#tagged: grateful blogger tag & liebster award

Tags like these are very common on Tumblr and even on YouTube. They're great if you're looking for a quick read that will show you the personal side of a blogger. But my posts tend to be on the lengthier side, and that's because I want to be sure that I blog with purpose. I don't want to post anything unless I really have something to share, something that I have a lot to say about.

That being said, I still think that tags like these are so much fun and are a great way for you to get to know me better. Also, if my readers are tagging me or asking questions, I sure as heck am going to answer, however late I may be. Same goes for comments, which I sure as heck am going to reply to. (I've caught up with all except for the ones on my 2015 blogging goals. Getting there!)

Thank you to Janine for tagging me with the Grateful Blogger tag (like three weeks ago) and to Michelle for tagging me with the Liebster Award (like five months ago, so sorry!). I hope you don't mind that I've piled them into one post, but I've gotten around to these so late that some questions aren't quite as relevant as they were before. Back when my blog was still based on Tumblr I was also tagged with the Liebster Award by Meg and Eline, so check that out if you're bored :) I may start linking these on my about page or include them as a category on my blog if they happen frequent enough.

Running the risk of sounding bratty, I want to admit that I am an extremely privileged person and I've been taking it for granted until now, because I didn't know any better. Privilege is never having to think about it, and I never did. There's so much for me to be grateful for and I am. Life is so much easier for me because I am a cis-gendered, heterosexual, able-bodied, middle/upper class, Christian, American (by nationality), English-speaking person. I am grateful for my family, my friends, my health, my education, as are most people. I am grateful for food, for shelter, for being socio-economically stable enough to not have to worry about whether or not I'll make it until tomorrow. So in this Gratitude List, I want to be more specific by sharing the milestones and transformative experiences in my life that have made me who I am today, because--in the most in-conceited way possible--I am grateful for who I am.

MOVING TO CHINA // I can't imagine living in one small town my entire life. Well, even if I had stayed put, I wouldn't have had that small town experience where I was in Los Angeles. Sometimes I wish that I had stayed put, that I had grown up alongside neighbors and friends, that I had that friend who I'd known since elementary school or even pre-K, who would walk into my house unannounced, with which I could do the same, who knew my parents personally from being around so often for so long, who stayed up talking about everything under the sun, moon, and stars, who had really been there for the good and bad, the ups and downs, and everything in between. But then I remember how much more I've seen of the world, the cultures I've experienced, and how many different people I've met.

ATTENDING AN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL // We international students have a bad rep for being overentitled, and while that's not true about everyone, it's true for some, and by my senior year of high school I was not having any more of it. Even after graduating, the international community is something I'm now a part of and forever entangled with. I have no right to look upon the international community with such disdain, especially since this is an overgeneralization and I've reaped many benefits, so in fact, it's quite ungrateful of me to not appreciate this community as much as I should, and quite pretentious of me to be giving criticism at all. My high school gave me so many opportunities, many of which involved traveling that will help me build relationships and networks around the world.

APAC SWIMMING 2013 // I was short on inspiration for this post and was going through photos I've been tagged in on Facebook to rediscover things I've participated in, milestones, etc. and saw a bunch from APAC swimming 2013 in which I looked genuinely happy, where I wasn't worried about how I might appear to onlookers or how to smile and angle my face so that it wouldn't look like I had a double chin. I remember that that was the year my school hosted the event, which means I had to take more responsibility and be more engaging despite my anti-social tendencies. Even though I was competing and socializing all week, I fed off the positive energy and it was invigorating. I found my love for it, which encouraged me to open up and explore the extroverted part of my personality.

STARTING MY BLOG // I started personal lifestyle blogging in September 2013 on Tumblr. I had been on Tumblr for much longer but was getting tired of seeing the same old superficial things on my dash. When Kevin introduced me and a few other lucky people to the world of lifestyle blogging, I was sold. Blogging doesn't stop at the screen. I could write a whole post about how blogging has influenced my life, and maybe I will, but for now I just want to establish that it has changed my life for the better. It's true, blogging takes up more time in my life than it should, especially considering that it's just a hobby, and yes, I think about blogging when I should be thinking about studies, but blogging has also given me an eye for the world. It exercises my creativity, but more importantly, it helps me find inspiration, beauty, and joy in my own life and in the lives around me that I would have otherwise missed.

BUSKING IN THE ART DISTRICT // I've been involved in the performing arts for awhile, but it was never my thing. I discovered my gift in classical singing, and though I thoroughly enjoyed developing it, I never felt it. I think part of the reason I have such difficulty evoking emotion in song is due to guarding my insecurities. Even though athletics are what most people consider competitive and performing arts are what most people consider a celebration, I've always found the performing arts more competitive. It's a dog eat dog world where people put a smile on their face, whisper behind your back, and trample everyone for the spotlight. The last thing I'd picture myself doing is busking, but that's exactly what I did. It became a whole thing of good vibes, soul, and late nights in which I learned how to express myself.

MY LAST MONTHS IN BEIJING // I almost listed this as "Project Based Learning" because that was definitely a catalyst for adventure seeking and memory making during those last months. People from my high school groan at the thought of PBL and so do I, because it was terribly executed by the administration, but my friends and I made the most of it. Our project was to practice our photography by roaming both the traditional and modernized parts of Beijing. In my head, this was our last hurrah as seniors, together. I probably did more exploring of Beijing in those last few months than I did in the last eight years. I only wish I hadn't waited until then to take advantage of the wonderful city I lived abroad in. Improving my photography and editing skills were a welcome side-effect. Despite its gross weather and unrelenting pollution, Beijing and all of its juxtapositions will always hold a place in my heart.

COLLEGE // without which I'd be as dependent as ever. It wasn't until then that I realized how isolated and protected my whole life had been. It made me realize that a little bit of kindness could go a long way. Thank you to the man who helped me with directions, with my luggage, and gave me one of his extra SEPTA tickets. Thank you to the ice cream man who gave me (and the swim team) a 25 cent discount on our $20.25 purchase of popsicles. Thank you to the friend who walks me to my dorm despite the fact that my dorm is basically off campus. Thank you to the random people who I run into who say hi, smile, and/or ask how I'm doing even though I'm probably one of the least cool people they know. Thank you to the friend who always checks to see if I've made it home safe because he knows I'm hopeless with directions. I haven't entered the real world yet, but I'm a step closer.

I know, I know. Audrey, did you fail elementary math?! There are only seven things! Well, this list and its explanations have gone on for long enough. I'm only eighteen. How many transformative experiences could I have had? Not enough for an autobiography, but maybe one day. I admit, my brain has run dry, but if nothing has jumped out at me, then it couldn't be that significant, right?

Darn, now I know why this tag asks for a gratitude list, not a life story. I feel like a very ungrateful person for not being able to complete it. To be fair, I could just stick on friends, family, health, food, shelter, clothes, and other materials to more than complete the list, but I'd rather not. A part of me wants to restart and do this tag the right way to be able to complete it, but... the things I've already listed mean a lot to me, and after writing it all out I want to share it! I guess not every post can be perfect. Quoting my favorite family movie Meet the Robinsons, I just gotta "keep moving forward!"

Another thing I take from this is that I should start taking more risks, putting myself out there, welcoming change, and not let opportunities slip by. There's always room to grow to be your best possible self. These experiences in my life that I've shared with you through this list weren't anything special at the time, but in retrospect, they're game changers. Of course you can never predict when these things will happen--the best things happen at the most unexpected moments--but what I hope is to be able to notice these things when they happen so that I can appreciate them instead of taking them for granted.

>> Read more >> to see the ten questions I answered for the Liebster Award and who I tagged >>

What made you smile today? Being able to sleep in. Yay for no classes on Friday!

Who is your favorite villain? Not exactly a villain, but he's more than a little messed up: Tate Langdon.

What are your thoughts about the recent plane incidents? Sad, tragic, awful, baffled, freaked out.

What is the last thing you downloaded into your computer? A font called Besom.

What are your thoughts about the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer? Loving the "Crazy In Love" remake!

What would you suggest for everyone to try? Something they've always wanted to. & Taiwanese food.

What is the best thing you've done for a stranger? Help someone through an airport. (very thoroughly)

What is your favorite thing in your room? My cupcake shaped cup filled with candy.

What is something you're good at that only a few people know about? My tummy can do the wave.

What is your most embarrassing moment? My time of month came at an... inconvenient time.

Can you keep a secret? I'm good at keeping secrets because I can't remember them in the first place.



I know that some people are very strict with their blog style, so I've tried to tag people that I think might actually continue this tag, but of course there is no pressure to do so if you don't feel like it. Also, even if I haven't explicitly tagged you, please feel free to answer these questions in the comments, on your own blog, or whatever floats your boat. Don't forget to send me the link so that I can check it out!

Amber @ Ambuhr (or here?)
Anita @ What Anita Said
Celestine @ Fernaly
Hazel @ Stay Bookish
Jennie @ Sailboat
Margery @ Marjorie
Mei @ Ice Pandora
Pearl @ The Wandering Dreamer
Sarah @ Temporary Secretary
Stephanie @ Native Blush
Teesh @ Brown-Eyed Perspective


I've decided to combine the Grateful Blogger tag and Liebster Award by including "what are you grateful for?" as one of my questions. You can list ten things or just share one. I wanted to ask big questions (and sprinkle in some small fun ones) because these are some questions I think are important for everyone to consider and that I am genuinely interested in about everyone. Also, feel free to use these questions as a source of inspiration for your next post if you're feeling stuck, because some of them are certainly big enough questions for a whole post! In fact, if you're tagged but don't want to answer all these questions, just answer one or however little you want. I might use some of these as well...

Who are you?
What gives you life?
What is your message?
What is your passion?
What is in your emotional emergency kit?
What are you currently obsessed with?
What is something you should have done awhile ago but never got around to?
What is holding you back?
What are you grateful for?
What can you do for someone else today?
Where are you going?

What is your credit card number?