21 years old, A Dance to World Peace, alleviate global hunger/poverty, Bravery, Can we do it?, change the world, Confidence, dance performances, determination, generations after us, generations before us, grown up, healing process, innocence, Let youth not be wasted on the young, Let's not waste time, Mei Sze Phung, Milestone in history, Project #DanceToEndHungerNow, purity, Social Transformation, updates, Watershed in history
It has been 8 to 9 months since I last blogged here. I’m sorry to leave you hanging.
It never fails to amaze me how rational, logical, consistent, and monotonous time is. tick tick tick, ticking my life away. Exactly opposite of who I am — dreamy, imaginative, creative, insane, ambitious.
Time is constant. Now I get why in high school science classes, they teach you that “time is a constant”. hahaha, I get it now, time really is constant.
And when I get distracted or carried away, it takes just a glance at the clock for me to be reminded that time is always ticking, and if I don’t go after what I want in life and take the necessary steps to get to where I want to be, I will never get there, OR I won’t get there in time.
So let’s cut to the chase..what’s happened?
Throughout the 2014 holiday season, I worked on Project #DanceToEndHungerNow, and attempted to continue writing “A Dance to World Peace”. Both of these projects are my efforts to help to alleviate poverty/global hunger with awareness through world dance and film, as vehicles for social transformation, to make the world a better place. My memory is fuzzy. 8-9 months is a long time, but in reality, it was more like the blink of the eye. I have about 30-40 notebooks that I have filled up with my daily agendas, to-do lists, life happenings and emotions and feelings, but don’t worry, I am going to just sum up, and dwell on details a little later as it is 11:34 PM and I am getting drowsy. Upon the new year, I continued with these endeavors and created a board for Project #DanceToEndHungerNow, where I recruited a few founding board members to work with me on this ambitious project and to inspire the world to join us — Chhaya – an Indian dancer and yoga teacher, Deven Glover of World FreeStylers Hip Hop Dance Company, Richard Oxman – a father, community volunteer, and activist, and my sister Linh Phung, who had always served as moral support to me and my projects. I was really enthusiastic. I had such high hopes and expectations. This is going to the greatest milestone in history, I thought, this is going to be there greatest watershed in history, when we end global hunger/alleviate the poverty and suffering of the world that has existed for so many years. We are going to be remembered for millions and billions and trillions of years, I would imagine. So that was basically sometime around when the new year 2015 rolled around — January to March 2015. I thought I knew everything and could change the world singlehandedly with the Project #DanceToEndHungerNow board, with our global dance movement to raise awareness about global hunger/poverty.
But I realized I needed more information. I even considered discontinuing my studies at UCLA to fully focus on Project #DanceToEndHungerNow, “A Dance to World Peace”, and to find a stable job so that I could pay my bills. But luckily my sister, Linh, persuaded me to finish school and graduate. That last quarter at UCLA, Spring 2015, I took the classes: Political Economy of Development, Sociology of Mass Communication, and Art as Moral Action. I also audited Intro to Dance Studies. These classes provided me with much more information and clarity into how ginormous the problems I was trying to tackle were. There are no easy answers, one size fit all solutions, and it takes time to tackle an issue like global hunger/poverty. This problem is also closely tied to environmental degradation.
Plot twist: The third day into my last quarter at UCLA, I got sick and ended up in the hospital for about three weeks, pretty much the majority of April 2015. I was lucky though. My Professors allowed me to finish the classes even though I had missed about three weeks worth of class. I was given the opportunity to make up the missed work and still graduate on time. By May-Mid June 2015, I gathered all of my energy and determination and finished those last seven weeks of the quarter, catching up with my classmates and finishing everything in time to graduate (I had an extension for Sociology of Mass Communication makeup assignments, so I am considered a summer 2015 UCLA graduate). I walked the stage during commencement. The next two weeks consisted of finishing my Sociology of Mass Communication makeup assignments (as mentioned my Professor granted me an extension). Then I visited my home in the Bay Area for a week and celebrated July 4th with friends and family.
Now I have my normal life back. For the most part. I aspire to work for the United Nations. I am driven to collaborate with them so that global hunger/poverty as well as environmental degradation can be alleviated.
Welcome to the adult world. I feel I have lost my innocence — my innocence is lost because now I see the world as it is. As a child and young adult, I often felt that the world was a perfect place and that I was just a happy-go-lucky-girl in it, that I could do anything that I wanted to do and put my mind to. Today, my world may still be big to me, but in the real world, I am just one in 7 billion people. But that’s ok. It makes me feel empowered when I imagine that I, one girl in a world of about 7 billion people, can use her love and passion in creative dance/film to bring solutions to a social problem as big as global poverty/environmental degradation.
Sometimes, I feel like a loser to time. Time is playing games with me. Who will win? 21 year old ambitious, crazy, dreamer, determined Mei Sze Phung or time, the constant, the rational, the serious, the always right? What if we could just work together, with a bit more effort on both our ends? Time isn’t really something we can control. We just accept it. There was one day where I did stay in the bathroom the whole day and I believe I time-traveled… More on this story/experience and other incredible, surreal ones.
It’s hard to believe that I have lived on this earth for 21 years, and eventually 22, 23, 24, 25… 40..60,70, 80. I can see my whole life before my eyes. But a part of me does not want to grow up. If I could stay 21 forever. This concept of wanting to freeze time, yet it keeps moving, and everything is always changing. It’s intriguing. I want my life and life purpose to create the next greatest milestone in history by solving global hunger/alleviating global poverty to be looked back on forever as a moment captured in time — to influence the millions of billions of generations that will come after me.
They say “Youth is wasted on the young”, but not me, I say.
To be braver, stronger, healthier — mentally, physically, emotionally; mind body and soul. I am still in the healing process of my body.
When I am strong again, I will take on the world, you best believe 🙂
With my utmost sincerity,
Mei Sze Phung
At 21 years old, I have the energy, passion, and sharp mind and wit to achieve everything I dream of doing. With all of my hope, may the stars align and miracles happen, but not without diligence, handwork, passion, confidence, perseverance, tenacity, grit etc. etc. etc.
Thanks for sailing along with me on this journey. The currents may be rough, but no matter what, we power through.