opposition and I’m seeing my friends more often than I thought I would. 

I’ve also gone paintballing for the first time. That shit was pretty fun.

I’ll talk to you guys soon. Ahahaha, I don’t know if you guys believe that anymore. But I’ll definitely try.

Filed under: General

I need everybody’s help

My grandfather is currently in the hospital and nobody’s sure if he’ll be able to make it out alive. There’s some kind of obstruction near the area where his pancreas is. Tests are being run but we’re afraid it’s a tumor. I know shit just got real when my mother told me my grandmother bought some land at the cemetery today. He’s still pretty weak and I hope I’ll be able to see him tomorrow before I move. 

I’ve never really lost anybody close to me before. It already hurts a million times more than a sad ending in the movies. I’m pretty fucking scared right now. 

If anybody who reads this can maybe pray or hope that he makes it out alright, I’d greatly appreciate it. 

He’s 79.

Filed under: General

A new chapter is about to begin

The day before that was just as fun, if not more amazing. The day of our annual water rafting trip was upon us and we gallantly took it in stride. The turnout was smaller than expected and we rowed our undermanned raft in triple digit temperatures. It was a warm, golden event full of love, laughter, and the most inappropriate jokes you’ll have ever heard.

It was, indeed, a beautiful way to end this part of my life before I begin to live in the City by the Bay. However, I couldn’t be more thankful that the rafting trip and the first move… is only the beginning of the end. I have so much more to look forward to and I eagerly look ahead, waiting anxiously and bracing myself for a large dose of awesomeness to hit me.

Filed under: General

Hello again.

Hi, everybody. I heard you guys are living wonderful lives! Well, okay I didn’t hear anything, I just assumed.

Nothing much going on on my end. 

I’m about to leave for a six day family vacation to SOCAL and Las Vegas. I’m more worried about my parents fighting than anything else really. It almost always happens. That, plus the fact that I can’t watch the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics because I don’t have NBC is the cherry on top of my sour mood sundae. 

I spent the day with some old friends today, people I haven’t seen for several years. Despite some stutters in the beginning, conversation slowly became more natural. I ended up having a pretty darn good time. One of them just got off of a plane that came from Europe. It turns out she vacationed in Ireland by herself! She’s younger than I am! 

I honestly can’t wait for my first time abroad without any parents. Just on my own, or maybe with a friend or two. Going to get lost in Seoul or Venice. Going to explore the night lives of Tokyo or Paris. Try the street foods of Saigon and Taipei. Our world feels so small and insignificant as it circles the center of our galaxy doesn’t it? And yet there’s just so much experience to gather and a gazillion things to do. 

I want to leave the United States early in the morning. 2 AM sounds amazing. I want to arrive at my destination in the evening with just enough time to check into my room and grab dinner at a local restaurant before I crash. I want the hustle and bustle of the city to be my alarm clock! I want to be surrounded by friends I’ve brought along plus the friends I will make. 

Okay, I’m not the most outgoing person in the world, but a guy can dream right? 

But for now, I’ll settle for the heat of southern California and Las Vegas. We might even make a trip to the Grand Canyon. I wonder if it’ll be as amazing as the National Geographic magazines make it out to be. We’ll see.

Oh, the Grand Canyon is in Arizona right? I hope their recent reputation of being extremely racist is only the media blowing things up. 

Filed under: General