Emily Lam

About           Research           Projects           Blog  

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"I listen to the wind, to the wind of my soul"

You take inspiration whenever and wherever it comes from.

I really like it when I discover new songs from other artists. I think that's one of the beauty of covering songs: sharing a song you enjoy with someone else. This one, The Wind, originally by Cat Stevens, and covered below by Kina Grannis and Imaginary Future, is touching. Both versions are beautiful.

I saw this dance cover of Crush by Yuna (ft. Usher) by Vinh Nguyen of Kinjaz that I really liked. Kinjaz has some really awesome choreography and videography. I thought their Adele video was amazing. Too bad it was taken down.

There has also been a lot of lightning in the Boston area lately. Tried my hand at painting it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Great Smoky Mountains & Pisgah National Forest

A couple of weeks back I took a trip down to North Carolina to visit my friend and escape the city bustle. It was boring in that there isn't much going on where my friend was living. But that made it oh so more wonderful. And relaxing. It was quite nice; we adventured like the good ole times. 
The Great Smoky Mountains from the top of Chimney Top Mountain.
We visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and casually hiked up Chimney Top Mountains. Chimney Top Mountains has this bare rock top with a very angled and jagged slope that was quite fun to climb. Mountains are surreal. They're just so old and there. I love to just sit/stand there in awe and take it all in. They're very giving.

A picture of the rocks at the top of Chimney Top Mountain.
Caught this gorgeous sunset somewhere in Great Smoky Mountains. Ahh, just look at those layers!
So the national parks services are celebrating their centennial! It's kind of a great reminder that we have these beautiful parks to explore. I believe POTUS Obama is also hitting the rounds and has visited a bunch of the parks during his presidency. There are tons of parks, big and small, some more forest and some more history. So yeah, check them out! We also went waterfall hunting in the land of waterfalls, aka the Pisgah National Forest. Nature. =]

This is the popular Looking Glass Falls
Precariously on a ledge next to Moore Cove Falls. 
All and all, it was a great trip. More pictures here

Monday, June 20, 2016

Longest day of the year . . .

Happy Summer Solstice. Enjoy the sun and moon and life.

Friday, June 10, 2016

All I Could Do

All I Could Do, by Kimye Dawson, covered by Amanda Palmer, guitar by Jack Palmer.

It's strange that this is the song that brought me back to life. It's very easy to listen to; the melody is relaxing; the lyrics are complex and meaningful. It's nonintrusive, raw, and honest. The singer talks about her uncertain feelings about becoming a mother. She talks about doing something new that is completely foreign to her. How she might not be able to do what she has known and always done. She reminisces her past and how she's changed. She thinks back to all the things she had thought were all she could do at the time. Although, my life is completely different, the emotions feel familiar.

I'd been struggling with my overwhelming amount of thoughts these days. I don't know who I am. I struggle a lot with deciding what I want to do. There are times I wished I thought less and knew less and was blissfully ignorant. But that's flawed thinking. It's comforting to hear the singer accept that we continue to change and that it's okay. It's easy to think that things don't change, that people don't change, that things won't be different, to lose hope -- I fall prey to this. That the world moves on while you stand still. But that's not true. Everything changes, especially people. Who I am today is a compilation of who I was in the yesteryears; ever-changing. I love how positive change is conveyed in this song.

Accepting that change is the only constant is a paradox in itself. That's life. Gah!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Waking up to one alarm

This year, I made a new year resolution to wake up to one alarm. It stopped making sense to me why I would set multiple alarms. I would set an alarm for 6:30am, 6:45am, 7:00am, 7:15am, 7:30am, 8:00am, 8:15am, 8:30am. Then I would allow myself to hit snooze a few times. It got really ridiculous. I never woke up at 6:30am. Despite how much I wanted to, deep down that was never my intention. So why was I setting an alarm for 6:30am and interrupting my sleep if I wasn't going to get up until 8:30am? I was basically ruining two good hours of sleep.

Initially, I had used multiple alarms as a safety net. I think that's how most people use it because you just can't trust your unconscious self in the morning. But then I started to not take the first alarm seriously and would immediately turn off the alarm and go back to sleep and then miss the second alarm or hit snooze at the second alarm. I remedied that by setting more alarms closer in interval. If I don't give myself the chance to fall back asleep, then I'd be able to get up. But nope, that didn't work either. It spiraled so out of control that I'm guilty of setting alarms with five minutes differences from each other. Yikes!

So I decided to cut cold turkey. One alarm. That's it. No safety nets. If I don't get up, I'd have to deal with the repercussions of sleeping until noon. I was done being that annoying roommate who sets 324094589 alarms.

This post really isn't about how I got to being able to wake up in the morning because there's so many different ways one can try and their effectiveness varies. But the main goal is to have enough self-discipline and motivation to develop a routine and habit. Humans are creatures of habits. But if you put in enough effort, change is possible. Your sleep schedule is actually one of the easiest habit to hack because there's a circadian rhythm your body strives to maintain. Once you get yourself on a good schedule and you sleep enough and don't throw your circadian rhythm too out of whack, it's actually really easy to wake up, even if you do go a day or two of the week messing up your sleep.

So I did it. I now only need one alarm! =] And most of the time, I wake up before my alarm! I know, crazy! It amazes me too. But the main reason I wanted to write all this is because no one really talks about how much less stressful it is to not have to worry about waking up. Now I can go to sleep in confidence that I will wake up when I need to. It's so so so beautiful. There are times I've forgotten to set alarms and I still wake up at the time I need too. Sometimes, when I know I don't have meetings or anything of priority I don't even set alarms. I'm giving my body the opportunity to get the sleep it needs. Because when there's no alarms, your body will naturally wake up when it needs to and compensate when it has too. So yeah, one alarm! =]

I'll leave you with a picture of some adorable goslings! =]