A decade

I recently realized that I’ve been writing in my journal consistently for over 10 years.

In March 2000, I picked up my journal, which at the time I kept underneath my mattress, and promised to myself that I would start writing again, and actually keep up (at least once a week).

I’ve written many times about my journals before, (usually each time I finish one), talking about why I write, what they mean to me, how I use them. I just can’t believe so much time has passed. 

So much has happened in 10 years. I went from an underclassmen in high school, to a young adult working and worrying about his IRA.
10 years ago, Backstreet Boys and Britney were at their peak. Pokemon had JUST started to get popular. “Friends” was ruling primetime TV, internet was owned by AOL (dialup), and I had just gotten a Playstation.. 1. (I don’t care if this dates me. I’m extremely proud of the time period I experienced my adolescence in.)

10 years ago I just started playing around with my family’s camcorder. I was still 2 years away from driving, I just started making Asian friends in school, and I had never had a girl friend.

And now, 9 journals and hundreds of pages later, I’ve filled in 10 years with…life. Nothing is the same, (as it shouldn’t be), and what occurred in all the earlier pages feel more and more distant, and more and more like stories of “someone”, removed from myself. Though, I know it was me, at some place and time, writing (much neater back then unfortunately) my experiences and emotions down. And all these have formed and shaped who I am at this moment, typing.

What can I say as someone who has carefully documented my last 10 years of emotions and events?


  1. Pain gives great potential for you to do amazing things.
  2. Friends come and go, but it doesn’t make any of them less valuable while they were with you.
  3. The same way you embrace joyful and happy moments…embrace the suffering and difficult moments too.
  4. Most of the things that we think are a “big deal” in our daily lives, probably are not.
  5. Our parents are a LOT smarter than we thought.
  6. Everyone should experience heartbreak at some point. I believe it’s healthy and part of growing up.
  7. Years really do get shorter and shorter, don’t waste them.
  8. ..and contrary to #7… Take your time to figure out yourself and life. There is pressure, but remember #4.


I look forward to what the next 10 years will teach me.


77 thoughts on “A decade

  1. thanks phil. you’ve given me motivation and a reason why i should continue my diary. i think my last entry was my birthday..2 years ago. and a dang lot of things have actually happened in those 2 years.

  2. Haha, this is awesome.  I’ve been writing since 1990, ever since I was in Junior High.  It’s funny to see how back then all you talk about is this boy and that boy, clothes, and then how your parents screw things up for you.  As you get older, the things that go through your mind are so much more substantial.  It’s so awesome!  You actually had nice quality journals.  Mine back then were all the same notebooks used to take notes in class!

  3. you’re so inspiring and for the reasons you keep a journal i do too.i heard this statement when i was little and thought to keep it throughout my life”memories are important and i don’t want to forget them”even if it’s just a small sentence a day i find that there’s a huge significance in it because the next day will be completely different.aw man little moments like this make me appreciate a lot more for the memories i’ve experienced

  4. The joy of blogging is to be able to see how you evolved throughout the years.  I used to write journals then got addicted to blogging since it’s so much faster but it’s no the same.PS glad to know that you are so positive about life.

  5. you’re comment about how everyone should experience heartbreak has always stuck with me since you first posted this.i’m with my first boy friend who i feel like i have a future with and your comment made me worry and would dream about ways we would break up…it was usually that i randomly met someone else who swept me off my feet and i would feel guilty after i woke up. then today i realized that heartbreak doesn’t only happen because of a break up…it could also happen because of death…and then i got sad about him dying young but then realized he could also die old after a long and happy marriage…and since women have a longer lifespan than men it is more likely he will pass away before i do and only then do i believe i will experience heartbreak. here’s to hoping ❤

  6. my friend just sent me over your xanga on a particular post…and although i’m not exactly a dedicated fan of wong fu (altho i’ve watched most of your videos and stuff due to her influence and i do actually like them ;)) i’m liking this blog a lot 🙂 it’s definitely different from what you usually say/act on videos but in a way revealing your other side.. well thats what i believe in..and i’ve got to add…i rarely leave comments on random people’s blogs just cause i like it.. (pardon me for saying that you’re ‘random’ :P) but after reading your ‘my comment to you’ piece…i’ve decided to leave one to show some support .. 🙂 love your dedication…wish i kept writing mine..but nowadays i only do it when i’m on a holiday/travelling 😉

  7. I enjoyed reading this alot. Thank you for writing this. I too, write in journals (for exactly 10 years as well). I appreciate your pointers. Writing definately helps us to learn more about ourselves, clarify our goals, and to even make sense of our lives. Keep it up 🙂

  8. HI PHIL! :)i just spent the past hour or so reading backwards in time on your blog lol. (and old wongfu vids for that matter xD) I have to say, it’s really interesting how you seemingly have changed and haven’t changed xD Or maybe my perception of you has just changed. Anyways! Hope you’re still writing in 2011 now and hope you update this blog sometime soon 🙂 spend the 5 minutes you would’ve spent on Facebook, here instead! hmm hope you still read your comments too haha. thanks for making my day better =) <–shameless plug? xD

  9. I’ve kept a journal since I was about 10 years old (I’m 22 now). I never wrote as consistently as you so I don’t have as many filled up, but, even with a blog, my physical journal is always a medium I turn back to. I adore just being able to write, the feel of pen on paper. It’s therapeutic and it’s cool to know you use a journal too.-Tiffany, http://home2me.blogspot.com

  10. I have had quite a few journals by now, but I could never get myself to keep writing in any of them. :/ Usually by the end of the first twelve pages I would come across the realisation that my life is so boring I continued to write the very same thoughts and feelings every day, and with that I’d get depressed. “I had to comfort my inner self.”

  11. Hi Philip, I saw you and your team’s Strangers, again short. Great stuff! Well deserved reception. I watched it 3 times cause I could totally relate. The best material are the raw and personal ones. Glad to know nice guys who admit that they write on journals still exist =)

  12. i wish I had done what you have, be able to remember all aspects of my life through an organized avenue. instead, I went from a journal to xanga to facebook and back to xanga. now my life is in a bunch of places. Props to you for staying organized.v–

  13. Reading this post made me remember the journals I used to have. I used to have ’cause…I had them burned. Hahaha. -insert sad face- Anyway, it’s nice reading your posts here. It’s more “intimate” here. 🙂 Good luck!

  14. Reading this a yr and a half late. I’ve always wanted to keep a journal but have this fear of other people reading it, and I don’t like that. But just reading your posts.. it’s inspiring. & because of that, I decided to start a journal.. my only regret is that I waited too long! Keep writing, your perspective on life is a joy to read 🙂

  15. I mentioned in the “Strangers Again” post about the journaling. You learn a lot about yourself when you journal for a long time. I look back on my past entries and laugh at myself and think, “Was I really like this?!” I like what you and the guys do in the WFW. You guys document what happens on your weekends, and have it as a memory. I like to know what I did before. Of course my friends are all camera shy and hate when I take pictures of what happens on nights we get together. But I need to start my journaling again!

  16. I’ve also been keeping a journal since I was 15. I recently turned 25 and I realized it’s also been 10 years!It’s fun to read through them! Although some parts are really embarrassing to read now. High school stuff and all. Really can’t believe how I used to think. ^^So now I decided to write what I’d want to remember in the future–the good things, the challenges, the victories, esp. lessons the Lord is teaching me. I hope they won’t be embarrassing to read in the future.I just wish my journal shelf is as neat as yours. My notebooks come in all sizes and it’s impossible for them to look as neat as that! ^^

  17. Hello, I have somehow just came upon your Xanga and read your post about your reflection on the past 10 years. I know this post is dated, and that you haven’t touched your Xanga for some time, but I still want to thank you for the post. Your last points basically sum up what my reflections over the last ten years are (grew up in the same era). I would add to not be afraid to keep making dreams and making them come true. As we grow older, we tend to forget that we can still keep on dreaming and hoping for a brighter future. Life may sometimes kill the dreams we dream, but it cannot stop us from creating more and making them come true.Cheers =)

  18. And now, 9 journals and hundreds of pages later, I’ve filled in 10 years with…life. Nothing is the same, (as it shouldn’t be), and what occurred in all the earlier pages feel more and more distant, and more and more like stories of “someone”, removed from myself. Though, I know it was me, latex mattress brands

  19. I remember stumbling on your xanga around ’04, ’05 (curious to lean more about the guys behind Wong fu), and it was a blast from the past to come back to xanga now and read this. Definitely experienced a secondhand amazement at how different things are now compared to back then for myself as well. As an old fan, I’m happy for you all- remembering how unsure you all seemed about how making videos (not becoming a doctor/engineer haha) would work out… And look at you now!

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