Thoughts

My Photography Got Published!

I am so honored to have my photos published in Alabaster Co.'s book of Psalms. MERP.

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Earlier this year, I created a list for myself. I’m a planner, aka I love hard, scheduled, tangible goals. My fellow Myers Briggs J’s feel me out there? In this way, all things creative have really challenged me.

I found that in this season, I didn’t want the creative in me to get lost. Throughout the course of this year, I hit this wall that a lot of creatives inevitably hit from time to time. I felt like something about my work just was not good enough, I wasn’t growing, and on and on and on. I felt like none of my photography nor creative skills were quite at the level I wanted them to be, but at the same time, I felt like I had no direction. So, that’s where the list came in. The planner in me chimed in, “why not make a list of goals?” And number 1  (of 10) on that list, was “submit photos to get published”.

Fast forward three months, I could barely open my sleep deprived eyes after finishing an intense pharmacy school competition, staying involved in UCSF organizations, applying and interviewing for many summer internships, on top of studying! When I created this list, however, I had an agreement with a buddy of mine (who made a list of his own as well) to check in at the start of every month regarding our list of goals. This small act of accountability pushed me to eventually do something with that list!

Introduction to Alabaster Co.

So some of you might be wondering, what is Alabaster Co.? This elegant company aims to explore the intersection of creativity, beauty, and faith through visual storytelling. In short, they have integrated beautiful imagery and photography to curate modern and artful books of the bible. They have currently produced and printed the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and now Psalms. Read more about who they are here.

My Process

In this case, I was first and foremost a fan of Alabaster Co. before becoming a contributor. I realized long ago why people tell you to be passionate about what you do. I first received the book of John from their collection from my college roommate, Janae (love that girl). Naturally, after having discovered their first set of books (the gospels), I delved deeply into researching Alabaster & Co. I read and connected deeply with their inspiration, their perspectives, and their mission. Having fallen in love with their brand as a whole, I decided on a whim, to simply just email them. I started off by thanking them for inspiring me, I told them how I personally connected with what they do, introduced myself, and then sent them a couple of photos along with a link to my website portfolio. I timed it knowing that they were currently in the middle of their production process. Within 28 minutes of hyperventilating and building up the courage to finally click “send” (I know I’m such a dork for remembering exactly how many minutes) before sprinting to class to attempt to be on time, I got a reply.

Fast forward a couple more months, I had the absolute most pleasant experience collaborating with Alabaster Co. Throughout this experience, I got to work with gorgeous and talented friends from college (much love to Pam, Amy, Katie, and Harry). We got to meditate on the verses we were shooting for, throw flowers and other colorful props around, play worship music throughout our photoshoot, and glorify God through photography together.

Pamela

Amy

Here are a couple of my favorites from the photoshoot (including a couple of my favorites that didn't end up getting used in the book that I just wanted to share because my models are freakin' beautiful).

Throughout this process, I felt so honored by God. He spoke to me through the verses I was shooting for and stirred my heart with opportunities to share about His beauty and goodness with both Jesus-loving friends and friends who don’t believe in Jesus through the introduction of this book. He reminded me that He was faithful, to all facets of me. Which made this verse (that I ironically was shooting for) stand out to me like whoa - 

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
— Psalm 145: 13
 Me excitedly flipping through the Psalms book on the first day!

Me excitedly flipping through the Psalms book on the first day!

 The sweet thank you card I received from Alabaster Co.

The sweet thank you card I received from Alabaster Co.

Do you see my name?!

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The overall goal of my entire blog is simply to share and to inspire! I love talking and sharing about my process, so don't hesitate to shoot me a message (cleung160@gmail.com) if you want to ever go on a photo adventure or even just sit down for coffee some time and chat !  I love sharing and learning from you all. <3

Love You All!

 

Starting Pharmacy School

I received these beautiful flowers for my white coat from the hip and happenin' boyfriend for my University of California, San Francisco Pharmacy School White Coat Ceremony. If you are itching to know where they are from, please check them out: Ampersand SF (they do delivery too)!

Starting pharmacy school is the reason I haven't posted in the past couple of months! I vowed to myself to always make time for the things I loved (including photography and this blog), but the entire process kinda got delayed when midterms season hit (dude I can't believe I'm back to complaining about midterms again). Getting back into the groove of studying, extra-curriculars, and even making friends has been crazy and I'm definitely feelin' the craziness of student life again. 

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Transitioning has always been rough for me. I love adventure, exploring new things, but I really hate moving into new life stages. Because I walked into pharmacy school so unsure of whether or not I wanted to even head down this path (I still sit there and wonder this all the time), I had trouble investing into anything involving the school. I found myself wanting to leave right after class, lacking motivation to study, half-heartedly sit through informational sessions, and I even found it difficult to invest into people. That last one challenged me a lot. I didn't feel like myself. A wise friend (a UCSF classmate actually) described, I felt so afraid of losing everything (a job, free time to travel and blog, etc) I had that it kept me from looking forward and seeing the field of opportunities that God placed in front of me. 

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I've been feeling stuck lately. Just looking forward and ahead and constantly feeling unsatisfied. Stuck in terms of my career and future, in terms of my spiritual life, and community searching. I wonder sometimes whether that feeling is because I am not on the right path or because I'm lacking the ability right now to be thankful for where I am at (everyone won't stop reminding me that UCSF one of the top schools in the nation for pharmacy whenever I bring this up). But I constantly keep having to tell myself that if my eyes and heart and in the right place, forward and ahead following God, then I'm headed towards along a path with purpose.  I just can't stop myself from asking, where is the fulfillment? Where is the adventure? Maybe it is in patient interactions that are to come in the future, or maybe it's simply within this school with my classmates/colleagues, or maybe I'm just not being thankful enough, but some part of me won't stop aching for something more.

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I always imagined graduate school to be completely different than undergrad. In some ways I feel like, but in other ways I don't. Starting next quarter we start to have IPPES (Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences aka on-site internships), which makes things a little more hands on, and we won't simply be sitting and listening to lectures / studying all day. I am excited to say that I am now certified and have administered both intramuscular and subcutaneous immunization shots! You would think poking it through the skin would be the hardest/scariest part, but nah, for me it was actually deploying the needling (pushing the solution into the body) that freaked me out. As I was pushing I was suddenly met with resistance (simply because the solution is dispersing slowly through the muscle) but after administering the first one, I understood and adapted real quick. Another few students also hit bone when pushing in the needle (eep!),  but don't worry, the patient can't feel it. We've also learned about how to counsel for over the counter heartburn and smoking cessation questions, and soon constipation and diarrhea as well! I've already gotten some questions regarding the topics above, and getting to discuss what I've learned has actually been kind of fun!  We have these tests called "OSCE"s where you walk into a room with a prompt only 10 minutes before and go in an counsel a patient on particular disease states/medications. It's a very dynamic way of testing and it's kind of scary haha but it's actually been pretty fun so far! I am also seemingly weirdly excited (in comparison to my classmates) to handle and learn from cadavers next quarter in our anatomy course! 

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Thank you for this space where I can be honest in documenting my journey and my thoughts. For now, as I myself am striving for this, I encourage you all to continue live a life that overflows from being thankful for what you have. Keep your eyes fixed on what is truly important, what truly moves you and inspires you (for me it's God's love, find yours!). 

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Despite the crazy transitioning, I've definitely met so many amazing people <3 Meet a few of the pharmacy faces that have made this quarter a whole lot more fun so far (missing so many people)!