And here we go again. 2013

The Last Sunset

NZ is a lot more beautiful than I remember, if that's even possible. I just got back from a 5 day road trip with friends over new years, where I actually made use of my camera for the first time properly (took over 1200 shots over that time haha). The story behind that photo... we wanted to catch the last sunset of the year, we were trying to find a high point around Kerikeri and we couldn't get to the coastline, it was about 2 minutes until sunset and we hit the end of a road we had been going back and forth on (did 4 U-Turns!), we figured at that point we couldn't really do anything except go forward and lo and behold, we found the cutest bay with an awesome view of the sunset. We also managed to catch some fish there, and it was awesome for photos :) so that went much better than expected. Sometimes the best experiences are unplanned. 

Anyway the road trip was a lot of fun, I didn't have many expectations of it beforehand, to be honest I only really agreed to go because I had nothing else to do over new years so I thought heck, why not. It's the first new years I've spent in New Zealand since 2010. Northland is freaking beautiful in the summer, I don't even know how else to put it honestly, so here's a scenery picspam.

 That's what I've been up to lately :) It was nice after two years of Christmas and New Years in winter to come back to NZ and experience summer during this time of year again. Though I actually arrived on Christmas day so I didn't really get that this year, and honestly felt a bit out of place after getting home because of the change in environment (since our house is being renovated, I couldn't actually return 'home', I had no clothes or any personal belongings that I didn't bring back with me because my parents just left it all under a plastic sheet at the old house), but the nice weather brought everything back together and I suppose some things just feel the same. Should be interesting to see more people during the next three weeks and see how interactions change haha.

It's the time of year when I make my new list of NYRs and look back at last year's and see how well I've done!

1) do your best in uni. No slacking off even if other people say it's easy - get your grades first and then play around :) 

I didn't miss a single class this whole semester! And even at AU I didn't miss many lectures either. I guess I did reasonably on exams, could have been better but I can't complain about my grades. I also really enjoyed the rest of college this year as well, growing up and meeting new people and all that, so overall I think I did a good job of balancing work/play this year.

2) if you are in America by the time you read this again, you are the man. 

Ok so I'm in NZ right now but the general gist of this is HIGH FIVE PAST WINNIE you did a good job on your applications. 2011 Winnie I love you so much for putting in the hard hours so that I can live such an awesome life right now (ofc also thanks to family and friends for continued support haha, it was a group effort obviously).

3) try new things - especially in uni, look for the things that might pique some genuine passion. Find the spark you lack. 

I think I tried a lot of new stuff this year. Moving to a new country and reinventing the self, trying out archery, taking econ for the first time, taking a computer science class on a whim and discovering what might turn into a major. Wow actually if I think about the year, in January I had no idea what I was doing in uni. I applied to Engineering/Arts and nothing else because that's what I wrote on my Scholarship form, I disregarded Architecture altogether, in hindsight that might have been because of a subconscious thought that I would be leaving the country so I didn't take my AU applications as seriously which is probably bad, but it paid off. Actually a BA/BE would not have been bad for me anyway, but I was going to major in Film/Media Studies except none of the classes fit with the first year Engineering schedule, so I decided to take Compsci 101 and Econ 111 instead -- both things I'd never really tried before. I discovered I like programming and I learned a lot about the world in Economics (it's actually applicable to everything I swear, it's just too bad I'm not good at it haha but I learned a lot this year through Econ 111 and Ec10). I also tried new hobbies like Archery -- I was just walking around the extracurriculars fair and saw the stall and signed up. Actually, I was really into Archery when I was younger and always wanted to try it because it seemed awesome to be able to shoot arrows, and now I actually do it :D Oh also I went to an intro breakdancing session where I learned the basic 6 step and baby freeze which I am still useless at, but it was fun.Trying new things is pretty cool, I want to do more of that.


Ok so Billy and Will somehow convinced me this year to start working out at the gym with them, which I never thought would happen to be honest but I really enjoy it. It turned out to be easier than I expected actually, just a little bit every few days makes you feel really good even if your body is tired. It's a pity my routine kind of broke when I moved to America because of other things, I really want to put more time into gymming actually in the next year since it makes you feel good. As a result though, I got fatter when I returned from the US compared to how I was at the beginning of the year even though I worked out more this year =.= Dedication is key zzz. And I gotta lay off the honey butter on Sundays at Annenberg clearly.

5) get a job and earn some money :) becoming more independent even when support is there 

Oh sup CNSST tutoring job. Oh sup NCEA Campus tutoring job. Oh sup HSA Rover. This year was a good year for job exp. Oh yeah and there was that one afternoon at Bakers Delight where I almost dropped a platter of pastries and realized those kinds of jobs just aren't for me hahaha. Man I actually did a lot this year now that I think about it, tutoring feels like soooo long ago but it was only within the last 12 months. Crazyyyyy.

6) be socially conscious 

I'm not exactly sure what this means ._. Sorry Past Winnie. I'm sure your intentions were good. If it helps, I gave $3.50 to a contact juggler the other day at mission bay? He was pretty legit though.

7) keep in touch with old friends 

I did, I think. Well it's been a rocky patch in terms of friendship since I moved countries. Hopefully things return (/have returned?) to normal. I met a lot of new people this year through uni and college as well though, its been cool. It's also been kind of hard to keep in contact with certain people from high school -- really made me realize that if you want to stay in touch with some people you have to put in the effort, and sometimes they aren't interested as well so that's kind of a bummer. I pretty much skype high school friends once a month though, and other close friends even more frequently than that. FB message is a thing. I stopped using MSN this September. It's been a cool 10 years.

8) again -- have more reasons to smile than frown :)

Well, it's certainly been an emotional year, that's for sure. Between the tears and laughter (both uncontrollable mind you), I've enjoyed both sides of life. Actually this is the first time I've felt something touch me on this level. Maybe I was just emotionally stunted before, but I think I've gained the ability to feel something real finally. Something like I'm no longer a robot. Someone told me once that Life is much easier if you just don't care, but I think it's more along the lines of, Life is easier if you care -- but not about yourself, about others around you to the point where their decisions become yours. It's not about being apathetic, but about being more easy-going and open to others' points of view, to be more accepting and less stubborn. This is still something I have to practise especially with my family whose intentions and mine seem to conflict a lot these days, but I'm learning I guess. 

Actually I'm not sure how that was relevant to the resolution at hand here ahhaaha, I just thought of it though. That's ok too. It's been an overall good year. I regret nothing; I've learned so much and though there was sadness it made me into a better person. So at the end of the year when I was watching that sunset, I was smiling. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful year.

This years NYRs??
1) The Usual Academic Resolution
2) The Usual Exercise-Related Resolution
3) The Usual Social Resolution -- New and Old Friends
4) Create a more comfortable self. Don't slip back into fickleness.
5) Be more patient with others, less self-absorbed, think of others' needs.
6) Gain experience in the field. Try get an internship, see if CS is the right path for you
7) Read more
8) As always, Have more reasons to smile than frown.


I don't know where else to put this, too.

I don't know if you think of this at all still, but anyway on New Years day, I was listening to music on my phone and that song came up. It reminded me of you and a lot of memories came up and it made me somewhat emotional, but I realized that things weren't right at that time anyway. It's probably for the best that things happened the way they did, though I know I caused you a lot of pain at that time. Because I realized that you can't say you wrote this, you wrote this for me -- when you have sang the same song for others before. One day you will find someone for whom you won't repeat the same songs for. That person will be worth a new leaf in your story, a fresh playlist. I want that for you because you are worth it. I'll always be around, just not in that way. 

Don't talk to me about this, I just like to know that you've read it. I hope you understand.


Lingliang Zhang said...

Photography prooooooo.......

I like resolution 4 & 5, also I like your style in talking to yourself, I'm much more grave personally. Perhaps it reflects on your inner self, you should tell your future biographer to analyze it in-depth.