If In The Mind Of josiema...

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It’s surreal to find out that my teammates think I’m the best handler on the team. I’m so used to being middle of the pack and fighting for the top. Not sure how I feel about this.

I guess that Lincoln put it accurately a few practices ago, “Judge, are you going to drag the team down or are you going to put it on your back?!”

On my back, Coach! On my back! Regionals in a week and I want some nasty throws, aggressive defense, less than 5 turns every game, and a positive fantasy score.

More importantly, I want to have fun playing again. Sectionals was not fun. I was too serious and played awfully. Today, I was enjoying being out there and rocked the field with 5 assists and 1 goal. I ended 6/11 points for my team. I want that for Regionals and the College Series.

Break, break, BOOM!

— 1 day ago with 2 notes
Academic Extracurricular Activity 2: Team 687

The Nerd Herd. Be a nerd! Join the herd! Go 687!

This team was the most memorable part of high school. Countless days spent after class planning Halloween Night, writing business plans, prepping for events, getting boba, Iwojima, bugging buildies, and more. There was nothing like Opening Ceremonies and the energy that everyone brought. There was something calming about staying up all night to finish the business plan and get it printed at Kinkos at 3am, packing, then jumping on the bus at 5. This was my element, this was my home. 

For the first time, I was striving to uphold something more than my siblings’ legacy. I was trying to build a more sustainable team and win a championship. We had a streak of winning two awards every year. We could have won three senior year.  

I’m glad that we didn’t go undefeated that year. I wasn’t at the time. It was a rough time. Not many people know about this time actually. Everyone remembers it as January to March: Build Season. March was competition season. It was the time that Admin went full gear to own it. March was when college decisions were sent out. March was when we prepped for AP Tests. February to March was when we tried to make it to CIF playoffs.

But for me, on top of all of this, it was when I was in and out of the hospital. It was when I saw my cousins the most. It was the busiest time for me because it was the time that I tried to distract myself from Grandpa suffering and soon after, passing away. 

I remember not caring about much during that time except for redemption. Classes became mundane. I stopped trying to study and failed at keeping up. I used to own AP Calc and showed that I really should have been in BC. Then I let everything slip and blame it on the fact that I didn’t need to get a 5 on Calc as a business major. It didn’t matter to me which colleges that I got into or didn’t, especially since I was rejected from Penn (looking back, thanks Penn. I love Cal Poly!). I put all of my focus into prepping Admin for LA Regionals without me. We had to make up for SD. I am so proud that they did. It was a shimmer of good news in the sadness. Knowing that we could accomplish something great at Worlds and prove that we should have won in SD was something that I looked forward to. I needed this to cope. The week in St. Louis was what I needed to get my mind away from all the tragedy that I had seen for two months. 

Anyway, why I didn’t care all that much as to why we didn’t win at SD. We were getting too full of ourselves over never accomplishing anything. The judges had a good point: what’s the use of a business plan if there’s no execution, business, or profit? It really made us refocus what we wanted to leave behind and set up for the years to follow. 

I still remember World Championships. It was my first time on a plane. It was my first time traveling without family. It was the first time I seized the opportunity to conquer. 

I remember being exhausted. It was over something stupid, I think. It was probably really important that week. But I remember getting breakfast with Michelle, Izzy, and some other people. We ended up just sitting outside the cafe and I decided to take a short nap while games were going on. Then I get a Code Blue (Judges) call from Safety Man. The judges were nearing us, so I had to cross the arena to present to them. Boy, did I wake up fast. They kept nodding their heads when we showed them our Guides and Plan. They perked up when we showed them the Plan de Negocios. When we told them that we wrote it in two weeks following LA Regionals, I knew we sealed the win. I then doubted us when they commented on all of our KPC&B Entrepreneurship Awards. 

Sitting in the ceremony seats watching the finals was nerve racking. Three years of hard work came to this moment. Countless hours of planning, driving, building, coordinating, and arguing came down to this moment. I’m glad that I had homeboy, Jon, by my side. I remember us clenching hands as Woodie Flowers introduced the award. When he mentioned nerds, we brushed it off because there were other teams with “Nerds” in their name. When he spoke of the Plan de Negocios to “help build business teams internationally”, we gave each other the biggest hug and the surrounding teams (especially Holy Cows), gave us weird looks. 

Getting all those congratulatory phone calls and texts meant the world to me. Shaking hands with and taking pictures with Woodie Flowers, Dean Kamen, and the rest of the FIRST Robotics figureheads was incredible. I distinctively remember walking through the airport and sitting in my seat with the award for everyone to see. For the first time, I had achieved a long time goal. I set my mind to accomplish something years ago and I finally succeeded. I knew that no matter what challenges came ahead of me, I could and would take them on triumphantly. 

Veni. Vidi. Vici. 

Cheers.

— 2 weeks ago with 2 notes
Academic Extracurricular Program 1: SBI

The Summer Business Institute.

I remember high school summers as a time for freaking out or being completely bored. Oh the dreads of going to an academically competitive educational institution. If you weren’t doing an internship, doing research, volunteering, or part of some study program, you were basically wasting your summer and choking your chances of getting into a great college. Or, so we all thought. I remember freaking out during junior year because I couldn’t land an interesting internship, then again, I didn’t try too hard. Pompous prick of a teenager. 

Anyway, I heard about SBI from Demi. She said it was great and it sounded so. It was essentially CAMS senior year crammed into six weeks with the additive of visiting Fortune 500 Companies and meeting C-Suite associates. Cool. If anything, I was going to have an idea ready and project finished for senior year IDP before the school year began.

Boy was I wrong. I knew it would be a hard program, but talk about drinking out of a fire hose. Geez. This was the summer that I first broke down. I remember driving back and forth to Fullerton everyday, working on my project every night, doing homework, trying to keep up with reading, prepping for company tours, and writing 100 thank you letters. It was excruciatingly hectic. I don’t remember getting 8 hours of sleep that entire year. I doubt 6 hours even. 

But anyway, some of the important things that I remember / learned during this turning point

  • Why are you saying that? What’s your point? If you didn’t get your full thought across (by the time you pause for a response) to the point that I could walk away and not ask a question until whatever it is has passed or is complete, you have failed to get me to extend any thought to you. And this is where I started the douchey, “… and your point is…?” Everyone hated this when I asked. Some grew from it. Some, despised me for it. I feel like I taught more people to think on their own rather than fluff or ask me to do stuff for them. 
  • Tell them that it’s going to take a while. Even if it’ll only take you 10 minutes. Make it sound like it’ll take you an hour. If it’ll take you an hour, make it seem like it’ll take you 5. They usually don’t know the amount of effort that goes into producing whatever they asked for, so if you take long, eh whatever they thought it would. If you finish quickly, you just got 100 awesome points. 
  • The little things make all the difference. I was frantically editing and putting charts and graphs together for a powerpoint and report one night. I was texting my fellow about the next day or for some help with part of the project. I guess that he was texting his girlfriend because he ended up texting me, “goodnight, honey! I love you!” and I stopped and laughed for a few minutes. Stupid little things put you in a better mood which make you less stressed and more productive. Bring some laughter to people, especially if they’re stressed out beyond comprehension. Also, it didn’t hurt that he was super cute and athletic and went to Penn. aww swoon. ;)
  • Everyone is going through challenges, but there’s always time to be nice and lend a hand. We all were bombarded with the business plan, reading, writing thank you notes, prepping for presentations, etc. But, what I loved about our CSUF site is that we all helped each other. Got knocked out of the competition? Help the other team prep for the next round. Finished writing your thank you letters? Help someone transpose theirs onto the stationery. Everyone stressed? Buy them all a snack or drink. The little things matter!
  • Gratitude. We started each morning with thank yous and gratitude sharing. I remember sharing that I was grateful that my sister washed my clothes, folded them, then organized my closet while I was working on my project. Someone shared that they appreciated me waiting with them for 30 minutes in the parking lot while her dad was late to pick her up. Give thanks to those that are selfless and that you’re healthy, happy, and safe. 
  • Ask for help. Pull strings. Ask for favors. But most importantly, do it as soon as you see that you may need it and always return the favor. There’s no worse feeling than the feeling of being used. 
  • Push. Push yourself because no one else will. No one else cares whether or not you reach your goals or surmount anything. If you fail, it’s on you. If you succeed, it’s on you. Yes, there were people along the way that helped, but you did what you did because you wanted to. I reached my breaking point because I wanted to win. I knew that I could. I just needed to do more research, spend more time editing, writing, and formatting, practice my speech, and make sure that my teammates did their part.

Was it tough? Absolutely. As it worth it? Absolutely. There was no greater feeling that summer than hearing 2nd place being called in Royce Hall of UCLA. I looked to Ryan Li and we shared an exhausted sigh of relief. We waited for the applause to stop and for them to name On the Spot as 1st place. Being surrounded by the applause was unfathomable. It was my first taste of greatness: my fuel for all my future endeavors. 

Cheers.

— 2 weeks ago with 1 note
Because otters are great and so badass

Because otters are great and so badass

(Source: cineraria, via trafficlightsbusylives)

— 3 weeks ago with 1831327 notes
High School

The California Academy of Mathematics and Science. The 3rd best high school in the state. The 22nd best high school in the nation. 

In my parents’ opinion, “You can’t go to Carson High because we don’t want you to become a gangster or a prostitute. We don’t care if your friends are going there.”

Since my 2nd brother applied and didn’t get in, Mom and Dad had a vendetta out that sis and I would go there. Being the youngest of four sucks when the first child is the black sheep but has the cool social popularity, the second child is a math wiz, and the third child is a book-smart engineer. But that’s a whole other story for a different series. 

What’s interesting about CAMS is why my parents wanted me to go and why I went. They wanted me to follow in my sister’s footsteps: 4.0GPA, robotics engineers, quiet, reliable, blah blah blah. I went there (notice how at that time it wasn’t want) so that I could out-do her. Yes, I understood that going to and doing well at a top tier high school would get me a better chance at going to a top tier college. Yes, I understood that I am my own person and should not live in her shadow. Yes, I understood that I couldn’t get out of her shadow if I were doing the same things that she was. 

But what was my takeaway from being a small fish in a pond instead of a big fish? I found my passions. Working hard always came naturally to me, so obviously CAMS fit into that part of my life goal. What’s more important than the 6:30am basketball practices, 7 hours of classes each day, 4 IDPs, 5+ hours of homework every night, late night basketball games, robotics, and everything else, is how close I got to my siblings. 

Well, this was originally supposed to be about the trials of high school, but I guess that I am going to talk about this story. I guess the trials of high school will come with robotics. 

Anyway, my family is disconnected. Bro and sis, I bet that you’ve thought about this too. We all have singular relationships. Generally, we all can’t be in the same room together. The funny thing is, I can have a conversation with each one of my family members without it ending in an argument. Being the youngest is truly a treat.

Oldest brother and I share sociability. My friends seem to run with his friends. We share the same music taste and love for street/urban culture. 2nd brother and I share the love for basketball. Sis and I shared a room for 16 years so we actually share the most views and habits. 

As my siblings went to college, high school became the time that I got closer to each of them and also became independent. Oldest heard about how the family was doing through me. Being the black sheep, I think he really cherished our relationship. The most heartfelt moment I had with him was actually when I was applying to colleges. I was super nervous about my MIT interview and he was the one that said that he was proud of what I had accomplished so far, that I’d be the one to make it. To this day, I cherish when he helped me move into college and that he always tries to have lunch or dinner with me when I’m in town. He keeps me grounded. 

2nd drove me to basketball practice everyday for two years. He taught me how to drive. He went to my basketball games. He’s the one that showed me what it meant to have those small conversations and to also continuously try to get better at a skill. I’ll always miss waking him up at 5:45 am to drive and talk or just see him cheering me on in the stands even if I didn’t get any playing time. 

Now, sis, here’s the person that showed me what it’s like to become fully engulfed in something. I always admired her concentration and dedication to her crafts whether it be math homework, designing, drawing, or what have you. I discovered my appreciation for engineering and innovation through her. Without her, I probably wouldn’t have joined robotics or ultimate. And for that, I’ll be forever grateful. 

Even though I took aspects from each of my siblings, I became independent. I ventured more than my siblings. I traveled more than them. I joined more clubs and took more risks. 

High school was supposed to be the time that I set myself up for college and greatness. I guess that it was just a time for me to find out my passions and who I wanted to be. 

Now I’m not sure where I was headed with this segment, but I feel like I should end it in some prolific way. Well, I guess it’s this, usually you spend high school sheeping- you’ll be part of a clique or you’ll do stuff simply because your parents say you should. Now, that’s all fine and dandy, but why is it important to you to sheep? I think that I was sheeping around because I really didn’t know what I wanted. I just needed to keep busy. Because I kept busy, I didn’t realize what I was really doing, how much effort I was really putting in, how much I was growing. Maybe that’s the point. Busy work may be the best training time I ever got. 

Cheers.

— 3 weeks ago with 2 notes
Job 1: The Store

8 years old. At 8 years old, I was transitioning from the 2nd grade to the 3rd grade. 

Mom and Dad had a grocery store in Compton. I used to love going to the store with them. They worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In 21 years (16 which I actually remember), I’ve seen them skip work for three occasions: both to take us to Disneyland when I was about 4 years old, Mom when she had surgery, and Dad when he went to a training seminars and when he helped the siblings transition for college. 

I loved going to the store because it was the only time I got to spend with Mom and Dad. Looking back, I was a pretty intuitive kid. By that time, I only spent 1.5 hours a night with Mom and Dad and that time was divided amongst my three siblings, Mom and Dad eating dinner, doing chores, and getting ready for bed. Sitting around a grocery store in Compton for 12 hours a day sounded great as long as I got to hang out with Mom and Dad.

Neglect. It’s a powerful motivator. I couldn’t really hang out with the parents if they were always working. So, I had to learn how to work. I wanted to share something with them. I wanted to connect. Great job, 8 year-old Josie: connecting meant learning the family business when you’ve barely started learning your multiplication tables and were just tall enough to read all the keys of the register. 

I spent 6 years working in Compton every summer. I worked for free every other day in the summer for 2 years. Then savvy young me started charging. Stupid savvy young me only charge $20/day of work for the next two years then $30/day for the last. 

The biggest takeaways from this first job is why I work so hard today: to not live that lifestyle and to provide so that Mom and Dad no longer have to either. 

Seeing Mom and Dad walking in to the house at 8:30 every night exhausted after a 12 hour shift was sad. Seeing them too tired to play with us or nurture us was distressing. Thinking that I would one day end up doing that to my kids was unbelievable. What’s the point? What’s the point of working so hard everyday if you can’t enjoy spending time with the people that you’re working hard to care for? can’t enjoy the job? can’t enjoy life?

At 8 years-old, Mom gave me some hard truths about why she does what she does. She struggled through her day so that we could enjoy life. She wanted us to have whatever we wanted: go to theme parks, eat out, have nice clothes, play video games, whatever. That’s all she really wanted: for us to be happy. She didn’t want us to have her life. She worked hard in Compton to show us that we needed to work harder to get out of it. 

At 8 years-old, I wanted to make sure that Mom’s dream would come true. 

— 3 weeks ago with 1 note

Hello, Tumblr. 

So, I haven’t posted anything about myself in a long time. Honestly, I wasn’t really in a place that was fit for it. But today was a great day. No, it’s not the alcohol talking. That has come and passed. It’s the situation that I’m in and where I am in life.

If time paused right now, that’d be fantastic. I want to remember this. This is the day that I realized that I’m truly happy. 

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way. I really couldn’t ask for more. My coworkers keep asking me about when I go back to school and when I’ll be back. Honestly, this has been a phenomenal summer that has flipped my life a complete 180. If I could extend this summer for the rest of my life, I’d be content. That’s not the right word, but it’ll have to do.

I’m ready to go back to school in a better mindset. This is just what I’ve needed: great mentors, great company, new friends, more ultimate, new opportunities, growth, and so much more. 

13 years in the making. 13 years of working hard trying to take advantage of opportunities and getting ahead in my career. 13 years of focusing on being happy later and living a better life later. Today, I’m living a better life now. 

For the past 2 years, I’ve wanted to be a person that my younger self needed and a person that my younger self would be proud of. Tonight, I believe that my younger self would be the proudest. Tonight, I whole-hearted believe that I’ve made it, I’ve achieved success. Everything from here on out only extends that success, which I’ll always be striving for. 

Soon to follow - 5 jobs, 2 academic extracurricular programs, 1 high school, and 3 years of college: 13 years of why this is a critical point in my life. 

Cheers.

— 3 weeks ago with 3 notes
"
  1. You’re doing 90% of the things you said you’ll never do when you were 16.
  2. Helping your mum around the house doesn’t make you her slave. After all, every superhero needs a trusty sidekick.
  3. No one drinks alcohol because they like it.
  4. Coffee doesn’t keep you awake, the habit of drinking it does.
  5. “Growing up” and “taking responsibility” is not the same thing. You can do one without the other.
  6. There are days when chocolate is a perfectly acceptable meal.
  7. Your mother admits she doesn’t always know what’s best for you.
  8. You stop wasting your kisses.
  9. Word “cool” takes on a completely different meaning than it did in high school.
  10. Some people who haven’t touched a book in years start enjoying reading as much as they did when they were 8.
  11. You never tell your younger sibling they’re annoying when they talk about things that interest them. You’ve learned that’s one of the worst feelings in the world.
  12. You find yourself teaching your parents about life, not the other way around.
  13. College is not all that different from high school.
  14. There are still cliques and means girls and popular kids and those less popular.
  15. But you are different. You don’t want to just fit in anymore, you want to belong. You don’t want to stretch yourself to fit into someone else’s skin.
  16. Friends you find in college are most likely for life.
  17. You start fighting stereotypes.
  18. “I love you” loses its dramatic flair. It becomes something you need to hear as much as something you need to say.
  19. You learn that some clichés are real and good - that’s how they became clichés in the first place.
  20. Sometimes, 10pm is way too late to go out.
  21. Or to do anything but sleep.
  22. Your love life is still a soap opera, just with a volume turned down.
  23. People start taking you seriously, whereas a year ago you were still just a child to them. Sometimes you feel cheated out of life because of that.
  24. There are things you start looking forward to as much as when you were a child.
  25. Like Christmas.
  26. And Summer.
  27. And ice cream.
  28. World becomes a never ending hallway of possibilities.
  29. Some days you feel too small, or too big, for your own body.
  30. You don’t mind being yourself because you finally start discovering yourself. It’s new. It’s exciting. It’s like visiting a city you’ve seen in pictures, but they’ve never quite felt right.
  31. Society is messed up.
  32. People in magazines don’t even look human.
  33. Crowds don’t seem so crowded anymore, because there’s always someone you know, or someone you would like to meet.
  34. One month words on paper and scenes on television are so mesmerizing that you don’t leave the house.
  35. The other you start forgetting how your room looks like.
  36. Beauty is everywhere.
  37. Desire to travel rises in you like a hot air balloon.
  38. You don’t postpone studying anymore. You want to get it over with. You want to live.
  39. You use sarcasm more than in any other period of your life.
  40. You get tired of waiting for a cute girl/boy to like you back.
  41. You do something about it.
  42. There are worst things out there than rejection.
  43. Spontaneity.
  44. Confidence boost.
  45. Everyone knows how to dance. Even those who don’t have a clue about it.
  46. Growing older doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
  47. At 26 you feel the same as you did at 22.
  48. You do things you’re going to be too ashamed to tell your children about.
  49. Tequila shots.
  50. Strip poker.
  51. Making out with a complete stranger.
  52. Eating a box of ice cream at 3am.
  53. Watching a whole season of a television show in one day.
  54. Having a Marvel marathon.
  55. Thinking that a box of pizza and six hours of playing a video game is a perfect date.
  56. Take a risk.
  57. Visit a theater every once in a while.
  58. Or a museum.
  59. Go vine tasting.
  60. Or poetry reading.
  61. Join a club. You never know what, or who, you’re going to find there.
  62. Go to a protest.
  63. Join a cause.
  64. You experience heartbreak on a completely other level.
  65. Happiness takes on a new form.
  66. Sometimes it’s everywhere.
  67. Other times it’s nowhere to be found.
  68. You don’t want this period of your life to ever end.
  69. You have a feeling it won’t.
"
things that happen to you in your twenties (via buffysummerslay)

(via trafficlightsbusylives)

— 1 month ago with 5641 notes
8 Questions Powerful People Ask Themselves Every Day →

(Source: jonmitsui)

— 4 months ago with 5 notes
risarodil:

That’s got to be the goal: to destroy less and create more. To increase awesome and decrease suck.
~ Hank Green

risarodil:

That’s got to be the goal: to destroy less and create more. To increase awesome and decrease suck.

~ Hank Green

(via jenny-ma)

— 4 months ago with 8440 notes

spartanrace:

On the eve of the Boston Marathon, we at Spartan Race, along with the country, pay tribute to all the victims and survivors of last year’s attack.
Pictured are athletes and citizens who lived through the events and won’t let tragedy grind them to a halt. This series shot by Robert X. Fogerty for Dear World captures the resilience of those affected that can’t be dampened. Please visit their site to learn more about these people’s stories and pay tribute. 

Boston is as strong as community as the world has. We are proud to be part of it. On Marathon Monday, we will be there and along with the rest of the world, we will be watching a city recover as one.  

(via trafficlightsbusylives)

— 5 months ago with 30545 notes
flinch-nerds:

This tweet is so important to me

flinch-nerds:

This tweet is so important to me

(via jenny-ma)

— 6 months ago with 775718 notes

heynowaimee:

actual-rapunzel:

Let it Go (Africanized Tribal Cover) Alex Boye Ft. One Voice Children’s Choir

THIS IS AMAZING

(via jenny-ma)

— 7 months ago with 151614 notes
"You’re allowed to want to kill yourself,
but you’re not allowed to do it.
You’re allowed to fight with your mother,
but you’re not allowed to to leave her crying on your bedroom floor.
You’re allowed to miss your ex boyfriend,
but you’re not allowed to say the scars all over your arms are his fault.
You’re allowed hate the girl who almost got you suspended,
but you’re not allowed to tell her that the world would be better off without her.
You’re allowed to stand on the edge of that bridge,
but you’re not allowed to jump.
You’re allowed to be mad at the world,
but you’re not allowed to blame it for the state you’ve put yourself in.
You’re allowed to be sad,
but you’re not allowed to give up."
it’s going to be okay  (via pessimistiic)

(via trafficlightsbusylives)

— 7 months ago with 73473 notes