Did your idea of love change as you got older?

Butterflies and goosebumps are fairytales. None of it lasts and so doesn’t love. At the end of the day we’re just living our lives with a roommate whom we trust and maybe decide to commit to a marriage license with as a tax deductible.

Except that latter part isn’t even something to consider in this day and age. Tax benefits for married couple doesn’t actually ‘benefit’ unless you one of you is making significantly less than the other. If you’re both at an equivalent base salary, the tough truth is you’ll end up in the same bracket as if you filed individually. How do I know this? Simple trip to my friendly trusted neighborhood CPA. She filed both my taxes and my partner’s. By the end of the 2 hour session we booked her for, I wanted to float the idea of possibly getting hitched with my partner in the next 5 years. With over 30 min left of the time we paid her for, she pranced her fingers around the calculator, played with numbers on a blank white sheet, and discovered we’d be paying more if we filed jointly. HILARIOUS.

So, back to the original subject, did your idea of love change as you grew older?

I’ve been really lucky to have felt the phase ‘in love’ longer than most during their puppy love stage. Somewhere between the transition of year 1 to year 2, my partner and I slowly but comfortably became more individuals but as a unit. I remember being glued as a siamese twin the first year. That part doesn’t last and I think we all know that. For us, it went on for almost a year and half before we fell back into our separate entities.

It is still love though. Not the same roller coaster highs and lows, but a safer sanctuary where you learn the perfect curvature of how they sleep and where you fit right in. I do miss the rampant need to cling onto my partner as a koala does on a eucalyptus tree during the early phase but its nice to fall back into a groove where I can work on my own craft and know sitting barely 12 feet away is someone who loves me doodling on his iPad and sipping his tea.

With COVID-19, A New Wave of Racism

Date: July 22, 2010

Mr. Martinez, University of California Riverside Professor in Sociology 

He had said during one our very last lecture in class, “We are not all different races; we all belong to the human race.” The quote really touched me. I had never thought of it like that. With the lack of the right education from our childhood, we’re not taught that we’re all the same. We learn in history about World Wars and Civil Wars separating peoples and confining them to their races, but nothing teaches us about the takeaway. What was it all for? Every little fire started from xenophobia. Why haven’t we been properly educated to understand that despite the wars that have created racism, we are all part of the human race and if you truly trace back our roots, we’re just all from the same place

Date: March 26, 2020

A decade later, a world pandemic spreads from Wuhan, China where the Coronavirus outbreak started and it seems a new wave of  racism towards Asians have emerged. With research concluding that this was a result of natural evolution, it seems the rest of the world is looking to blame the Chinese, further exacerbated by Trump calling it the ‘Chinese Virus.’ Unfortunately, it resulted in not just scapegoating the Chinese, but other Asians alike: Japanese, Vietnamese, Koreans etc…

As the coronavirus upends American life, Chinese-Americans face a double threat. Not only are they grappling like everyone else with how to avoid the virus itself, they are also contending with growing racism in the form of verbal and physical attacks. Other Asian-Americans — with families from Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and other places — are facing threats, too, lumped together with Chinese-Americans by a bigotry that does not know the difference.

In interviews over the past week, nearly two dozen Asian-Americans across the country said they were afraid — to go grocery shopping, to travel alone on subways or buses, to let their children go outside. Many described being yelled at in public — a sudden spasm of hate that is reminiscent of the kind faced by American Muslims, Arabs and South Asians in the United States after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But unlike in 2001, when President George W. Bush urged tolerance of American Muslims, this time President Trump is using language that Asian-Americans say is inciting racist attacks.

-NY Times

I woke up to this article and immediately started messaging my family, reminding them to not travel alone anywhere during this time. Reminding friends to tell their beloved to brace themselves for this new hate wave. I’ve noticed when I go out once every few days to pick up groceries, there’s a larger gap between myself and others waiting in line than other queues without anyone of Asian descent. I’m actually thankful nothing worse has happened to me or anyone else i know.

I’m realizing how very real and terrifying this disease has taken form from something that gives us daily hypochondria to fear that we can’t even walk outside alone or in the dark. It’s scared everyone else away from Asians even in the time when we all need to move away from racism and fight this disease for all human kind.

It seems we’ve forgotten:

that all men are created equal.

I’m deeply terrified for the younger kids who have to go back to school and face bullying. I’m painfully afraid of my parents who are much older now to defend themselves when they decide to take a stroll outside.
I’m disappointed that despite all the fake news we’re aware exists in the interwebs, there’s a stain and fingers pointed because it’s easier to have someone to blame than accept something else. Something the media hasn’t been broadcasting. Something media should educate people on but don’t.

The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that emerged in the city of Wuhan, China, last year and has since caused a large scale COVID-19 epidemic and spread to more than 70 other countries is the product of natural evolution, according to findings published today in the journal Nature Medicine.

-Science Daily

Fast Love

I thought it was okay for us to act so juvenile.
I thought it’s what people starting out in relationships do.

Puppy love starts out great and giddy.
First and second dates turn from bashful to exciting.
Casual dating grows quickly to mutually exclusive.

If we were both chasing love and happiness,
then the goals were clear.
No matter how many differences, we’d get there somehow.
Because the sex was animal.
The lust was ravenous.

But alas, like oil and water. You can mix and mix and mix.
Go as fast at it and as hard at it you want in the beginning,
In a matter of a short while though, the two always separate.

Because fast love isn’t real.
They’re out as quickly as they came in.
Leaving you still pulling up a bra strap, when they’ve already called a cab.

 

What we’re like to be in pain

It is so easy to feel bad for yourself
To wallow in self pity about everything that is wrong in your life and blame external factors for it

To feel as though an injustice was placed on you,
and you yourself is singled out to be worse off than everyone else.

It is so easy isn’t it ?
To listen to sad music and relate to the heartbreaking vocals
To sit outside watching rainfall while you light one up
To ponder at the same sky we all do and ask, “why me?”

When we’re at our worst, nothing feels better but hurting ourselves further
Testing our pain threshold more
Gauge how much more we can take.
Marinate in pain and sorrow.
Feeling sorry for ourselves.

It’s so wrong but feels so right to hurt

If I’m already in pain, what’s a little more ?

We’re all at fault, stop blaming others

Humans drew arbitrary lines dividing ourselves from our brothers and sisters.

Humans created a cancer pillaging Mother Nature by bulldozing down her gifts.

Humans made the poor shrivel while the rich bloat.

History then repeats though we foolishly instruct ourselves to learn from our grandfather’s mistakes.

We created the mess with our global climate crisis, then turn the other cheek hoping someone else will fix it.

We blame the government for not sharing, caring, and educating us properly. The same government we elected.

We choose selfishness instead of global community, then accuse everyone else for the atrocity happening around the world.

We forget every small change helps, it just needs to start with each of us. 

Even if it’s changing once a week to switch to a vegetarian diet so to give our environment a relief.

Even if it’s remembering to conserve energy whenever we can. (Guess what, you’ll save on electricity bill too!)

Even if it’s helping a stranger when you remember, so to pay it forward and spread kindness.

We are one small speck in this universe but we can spread wellness and make it better.

 

Read More. Believe More – Here’s my 2019 list of greats I will read.

Is it so terribly wrong that I’m already starting my reading list for 2019 when I’m still behind on finishing the last two for this year?

I got so excited with the list I have that I’ve just been researching, researching until I fell into this rabbit hole of anecdotal discovery.

  1. The Lessons of History 
    • What are the possibilities of humanity? Where did it start and where does the potential go? Questions I believe we should all ponder as we look to past generations and hope for new.
  2. The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur
    • I received this for Christmas and finished it before the clock struck twelve on the 26th. It’s a great follow up novel to Milk & Honey. If you love soft poetry colored with beautiful personification, grab it off the shelf and read it to your beloved.
  3. Laws of Human Nature
    • Robert Greene’s latest that I aim to finish right ater art of seduction
  4. The Art of Seduction
    • a classic Robert Greene providing historical figure’s tools and devices in realizing charm
  5. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
    • If you haven’t heard about this book, you haven’t been in the literary world recently. Praised by Captain America himself, Chris Evans shared that we must all understand our roots and how it lead our people (all people) to where we are today. I haven’t finished this just yet but I do want to share, this is what our grade school teachers should have taught in history class.
  6. The Decaying Pillars by Steve Ruygrok
    • I know a published author! Proud to be a coworker of his, Steve Ruygrok dropped of this book for me to read before beta reading his next novel.
  7. Herstory: 50 Women and Girls who shook up the world
    • Women lead. Women breathe life. Women are just as important as the men we remember from history. So why aren’t they on a pedestal as much as the great men? Let’s honor the women who long ago have broken the glass ceiling before Sheryl Sandberg.
  8. East of Eden
    • This is a hefty read but who doesn’t love a John Steinbeck classic?
  9. #GirlBoss
    • Sophia Amoruso is a special kind of person. She breaks all the rules and rebels with every bone in her body. I idolize her intrinsic nature to lead, mix personal style with passion and drive to help other women strive for what they deem as success.
  10. The Golden Compass
    • This is a must purely because I received the collection (#11, #12 below as well) as a christmas gift more than 2 years ago now.
  11. The Subtle Knife
  12. The Amber SpyGlass
  13. An absent mind
    • alzheimer’s touches me deeply with it taken my grandfather not long ago. This story follows a man’s struggle with the disease and the effect to his family in the final days.
  14. Getting to Know Gen Z .pdf
    • I feel old when Gen Z is the major topic of discussion and no longer the “entitled” millennials. I will say after finishing this PDF earlier this month, it made me realize the affects my parents had in raising me with a “can do” attitude and how it lead my generation to come off as “entitled.” Gen Z is the safer generation learning from the failures of mine and reaching further than my cohorts did in fighting for their beliefs. Not just racial, gender, and sexual orientation equality but also a long winded battle for environmental conservation, social imprint in bringing people together and much more. They have a louder voice than we did and it makes me so happy, we’re all leaning in and learning from generations younger than ourselves.
  15. The Autobiography of Malcom X
    • this was a recommendation and I honestly haven’t researched much.
  16. Michelle Obama’s Becoming
    • Top seller towards end of 2018, Michelle Obama is a powerhouse but continues to spread kindness.
  17. The Power by Naomi Alderman
    • What would happen if young women had superpowers balancing the status quo between genders? Will there be a shift in the superior gender juxtaposed to what it is now IRL? I’m curious to read
  18. On Writing by Stephen King
  19. Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive

  20. The Day the World Came to Town
    • Come from Away, the Tony award winning musical guided me to understanding what I could not comprehend at age 11 when 9/11 had happened. I was 4 years into arriving on American soil, still picking up the English language when my 6th grade teacher made us all stand staring at the TV showing the planes flying into the Twin Towers. The Day the World Came to Town is a tribute to the kindness in others when the US needed it the most. Newfies (the locals in Newfoundland) took in the stranded for 5 days and showed a kindness I never thought could exist. We all think of how crude this world can be, but here was a pocket of land where people only shared kindness. It’s right there, above where we live and we just need to adopt that same philosophy. Help those in need, spread love and kindness, and give hope where we can. We’re all brothers and sisters to the land Mother Nature gave us, so why do draw lines on a map dividing each other?
  21. Crazy Rich Asians
    • For the light hearted who want nothing but hilarity and couture mixed with of course much needed old school Chinese tradition.

Sometime during age 27 I stopped feeling invincible

In the past year, I entered my “late twenties” and I felt this shift in my mentality.
During my late teenage years, I was still holding onto something that made me feel like superwoman similar to Clark Kent. Invincible to illness, superhuman powers that kept me from dying normal human deaths and so on…

“I can do anything”- Is this the dubbed millennial disease our baby boomer parents unintentionally conditioned my cohorts into believing? We’re raised to believe we had the power to achieve anything we set our mind to. We could enjoy life, eat that gold leafed cake, and realize ultimate work life balance.

And so from that conditioned philosophy of invincibility, I thought death was a foreign intangible far-off land until the past year it hit me like an anvil slamming from overhead.

The shift was slow but insidious. I  noticed not “saving” expensive things anymore so not to exhaust its use. For example, not always bringing out the expensive Louie I had in a cloth bag, not always wearing that Cartier my dad bought as a last gift to his baby girl before she entered true adulthood, and not spending money on things I wanted because those meaningless digits in my bank account needed to be there to remind me of my hard work and where it needs to be invested for a decent future.

Another small and almost forgettable thing I did this morning was use this nail polish I loved but hardly let breath. It has this beautiful iridescent shimmer I vowed to only use on “special occasions.” But what stemmed this fear of having to “save” things so not to use them up? Why was I saving them as though I believed like time, I’ll be around forever?

The sad part is, this past year, I unconsciously made moves as though I wouldn’t. The Louie has seen more action than it did all the previous years combined. The shimmering nail polish that sat in a basket has been brushed over and over on my nail beds.

Somehow in my subconscious, I started to treat myself better. Stopped saving for that rainy day because I’m not invincible and some unfortunate event could cause me to not see this rainy day. I worked hard for the “fun coupons” to purchase these commodities. The best way to treat myself is to use it. I’m not invincible and certainly don’t feel it anymore. The magic dust all feathered away and I need to feel better about living everything to its fullest. That means finishing the bottle of nail polish, bringing Louie to casual events, and wearing my Cartier proud.

My 5 Year Plan

So imagine grabbing a latte with an old acquaintance. Almost always, this is how the conversation starts out:

What have you been up to?

How is your relationship going?

How’s work?

These common 3 “small-talk” ice breakers are everything I dread about going out to see a friend I haven’t connected with in a few months.

The next question I absolutely resent people for even bringing up is, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

The younger me (okay so last year) would have mouthed off something to my interrogator and stood up on a soap box preaching the futility behind this inquiry. Partially for the below reasons:

  1. There’s science behind those who talk too much about their goals and never achieving it. So it’s better to keep tightlipped until the deed has been done. What’s the awesome term for this? Oh yes, hubris.
  2. Most people use this to evaluate what my priorities are. If I’m on a date for example, and I say I’d like to become director in the next 5 years, the other person would assume I’m too career focused. If I say, marriage, they probably would have bolted for their car on our first date.
  3. A real goal feels too intimate to share with anyone. I rather not have my secret hopes and dreams passed on, then having them tell their cohorts, thus creating our entire social circle focusing on my foreseeable future at tea time.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

So here’s my 5 year plan. The goals I hope to achieve that aren’t wasted on defining who I am by who I will be bound to, or what desk I’ll be chained to, or which professional title to brand me for the new few years. My goals in life transcend beyond the mundane.

Year 1: Fill my brain with beautiful stories – as many books as I can possibly read

Year 2: Master flexibility outside the physical entity of my being

Year 3: Understand the value of success is more than the digits in my bank account

Year 4: Observe and indulge in other cultures. Distance away from the routine provides fresh perspective

Year 5: Persevere through all things that pass through my way and continue spreading positivity

This is what I want to discover in the next 5 years. Career or love life… they’re just small percentages of our daily life and yet we attribute way too much in both. There’s more to our existence than how we make our fun coupons and who we choose to spend it with.