In a sky full of stars, you shine the brightest, but that doesn’t mean anything to me anymore

Everything was fine…until, you see someone you’re not over on Tinder. Cue to the loudest internal scream you could imagine.

Oh yeah. Someone you haven’t been able to get over, since eons ago (clearly measurable in years).

  1. Why are they on Tinder?
  2. …Are they single?
  3. …Does this mean…no don’t go there brain. (except you just totally did.)

For the first two hours, there’s excitement, there’s happiness, there’s pain, there’s possibility, there’s that 0.0000000000000000001% chance… There’s running out the door and going for an impromptu run. Because running is the only thing that’ll stop you from doing anything – and to clear your mind – what should I do, left or right or nothing?

When you get home – it’s contact every friend that’s online on Facebook and form a support group. Except then there are shitty friends that tell you, “Wow, that’s your ‘I’m never getting over it’? And they’re single? You know where I’m going ;)” (honestly, where is my unfriend button in real life? Facebook get on that please.)

Geesh, then you realize you need to go out and make new friends. Still. That doesn’t help with the situation – left, right, or just uninstall Tinder!?

Left or right or uninstall?!

You go and make dinner instead, while in the background you’re listening to every sad breakup song there is to listen to, laughing and crying while you’re chopping onions. You don’t know why you’re crying exactly, but you have more than a hunch as to why.

Partially onion, partially heartache, and this entire situation is pathetic as hell.

Then you drain an entire 500 ML can of Carlsberg, and then you open another 500 ML can of the same.

So you go back to Tinder, sit yourself down, and think about it with that profile open. This person might’ve been everything in the past, but now – everything considered – it’s not only implausible, it’s outright stupid. Maybe if I was more of a romantic, I would’ve swiped right, I might’ve even superliked, just to get your attention a second time (nope, I have too much pride) to get a second chance (no thank you, you give me enough anxiety as is), just to be considered upon again, but that’s not real life. At least, that’s not how I operate as a person anymore.

This decision was partially made because I have too much pride now, and I’d gained wisdom and practicality along the way. My outlook on life is different. It comes down to self-respect. There’s too much fundamental flaw in acting upon desire itself, because even though if feelings are there I realize the impossibility of the situation – and I had long resigned myself to a life of solitude, sure I appreciate eye-candy from time to time, but I’m not looking for disruptions of that peace.

Hence, by even seeing a photo, I can even think about acting on impulse is quite dangerous to how far I’ve come. I know how I feel and it’s not a feeling I’ll ever get over (honest, three years and no one comes close, hence it’s not fair for anyone, even when I’m with someone else it always goes back to you doesn’t it, and never mind all those other little details which I won’t mention, wow, cue to every breakup song out there now). You set the bar too high, but that’s useless, because I wasn’t worthy and I’ll never be in your eyes.

Everything’s useless. Because then I realized, I’m just trying to find an imitation of you. To have that feeling back again – but then you also made me feel so insignificant, but this is only because I cared about what you thought too much.

And you thought nothing of me essentially.

The Estella Havisham to my Pip. Except, I don’t love you endlessly like Pip loves Estella. Despite that, I did try to chase you to the end of the world, twice. Nothing. You didn’t care. So I can’t imagine that you care now.

Things will never work out like I want them to, because I don’t even know what I’m hoping for.

I want you but you’re not my destiny.

So what’s the point?

Hence, I let you go.

So thank you.

Thank you for delivering a blow from all the way on the other side of the world.

I haven’t felt this low since years ago.

Thank you for still teaching me another lesson when you don’t even know. But I guess that’s how we are – you will never know.

Thank you for inspiring me all this time, for driving me to be better, because all I wanted to be is be good enough for you.

Thank you for never letting me know you, so I hold you to so high of regard that you’re essentially the most flawless being to ever walk this earth, the most gorgeous creature I had the fortunes to lay my eyes upon.

Thank you for telling me that you love me, when you clearly didn’t mean it, but that’s always nice to hear isn’t it.

Thank you for letting me know I’m still capable of feelings, because without you I’m as emotional as a robot.

Thank you for making me believe in love, then dispelling that error in judgement.

Thank you for making me grow up, be better, be tougher, be more adventurous and courageous in life.

Thank you for letting me reflect upon you like the moon reflects upon the sun, chasing your light since day one. Even if we exist in the same sky, it’s impossible for us to be – just imagine the devastation, the suffering, the damage…

And finally, thank you for reminding me, I don’t have enough chips to continue on this game.

I fold.

You win.

Because even as I close this open letter, I know no one else will ever come close. There’s no more fuel to start another fire that burns me as uncontrollably as the one for you.

Know that, you’re the only one I’ll throw everything away for, the only one I’ll self destruct for.

But you’ll never know.

And I like to keep it that way.

Three months is a good gauge for progress

Had 2016 been a normal year (and not a leap), then today would’ve been the end of February. At the end of the month, I really like to look back, pause and think about all the things I’ve done this month. What propelled me, what hindered me, what did I do well, and what could I be doing better? Are there too many interferences, too many time wasters, is my schedule productive and am I really being the best that I can be?

This year is a leap year, and though I’m not one for puns, I like to think I’m leaping off into the unknown. I already know a lot about what works and what doesn’t work for me, what I want and don’t want out of life – so now the main grunt work is in cultivating the ‘do’s’ while ignoring the ‘don’ts’. Screenshot 2016-02-25 19.00.13

And one of the things my mother said to me lately that really bothered me at first, but then when I thought about it – it’s true.

“Why do you need people to care?”

Yes, such a classical, careless phrase it might be – but if you interpret it differently – in a way such as “the people who don’t care won’t ever care” and the “people that care will” without you telling them to.

Which kind of reminded me of friendships. Some people you just click with others you don’t. You can’t make someone interested, or force a genuine connection – it’s all up to chance and then afterwards cultivation. The same can be said about life’s pursuits, where you want to be, where you want to see yourself and how much energy and care you give into something. Except, those latter mentioned, one could have more control on effort and reward.

Still, it is easy to say, yes I want ‘x’ so I’m going to do ‘y’ to get it. But reality is, it’s easier said than done.

Along the way there’s going to be distractions, sacrifices, parts of you that has to change in order to make something work and happen. Along the way, your relationships might fall apart, and as I like to think of it, you kinda have to tell people to nicely ‘FUCK OFF’ or sometimes not so nicely to ‘FUCK OFF’. Get used to it. Things will fall apart because you’re not on the same course to be ‘like everybody else’, you don’t even want whatever they have – you’re reaching for your dreams remember that (and it’s not about ‘having’ it’s more about ‘doing’ and ‘creating’) it’s so easy to fall back onto the ground and resign to your fate. But the fact that, if you’re reading this, you know you’re capable of more than average.

So don’t.

Travel Hack: Book 2 one way ticket instead of round trip!

I dont mean to brag but

I don’t mean to brag, but I sort of also do. What you’re looking at is an one way transatlantic ticket, booked at the decisive moment by yours truly. I don’t know about you, but when I saw that price, a non-stop flight too, I thought many…many things.

One of them was, damn, that’s practically free!

And of course, ‘take my money, take my money right now!!!’

$214 wouldn’t even cover half the cost of this leather jacket I have my eyes on…less than the price of an unlocked iPhone 5s…less than going out for two weekends…less than a lot of things. But look at this, London is now officially happening! How fun!!

This is the first time of me booking an one way ticket (gasp!) and I have never done that before…cause I always thought I return at a set date ‘x’, however, booking only one leg of the journey gives me unimaginable freedom over when, and where I chose to return from.

Not only that, this open flight also opens my mind up for different ideas. Should I go to Germany, get a job and apply for a work visa when I get there? Or should I go do some extended volunteering work somewhere in Europe? Should I go rent an apartment somewhere and figure it out for the duration of my stay? Should I flock to where my friends are and where my interests lie? The possibilities are endless. And it’s so freeing to have them be so endless.

So take away point: say fuck it, and go do it!

Adulting: you’re doing it wrong

I came home and there’s nothing to eat.

So naturally, I looked in the fridge. To my dismay, all the pizza pockets are gone (gasp!) and all that’s left are old frozen spaghetti dinners (from god knows when) and some IKEA meatballs I’d picked up from last time. Without further ado, it was tear off the top of the frozen spaghetti box and dump in half a box of meatballs, then zap it in my dying microwave. Take it out…realize it’s still frozen. Then nuke it again.

Ah, fancy dinner, with extra ketchup added to mask the flavor of my fridge.

The entire thing tasted like ketchup, washed down with late night coffee.

Healthy. Not in the least bit.

And the saddest part is – this isn’t even because I’m on a budget.

Nah, it’s all due to poor planning.

I could’ve made meals had I planned ahead of time, then I would’ve had homemade meals to zap instead. Oh well. This sadness prompts me to do better with food in the future, no matter how much I hate grocery shopping and meal planning. How am I supposed to know what I want or don’t want to eat a week in advance??

Still. This is major adult-ing, I’m doing it wrong.

Must rectify.

New clothes or another plane ticket? Well, that’s easy.

It’s a bit funny how I got the news just a mere two days after I penned the piece, Travel Hack: make traveling affordable for yourself. So I have some good news and bad news. Bad news is, icky extended relatives are visiting at the end of May – good news is, that’s a good reason to get out of here…Yes. This plan is backed by even my own mother to say the least.

That would make that I’ve been to Europe how many times now this year alone? 3? Wow. This is really fantastical isn’t it. It’s almost as if I’m fulfilling a dream one step at a time, because, I always had that dream of splitting my time between continents anyways and this year…it’s happening (though not exactly the way I wanted it, but it’s happening!)

So this definitely makes the coming two months the busiest in a while, but I’m confident in making things happen. Like I always do!!

Let’s do this!

Why are you busy all the time?

“Cultivating a relationship with myself. Working on getting out of here. What else is new.”

To be frank, I was glad this exchange took form digitally. The answer I received back was less intelligent than one of those kik robots who spams users periodically. I ignored the reply and went back to doing what I was doing before.

It’s pointless.

He could not comprehend why I was doing what I was doing.

And I could not comprehend how he was wasting his time.

But hey, I guess that’s just life.

We all have different things we want, different things we aspire to be.

While all of my friends agree that I’m independent, intelligent and an overall badass. I find myself with less and less time speaking to whiny blokes with no exit strategy from their own miseries.

“Why are you so busy all the time?”

“I’m busy because I’m carving a way out. I’m struggling because things are far from ideal, because, if I don’t get out, I’ll just off myself. Yes, it’s that bad. You don’t get it because you’re not me. Just focus on your god damn own life.”

And that’s why I don’t have time.

Typing out all of that would’ve taken too long.

Closing the browser was the better choice.

Travel Hack: make traveling affordable for yourself

When you see a good travel deal, do you buy or do you often find yourself say: “But I don’t have $3000 in the bank for that vacation!” or, “I can’t put another $3000 on the credit card to afford that!”

But the problem is, you still want to travel, what to do?

I recently had a look at my credit card statement and realized I’d done something that’s arguably clever. I organized everything in parts.

January 25: book with Norwegian, flying out of L.A for $700
January 26: book connecting flights between European cities with Norwegian/EasyJet/AirBerlin: $300
January 26: reserve other hotels that I don’t have to pay for until arrival for $500
—- January: $1000

So for my January statement, I was only charged $1000 of the otherwise $1500 amount. I’ve paid back the $1000 in full and is now setting aside $500, so there would be no surprises upon arrival (and of course, if I could put away more than $500 it’d be even better. I’m personally aiming to put away $1000 just for safety.) And after I do that, the only thing I’ll have to worry about is food and entertainment and transit costs, which never amount to much.

So there you go, a quick tip. Never pay in full if it’s too overwhelming. Break it into chunks and travel!


How to make time for your passion?

“If you can’t do it in one day, do it every single day until you finish.”

It’s Monday, the last full week of February 2016.

It’s 2016, and I’m overwhelmed with work.

Currently, I like to think of my days as empty boxes, to be filled with blocks which are chunks of tasks that must be carried out.

Each day has 24 slots.

I knock out 10-12 slots normally for work, the other 14-12 are up to my disposal.

Then knock out 8 hours or theoretically speaking for sleeping, or worst case scenario 6 hours tossing and turning, 2 hours sleeping…rinse repeat.

I still have 6-4 hours at my disposal. (Though of course this is never perfect, car breaks down, dinner must be made, room cleaned, laundry done…)

Still, why not, even at the lowest threshold, apply ass to chair 4 hours a day / 7 days a week (despite that, given how we live in North America, this would be detrimental to my physical fitness…as one does not bike to work here like one would elsewhere) still.

Apply ass to chair 4 x 7 = 28 hours / week on your passions, something that actually inspires you, something you don’t have to be told to do.

That’s the equivalent of an part-time side job. Except, don’t think of it like that. If you can’t devote 100% of your time to something now, at least set the foundations and the grounds for something that can be built upon.

I was lucky enough to have fell into

It might seem impossible, if you only think, “I have so much to do…” without even beginning to categorize those things, “I have so much to do…” almost automatically equates to self pitying of ‘I can’t.’

However, if you reframe the problem and see the solution is: “28 hours” at the minimum. I don’t know about you, but I get really excited when I see “28 hours” of constructive time. And if you’re really passionate, you could go as far as 6 x 5 days weekdays + 10 x 12 days weekends (yes, just lock yourself in the house and work) = 54 hours / week at your disposal, especially when you deem everything else a waste of time. Then just do what you would rather do, be unapologetically you in your work.

How does that clock up per month?

28 – 54 hours

Screenshot 2016-02-21 00.53.13

So the next time, I or anyone try to bullshit themselves out of misery and say that ‘I can’t make time.’ I hope you remember this inconspicuous numbers chart that documents just how much ‘time’ one could make if one really wanted to.

And since today, denotes that I have 50 days until I take another break from this place. I will start implementing this ‘ass to chair’ technique at the maximum threshold as experiment to see how this technique holds up. So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

“I’m doing this to get out of the house.”

Or so I tell myself. Think of it this way, this weekend gig gets me out of the house and it pays, so many people would love to be in my shoes, or so I tell myself. But really what are you doing – deep down, I really don’t care if I was doing this or not. In fact, when I get there, I see how it’s like – yes, then the benefits of it all becomes – so you’re not sitting in front of a computer all day long. At least you’ll get to stretch and move around.

But really, what I’m doing – as I do almost every weekend since I came back.

Think about it this way – you’re making extra plane ticket money, while resting your eyes from the computer screen all day.

Think about Amsterdam…

Think about that dream you had last night. That article you read last night about friendship and social circles. How you want to burst out in a Maroon 5 song, about a sweeter life and maps, all the roads lead back to that place, to the one that’s still on your mind. Yes. You keep thinking about New Years Eve past, how many days back, how many days forward – you don’t remember much from the month and a half you’ve been back, but you remember counting down 55…54…53…tomorrow it’ll be 52. Your friend from Hamburg tells it like it is, when you tell her that you really like someone.

“You’re living in the future girl! Guys always disappoint.”

Okay, maybe, but when’s the last time you asked someone out for drinks, rather than the other way around – never. And this fact alone makes you think there’s something there already – though you really shouldn’t think like that. You shouldn’t. You have an idea why you like that person so much, but you really shouldn’t think like that because then there’s no way for a rational evaluation. But isn’t that just the basis of romance? You think it’s a second chance, a do over for a fuck up in the past you never got the answer for…

You romanticized the whole thing, you tell yourself. But maybe that’s exactly what you need, some fantasy and some romance to escape the dreary surroundings you find yourself. You had that dream not because of infatuation, but because of mutual understanding. And perhaps you’re really longing for that level of understanding, maybe it’ll work…maybe it won’t but that’s more than you could say for anyone else…

So there’s something there…even if it’s only a speck.

Either way, it’s another push forward to the right direction – there’s no way you’ll stay. It doesn’t matter the outcome, but remember the feeling, regardless how everything goes, regardless of everything, you’ll always love it elsewhere and that seems to be your personal curse.

Half way through your thought, you realize it’s time to go – work has been another day of inner monologue reverse psychology – you’re doing this for the adverse effect, to get out there just to see there’s nothing out there you might as well stay in and run everything from home. Even seeing people gets tiring because that’s all there is, people you don’t care to see, care to know, and it’s not their fault, it’s you and your ridiculous, if not too worldly tastes that this town just cannot afford to contain.

You pack up and leave. Another day lost, or maybe not as on the way home, you come up with yet another ingenious exit plan – and you check for plane tickets and determine you could make it for not only May, but also July, September and thereafter. You’re rather flexible since you have nothing to lose. All you need is more momentum. More ignition. Another push. A shove. Or maybe a slap in the face for you to do it.

Except then you realize, you could’ve came up with all of this when you’re sad and depressed at 21 with no sense of the future, you could’ve just came up with this rather than seeing a therapist and crying all over her chair. But no. What did you know back then. But now it’s different. You are your responsibility and you’ve seen, heard, been through a lot more since then. Your tolerance and expectations have expanded, you could tolerate more hardship, just not more of the same. You expect more of yourself now and you believe in yourself more.

You’re not going to remain the same.

This is metamorphosis.

So say goodbye to the old.

The old dies to make room for the new.

And say hello to the new.

The ‘you’ you always wanted to be.

Why I’ve stopped paying attention to social issues.

I’ve stopped caring about social issues.

If those eager youth were lucky, they’d get around to: “Don’t you care what happens—” before I walk by faster before they could flag me down with their clipboards to get my name and email address and phone number so they could contact me for some sort of protest.

No. Frankly, I don’t care.

I don’t have the time.

I don’t have the energy.

But most importantly, I don’t see the point in something that’s more or less conformity. They might have a point in whatever they’re trying to convince you off – but here’s my point, I don’t have 30 minutes to shave off my life to listen.

As far as I’m concerned. When my time’s up, I’m gone.

And let’s be realistic here, what portion of NPOs’ funding actually goes to the cause?

The only legitimate reason for contributing would probably be for tax reasons, but not for sleeping better at night.

Either you care or don’t care doesn’t make you a better or worse person. Think of it as an interest, a hobby instead. It’s great if you’re into puppies, but if the next person isn’t, then don’t start trying to change the other person’s mind.

“How can you know about this and still eat meat, wear leather, or wear fur?”

Again, personal preference.

Yeah, not the most popular opinion as these causes are usually highly emotionally charged with daunting statistics to guilt you into submission. But it had to be said.

Do or do not, either way the problem will likely persist.

Yes, I’m a cynical realist.