I finally got something out of the way that I’d been meaning to do for a very long time; backing up files on my external hard drive. For whatever reason, I’d made my drive strictly Mac OS readable in the past. This needed to be fixed since I use Windows as well. (It’s strange because I was using Windows back when I originally formatted as well.) This meant that I had to reformat and replace EVERYTHING! The process was long but not that tedious because I found a bunch of old pictures that kept me entertained. There were so many unbelievable memories that I forgot about.
Going through life, we tend to focus a lot on the future and are constantly trying to achieve a higher level of happiness. This can be good and bad. It’s important to remember what we have at the present and everything that has brought us to that point. Being so anxious about “leveling up” in life, I’d forgotten about how many incredible opportunities had been gifted to me. I’ve been working on having a greater appreciation for things that I already have and have had in order to become more at peace with myself. It seems so simple but important and something we all could try to incorporate into our way of thinking.
I thought it might be fun to share some of these old highlights with you and perhaps by doing so, it will encourage you to reminisce and appreciate your forgotten past experiences as well. Let me know if anything comes to mind for you. I’d love to hear about it!
Since there’s quite a few things that I want to share, I will be doing this over a series of posts, rather than having one unreasonably long one.
Back when former President Barack Obama was just a candidate for the 2008 election, Kal Penn came to my high school and talked some of the students on behalf of the Obama campaign. It was such a surreal opportunity because Kal was an actor that I admired especially being in an industry that lacks strong Asian American representation. It was inspiring to see his involvement with politics unfold and so wonderful that he took time to visit with silly, young and insignificant high schoolers.
(Phone cameras were so awful ten years ago…)
I remember the first time I discovered YouTube. I was a freshman in high school. Some of the best content was being created in its early years because people were expressing themselves freely without the pressure of viewership, sponsors, ads, money, etc. On December 21, 2006, arguably one of the best content creators of all time (on YouTube) added his first upload: “My Whole Family…”. He continued to produce witty comedy videos and over the years, grew to make intelligent, clever and extremely insightful material.
I was fortunate enough to see his first tour in 2009 and the Make Happy tour in 2015. It’s remarkable looking back on how much his career has transformed into something so significant that extends beyond YouTube. He has mentioned the possibility of not doing any touring in the future for certain reasons, which I fully respect. Either way, I feel so blessed that I was able to enjoy his genius in person via his first tour and perhaps his last.
The first time I went to New York City, I was 22 years old. I’d heard other people talk about it when I was younger but never really thought of it as somewhere that I needed to visit. Boy, was I wrong.
From the moment that I entered the city, all I felt was magic. The skyscrapers and diverse population of people created an electrifying energy that fulfilled an empty part of me. It reminded me a lot of being in Seoul. Speaking of which, a tiny bit of Seoul exists within the city on W 32nd St in between 5th and 6th Ave.
Being able to see Korean writing (Hangul) on so many different storefronts was such a fantastic moment. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there by dining at numerous restaurants, singing a lot of K-Pop in karaoke rooms, and shopping in the few stores of the area.
During the same trip to NYC, I had the chance to visit the new World Trade Center buildings and the September 11 Memorial. At the time I was there, over ten years had passed. I was fairly young when the tragedy occurred but didn’t have any direct connections to the East coast so it didn’t impact me in the same way that it did for many others. Despite that, being at the memorial site was a chilling and extremely emotional experience. I look back upon everything now with a different perspective which I attribute to being able to visit the site. My heart continues to ache for everyone who lost their lives, loved ones and more from that day, along with the aftermath that it had on society, which still impacts many to this very day.