Tuan | Medical Student | Writer | Buddhist | Art, Music, and Adventure
Posted: 2 days ago ● 0 notesReblog

Tuan’s Bucket List (Love Edition)

I’ve always been a firm believer that life isn’t all about love and romance and finding “the one,” your “soulmate,” a “happily ever after.” But with all of that being said, as you all probably know by now, I am not immune to falling in love. In retrospect, I wish I was (then I wouldn’t have gotten my heart broken), but whatever, we won’t talk about that (today, anyway). Nah, I think love consists of much more. And while I don’t forsee “true love” ever in my future, there are things that I suppose I would like to experience, because let’s face it, love is a wonderful thing, no matter how much it hurts you sometimes. But, this list isn’t exactly what you think it’ll be (for the most part).

1. Cake. I would like to bake a cake. No just those ordinary one-layer sheet cake. I wanna go freaking all out, make an awesome looking cake that is at least three tiers, decked out with edible decorations, a cool design (I haven’t decided what kind of theme/design I want), fondant, colors, whipped icing… I’ve always loved baking. Before medical school, it used to be one of my go-to stress-relievers. I pretty much just love to cook. I’m not necessarily a cake person, but I feel like I would have so much fun baking a cake on my own. It’s probably going to take a couple of tries to get it right, but it would be something that I would enjoy doing. So perhaps when I have time (and money—some of the stuff people use to make these extravagant cakes are hella expensive), I’ll attempt this one on my bucket list.

2. Work.
I know this seems really, really cliche. But for the past two years I’ve been in medical school, I’ve been bombarded with so many “this is the reality of medicine” type stuff that it kinda has discouraged me a little bit. My med school best friend has even said, “If I could describe med school in one word, it would be ‘disenchantment.’” I mean, I’ve never been the doe-eyed, gung-ho, “let’s save mankind” type of kid. But when it came to medicine and becoming a doctor, my hopes were a lot higher than most things in my life. I know that there’s a lot that goes on with being a doctor, and most become callous and, well, “disenchanted” by the time they graduate from medical school and become physicians. I don’t want to let the world beat me down to where I end up waking up one morning thinking that I’ve wasted all of my life trying to get to this profession and realizing that I’m stuck. I don’t want that. I want to wake up every single day, excited to go to work, excited to see my patients that I’m going to treat, excited that I have the potential to make a difference in people’s lives, maybe even save a life here and there. I want to love my job. I want to love being a doctor.

3. Dance.
I’d like to dance. Not the kind that’s to My Humps or the kind where you dance in the rain (I’ve accomplished those things already.) I’m talking about slow dance. I’ve never come close to that with a ten-foot pole. I worked at the concession stands at my junior high dances. I’ve never danced at weddings. I just sit in the back and watch. Or I’d be up on stage singing. (It’s pathetic really… it’s like I’m destined to be a wedding singer for the rest of my life.) People dream of that moment where you and someone you love are out on the dance floor and it feels like the rest of the world just kinda melts and there’s no one else but the two of you. I’d like to know what that feels like. Just for one dance. I’m not the world’s greatest dancer, but I feel like if it’s with the right person, someone I love (and who, ideally, loves me back), it won’t matter.

4. Breath. Out of all the things that have happened for me, I’ve kinda yet to feel like my breath has been taken away. I don’t really know if this actually counts as a bucket list type deal since it’s not something I can control or do on my own… but you know? Screw it. I want, for once in my life, to be left breathless… by someone doing something for me… and just for me. I’ve never had that. And, to be honest, I don’t know if I ever will. I have such a cynical outlook on these types of things, but yet, I still hope for them. Why? Hahahaha! Why the hell do I do that to myself? I don’t know. I guess it’s one thing to expect it. It’s another thing to hope for it. But the best part about it is that since I won’t ever expect it, if it ever does happen, it’ll be 1000x better. (Right?) I don’t know… it’s just one of those obscure things that only the lucky people in this world get to experience. But I think it would be nice—for someone to do something that takes my breath away.

5. Love. I spent a lot of time figuring out what this last one on my bucket list should be. You know, I’ve realized, especially over these past couple of years, that when it comes to love, when it comes to choosing someone you hopefully want to be with for the rest of your life, a lot of things are uncertain. A lot of things kind of hang in the balance, and for a lot of people, love just isn’t in their cards. I remember one time, though, I was playing tiến lên (a Vietnamese card game, called “13” by Americans) and I had these thirteen cards in my hand. I had passed about two rounds already and I was sure I was gonna lose. And then I randomly just flipped the cards upside down in my hand. I mean, they’re the same right, no matter how you flip it, but for some reason, I had a new perspective on those thirteen cards in my hand. (Of course, I still ended up second to last place, …but I didn’t lose, did I?) Who really knows if I would have reached the same end or not had I, out of boredom, flipped my cards. My point is that everyone is dealt a certain hand of cards, but it’s how you look at those cards and how you play them makes the game, not the cards themselves. So maybe that’s what finding true love is like for me. I gotta keep finding a different way to look at the cards I’ve been dealt. Maybe I am destined to remain heartbroken. Or maybe I am destined to find true love. So I guess with this last one on my bucket list (Love Edition), I would actually like to find love. Then again… maybe in a strange twist of fate… it’ll find me.

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Posted: 2 days ago ● 2 notesReblog

Tuan’s Bucket List (Travel Edition)

I’ve always been an adventurer, and one of my dreams is to travel to the coolest places on earth. I’m not really a daredevil or anything like that, so my ideal bucket list travel edition consists mostly of places that are safe and tourist friendly. A lot of people think I’m the type of kid to go backpacking around Europe or go hike Mt. Kilimanjaro or something like that. “No thanks, I choose life.” I like to plan my travel trips. And perhaps when I have more time and become less uncultured, I’ll have more specific details on my Bucket List (Travel Edition). But anyway, here it is:

1. Bali.
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I probably wouldn’t just stay in Bali while I’m in Indonesia, but I’ve always want to go to Bali. The beaches, the scenery, the culture… it just seems like a really beautiful place. So perhaps one day when I have money, I’ll make my way to Bali for a week or so.

2. Italy.
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I want to explore all of Italy, not just one place. Eat authentic Italian food. Go on the gondolas. Venice. Florence. Vienna. Rome. Especially Rome. All the history. The art. The architecture. The possibility of Da Vinci Code-esque mystery and adventure. Hahahaha!

3. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.
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Yeah. Enough said about this one, man.

4. Thailand.
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No specific place that I have in mind yet. Although I will say that if I ever go there, I’ll definitely make a stop by Phuket and spend some time soaking in the beautiful ocean. But since I wanna keep each destination on my Bucket List (Travel Edition) kind of unique from one another, I’d definitely focus more on roaming the inner cities and temples in the mountains of Thailand. The world seems so modernized nowadays, and when I look at pictures of Thailand, I’m remind myself just how much history and culture and spiritual value the world has retained over the years. As a Buddhist, I’m always interested in how others who share similarities to my way of life practice Buddhism and live their lives.

5. Japan.
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Don planted this idea in my head a long, long time ago. Perhaps we’ll plan a Comrade trip that’ll take us overseas some day. I would like that. :] I’d definitely be up to just going to Japan, immersing myself in its modern culture, getting lost in the city lights, going wherever the hell the sounds of life in Japan takes me. As much as I love open spaces and scenic adventures to mountains and grasslands and oceans, I’m a city kid, too. If I had the money and enough med school stats, or if I was a good enough writer and was confident enough in my training and ability, I would have shipped my ass off to New York a long time ago. I’ve always dreamed of living life in the big city, so perhaps going to one of the big cities in Japan will give me that opportunity.

Posted: 3 days ago ● 0 notesReblog

Tuan’s Bucket List (The I-Can’t-I-Believe-I-Haven’t-Done-These-Things-Yet Edition)

So this particular bucket list consists of things that you all would think that I would have done by now… but I haven’t. Reasons? There are many. Probably because I’ve waited too long. Probably because I’m lazy. Probably because I’m too scared. Probably because I’m blahblahblahfillintheblank. But yeah, here they are:

1. New Years in Time Square
It’d be nice to go with a friend. Out of all the places I’ve ever wanted to be during on New Years, it’s at Time Square, and you’d think by now, I would have accomplished that already. I am definitely in love with NYC. I’ve always wanted to live in a big city… and recently, I’ve kinda been leaning toward applying to residency in New York. But anyway, if for one year, I’d be able to go to NYC and spend New Years in Time Square… shoot, man, that’d be totally awesome.

2. Drive-in movie
I’ve always wanted to go to a drive-in movie. There are a few in Oklahoma… but I’ve never really gotten the chance to go. I think it’d be a pretty neat experience. I know… it’s just liking going to watch any other movie… but I’d like to go to a drive-in theater some day in the near future with some friends. I think it’d be a neat experience. Going to the movies has always been my favorite thing to do with friends (when I had them… hahaha! …only slightly kidding). You’d think that someone like me who goes to the movies all the freaking time would’ve been to a drive-in theater by now. But no. I haven’t. Maybe one day.

3. Nuclear Imaging
I know that this is a really, really weird (and rather morbid) item on my bucket list, but I kinda wanna get irradiated. Hahahaha! I’ve been sick a lot of times, but never to any degree that would warrant an MRI or a CT scan. But how cool would that be to see what my brain looks like? I actually really want to have an MRI or CT scan done on my brain. I mean, sure I don’t want to have any kind of cerebral hematoma or tumor, but I’ve always just had this curiosity of what an MRI or CT of my brain would look like. Hahaha!

4. Paris by Night
I keep telling myself that one day, I’ll go see a Paris by Night show live and see exactly what it looks like pre-DVD editing. Not to mention I’d get the chance to meet Như Quỳnh. I feel like I should go to a show soon, because Paris by Night is not going to be there much longer. …Maybe for Paris by Night 115, I’ll go. That seems like a good number to go. I really hope they’ll still get to do some shows in Las Vegas. I think that’d be cool to fly to Vegas, spend a weekend there, and go see Paris by Night. But whatever… I definitely have to see a Paris by Night show live one day very soon.

5. Publish my novels
I think I’ve always been afraid of rejection. I sent in my first manuscript back in high school and got a rejection letter, and since then, I’ve kinda been cautious about my work. But with my Professional Writing/Journalism degree and my training during my time in college, I’ve kinda felt like if I tried hard enough and if I don’t give up no matter how many times I’m going to get rejected, one day, something will happen for me. My college Professional Writing professors even said so. It was so cool and really encouraging to have published authors believe in your work and say that with enough motivation, I could become published. This has always been a life-long dream of mine, way before I even wanted to become a doctor. But so many things have changed in the past few years, and for a couple of months, I’ve felt like maybe writing was just something that I was never meant to do… like it was a pipe dream. Maybe it still is a pipe dream. So many of my stories are based on beliefs, hopes, and dreams that manifested in the old me. But that person has seemingly disappeared from existence as of late. …but recently, I’ve kinda felt inspired and a little rejuvenated. I can’t really pinpoint exactly what it is that kinda sparked my passion for writing again, but it’s there, and I’ve kinda been etching at it little by little. So hopefully, in the near future, once life slows down a little bit and medical school stops kicking me in the nuts every step I take, I’ll be able to sit down, perfect my novels that I’ve been working on since forever, and finally get something published.

Posted: 3 days ago ● 1 noteReblog

Tuan’s Bucket List (Sky Edition)

Since I was very young, I’ve always been fascinated with the sky. If you don’t already know this, I have a Sky Portfolio on my Facebook page of over 500 photos. There’s always something unique to find about skyscapes… it’s just one of the weird things about me. But this particular bucket lists is composed of semi-related things…

1. Hot Air Balloon
I’ve always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride. I’ve done some research recently, and I think the the one at Yarra Valley in Australia is the best one just based on my research. I’m not a wine person by any means, but I can imagine just what the landscape of the hills and grapevines would look like in the Autumn. I think if there’s any hot air balloon trip that I’d take, it would be to Australia. The tricky part is that you’ll have to go as a whole group… and well, as of recently, that’s quite near impossible. …but anyway! One can dream right?

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2. Aurora Borealis

This is one of the things that I’ve always wanted to see. I feel like my life would be a little more complete once I get to witness these amazing, magical lights dance across the sky. I’ll make a whole snow-capped adventure out of the trip… even though I pretty much despise snow, I think I’d deal with just this once if it meant that I got to see the Northern Lights.

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3. Sunset on the beach
It seems so cheesy and really cliche… I know… but I haven’t gotten to experience this, yet, and I’ve had this thing on my bucket list since the very beginning of its incarnation. I don’t know… spending a peaceful day at the beach and ending it with watching the sunset seems like such a wonderful thing. I need to find the best place, the best resort, the best spot, the best time… the best everything, because timing is pretty important on this one. I used to want to experience this one particular item on my bucket list with a close friend. But now… I’d probably just stick to finding this on my own.

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4. Time Lapse
I feel like to complete my Sky Portfolio, I’d have to accomplish a time-lapse photo. Doing that, however, would require a high-tech camera and time and traveling to the right spot. And getting all of that accomplished would require money. And getting money would require having a job. And getting a job would require at least five more years of medical school and residency. So… I’ve got a while to go. But I think once I am finally settled and have the time (and, yes, money), I’ll upgrade my camera to a coolio DSLR and go make a time lapse photo of the night sky.

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5. Lantern Festival
Enough said about this one, man. This is by far the one thing that I absolutely have to see before I die — the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan. Man… I think that would be such and awesome experience. Hopefully in a few years, I’ll finally be able to make some money and have time to settle down and travel and accomplish all of the things that I’ve always wanted to accomplish and see all of the things I’ve always wanted to see. I feel like my life is about adventure, so I hope that in the near future, I’ll be able to cross these things off of my bucket list.

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Posted: 5 days ago ● 0 notesReblog

Tuan’s Bucket List (Destruction Edition)

So in this list I’ve compiled are things that I’ve actually always wanted to do but was always afraid to (mostly because they’re crimes/dangerous/both—hahahaha!). I feel like, often times, because I have such a suppressive/depressive/repressive nature, I don’t really get the opportunity to let out some of those things that I internalize very often. I’ll probably never get to do these things, but for funsies:

1. Smash a glass bottle
2. Fire a rocket launcher
3. Drop-kick someone I absolutely despise
4. Fire a cannon while shouting “fire in the hole!”
5. Yell in a large crowd: “everybody, shut up!” and then fire a gun