Life Lately: Rambles and shambles

 

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Think Like A Man

FAMILY

Lately, I’ve been learning that there is no substitute for family time – you have to plan it in order to have it.

The shape of stories

The shape of stories

I’ve rescheduled a lunch with my mom from last weekend to today, but I still haven’t got the chance to have that intimate dinner date with my dad when I suddenly got a really bad cold.

I see no point in saying out loud what I plan to do here, but what’s for sure is more time spent on relationships I value.

Until I really have done something, nothing is for sure. When it’s done, it’s then that I’m affirmed I’ve made or accomplished something. Until that happens, I feel it useless announcing anything that still rests as a figment of my current ebbing and flowing imagination.

Might as well having written none of the previous paragraphs.

I think that the writing process, which for me includes pre-writing, drafting, writing, revising, and a final revising, is like the CPU of all the new apps you downloaded into your reality, your life. Because this blog post is meant to be a stream-of-consciousness writing exercise, my brain is not primarily using logic to operate at the moment.

I know I’m just ruminating here. It’s just that today falls as a quadri-weekly Life Lately update on my calendar, which I’m thinking to discontinue immediately since you readers get nothing out of my roundabout rumination.

Gosh, I’m such a loser.

I can’t friggin’ think like a man because I know I have a flagging vajajay.

 

Act Like A Lady

LOVE

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Two years together and some more.

But sometimes, I really wish I can just disappear from the surface of the universe.

Sometimes, when I’m driving sleepy, I thought, if I get fatally hit by a car or a motor, will it still be my fault that I die? Because everything seems like I’m the one to blame. I blame myself for every friggin’ thing. It bugs me a lot that I can’t do something to change things.

When I told him that, he said, “You didn’t think of me? How do think I would feel if you’re not around?”

I’ve always assumed everyone would do fine, if not better, without me anyway. Does the existence of my physical self, through inhaling and exhaling, have to always provide value? What if sometimes I’m really a blank space? Or worse, a whole lotta mess?

If I have to choose to possess any one superpower ability, I’d choose the power to be invisible.

The only thing a woman can do while she’s alive on earth is to be the visionary, not a vision.

A woman may be subconsciously perceived as an object of male desire, but on the other hand, human beings are not made to be end-goals in the first place, but momentum-starters of myriad goals. There is no end to a living being because there are too much beginnings, too many possibilities to count. Perhaps all women should strive to have a strong will. Without her vision, men would be left without a purpose.

Then again if she does, she might at times feel she’s not worth achieving that valuable ideal. How do you esteem self-worth without feeding your ego? Is that why men tend to have bigger egos than women? So that we ladies can feed more than our own needs?

What if we are invisible? What if our caregiving deeds remain unnoticed? What if we remain quiet for the rest of our lives? What if we do the opposite and demand for attention instead? Do we automatically become labelled as an attention whore? At some point, are we ever going to get tired, so tired to care about our own selves, our own lives, and prefer to get hit by the car or the motor instead?

There is so much to care for.

Most of the time I am stoic in my present stance, but inside I’m a wreck composed of broken chords, mixed feelings, and tangled strands of thoughts all jumbled up into one rock-solid locked stance that once Stanley unlocks the key, every half-baked piece of shit will come out.

There must be some tall, invisible wall I’ve built up high and now stand so strongly, it feels real even though it’s imaginary. I’ve probably decorated its surroundings with flowers and vineyards so that, at least, this form of imprisonment is a prettier one than no adornments at all.

It’s times like these that I don’t know what’s real and what’s not.

Writing is real therapy.

But, as I said before, perhaps I’ll save Life Lately for my private diary from now on.

 

Look Like A Girl

HEALTH

Not doing so well, drastically lost most of my muscle mass.

I look like an old lady. Been eating a lot of crap lately. Not good.

Haven’t gone grocery shopping in ages. Haven’t cooked anything and it feels weird.

I smile less often than I used to.

I take myself too friggin’ seriously, that’s why this face is often frowning.

I need some makeup advice from nigahiga to get my blood pumping.

 

Work Like a Horse

CAREER

I wish to work for my own boss, and I’m planning a specific set of workflow to compromise with her unwillingness to cooperate. Even though she’s vicious, unpredictable, shameless, perfectionistic, and tired all the time, she’s me.

A name-analysis service my mother ordered for when I was a little kid. Neither of us remember who the company was.

A name-analysis service my mother ordered for when I was a little kid. Neither of us remember who the company was.


You are what you think about. You are what you think about. You are what you think about. You are what you think about. You are what you think about. You are what you think about. You are what you think about. I’m muttering the words by heart. I think the words have sunk in.

I think about how money doesn’t determine the worth and value of a person. A person’s worth is determined by the person’s character.

I want peace and equality for everyone. I think I can change something but I can’t change anyone else but myself and my attitude first.

OK. ‘Nuff said. I’m rambling too much. NATO (No Action, Talk Only).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 
 

- Image courtesy of Alltop

Life Lately: Plan, plan, plan.

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First of all, you might have noticed that I’m missing out on a couple of regulars this week.

I’m basically a hermit right now. I have been ill since last weekend.

 

A Life Lately post is supposed to be published yesterday, but I prioritize my deadlines for my job ahead of this blog, which have and always been created for the sole purpose of self-expression and a go-to therapy for all the many forms of self-inflicted agonies I’m sure every writer experience at some point in their career. As Maya Angelou once said, there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you, or, in this case, multiple drafts that hold potential to become great stories, thus deserving tremendous attention and care.

Thing is, they all depend on my dedication as a lifelong writer.

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Think Like A Man

FAMILY

I learned that time flies, that no matter how hard you try to plan everything and optimize accordingly, you will never catch up.

I’m the youngest in the family, and day by day it’s getting easier for me to see that my mom, dad, and brothers are aging quickly.

Before I know it, a wrinkle or scar that’s never there before suddenly appears and stays where it appeared permanently. Days to the grave are counting and eventually you remember that your own life is bound to end someday.

The thought digs the deepest holes in my heart, which is too deep to be conceived by anyone beyond my closest relations and particularly because I’ve thought too much about death at one point in the past and filled those months of considerable length on suicidal thoughts.

Although these past few months I’ve met a couple of girls whom I’ve never imagined in my life would have thought the same way, or overthink that much. Which I feel blessed about. You know who you are.

But time is so limited in our fast-paced lives, and the guilt I’ve been holding back neglecting my most important ones just keeps building up towards the Mount Everest’s summit, or some high-rise Dubai skyscraper, or perhaps something even higher.

It hurts.

Midway this week when I took a day off from work my dad came home early, which rarely happens, to check up on me and found out I didn’t take my antibiotics.

The funny thing is, I haven’t been ill for the longest time I can remember. Even if I catch the common cold, it’ll probably only last, at most, for about 4 days.

So that’s a clear sign that something’s wrong, right?

It’s soon that I realized, even though I’m deeply committed to a thriving career in writing, I don’t want to compromise every fiber of my self and every nanosecond of my life throwing myself into the art. Yes, art only thrives within the confinements of daily routine, but let me tell you a secret about the life of a reporter: I cannot promise anything. My days are unpredictable, and I am forced to have no routine …

Unless I establish one.

Suddenly every tiny little detail you tend to sweat about doesn’t seem to matter anymore. My biggest mistake is to neglect my most important ones, the ones that are going to be there for the rest of my life, out of the picture until I finish my responsibilities … which is a never-ending process anyway.

Unless I fit family time into my planner, I will never have the time to be with them.

In the end, to be with those I love is enough. Far more than enough.

Plus I don’t have to feel guilty for not taking my antibiotics.

 

Act Like A Lady

LOVE

That snippet of wisdom also applies to my love life.

Since Stanley’s still in Europe, I’ve got the opportunity to gain some perspective.

Miranda Kerr walks the runway during the David Jones Autumn/Winter  2013 fashion launch held at the David Jones Elizabeth St store in Sydney

Supermodel, spokesmodel, businesswoman, author, and lady Miranda Kerr, who never fails to respond to all sorts of reporters with a mindful answer. Advice for keeping a man, which she passes down from her Nana, instructs women to always make an effort to dress up, even if it’s just a dab of makeup or a nice little underwear beneath that calm exterior.

I’ve always followed the feministic principle that if a couple desires to grow together in the long run, each individual has to grow individually.

The growing-individually part is the problem.

Even though now I’ve improved so much since the early days of our relationship, I still have that tendency to assume that everything that happens to me and in my life is within my responsibility, including the negative ones that he and I may share with each other so that we can lessen each others’ burden.

I always feel guilty for two things: a) I know I can control how I respond to every situation, but when I go on autopilot, i.e. negative response, I punish myself, and b) Even if I don’t respond negatively, I perceive negative things and I bottle it all up with a happy package, then I would release it all to Stanley if the subject comes up. Or, when I did went on autopilot and after I punished myself, I push him away because I don’t feel deserving.

Oh, what a shitload amount of self-pity there, right?

So imagine how a full week of being sick and not eating my meds on time has caused the disconnect between us. I feel guilty for every effin’ thing and I just want to continue being a hermit.

He has no idea how much dreams I’ve bottled up as much as the garbage I’ve loaded up either until I realize them through my actions, which is as of right now inaction because I have no time for everything …

Or a limited perception that she has no time for everything because she doesn’t give herself a chance to step back and look at the big picture.

Which is what she’s doing right now, monthly, on Life Lately.

I’ll allow The Princeton Review to do the explanation for what a day in the life of a reporter looks like.

 

Look Like A Girl

HEALTH

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Recently, I learned that the skin renews itself every 28 days, and we are epidermal-wise all new every 7 years.

Looking at an ageless skin from this angle, it’s safe to say that you can technically change yourself.

With the increasing interest in neuroplasticity, I’ve been loading up an ample depth of optimism to change for the better.

Everything is dedicated to my loved ones and to make them proud for having me.

 

Work Like a Horse

CAREER

Before I go on, let’s take a look at where my spirit has led me, as I’m making my miles, for the past 8 weeks:

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Actually, I kind of knew part of the reason why I got sick was because I loaded myself with chocolates and crackers to sustain me through finishing off each piece some weeks ago.

I know, I know, it’s unhealthy.

But I slept for about three to four hours on those weeknights, and my amygdala was doubly craving the extra doses of comfort food.

Two weeks later and I’m facing my consequences. The crazy amount of processed foods, in addition to steady streams of stress, overthinking, and anxiety, did me harm.

In all my efforts to catch up with Father Time, the white rabbit inside me always sacrifices those precious hours of a full night’s sleep, as well as the missing menstrual periods again.

Meaning I have too much testosterone and cortisol in my bloodstream.

So it’s been great to chill down a bit at work this week (even though I’m still crafting my pieces at home), stop thinking and planning about everything, and gain some perspective on my long-term vision, just to determine what are my real priorities … for fear that if tomorrow I suddenly turn 40, I don’t have the good-quality fruits I wish to reap, which can only come if I did with all my diligence to sow quality seeds today, while I’m still in my 20s.

I realize this is my formative years, and I’ve still got time to clarify my life plan before the phase of consolidation arrives in my thriving 30s.

This is the time to create assets, not time-wasters.

Let’s hope I get well real soon.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Image courtesies of Simply Positive quotes via Pinterest / babbleFood Matters via Facebook

Life Lately: The man, the lady-girl, and the horse

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Most of the time, what drives me is the modern women’s adage that instructs them to think like a man, but act like a lady; look like a girl, but work like a horse.

In other words, my eagle-eye is focused on attaining perfection. Which is disastrous.

 

Before I knew it, I’ve applied each clause of the instruction for directing the respective aspects of my life (below).

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- Image courtesy of Santa Barbara Chic

 

Four weeks earlier, my assertion declares that life is no piece of cake, which, we all know, is truer than true. Lately, though, it’s turning into a kind of casserole, or crème brûlée, or some twice-baked recipe that’s way too difficult for an amateur to whip up.

Even worse when the amateur is highly ambitious and chronically sets herself up to unrealistic endeavors, which nobody expects out of her in the first place. Let me elaborate.

 

Think Like A Man
FAMILY

I rarely see my parents, even though we’re all living under the same roof. Both my dad and my mom are busy with their own lives, and I with my own work.

My dad’s an investor and holds an import-export business he built from scratch. He’s busy everyday, hates seeing me tired like him everyday, and relieves his stress by being a pro golfer who plays at every break of Saturday dawn.

My eldest brother is still the States. My second brother may stay permanently in Japan. And as you already know, my mother has recently became a restaurant shareholder.

There is no other way than for me to maintain my self-sufficiency, but sometimes, I just wish I can hit the pause button for a moment and actually stop all these busyness in my household.

Thinking like a man who mends matters of a family, 24/7, tires me out sometimes. Now that I have a career, it’s even harder to do anything to gather them all in one place at one time. I’m usually the one who cooks something up so that I can have a reason to bring all my family members together.

I admit being the de facto physically weaker sex. It’s why I capitalize on making miles and adopt my parents’ good habits. But thank God we have domestic helpers in the house, because, well, you can’t possibly do everything alone. That I finally admit.

So thinking like a man helps a heap. For everything at home and life at large, plan ahead, make decisions, execute, and follow through. The challenge is to accept that you’re not perfect. You’re not God, and that you can never please everyone around you.

 

Act Like A Lady
LOVE

Luckily I get to see my beau every weekend. Luckily I have a beau. Weekdays are no longer free for us to run to each others’ arms, but I take comfort in the thought that we are fighting together even though we’re always apart.

Like I said, whenever my stress tolerance runs out of energy, I tend to steam off. It’s a negative habit I’ve had since I was a kid, and I’m still working on stripping that habit away completely.

Throughout our relationship, I seldom let him know the truth. I’m always conscious in hiding my vulnerability from him, because no one likes a needy, wimpy girl.

But no one likes an angry girl either. I mentioned a couple of times before that during the first months Stanley and I started dating, he asked me, “Why do you always frown?”

23 months later, here I am, always smiling.

So despite all the s&*!!y words I let out without conscious effort to hold back the other day, I soon gave up because these days, I’m just too tired to hold up high walls around my psyche to pretend like I’m Xena or some other warrior princess. I admit I’m a woman, and a woman can only allow herself to breathe a huge sigh of relief when she knows that before her stands a man in whom she can rely on to mend everything.

“I’m so tired, bla bla bla, I can’t satisfy you, bla bla bla, I’m not good enough, I have no time, I don’t need another person to please, I am just one person, not two, not three, bla bla bla” soon became “I hate that I need you and I miss you all the time. I hate that when I need you most I can’t be with you. I just want to be with you,” and with all that drama he just replied with a smiley face and said, “That’s my baby.”

 

Look Like A Girl
HEALTH

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- Image courtesy of Baby Fashionably

I run slower than I usually do. I sleep less, sleep worse, and go to bed later than I tend to. That’s just bad because I’m only 23 and my under-eye bags are looking like they belong to a grandma.

I’ve recently delved into the subject of blood type diet, a lifestyle design outlined by Dr. D’Adamo that boasts A-list followers such as Kora Organics director Miranda Kerr, US X Factor’s sweetheart Cheryl Cole, as well as local SK-II ambassador Susan Bachtiar, mainly because I’m interested in blood type personalities and their differences, which is a prevalent concept throughout the Asian culture.

I’m usually skeptical about the popular literature on diets. I’m not looking to lose any amount of weight, and I don’t follow any particular dietary guideline other than eating whatever I want (and I’m a creature of habit so thanks to my mother, who conditioned me to eat a boiled egg, an apple, and some greens every single day of my life, my personal tastebuds lean more toward what people usually dub as “boring foods”). But I believe food is a large determinant of our biological structure, and that means the way we function and behave everyday are made up from the building blocks itself – the calories, water, and the macro- and micro-nutrients from food. Because the blood type diet wasn’t backed by sufficient scientific evidence, at least within the medical community, I’ve always remained skeptical about it … until recently.

Turns out that as a blood type B, my response to stress is pretty much similar to how the blood type As react do: chronically producing high cortisol levels in the body. While the As are suggested to deal with cortisol by light exercises such as pilates and yoga, Bs fare much better when they balance between moderate-intensity exercises with the lighter counterparts.

Even though the book says that Bs function their best with sturdy meats such as venison, mutton, and lamb chops, in truth, eating those meats can make me wake up with sore throat the next morning. The takeaway is a confirmation that blood type Bs are the only dairy eaters from the ABO family, as well as the fact that Bs thrive on seafoods.

Too many people say these are foods high in saturated fats and induces high cholesterol levels, which are true, but here I am enjoying these “forbidden” foods to the fullest while still functioning optimally.

Yet like everyone else, nightly restful sleep is still part of the equation that I have not fulfilled, so as to keep my cortisol levels at its lowest and that I will always be as energetic as a running little girl.

 

Work Like A Horse
CAREER

My boss: This post should’ve been posted 3 days ago. You’re more than late, you idiot. 

The employee: Sorry … but I’ve got a real job to prioritize my time and energy for. 

My boss: You have time at night when you get back home, don’t you.

The employee: Yes, but I’ve been sacrificing hours of sleep for some time now. I can’t think. I’m sure your readers will understand that you’re human.

My boss: No they won’t. They’re consumers when they buy your ideas, not human beings. They have consistent expectations out of you, and it’s your job to keep them up.

The employee: I’m trying my best, ma’am, but the problem lies at the first line of our conflict – I’m a human being. If I can’t function properly, I can’t think. If I can’t think, I can’t write anything!

My boss: You stupid horse.

 

Yeap, that’s my boss. She’s vicious, selfish, and possibly a member of some cult. But she’s like that all the time, which explains for the high cortisol levels.

The comforting fact is that I know deep down she loves my results. Deep down I also know she’s only human. She’s just doing her job.

“Time is the capital that God has given us to invest,” Billy Graham once said. “People are stocks in which we are to invest our time, whether they’re blue chips or penny stocks or even junk bonds.”

With that in mind, I want to conclude what I believe every modern women, as nurturing as they were wonderfully made, are facing everyday to change the world:

 

We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;

We have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;

more experts, but more problems;
more medicines, but less healthiness;

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet
the new neighbor.

We build more computers to hold more
information to produce more copies then ever,
but have less communication;

We have become long on quantity,
but short on quality.

These are times of fast foods
but slow digestion;

Tall men but short character;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.

It’s a time when there is much in the window,
but nothing in the room.

- The 14th Dalai Lama

 

According to Inc columnist Geoffrey James, there are two things you’re better off aiming than perfection: 1) Good enough, and 2) Outstanding (i.e. standing out from the pack).

Of course, as a loyal reader you might’ve already guessed it right, that when it comes to the big picture, my boss will always choose the latter.

I hope she understands that that would mean many, many bouts of good-enoughs to make one whole, much-processed, well-rounded big-picture. It’s a process, not a one-time thing.

Either way, James’ insight provides me with no more room for perfectionism but to put my attention to detail for better use. In everything that I do, I don’t have all the time in the world, nor do I have an unlimited energy reserve. Even though I am given 24 hours a day everyday, my time is limited.

No one on earth can do everything. Every one is made to do one thing at one place at one time. The only place you live in is your body, so if you don’t take good care of it, you won’t know how to optimize your energy levels in order to live out your best potential.

So take a break, woman, take a break. [My boss has just pulled out the string of her blinds. That means she will kill you if you knock on her door, i.e. disturb her].

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Life Lately: No piece of cake, but it’s a brewing cup of tea

 
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Nancy Reagan once said that a woman is like a tea bag: You cannot tell how strong she is until you put her on hot water.

How true.

 

Before I elaborate on that, let’s take a quick recap of the lessons I’ve learned from making my miles in the past 8 weeks:

 

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FAMILY: This year, my mother’s 49th birthday coincided with Easter’s. Because time is short and therefore the only well-deserving luxury, I discarded the thought to give up trying to do anything at all. I’m used to making my own greeting cards for the people I want to give to, but this time, all I did was grab a Papyrus letter set, complete with a matching envelope, and wrote down the following words in colored pens and Crayola markers:

THREE HARDEST THINGS TO SAY IN THIS WORLD:

1. I’m sorry … 

for making you worry all the time.

2. Thank you … 

for giving me life.

3. I love you …

because …

世上只有妈妈好。

She deserves knowing everything I truly feel inside my heart, even though I can’t show it everyday.

 

LOVE: The fact that Stanley and I no longer have all the time in the world to meet and catch up with everything makes each moment we spend together count even more, and that we waste no time taking each other for granted. This is when 98 Degrees’ 2000 hit I Do (Cherish You) plays in the back of my head.

I’m not comfortable telling you what’s in store for us in the near future, but expect to see us as inseparable as we’ve always been. After all, we’re entering our 22nd month together. Time really passes you by when you’re having the most fun.

On Good Friday last week, we were two walking elephantine glue sticks radiating positive energy everywhere we go (yeah, right). It was the beautiful sunlight blanketing over the city, and indeed it was a great day for everyone, the clearest, brightest Jakarta I’ve seen in years.

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HEALTH: Though I don’t desperately need additional hours of snoozing, I do need to schedule some downtime indulging on il dolce far niente. I found that productivity surges come about after I take 2 minutes, just closing my eyes, thinking about absolutely nothing. Nothingness happens a lot in my mind when I’m running. Every stride somehow organizes my brain so that it can function better once the next stride follows, and the fact that I know this puts me in a very hard position … because I seldom do it.

 

CAREER: Last time I updated, I said that life is a lot brighter than ever before, and yes it has. Because I’ve been conditioned to have a pessimistic hindsight in life, which is a benefit if you abide by the prevention-is-better-than-cure life motto, I am struggling to lower my own expectations while keeping up with the increasing amount of commitments I am now entrusted with. The way I see it, I’ve grown more confident in my own capabilities for the past month, but I don’t wish to raise the confidence bar up too high, lest I risk letting external factors downgrade my current performance. I’m driven intrinsically, and that’s a hot enough water for my tea bag.

 
 
 

***

 
 
 

Everything’s feeling pretty balanced now, and every day I’m growing to become the woman I’ve always wanted to be, jumping from one little milestone after another: One who thinks like a man, acts like a lady, looks like a girl, but works like a horse. It’s a tough call, but I smile away every immediate obstacle that enters my mind, disallowing it to bring me down, and face the challenges that comes my way anyway :) Smiling is, indeed, powerful.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Life Lately: Brighter days

 
 
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So much can happen in such a short period of time. It’s been about a month since I’ve last updated on Life Lately. Even though I’m currently a full-time employee, I still think ultimately, I am my own boss.

And this should’ve been published yesterday. *facepalm*

Read on to find out what I’ve been up to lately …

 
 
 

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FAMILY: I’m officially a born-again :) My dark past have been washed away on 3 March 2013, which was last Sunday. My mother was there, Stanley and his mother were there too. I’m excited, nervous, but confident that an exciting new life is afoot.

The issue I mentioned our family had last time? It’s doing well. It’s not completely over yet, but I have faith that it shall come to pass, in time. The best part? No one’s pressuring me to deal with the issue anymore. No one really did, actually. It was just crazy ol’ me.

I’m more blessed than I deserve that my family cares for me and does not wish to see me burdened with responsibilities that might hinder me from my dreams, including the ones that are not mine in the first place.

Now, my mother encourages me to be happy. That’s all she wants from now on. I’m sure my eternal Father agrees with her.

 

LOVE: I’m glad that my baptism brought Stanley’s mother and mine together … finally :) We were super nervous the day before, as my mother is really quiet if someone’s still a stranger to her. Yet Stanley’s mother is quite a talker – and by the end of the day, we all found out that they both have the same Chinese name! OMG!!! Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Us at Jones & Stefanie's wedding on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta

Us at Jones & Stefanie’s wedding on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta


I learned a lot from the past month by challenging myself to self-reflect almost everyday for NaBloPoMo February 2013. Now that I’m a newborn, I refuse to believe in lies the world tell me about Stanley’s future with me. We’re going to be great  – as long as we remain still in our faith.

 

HEALTH: Now that my schedule is, most of the time, unpredictable, all I have to focus on is disciplining myself to take advantage of every moment I can make my miles. I currently have a broken iPod nano, meaning I can’t keep count of my distance (miles) and pace (mi/min) – but I still have time (minutes) to count on. Everyone, not just me, is blessed with just a few minutes everyday to run and let the mind roam free. Ever realize that?

 

CAREER: Work is only getting more exciting (and busier). On my last update, I almost gave up applying for jobs altogether and commit to blogging fulltime, which would be scary because even though I’ve been blogging since forever, I don’t know how to do it as a profession. My 23rd birthday, which fell on February 24, was the day when I was going to publicly tell people that I’m willing to write fulltime as a freelancer while running this blog for-profit. It’d be really scary, now that I think about it.

But God is so unpredictable. I, like you, have no idea what His plans are, yet He’s all good in His own mysterious ways. His most fabulous gift recently: He let me be me.

Last time you checked, I assumed I totally failed at my job test for Company DEF. That was toward the end of January. A few days later, I told myself while writing on Life Lately that I was going to quit looking for jobs and blog and freelance fulltime, which I didn’t plan to tell anyone until February 24. Few days after the Life Lately post, I got an e-mail from Company ABC that after those three interviews I had with them (which lasted for about three months), all of which actually went well, they finally decided to stop considering me for hire.

Days after that, I received a phone call that said I was accepted at Company DEF, and they gave me a full weekend to think about it. I almost couldn’t believe it – I was like, why would they want me? I’m sure they’ve got plenty of applicants who write much better than I do. A couple of days after Company DEF called me, Company ABC called and said they wanted to meet me again. I distinctly remember it was on the day just before I agreed to sign contracts to work for Company DEF. I had a day-long dilemma to choose between the two …

The next morning, when I woke up all fresh, I decided to take the company who seemed to want me more: Company DEF.

It was all too confusing throughout February. I had a few weeks in the beginning to prepare myself to blog fulltime and, almost instantly, I’m here now with Company DEF, enjoying the dream job that came true :) I get to meet figures, chat with interesting people, receive exclusive treatments, dine and travel for free, all because of my love for the written word.

 
 
 

***

 
 
 

Things happen very quickly, and most people think I’m crazy to still bother blogging even if it doesn’t generate any income. But hey, it’s precisely because life passes you by that you have to keep track of your everyday blessings. I’m thankful that every Friday I get the chance to do just that :)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Life Lately: Hazy days

 

lifelately_header-01

 

Hello peeps! How’s the first week of February? Hope you guys are doing just fine.

Last time you checked, I just had my third interview with company ABC. This afternoon, I received a confirmation e-mail that I didn’t get the job.

I wasn’t that surprised. Read on the CAREER section below to find out more.
 
 
 

***

 
 
 

FAMILY: I slept at 5am the previous night, talking to my mother. You know ever since I got that job in September, I’ve been avoiding her in any way that I can.

The avoiding thing went on even after I went out of the company. Our relationship has changed so much, and not in a good way.

From a young age she’s always wanted me to be on safe grounds – financially, emotionally, mentally - everything. I, however, wanted to run free. Even though she’s never said the exact words, she’s always implying that she doesn’t want me to be a career woman.

Right now there’s a pressing problem in our family that none of us are able to do anything about, and my mother has kept that a secret from me for the past month and a half. She didn’t want me to worry about the issue because she knew what I would do – worry.

I found out last week from my dad, and I’m doing whatever I can. I called the police last night to investigate on the case, because there was no one else to get in touch with. I know while I’m saying these things nobody would have a clue whatever I’m talking about. I want to try my best to make my point even without the details.

Because of this issue, my dad is now prompt to respond to my texts and calls. Because of this issue, my mom and I got to engage in a real conversation since the past five months. Because of this issue, I thought this is where my mom and dad could start speaking to each other again.

My mom has changed a lot. She’s not as demanding as she used to be anymore. She’s more grateful than the last time I remember her. She’s more understanding than she’s ever been before … in her own words: “As I grew older, now I understand how important it is to be open-minded.” It was also last night that I finally found out it’s not just me in the family who thought of suicide before. She did too – more than a decade ago when my mom and dad almost got a divorce.

But hey, back to my point. Because of this issue, I see hope that our family can actually  have great relationships all over again, including the relationship between my mom and dad. We can play card games and eat grapes like we used to do as a family. Maybe not exactly as how I pictured it all used to be, but at the very least I want to see my parents speaking to each other. However all night long she kept saying, “When you’re older you’ll understand,” the same words she always say to me since I was a fetus. “It’s been over twenty years. You and I haven’t talked for just five months and now everything feels different already.”

She was finally able to listen to my opinions – the ones that disagree with hers. Things concerning men, parenting, career, and just life in general. So we made an agreement: Whatever it is that she suggest me to do from now on, if I disagree, don’t keep it to myself. Because of the issue, she doesn’t ask for much from us anymore. She only asked God for her children’s health and safety – nothing else.

I no longer have to be the many women she implied me to be. I’m just glad she understands me now.

 

LOVE: Stanley and I are going strong as ever. We love each other for who we totally are.

When it comes to maintaining our relationship, my mother told me: “Take your parents’ marriage as a lesson: Don’t do the same mistakes, because you must create your own happiness. Your happiness is my happiness, so don’t look back.”

20130106_204126
 

HEALTH: I’ve been sleeping really late these days. I read a lot about life-planning in the night. Like my mother, I worry all the time. I’m scared about the outcome of my life.

Thank God for the written word. Thank God I’ve jotted down what exactly I want nine years from now. Thank God I have this blog to pour my heart onto while practicing my passion in writing at the same time.

For some reason, these days running doesn’t help much in stripping away my stress.

 

CAREER: Honestly, I don’t really care anymore. I knew if I was committed and manageable enough, I would’ve gotten the job. This includes company DEF.

To be frank, I’ve been questioning myself a lot about working for these companies I applied to – do I really want this?

I have a pending commitment I’m going to make by my birthday this year, which is in two weeks. That’s how much time I’ve given myself to wait hearing back from all these companies. It seems clear now what I’m going to do with my career, but I’m saving everything up on that special day to tell you.

 
 
 

***

 
 
 

I’m pretty much hazy these days. But I won’t pretend that it’s all sunshine and rainbows.

I will do something. And this, too, shall pass.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Life Lately: Don’t lose hope

 
 

BLOG

January 2013
 
 
 

Hey peeps! How have you guys been so far in the early days of 2013?

#WhatMadeMyDay Last time you check, I was absolutely late for a job interview with the company I really look forward to working for – company ABC. Well … I’m happy to say that this morning was my third interview … and at this point, we still don’t have a clear decision yet. In any case, I’m still hopeful for a chance to work with the team and make myself useful for the company in any way that I can.

So, I was two and a half hours early this morning.

 
image

 

I know, I know. I sat down at the waiting room for practically two and a half hours, finishing Aaron Karo’s Ruminations of Twentysomething Life in a single breath. I stayed around for about two more hours for two rounds of interviews.

And I only slept for five hours the previous night.

Allow me to explain further in the CAREER section below.

P.S. This thing just arrived this morning.

 

My school said I'll expect my grad cert to arrive within 6 to 8 weeks after my last day of school. Since I only received it today, I guess that means 6 months of waiting until you're officially a college grad.

My school said I’ll expect my grad cert to arrive within 6 to 8 weeks after my last day of school. Since I only received it today, I guess that means 6 months of waiting to confirm that you are indeed a college grad.


 
 
 

***

 
 
 

FAMILY: Back in 2012, I had better relationship with my parents than I do with them now. We have a huge distance between us because, well, like most parent-and-child conflict, my parents subconsciously want me to be a certain way. Every one has their own definition of “being a good girl” or “living a good life”, but I guess it’s harder for parents to accept that their children has a different way of thinking and doing things.

Times have changed. The way it has been in the last generation isn’t the way things are today.

I have an avoidance attachment style, and I’ve avoided talking with them for the past six months due to my decision to be, sooner or later, a career woman:

 
Dismissive–avoidant attachment
People with a dismissive style of avoidant attachment tend to agree with these statements: “I am comfortable without close emotional relationships.”, “It is very important to me to feel independent and self-sufficient”, and “I prefer not to depend on others or have others depend on me.” People with this attachment style desire a high level of independence. The desire for independence often appears as an attempt to avoid attachment altogether. They view themselves as self-sufficient and invulnerable to feelings associated with being closely attached to others. They often deny needing close relationships. Some may even view close relationships as relatively unimportant. Not surprisingly, they seek less intimacy with relationship partners, whom they often view less positively than they view themselves. Investigators commonly note the defensive character of this attachment style. People with a dismissive–avoidant attachment style tend to suppress and hide their feelings, and they tend to deal with rejection by distancing themselves from the sources of rejection (i.e., their relationship partners).

 

Though my parents have never considered they’ve spoiled me as a kid, I disagree. I think all parents do spoil their kids to a certain degree. Considering I’m the youngest kid and the only daughter, I always get what I want. But they probably didn’t realize that they’ve raised a kid who will never stop until she get what she wants, even without their help. What I don’t realize is … without their support, it’s really hard to get by.

I’m not rebelling like I did when I decided to move from Indiana to California six years ago. This time, they gave me choices. I just chose the hard way of going about my life – the one that I prefer to risk everything just to be happy in my definition of happiness over something easy that is their definition of being happy.

Bottom line, they’re disappointed that I’m taking a bigger risk to live an uncomfortable life. And I just hope that they learn to let go of the perfect situation and condition they want to put me in life so that they can worry less. Conversely, I strongly believe all of us only have limited control over the kind of situations and conditions we want to be in.

So, I just want to make my focus this year to rebuilding that intimacy I used to have with my parents, while at the same time convince them God-knows-how that their little one is growing up and that they have to be able to let me go. Contrary to what most mothers believe to be the best for their daughters, I don’t think marry-a-prince-and-live-happily-ever-after is the key to happiness.

I can imagine myself as a mother later on having my twentysomething daughter all grown-up and trusting that she is able to make her own decisions. In time I won’t have to schlep burdensome worries I don’t even have to carry in the first place.

 
 

LOVE: Stanley’s still dealing with my lack of confidence sometimes. It doesn’t happen quite often as last year, but sometimes I love to hurt myself so much that I hurt him. These outbreaks have dissipated slowly over the year, and I hope it will vanish completely by the end of this year.

Stanley renewed my faith in my own worth by whispering in my ears: You are a beautiful, smart, intelligent woman. I should put that on my bedroom wall.

Nonetheless, we are growing more intimate with each other :)

 
 

HEALTH: MORE SLEEP, LESS BREAD.

 
hwaiting1

 

CAREER: OK. Let’s continue.

So yesterday, I received a phone call early in the morning while I was still in bed. I picked up the phone in a slurred voice. Turns out it’s company ABC!!! After one month since my second interview … I didn’t thought they’d give me a call again. But they did.

The problem? I can’t remember what time I’m supposed to be there. 8:30am? 9:30am? 10:30am? I was half-awake. By the time I was brushing my teeth that morning, I completely forgot. I haven’t refill my phone bills and I couldn’t make a call to confirm with them.

So I woke up extra, extra early by going extra, extra early to bed. Like, at 9pm. Tossed and turned till 11:30pm where I fumed and said, “OK, I need to do something boring.”

I read my ancient history textbook for less than an hour and I’m sound asleep.

 

It's actually not that boring ... that's why I still keep it. (This is my textbook for an ancient history class I took while at Purdue)." width="2592" height="1936" class="size-full wp-image-12653" /> It's actually not that boring ... that's why I still keep it. (This is my textbook for an ancient history class I took while at Purdue)

It’s actually not that boring … that’s why I still keep it. (This is my textbook for an ancient history class I took while at Purdue).”

 

I woke up at 5am and a little before 6, I’m out of the house.

The road was obviously clear so I reached the building at 7. The janitor was cleaning the floor and looked up at me. “I have an interview … What time does the office open?” I asked.

“Usually people come between 8.30am to 9,” replied the janitor.

I’m like dang. OK, at least I’m not late. I can just wait.

Thing is, sitting for two and a half hours straight really makes your butt sore. I didn’t have my cup of tea this morning, so I was desperately trying to stay awake and alert.

In the end, I believe I didn’t come off as fresh and confident as I was during my first two interviews. Like I said, I went through two rounds of interviews. I think they’re trying to figure out a way to fit a definite position for me in the company.

While driving home, I realized I wasn’t as sure as I did after the previous interviews. As in whether I’ll get the job or not.

I can only hope for the best right now.

The first thing that I did after I put down that morning phone call was point up to God with a big smile, because I’ve been praying a lot for the past month that I’ve been interviewing with company ABC. He gives me confidence. I knew He wouldn’t let me down no matter how things will turn out, and that as long as I do the job according to His will, for His purposes, and for His service, I know I’ll be able to contribute a lot to company ABC while improving my writing skills at the same time.

 
 
 

***

 
 
 

In a nutshell: My life is not as balanced as we last checked. You’re probably experiencing a lot more challenges, more confusions, and more difficulties in your life too.

It’s okay.

As long as you keep your faith and don’t lose hope, I assure you that everything will be okay.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Life Lately: Balance

BLOG

December 2012

 
 
 

Okay. First of all, this post should’ve been published yesterday.

My boss is unrealistic. I, the employee, likes to procrastinate whenever she’s not around. I love to indulge myself with denials, and I keep reasoning that the boss is unreasonable, and that this post should be done on a later date in our content calendar. Unfortunately my boss is demanding. “You’re late,” she pursed her lips. She wants this late post up ASAP.

My boss is my employee.

Me = both the unruly laborer and the perfectionist.

It’s the inescapable principle to hold on to once you’re committed to do something. Getting myself serious about writing frequently on this blog, I had no other choice but stick myself to this principle over the past few weeks … and so far it’s been difficult to be your own boss. I can imagine how much worse it will be in the far future. You are required to summon every bit of your self-control – every. single. time. Bear with me as I’m keeping it up.

 
 
 

1 Corinthians 9:25 (New English Translation)

“Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.”
 
 
 

#WhatMadeMyDay What a day! My whole morning was dedicated to dressing up, getting prepared, getting lost, and driving around Central Jakarta to locate the company I want to work for. I’m blessed as I’ve been invited for an interview invitation from the company.

I worked up the courage to drive all by myself and deal with all the required and supporting documents alone (usually I have the luxury of drivers and housemaids to help around… like most middle-to-upper class Indonesians). I woke up at 6 in the morning when my interview was scheduled at 9:30am. I can’t tolerate tardiness but today I accepted the fact that there are a lot of things that are beyond our control too. I may have power to drive the car and command its directions; but I can’t control the traffic (obviously).

I made a total of three wrong turns throughout my two-and-a-half-hour car ride finding the right way to the location. I called them about three times to let them know that a) I’m lost, b) I might be late, and c) I was late.

I was frantic the whole time in the car. Couldn’t really think properly as I had a really big temptation to let go of my bladder right there in the driver’s seat. Thank God it didn’t happen.

Tonight I’ll be spending quality time with Stanley to just work out together and eat a simple dinner around the neighborhood. Gotta keep that stamina up for this Sunday at the Alam Sutera 5-mile Road Race

 
 
 

***

 
 
 

FAMILY: My mother will not be here in Jakarta with me until next week. She’s on vacation in Harbin, China. My father is seldom at home, as usual. He’s either working, making money, or playing golf. But I believe my prayers will keep my mother safe and sound throughout her trip. When she left I thought it’ll be great to have the house all for myself – but soon realized that it’s never true.

I’ve been alone in the house frequently since I was 5 or 6, under the care of loyal housemaids and plenty of mosquitoes. Those were the times when my parents were still speaking to each other and travel around the world all the time. At that age my brothers were already in Singapore.

Anyway, I still don’t have the courage to talk to my parents about my long-term career plans… Well, actually I did. But, as always, my mom wants it her way while my dad remains skeptical. No worries. I’ve done many things behind their backs and proven that I could make them even prouder my way.

One ringing example is my application to the Academy of Art University – a decision to transfer from Purdue University and live alone in another city (without living under the constant eye of my elder brothers). Yes, it led me to a deep depression to have no one I can truly depend on, but when I asked them on my graduation whether I’ve made the right decision to move, my mother replied:

“If you stayed at Purdue, you could’ve graduated two years ago.”

My father: “…”

… as usual. The marriage  between could-have-been-better attitude and the indifference. Like a natural clash between oil and water. But hey, I know my role. I’m the glue. With superglues, you can stick anything together.

 
 

LOVE: Love is doing great. Love my boyfriend. Hate my boyfriend. Obsessed with my boyfriend more than I used to obsess over celebrities. He never knew this, but at times the motivating factor for me to keep improving myself is the little thing called fear vibrating inside of me. Thoughts like he might lose interest in me, stop loving me, and one day leave me. Then again, I think of the perfect man who loves me so much he gave his life for me – and that fear quietens.

 
 

HEALTH: Good and not good. In a way, I feel extremely lucky to eat some 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day and still unintentionally lose weight. I’m just not happy for the fact that these days, I’m fussing about my freelance projects and my future plans for this blog so much that I stuffed myself with biscuits and chocolates that hurt my throat. I noticed I’m sleeping lesser and later. I keep having dry throats in the morning. I don’t feel good eating junk food.

A few weeks ago I didn’t have dark chocolates like I always have in the house. We usually have milk chocolate too, which I don’t like (worst for me is still white chocolate), as you may already know that I despise anything too sweet. But I was severely, severely craving my daily chocolate servings that I couldn’t help but reduce myself to the saccharine rushes coming from those ultra-sweet milk chocolate bars.

On the very next day, I got sick.

Guess I have to accept that my body is really sensitive. It responded the same way when I ate lamb chops some years ago.

 
 

CAREER: As I mentioned, I went for an interview this morning. I was really blessed that company ABC wasn’t as difficult a character as my boss (the inner perfectionist). Last week, I also had an interview with company PQR. The other week, I was also interviewed at company XYZ. There’s also company DEF that I’ve just applied days ago. Out of all these companies there is only one of them that I sincerely want to work for: Company ABC.

I recall when I just came back to Jakarta months ago, I was extremely selective during my job-hunting process, as if I’m the one looking to hire instead of the other way around. I only applied to a limited number of companies and only wanted to do certain jobs. A month later, the big message comes down to this: YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT, much like you can’t control everything in your life.

So I had my previous job. Then I became more flexible now as I keep searching for jobs.

Initially I wanted to jump right in to the entrepreneurial world after leaving my previous job, but realized I still need time for more reflective thinking and go on self-discovery journeys. After all, as Joyce Meyer said, “we are not fit to be in authority until we know how to come under authority,” right?

Throughout the job-hunting process I keep asking myself: “Why do I want to work for somebody else?” And Meyer’s wisdom was the answer. However, up to this day, I don’t think I can work for just anybody. Any prospective employee has his or her personal rights to choose the companies they want to work for (duh). Eventually an employee will choose the company that consistently practices integrity and provides quality products and/or services for their clients and/or customers.

Company ABC had always been in my mind since before I left San Francisco. Just like any kind of relationship, customer trust is earned when the customer has associated him/herself with the company’s products and services for so long. Each time I consume these offerings, I’m satisfied and feel like I can’t wait for the next time I’ll be consuming their offering. Quality products and services are evergreen – I’ve trusted company ABC’s offerings for so long now that I feel I have to give back something to the consistent satisfaction I get out of their hard work. It’s the least you can do as a loyal customer.

 
 
 

***

 
 
 

To sum it all up: Everything looks pretty balanced right now. Even though my boss would’ve graded a B- on each aspect of her employee’s life. But I’d rather have straight just-pass grades rather than three-subject As and one-subject graded with big fat F.

Because in the end, it’s all about balance.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Life Lately: Obedience

BLOG

November 2012

 
 
 


#WhatMadeMyDay 
I had a pleasant surprise this morning that got me thinking a lot through the day. As I was eating my breakfast, my current domestic helper knocked on my door and told me that someone’s downstairs looking for “Yin.”

The only people who call me by that name are the people within my family and close relatives. I was very curious and immediately went downstairs to the living room. Turns out – it was my old domestic helper, the one who’s been looking after me since I was age 2 up till 8 – that’s 6 full years of care-taking, and now it’s been about 14 years since we last saw each other.

She’s very small, and seems so much older than I remember. She speaks gentler in speech but so much stronger in spirit. Maybe it was just me who’s growing a lot taller over these years. Nevertheless, it was nice to hear that you’ve got someone who’s been dreaming, literally dreaming, to meet you one day for the past 6 years. She put up a picture of me when I was so young on her wall, and I recall those nights when she held my hand whenever I’m about to sleep.

Whenever I’m unhappy about everything that my mother does or does not do, things like breaking little promises and forcing me to do things I don’t want to do, she had always been the one there to listen to my vents, scold me for not being a good child, and teach me how to remain obedient at all times.

Whenever my mother’s not around, she would take my brothers and I to go outside and play. She said she couldn’t bear to see us stay inside the house all the time. Whenever Sailor Moon’s on TV, she said I would sit down quietly to watch from start to end, then draw the characters on whatever surface I see. I sketched a lot on all kinds of notebooks and whitepapers, and I distinctly remember the time when my parents got really mad me for using my fingernails to scratch all our living-room furnitures to make out a Sailor Moon figure.

She has taught me the most important (and the most difficult) lesson of all: Obedience.

The heck with all that rules-are-meant-to-be-broken philosophy. I still am an advocate when it comes to following your heart, and sometimes they don’t align with those rules. In the long run, I learned the hard way that rules are (most of the time) meant to be there for us to follow. It’s a guidance so you won’t get lost along the way.

It doesn’t feel good to be lost. Like a left-out sheep separated from her shepherd.

 
 

***

 
 
FAMILY: We’re slowly getting better. It takes time to heal a longstanding turmoil that has prevailed for the past 20+ years, but I still believe that I can help.

As a psychologist would say – you don’t get to choose your parents. In fact, I believe that each one of us chose the parents we have. There’s a reason behind every situation and condition God puts us in. It’s a choice to remain helpless. It’s also a choice for you to learn, change, grow, and expand.

The first step for me is a genuine willingness to change (with lots of pain and tears and finally taking the thought of suicide out of my mind), but it takes a lot of effort to obey all those rules set up around me throughout my life. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to successfully set up that dinner date for my parents and I to sit together with Stanley. It was a progress for my dad to speak up more – being the reserved guy that he is. By now, it’s easy for my mom and Stanley to converse comfortably – even sometimes better than the way my mother and I communicate these days. But I still have trust. I believe in reuniting once again despite all differences. The flesh and blood that I’ve became today came out of my parents, and ever part of me is destined to put back their marriage into full circle.

I know it’s none of my business, it’s theirs. But they matter to me because they are my parents, and all their life, they’ve been giving me love.

 
 
 


LOVE:
Above all, my love life is becoming stronger than ever. We were on the brink of making the most regretful decision of our lives last month. It was extremely painful for the both of us, but I won’t go into the details for privacy reasons.

He was filled with emotions. He couldn’t control his anger while bearing the pain I’ve caused him. He turned around to become 100% different than his usual temperament – the calm and collected person he’s always been. I, on the other hand, couldn’t go on my days without hating myself for releasing my negative thoughts and not being the person I’m expected to be – at home, at work, at my own ideals, and at my own standards with relation to him. When you’ve set up such a high standard for every part of your life, you forget that you haven’t move a single step from point zero (and yet you’re complaining about everything).

All those negative feelings I’ve expressed in his presence – anger, jealousy, pride, greed, you name it – they don’t hurt just myself any longer but has now affected him too. It’s extremely painful for the both of us, I can even still feel the hurt on my chest as I’m writing this.

But one important theory I’ve always known, though have not practiced since recently, is this: Love is not a feeling – it’s an action.

Love is a set of decisions you make on which you commit yourself to serving others. By others it’s not just your other half; it’s also your family, your relatives, friends, and even strangers.

Love works in surprising ways. It’s (extremely) challenging to take into practice. But if you obey the “rules”, challenge yourself, welcome changes and is willing to grow, love can conquer everything.

Love is, in fact, the most powerful force of all.

“I just think you’re like a lost child,” said my baby. It’s then that I realized it’s true – for all my life living as a rebellious horse, I kept running away from society’s strict definitions of what’s right and what’s wrong. I believe there’s more to life than just staying obedient in one place and settle down there. Eventually, everybody has to settle down – even horses have meadows they always run back to. They know that once they get lost and run into the wilderness, humans will attack them.

It’s a dangerous world out there.

 
 
 


HEALTH:
I’m gaining the weight I’ve lost unhealthily over the past few weeks or so. I look better and fresher, as people around me have seen. I’m still maintaining my regular regimen of eating healthy and exercising regularly, but the bad habit I’ve picked up in my previous job (yes, I’ve stopped working at the moment) still lingered for some reason. That principle of “work like there’s no tomorrow” is still sacrificing quality sleep for me.

I am a morning person, and I continuously wake up at 7am from the day I first landed here in Jakarta up till I work at my previous place (which then I’ve set my alarm earlier to 5:58am). My goal is to keep that 7am habit for the long haul.

I find that waking up late sets you up for a less productive day. You have less energy than you do if you habitually wake up with the sunrise.

 
 
 


CAREER:
I’m slowly changing my priorities in life. From birth till recently, if you ask me what’s the one thing I want to achieve in life, I’ll answer: Ambition.

I’m still ambitious, trying to cram everything into my head all the things I have to know in this knowledge-based economy we’re now living in. I believe it’s important for all kinds of  writers, whether your passion leans toward fiction or nonfiction, to be (and stay) in the know. There’s a huge amount of data published everyday, books and ebooks waiting to be released, tons of new blogs registered, and so much more materials sitting quietly for us to consume. Over the time, I came to learn that it’s much wiser to follow people who produce quality content (aka opinions you trust) rather than reading up every scraps of the material you are researching or just curious about. It saves you time, optimizes your energy, and prevents you from cramming up a lot of crap into your brain.

Honestly, the most difficult part for me is to remain aware that I have a mind on my own. The more people you consult to, the more confused you will become. Always have a goal in mind, keep yourself focused, and get help on wherever is fitting for your goal. Just as I’ve learned, every successful person asks for help – but most don’t tell you that it’s equally important to ask from the right people.

In a nutshell: Ambition is good. Stand firm and seek help when you need it. But if it’s riskier than it is beneficial for you, cut it out and move on.
 
 

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She, my domestic helper, have exchanged numbers with me. I respect her for teaching me everything that I need to know from the moment I met her. She has faced much, much more challenging turmoils in life than I have (obviously), according to the 4-5 hours of listening I’ve done this morning. Who cares if she doesn’t have the formal credentials to jump into the working world – she did it anyway.

Always nice to have a figure to look up to in life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,

Stace.