And I’m Back

I was hoping I wouldn’t be back in this kind of state.

I’m getting pangs of jealousy and anger from different triggers. One was just seeing another Asian girl with a similar height. Another from seeing a guy with the same chubby body type as her boss. Heck even short stories and mangas about romance triggers it sometimes.

… Yeah, still not over it.

It’s like a panic attack sweeps my entire body. And I just curl up. I know it’s irrational, and it’s not as if I want to do it. But the pain’s still there. I’ve rationalized it to myself dozens of times. She has no desire to reach out to you. The panic attack isn’t serving any sort of useful purpose. I have so many other things going for me right now both in my personal life and my work life.

But the scar’s still there. I see other couples and wonder if one is cheating on the other. I see parents and wonder either of them has a lover on the side. I see people by themselves, sitting at a table, and wonder if they’re just like my ex.

If they’re going to fall in love. Then with their own hands, destroy that same love.

I guess I’ve never been too great at letting go. Not very surprising, considering I don’t have much in the way of parents and they also had a lot of difficulty letting go of things.

Infidelity. I don’t even think the “sex” is what counts for the infidelity. Swingers and open relationships are getting pretty common these days. But I still feel cheated. That, even though I was willing to put everything I had into it, she wasn’t willing to do the same for me.

She didn’t even give me a chance.


Toughing Through It

It hurts.

It still does. Everyone said it’ll hurt less as time goes on.

Here’s the thing – it doesn’t hurt any less than when I first found out. It’s still a deep scar, and it still overwhelms me with emotion whenever I think about the cheating and the break-up.

The only thing that’s changed is me.

I’m stronger now. It still hurts, but I guess I can say I’m used to it. I’m used to the emotional scars and being by myself again.

I never was much of a social person. I guess in a sense, I was always used to being on my own. I’ve always been a social outcast. I definitely didn’t belong at home – my parents made sure of that.

But when I fell in love, I belonged somewhere.

Maybe that’s what hurts the most – losing my home. Losing my place in the world where I felt I truly belonged. I sure as hell don’t belong here.

I keep trying to remind myself that these experiences will make me stronger. And one day, I’ll be thankful for this as well – not for the emotions, but for the lesson.

I still care for her very much. If I didn’t, it wouldn’t hurt so much every time I think of her and what she did. When I feel weak, I sometimes wonder if she’s thinks about me too. If she wishes things could be different, or if she regret dating me in the first place, or if she’s just laughing her ass off for duping some poor boy to pay for her school tuition.

Then I remind myself that none of it matters at this moment.

What matters is what I do going forward.

It’s a hard lesson, that’s for certain. And I have to accept the fact that every once in a while, I’ll think and dream of her. After all, we all dream of happier times. And deep down, we all want to be happy. To be without pain, and to enjoy everything each day has to offer.

But the sad truth is being happy isn’t what I need. I need to be stronger. I need to face my own demons. I need to confront my problems and get my stuff together. I need to work harder than I’ve ever worked before, to make a name for myself and, in the process, make a new place where I belong.

A friend once told me I tried too hard. She also told me it’s probably because I had to fight tooth and nail for all the things I’ve got. And that’s probably why this one guy bothered me – not because he did anything, but because he’s had a relatively carefree life – one I never got. The thought’s stuck in my mind for a while.

She’s right, in a sense. That probably was the discomfort I felt around him.

But I don’t think the effort I put forth is going to change.

When I do something, whether it’s love, work, or pleasure, I do it with everything I’ve got. I’m not worrying about consequences or risks. And definitely not failure – failure’s just the lesson I get before I succeed. I’m tough enough. I’m strong enough to fail again and again. And sure, I’ll lose hope and get depressed sometimes, but I know I’ll keep getting back up.

Yes, the cheating hurts. But I’ll be doing my best to make sure it doesn’t affect my future relationships. And I’ll probably fail, but at least I’ll keep trying.

Because when I love, I’m all in.

Lonely Valentine

Hey readers,

As I’m writing this, it’s valentines day. That exciting time of the year for singles around the world.

I’ll admit – it feels a bit empty. I spent the last 3 years directing my love towards my ex. The change in my behavior is a bit uncomfortable.

I guess I should be happy to experience love in the first place. To go through those tingly emotions that let me feel lust, compassion, and intimacy.

I’m sure I’ll find someone. And I’m sure it’ll be greater than any love I experienced before. And I’m sure I’ll look back at all of this and laugh at how childish I’m feeling or how insignificant it all is.

But right now, I’m feeling lonely.

And that’s okay.

Waking up

I wonder when it started.

It was probably gradual. It feels like I’m finally awake.

No, I’m not having a “spiritual awakening”.

But it definitely feels like parts of my personality are starting to surface again.

I guess it’s true – when you’re in an unhealthy relationship, you start to lose your individuality.

Wait. It wasn’t all unhealthy.

And it was also my first serious relationship. Even though in hindsight, I should’ve seen all the warning signs. At least now I know.

Wait, scratch that again. I don’t really know. It’s hard to be sure of anything.

And I’m also seeing parts of my personality that never existed before. Things I didn’t know, and probably wouldn’t know unless I went through this heartbreak.

I’m not quite over it yet, that much is certain. It’s going to take more time, and that’s okay. It just shows how important she was to me. How emotionally invested I was. And how much I cared.

As sad as it is, she’s now a part of my past. And eventually, she’ll just be a memory.

I should try to make that memory pleasant.

Maturing in the Workplace. And Life.

Hello Readers,

Tomorrow’s going to be a nerve-wrecking day for me. I have a meeting with my boss, and we’re going to discuss a variety of things about my career and future with their company.

One of those things is going to be my salary.

And I’m going to try and organize my thoughts here. At the very least, I don’t want to be an immature employee that wants more money. After all – this job isn’t necessarily about the money. I enjoy the work and the culture. But unfortunately I do wish to be living on my own at some point, and this’ll help facilitate it.

Last year, when I got this job, my goal was to get my salary raised from $45k to $50k at the end of the year.

But to get this, I’m going to need to know why I deserve one.

  • My current salary hasn’t changed from when I was employed a year ago. Since then, I’m more experienced at my role and have more responsibilities than when I was still learning.
  • I’m currently the acting lead of my team since the old acting lead recently left the company. I’m not an official lead, but I act as one for the product we work on. I have a large influence on the direction of our work.
  • I have expertise outside of my team as well. I can fulfill multiple roles within the company, and my knowledge of other team’s work makes me a strong collaborator.
  • My current role is expanding. I’m taking over some responsibilities from some coworkers that is technically outside the expectations of my role.

I think these are all the big things I can count. There’s a few other small things that I’m doing as well that’s contributing to the company. I’m also becoming a larger influence on both our work and the culture. I guess I’m carrying myself as someone that’s more experienced now.

Hmm. I wonder when I stopped being the new guy. It’s a bit of a bizarre feeling. I’m no longer the new guy at the company that’s trying to follow the guidelines of my role – I’m the guy making the guidelines. No, I’m not exactly a leader, but I do have people coming to me for my expertise.

I guess I’ve come a long ways, haven’t I.

Five years ago, I was a part of my university’s Physics Student Society. I was desperately looking for open internships during the financial recession we had. It was the year I decided I wanted to take Computer Science as a second major, and the year I went to an undergrad physics conference.

Four years ago, I met my ex and we hit it off. My grades definitely drooped then. I spent many nights spent on the phone and on Skype with her. I also helped plan a very successful physics conference. And gave a public speech to about 150 undergrads. That’s a little nerve-wrecking.

Three years ago, I finished my education and moved back home. Between settling back at home, having a new niece, and finally living in the same city as my ex, I was busy. And scared of my lack of employment and job opportunities.

Two years ago, my desperation for work got me steady employment at a call center. With promise of upward mobility to something that’s relative to my degree, I plugged away my hours taking calls from upset residents. The work was soul-crushing, but it was also the first year I had a steady income. I wish I could say I invested it well, but if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know I was also helping my ex with her tuition.

A year ago, I got a great job with one of the greatest workplace cultures anyone has ever seen. It felt like all my hard work was finally starting to see fruition. For once in my life, my career was going the way I planned it to. Then I found out my ex has been cheating on me. And I spent months in depression, trying desperately to make sure my work was at least mediocre before going home and crying due to the loneliness. I went through a mental breakdown.

Now, here I stand. I feel stronger than ever and more intelligent than I’ve ever been. I’ve experienced many storms. And I’ve weathered through all of them so far.

There are going to be tougher challenges ahead of me. But that’s okay. Because I’m tougher. And after these challenges, harder ones will follow.

And I will triumph.

Remember Who You Are

Hello Readers,

Would you like to hear a story?

Here’s how it starts: I saw my ex for the first time in about 6 months.

I finished work late, so I decided to pick up some Chinese food on the way back home. And I saw her eating with her family. I dropped by the table to say hi and see how they were doing. I felt it would’ve been a bit more awkward if I pretended they didn’t exist, especially since I made eye contact with her mother.

My ex had her head down and her back turned to me the entire time. I didn’t say anything much, it was just friendly small talk – asking how they were doing, how work was, etc.

After my food was finished, I said goodbye and left quickly.

She looked pretty disturbed when I was there, so later that night I texted her, asking if everything was okay, or if I just made her uncomfortable.

Looked like it was the latter – no response.

But you know what? That’s okay. I didn’t make sure everything was okay because I wanted to win her back, chat with her, or anything like that. I was simply concerned since she looked incredibly distraught.

A good chunk of people in the world would advise me to just ignore her. After all, if she’s going to be a cold bitch to you when you’re just having a small chat, then she doesn’t deserve your concern. Not to mention these facts:

  • She cheated on me
  • When I caught her cheating, she blamed it on my personality
  • She called me a cheap-ass, despite paying for half of her university degree as well as other things

Yes, I’m a little bitter. Who wouldn’t be? I know ruminating on her faults isn’t healthy. But pretending these facts don’t exist isn’t healthy either. I’m trying to just make note of them – after all, I can think of a much longer list of the good things she’s done with me.

So I guess this is me convincing myself I did the right thing.

I have no way of knowing if she’s uncomfortable because of me, or because of something else. I knew I probably would be ignored, and that’s okay. I’m not a part of her life anymore, nor is she a part of mine. If she doesn’t want to open up to me, then that’s okay.

But if she did – if she wanted someone to ask her how she was, to show concern for her, or to apologize to me, then I’ll give her the opportunity. This isn’t necessarily about her – it was about showing concern for someone that looked distraught, whether they’re a stranger or a friend. Despite how hard it is, I’m trying to treat her like a regular human being instead of the girl who broke my heart.

I’m not going to lie – I don’t like being ignored. Even a “Yeah, I was uncomfortable” would’ve been better. But the disappointment is fine.

Because I’m not compromising my morals and values just because I have a history with her.

Yes, in this situation, ignoring her would’ve resulted in nothing happening.

But if the situation was different – if she needed help, and I chose to ignore her because of our relationship, then I’d be disappointed in myself.

Readers, I think this is what people mean by moving on. Not pretending the relationship never existed, but also not staying stuck in the past. Becoming yourself again, despite the pains and tribulations. Except a stronger self.

I’m no longer the boy who’s trying to find out who he really is. No, I don’t know everything yet. There’s still much for me to learn – not just about myself, but about everyone around me.

If you’re going through tough times, remember to stay true to yourself. I’m not going to say I’ve been there, or it’s going to be easy – I’m not qualified, nor do I know what you might be going through. But remembering who you are will help you get through this. After all, you’ve gotten through many other things in life before this. You’ll find a way through this as well. And if there’s no way through it, I’m confident you’ll make your own way through it.

This is who I am:

  • I’m caring – I show genuine concern for the people around me, regardless of what they have to offer in return. I won’t let my past with my ex stop me from caring about others
  • I’m not afraid of failing – failing is just another lesson to be learned, and I’m strong enough to take the hit
  • I’m a sensitive person – it’s part of what makes me so damn empathetic to others
  • I’m persistent – If I don’t have the talent for it, then I’ll make up for it with hard work until I can learn that talent

I’m sure I’ll learn more about myself as the years go on, but that’s what I know about myself so far.

Feel free to comment about what you know about yourself down below.


And remember – take care of yourselves.

Purpose and Short-Term Goals

What’s my purpose?

It’s a question that’s come up frequently lately. What’s my main goal right? What do I want to accomplish in this life?

What do I live for?

People are important to me. Which is funny because I currently have no one in my life right now that’s important.

It’s kind of weird to express, seeing how I’m mostly introverted. But I know my happiest moments were times I shared with other people. Unfortunately, they’re also some of my saddest moments too.

You’d think I would try to volunteer a lot and be engaged with a lot of charities, but there’s a caveat to my passion – I don’t get passionate for strangers. I hold my friends and family (well, extended family) close to my heart.

I guess I want to feel loved back. I tend to make friends pretty quickly, but I can’t bring myself to do something for “some unfortunate soul I will never meet”.

I also have my own needs. I gotta get out of debt, and I want a career I can be proud of (my current job is fantastic and possibly the only reason I’m staying in this city).

I guess what I’m trying to say is I want something more. I don’t have many friends in this city, nor do I have people I can come home to and be happy to see. My university city ha has most of my old friends as well as people I met in the physics student society. And I got to know most of them – people’s stories have always fascinated me.

Sigh. I know there’s no point in complaining about my current situation. And yet, my home situation is destroying who I am. I know staying here is not good for my well-being. But I also know moving out isn’t good for my financial situation.

According to my calculations, I’ll be out of student debt by next year. Either that or if my ex decides to repay me for her schooling.

… Maybe I should just move out right now and live paycheck-to-paycheck while balancing debts and living expenses. Is my current situation really worth this experience?