Sunday, July 30, 2017

I Moved Out

Alone at last, was supposed to be the title... The state that I had long for so much. Away from parents, away from nagging, from random chores. No more interruption, no longer being bothered.

I feel excited, for the lifestyle to come. But at the same time, unsettled. Is this what I really wanted? To be alone?

More and more I am starting to notice about myself, that I am always seeking attention, seeking approval. I might go around to my colleagues' desk and see what they're up to. Don't really have anything important, but just there to get some attention. I might message somebody on Facebook, perhaps with an intention to chat but really I don't have much to say and the chat don't last long.

Why do I want their attention so much?

Why do I want their approval?

Why do I care about what they think?

I don't want to lose them.

I don't want to be alone.

Honestly, I don't think this is healthy at all. I know I shouldn't be dependent on others to experience self worth. I know I need to build my own values and approvals for myself. But how?

Lets stop the ramblings and talk about my experience so far on moving out. It's absolutely something you must do. I don't think it matters if you move back home after a year, but the act of living by yourself, independently, with no one to rely on, is definitely a valuable experience.

There's facts to life that I've always knew - don't think, just do. When I say don't think, I don't mean jumping head first off a bridge, but rather, don't just think about doing something, actually go and do it. This was immediately obvious to me when I moved out. I'm tired, my room is a mess, there's boxes everywhere from moving. I could just lie on my bed and tell myself that I need to unpack, then worry about how little time I have, the need to buy groceries etc. Or I could just get up and do it. After 5 minutes of the first, I got off my bed, and unpacked. I realised that there is no one here who will do it for me. If I don't do this now, a week later, it will still be the same. So in the meantime, not only was I wasting time, I was also putting unnecessary worries that shouldn't exist in the first place.

I am paying a lot to be living by myself. I must learn something from all this. Lets quickly list some to-dos:

  • I need some goals. I must achieve something coming all the way out here.
  • Keep track of my belongings, making sure they are tidy and well placed.
  • Keep track of my budget, what I spent money on, how I can save.
  • Keep a record of what I ate, making sure I eat healthy.
  • Take care of myself.
  • For moving out, Jan suggested that I should make a chores schedule and stick to it. That will definitely be necessary. Before that, I should figure out what chores are necessary.
I need to figure this stuff out quickly, so I am setting the deadline to be a week. By next Sunday, I will have this figured out. Set up a system to track these things.

An interesting side note, my watch stopped on the night I moved out, probably a bit after I got here. Took it to a tech thinking it's a dead battery, but the guy told me a new battery won't fix it. It's dead. Oo spooky. Something something symbolise leaving my old days behind.

Also, this was an interesting read. http://thepowerofideas.ideapod.com/10-brutal-truths-life-will-help-get-shit-together/

Aight, I'm out.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Live Life Travel

Always been wanting to write something on this, but never really 'got around' to it. Maybe it's my fear of confronting myself on a blog, avoiding the need to post something honest, something real - away from all the glamour, revealing the ugly side of my life.

What is this social media thing that we take up? Everyone only post the nicest things about their life. It's almost like a competition or a need to post something to make others envious. Why do we do this? But most importantly, why do we spend so much time scrolling through other people's glamour?

Anyway, back on topic - Travel.

In the past three months or so, I've got the chance to travel a lot. And I must say, it was probably the most eye opening experience I've had in my life. In this age of digital technology and information, we always thought we have any information we want in the palm of our hands. But because of this, we often neglect the pursue of curiosity, the experience of finding out something by yourself. I encourage you the reader, to take time out, go outside, do something different, do something new, live life, travel. You'll be surprised at how enjoyable the experience will be.

But note, there is a very big difference between a traveler, and a tourist. You want to be the traveler who immerse yourself in the new environment, take in the people, the place, the culture; and not the tourist who is there for the fulfillment of been-there-done-that.

Earlier in April/May, I got the chance to travel to Singapore, Malaysia and China. Spent four days in Singapore, two in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, and two weeks in China.

When I actually started planning for Singapore, I finally realized that it was merely a city at the edge of an island! I've always imagined it to be... bigger.. like a country. I had minimal expectation, packed as light as possible and headed out. But when I finally got out of the airport and saw the amazing skyline of the city, I was simply overwhelmed. My first thought was, wow, this is a city from the future. Riding along the airport shuttle bus through the rows of trees, I can't help but think that NZ pride ourselves of clean and green, but we have nothing on this. While having the need to house its population - building sky scrapers, urbanization; Singapore really took care of the precious little land they have, kept it clean, kept it green. As beautiful as the city is, I was a bit upset learning that through the process of modernization, not much of cultural heritage has been kept.


Had very little time in Malaysia, in fact only two days in its capital city. My first impression in the airport was of the armed policeman with massive assault rifles; just as your stereotypical white woman getting into an elevator with a black man I thought to myself - oh boy, what have I got myself into. Coming from somewhere safe and orderly like Singapore, Malaysia was certainly of contrast. I wouldn't say it's the worst place to be, but things definitely seemed chaotic and unsettling. On the good side of surprises, I thought the $3 meals in Singapore were cheap, but wow, meals in Malaysia costed half of that.

But the more important take away I had from Malaysia, was the experience of hiring a prostitute. There, I admit it, I've paid a girl to have sex with me. Come on, I'm just another horny young man with money in my pocket! Without going into details, which definitely is a good story, I'll skip to what I've learnt. Hiring a prostitute is definitely not as intimidating as one would think it will be. In fact, my experience with people inside and outside the industry had been some what positive. People, even the Uber driver seemed to be fairly understanding - hey I know what you're here for, not judging, enjoy your stay. Well, people have needs, and there are businesses that satisfy those needs. Anyway, enough of trying to justify what I did. Did I have a good time, yeah for sure. Would I do it again, probably not; and that was one of the more profound thing I've learnt. Great sex isn't just about how beautiful your partner is, or how good their techniques are; it's more than just physical. The emotional bond between you is a significant contributor to great sex. Was that girl young and attractive, absolutely; were her technique good, I can't complain; but was the sex great, no I don't think so. Without the feeling and emotional connection, the experience was more like a luxury fap. Considering the risks of STD and other unforeseen situations, I'm fairly discouraged on any future visits. Do I regret it, definitely not.

The purpose of this trip was mainly to attend my Grandfather's burial in China, where my last stop was. But while I was there, I've gone ahead and traveled to Foshan (佛山), Guangzhou (广州) and Shenzhen (深圳); three of the major cities forming what is called the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone (珠江三角洲). Even got the chance to take part in an electronics expo where I got to see the level of technological advancement my home country has risen to. As of now, besides the apparent pollution problem, I was really impressed by the speed and scale of China's advancement. Compared to my last visit about five years ago where smartphones are the most impressive thing to have, now almost everyone has one. The street vendor aunty pushing a trolley has Wechat pay (smartphone payment system) set up. Probably because of the popularity of Wechat, the use of QR code is heavily promoted across many things. Ride sharing took on many other forms, I've seen bikes that are available to use just by scanning/paying through QR codes, and supposedly there are people sharing their kitchen as well. I have no idea how sustainable the current version of things are or what happens to broken bikes, but still very impressed at how quickly we can adopt new technologies and ideas.

I see China's population as both a blessing and a curse. With so many people densely positioned, many unique opportunities arise; and people take advantage of them. Just like Amazon in the US, online shopping and same day delivery is a very real thing. To my disbelief, shopping for groceries and fresh produce online is a very common behavior. Shops operate on a trust level that people don't have the need to inspect quality; and with high demand and turn over, the freshness of produce can be guaranteed. With time and better education, I am very certain that more bright ideas will be generated from China than other places with less people. On the flip side, the competition arise from high population is massive. This is competition for survival - all aspects of life. Whether it's basic needs like housing and healthcare or development needs like education; everyone are competing for the same limited resource. House prices in areas have grown by 10 times in three years. Hospital elevator queued up for 20 meters is a day to day occurrence. Primary school - year one students have to undergo private tuition in order to keep up with the curriculum. Imagine living and growing up in such an environment, what kind of person will you become?

I've had an interesting observation of the son of a family friend. The son is a year older than me, his family is fairly well off and was able to send him to an university in the UK to studies materials engineering. After he finished his studies, the son came back, tried to find a relevant job, but ended up not liking the field and wanted to switch to software. The poor kid who is older than me, seemed very reserved, always on his phone, doesn't talk much. Now not everyone is like this, but I wonder how much of his personality is contributed to by the environment in which he grew up in. My father pointed out that the son should have said something if he didn't like materials engineering; would have saved his time and the parents' money sending him all that way. So I had this thought experiment, what if the son never even thought about what he wanted till now?

A few things might have contributed to this. One would be the environment, because of the high level of competition, children grow up with the mindset that study is important, grades are everything. Their lives, revolves around study and grades as the means of survival; they never had the time to self develop, find out where their interests lie. The second factor would be the protective nature of parents. I've seen this time and time again, where parents would ask what is a good industry, what specialization should their kids study? I've flat out told them to ask their kids what they actually like. It's understandable that the parents want the best for their children, and since the children don't know better, they make decisions for them. But is that what's really the best? I personally disagree, without interest, without passion, a person can never truly excel at what they do. I feel parents should really consider the children's wish and desires; instead of telling them what they should do, ask them what they like to do. So with the combination of these two factors, the son never had the chance to develop his sense of 'self', always been told what to do and studying materials engineering in the UK was the next thing he needed. Who was he to know better than his parents right?

Then four weeks ago I was sent to the US again for work, and after two weeks of work frustration I got my holiday in San Francisco. San Fran is definitely an interesting place to be for summer. One would expect California + summer = hot, but nope. Summer in San Francisco would definitely need some long sleeve hoodie or the like. Locals explained to me that in summer, the mountains get so hot that it draws air upwards, this then creates a vacuum effect, drawing in the cold air from the sea. With the combination of fog covering the sun, and cold breeze, a hoodie is definitely needed. But this quickly changes as you head away from the shore. As I drove towards Yosemite, it got hot, really fast; went from hoodie and pants to single and shorts.

Back to my rant about tourist vs traveler, be a traveler. If you go with the tourist mindset looking for quick thrills and ticking off the been-there-done-that, San Fran is probably not too interesting. But if you slow down a bit, go around the city, bike the golden gate bridge, the scenery becomes much more fascinating. Well, that's the way I felt. Yosemite was definitely the same. Don't just drive around, sleep in a hotel, then drive back out; get off the beaten track, go on a hike! Leave the tourists behind and enjoy nature's beauty. Unfortunately I only had a day and a half for Yosemite, so that was mostly spent driving to and from. But the quick 3hr walk that I managed was a great experience, really wish I could have more time there.



All in all, I definitely feel that the more I travel, the more I learn - about myself and about the world around me. So I challenge you, to live life, travel.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Every successful relationship is successful for the same exact reasons

This was a very interesting read. I thought communication was important, but it turned out respect, is the number one. Respect your partner's choices, belief, action and respect yourself; then trust and good communication will fall into place.

Not going to copy paste the whole thing, so just headings here.
1. Be together for the right reasons
2. Have realistic expectations about relationships and romance
3. The most important factor in a relationship is not communication, but respect
4. Talk openly about everything, especially the stuff that hurts
5. A healthy relationship means two healthy individuals
6. Give each other space
7. You and your partner will grow and change in unexpected ways; embrace it
8. Get good at fighting
9. Get good at forgiving
10. The little things add up to big things
11. Sex matters… a LOT
12. Be practical, and create relationship rules
13. Learn to ride the waves

https://qz.com/884448/every-successful-relationship-is-successful-for-the-same-exact-reasons/

Sunday, January 1, 2017

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Good bye 2016, and hello 2017. There was a theory that the reason why you feel time goes by faster as you get older, is because we experience time from memory. So a day would cover a greater proportion of a kid's memory, than an adult. As time goes by, new experiences also become scarce and inevitably you'll be doing the same old thing day in day out. Your memory of time and these repeated experiences then gets blended together as one point in the timeline. That's probably why when you think back to what you did for the past month, it was probably just 'working'.

But on the flip side, if you try to continuously try new things, make new experiences; the timeline in your memory would have more anchor points. Not only will it make your life feel richer because you've done more, but also it might let you perceive the same period of time longer and more meaningful.

In 2016, I have done for the first time

  • Jumped off a cliff (bungee)
  • Ran Round the Bays
  • Install a house alarm
  • Built RGB lighting kit for PC from scratch
  • Changed car's engine oil & filter by myself
  • Changed car's transmission oil & filter by myself
  • Went on hike/bush walks
  • Replaced broken phone display
  • Went snow boarding
  • Visited Los Angeles
  • Visited Hooters!
  • Fired a pistol and rifle
  • Visited Chicago
  • Coldplay concert!
  • Visited Ruakaka, Paihia
  • Spent the night in a car
  • Scuba Dived
  • Learnt to stand up paddle board
  • Tried out whisky and bourbon
  • Random stuff that I don't remember...
Started things that I enjoy and will continue
  • Playing piano
  • Boxing (training)
  • Making an android car head unit
Things that I still fail at
  • Keeping my room tidy
  • Socialising
  • Making goals

Monday, May 23, 2016

Learn to love yourself before trying to love others

There was a saying, that time heals all wounds. In some ways, that is pretty true. I think some wounds from love will never fully heal, but the scars they leave, should be there to remind us of who we are. There should be no shame to love, no fear to take risks. Falling in love is about getting hurt, and getting hurt should not be seen as a sign of weakness, but of strength.

The movie 'Everything Before Us' from WongFu reminded me of this. Take risks, try, fail, learn.
[Love is] not supposed to be - - easy. It's supposed to test you. Break you down and hurt like hell. And who you choose to go through that with - that's whats really important.
It's also like this comic inspired by C.S. Lewis's quote. To love at all, is to be vulnerable.

While I fell, hurt, and heal, I've finally found meaning to this phrase.
You need to love yourself first before you can truly love others.
Relationships are not about finding someone to be with. Your partner is not there to get rid of your loneliness. And they are definitely not there to help you get along with your insecurities. Learn to love yourself for who you are. Learn about your strengths and weakness. Meet people of different backgrounds. Try out new things, find out what makes you happy; not who. When you find out how to make yourself happy, then you will be prepared for a good relationship. And when would be a better time than after a break up?

I'm not necessarily happy, but I am very excited right now about what's to come. Because at this moment, I've learnt to move on.

Somewhat related.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

我还想她

https://youtu.be/8ymnap7ql3g

There are times at night when I miss you, when I miss how close we were, when I miss our cuddles.

When you stayed over, part if me wished something would happen and part of me was glad that nothing did. I thought to myself, what would I do if something happens? And my logical answer was to say no. But does that mean my longing to have something happen was just so I can say no? Or am I longing to be lost in the moment if it happens? I don't know.

I don't know how I feel about you anymore, I don't know how I feel about us. There's times when I see that you've changed for the better, but there's times that you still do things that makes me cross. Things that reminds me why we didn't work. I thought things are different now, I wish things are better now. I long for a day that we could be open with ourselves and say what's on our mind. I don't want you to hide away when things gets rough, I wish you could stand strong and have courage to tell me how you feel. I wish you could see that I might understand.

请告诉她 我不爱她
笑着难过 自我惩罚
想终止这一切挣扎 横了心 说真心谎话

别告诉她 我还想她
恨总比爱容易放下
当泪水堵住了胸口 就让沉默 代替所有回答

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Esther Perel: The secret to desire in a long-term relationship

Quite interesting talk. To love is to have, to desire is to want. To keep a relationship strong is when you understand the existence of this paradox.

Erotic couples also understand that passion waxes and wanes. It's pretty much like the moon. It has intermittent eclipses. But what they know is they know how to resurrect it. They know how to bring it back. And they know how to bring it back because they have demystified one big myth, which is the myth of spontaneity, which is that it's just going to fall from heaven while you're folding the laundry like a deus ex machina, and in fact they understood that whatever is going to just happen in a long-term relationship, already has.