the paradox of risks

As I sit here during break, eating organic greek yogurt topped with organic cherry jam, my mind begins to wander.


Risks.

Even as I sit here, carrying out this innocuous task of relaxation and refuelling, I’m reminded things do not turn out the way we plan for.

I spent more than I would’ve for the yogurt and jam, not because of its taste, but because I believe that it’s the ‘healthier’ option for a snack as opposed to chips and cookies.

Through my action, I’m also aware that I care about my long term health.

However, I’m not prepared for say, a natural disaster that might strike in the next second or so.

Anything could happen.

I spent my early twenties in a ‘risk adverse’ zone – the younger me believed things in life are earned and awarded by merit (and in a perfect world, in all fairness and justice, it would be) I was taught to prefer ‘safety’ and ‘comfort’ over ‘adventure’.

As I matured however, I began to realize, the things in life are never handed out – no. They’re earned through risk and stress and a lot of tears and hard work and struggle. I’ve learned to never giving up on any opportunity and at times I’ve been forced to make my own luck.

Yes. As I’ve come to realize, life is sort of like an action adventure game, where there’s different risks associated with activities – but, don’t get me wrong. Sitting around and doing nothing is the biggest ‘risk’ of all – because you are risking all these amazing learning experiences and lessons when you check out and ‘do nothing’.


The risk of not trying is too great and as soon as I realized this, I’ve become more daring in my undertakings, more bold and confident. Opening myself up to new people and new experiences have so far been an amazing experience – after embracing ‘uncertainties’ – I’ve notice I’d become more alive, as if a fighter in the ring, waiting to crush the next obstacle life decides to throw.

That said, I hope this post motivates you to do something either you always wanted to do, today, or make a commitment to do it – because why not, right? Why take life so seriously that all spontaneity is lost.

left or right?

“I don’t do that anymore,”

“Why?”

“Because it neither contribute to my happiness, growth or productivity,”

Simple answers like this should be easy to accept, or so I thought. It’s logical.

But people – or this person thought I was acting ‘strange’ for my age.

What?

Moving forward sometimes meaning ditching a few wayward habits. Like staying up too late for no reason or sacrificing not talking to your friends on other side of the world just so you could get up at the crack of dawn and do good work, which currently include coffee, planning the day ahead, getting some ‘me’ time in and exercise.


As I’ve told one of my friend – ‘if this thing has no inherent meaning or logic behind it, you won’t see me doing again. My time is really limited – as in, I have a lot on my plate as of late’ and it isn’t I don’t welcome this busy-ness, I do. I just want to make sure this busy-ness gets me somewhere other than the seemingly well deserved sigh on Friday – ‘Thank goodness’

Sure, a workweek is ending. But are you doing enough work to deserve that sigh?

Not saying you didn’t put in on average 40 hours at the office but what did you do this week that contributed to your personal growth? What made you go ‘aha!’ and give yourself something a little extra in moving yourself forward to where you want to be?

And a quote from one of my favorite movies that goes something like this.


“Left and right doesn’t matter, as long as you are going forward.”

stranger’s reminder

Attraction.

That’s something that doesn’t happen enough.

In this city I feel quite awkward.

It’s not that I don’t have the opportunities – I do and while they don’t happen very often. Once in a while, someone asks me out on a date.

Panic.

Not over what to wear, or excitement – but always, how to say ‘no’ in an acceptable way so that I face no backlash. After all, I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of rejection too.


I’ve had my share of guys flipping out because I’ve been too straight forward with saying ‘no’.

I’ve been called names, simply because I’ve bruised egos.


People tell me I’m picky. They tell me my standards are set too high.

But realistically speaking, my standards are what I refer to as ‘geographically inappropriate’.

I’m not attracted to conventional things. I’d rather have you tell me your adventures.

I don’t see myself wasting time and energy going on ‘dates’ that I know I wouldn’t enjoy, even if someone else offered to pay. I still see it as a grand waste of time in the wrong company. I’m too honest for that. Because I know, it isn’t actually an intellectual exchange, if one would be going on a ‘date’ – if the premise of the ‘date’ is indeed romantic – then, well, I see it as a grand waste of my time.


But let’s not get sidetracked – today, I saw someone and I realized that was probably the first person I’d actually consider to be somewhat of ‘my type’ then I realized, it was three months since I’ve been back and then it just starts to feel all sorts of pathetic.

‘Somewhat’ isn’t actually what you want – ‘somewhat’ is ‘settling’

Don’t.

It’s not that I’m actively looking for romance and I like to think of myself as having had my fill of it in Europe, except that fleeting feeling is fading and so now I’m landing back on the ground – I’d thought I’m good to go without for an extended period again – since I know, there’s little to zero chance of actually me finding someone that intrigues me both physically and mentally while I’m in my current location.

So, mentally, I stopped.

Emotionally, that’s something harder to do.

As human beings, it seems we’re always looking for that connection with another person. Yes, as cliche as it sounds – love does make the world go around. Except, I don’t interpret it in the traditional sense – I see it as, having someone that gives you inspiration, stimulates your mind, not only that but gives you strength and reason to do better tomorrow and of course you’d hopefully be the same for the other person.

Yes, I know this is a very idealistic view of love, but I can’t really help it.


I’d rather have that torrential few months to always look back on, than a life long of compromise beside someone I know I’m not meant to be with.


Yes I’m young and foolish.

But really, I can’t help it.

And the fact is, I still think about that one person…

That person that gave me so much drive that I still think about…

I shouldn’t even been thinking about, since it’s been so long and all evidence points to that it wasn’t mutual…

But I really couldn’t help to think what would happen if I had stayed a couple more days, made a solid plan, believed in myself enough and just put in more effort – would it have been any different? If we do see each other again, would I need to explain, or should I pretend we’ve never met…would we smile knowingly, or would be avoid each other’s eyes, pretend things never happened…would we be both surprised that we’re occupying the same space again?


I guess it’s all unknown and question marks…until I find my way back.

And if it was meant to be…

You.

we’ll see what happens

“Did I tell you, I’m going to Hawaii?”

“You’re going to Hawaii?”

Yes, the conversation went something like this – a friend who was recently sacked from his job told me easily over a cup of coffee but most importantly a big smile on his face as if he didn’t sweat the small things and the time in between now and his departure in June.

Then he began outlining all he wanted to do in Hawaii and needless to say I started to be very skeptical of this plan.


There was only a month and a half away from June, not even when he told me this. And I kept on thinking, is that a wise idea, bleeding your funds dry and just seeing what happens?

But he’s a grown up and from the way he told me. He didn’t seem mortified by his fortunes.

“I could take an easy job between now and then,” he says with another easy wave of his hand, “we’ll see what happens.”

The same could not be said about most people I know – not only would they be freaking out about not having a job to support themselves, but in this day and age, unemployment also go hand in hand with the feeling of incompetency – you couldn’t help but think, is it just ‘bad luck’ or am I somehow ‘defective’ from the rest?

Yet, he wasn’t too bothered. Possibly from his nomadic life style and trust that he’ll find something eventually. Or perhaps, he knew that negativity never helped anyone, and that while employment and security is something good to have – free time on the other hand is invaluable.

The average working person spends 8 hours a day at work, then when they’re not working, they’re thinking about work – and of course, there’s commuting to work and then it suddenly isn’t 8 hours anymore – out of the 24 hours in a day – some of us spend more time at work, or thinking about work than necessary. And in a way, this works out well to numb the feeling the wishing there was something ‘more’ out of life, and some of us fall asleep to an image of blue coastlines and fantasy vacations we’ll probably never get to take – due to, well, the mountains of excuses we come up to not take them.

Remember, ‘life’ often get in the way and you have other responsibilities.

But does it have to be this way? Can’t we be more carefree and go with the flow so to speak?

So I started thinking, maybe I should take some time off and take a trip in the fall. Just to get away. But then all I could think about is – oh, but that’s gonna be $$$, and you could put that towards a savings account, and or, get the DSLR camera you so wanted to get – but on the other hand, I’m thinking, the city I live in, fails to excite me, fascinate me.

Everyday I wake up and I’m at a loss of things to do, even though there’s a ton of things on my to do list. And quite frankly, at this point, I don’t know what’s gonna help more – knowing that I’m putting money away for security, or knowing that a change of scenery is upon me, very very soon!

leap of faith

I love meeting creative people from all over the world and connecting with them. When we talk, we exchange past adventures and future visions. This week, I had the fortune of meeting a traveling photographer from Belgium and needless to say, his ‘come what may’ attitude and his bold personality inspired me to be more open and daring.

Yes.

And we put this inspiration to the test.

To put it simply, I climbed a rooftop yesterday.

And to do so, I had to cross a very narrow beam which was about three meters long, but maybe only the size of two iPhones laid out side by side in width.

He did it with no problem.

I on the other hand…well, skeptical at first – I think I studied the beam for a good minute before a sense of fear overtook me, because I kept looking at the periphery, where it was slanted roof and if anything to go amiss it probably wouldn’t have looked pretty.

But then I realized, I’m overthinking.

The task at hand was simple – ‘cross the beam’.

It wasn’t ‘look at what might happen if you don’t’ and the consequences thereafter.

Needless to say, since I’m here in one piece and writing this – I got over the beam, with a leap mid way to land on the other side of the roof. It was an adrenaline filled three seconds, then relief.

Then I started to think, maybe this is what we all need once in a while. Just concentrate on the task at hand, believe in yourself, and make the jump.

motivational monday!

Let’s start off this week on a positive note, something I’ve slowly realized over time.

When I first heard the saying, ‘happiness is a choice’ I was highly skeptical, as by nature I’m a highly logical individual that believed in ‘cause’ and ‘effect’, or as I would later learn in my undergraduate discipline: ‘correlation’.


In short, sunshine, good weather, ice cream are correlated with positive moods, and rain, overcast and flat tires are associated with negative moods.

I was all too ready to accept, after all, when you presented information like that, it gave everyone ‘reason’ to be happy or sad. Right? So if I was feeling one way or another and had evidence to justify so, I was ‘reasonable’ right?

Yes, of course.


And for a long while I thought this way, only this ‘logical’ way of dealing with everything was draining. It seemed that the bad always buried the good and so, I was fixated on the 9999+ faults and problems on my plate to solve – and you can probably guess, this is not a formula to happiness – which is ironic, because my major was Psychology.

But then, life taught me lessons I never grasped in books. I started to realize. It just didn’t matter. It didn’t matter if the sky’s grey or the sun’s shining – don’t wait for happiness! Why? Because, can you be perfectly happy the moment you ‘decide’ to be. (It took me a while to grasp this, but really, you can.)

Happiness is indeed a choice, there is no ‘because xyz’ – happiness is something exuded from within, even on rainy days you could look on the bright side and hope for the best – and it should be shared with those around. Why? Because happiness is highly contagious! And trust me, when you see other people happy because of you, you’d be very happy too (if you still need a reason, and if you don’t believe me, try it!)

So, when you can, you should always choose happiness – because it’s in difficult times that we learn and in the aftermath we celebrate, only celebration is short lived, but happiness shouldn’t be.

Life is a process. It’s not the triumph at the end that’s the sweetest, rather, the personal journey we carry out from day to day matters as much as the end result if not more. So, don’t ‘wait’ to be happy at the end – instead, choose to be happy and just be. 🙂

insomniac number crunching

It’s currently…way past my bedtime, yes, I have somehow made the mistake of consuming that extra cup of dark roast Colombian coffee this afternoon, since the weather’s been a bit unforgiving for Spring – but all is not lost, as I just went and put my insomnia to good use over some very preliminary number crunching about my possible trip this winter, which started with train routes.

What’s the best and cheapest way around Europe?

After a quick search around.

Trains! (which at times, are not very suitcase friendly, unlike airplanes)

So key point, pack light – bring an extra small suitcase and a backpack, be a minimalist, but with a better camera this time! (too many beautiful moments I just do not want to miss! Like that one time in Stockholm, when I climbed up a very snowy Söder Mälarstrand which gave me a spectacular view of the Riddarholmen – and I remember shedding actual tears…yes, actual tears, not because it was freezing, but because the view had been so beautiful and I just can’t believe I’m looking at it with my own eyes…more on that later – probably will do a separate blog post on it to do it justice.)

Any who, so I figured out a preliminary budget and at the moment – well, it doesn’t look good, why? Because if I didn’t watch my budget, as shown by the chart, I could easily overspend…yes as most of us would on a vacation, but I’m not exactly treating this as a vacation – rather, an expedition/adventure where I would keep things to a minimum (since I almost brought the entire shopping mall home with me during my last trip…an exaggeration yes, but it sure feels that way and really there was no reason for that – so I’ll behave and bypass Copenhagen, one of my favorite shopping destinations, this time…)

Instead, I aim to see more of Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands in this trip (that is, if I take it…though I hope I would despite the sacrifices of making sure my day to day budget worked out and forgoing frivolous spending which is not always fun, and of course saving, on top of minding tuition fees and going to school, which sounds like and is a lot of things all in one – that said, I do have a long way until December to make the decision and of course if this winter trip doesn’t workout, I could easily save the money for another time. I do have ambitions to test out this nomadic location independence gig that’s so popular with people in their 20s nowadays and I could put it away for the long run.)

Liebster Award!

Truly honoured that Marie @ FULL-TIME nominated me for the Liebster award. For those of you who don’t know how this works, here’s the rules:

1. Link the person who nominated you (yours truly) to your blog post.

2. Answer the questions given to you by the nominator.

3. Nominate other bloggers for the award that have fewer than 200 followers.

4. Create questions for your nominees to answer.

5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them

Thank you so much for nominating me, when I started this blogging journey I came in with no expectations. After all, my blog started as a place for me to put down some ideas and keep myself motivated. I’d intentionally intended for this place to be a place for venting, and share my often internalized rants. I had no idea how social it would turn out. So thank you all, for taking an interest in things I have to say. And thereby accepting this award I will answer these five fun questions Marie had for me.

1.) Describe your most embarrassing moment.

Oh goodness. Here’s a question that makes me glad my blog is for the most part anonymous. If I was completely honest I would say, it would be camp in elementary school. When I thought it was a good idea to go dispose of garbage from the tent in my underwear…yes it was in the middle of the night I thought no one was around…needless to say I had the flashlight pointed at me by a group of classmates who were getting back from the showers…deer in the headlight moment.

2.) What’s one of your favorite movies?

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, hands down. Because it opened up my mind to the limitlessness of human potential – we are more than just a statistic on this earth, consuming and producing, waiting for our time to expire (all of which sounds pretty depressing). It’s definitely a feel good / motivational movie that makes one see how much life is out there, if you just stepped out of your comfort zone and explored. It would make a more amazing story than, retiring with all the money in the world but very little story to tell.

3.) The beach or the mountains?  Why?

This is a hard one, because I happen to live in a place that’s close to both. Though if I had to pick, I’d say beach – the ocean has a calming effect on me, watching the waves roll in and out is one of my favourite relaxation rituals. When all else fails, I go watch the ocean and contemplate.

4.) If you could go back to any time in history when would it be?

I wouldn’t because I quite like the technology we have currently…I can’t imagine a time when the only form of internet was dial up and needless to say I don’t want to be in a time period without electricity or gadgets…like yes, it’d be great if I was a princess in a large castle, but um, hello, how would I even live without technology? Hah.

Though, maybe if I could go back far enough in time to my younger self, I’ll be like ‘hey kid, don’t sweat it, you’re gonna do great things, just go be you!’ – oh and maybe smack myself on the head with a world map too and teach myself to be a polyglot.

5.) What is your favorite meal of the day?

Coffee. So, breakfast, or brunch or anytime when caffeine is involved.

And now the part where I get to nominate people, yay:

A Photo A Day for A Year and More

Seeker of Something

Oh! Fernweh

post card from traveling kim

Life of Another Anonymous Girl

My 5 questions for you:

1. How do you take your coffee?

2. What’s your favourite dessert?

3. The last book you read and what you learned from it?

4. What’s your favourite childhood memory?

5. What’s your life motto?

I had a dream

You think about it in your waking moments, then dream about when you close your eyes.

I had a dream I was back in Amsterdam for some reason, having a sit down with a Dutch friend then effortlessly we both started to speak Dutch and the thing is, I understood quite well.

Though I’m no fan of Freudian school of psychology, I do believe (however unscientific it might be) there’s some truth to dreams, at least, sometimes if you reflect upon them, they actually point you in the direction where your conscious mind might not want to wander for it’s just ‘easier’ to go from day to day in the same environment.


But then the day to day is not exactly inspiring.

And this dream was just showing me, where I actually wanted to be, prompting me to take action, and if I think about it – the beginning of April actually also marks the year anniversary of my accident, where I came to the conclusion that I just cannot live the same uninspired life I had for the past few years.

I’ve got to take action and return ASAP – despite how ‘unrealistic’ the logical side is telling me, for now I believe amazing things are not based on logic – it’s based on dreams and a willingness to pursue just that.

weekend well spent

As indicated by the size of this red pepper avocado whole wheat bagel sandwich accompanied by a glorious cup of homemade coffee. It was yummy 11/10.

This weekend was definitely adventure packed.

Saturday, I got up early to join an photography meet up that ended up with me speaking like I was on a gag reel – yes, it being too early my mind was still half asleep – here’s hoping the rest of the group had a coffee-wake-up lag also and didn’t notice the mishap.

Hah.

Fat chance.

The point is, even though I probably came off as awkward I met a lot of cool people.

I guess the thing is there’s always a way to be social as opposed to the Friday night beer guzzling fest at your local watering-hole. Yes.

Did those people become my BFFL ?


Nope.

And I wasn’t expecting them to, but I did meet a lot of people with similar interests that I would love to see and hangout with again just to talk photography and design. All in all, the experience taught me that anything’s possible. Never give up hope and never stop trying for things you want to do in your life.