Three Years | Blog Birthday

On May 10, 2014, I created this blog. Three years (and five days) later, my content has evolved in ways that I never imagined it would. Some things have remained consistent — I’m still writing, but I’ve truly identified what I really love to write that is, flash fiction and poetry. I’ve realized that I want to find a job somewhere in publishing/editing after taking a semester long class developing a school-wide publication. While I still would love to chill and write, an ideal career for me, that’s going to take some time. Yes, I’m still going to keep working on my writing. Yes, this blog is still going to be running. It’s all about stepping stones.

Statistics:

A year ago, I started being more consistent with my posts. This developed into Quick Pieces and I ended up posting 25 flash fiction/short stories accompanied by 23 Quick Piece Breakdown posts. I continued writing Poetry Breakdown and I ended up writing 18 posts. I started Unconfined Thoughts October 2016 to replaced Saturday Adventures to truly express myself. I ended up writing 23 posts, not counting the introduction post.

I’m pretty proud of myself!

I have to say that at first, it was hard to get back into the groove of poetry, but as I continued to write it each week, it flowed nicely. I also realized that my writing style in my flash fiction was transitioning nicely into a good balance between fancy poetic and moving plot. Oh yeah, I changed the design of my blog!

Here’s to another year of blogging and writing!

Thanks for sticking with me! 🙂

Year 1

Year 2

First post

Alice

Twenty-One

I turned 21 in January.

From the day I was born, those who were wiser and older than me gave me gentle guidance as I grew up. It went from “make sure you eat your vegetables so you can grow strong!” to “study harder” and “don’t give up!” In a way, those pieces of advices were like our vegetables. It doesn’t really taste delectable, but it’s required to grow. Sometimes you would hear things you don’t want to, but you knew that it was necessary.

Throughout my life, I’ve met a plethora of people and believe it or not, everyone I’ve met has had some impact on my life. There were some people who were still figuring out where they were, but I was also doing the same so I wasn’t able to offer the appropriate guidance they wanted. There were some people who already figured things out, but to them, all I could offer was a hello, my name is Alice. There were some people who shouted too loud and it hurt my ears and those who spoke too softly and I leaned in too close to try and hear what they were saying. There were some people who laughed with me, gave me hugs when I needed someone and fed me when I couldn’t get out of bed. There were also people who smiled brightly, but poison streamed out of their mouths, but I soon learned who to stray away from. And there were people who taught me how bright life actually was.

I chose to write this blog post honoring my 21st year because I’m well aware of immense changes that come along with it from the beginnings of the search for my future, solidification of my identity and the entrance of the bulk of my twenties. So far, I can surely attest that I certainly feel different with new experiences being thrown my way, but instead of cowering in fear, I’m finally able to stand up straight and look at it straight in the eye. It’s not arrogance, but the ability to see where I’ve come from. I still struggle and I still shake, but I know my strength.

From the day I turned 21, I started asking those who were older than me to share what they had learned from when they were 21. None, some or all may pertain to you and some could contradict for you. I’d like for you to look at each piece of advice as its own, but also carrying the unified theme of becoming 21. Take what you need and leave feeling a little better about yourself.

I want to thank each person who contributed to this wonderful list! 🙂 Thank you for handing me your own wisdom experienced through trial and error to help us embark on our journeys, 21 years old and beyond. While your gesture may appear small, it will be beneficial in the long term.

21 Pieces of Advice:

  1. With greater pain, comes greater reward because failure is a part of life that is to be embraced, felt and concurred.
  2. Always be tenacious and persistent.
  3. Love your dream like you love your family.
  4. Treasure the time you’re given.
  5. You have a voice – a beautiful one that people need to hear.
  6. Keep trying to find yourself and work towards your ambitions even if they’re scary. Adult life doesn’t get easier, so it’s important to stay optimistic and keep your sense of self.
  7. Don’t take things too seriously. It’s okay to not have everything figured out, so be silly!
  8. Once you made a decision, go with it and fight for it, but think one more time before taking action.
  9. Your life may not turn out as you plan now. But it is okay. Trust God for your identity and do your best.
  10. Optimize what you can, but also realize that there will be times you will fail, so you should continue to persevere since God is there with us every step of the way.
  11. When God wills you to do something that you are yourself passionate about, take care not to fuel your work by your own passions rather than by the sole desire to follow God. Righteous and fun things have eternal value; the rests are fleeting vanity.
  1. Take the time to write down things that you have learnt, lest you should miss important lessons about God and about yourself. Do not aim for long passages, sum things up first and write your reasoning afterwards.
  2. Praise God unceasingly.
  3. Be open to plans other than your own; they work out better.
  4. Go into every class, meeting, and interaction with excitement and intent.
  1. It’s okay to be lonely and just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you have to feel alone. Try and embrace it and spend time doing things that you love.
  2. Try not to force a relationship with someone because it’ll never work that way.
  3. Don’t try to spend too much time trying to please every friend. Sometimes you make other people expect more of you than what you can normally offer because they got used to you pleasing them. Spare your love and gifts for special moments, and share them wisely. Some friends will physically be separated from you but still think of you as a great friend even if they don’t see/talk to you for months, others will start to dislike you when you don’t cling to them all the time. When that is the case (which it is), focus your energy on the former because they give you (and themselves) the biggest space to grow in every way. When you meet this kind of friend again after several months, their growth can astonish you and inspire you, and you can do the same for them.
  4. Drink when you can.
  5. Don’t go to grad school; don’t be afraid of testing out the job market.
  6. Don’t read the comments section and don’t procrastinate in organizing things on your laptop.

Resolutions | January 1, 2017

Hello everyone and happy new year!

We made it to 2017!

2016 was a crazy year for the world and for me, it wasn’t actually that bad. I grew closer with my friends and I started to figure out more things about myself. It’s like I’m on a rocket ship and the prior years were all about building the rocket and making sure everything is running properly. In flight, you’ll always have to make adjustments but you’re finally blasting off. Heck, you may need to change your course a couple of times to make sure you avoid that astroid or smash into that planet. Sometimes a passenger would accidentally eat a cookie and crumbs would get everywhere, clogging the mechanics, but it’s all okay. Cookies remain great and things will be fixed whether or not via having another cookie (that’s specifically made for space) or cleaning things up.

To those of you who have protested about 2016, welcome to 2017! You made it and here’s the given opportunity to make things better. Hold onto your loved ones and make sure your loved ones know that they are loved especially by you. Shake off what made 2016 so terrible and welcome 2017 with open arms. The past is left behind and what carries you forward are lessons learned.

2017 Resolutions:
1. Live in the moment.
2. Don’t spread myself thin – Love myself.
3. Laugh more and often.
4. Be in awe like a child.
5. Constant dialogue with God.
6. Don’t forget about those who have impacted your life.

By putting these out there, I’m allowing you to keep me accountable. Based on last year’s list, I feel like I lightly touched on them, so for this year, I want to be more conscious of it and make a deep impact with my resolutions. I have a feeling this is going to be a year full of dynamism well, because I graduate from college the next year (semester by the time I write the next resolutions post) and learning about independency even more.

Here it goes!

Alice

 

Two Years | Blog Birthday

Hello everyone!

It was the blog’s second birthday yesterday!

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What an incredible journey this has been and thank you for coming along with me! I’ve spoken at a English conference, gotten published in my school’s literature magazine and most of all, written so much!

This year, I’ve…

published 24 short stories.

published 17 poems.

And among balancing school and this blog, I must say, this is a pretty good feat! Also, I didn’t count the Quick Piece Breakdowns! As many of you know, summer is my high season for the blog, so stay tuned for more regularly scheduled posts!

It took me a while to realize this, but you don’t need a degree to be a writer. You just need to write in order to be a writer and you’ve got to enjoy it because how else would you call yourself something if you don’t enjoy it? Any advice that I would give to writers would be the same as any other published author would say: keep writing. You have the ability to define yourself whichever way you want and you don’t need anyone to tell you otherwise. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone, just yourself. Therefore, I’m proud to call  myself a writer. I’m not the greatest writer and I definitely have a lot of things to work on, but that doesn’t stop me from continuing to practice this art. If I can incorporate it into my career, then that would be great! If I can’t be a full-time writer or a freelance writer, then it’s no big deal. I’m still a writer and I’ll definitely find time to continue writing even if it ends up not being published.

Just keep writing!

Here’s to more years of writing!

Alice Chen

One Year

First Post

Resolutions | January 1, 2016

Hello everyone,

Happy New Year! This year has been an intense roller coaster. I started off on the wrong foot, but I think I’m on a steady jog now. It feels weird, just as I’ve started getting settled in, things are already quickly moving forwards. Yet, it isn’t the end, it’s the beginning. Here’s to another adventure!

Resolutions of 2016:

  1. Appreciate my body
  2. Remember the beauty of the world (be grateful)
  3. Run wild, live free and love strong
  4. Fix my eyes on Him
  5. To not beat myself up

Looking back on last year’s list, I definitely reached them whether they were clutched tightly in my chest or I grasped them in my hand. I’m starting to find myself and I know what I’m looking for verses what isn’t who I am. The most important thing is that I’m okay once again.

Have a great year!

Alice

Update | December 14, 2015

Hello friends,
Once again, I’m sorry for not having regular posts, but I’ve been terribly busy. Finals week is here and I’ve already been stressed out to the point where I’ve finished an entire bag of Cheese Puffs. I don’t normally eat Cheese Puffs.

Anyways, I thought I would leave you all with a piece I wrote called “This is What Growing Up Feels Like”. I hope you like it and I don’t want to make any empty promises, so I’ll just leave it here.

This is what growing up feels like – a solid thump in your chest, but nothing resides. Faces past by you, flushed from excitement, their eyes wide and empty. Things to do, places to go and no time to stop even for a drink. All that resonates in your head are songs you used to sing when you were thirteen. Songs about heartbreak, song about loving again and songs about terrible misunderstandings, yet you have only had a glimpse. When you hear those songs echoing in your head, all you want to do is nod along because of how true they are. This is what growing up feels like. Teenager angst no longer exists, but it is replaced with depression. There is a fear for sadness because you sink in and you can’t pull yourself out. You sink in and you look up for hands, but you feel your own hands, immersed. There is an aesthetic for sadness because more people will come to you if you cry loud enough, if you scream loud enough, if you moan load enough. You sink in and it feels nice. You sink in and you want out, but you also want to continue on. This is what growing up feels like. It is also what giving up feels like. I don’t give a fuck. I give a fuck. I want love. I want someone’s arms around me and a gentle whisper of how they don’t want anything to change. I want someone to hold my hands and I’ll feel their warmth in my soul and it will feel so good. I want someone to kiss me and I’ll feel my face blush because I’ve finally achieved it. There is always a constant longing for something we can’t have – something that it is not something that we should strive for, something that our focus shouldn’t be directed towards. This is what growing up feels like. The fact that I am an angsty fourteen year old with hatred towards everything or the fact that I am a twenty five year old with experiences beyond a nineteen year old despite only six years. Nothing fazes me and nothing will hurt me anymore. I’ll just deal with it. I am a four year old and all I want is pure affection even though that doesn’t exist.

This is what growing up feels like: an aesthetic between pain, feeling and just wanting to fade away.