What is Success

To The Person Who Feels Like They Are Not Successful

Everyone has a different path and a different pace so never think you are doing something wrong.


Growing up I was subconsciously taught to be hard on myself. It was to the point where I found myself hiding progress reports from my mom because I was afraid that if I received below a B on anything I would get ridiculed horribly. Fast forward to college, I was going through a lot and was not doing good in school. One of my best friends always told me "Taylor, you are being too hard on yourself." I still hear it to this day, and I honestly appreciate the reminder although I may seem annoyed by it at times.

It was not until college when I had to learn that people have their own pace of doing things. Some people get good grades easily, and some have to work hard for it. Some people get jobs automatically after college while some have to wait a few months to even a few years to get a good job. I can give so many examples, but the point is that whatever category you are in, it is completely fine.

The sad truth is that even the person who may seem to have themselves together on the outside will still feel like they do not have themselves together at all. This way of thinking is common but so toxic at the same time. It is toxic because when you keep having that mindset that you always have to do more and more, you will never have that chance to be happy in your life.

The truth is that a person's success will be different from the success of other people, and guess what that is completely okay. It baffles me now that many people define success with having a lot of money, and luxurious things that honestly can bring us more stress. My definition of success is the ability to use the lessons and knowledge learned to help others and to gain new experience.

Success does not have to involve luxurious things, but if that is how you roll then I cannot judge you.

The definition of success will vary among a lot of people but if there is anything I want people to know, it is that your definition of success should only reflect on what you want in life and not what others want for you.

Growing up in an Asian household, I was always expected to be something I knew I was not going to be happy doing. To this day my mom wants me to be a teacher but me knowing what teachers in America go through I knew I couldn't put myself in that position.

At the end of the day, this is the life that you are living and if others are unhappy about it, then so be it as long as you are happy that is what matters. Yes, I am aware that I am breaking my family's expectations of following a career that is expected of me but at the end of the day, I know that whatever I choose to do I will be happy because those were my decisions I choose to make on my own.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.


Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.


In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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