Gotta Pass!

LOL. I’m in a course again, but this is mandatory to work in my new cardiac surgery unit. I’ve been working there for 6 months now and so here I am, studying again. Well, on a break, really since I’m writing on here.. Exam is on Wednesday! Three days to finish up :/ So far, managing pretty good with the notes. Doing more rhythm strips today and still tonight! It gets confusing if I keep at it for long periods of time so I time quite a few breaks in (long enough for a movie sometimes lol). *Sigh* Life, eh? On the other hand, me, my bestie and my sister did a little “transformation station” thing a couple weeks back, with a general purpose to uncover and address some of our own bad habits.

My bestie and I had a few drinks and my sister wanted to go for a drive so I said, ok I’ll go if she drove (coz she was the only sober one lol). It went rather weirdly. Found out stuff that I sort of suspected already and some things that were way out there. So my bestie thought the growing craziness in me was brought on by my recent guy problems (yes, the guy I started dating turned out to be a player; surprise, surprise) but when I told her that was completely wrong, I had to explain all over again what I had mentioned to her right before I finished it with the guy. And then I was right in suspecting she was getting irritated or affected by it quite a bit; I told her I could tell. I’m pretty observant and the slight changes were: she was getting offended easily, and getting restless, also being slightly distant. I won’t specify; but I noticed because we’ve been friends for over 10 years now lol so I can tell.. I just didn’t show her that I noticed, which kinda hurt but I knew there was a reason for it so I tried not to take it personally.

I’m telling you, this drive and talk therapy thing was working (I had a bit to drink too but I wasn’t driving! I was lolling around in the back seat). And then I also found out she sort of grudged against having to take care of her brother when she was young and I can see why; missing her childhood like that must’ve been hard too. She coped pretty good though, and learned to let go of things much faster than I did. I still hold some anger towards my parents and every time I see them, it’s triggered at the back of my mind.

Then the most interesting thing to try to deal with was my sister’s issue. Oh, man, was that a can of worms or what! She tells us that she’s tired of feeling like the scapegoat of the family and having all her failures rubbed in her face ever so often. I apologized for everyone who’s done that to her (most of the family, really) and said I would tell them to stop if that bothered her the most. She was crying as though someone died, that’s how bad it was. Then she wouldn’t listen to what I say and kept repeating the same thing over and over. So I tried several approaches to get her to see another point of view (as to why we were “always hounding” her or always on her about her homework and stuff for school). It actually gave me a headache, because I started crying coz I felt bad that she felt like that and then having to explain and re-explain myself over and over again was getting tiresome. There was a point where I thought nothing I say will get through anyway, so I might as well give up. But I didn’t. We kept going until I was sure she didn’t feel so bad anymore. Could not have done it without my bestie being the middleman/referee when my voice started getting desperate lol. We tried to address a lot of things she mentioned, but it all comes down to what she learns from it, if she’ll take any of the advice we gave her and if she’ll actually start thinking about consequences of her decisions. We’ll have to wait and see..

 

Almost There

The year 2015 is almost done! This is probably one of the rockiest, craziest year for me… There’s been trouble with family and with myself lol. Over the summer, the family wasn’t very much like a family and family being my number 1 priority, it was hard on my soul, my heart and my mind. It was always there, I could never really put it in the back of my mind no matter how hard I tried. The issue at hand has been around for years, ever since I was a little girl and I’ve always urged my mom to just get a divorce since she didn’t seem happy anymore. But she always had excuses. And for me, I had enough of trying to pretend like everything was okay. I found a way to distract myself and I started meeting people from online and dating them. It was short lived but it did the job. I was worry free for a good three months; the entire summer. Of course, meeting those people didn’t come without any signs of trouble and I somehow overlooked that from my wanting to at least not be thinking about my family troubles at the moment. So I kept on going, knowing in the back of my mind that I would be fairly disappointed at the end, but I thought that would be a fairly small price to pay in the long run. Which eventually did get to that point. I shed a tear or two, was missing the guy then hating the guy, back and forth for a good month or so. Then I told myself, enough with the self pity. It’s time for me to re-prioritize my life again. Having been distracted long enough from my family issues gave me a sort of outsider look to the entire thing and I figured, I really have to get away from the life-sucking environment at home. And so that’s how I got to this point. Now, I had all my ducks in a row and for a good three months and I realized I still had my dating profile. I had to log back in to delete the damn thing and of course, the moment you log in, you are met with a barrage of messages from X number of guys. I was fairly confident I didn’t want to date anyone at the time so I looked through them and was mostly replying to the most entertaining messages. This one guy scared the hell out of me and said there was another account that had my pictures. He couldn’t send me pics through the app and so I gave him my fake phone number so he could send me a snapshot of the account. I was laughing so much but I was kinda annoyed he got my fake number. It wasn’t even my pictures; it was a totally different girl. I bugged him about his eyes needing to be corrected lol. Long story short, I am now dating this guy. I like him but at the same time, I’m wary coz of how sneaky he can get. Not really expecting much out of it, but he is a lot of fun to talk to. We’ll see what the new year brings. Happy New Year everyone!!

Quiet: The Power Of Introverts

After thinking about why I’m such a weirdo, look what I found while I was browsing in the bookstore: Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. For the longest time, ever since I’ve noticed that when I was younger, I was always so shy and quiet when it comes to socializing. I’m fine if you leave me with family and stuff, but the moment I know I have to deal with someone new.. I’m already comparing myself in my brain to how the other kids (my close cousins) react to those kinds of people. I was never quick to like someone enough or trust someone enough to be spontaneous around them. I alway measure, measure, measure. I’m gauging their actions, their words, and how other people react to them. I always thought of my younger self as an outsider; always observing, barely participating. It literally felt like I was watching life happen in front of me. I’m actually very thankful for that because I learned (and I’m still learning) a lot through watching and listening to others; it made me more conscious of good and bad decisions, of personal opinions and intentions. It was eye-opening to live that way and yet at the same time, it felt like there was an invisible barrier between me and the life around me. It felt like I was poring over every small detail and because of it, I was failing to actually live life the way everybody else around me were living.

Quiet by Susan Cain

Since I started reading Cain’s book, I realized that this is how I am and it’s ok to be like this. I am an introvert. It’s very liberating to finally be at ease with myself. I used to feel so bad for declining invitations to socials and parties and even just to hang out. I get stressed out even with just the thought of having to spend hours with random people that I don’t truly know and having to talk and talk and talk. And talk about what? ‘Oh, your nails are so nice. Where’d you get it done?’ I honestly find it hard to start conversations, because I don’t usually care about those things, and when finally (after 20 minutes lol) someone gets to a good topic, I can’t help but want to listen and absorb the useful information. To everybody else, I know I come out quiet, but to me, it’s just that if I don’t have anything useful to contribute, I’m not inclined to talk. You should see me try, though! I can pretend to be an extrovert to some extent! And at some level of comfortability (often with family and close friends), I am totally at ease with spending an outrageous amount of energy, and if the situation calls for it, I can try to emulate this version on myself towards other people. This is also good because let’s face it, our society favours the bold and the outgoing.

Just thinking about the extroverts around here is tiring me out, hahaha! I do try every now and then, and I’m slow to get myself worked-up for these things. If a friends asks me out of nowhere to hangout later that day; the first emotion I feel is dread because I was looking forward to a quiet night of reading, or just staying at home. LOL When I was younger and I didn’t know any better, I blamed my mom for letting me grow up so quiet; I had associated my quietness to her strictly authoritative disciplinarian style (“I rule, you follow… Or else!”) and I even started thinking I was anti-social or a hermit. But now after absorbing most of the book, I now know, the “buzz” for the extroverts are just not the same level required by the introverts. In the book, Cain shows that if extroverts need a party to get that happy feeling, then introverts need a long walk by the beach. The difference is that extroverts are into “jumping into” an activity and introverts are into “analyzing the activity.”

It’s really interesting when I see a friend of mine who is always ‘Go, go, go!’ kind of a person and they tell me that if they’re stuck at home (let’s say the car broke down) for a day, he/she would not know what to do with themselves. I have a lot of interests that keep me busy even though technically I’m only at home. For example, I write, I study languages, I read, and I draw, etc. That extroverted friend of mine thinks I just sit at home and lounge but that couldn’t be farther from the truth; I hate the feeling of being bored. When I’m not productive in anyway and not accomplishing anything, no matter how small, I get restless and I go find something to do. It’s just I find that I recharge my energy better when I don’t have to deal with so many people all at once.

What about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? =)

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! 😀

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!