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?

Feeling tired

Tired.

That’s how I feel right now. I don’t necessarily mean physically tired either.

Just plain ol’ tired.

It’s probably because I’m investing far too much time into work. My personal/work life balance sucks. Mostly because my personal life isn’t the best, so to diminish the loneliness I throw myself into my work.

Work’s great. New responsibilities, growth, good people. Of course, a bit more money wouldn’t hurt, but even that’s in progress.

I know I need a more fulfilling personal life. It’s a critical part of my overall health and well-being.

But how do you get a more fulfilling personal life?

2015 Incoming

So yeah, New Years’ Eve.

I’m sitting home alone writing on my blog.

I don’t necessarily think it’s bad. I mean, yes, I’d rather have someone to spend New Years’ Eve with, but maybe this is best for me. A bit of solitude – perhaps I was too dependent on having someone to be with, too insecure to face the fact that I might be truly alone. Too afraid to let go of what I already have, in fear that what I let go will never come back.

I’m afraid to disappoint or hurt others. Even though sometimes I have to hurt myself to avoid hurting others. It’s not healthy. I’m slowly learning to look out for myself more, but it’s a gradual process.

I’m a sensitive boy. No, it doesn’t mean I’m weak. I thought it did when I was younger, but now I feel it just gives me different tools and ways to interact with the world. It definitely helps me be more empathetic. Traditionally, I’ve always been bad at reading the mood, but I realized I can usually feel when something’s off. I’m sure that if I work at it, I can learn to read the atmosphere.

As far as happiness goes, I’m taking steps to be happy. I don’t think it’s a matter of fulfilling specific goals – I know my life is better than most of the world. It’s probably more of a mindset. I mean, I know I won’t be as happy this year as I was in previous years, but it doesn’t mean I should be unhappy.

I also know that this year hasn’t been filled with as much belonging as other years. It’s a good learning opportunity. As sad and tormenting as it is, being alone and rediscovering myself will help me in my future relationships, both romantic and platonic.

I have to keep reminding myself I’m going to be okay. Maybe if I say it often enough, I’ll remember.

It’s not necessarily going to get easier from here. I’m sure I’ll have some good times, and some bad times. I’m sure I’ll fall in love again. Unfortunately, I’ll probably have my heart broken again too.

At the very least, I’ve got a versatile personality. As weird as it sounds, I’m learning how to use “me” better. It feels a bit out-of-body when I think of it like this. It also feels a bit self-manipulating, but not necessarily in a bad way. Lots of people advise others to “just be yourself”, but I don’t think they realize how hard it is for people like me. Am I really so simple that I can determine in words exactly who I am? Are others really so simple they know exactly when they’re acting like themselves, and when they’re acting out-of-character?

This year, I’ll work hard to answer some of these questions. I’ll work hard to flesh out my own personality. I’ll work hard to find out what things invoke my different emotions. I’ll work hard to better define my different emotions instead of labeling them as good or bad.

2015, I have no idea if you’ll be better or worse than my other years.

But regardless of what you have waiting for me, here I come.