Past & Present / Gratitude & Lessons Learned.


Le Suicide

Edouard Manet, 1887.

A little more than a year ago, to be more specific, last October – I thought I was headed towards a “right” direction. I was somewhat more proactive in my social life by meeting new people who were closer in physical proximity to me and being more engaged in a sense.

I believed that I was hitting a higher, more positive note in my life.

Ha, the joke is on me when I think back.

Looking back, and I’m well aware that hindsight is 20/20, I’ve went through averages, downs, and ups. There were smiles, tears, disbelief, and laughter within the sequence of events.

As hard as it may be (and as much pain and suffering I was going through back then, although I suspect a huge chunk of that being personal angst and from my head) – I’m learning to be grateful for those experiences. Sure, those people and events didn’t make me feel good at the moment. In certain occasions, there were a lot of self doubt and hurt that led to being lost. In fact, maybe I still am lost in a sense.

In the midst of all this, I’d like to list out a few differences between me: a year ago and present day…just to see how far I’ve come along (even though it might not be too much):

  • I’ve stopped giving too much fucks about having friends who are far away. 
    • An underlying issue I’ve had ever since moving back is that all of my closer friends are not from Taiwan and / or not living here. I’ve always felt a drowning sense of solitude here, and I tried to actively befriend people approximately this time last year. That didn’t work out well for various reasons, but I’ve learned that it’s better to learn that some people are just not meant to be present anymore, and that is a present in itself. (See what I did there?)
  • Even less social media (yes, including Instagram).
    • Ever since cutting out and deactivating Facebook for a period of time in the past, my social media use severely declined already – and this year I’ve posted even less. I probably update this blog more than anything. I understand that social media is a great way to connect, but it’s really more or less just perception. No one wants to show off their negative sides, because #FOMO (fear of missing out) is a huge thing. My #FOMO game is extremely low. I don’t care about missing out on what others are doing, as long as I’m content with what I’m dealing with.
  • Thinking logically and with more empathy (or both, in certain cases), which drives to action at times.
    • I love jumping to worse case scenarios, and one of my best friends whom I record voice messages with can confirm that. She has more or less the same character as I do, too, so I know she understands and relates. In essence, instead of allowing my mind to plague and paralyze me, I started to breathe more and think about situations in a more realistic light. What happens a majority of the time is that my assumptions tend to be correct, and on occasion – I’ve already forced myself into action to better prep.
  • Being present.
    • Instead of complaining, I’m getting good at finding opportunities for me to spend time with people I adore. When that happens, I tend to avoid phone usage to really be present and engaged with them.
  • Communicating – whether it’s being upfront and standing up for myself or confiding in friends & family.
    • This is a big one. I’ve always been so fearful of calling people out for their negative behaviors, because I didn’t want to be disliked. However, those who care about you will not fucking hurt you intentionally, so those people who are purposefully (yes, we all know what we are doing) affecting you in a negative way know how they are behaving. Fuck that, and leave gracefully.
      • I’ve decided to bold that part, because it was a huge internal and external issue / battle that I had to deal with for a good part of last year. It still gets to me, but I’m learning.
    • I’ve also started to express and confide in friends and loved ones more in a comfortable way. They will never use my bouts of weaknesses and insecurities against me, and they have proven that over and over again through time. I’m grateful to have them in my life, and honestly, they are all I need.

Obviously though, there are a few habits that I really need to reignite, such as working out in a more frequent manner as well as reading and writing. I have been eating healthily though, and I’m improving in balancing a work & personal life, which I’m pretty proud of. Baby steps.

Yesterday (well, still “today” for some parts of the world) was Thanksgiving, and even though it isn’t a holiday that I celebrate personally…other than buying turkey and pumpkin pie, it’s a great reminder to stay grateful for the ups and downs that make me who I am today.

Happy Thanksgiving.

PS: For those who are curious (ha, who am I kidding? No one reads this blog but me), this is what I got for Thanksgiving last weekend…

I got the turkey from Grand Hi-Lai Hotel in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (pretty decent – and there is stuffing inside the turkey), as well as the bread from its bakery – absolutely delicious, and for the last but not least, pumpkin pie, I bought that from a small pastry owner who bakes according to order and her desserts are amazing.

I paired the turkey with prosecco and had an intense food coma afterwards.

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