Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s 2018 started out the right way. If it started out terribly, just know that it’ll probably go uphill from there…and that it’s just another day.

I was at Hong Kong for a couple of days for vacation and countdown, and I had a really great time there (with good food, way too much alcohol, and fantastic company). I’ve finally had a chance to slow down my pace and not do anything specific for a couple of days (other than some of the things I’ve planned loosely), which is something I’ve really wanted to do for a while. Sometimes it’s really nice to not follow a set schedule or have a specific goal in mind for a couple of days and be more spontaneous. I’ve decided to dedicate my future end of the years for trips like these. Whims are good under moderation, and it has the potential to bring unexpected outcomes.

Speaking about spontaneity and boldness…I remember making a pact with one of my friends a few weeks ago. It sounds kind of silly, but it was to exercise our courage and we should do that by finding a stranger to kiss during New Years. It should also be easier, because of liquid courage, right? Apparently not for me, because I still have a lot of self control and regulation after drinking, but I think these traits came a couple of years after I’ve started drinking though. I haven’t really celebrated New Years before, other than once when I was emotionally coerced into it. I fell asleep on the couch during my previous celebrations and then I watched the fireworks replay after the countdown (you might think it’s lame, but I have a really comfortable blanket and I’m not ashamed).

Last night was fun. I was at Aqua, a rooftop restaurant at Tsim Sha Tsui (the food was actually pretty decent, but a bit too heavy for my taste) with amazing views. The fireworks were beautiful and breathtaking, and there was an overall vibrant atmosphere. I was with people I like, too. It’s a little bit funny though, because if you think about it objectively, the significance of every single holiday is made up by humans. New Years Eve is simply another ubiquitous day. The only difference is that it’s the last in line before we refresh once again, change our calendars, and then spend a few weeks correcting our 2017s to 2018s on our dates. I’ve had probably more than a few drinks and then suddenly had the pact in mind during the fireworks.

I think I’ve always knew that I wasn’t going to go through with something that’s like our pact. Sure, it’s whimsical and romantic and something that seems like only happens in a movie, but at the same time, I felt really conflicted since I usually don’t break promises, (even the ones that seem extremely insignificant and small) and I got a bit more annoyed than I’d like to admit at myself. I also think that engaging in such meaningless interaction only exacerbates the emptiness and loneliness I would feel later on. It’s similar to a hangover. Maybe chasing drinks felt like the right thing to do then. It’s exhilarating at the moment, then the regret comes crashing in the next day when I’m dying in bed and incapable of doing anything for the entire day. I couldn’t own up, because I actually did and do not have the courage to go through actions like these and I knew that beforehand already (for the curious – my friend did go through with it, and I’m proud of her, because she told me how empowered, carefree, and happy she felt during that moment. I think that’s the epitome of carpe diem).

For those who know me, I’m actually not a really physical person. There’s always this hesitation in my mind when it comes to physically touching someone (even when it’s with people I know really well). I’m pretty awkward when it comes to anything more than a handshake. I freeze up a little, and then panic and try to think about how to proceed. Sometimes when I see people I’m a bit unsure of (we’re friendly, but we’re also connected business-wise), I’m always confused as to what the appropriate action is. I’ve even asked if I should hug a business customer / acquaintance / friend (?) once. I am super physical when it comes to animals though, especially dogs. I will actively go out of my way to ask dog owners if I can pet their puppies (no matter how old dogs are, they will always be puppies).

This is partially because of my boundaries / past experiences (jealousy issues, I’ll write about the green eyed monster another day and how toxic that is), and partially because it’s quite intimate for me. I need to feel at least somewhat comfortable with a person in order to touch him / her. The more comfortable I am with someone, the more capable I am to engage in physical touch with that person. I know in Western cultures, some people give cheek kisses and hugs like they’re distributing candies to children on Halloween, and when I encounter people like these, I do go through with their customs as a way of respect. This doesn’t mean it’s not weird for me though.

I’m not going to lie though, when I was younger (read: when I was a freshmen in college, just turned 18…yes, that age), I had the audacity to really seize the moment and just carelessly full blown make out with a stranger. Special shoutout to tequila and vodka shots for providing spirit-googles for me during said moment. In hindsight, it’s quite idiotic, because I cross checked just now and apparently it is possible to get herpes from kissing if said person has a cut or a sore. I should tell her…

I think it’s admirable for her to go with the flow and the moment. It’s kind of nice to be carefree and focus on the present for a change, isn’t it? It’s not that I don’t concentrate on the present, the now, but there are just certain actions that I’m unable to execute without thinking too much, and our pact was one of them. And you know what? Even though I’m still slightly annoyed with myself for not following through (against personal boundaries), because I want to be a trustworthy person who can keep up with her promises, I think I’m okay with not being spontaneous in this aspect. I know my friend doesn’t mind. I’ll leave my whims for something else – for the crazy last minute trips, for the new experiences, for reliving old experiences differently, for saying things I’m too scared to say to others, for saying yes to the unknown things that my initial reaction says no to…but most importantly, for the ups and downs and the knowns and unknowns of 2018. I’ll enjoy the ride with the people I adore, and potentially share the ride with some more wholesome human beings that I have yet to meet (I have to be at least a bit optimistic, it is the 1st of January after all).

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” – Marcus Aurelius.

Happy 2018, everyone.



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