The Upside of Things

Ah, moving on to the good rant.. haha! Ok so, just last month, I got accepted to work at a cardiac surgery unit and I’m just finishing my orientation. One last shift, a night shift, and then I’ll be on my own! Exciting and scary at the same time! It’s interesting how the unit works and I have to say this (not in a demeaning way), they are very anal about things. Haha but understand that we are dealing with the heart and lungs so of course you have to be anal. Do you want staff that just chillaxes and doesn’t pay attention to lab work, to the slightest changes in heart rate or rhythm? I don’t think so, not on a unit like this. So anyways, being anal means I have to retrain myself into working at such a pace to cover all the different bases, and there are lots to cover (compared to my general surgery unit)! So for now, i’m very grateful for the 12hour shifts, it doesn’t make me run around like a chicken with the head cut off.. Although, I’ve had a few shifts like that recently lol. So bottom line is, I’m glad for the change, the new challenges of this new environment and the pleasant new people that I’m meeting everyday. It’s fun even though it’s a bit stressful. I needed something to take my mind off things, and this is working perfectly. I’m not as exhaustively stressed about the other things and this work stress is a healthy sort of stress; makes me want to do better each day. I’m gonna study after this actually, need to review all the heart meds and such. So wish me luck, and ciao for now! 🙂

Productive Year! …Or So I Hope

Well, since it’s been so long since I’ve updated my stories, I’ve finally decided to stick to one and work it until it’s finished. I used to love re-reading my stories, revisiting the various worlds I’ve known for so long but I was always scared to touch them even at their unfinished stage. To me, the words had to be perfect otherwise, it wouldn’t feel right. ARGHH! I’ve been in that stage for almost 3 years now! I’ve only managed to add a page or two here and there but that’s as far I got! I blamed it on my lack of reading lately, but who was I kidding? So! Now, you’ve all had a sneak peek at one particular  story of mine, The Mermaid Story (no, that’s not going to be the final title of the story).

Like I said in my previous introductory posts about this story, I’ve actually finished the main plot line of this story. It’s the details that are hard to put to it because of some issues (i.e.) how to make mermaids talk, and do the animals talk in words or no, etc. Now with my fourth year of procrastinating, I’ve finally made up my mind to write out this story. It’s been a rough start, with the images of how the story should go a certain way interfering with my processing for details. However, with that said, my writer’s block is finally gone and I’m proud to say that the story now has a new introduction, and along the way, I’ve conjured up new characters as well. I feel as though they’ll be crowded with so many crews throughout the story, but I’ll make it work. 🙂 So far, my inspiration comes from Boyzone’s songs. LOL! I know; it’s weird. Don’t ask me why, but it just lulls me into my fantasy world and keeps me there. Pray that at the last day of the year 2014, the story will be finished because it’s my present to my sister and my best friend. I don’t want to give them an unfinished present.

Another Year, Another Chance

The year 2013 has been a mix of blessings and obstacles. It’s been a whirlwind of travels and family drama and of course, my personal demons. It started out with a hesitant but willing step towards reconciliation towards a relative but by the time fall came around, the disputes and grudges were are nasty as a suppressed bullet being shot into your heart. I was kind of hoping that this year would end with a better note, in terms of being civil and having a little more understanding of the situation, but it all fell apart when the confrontations happened. I wanted to justify my parents’ side; to explain how it must have felt having to wait for years for somebody to do their end of the arrangement. I’ve tried a few times to set up a private time to talk about my family’s point of view, but it was always “work” in the way. My sister moved around her work schedule for this, but if they couldn’t make the effort to do the same, then that just shows me how they truly “care” about our relationship. While that ended on a sour note, I’ve been surprisingly doing well, with my other goal in life: to travel.

catching the sun

You’ve already seen my post on New York. My introverted self was actually okay with travelling with 6 other friends and keeping in close company with them for a week! I can’t even stand a single night of rowdy partying. That was around June 2013. Then later this year, mid-October to mid-November, the whole family went on an Asia Tour, as I like to call it (I also have a post about this, take a look here). My best friend came along, as I promised her. This time, we were on vacation for almost a month!! It was really fun! Busy, but fun. It felt like we were gone for 2 months, I almost started dreading work when we were getting closer to going back to Canada. We spent a few days in Hong Kong, where we met up with a family relative. Then another few days were spent in Singapore, making my best friend sick on the last day when we were headed to the Philippines. Then it was pretty much beach time and lots of time with my dad’s relatives. We did a little sight-seeing closer to our hometown because my best friend has never been.

The kicker of this year didn’t come as a shock, it was more of a devastation. As a child, I always thought of my family as perfect, both my immediate family and close relatives. Then slowly, as I grew up, the people around me seemed to want to share all the bad stuff about the family that was never told when I was younger. As I matured, it became more of a burden, which really brings to mind that saying: Ignorance is bliss. At the same time, it was a good learning experience for me because through the bad choices of all those people that I’ve heard about, I became more aware of consequences and that everything you do or don’t do, have inescapable consequences. I think this made me extra cautious in what I did in the past and it still guides me when I have big decisions to make. All those bad secrets of the family became examples of what not to do. However, with that said, those issues never disappeared, not really. Some years, the family would seem okay; the aunts and uncles talk to each other in a very warm and loving way, but behind their backs, something entirely different was being said. I hated that about my family. I often reprimand my mom when I notice her doing it; every single adult in the family seemed to thrive off of putting each other down and making themselves look high and mighty. That’s how I grew up; my sense of the perfect family slowly disintegrating with every year that passed. Now it seems this year, I’ve lost all faith in the meaning of that word: family.

As this year ends, mine is about to start.

As this year ends, mine is about to start.

My parents fight and they majorly fight only about 3 things. I can’t tell you what they are but the last one of that list is of course: Money. Which bugs me to no end because they can’t seem to see eye to eye on the subject, but they always refuse or ignore when I offer to help clarify about their finances. The other two reasons are what finally broke the meaning of family in our household. Long story short, my mom now wants a divorce and my dad wants her out of the house. Our newly acquired house (2009) is huge and is worth a lot. Through the years, after witnessing how those 2 things continued to cause havoc between my parents, the news of a divorce came to me as a relief. In my heart, I was finally hoping for a future without any yelling and name-calling, etc. My brother didn’t want them to get a divorce but me and my sister were all for it. There were no more tears to cry for this so-called ‘family’ because it never was a family for such a long time; that family facade was finally crumbling away and all I could see was a better future, for each and everyone of us. I’ve seen enough disrespect go on for years and years in our home. So since my dad wanted my mom out of the house, that meant me and my sister will be going with her. I asked my brother if he would stay with our dad in the house, and he shook his head and said no. That leaves one person to pay the mortgage and bills and utilities of a household for 5 people. My mom felt sorry, but I said she should feel sorry for herself, for letting things go on for years and years, and not have gone through with a divorce a long time ago.

Now, with that decision in mind, I knew we would need our own car and move into an apartment. I mentioned this to my sister and brother that they should be ready to move out by next spring; save money for rent, etc. That seemed to put things into perspective for them. They were quiet for a while and I could tell my brother didn’t really like the idea of having to move out and pay rent and not be living in our awesome dream home. But for me, I can sacrifice the dream home if it would make everyone involved more happy, and less stressed. So after a hiatus in my car research, I started it again, and finally made up my mind to get a vehicle so we could go to work and move around the city without having to rely on public transit, especially during winter time. I knew it was a stretch, because my credit for the previous years were not so holy, but having a stable job helped. I got a car for my birthday. It was a bittersweet acquisition, but it had to be done for practicality’s sake.

new car!!

This seemed to be the right move because the very next day, we had a family meeting. My parents wanted another chance. They wanted to see if they can still work things out, but I was already shaking my head. I knew things would be good between them for the first 3 days and then it would go right back to how it was before. It was a good thing that I said everything I was holding in. I was tired of hoping that the family would ever be as cohesive as a single unit again. It seemed like everyone was heading to their own directions. I said a lot of stuff, from my issues with how the equality of labour at home was royally skewed to what was really hurtful about my mom and dad’s relationship. The majority wanted to try again and so I was overruled. My parents apologized but I let them know that for me, this retry thing was conditional. I asked quite a bit from my dad, then my mom, and then my siblings. So here we are, in the “trying” phase where we really need to be able to trust and lean on each other. I pray that this will be the beginning of a new chapter in our family’s life. I don’t want my parents to end up in a divorce; it’s just there’s a very legitimate reason why they should.

As this year ends, mine is about to start. I’m looking forward to a lot of positive things! I’m hoping that stress will not be as proliferated as this past year. And I’m striving to a healthier me so I can achieve my goals and go even further in my life. Here’s to a brighter and happier future for us all!

Hello, Canada (Vacation’s Done)

Well, I’m back at Winterville. After almost a month of full-on sun and sweat, coming back to Canada seemed like a blessing at fist. Then the snow starts coming and I thought, Now I’m thankful for those sun filled days. The whole family went on a bit of an Asia Tour, sort of, along with my best friend, who turns out to be such a celebrity in that part of the world. 😀 We left Canada on October 16th and came back November 13th. First leg of the trip: Hong Kong. That city reminded me so much of New York! The people, the mess (lol!); it was a big, busy city and so much lines, strings of people everywhere we go. Go to a ride: lines, go to a restaurant: lines; I tell ya, there were lines EVERYWHERE. It wasted so much time waiting on those lines. but anyways, we did get to see a lot for our three day stay.

Tian Tan Buddha in Lantau Island (Hong Kong)

Tian Tan Buddha in Lantau Island (Hong Kong)

First we went to Ocean Park, a theme park, aquarium, and more. Kinda like Sea World in Florida, but smaller. Then we went to Lantau Island to see the Tian Tan Buddha a.k.a. Giant Buddha. That was an awesome experience! And we got to see monks, female ones! I’ve never seen a female monk. They shave their heads, too, interestingly enough. Then we got on a ferry to get to Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and Avenue of Stars. Then we shopped a bit at Mong Kok and tried some street food.

Then after that, we headed to Singapore, where you’ll be fined for chewing gum. There we went to Sentosa, checked out the Merlion, Universal Studios and Marina Bay. We were getting tired at this point, with our fully scheduled days, missed lunches and late nights. My best friend even got sick on the last day there; the poor thing.

Merlion Statue in Sentosa, Singapore

Merlion Statue in Sentosa, Singapore

Then we were off to Philippines! Oh, the beach! i wish we could’ve stayed at the beaches longer and had more sun to cook us a bit while frolicking in the salt water. That week really killed my hair. It was nasty by the time we were done, but with the help of lots and lots of conditioner, it thankfully revived to it’s usual rat’s nest style. Philippines was mostly time with relatives, which wasn’t the original plan but the weather was finicky and so some stuff were either, ‘Let’s do this now!’ or ‘Let’s not do this in this weather.’ Anyways, the highlight for me was the Donsol trip. Even though we didn’t get to see the whale shark (too early into the season), the island hopping was more than adequate to cover for that loss. The fish feeding was amazing! And the waterfall that ended at the sea was phenomenal! It was hands down the best island hopping I’ve been to. 🙂

Beach and sun makes for a good island hopping experience!

Beach and sun makes for a good island hopping experience!

That vacation was one of the coolest ones yet. It felt longer than just a month; I was starting to dread work, thinking I had forgotten how to do things at work. On a different note, surprisingly, we all got along pretty decent, with very minimal bickering. LOL. With 6 adults, I thought it was gonna be a mess, but thank goodness, it went well. Next time, I’ll post more in depth coverage about each place that we went to see. Ciao for now! 😀

Did You Know… (4)

…that I gained 4 pounds in two weeks?? I’m so happy!!!! 🙂 Everyone at work thinks it’s cute how I’m so happy to gain since everyone else usually wants to lose weight, but the thing is I work night shifts and it takes a toll on my body. Just recently, I’ve almost passed out during work for no apparent reason. I think it’s because I don’t have enough time to eat properly during and after my night shifts. So, I’ve been losing weight faster than I can put in food into my system. In desperation, I tried my brother’s protein drink and worked out, hoping to gain muscles rather than lose weight. I was sceptical at first but surprisingly it worked!! From a shameful 118 pounds, I’ve upped my weight to 124 pounds (closer to what I used to be before I started working, which was 127 pounds). I was so shocked!! You can probably understand that at 118 lbs, I felt weak and easily tired and lethargic, coz my body wasn’t in it’s ideal working order. But now I’m back to my busy little self and i like it =) My goal is to get up to 127-129 pounds before our vacation this October so I don’t look like a piece of stick in the pictures… LOL!!

Feeling Lost

Do you ever feel like there’s something missing? There’s a place in your own little world that’s incomplete? What do you do about it? I’ve been kind of feeling unaccomplished lately; unproductive. I feel as though I’m just cruising in life. It’s not the same feeling as when I get restless and have this terrible urge to leave, to explore. It’s something more internal, like my soul is telling me to be more useful to myself, to others. Don’t get me wrong, in terms of my family, I think I’ve done so much already, but it feels as though I’m hungry for a bigger cause. I don’t know how to get about doing something about this feeling but it’s definitely unsettling the more I think about it. It’s like a nagging voice inside me that’s saying, “You’re life’s at a standstill? Why don’t you move? Why don’t you improve yourself, be a better version of yourself?” And to tell you the truth, I have no idea how to start. Do I start volunteering? I don’t know. I only know that I feel useless and it’s a nasty feeling. Where should I start? What should I be looking for? Yesterday, me and my friend watched Steve Jobs’ 2011 speech at Stanford University and you know what stuck to me? “Don’t settle. Stay hungry, stay foolish.” Now that the hunger in me has been woken, I don’t know what to do about it. I feel lost.  😦

A Hard Choice To Make

Let’s say you are in a certain situation. You get along pretty well with your immediate family, at most. Your parents are good together when the going’s good, but they are horrible when they don’t get along. Yelling and screaming, along with name calling, even in the night, when they are about to go to sleep. Your siblings are good people, but the laziness means you do the house chores by yourself even when they are on their day off as well. You feel bad for your mother, who is the only other house cleaner when you’re not around or at work. You know she stresses out about this because technically, she’s chronically sick and the rest of the people at home are adults, who can but will not help with the house chores or cooking unless instructed to. You all work different schedule so it’s never the same person on the same day off. The house is a 2 storey with a basement. Having 5 adults in there means a messy house because 3 of them do not have the initiative to help around. You’ll have to either yell at them or pretty much beg them to help, which you’ve done for years and honestly, you’re just fed up with it so you don’t bother anymore and just do it yourself to avoid the stress. Now the choice is this: do you leave them; move out on your own so they can learn (hopefully) to do things for themselves, knowing that your mom will be the person who will be most affected, since no one will be helping her anymore? Or do you stay to avoid stressing out your mom, but you pretty much let the others get away with being lazy, because you know you won’t be lecturing them anymore after years of trying?

It’s a hard choice, but I think it’s necessary for those 3 to realize that they can’t live like that forever. It bothers me that they don’t even think they should be doing those things, when you get them to do one thing, they’re done and will often say, “It’s your turn this time, I did it last time.” It’s not so dysfunctional when we get together, watch a movie, go to church, eat out, etc, but when it comes to those things, they don’t think of it as a mandatory thing. I feel like they don’t know the rule of division of labour. If all they do is eat and sleep and go to work, then I don’t think I can live like that anymore. It’s not fair to my mom and to myself. I wish my mom could move out to her own apartment so those three could see how it is just by themselves. I’m sure they’ll survive (LOL) but they won’t be as clean with their living space and there will be a lot of finger-pointing and swearing around dinner time when there’s no food ready, or impromptu laundry days because nobody will think to do it weekly. I think I will need to come home a few days a week to help my mom out, but they don’t need to know that.

Ok, the plan is to save for at least 4 months of rent money ($4000) so that if/when I change jobs early next year, it won’t be so hard on me. I’m thinking early June 2014 to try out the moving thing? I don’t have much stuff.. just a lot of clothes. and books. and shoes. I can’t wait to buy my future furniture! If I can find a house for rent, and a roommate, that’ll be awesome! I hate apartments.. I’m a hermit so, as little human interaction as possible is great. Ahahaha!! No, I just want to be able to put my music loud and have no one complain about it. =) That’s the big plan for next year!