Thursday, May 23, 2013

Learning how to bike at the age of 22

I have always been much of a squeamish person, avoid doing things that I feel will become a threat to my body. But slowly, I am trying to overcome my fears by trying to expose myself to them more frequently and learning how to manage those fears. In fact, about a month ago, I have conquered my fear of biking, which I was hesitant to learn at first for fear of falling off the bike and hurting myself but the good news is that I ended up learning how to bike. If I have never gotten on the bike that day, then I might have never experienced that feeling of accomplishment. Most people would take up to days or even weeks to finally be able to bike on their own but surprisingly, it actually took me about 15 minutes to finally get the hang of it--balance is the key to success in biking. I also want to say thanks to two of my accounting classmates and friends who have taught me how to bike and provided me with words of encouragement. Without their encouragement, I probably wouldn't have that much courage that day. Although I have fell down once, I have actually learned and gained alot from that because I will try not to make the same mistake next time. Thus, the saying, "No pain, no gain" is very true.

Since there was only 3 of us with only 2 bikes, we had to take turns on the bike while only person had to walk. Thus, we spent about 4 hours taking turns biking all the way from San Jose to Mountain View and then another 4 hours biking back the way we came from. It was a very tiring day with sores, injuries and a red, sunburnt nose but nonetheless, I had a really great time. Also, my legs tire out pretty quick because I wasn't used to biking so I had to stop and rest a bunch of times. This reminds me that I need to get rid of my lazy, sedentary lifestyle and try to do more exercise in order to become more fit.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My First Book Signing: Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess

A few weeks ago, I had my first booksigning at Barnes and Nobles with Jenny Lawson, the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened". Jenny Lawson is actually well known for her blog which she updates constantly with alot of followers. You can check out her blog at:

Here is a little description of her book:

In her memoir, Jenny thinks that everyone should try to find humor in life because it is one of the sources contributing to our happiness. For most of her life, she has been suffering from a number of issues such as  anxiety, depression, OCD, and mental illness. Despite these problems, she was able to reclaim her life by attending therapy and finding the things that have the tendency to bring her joy such as collecting preserved animals and writing a blog. It was hilarious when I read about the part where she wrote about her taxidermy father who used to collect dead animals' skin to make something out of them such as a hand puppet. The definition of taxidermy is the art of preserving the skins of animals and of stuffing and mounting them in lifelike form. Due to influence from her father, Jenny learned to appreciate preserved animals and so she decided to follow in his footsteps by collecting every taxidermy item she could get her hands on which includes preserved mices, rats, lizards, cats, etc. The funniest thing is that she likes to dress them up just to make them look pretty. On the cover of her book, you can see the preserved mice she has dressed up with a cape. People may think she is weird for doing so but this sort of activity is the source of humor and happiness she found in her life.  I'm really glad to know that doing all these things have helped her get through life easily. 

My experience:

30 minutes before the event started, Jenny Lawson's fans have already occupied all the chairs the staff at Barnes and Nobles provided. They really underestimated the size of the fanbase because there were  less than 10 chairs at first but when more and more fans started to show up, they had to add more chairs. However, there wasn't enough chairs for everyone so most of them had to stand including me because by the time I arrived, all the seats were already taken. When the event started, Lawson read a chapter from her book and then shared a really touching story on how she had been suffering from extreme anxiety disorder that it was difficult to be in the crowd or even to engage in conversations with strangers. She was so shy that she didn't want to talk to anyone and the only way she could express herself was by writing and blogging. Today, although we are unable to tell, she is actually still feeling a little anxious when presenting in front of us. She also mentioned how she is now leading more of a positive life compared to the past because she is slowly breaking out of her shell with the constant battle against anxiety. In the end, she taught me that living life to the fullest is a top priority even if there are issues that are preventing you from doing so.  I also appreciate the fact that she was able to write about her personal issues with a smile and laugh because not much people are strong enough to do that without having the urge to burst into tears.  I remembered my first impression of her when she walked in was a really positive person with a beautiful smile. After the reading, she signed books for all of her fans and then we got to take a picture with her. An emotional moment occured when the person first in line cried because her dream came true after having the opportunity to meet her favorite author. Here's my picture I took with Jenny Lawson:

Final thoughts:

This is probably not a book to be reading in public because it will definitely make you laugh out loud to the point of snorting. In fact, the purpose of the book is to make her readers happy by making them laugh. Also, it's to let the people who are suffering from anxiety and depression know that they're not alone. In her writing, Lawson uses alot of profanity so do not read if you get offended by curse words easily. For me, I am totally ok with the swearing because I'm not made of glass and will not break if I heard or read the "F" word.  Anyways, I think this book is definitely recommended to the people who have a great sense of humor or have the habit of laughing even for no reasons. :)