Priority: The (Post-Breakup) Bucket List

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After a break up with a long term partner, I wrote down some post-breakup resolution which includes every little thing I could do by myself to keep my mind busy. So that I wouldn’t go insane and spam him with thousands of texts that represent each of the feeling I was feeling after what I thought was a tragedy of my almost 30 year-old life.

The things that I have included in my “Bucket List” ranged from getting out of bed and trying to look decent to getting a driver license and applying for a PhD. And the followings are what I have accomplished so far – after a year-ish post trauma.

1. Travel

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Right after the break up, I had to go to Tokyo for a week for work. I brought my sister with me to keep me company during the whole week. And it really helped me getting over what had happened. I was busy getting excited at everything from food to street crossing at busy intersections, meeting people, mingling with old friends, exploring the new places. But when the trip was over and when I got home, I was depressed again. I knew then I needed to plan next trips. Hence followed Seoul, Osaka, Hanoi, Turkey, and Indonesia. Not to mention other small domestic trips.

2. Gardening

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I actually started gardening towards the end of the relationship. And it kept me calm when there was a lot on my mind or when I felt the urge to explode my ex’s whatsapp with all the emotional essay texts. Sitting at my balcony, watering the plants, looking up the night sky and enjoying the quietness kept me sane and helped me stay focused. Watching the plants grow and the flowers bloom, if they manage to survive without water when I had to leave on (sometimes as long as a month) long trips, was a reward.

3. Check out full moon party

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It’s so cliche. And it’s probably too crazy for my taste. But I was still tempted to check it out just to find out what the fuzz was all about. And yes it was really cliche and insane. There were so many hot topless young male tourists that were probably good for the weekend, but at some point, they all looked the same to me and my eyes had become tolerate to their six packs and hotness that towards the end of the night, they didn’t seem so hot anymore. But it was still good — the music, the beach, random hugs and kisses on the cheeks, and the booze buckets. The best part was that I went with a group of really good friends and that we all had fun watching young funny drunken tourists and thought ‘When did we become so old?’

4. Join a fun run

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I hated exercising. I hated being sweaty and exhausted. But somehow I have always fantasized having accomplished a marathon. Having no running experience, except for running after a bus here in Thailand, I took a first step at a 5K Color Run where two of my single girl friends joined. It was actually not bad. It was actually fun with the color powder and EDM music in a park on a Sunday. A little bit later I signed up for a Hello Kitty fun run. OK, well yeah, I only joined all these fun run because there was actually something “FUN” about it. A serious run without any fun wouldn’t really actually attract me. Anyway, these runs made me feel accomplished. Like I had overcome something I thought I could never in my life.

5. Climb mountains and sleep in a tent

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I love the nature. But scroll back up to NO. 4, I hated being sweaty and exhausted. But again, I always dreamed about sleeping in a tent in a forest on a mountain. Not that I’ve never slept in a tent before. We were forced to do it for girls scout back in high school. But that was a set up and we were sleeping in a tent at either our school or a temple. There was no real adventure. So I joined a group of hiker friends up to remote mountains in the northern part of Thailand where there was no toilet nor electricity at night. It was quite an experience. And I survived (highlight: without a shower, electricity, and toilet). When I came back, we planed another trip to climb Kawah Ijen in Surabaya, Indonesia.

6. Buy a camera

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Ever since the first camera phone was introduced to the world, I had never owned a proper camera. But I’ve been traveling to many amazing places and I have regretted not having a good quality camera to capture all of these photogenic scenes. Hence I decided it was time to get one and that I eat only ramen noodles for 6 months.

7. Get a driver license and actually drive

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This was actually on my bucket list for so long now. But I just had so many excuses and obligations that I had not been able to achieve it. Now that I think about it, being in the previous relationship had something to do with it too as I was spending most weekends working extra jobs, I had no time to take driving seriously. So as soon as I became single again, this was one of my priorities. And I have just got my license a few months ago and have been driving for a couple of months now. A little too late given a year period but at least I got to cross it off the list. Special thanks to those who have always encouraged me I can drive (safely! FYI, I haven’t crashed anything yet. Just a few scratches at the office’s parking lot’s wall)

8. Take IELTS test and apply for a PhD

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This is the biggest accomplishment after the break up. With the constant need to keep my mind occupied at something, it was difficult to stay at the same old apartment, eating at the same old restaurants, and doing all the same old routines I was doing when I  was in a relationship. I needed to not feel stuck at one place. I needed another adventure. I needed a break from all of this everyday routine here in the remote far far away land I’ve been living at for the past 4 years. So I decided to pay an unreasonably expensive fee to take this IELTS test and applied for a PhD. Rejections after rejections, I have officially landed an offer at one of the best universities in Australia. The only thing that keeps me from going now is the funding support. Hopefully, I will get that sorted before the end of the year.

Besides all of these things I have crossed off the list, I also got to spend more time with family and friends. I have reconnected with old friends whom I  haven’t been seeing so often despite us living so close to each other. I have put more effort to make more time for my family and go on road trips with them. It is rewarding seeing how happy they are when they express their affection toward each other by yelling when we decide where to go for lunch.

Looking back, I was kind of glad that what I thought was a solid relationship was over. In fact, I have become happier (after buckets of tears and ice-cream and many night outs and randoms with BFFs). I have accomplished so many things I have always wanted to do but had never prioritized them. The thing is, I’m one of those people who put others’ need before mine. So when I date someone, he would automatically become my first priority. And I would set anything aside to accommodate him and that relationship. I would reschedule my plan to fit his, try to spend as much time as possible with him even if I need to ditch my friends or family. I would not spoil myself with a new outfit or a spa session just so I would save up for a flight ticket to see him even for a short period of time. I would even take up extra job and slave myself on the weekends so I have that extra cash to do so.

I was happy to have gotten back to making my needs my priority. But old habits die hard. As soon as  I (think I) start to fall for someone again, I go back to the same circle. And I have become this person that irritates me, the person I wouldn’t find attractive either. So from now on, I’m gonna try to stay focused and keep crossing off those things on MY bucket list. And seriously, being in a new relationship is nowhere on it now.

You know you have a crush on someone when…

13147790_10153532154547036_1065589137042198182_oYou feel this bitter sweet combination of happiness and sadness. It’s like your heart was going to explode just thinking about that person. You remember all the details and (over) analyze every word he says and every little action of his.You re-read those cute texts from him over and over again. And every little thing reminds you of him. It makes you jump and spin around and smile like a crazy person.
But then there is this small fear, this little voice inside of your head, telling you to quit. Because there is a chance you might get hurt again. So you’re like stuck in this roller coaster of emotion.
But that’s the point of falling for someone. You actually like that excitement. All the ups and downs. You might be surprised and probably too afraid to admit that you actually enjoy the ride. And it might be too late to get off it now…

Happy 1 year anniversary to my single life

C360_2016-03-04-21-04-21-579.jpgYes I’ve been single for a year today. And it seemed hard at the time to get through whatever. It was brutal. I was broken into pieces. And at first I thought I would not going to recover. But then I did. And today I’m standing tall and strong and happy. There were times I stopped believing in true love. Like, I mean, I thought I’ve met my one true love. But then he left me bleeding there and he couldn’t care less. But with the help from my loved ones, I was able to get back up on my feet again. And I had dedicated the past year to recover, to be with myself, to start believing in true love again. So if you’re reading this, THANK YOU! for being honest with yourself and for letting me go. I’ve grown a lot because of you.

If it wasn’t because of you, I wouldn’t have the courage to do what I thought I’d do. Like going trekking, sleeping in a tent up in a mountain where there was no electricity nor toilette.

If it wasn’t because of you, I wouldn’t have that motivation to grow in my career. I wouldn’t have let myself take the risk and start doing something new with my career. I wouldn’t have drown myself with all those loads of work just so I can keep my mind occupied and not going crazy. I wouldn’t have taken the opportunity that came by.

If it wasn’t because of you, I wouldn’t have let myself travel the world, explore, and meet other interesting people, whom at some point I thought I’d fall in love with. Yes they did make me believe I could fall in love again. Even if it was just for a short period of time, but it really did restore my faith in true love again.

If it wasn’t because of you, I wouldn’t know who my true friends are and who really love me. I’ve relied on so many people during the past year for emotional support and I couldn’t thank them enough for being there for me in those hard times. You have made me realize the importance of friendship and family.

If it wasn’t because of you, I wouldn’t have realized there is more to life than just trying to make a guy who doesn’t care about me happy. I wouldn’t have realized how much myself is worth. And that there are a lot of people out there who are willing to show that to me.

No matter where you are and what you are doing, I’d like to let you know that I really appreciate you being honest and having the courage to let me go. I’m more than fine now, even without you in my life.

 

Midlife Crisis

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I haven’t been able to get myself out of bed in the morning feeling motivated for the past year. My focus has been clouded by some things I can’t even tell what they are. I’ve been struggling, trying to define my goal and the purpose of life. I constantly feel the need of changes, the need to get myself out of my routine – my comfort zone, the need to get out there and explore in order to find something I’m passionate about. I’m craving something new. I look at other people around me and I envy them for having figured out what they want to do with their life. Some are paving their way up the career path ladders. Some are building up a family. I feel like I haven’t been doing any of those. And somehow I feel left out.

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The new Friday

20150828_213305It is finally Friday! And we are all hyped about it because it’s the last work day of the week (bummer if you have to work on the weekends) and the city is not going to sleep until it has to (or does it ever have to sleep at all?!)

It is hard to concentrate at work when it is Friday (the only reason I go to work on Friday is because of the Friday Guru magazine’s horoscope haha). You’re checking to see if anyone of your friends is planning a party or if there are any hip events in town. I’ve never been so excited about Friday until the past few years. It was a strict tradition that we MUST go out on Friday. Or else you feel like you’ve missed out – looking at your facebook and IG news feed while watching drama (actually more like the fun talk show hosted by our beloved PM uncle Prayut) on TV at home.

Going out on Friday has been a must for me until recently. I’ve realized Friday is not the best day to go out (for me) anymore for the following main reasons.

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