Real problems only introverted extroverts (and extroverted introverts) would understand

Introverted extroverts are the life of the party. You are a social animal who loves meeting new people and have people be super interested to get to know you. You are charismatic, fun and enjoyable to be around with.

However, there are time when all you want to do is be cooped up in your rooms, to not be the centre of attention and to for once, be the quiet one in the group. You just don’t have the mood to mingle and tend to get awfully awkward with people. This confuses people very much but hey, that’s okay!

Here are some real problems only introverted extroverts would understand.

  • You have a ‘fun quota’

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Being an extrovert can be tiring. You enjoy it very much but sometimes, especially times when you use too much of your ‘fun quota’, you get tired and tend to crawl back to your holes to re-energize yourselves.

However, don’t worry because you know that once you are fully energized, you can’t wait to go out and start mingling again! So, get ready world!

  • You have a lot of friends, but only a handful of close friends

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You like to keep our circle small, despite having a large network of friends and acquaintances. You are usually selective when it comes to who you share your deepest darkest secrets to and try not to blabber everything about yourself to just about everyone.

But having said that, you do have many groups of friends that you hang with many different interests and stories that you share with, and that’s the awesome part! You can never have too little friends or the party would be a bore!

  • Avoiding people

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When you’re not feeling it, all you want to do is to avoid people at all cause. See a friend you got drunk with the other night in the shopping mall? Avoid! See that crush you’ve been flirting non-stop with at the dinner party last week in the petrol station? Avoid!

But wait! They see you and now they’re walking to you. You can’t run any more so you put the biggest smile you can and go, “HEY!!!!! I’m so happy to see you!”.

Talking to them isn’t too bad after all, but once they go away, you run and make sure you don’t bump into them ever again. Well, at least until next Saturday at the bar!

  • People throw stuff at you all the time

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Because of your fun and outspoken personality, people tend to make you do things a lot. I.e., do presentations, emcee for events, public speaking, confronting people etc etc… In reality, there are some things in the list that you rather not do.

I for one hate confronting people, I am too scared to do the job!

  • “You? Shy?????”

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Yep, you get that ALL the time. Apparently, nobody believes that you could ever be shy, but it does happen!

  • You’re a ball of surprises!

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You know those girls who don’t wear make-up at all and have zero fashion sense almost all the time, then when you see them at a party, BAM! They look gorgeous with their sex-me make-up and fuck-me clothes.

Yeah, you’re kind of like that.

When you’re not feeling it, you keep quiet and lay low. Everyone pass you without noticing. Nobody thinks that you’re important enough. Then there’s that one person in the room who is super hyper that it’s fucking pissing you off. You want to shine too, just like her/him, but you can’t. You just can’t. Not right now anyway.

Then one day… BAM! Your personality kicks in and your fun side is shown! You become the life of the room and everyone notices you, even that annoyingly hyper girl/boy shuts up because the limelight is on you now and there’s nothing they can do about it. You hear people saying, “I didn’t know you’re this fun!” as dance your ass off to Carly Rae Jepson’s I Really Like You.

You do you now, you hear?

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Self discovery means throwing yourself everywhere.

Okay so, I have 4 jobs now.

Yes, FOUR. How? Why? Well, I think it has a lot to do with me trying to not freak myself out as much for not knowing that I want to do in life.

People say you tend to figure out about things after graduating from university. Sure, but not for everyone. For the most part, some of us are still figuring out and trying to see where we fit and stuff.

So how do you figure out?

...by drinking someone's overpriced drink? Perhaps!
…by drinking someone’s overpriced drink? Perhaps!

I believe in waiting for the next big thing to come knocking at your door, but don’t wait too long. Reality check, it may or may not come. Sometimes you get a big break, other times, you need to do a lot in order to get (and know) that big break. It’s better to go out there and find it, what I think.

For the second half of 2014, right after university, I was basically figuring things out. I was traveling a lot (‘traveling’ meant going back to my second home; KL – I was and still is based in KK) despite not having much money, though I saved as much as I can from my monthly pocket money thanks to my parents – less than RM300 a month. Other times when I’m back in KK, I would stay at home, a lot, and do the normal things that jobless people do – eat, sleep, rave, repeat.

Have you ever been so bored that you find posing with big ass fruits more exciting?
Have you ever been so bored that you find posing with big ass fruits more exciting?

When December rolled in and I basically still didn’t know what I wanted to do – I mean, I had an idea but you know, I wasn’t sure – I knew I had to start the new year with at least a paying job. So I managed to secure a part time job and one thing let to another, I now have 4 part time jobs that covers a few hours of my weekends and weekday nights. Pretty insane but pretty cool  too actually.

Now, whenever people ask me what I do for a living, I can proudly say I have 4 jobs; part time jobs, sure, but jobs. That’s always a great conversation starter, hah!

Bare in mind, if you do plan to have multiple jobs (part time or not), make sure you can keep up to it! I survived Week 1, so I guess that’s okay. (I GUESS!)

My 2015 resolution is ‘GROWTH‘.

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Honestly, I don’t know what growth I am aiming for this year, but at least I am getting paid for it. Wink wink! Okay, bad example, but you know what I mean.

I am still new at this whole 4 jobs thing, but I’ve friends who were in the same boat as me and they pretty much threw themselves out there and one thing led to another, they found their ‘calling’ and the rest is history! It’s that snowball effect, you know. You start here, then you get to know some people, get into some things and liked it, pursue it further and make it into a passion. Now one of them earn a 5 figure income! WHOA!

It’s all about experimenting, people! Keeping things exciting ;)

"Look ma! I'm on a brochure!!" - A job in the marketing department of my university led me to be a talent scout for brochures to eventually be THE talent! Something to add to the resume eh!
“Look ma! I’m on a brochure!!” – A job in the marketing department of my university led me to be a talent scout for brochures to eventually THE talent! Something to add to the resume eh!

That nails tho! Hehe.

Anyway, wherever you are and whatever you do this point of your life, and no matter whether you’ve figured things out or have not, I wish you the all the best! 

An Imagined Reality – #7 Tears, The Proof

To see one’s tears flowing freely is often an indication of seeing one being overwhelmed by blanketing sorrow and rolling sadness, a moment very much in the present yet sourced from either the fears of the past or the terrors of tomorrow. In the rare exception of seeing tears on the notions of glee and happiness, the qualities of a tear remain no different from that which stems from being sad. Rather, tears are most definitely assumed to be because of an episode of great sadness that manifests itself on the scratches of one’s reality. How wrong the perception of tears can be in our eyes. How superficial of us to assume and underestimate the value of tears.

While the pursuit of happiness is by no means wrong, it should not be the utmost priority to chase after. Often do I see smiles, laughter, giggles and grins that amount to nothing more than a brilliant thespian putting up a magnificent facade to fool themselves and the rest of the scenery that they are happy. The mark of a great liar is one who can lie to himself. And to myself, hypocrisy at its best. But I do not wish to be fooled. I seek not the enticement of artificiality. I seek only the wonders of an emotion rooted in sincerity, an emotion worth trusting. With that, I find myself relying on the honesty of tears.

You see comedies churned out onto screens at an industrial rate. Gags and jokes replicated, often ignoring the peripheries of originality. You hear laughter thrown about carelessly, without an extra thought or reason to do so. I find myself wondering of these bouts of happiness occurring at such random yet regular moments of a day, how many of them are true? It is far too easy to turn up a frown. An ease that I have little faith in. It is not that I do not wish to be happy. I simply find doubt as to what I am truly happy about. The integrity of a smile is often compromised by a void of intentions to be happy for. Instead, I admire the sincerity of tears now that are difficult to replicate or sustain.

As great as it is to laugh and be merry, to cry and shed tears is a mark that you have yet to desensitize yourself into needing to manufacture happiness in your everyday, to blindly pursue that brief grain of joy at the expense of what may really be important to one’s existence. Tears are simply a proof that you are indeed still human who lives with purpose. For only with purpose would there be hopes to pine for and expectations to grasp.  All part of a being that is complex on so many levels yet simple in its entirety. The genuineness of tears remain an aspect of human emotion that I find impossible to replicate yet it takes only the slightest of triggers to invoke streams from the depths of one’s emotions. Memories of yesterday coupled with the struggles of today and the doubts of tomorrow are excellent brewers of tears. Yet, these are the very essence of a person’s soul. With no hardship to bear, there would be no relief to savour, no joy to behold. Tears are simply evidence of the human in our struggles, an illustration of disappointment of reality. An honest interpretation of our thoughts to ourselves.

And from it all, I find solace and sanctuary in knowing that beneath the layers of one’s persona, such a pure form of emotion still resides and emerges from time to time for the viewing of the public. It reassures me that I have yet to sell the honesty of my emotions for the pursuit of what is not necessarily real. Perhaps the next time I shed tears, I will remember to appreciate them in a different light. Not only to be reminded of how human it is to experience sadness but to be reassured that I can still be honest to myself through genuine emotions.


Precise yet unpredictable. Confident yet insecure. Self-doubting yet self-assured. Dickson lives in a constant paradox, finding both comfort and torment within his thoughts. 

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Letting go issues.

I have a hard time of letting go strangers, especially strangers that I find extremely interesting and those that I click well with. I never know whether it’s a good or bad thing really, to ask for their contact details as we say our goodbyes. Who knows, we might end up being the best of friends?

I often question myself, “Would it be weird if I asked for their Facebook profiles? I barely know them, would they want me in their friend list? Would I want them in mine?”

When we do add each other on Facebook, nothing happens. An occasional hello is customary for the first few weeks or months, but that’s about it. One, two years down, we would have become strangers. It would be a lot harder now to rekindle our friendship then. In fact, a simple out of the blue hello is mistaken for a deed in need.

Because of this (and as bitter as this sounds), I choose to not take things ever so personally. Everyone I meet, though however brief but rich our experience was with each other, I make it a point to not pursue a potential friendship. “It’s not important,” I thought to myself. “You may think it’s important now, but it’s not in the future,” And that is, unfortunately, often true. Unless of course you know that that person would elevate your career somehow, then by all means…

(Side note: Isn’t it sad that a potential friendship is measured by who we add on our social media sites? Facebook do not and must not dictate the status of our friendship based on if that person is in our friend list or not, but unfortunately, they sort of kind of do. Ok well, not really but we can be very desperate and petty. “PLEASE ADD ME, I WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND!” – desperate much?)

It’s the same with friends whom I think I would be upset to lose but I won’t, eventually. The unfortunate thing is of course, knowing that friends come and go and they often do. The beauty behind it however that as old friends go, new friends enter. There were so many times where I became terrified of the thought of a close friend leaving me physically and emotionally, perhaps they go back to their countries and I will be forever without them, but eventually things became easier to cope.

“At least there’s Facebook to keep in touch with,” I’d tell myself.

So things aren’t as scary as they used be any more, I guess. I let go easily now and I also don’t force people to ‘be with me’ if they don’t want to.

I meet people, I greet them and I walk away. Sometimes if I’m lucky, I meet someone that I really click with and we exchange contacts and end up meeting each other a few times, sincerely enjoying each other’s company.

Now, that’s a good and healthy stranger-friendship!

Traveling while broke: A guide to surviving and saving up for your travels

I am not an avid traveler, but I do travel. In fact, I make it a point to travel to somewhere near once a year, or more if my bank account allows me to. But for now, once a year is good.

2013 marked the beginning of my ‘once a year’ travel promise that I made to myself. I started at Laos with a budget of RM600 for my whole 5 days, 4 nights trip. Then in 2014, it was Manila, Philippines with a budget of RM300 (just because I callously did not bank out money for my trip and it just so happens that ALL the ATMs in the airport was down prior to my flight :/) for 4 days, 3 nights.

So, how did I manage to travel (and survive) on such tight budget?

1. Be realistic

Choose countries that you know you can afford. As much as we would like to travel to another continent all together, sometimes, our monthly income or savings do not permit us to do so, especially if you have plans to travel within the year. If you don’t mind being patient and save up for a few years in order for you to travel, then that’s awesome! But if you are someone like me who is impatiently and always ready for an adventure wherever that adventure maybe but know very well that you can’t afford some of the countries you had in mind, don’t let that put you down. Choose another country that is very much affordable for you and make a point to visit them.

I use to think that countries in South East Asia are the same as that of Malaysia. We are neighbours after all, what difference would it make anyway? But boy, was I wrong! My first trip to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam made all the difference!

A typical street in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Exploring Vang Vieng, Laos.
Admiring this beautiful mural in Bonifacio Global City located in Manila, Philippines.
Admiring this beautiful mural in Bonifacio Global City located in Manila, Philippines.

Sometimes, visiting a country in your own continent is not that bad at all! You learn a lot and get to experience a lot too! My friend Alvin and his sister, Audrey, spent three weeks backpacking in Indochina and they had great fun! I would love to do that too one of these days! Fingers cross!

Why not go a step further and travel in your own country! Go do normal touristy things or go for an international festival that is hosted in your own country! That’s always fun!

Christ Church, Melaka
Christ Church, Melaka
Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) in Kuching, Sarawak
Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) in Kuching, Sarawak
Long house in Sarawak Cultural Village
Long house in Sarawak Cultural Village
Going crazy during RWMF 2012!
Going crazy during RWMF 2012!
Visiting Ipoh, Perak for the first time!
Visiting Ipoh, Perak for the first time!

2. Change your lifestyle

Want to save money for your travels but don’t know how? Easy, change your lifestyle. I heard a friend said once and this is me putting what she said in my own words,

“People who travel a lot aren’t well off, they just have different priorities. While you spend on things like clothes and fancy eats, they save up for their next trip.”

I think this is pretty self explanatory.

3. Backpack!

Backpacking is definitely the way to travel, especially if you’re still young and capable to do just that! I have saved a TON of money by backpacking; staying in dorms or cheap (but safe) hotels with shared bathroom and toilets. I don’t need the luxury when I travel, what I need is the experience of the travel!

Dorm room in a B&B in Kuching, Sarawak which cost about RM20 per night!
My dorm room in an all-female dormitory mended by a Russian family located in Piccadilly Circus, London.

Best part about backpacking is that you get to meet new lifelong friends who you can share travel stories and experiences with! I made so much friends from backpacking, it’s insane! We still keep in touch via Facebook!

Friends from Argentina that we met on our way to Vang Vieng!
Friends from Argentina that we met on our way to Vang Vieng!
I met Cassie together with her mom and brother while having breakfast in my dorm in Kuching.
I met Cassie together with her mom and brother while having breakfast in my dorm in Kuching.
New German friends I made during RWMF who happens to be traveling around before starting school again.
New German friends I made during RWMF who happens to be traveling around before starting school again.
Swedish singer-songwriter who was a few beds away from my in my London dorm.
Swedish singer-songwriter who was a few beds away from my in my London dorm.

Keyword here ladies and gentlemen, BACKPACK!

4. Be one of the locals!

Another way to enjoy your travel is by learning more about the place that you are traveling in. This does not only include going to the museums but also actually be one of the locals by indulging in as much culture as you can while saving some money doing just that!

Food is definitely the best way to get to know a country. Opt for street food instead of your normal fast food joint. Come on, you can get McDonalds back home, why travel all the way to a new country and try out the same thing?

Street foods are not only cheap, but very yummy too! If you have a sensitive tummy, then come prepared. Have your medication with you at all time and most importantly, choose clean eateries to eat in. Be careful on where and what type of food you consume, you don’t want to spend the rest of your trip being sick! In saying this however, street foods are a definite must in any country you visit!

Manila street food is a definite must try! SUPER YUMMY!
Manila street food is a definite must try! SUPER YUMMY!
More street foods near a playground overlooking the Mekong River @ Vientienne, Laos.
More street foods near a playground overlooking the Mekong River @ Vientienne, Laos.
Rachel with her dish (basically vegetable with rice) from one of the many local street restaurants that we visited while in Vientienne, Laos.
Rachel with her dish (basically vegetable with rice) from one of the many local street restaurants that we visited while in Vientienne.
While walking around Vientienne (Laos), we spotted this little restaurant where factory workers go for lunch. They serve really yummy noodle soup there and super cheap too!
While walking around Vientienne, we spotted this little restaurant where factory workers go for lunch. They serve really yummy noodle soup there and super cheap too!
Banana pancake topped with chocolate? Yes please! We had this in Vang Vieng and it was delicious! It cost less than $1!
Banana pancake topped with chocolate? Yes please! We had this in Vang Vieng and it was delicious! It cost less than $1!
Beer Lao anyone? I had this while enjoying the sunset over the Mekong River!
Beer Lao anyone? I had this while enjoying the sunset over the Mekong River!

Then there’s the public transport. When we were in Manila, we took the jeepney everywhere we go. It was our number one go-to travel ride as taxi were expensive. Plus, we did a whole lot of walking while we’re there so comfy shoes is a number one priority while traveling!

Jeepney is common in Manila. I love how they collect the fare. You basically just pass the fare from one person to another until it reaches that driver, it's fantastic!
Jeepney is common in Manila. I love how they collect the fare. You basically just pass the fare from one person to another until it reaches that driver, it’s fantastic!
Our time in Manila was mainly of us walking about from one point to another. We walked a lot, A LOT. Here we are walking about in the old city of Intramuros in Manila, Philippines.
Our time in Manila was mainly of us walking about from one point to another. We walked a lot, A LOT. Here we are walking about in the old city of Intramuros in Manila, Philippines.
Another example of a jeepney (thought they don't call it that) that we took in Laos. Most of the time, we depended on tuk tuk to travel about, except for this one which looked like another version of the Philippines' jeepney.
Another example of a jeepney (thought they don’t call it that) that we took in Laos. Most of the time, we depended on tuk tuk to travel about, except for this one which looked like another version of the Philippines’ jeepney.

Bonus tip: Travel for free! (Well, kinda!)

In 2010, I got a chance of a lifetime to travel to England to attend the Young Women World Forum under the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). Not only was I given the chance to meet inspiring young women my own age from various parts of the world, but I also got to travel to England, which was pretty darn awesome!

As much as I had the doors opened for me, I knew I had to have a little push to get the funds in. I had to work extra hard to earn the trust and respect of people who eventually was kind enough to donate and sponsor for my trip. If you want kind help, you need to work for it! I was super glad I was able to go in the end and represented Malaysia (and Sabah!) internationally!

With participants from Korea, Singapore and Malta during the Young Women World Conference in Oxfordshire, England.
With participants from Korea, Singapore and Malta during the Young Women World Conference in Oxfordshire, England.
With participants from the Philippines, exploring London.
With participants from the Philippines, exploring London.

There are many similar programs, forums or conferences that you can join that enables you to travel to different parts of the world for free or at a minimal cost. I know a friend spent her whole secondary school and university by attending different forums and conferences to not only travel, but also filling up her resume with all these wonderful and rich experiences.

Example of programs include the Mosaic International Leadership Programme (which unfortunately just ended), 2015 Community Solutions Program under the US Embassy (closing date for application is 27th Oct), AFS Program, YES Program (for 15 – 18 year olds) and many more!

Many of these programs are either fully or partially paid for one way or another. Please check each individual programs for full details. There are many other programs that are similar to these too, Google them!

Best yet, why not travel with your school? I know that many colleges and universities offer cultural exchange-type trips for students. In fact, I will be going to Makassar and Toraja this November for a study trip under my university!

Monash University Malaysia students who went for the 'In Search of Iloilo City' trip last year. (Picture courtesy of their blog; In Search of Iloilo City)
Monash University Malaysia students who went for the ‘In Search of Iloilo City’ trip last year. (Picture courtesy of their blog; In Search of Iloilo City)

So the quote, “Where there is a will, there is a way” may just ring true for many of us.

Good luck and happy traveling!

Why the word ‘fat’ will never be glamorous, to me at least.

I’m a big girl. I’ve been big all my life. The only time when I wasn’t big was when I was a thin, frail toddler who would constantly fall sick, as mom would remember.

You see, as a big girl, I refer to myself a lot of names; plus size, curvy, curvaceous, vivacious etc (why must we label ourselves? So annoying!). But if there is one word I will not call myself, it’s ‘fat’.

No, I am not in denial. I am well aware that I am indeed fat. I have no problems with people calling me that, although I will twitch and feel the need to punch the person in the face, but I will never call myself that. It’s derogatory and as much as my fellow plus size sisters make it seem glamorous, make those who hurt them eat their heart out by embracing this derogatory term with pride, I for one find it extremely hard to join them in their embrace of the word, although how much of a supporter I am in the cause.

Believe me, I tried. I TRIED to like that word. I TRIED to incorporate it in my mind set and use it as form of witty comebacks for unwanted, unsolicited and stupid comments from people about my body. I did, I tried.

I hate society’s representation and stereotype of what a big girl should be like; easily bullied, low self-esteem, not sexy, not witty bla bla bla hence why I fight to break that stereotype. However, I find it hard to fight this stereotype if my fellow sisters keep using ‘fat’ as part of the fight. I understand why they do that, but it’s just hard, you know. WE understand why we use it, but do they understand the irony behind it too?

What I am trying to say is that while I rejoice the fight that women make for all plus size women out there, proudly calling us fat is a cause that I unfortunately think would not be a smart move especially if you’re dealing with other people who often do not feel strongly about what we feel strongly about. I just feel that by calling ourselves ‘fat’, we are helping them to reinforce the negative stereotype to which they put on us and while we may feel empowered, they may ridicule us even more.

I remember the other day I saw a beauty pageant that proudly fights for plus size women, but shamelessly call their pageant somewhere along the lines of ‘Fatgent: Pageant For All You Beautiful Fat Girls Out There’. Okay, maybe not exactly that, but I would imagine instead of applauds, people would laugh instead. Or ‘fatkini’. I don’t know you guys, I don’t buy it even though I loveeeee the idea behind it (and the beautiful designs!). Even for guys man, I feel for them. I saw a store in Giant called, ‘XXXXXXXXXL Store’. As much as, and this is me stereotyping, forgive me, think that men do not care much about the name, I find it demeaning and insensitive.

But you know, that’s just me. At the end of the day, I support body positive and feel that everyone have different ways of fighting for their own cause. Although it may not work for me, if it works for them then hey, , who I am to say otherwise? That is something that many of us should learn to understand I guess, huh? It feels like post-feminism you know, where you celebrate women and sexuality and stuff and other feminists (non-feminists as well) think that that’s just wrong and pushing women backwards.

In the pursuit of cool.

Click image for larger view.

These are genuine friends whom I genuinely have fun with.

I feel the need to clarify that to myself sometimes, especially whenever I see these pictures of me having fun with these bunch of amazing people because 17-year old me would never have believed that I would achieve this level of coolness. That in order for me to be in this situation, I would have to force myself to be with people I barely know, who spend a bit too much of their parents’ money on fun and who you need to suck up to so that they would accept you (or seemingly accept you) to be in their clique.

I went through that phase before. I guess at one point, we all did, especially the many of us who try to fit in to the more ‘cool’ crowd so that we won’t feel left out.

I suppose if there’s one thing I could tell my past self is that I shouldn’t feel pressured to be cool. There was a point in my life where I was contemplating on being with people I barely know and who do not appreciate me enough to call me their friend, who were not there when I needed them and who made me feel like shit about myself.

My past self should know that there is no shame in telling friends that you are broke even if you know that they are never broke because they are just a bit more lucky than you financially. Nobody, not even the most beautiful and richest person around, should not make you feel any less of yourself because we are all fortunate in our own little way; me with my sassy, diva-esque personality; them with their RM10k worth of car and yearly trips to Paris, England or somewhere exotic like Sicily. (Not referring to anyone here by the way)

So here’s a secret. While you are in the pursuit of being cool, never forget to appreciate the cool that you already have within you, which is yourself. Because once you realize how cool you are and stop chasing the stereotypical definition of cool, only then would you create your own pool of cool with genuine friends who are equally as cool if not more. Together, you and them will be cool. It just takes time and patience is all.

Always acknowledge the green grass on your side too and start planting flowers while you’re at it. 

It’s never easy to appreciate what you have now, heck, I’m still struggling, but looking back at all these pictures made me realize that my life isn’t THAT bad, so yeah. That’s pretty cool :)