Weekly Photo Challenge: Fall, Sunset, Comfort

As I’ve missed a few weeks of the weekly photo challenge, this time I’m going to post up a few topics at once! Enjoy!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Fall

This was taken at Mont Saint Bruno on one of the hiking trails. Absolutely in love with the reflection on the water from the colorful trees.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset

This is from a few years back at a wedding I attended next to Lake Ontario at Legends Estates Winery.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Comfort

The things that make me feel comfort.  Nothing beats the comfort that is brought by musicals like The Sound of Music, Mamma Mia! and Mary Poppins (Disney movies in general do actually), a nice warm cup of green tea (in the cup its Strawberry Rhubarb Sencha and the can next to it is Dragon’s Well Tea aka Longjin Tea, my favorite type of green tea), Music like Sara Bareilles and Michael Buble, travelling with my favorite companion Marie (from Aristocats) and falling asleep with my security blanket (had it since I was a baby, the rips and tears make all the more memorable).

Do we live life forwards, but examine it backwards?

Topic #273:  Do we live life forwards, but examine it backwards? This is something the philosopher Kikergard pointed out long ago.  Do you agree? If you do, isn’t this odd? It seems we’re likely to make many mistakes in basing our future, which is forward thinking, entirely on the past, which is looking backwards.

I absolutely agree with this.  I’m a person that loves to analysis my surroundings and environment and the situation but something I tend to analyze a lot is myself (as does a lot of people too).  I believe in the concept of reflecting on your past, living in the present and looking forwards optimistically.  To me, all these things conflict each other.

It may be odd to do that but I would ask you this: How can one not examine the past when in reality, it has made us the person we are today? Of course we have our nature but at the same time, if you think back to 10 years ago compared to now, I can say that even in the last 5 years, I’ve changed immensely as  person mentally and physically.  Our mindset changes our motivations and our mistakes poses as criticism that helps us to improve ourselves.  In the end, we are affected by our past. Everyone, whether they like it or not, will subconsciously think and reflect on their past. Is that a bad thing, to be engaging in “backward thinking”?

I actually think that living life forwards is right. To look forward to the future, to plan out what we want to do and motivate ourselves and plan ourselves in the right direction.  I think that’s absolutely the right thing to do.  We need to stay motivated to be ambitious and attain our unique goals.  It gives us hope for the future and helps us stay optimistic to what is to come in our lives.  Can we just be in “forward thinking” mode though?

I think life works in a way that backward thinking and forward thinking are things that work well together.  At least for me, it works where I reflect on my past (backward thinking) to improve myself for the future and push or remind myself that I can be a better person and achieve what I want.  It helps me position myself in the right direction to my future (forward thinking).

Okay, does that mean I only look backwards to examine the bad things in life? Absolutely not.  Today is Thanksgiving (in Canada) and this whole weekend (and every other day), I remain thankful for everything that I have.  I do reflect on the past to see how much more thankful I am of everyone and everything that has happened.  The mere fact that I’m still alive to live through all every moment is something I’m thankful for.  I’m thankful for all my great friends that are there for me when I need them (with and without being asked) and who let me be myself without judging.  I’m thankful for having a wonderful family.  I’m thankful for having my boyfriend and because of that, having a second family who loves me and makes me equally loved as my own.  How can not examine my past to be thankful for what I have today? Almost everything is what it is from what we’ve done in the past.

Therefore, backward thinking is simply a tool to help with our forward thinking, to make us better prepare for our future. Although I have fallen into the trap sometimes of falling down that black hole, where I do my backward thinking a bit too extensively and all I see is the crazy flawed life I’ve had in the past, all the bad decisions I’ve made and it made me lose track as to what to do next and whether I could improve myself.  There’s always something that makes us be happy with who we are.  For sure, life is not going to be all joy and happiness but the least we can do is try to change our mindsets to be that way.  After all, I don’t know what will happen in the future, what God or destiny (whatever you believe in) has in store for us.

On a side note, I slightly deep topic for Thanksgiving but I think that it matched it so amazingly.  Along with the fact that I had drafted something reflecting on the past summer but never posted it.  Today is a day that I especially  am thankful to everyone and I can tell the people I love and care about instead of just doing things that show my appreciation. I think back and remember all the great things (good and bad) that has happened and all the people who has been there to share my happiness with me and to support me and has been there when I go through my rough patches.

If I may add, if you are reading this right now, I’m thankful to you because you just gave me that little extra motivation to keep writing and the extra push to keep myself in the PostaWeek Challenge, no matter how busy I am.  Thank you!


What 5 Movies Have Influenced You the Most?

Topic #264:  What 5 books have influenced you the most?  P.S. Or if you prefer, what 5 movies, 5 albums, or travels.

I’ve been wanting to  write about movies (and believe me, there are at least 3 drafts sitting around that I started and never finished) so here’s my latest attempt.

The 5 movies that influenced me the most (and also making them some of the few that frequent my DVD player the most than others in my  movie collection) are the following:

1) Freedom Writers (based on a book: Freedom Writers’ Diaries): Very strong movie based on a true story of integration of teenagers affected by gang violence and brought up to protect their own race when a teacher lets them know that they can learn how to tolerate others and also grasp their own future.

2) Eat, Pray, Love (based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert): How it is important to find yourself and learn to be comfortable with yourself

3) 12 Angry Men: This movie portrayed very nicely how everyone has different opinions and views based on how we were brought up and personal experiences can sometimes cloud our judgments with discrimination and prejudice and and as a result, make people forget the big picture.

4) August Rush: The power of music and how family are so strongly tied together no matter how far apart they are

5) Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants: Friendship!! Reminded me the importance of friendship with good friends


What does “home” mean to you?

Topic #261

 Home can be anywhere as long as I’m with the people I love and it gives me the feeling that I’m very relaxed and content.   Life brings a lot of stress and negativity and problems, both emotionally and physically but a home is somewhere that can help you forget about it or put it aside, like a little protect barrier.  Home is somewhere that brings you comfort for your own lifestyle.  Some people feel at home in a space by themselves, while others feel at home when they are with a group of people. 

“Home” is somewhere that I feel the sense of belonging, where I can be in absolute comfort, where I can be myself and not be judged and somewhere my heart and soul truly relaxes. With certain people in my life, I feel at home in a few selected people presence such as my best friends and my boyfriend and of course, my family.

I remember reading a book when I was a teenager by Jean Little called “The Belonging Place”.  I thought it was a wonderful book for coming to age where you understand the whole idea of dealing with belonging to somewhere amongst growing up faced with the issues of loss and loneliness.

Top Ten Favorite Songs (Part 2: Chinese)

Took a while but here is part 2 with my top 10 favorites for Chinese songs.  If I can find the Youtube video, I’ll put it on the side just so anyone who hasn’t heard it can listen to it.

1) 我的愛-孫燕姿 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOJpI9Ju26o&feature=related)

2) Fly Away-梁靜茹 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3CSHgiKWZA)

3) 流沙-陶喆 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvoe0eHKEVs&feature=related)

4) 來讓我跟你走-彭羚 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLMGfXv6Ezk)

5)一首簡單的歌-王力宏 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PihQffGOL54)

6)無聲仿有聲-謝霆鋒 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfvx31rYNN0)

7)舊日回憶的山丘-容祖兒 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkhS5VSc2uA)

8)火熱動感LaLaLa-鄭秀文, 梁漢文,郭富城,許志安 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2amZHs7yJVY)

9)原來你什麼都不想要-孫燕姿Version (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWMp5a7gKw4)

10)望月-張學友 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N1i2BeTGJk)


Top Ten Favorite Songs (Part 1)


This list took a while to figure out.  I love lots of songs and it all depends on how I’m feeling sometimes.

1) Love Song- Sara Bareilles

2) I’m Yours- Jason Mraz

3) You Belong to Me – Taylor Swift

4) Seasons of Love – Rent

5) Defying Gravity – Wicked

6) Elephant Love Medley – Moulin Rouge

7) Little Moments – Brad Paisley

8) Everything- Michael Buble

9) Under the Sea – The Little Mermaid

10) If I Die Young – The Band Perry

This is my list of English songs.

It makes me wonder if I should put in a list of Chinese songs, since for the longest time, that was what I listened to mostly.  What do you think?

Have you been to where your parents were born?

I have visited both places of where my mom and dad were born.

I have to say that visiting where my dad was born in 2000 was absolutely unforgettable. My dad was born in Guangzhou, China.  In 1998 when we had one of the biggest ice storm, I remember being trapped in our basement next to the fireplace sitting with my dad and he talked to me about when he was young.  My dad and I never had a lot of talk about “the good old days” or “when I was your age”.  But this time, I have no idea what brought it up, but we did.  In 2000, when we got to Guangzhou, my dad made the extra effort to go visit where he grew up as a child before he moved to Hong Kong then afterwards immigrated to Canada.  When we were standing there, I saw the look of content in his face, a genuine smile that came from his heart from remembering the good times there, remembering everything that he went through.  As I was standing there, I remember that it felt like nothing could replace that feeling of seeing my dad feeling so happy with his surrounding.  I think that moment made the trip completely worth it.  I saw the glow in his eyes as he described to me how it used to look like and also recalling the stories that he told me about when he lived there (those from 2000 that he told me in front of the fireplace).  Its amazing how certain things (a place, a person, even a thought) can brighten up one’s day and relax one’s soul and mind.

I believe that if you have the chance (and haven’t done so yet), visiting where your parents grew up with your parents sometimes can be really meaningful.  Every family has their own stories and every parent also has their deepest feelings locked where they grew up and many times revisiting how and where they grew up really leads you to understand them a whole lot more.