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How to Follow Your Heart – 3 Steps

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I think all my life, I’ve trusted the reason my heart would speak of and while I know it doesn’t always align with what is logically correct, in the end I know it’s what I need to do. Listening to that little voice inside me isn’t always easy though. Urging myself to do something that might feel uncomfortable is something I think many people have difficulty with. In the past I know that when I don’t do what that voice is telling me, I ended up feeling really disappointed in myself. I began to practice it more this last year with living intentionally, but I don’t think I did it enough. So with that being said, I’m definitely going to do my best to speak up when my heart says that I should.

How?

So how do we get ourselves to follow through with what we know is right in our hearts?

  1. Recognize the voice

    I think the first step in doing is realizing the voice is actually there. When you get into a situation where you feel compelled to speak up or do something, it’s important to be aware of the fact that your heart is trying to say something.

  2. Reason with yourself

    Once you recognize there is a voice, explore it more and ask yourself why? Why are you feeling compelled? What would be the end result if you did do it, and what would happen if you didn’t? Would you be willing to walk away from the situation without saying or doing and if not would you be okay with it? Figure out if it’s something worth your time. Sometimes the turmoil is what’s most difficult to experience.

  3. React to the situation

    After you’ve gone through the scenarios and realize you can’t walk away not doing what your heart is telling you, then it’s time to follow through. Sometimes this can be the most difficult task but take a deep breath, let it out and if you need support go seek it so you can stay accountable.

 I can’t say following our hearts is easy and I feel like as time goes on and the more practice we get in, the more comfortable it will become. One thing that helps me is reminding myself that we need to trust that the process will lead us to our end destination. The road may twist and bend but all of it will eventually lead you there.

 

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surprising moments of 2017

 

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there’s so much happening around me that all i feel i can do is freeze as to attempt to keep at least one thing constant. i feel like a little figurine stuck in a snow globe with a blazing blizzard endangering my comfort and safety and all i want to do is stop time so i can get a handle on all that’s happening around me. it’s been a long time since i’ve really sit down to write but i know I NEED to do more of it to really think through and reflect on my experiences. i feel like my thoughts are just getting lost in the mix of everything.

surprising moments of 2017

today ann asked me what was surprising to me this last year. can you believe that all the things that came to mind were negative? i was surprised that my extended family basically wants nothing to do with me… i find it so challenging to live in two different worlds, with two very different expectations. there’s a life that i want to live that may not necessarily seem fitting or appropriate to others. at one point in my life, it was easily shrugged off my shoulders because i felt i had support and the constant reminders of why when times were tough but i honestly don’t feel like i have that anymore.

i always thought i was such a resilient person, that i could easily adapt to new environments and social settings but just like anyone else, i experienced how difficult it can be to make new friends and really open up to others. i’ve always had a fear of people recognizing my faults but now there’s a fear of being authentic and showing my real emotions to people which is quite the opposite of who i was before.

and finally… because i’m not looking forward to moving, i wasn’t looking forward to the wedding. because i knew that when that time came, my time in LA was up. which is a sad concept to comprehend; that the most exciting day of my life that i’ve been looking forward to since i was a kid is now tainted because of this notion. but i’m definitely trying my best to lean in and trust the process.

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Paralyzing Emotions

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ever since i got back from my thanksgiving trip in seattle, i’ve been in a bit of a funk. i couldn’t help but notice that i was feeling out of my element and while everything had remained the same, there was this running theme i felt all week long. i’ve been trying to process through the emotions and i’m realizing it’s multi-layered.

i think part of it is because the reality of moving  is sinking in… knowing that my life is going to completely change very soon with hoan moving down and then moving up to seattle, getting married and wanting to plan a life around two cities is right around the corner. all of that is just a lot to take in. and while i’ve always enjoyed the option of having more, i’m feeling the nostalgia of resistance from 2 years ago when i first moved to LA resurfacing with this next move.

the other things i kept noticing was feelings of inadequacy, the inability to be myself, fear of judgment and this internal struggle of believing people expected something of me, trying to live up to it but knowing it wasn’t me. with these emotions hitting me all at once, i realized all i could do was numb, do my best to freeze. it’s all so foreign to me feeling like this… never in my life have i felt not enough… not myself or felt fearful of what others thought of me. these were never beliefs that consumed my being and all of a sudden, it was all i could think about.  it’s been really paralyzing and i think i’m still trying to wake up from this trance…

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Before I die Proposal

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The day of the proposal I was still jetlagged from my red eye flight into Minneapolis but also stressed because I had an online presentation for class that evening and I had found out earlier that my slides had gotten deleted so I was just really anxious to get home. My best friend Ann and I had gotten a late lunch that day and I told her I should probably get home early to work on my presentation so after a little stalling on her end she said “ok, but before we go home can we quick run an errand? I have to go pick up tickets at the Orpheum.” I said, “sure” and we were on our way to downtown.

She decided to park in this parking lot near the Orpheum and I thought… hmm this looks oddly familiar. And as we drove in and parked, I looked up and said, “oh hey this is where Hoan and I had the [before I die] wall date! “And she was like, “oh yeah?” And I was like, “…yeah!!”

Proposal Time

Once the car came to a stop I told her I would sit in the car and wait for her since it was sprinkling out and she said, “oh… I need two people to pick them up.” In my head, I was thinking, that’s odd… I’ve never heard of that before. I noticed she grabbed an umbrella and walked over to my passenger car side and got me out of the car. I got out and was still thinking, this is so weird that she is having me go pick up tickets with her. As we continue bickering, all of a sudden Ann goes, “ugh, just look over there” So then I look over and there is Hoan standing under an umbrella in front of a “Before I die” wall and I literally just bawled my eyes out.

In that moment, it felt like time just stood still because I was completely floored! I had a variety of different emotions run through me from shock, to guilt, to feeling so incredibly loved. I couldn’t believe he had been working on all of this without my knowledge! I also couldn’t believe it was me who was getting proposed to… It’s like you dream of it as a child, you think about it growing up and wonder what your proposal would look like and here it was happening right before my eyes. It’s a good thing it got documented because looking back now it felt like such a whirlwind.. but the most dreamy, thoughtful, romantic whirlwinds of all time.

Proposal Video here

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4 Tips on How to Have a Successful Relationship

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hoan do, couple, engagement, fiance, how to have a successful relationship, successful love, love

Hoan and I have been together for 2.5 years. While our relationship is not perfect, we’ve been able to maintain a happy, healthy, successful relationship. Granted we’ve been long distance for the entire duration of our relationship but like any other relationship we have differences that can make things difficult. Despite it we’ve been able to maintain a happy, healthy, successful relationship. 

1. Communication is Key

It’s imperative to be transparent in any relationship but especially a romantic relationship because your significant other needs to know how you feel. If we shut down because we’re put off by something and don’t let our significant other know, that’s going to lead to confusion and frustration and eventually withdrawal of efforts if they don’t see that their prying is making any progress.

2. Compromise

You’re going to have differences every single day but it’s key to know when to pick your battles and know when you can compromise. Not everything is going to go your way because a relationship involves two people with obviously different opinions.

3. Continue to Hold on 

One of the best pieces of advice we ever got was that you should always hold on. And hold on means that whenever you have an issue, one person should always hold on. For example, if you guys are arguing over the phone, don’t hang up if you know there’s more you need to talk through, continue the conversation until you’re both able to feel better about the situation.

4. Your significant other is your number one

Priorities are a huge thing that drives our daily activities. It’s important to make your significant other your number one priority, (of course after God for us). This allows for both people in the relationship to feel certainty and love which is one of our human needs. A lot of times, marriages begin breaking apart because they aren’t receiving the love they need from their spouse and then turn to their children for the love that they yearn for. Eventually, this cycle allows for separation and disconnect.

All of these practices have really helped Hoan and I in our relationship but again, it’s definitely not a guarantee because it’s also important to note that not every person is the right person for you. Regardless, i hope these practices can help you to have a successful relationship! Happy loving

 

 

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Vulnerability is Who I Am at My Core

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Something I’ve realized is that I haven’t been fully vulnerable lately. I’m not quite sure why that is but it could be that I’ve been tapping more into my airy side. The side that enjoys chillin’ and having a good time because I’m in sunny So-Cal.

After writing just these two sentences, I felt a gut-wrenching emotion telling me this doesn’t sound right.  Because I know this isn’t who I am at my core. In this moment of desperation, I looked up at my vision board for some answers. This is actually where I look and refer to to remind myself of who I am, what I want to achieve and I what I value. I inherently knew authenticity and vulnerability had to be somewhere on the fricken board.

And what do you know, front and center with the definitions of who Anh Thu is: “Continue to be authentic and vulnerable.” And that’s when it hit me… I don’t feel like I’ve been myself because I haven’t chosen to be real or very open with many people.  So really, it’s my fault that I haven’t been feeling like myself. Because this is a decision I made but this is also where it ends. 

THoughts

So, who are you at your core? I think it’s important to reflect upon who you are and how it’s being reflected in your daily life because your actions may not necessarily show it. Would be curious to hear your thoughts!

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What to Ask Yourself when You’re About to Walk Away

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Some of the most difficult things we’ll ever have to do are usually the most important things that could make or break our relationships. And as I’m trying to figure out whether I should bring it up or walk away… one of the questions I need to ask myself is

Is it worth it?

I’ve found that over the years, I can easily let go and set camp up elsewhere. Since my move here.. I feel like it’s gotten incredibly easy to do that because you’re not held to a certain standard or peer group because of the circumstances. In a new city, no one knows who you are… so you have more freedom to do as you please without judgement.

But as I ponder on the question of whether it’s worth it to bring up, I think about the relations that are involved and which option I’d be more okay living with. And that brings me to my answer, “I have to say something.”
Wish me luck, gulp.

 

 

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An Honest Confession

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i decided to take a little hiatus to regain some clarity in the reason why i began this blog. i originally had high hopes for it and my ultimate goal was wanting to help women all across the world feel simply beautiful. i wasn’t quite sure how i was going to do it… and to be honest, i still don’t… and in the midst of it all, i lost sight of my end goal and i’m so sorry.

i finally decided it was time to take a break after my workbook was released. what came as a huge surprise was when i didn’t feel any excitement in announcing my workbook that i had worked tirelessly to create. it took WEEKS for me to finally announce it on my blog and that in itself was a huge sign. i feel like something with this much  magnitude should have came with much more thrill and yet i felt like it was almost a nuisance for me to talk about it.

i’m unsure where this journey will lead me… but i promise you it’s not over. i just need some time to clear my head and my heart and figure out how and why i’m doing what i’m doing. <3 you guys

 

live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

Outfit Deets:

Romper:  ChicWish

Earrings: Charming Charlie’s

Shoes: Similar Kenneth Cole Reaction 

 

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Our Wedding Update

What is the meaning of a wedding? I think the first few words that come to mind is partying, celebrating, fun, loving… beautiful. I think of a day full of highs and lows and celebrating the union of two souls in front of God and all our loved ones.

ALready planning

The stress of wedding planning is really beginning to set in. AND I’M NOT EVEN ENGAGED YET. Hoan and I thought it would be smart to just start planning now… being engaged is really just a matter of a ring. However, since we already know it’s going to be forever, we figured why not be productive in the meantime. He says failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Weddings are expensive and I’m realizing the fantasy wedding I dreamt of may be a difficult one to achieve, not impossible though.

Our wedding day is still over a year away but already, many tears have been shed because of everyone’s disagreements. I’m fearful of the journey ahead and am constantly trying to tell myself to fall in love with the process. But I feel as though every step we take, takes us further away from the wedding I’d always dreamt of. Part of me wants to surrender and say do what you please…but the other side of me wants to continue fighting for what is rightfully our decision. I feel my strength waning as the days go by… and I worry this is something I’ll regret when it comes to the day I say “I do.” Because instead of planning it for us, we planned it for everyone, but us.

Feeling a little hopeless 🙁

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

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Growing Up – What would your 17 year-old Self Say

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My friend Ann recently asked me if my 17 year old self would be pleased or disappointed with the 27 year old self that I am today. I can’t believe it was 10 years ago that I was 17… it feels so long ago yet at the same time feels like yesterday. Being a senior in high school, I felt like the next few years were so cookie cut for me. At the time, I knew I was going to the University of Minnesota for the next four years, was exceptionally excited to grow up and start adulting even if 17 felt old already. I was literally looking forward to growing up, getting married and being a mom, starting a nonprofit of some sort… and just basically being a rockstar.

In the here and now at 27, I can say that I am nowhere near being a rockstar. While getting married and having kids is on the horizon, I’m definitely nowhere near starting a nonprofit! My life is so different than what I thought it would be but I’m grateful for who and where I am today. The one thing I do want to pick apart is the nonprofit I dreamed of starting. Honestly, I never considered myself an entrepreneur but the older I get the more enticing that sounds.  I can say with confidence though, that starting this blog is a starting point for that nonprofit I dreamed of. I’m not sure how or when… but I know there’s more to the blog than just this.

So if you want to join in on the reflection, here are some things to ponder:

What did I picture life would be like when I grew up?

What dreams did I have as a child that I wanted to pursue?

Am I living the life I deserve?

What more can I do to create the life I want?

 

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are!

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL