Don’t Stop Believing

That mantra isn’t just for karaoke.

It’s been a few days since the anniversary of my dad’s passing (7/22), and this year, I consciously held off on a post, until today when a friend told me I had too much faith in people.

I, refusing to believe it to be a negative quality, responded, “Faith is what we possess and accountability is what people should have whether or not we believe.”

Story of my life, and invariably, my feelings toward my dad.

He was not a full-time father, but I was a full-time believer. Countless times he’d make well-intended promises that were not-so-well-executed, but my faith never wavered.

My memories are not riddled with fights of the number of Father’s Days, phone calls, birthdays, and graduations he missed. They’re filled laughter, joy, and love for when he came through.

It’s not my job to hold anyone accountable, to make them feel bad for their choices. I’ve made it my job to not take anything for granted, nor turn people away.

I know my belief in him gave him a home to come back to each time, even if it was for one last time.

So today, I know that although he passed alone, my dad knew I loved him, always.

❤ Việt Ca

PS. The Chargers are no longer playing for San Diego, but I’m still excited for us to catch some games when the season begins. 🤣


Thank Goodness for Regret



a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity.

Today, I thank goodness for living with regret.

It’s been three years since my father’s death, and I think it’s time I stop punishing myself and let go of the guilt I’ve been harboring since then, the regret. This is my first time sharing this with anyone, so here goes:

My dad was receiving treatment in San Jose and because I was in San Diego, my visits were few and far in between. I even reasoned that it was best to put my would-be travel costs toward his medical expenses.

I flew up in April and June, and was planning another trip for late July, but my family encouraged me to visit sooner. The sense of urgency was thick, but I pushed it aside. Call it denial, or maybe blind optimism that there was more time. Regardless, I stayed my course.

On July 21, I was out when my dad called. I let it go wanting to call back in a quieter setting, but he rang a second time. Panic set in; I missed him again while rushing outside, but immediately called back. My uncle picked up and said my dad was already sleeping. He really wanted to talk to me, but was too tired, so I’d have to try again after he wakes up.

He never did wake up again, and I never got my phone call. He passed the next morning and in the seconds after hearing, “He didn’t make it,” the regret and guilt set in, and it never left.

Regret is typically a shameful word. We hide it deep in our closets, and hope it never rears its ugly head as a reminder of our transgressions, but today, I move that we embrace regret.

We’ll always wonder the what ifs of paths not taken, but so long as we fully commit to our decisions and their consequences, we will come out stronger.

Living with regret doesn’t have to be a bad thing because at least you’re still living.

I miss you, Dad. It’s Comic Con weekend, so I hope I can still have a #HappyFriday. Have fun watching my shenanigans and if it’s of any value, I think our last conversation would’ve been a great one.

I love you,

Việt Ca


Schrödinger’s Cat’s Drum Roll

There is a special quality in uncertainty that no other state of being can claim; anxiety, excitement, worry, and hope exist simultaneously until the reveal. The anticipation during this ephemeral drum roll can be calming, dream-like even:

  • A flipped coin hanging in the air
  • Awaiting the decision after a job interview
  • The moment the ball leaves the shooter’s hands
  • Passing a note with the option of circling “Yes” or “No”

A popular explanation of this purgatory-like state is Schrödinger’s Cat, a thought experiment that, to me, was the scientist’s sarcastic response to the Copenhagen Interpretation. For those unfamiliar, you can watch Sheldon Cooper’s explanation (just started watching–and finishing–The Big Bang Theory), or you can read my simplified version below:

A cat is locked in a box with a vile of poison that may be triggered to release, so only upon opening will we know its state of being. Until then, there exists, simultaneously, life and death.

These middle moments are almost romantic, holding our breath at the edge of endless possibilities, but, unfortunately, they’re fleeting. The “no news is good news” limbo state offers a respite that is comforting and, oftentimes, a necessity. It’s nice to want to sleep, let the world fall away, and although the dreams may be sweet, you have to drink in a new day that could offer anything.

It’s unhealthy to stand still out of fear of an undesirable outcome as it shouldn’t outweigh the hope for a silver lining, whatever it may be.

Finding Dory Is A-Dory-ble

Thank goodness for all that are worth the wait.

Thirteen years ago, I first watched one of my favorite movies,  “Finding Nemo“. Three years ago, they announced its sequel. Today was a long time coming.

Finding Dory” is so a-Dory-ble, I could hardly con-tang my glee. It’s a must-sea!

Wa-ter you saying? You don’t want a-Nemo puns? O-cean-t have done so many. Sorry, can’t kelp it, sometimes.

Okay, one more: what do you exclaim when multiple algae are causing trouble?

Al-gaes is crisis!

Whale, if none of these made you smile, then no pun in ten did.

#HappyFriday, anyway! ❤

P.S. Yes, I do know the plural form of “algae.” Psttt… it’s “algae.”


Order from Chaos

chaosn.: complete confusion and disorder; a state in which behavior and events are not controlled by anything

An adult makes about 35,000 conscious decisions each day, and the average human life expectancy (US) is 78.7 years. Because one decision invariably affects the next, there exists innumerable potential paths missed where only one can be taken.

Multiple Decisions or Options

The pressure of some decisions are feather-light compared to others: which cereal should I eat this morning? In which school should I enroll my children? Do I choose a risky treatment for the chance at a longer life?

No matter the situation, the constant in all decision-making is the desire for control. Even though we have the final say on choices make, we, unfortunately, cannot control the outcomes, and that is what scares us. With every ordered decision leaves a chance for chaos and the unknown.

Our fear of the unknown can be a burden or a blessing, cause anxiety or excitement, prevent us from doing what we want or push us to reach for the stars despite it all. In order to achieve the latter, one must occasionally give up that control, give in to the chaos, let in the unknown.

Multiple Paths 1

That is a scary sentiment, but one piece of advice that has always stuck with me is that I cannot worry about what I cannot change. A friend lost a sibling to cancer, and although it is natural to worry about them, I can focus on what I can change: visit, attend the service, contribute to a fund. There is a lot of power in redirecting that energy into productive action. This is where we can find that order from the chaos.

Many of us spend our time wondering of the roads not taken, but we miss out on the one we chose. Yes, at the end of the path, it will be the only one you will ever know, but when looking back, you’ll want to see that at every fork, you made a difference.

Multiple Paths 2.jpg

The day we stop effecting change and let fear control our actions is the day we stop living. Don’t let that day be today. This is the true meaning of living in the moment.

Selfish, but Honest

Today marks an atypical anniversary, a day to reflect about acts of honesty born of selfishness. Let’s rewind a bit, though.

Nine years ago, at my college graduation, my dad asked if I’d move to Houston to take care of my old man. I laughed, whined about humidity, and promised to visit often after landing a great job in San Diego.

We then, unknowingly, took the last photo we would ever take together, just the two of us. After that, he went on radio silence for six years.

Three years ago, today, he broke that silence and called to tell me he was sick, Stage 4 lung cancer. It was then I realized he knew, that day, nine years ago. This man, who had given me everything and asked for nothing, reached out for help for once, and I turned him away.

He passed five months later.

Growing up, my father lived alone and away from the family, so naturally, I thought he preferred it. My selfish moment of honesty seemed harmless at the time, but I still feel pangs of guilt and regret, fruitlessly playing through the what-if scenarios. However, I have come to accept that he too made a choice, a selfish, but honest one. Did our choices forever haunt one another? Perhaps, but were we wrong? No.

Humans, as good as they can be, have selfish needs and sometimes, to prevent resentment, the most selfless act is to be honest about those needs. The consequences may hurt, but I’m finding again and again that, not only is it human to be selfish, but, sometimes, it is the best policy.

My dad and I at my graduation


Where was I again?

traveln., to advance or proceed

I’m here in San Diego, all the way from, er, San Diego…

Okay, I guess that’s not traveling, but if that is my definition, well, then technically, isn’t it?

Someone once asked me why I take pictures of landmarks instead of with them.  I mindlessly asked, “What’s the difference?” while clicking away and they responded, “Anyone can take that picture, but how can you prove you really traveled there?”

Since then, aside from being in front of the camera more often, I realized my goal all along was to prove I was traveled, not just physically, but that I “advanced” or “proceeded” with something, somewhere, somehow.

What did I get from it?  Did I come back a different person, a better person? Did I leave the place better than when I had arrived?

Maybe writing about it will help me effectively accomplish that goal.  Hope you enjoy the journey with me as much as I do. =)

Next stop… Portland, OR! =D

Edit: I guess this has turned into a blog that’s more than just about geographical traveling… and that I never wrote about Portland, but there’s still time. =)