Blog #11

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My brain scrunches up in angst and slides down to the end of my nose. And all that I can do to calm it is by remembering that the year is still young. Very young, indeed.

Not sure when I became the too careful type.  I remember diving forward without hesitation. There was no fear to flop, just pure innocence. As I’ve reflected the past career aspirations, I’ve concluded to stop pining for what was hoped for.  Instead, it’s okay to become who I’d like to be now.

But alas, I’m stuck again.

I see all the big opportunities out there that would require big leaps. But at the moment, I don’t think I’m cut out for the giant ones just yet. I definitely approached a few last year, but something inside me wants to jump but within limits. There are all these connections that I want to hold onto. And, it seems beyond me to jump off without knowing why.

The thing about wanting change, even small ones, doesn’t it require to give up something? And this is where I become wishy washy. I want change, but I currently feel at home with my current lifestyle. It has some steadiness and consistency to it, while leaving room for spontaneity. The problem, even if change were to come, a part of me secretly hopes things aren’t too different. And I know I can’t have both, change and sameness.

On the days when the world looks too big to handle, maybe that’s when I should consider poking at the opportunities that are intimidating. Someone is bound to have kicks and giggles during those times, and I hope it’s me.

If anything, I should try to be more curious about life’s opportunities. Maybe I could pretend life is one big drive, waiting for me and my out-of-socket-brain to turn down a street just to see where it goes.

 

 

 

 

Sayonara, 2019!

 

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Admittedly…

Ever since the toad on my toilet incident, I can’t help but keep an eye out for more. I’m not scared of them, just wondering how likely it’d happen again.

But here’s to the end of another year. When I think about the highlights of the year, they actually sound like the cards picked up in a boardgame.

I won two tickets to see Les Misérables from a newspaper. I remember finding out last minute, how I begged my boss to let me go, how I scurried to grab the tickets before the office closed, and how a plan was constructed under two hours.

My car went to the shop, and they let me borrow the biggest truck on the lot for a week.

I reunited with some relatives, and later went on a cruise where I saw my sister getting married. Same year, I saw an old friend also getting hitched.

I went on a solo trip and humorously, yet awkwardly, ran into one of my music heroes on the streets. Coming home after that, I ran into a lull in life and found reasons to sneak off occasionally to catch a concert or show.

I started learning a new language. And I love it. It’s bringing out different sides of me.

I played the violin only once this year as a guest player. And no one guessed it had been three years since I had played a note.

I even clashed with the dating scene a little bit.

Lastly, I went through numerous kinds of rejections that have strengthened and made me ready to take on new ones.

Here’s to not just a new year, as every year starts new. But here’s to…

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Admittedly, I’m not sure!

 

 

Somedays, a head’s a heavy burden.

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I feel dusty.

Like the salt and pepper keys that have stayed quiet for sometime now.

In a black tomb like a fellow fiddle.

Other strings are where I last left them, secured on the sidelines.

 

Maybe I’m caked with doubt and insecurities.

I see the world around me changing, though I know

I’m still uncertain.

I see all the things I am and not.

But why should I care for this eternal wallow?

 

If there’s anything I can currently live for,

It’s every deep breath.

For that’s when I restart.

The battle to keep what I want continues.

I may be resting,

But I’m not done.

 

 

After living it out successfully, I end the day with a paper cut on my elbow from running into a wall calendar.

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It’s been one of those days where a soda, some chocolate covered peanuts, and a hot dog in a toasted poppy seed bun were for lunch, and a coffee and cake were a dinner’s appetizer. My metal water bottle was also threatened of being thrown away, as it was considered a potential weapon. Thankfully, no one lost their fingers. And fun fact: I somehow snuck off mid-morning for a mini adventure, and I didn’t come back until nine hours later. It was also a day where if I had tried taking pics, they wouldn’t have truly caught all the beauty that was witnessed. Some adventures really are meant to just enjoy, as if made only for the soul’s pleasure.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought I was back in NYC. Maybe it was how the streets were numbered like avenues. Or how my nose was intrigued by fried chicken in the midst of people and city odor. I also came across a construction site where the sidewalk tunneled under a metal bridge and the sound of hammers argued above. The map on my phone even malfunctioned, and I ended up needing to ditch it and use headsmarts.

I even found the same bakery chain as I had adored in NYC. Except, the store found today was at least ten times bigger than the shoe box sized venue from last month. It had the same foods and decoration style, but somehow the vibe felt tiring.

And for the first time in several years, I got so twisted lost on the way home from my little day venture. If I hadn’t taken a few wrong turns, I would’ve been home an hour earlier. And you know what? I think I also got bamboozled by my GPS. And that too hasn’t happened in several years. The route I was following took me in different loops and u-turns that I later learned weren’t necessary.

And guess what? I get back home late, and no one questions where I’ve been. There was all this hype on the way home of what I’d share, and if all would be excited to hear of the mini day trip.

I might sound like I’m complaining, but today really was a good day. I somehow experienced NYC and the old I-got-super-lost-on-the-way-home me in the same day. It was an unexpected, frustrating combination, but it worked out. I forgot what it was like to get messy lost and to laugh victoriously when I figured out how to come out of it.

❤ Goodnight!

 

 

My trip to NYC, and yesterday morning’s bathroom guest.

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Today, I look back at how different two weeks can be. As last Friday had me in the middle of vacation, this past Friday morning was welcomed with a blood-curdling scream. Sleepy eyes and seconds after lifting the toilet lid, I realized that the porcelain throne was already taken. The gray fuzzy blob was a TOAD! The good news: it was the only one seen yesterday, as I consciously became the toad patrol of all toilets that came my way.

Perhaps it was a needed scream. Reality was truly back, and I did a great job this week resuming my work life and pretending not to have vacation withdrawal syndrome.

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So, I’ve recently come back from New York City, and I had the best time possible. For a city whose soundscape is composed of frequent sirens, loud chatter, and other general street noise, I still found moments of peace and gained better self-perception. I learned that if I really want something, I’m willing to make it happen.

As I look back on all the iconic spots, statues, and buildings, I smile at the little details like sitting on a train and being surrounded by five languages talking all at once—none of which were English. I also ran into one of my music heroes on the streets, only to be kicking myself later that I didn’t say anything. I will forever remember how we both stopped, smiled, and nodded at each other.

There was also a bagpipe player on the subway. And at Central Park, there was a man on a bicycle singing karaoke, “Prince Ali, yes it is he, Prince Ababwaaa!” He even had his own mic, amp, and music track. Why isn’t biking karaoke-ing an actualy thing?

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A week later, and my calves have recovered from all the feet travel between the walks. From the two hour coffee shop hunt to the two hour Central Park hike, I victoriously attended a Carnegie Hall concert in a cleanly state the same night. It was miraculous to have squeezed in a shower beforehand, for the NYC winds had covered me in dirt and all kinds of smells beforehand, some which I unfortunately inhaled.

But all the dust in the nose didn’t stop me from having a blast. My soul still hums the goosebump-filled serenades from the Hall, and it’s still infatuated by all the sightseeing from those few days.

By the time I returned home, I was a bit shocked. The hushed traffic and the absence of all other sounds questioned my ears. I also noticed my quick impatience with the slowest drivers and walkers in the world. To start the day in a different state and to end it in another challenged how quickly I could adapt to diverse environments.

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This was the first big trip that I single-handedly planned from beginning to end. And it tested me in different areas like travel planning, decision making, and instinct. The personal wins included finishing all work in advance, arriving to destinations on time, and resolving issues when technology wasn’t working half the time.

I thank up above for helping me make it through all nine yards. To go to NYC not knowing a soul was an adventure in itself.

Most importantly, the whole trip was frog-free.

 

 

 

 

Timing is everything.

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It’s safe to say that when trialed, everything read on life, theories, and philosophies go out the window. It’s like in between trials, I think of how wiser and better I’ve become since the last ones. But as soon as the need for survival hits—WHO CARES WHAT SO AND SO SAYS ABOUT KEEPING AFLOAT?! THEY’RE NOT HERE RIGHT NOW! JUST GET PAST THIS HURDLE!!

Out of everything that happened this week, the first place trophy goes to a dead car battery.

As its inconvenience squashed my big after work plans of coffee breaks and naps, it later revealed to be the greatest interference.

Well, the nap most certainly happened, just not according to my forecast. As I heeded the inaccurate advice of the person who jumped my car, I waited [*snoozed*] for half-an-hour before taking off. I triumphed through all errands, not daring to turn it off until I reached the mechanics. When I saw the experts walking towards me and my car with a jump box, different life lessons flooded my head.

***I shouldn’t push things off till later.***

***I could’ve broken down in the middle of a highway.***

***The car needs vacuuming because I decided to eat in my car.***

I tried predicting something as simple as an afternoon, but life came in to kindly say, “No, no, dear. I’ve got the better idea. You’ll have to wait and see!”

And you know what? Life was right.

Because the following day, I received some crushing news that ended a long ordeal. Days of sleep were even lost over it. But when I started up the new battery, all I could think of was how the previous day’s misfortune became a life saver to another day’s misfortune.

So, as my car runs like a new person being given a new heart, I hope that I too will take charge with rejuvenation.

 

The phrase “Use your time wisely” has never sunk in until recently.

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I’ve been going through a phase of guilt.

The things I’ve liked doing, I’ve stopped.

I’ve stopped music.

I’ve stopped dancing.

I’ve just stopped everything.

Anything I’ve started in the last five years, I haven’t finished or continued with.

And I keep going through that cycle of starting and stopping. I start playing or moving, and I remember how good I was. And then the guilt of stopping kicks in. I think the source is knowing that I’d be better now, if I hadn’t stopped. Cause maybe secretly, having a life filled with the stuff I like sounds truly great. If not a job, just to be enveloped in it all the time.

I could tumble endlessly into the excuses of why I keep quitting. Yes, life happens. Yes, responsibilities increase. Yes, time moves on, waiting for nobody.

When I was in school, I remember running into adults who said phrases like, “I used to do…” or “I used to be great at…” And I remember thinking that that could never happen to me. And that I would do everything to avoid living that way.

But don’t get me wrong.

I haven’t stopped fighting for the things I want.

But you know what?

In order to fight, you have to know your cause.

And I think I’ve temporarily lost it.

The whole “I’m lost!” thing really sticks sometimes.