Happy New Year everyone! Another year has gone by, and that means another 365 days (362 in this case for today) to take on with new (or not so new) goals and responsibilities. I do have to be honest with you guys though, I’m usually more depressed during this time of the year as I get older. It’s not quite the same compared to when I was younger because it’s after when the holiday hype dies down, and I’m left with reflecting on the past year. And as I reflect on the past, I start to question myself a lot, asking myself if this all worth it. I fall into seasonal depression so to speak. The Canadian winter does not help with my moods and motivation to do anything. Although I did read somewhere that being an adult means taking responsibility for yourself and knowing yourself; which I recognize I lack right now (knowing myself), so I am going to make it my mission this year to work on “adult-ing”.  

2018 has brought a mixture of good times and bad, but I believe that as cliché as this sounds, we can all make the new year as a way of “cleansing” ourselves from our past mistakes and learn to do better. I was not able to accomplish certain goals I had set in mind for 2018, but I’m not letting that get in the way of achieving those goals this year. I’m very thankful for what 2018 has brought me because despite some mishaps along the way, I was able to use those undesirable situations and make the most of it. I was able to go on my first solo international trip to a few countries in Europe when my new job did not end up working out, and I learned how to navigate on unfamiliar ground. And after I came back home, despite being unemployed, I was able to keep myself busy with photography gigs. Even though I’m not in a desirable situation at the moment, I’m going to allow myself to try to make the most of it. I have beaten myself over and over, but I realize that it won’t get any better unless I actually do something to make a difference in my current position.  

It can be easy to feel stuck on past mistakes and current dilemmas, but I encourage you all to recognize that it won’t get you anywhere if you just stay in the past. Let this new year allow you to accomplish what you have set in mind, whether that be graduating from school or taking better care of your health.  

All the best, 

Small Dose of Serotonin



There is something powerful about memories. They can unlock emotions and depending on the perspective, they can be viewed as precious or harmful. There is a thin, grey area when it comes to remembering memories as good or bad. And memories are not necessarily all visual. Memories can be unleashed by sound or movement too. I have found that music can remind me of a lot of things, whether that be of a certain moment or a person. And muscle memory is quite useful for performing certain tasks at work.

Although as we get older, memories can be forgotten, or unclear as they once were in our minds, but not being able to remember certain memories can be used in a positive way because unfortunately not all memories are good. In my experience, memories can cause more harm and prevent growth and healing. Even though I am only in my early twenties, I can definitely say that my memory is lingering on by a thread. It might have to do with the fact that I can be forgetful, hence why I write down my thoughts so I won’t forget , or because I have learned over time to forget certain things on purpose because I have found remembering certain moments can cause more harm; as they say, forgive and forget. Sometimes it is better leaving certain things in the past. And the more we think about a certain moment, it is known that it can be altered and “rewritten” every time one goes back to that particular memory because that is how the brain works. So in a way, it can be a good thing to not always remember so that a memory can stay intact and unchanged. It is frustrating though, there are some things I would rather remember than the things I have engraved in my brain. But now with the technology we have, with social media and digital photographs, it can make it easier to remember those memories we have ceased to forget about. I think that is part of the reason why I love photography. It allows me to capture moments that can be forgotten over time. I hope to continue to capturing good memories, whether that be through photography or writing.




No regrets (but some actually)

If you want to know how tired I am right now, let me put it this way: I went into a store with my sunglasses, thinking I forgot them somewhere. Instead, I just forgot that I was wearing my glasses, and had my sunglasses on top of my head.

I do wonder sometimes how I am able to write but have a difficult time forming sentences when I speak aloud. I would think that the two go hand in hand, but my speaking abilities seem to be lacking. I always think to myself, “Why is it so difficult to speak words? I can write my thoughts down no problem”.

But to the point of this post; people will have regrets, that is a given. It is unrealistic to not have regrets, whether they last for a long time or they are just temporary, we are bound to have some. So attempting to live life with no regrets is just failure to begin with. But not letting those regrets affect your day to day life is what can make the difference. Identify that there are those things that you regret, but not allowing them to get the best of you is key. I definitely have regrets in my life, but I don’t dwell on them. I want to allow myself to realize that there will be regrets, like not getting fries at McDonald’s when you pass by, or not forgiving yourself for some mistakes that happened in the past that you cannot change.

I have thought about how I regret being too “open” with certain people. But I do realize as I am writing this post, online, for anyone to see, kind of throws that thought away. I am no stranger to crying, but it isn’t something I like doing (as obvious as that sounds because I don’t think anyone likes crying), but the very act today triggered something in me, and caused me to think about this in a positive light. I work at Starbucks at the moment, and my co-worker was trying to emphasize the importance of connecting with the customers. As any kind of retail job, it’s pretty standard to make sure you are connecting with the customers, so I am not revealing any secrets here. But he told me a story that triggered something in me, and caused me to cry. Thinking about it though, I feel like I have already heard the story before, but him telling me still made me cry. It was about a regular customer (unsure if it was of one from the location I work at), who would always order a drink at Starbucks. He was going about his usual routine, but one day, he felt that he wanted to just end his life. He went to Starbucks that day, as usual, and after he got his drink, the barista that served him said, ” Good to see you. Here is your drink. See you tomorrow”. Nobody knew of his intentions, but because of that one barista, he changed his mind about ending his life. As one who knows what it is like to be in that position, it made me glad to know that one person changed his mind. It can be difficult to alter your thought process when you are in that mindset. In fact, I was in that situation a few nights ago, thinking to myself that I just want to stop and just end things now. But luckily, I had a couple of friends who were still up at the hour, and I told them that I wasn’t feeling so great, and they were willing to just listen. Even just letting out my true thoughts and feelings made me feel better. The simple action of writing out my feelings helped a lot. And it made me think that I want to be that person. I want to continue with making a difference in someone’s day, whether that be for a short moment by talking to them while I make their drink. Or just having small talk while I take their order. Just something to make a positive impact in someone’s day. Even if it were to be for a few seconds; that is what I want to do. Of course, it is not entirely realistic to be able to make everyone happy, but just making sure I make the effort to brighten someone’s day. At least one person, that would be good.

So, be kind always. It can make a big difference.


Feelings suck

As summer is coming close to an end, there are many students going back to school, whether that be the very first day of school or post-secondary. And then there is me; a recent graduate of a college program that I wasn’t truly passionate about, and continuing working at a minimum wage job as a barista at Starbucks. I am totally lost with what I am doing with my life. I know I am still young, but there are plenty of other people that are already well on their way of accomplishing their goals in life, and doing amazing things. I feel stuck. I feel like I am not worth anything that will be helpful to other people. I feel anger towards myself for not knowing what I want to do for the rest of my life. I hate feeling.

I started thinking about this recently, and it is the fact that feelings (emotions) are often temporary. But at the same time, they can last a long time, and grow stronger as well. It confuses me, and I wish I could have better control of my feelings because I often feel negative emotions, as temporary as they seem. I know it has to do with the fact that I have depression and anxiety, but it frustrates me that I can’t control my feelings better. It is weird to think about a moment that I have felt suicidal would feel absurd at another random moment in my life when I am “normal”. It feels silly. And I don’t understand why I would feel that way, to a point where I would consider just not existing at all, and be okay with it.

I have had comments from strangers and close people alike tell me that I am a peppy, happy, and energetic person. At moments like this, it seems unlike how I am feeling right now. I feel frustration, and thinking about negative thoughts like how I left University of Waterloo 3 years ago because I tried to commit suicide in the winter semester of first year. And right now, I have multiple thoughts circling around my mind, like how I should have just killed myself while I had the chance. Some regrets on my mind. But I am trying to tell myself that these thoughts are just passing by. For the most part it is very difficult to tell yourself that everything will be okay when it just doesn’t feel okay. The cliche saying, “things get better over time”, just doesn’t swing with me when there is so much negative emotions running through me.  Feelings suck.

I know that I probably won’t feel the same way as I do right now, tomorrow or in a few hours from now. But it is frustrating that I can’t shake off this feeling that is consuming me in a negative way. I just hope that I don’t spread this feeling to other people because I can’t bear with feeling myself.

I just don’t want to feel anymore, because feelings just suck.







Tough times don’t last, but tough people do (Long post)

This week has been a rough one for sure. For a lot of people, including myself.

The beginning of the week, I was at work, just about to start my shift and waiting for my drink, only to find out that a high school friend, Ryan Tran, passed away the night before in a motorcycle crash. I remember I gasped aloud and a few customers were staring at me because of the sudden commotion. I didn’t start crying until a co-worker asked me a simple “Are you okay?”. That was when the water works started. I tried to compose myself, but I kept on crying. I was hoping it was all just a dream. But it wasn’t, and it was my reality. I was beating myself up for not being able to compose myself for my shift because they ended up just sending me home after a little bit. I knew in the back of my mind that it was the right choice because I kept on crying on my way home. I saw a motorcycle drive by, and it only made me cry harder.

I knew that I had to attempt some productivity instead of just lounging around and mope. I was feeling very devastated, and I couldn’t even imagine how Ryan’s family and close friends were feeling. I decided that I was going to try to edit wedding photos since why not? It was something productive and I wouldn’t be beating myself up for wasting time. I was in the middle of looking at photos when the house phone rang. I am not really one to pick up the phone, but I recognized the number, so I picked it up anyway. I knew I regretted doing so because it was my mother that called. I knew that I was going to be questioned about why I was home and not working. I explained to her that I got sent home because I found out a high school friend died yesterday. She was very critical about my decision to leave work, and proceeded to say, “People die all the time, I know it sounds cold, but people die.”. I can say for sure, that statement didn’t make me feel any better. I was already beating myself over not being able to stay at work. I needed the hours, and I didn’t want to make a bad impression at work either. Although, I knew after my mother said that, she would try to “balance” her harsh words by asking how well I knew Ryan. I knew if I admitted to her that I wasn’t as close, she would have said that his death isn’t a big deal or something of that sort. I decided not to talk to her in detail about the situation because my throat was already caught and I was bursting into tears at random times. I know myself as a very emotional person. I never expected myself to not be saddened by this, but it really broke my heart knowing Ryan wasn’t around.

Unfortunately, matters didn’t turn around after. My computer decided to shut down randomly a few times with the “blue screen of death”. I had some other issues that kept adding onto my list this week, and it didn’t quite help with my attempt to be positive. Some issues resolved, which definitely felt like a big relief.

I managed to complete the rest of my shifts for this week, which definitely felt good. Today, after my shift, I went to Ryan’s visitation. I saw many familiar faces, and some unfamiliar. We all gathered for one person, and there was a lot of love and compassion. I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep a dry face, but that was quickly discovered after I saw a better glimpse of the casket. I started crying, and Ryan’s parents came over to introduce themselves, but I couldn’t stop crying, so they hugged me instead. I felt so bad for not introducing myself properly. It didn’t help me either when I saw more people crying. It felt like a domino effect. One person cries, and everyone else follows. But it showed how many people truly cared about Ryan Tran.

As the title of the post says “tough times don’t last, but tough people do”, that statement stands true. I saw today that although there are tough times like this, there are many people that are going through some rough moments, yet they still stand high. I applaud them for it. Even though we lost a friend this week, I will keep reminding myself that Ryan wouldn’t want anyone of us to be sad. I want to try my best at living life fully like he did.

This post is for you Ryan Tran. Thank you for being an amazing guy. I am glad I had the opportunity to have met you in my lifetime. Thank you for everything Ryan.



Hyemin (SDOS)


Enough is enough. Or is it?

There are many times when you just want to give up. For any given situation, I bet you that you have thought about giving up, and just said to yourself, “enough is enough”. Even if it was for something that was not considered major. For example, waiting in line at Tim Hortons, and just giving up, and leaving the line. Or attempting to do something but just giving it up for that day, or for a few hours until you go back to it. But then there are the times when it is for something “major”, like giving up on life.

There is always a time and place for things. Sometimes it is a good idea to give up. It does not necessarily mean that you are a failure or failed at it. Sometimes it is the better option to give it up than to keep trying and keep going. I see the value in stopping something because it is hurting you more than helping you. It only makes sense to stop.

I have admitted to people that I did not want to continue on with life. It is a dangerous thought. It is especially dangerous if you act upon it. Or keep thinking about. It is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the route you are going is pitch black and difficult to navigate through. The past few months, the thoughts have been coming back to me. I honestly do not think they really left me, but they were somewhat dormant for some time. I feel that it is difficult to talk to other people about it, because for some people, it just becomes old news to them. “Oh you feel suicidal, AGAIN?”. They become tired of the behavior that only tire you out as well. And you just want it to end. Just like your own life. But I am here to tell you that, as much as those thoughts overpower you for the time being; you are better and stronger than those thoughts.

  • Free Health Services Information

And if anyone is in need of talking to, the number mentioned above can help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you cannot talk to someone that you know.

I know for myself, I have had people tell me, “enough is enough”, and I got to stop with all of this. But as much as I want to stop, I really can’t. These words hurt for sure, but sometimes…the odd time, they help. As harsh as these words may sound or have a negative result on someone else, it still sets me back to reality, sort of. When you are in a deep mess, it is really difficult to “snap out of it”. But you have to realize that the people that tell you this, actually don’t know how to properly help you. Because for most people, saying these things actually makes things worse. It’s not your fault. I really want you to know that. Understand that, not everyone can help you.

I always end up looking back on the times when I have worried so much that I became physically sick, or the times when I was very suicidal, and I almost laugh at myself, and wondered why I worried so much, or realized I did not have to worry at all. The unnecessary result of having anxiety I guess…

It is difficult to express an invisible emotion and illness. Not a lot of people will understand unless they experience it themselves.

I can admit that I wanted to give up. Not only on life (countless amount of times), but just normal day to day things. But I still keep trying anyway. I like to think of it this way: I want to be able to look back on how far I have come. And I can say even now, even though I just turned 21 a few months ago (late birthday yay!), I have gotten this far… I can get closer to my goals, and keep on improving. I will be able to say by June this year (2017), I will be a Georgian College graduate. I will have more weddings under my belt (as a photographer). Good things are coming. I just got to make sure I am alive to see it, and be a part of it.



Guilty Pleasures

It has been 5 months since my last blog post. To put it simply, a lot of things happened within those months. But mostly, I have been keeping busy all summer working at my new minimum wage, full-time job. I did not get to “enjoy” summer like usual. I feel that when you get older, you no longer use summer as vacation time. It is simply just a period of time when the weather is hotter than the usual Canadian weather, and you might have less priorities.

For the rest of the year, my schedule primarily consists of working and going to the college for one course. I feel like all I do is work (at my full-time job). During my “free” time, I am doing school work or exhausted from working so I end up lounging around. And the cycle repeats itself.

I have neglected myself in more ways than one, even though what I am currently doing is not necessarily negative. I have abandoned my gym time, my photography, and indulging in my guilty pleasures. So I decided starting tonight, I am not telling myself anymore excuses. I am going to attempt to go to the gym again, and keep focusing on my goals. Although I work 8.5 hour shifts for at least 4 days a week, I am going to try to force myself to go to the gym after work.

I know from personal experience that working out made me feel better physically and emotionally. Although, some mornings I bike to work so I do get some physical exercise, so I should not beat myself up too much.

Hopefully by doing this, it will also help me focus on my goals, and steer myself in the right direction. I think keeping myself more busy, it will prevent me from spending money elsewhere. But I will give myself some credit, I am alright with saving my money. It helps that I have certain goals to save up for, for example, moving out of my parent’s place, and getting a new digital SLR camera.

It also feels good to get back to writing. I have definitely neglected this blog. And I can include writing as one of my guilty pleasures.

I need to get up at 5:30 a.m tomorrow, so I will end at this. Knowing me, I will end up staying up a lot later though(guessing 11:00 p.m).




Before I get to the main topic of this post, I would like to advertise that I am more than willing to offer free services for my photography for any grade 12s that are going to prom this year. For more information, you can comment below or message me through my photography Facebook page: Pursuer of Light Productions. I also have an Instagram page: @pursueroflightproductions.

I read somewhere that you can counteract depressive moods by starting the day with reciting to yourself three things that you are genuinely appreciative about in life. For me, I have been starting to do this to see if it could help in any way at all. My list is the following:

  1. Ice cream
  2. Dogs
  3. General good health (aside from mental health)

I know that the list seems a little silly, but I think it will be a good exercise to try out. If anyone is willing to share their list, they can comment below as well.

Life is rough sometimes, and all you can really do is try. The world does not necessarily care about your well-being, that is the harsh reality. But it is up to you to go against the harsh reality. Realize your passions, and what makes you genuinely happy, and use that to help you get through life. Although sometimes effort does not always cut it, knowing you tried is also better than nothing.

I had some other thoughts in my mind about this topic, but they are no longer in my mind at the moment, so I will end at this.






Confidence; My story

I am currently listening to “Confident” by Demi Lovato on purpose to set the mood for this post. iT definitely sets the mood for me.

I have had low self-esteem for most of my life- if not my whole life. There was always the silent competition between my triplet (twin?) sisters and I right from the get-go. What is so and so doing, and why aren’t you doing it? There was the comparison game that occurred all my life. It was difficult to deal with, to be honest, but mostly annoying because I did not establish myself at those points of my life when it was happening to me. I was confused with what I wanted to do with myself, as an individual. But I realized (a lot later than I should have) that I am an individual and I did not need to be compared to my sisters and be affected by it.

I kept struggling with confidence even after I stopped comparing myself to my sisters. Part of it has to do with struggling with depression and anxiety. The constant anxiety of thinking ” do these people even like me?” or “am I annoying these people?”, and “am I annoying them at all?” etc.  I could not get myself to love myself, and I simply loathed being myself. There was always something that I wasn’t happy with, whether it be my short and small stature, my intelligence (school), and pretty much anything you can think of. I was not confident in myself at all. But I can happily, it took almost 20 years for me to get to this point, where I can actually say to myself and to other people ” I am a great person”. This may sound silly, but it took a couple of people repeatedly telling me compliments about myself to get myself to truly believe that I was a good person. That I was a person worth losing, and that I was worth something to someone, if not a few people that are not my family. It took people that I admire (quite a lot) that told me that I was a great person to be around, that is what made me truly realize that I am an amazing person. If someone of worth to me said that, it humbled me/ shocked me but at the same time kind of felt like a bang to the head saying “BELIEVE THEM”!!! They wouldn’t say that just because they wanted to say something (not of worth).

I realized that yes, I am a person that is worth being around, I have a decent personality, I can make others happy and cheerful, and that is something worth keeping in mind. It was liberating. Really liberating. It took me 20 years for me to get to this point, so I think I have some right to be able to say, I am confident with myself.

I guarantee that it won’t always be like this for me (being confident) but it is also a huge stepping stone for me nonetheless. And I appreciate it a lot, getting to this point. I am going to say it will definitely be a long journey, especially for people that have low self-esteem and/or mental illness(es) because those factors would affect confidence.

But I encourage anyone, even if they already have confidence in themselves, to be mindful of how awesome they are. You are worth something to this world, even if you may not realize it or know the particular reason behind your existence etc. Just let it be, let it be that you are confident about yourself in at least ONE aspect of your life.

I got to get back to studying for my exams, so I will leave this post for now. I will probably go back to the topic of confidence later on, hopefully in a future post.

As always, thank you for reading!


Big News

As of Tuesday April 5th, 2016, I am officially off my anti-depressant and anxiety medication. It took me three years to come to this conclusion. Before I start explaining my situation, I will say that I do not recommend how I went about with this. I am fully aware that I was not responsible with how I went about this, and absolutely do not recommend other people to follow through with how I went through this. I repeat, DO NOT RECOMMEND. AT ALL.

To start, I was being really stubborn with taking my medication. I had my reasons, but to be honest, they were pretty stupid. For one, I realized that no matter how many different kinds of medication I was taking, nothing seemed to work for me. The anxiety medication however, was definitely working for me because I was able to sleep effortlessly. But on the other hand, I was constantly forgetting to take my medication, and it was no good. My psychiatrist recommended me to associate my meals with medication so that I will not forget. I do recommend using this tactic because most people do not forget to eat. But even then, I was still stubborn. I started to feel the terrible withdrawal symptoms that included migraines and feeling sick. But eventually after about two weeks of constantly not taking them, I no longer felt the symptoms of withdrawal-key note, as I mentioned before, I am no expert and do NOT recommend how I went through with this.

I finally was able to meet up with my psychiatrist who was on vacation for a little bit, and confessed to him about what I was doing. To say this lightly, he was definitely not impressed with me. But I did express my concern with not seeing any results with medication, and feeling obligated to not take them anymore. He understood that he could not force me to do something that I was not willing to do, and in this case, it was taking medication for my mental health struggles. So he recommended me to go to counseling when I see fit, and warned me that I had to take the initiative of calling the counseling services and get help when I needed it. I thought it was a fair trade because to be honest, my psychiatrist was terrible at listening to my problems and constantly frustrated me when I tried to get advice from him, so I thought that talking to people that have better expertise on talking to people and giving advice (counselors) was a great idea.

I realized as well that if I were to go about this way and needed to go back to medication, I can simply see my psychiatrist again and ask him to put me back on medication, so there is still other ways for me to get help.

As of now, I am swamped with school work since it is the last stretch of the semester. So I shall keep this one shorter to get back to work. I can say that I do have an amazing support group  of friends and family that are willing to help me along my journey with this. It is definitely a struggle still, but I only see the light at the end of the finish line at this time around, and just remaining hopeful.

Thank you for reading, as always, and much love,