Category Archives: Personal

WHAT TO DO?

My nature is to dive into a situation and then just work my way through it.  I rarely shy away from a challenge – it keeps me on my toes since I bore easily.  Of course there are consequences of this type of rash behaviour.  Its always in the back of my mind that I’m going to pay for it, but a majority of the time I just don’t give a shit.  I always have the philosophy that things will work itself out.

My friend emailed me about a month ago to ask me if I wanted to go on vacation with her next year, that’s right, next year.  Hell, I’m still working on this year.  I reluctantly agreed, I actually wanted to say “no” but just didn’t have the heart to (my first mistake), but told her that a resort vacation was out of the question.  Lounging by the pool for a week or two is not my idea of a vacation anymore.

If there is one big thing that has changed since I came back from my work in the Dominican is my view on travel and the goals I want to accomplish in the next two years.  That trip changed me and gave me some clarity.  So, I’m regretting agreeing to this shared vacation.  What to do, what to do…

Its not going to kill me to go on vacation with her – my friend is great. Traveling with someone is nice just for the companionship.  But, I’ve also come to like traveling by myself.  Or at least traveling with someone who is like-minded.  I’m very independent, my friend is not.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but what I am saying is that I’ll probably want to do a lot of things on my own and she won’t do her own thing.  I could be wrong, but I’ve done enough vacations with her to know how she travels.

I can go anywhere by myself.  Its just that simple for me.  My friend, on the other hand, doesn’t like traveling on her own.  So, its my own fault for not answering honestly in the first place.  I will think of a way to make this work.  This is an example of how its not good to be impulsive.  😐

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STEREOTYPES

My cousin immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong about 10 – 12 years ago.  Him and his wife were police officers in Hong Kong.  I saw them last week and I was left with a feeling that I wasn’t “Chinese” enough – for them at least, I think I’m doing alright.  “Juk Sing”, that’s what they call me – born and raised in the Western world.  My cousin has these preconceived stereotypes about people such as myself, and when I say “people such as myself” I mean me being a “Juk Sing”.  My cousin is a great guy, but just a little too traditional and discriminating for me.  Here is just a few of the things him and his wife thought:

  1. He was surprised to learn that I understood and could speak Cantonese as well as I did (I’m no expert, but I can hold my own, I just need to conquer Mandarin!)
  2. He didn’t think I liked eating Chinese food….um, I freakin live on the stuff.  I love Asian food, not just Chinese.
  3. Him and his wife didn’t quite understand how I could live on my own, away from my parents.
  4. His wife thought I should go home for dinner every night (in Hong Kong, family members gather for dinner every night – even if you don’t live together, you eat together)
  5. His wife was then surprised to learn that I cooked, she thought I just did take-out.  And, even more surprise to learn that I enjoy cooking and I cook rice too.  My cousin instantly thought I cooked pasta cause you know that’s what Juk Sing’s like…right.

I could go on and on with the list, but it was very entertaining to me these stereotypes they had.  Based on what, I wasn’t exactly sure.  I’m not your typical Canadian born Chinese person.  I live on rice, I eat all sorts of Asian food, and actually, I’m not a huge fan of Western food, I like it, but if there was a bowl of rice, pho, Malaysian curry or chow fun in front of me, I’d pick those any day over a burger, fries and spaghetti with meatballs.

When people stereotype, it irritates me.  But, I can forgive my cousin, because he grew-up in a totally different environment than me.  Seriously though, me not eat rice?  Its like me not breathing……I’d die.

WORRIED

I’m worried about my friend.  My friend called me tonight to tell me about this very strange conversation she had with our friend that left her very worried.  Our friend is the mother of my godchild.  She’s had four kids in the span of 6 years, with one miscarriage in between.  I’ve known her since university and she’s always been a strong, resilient person.  I’ve hardly ever seen her weak or vulnerable.

I can’t begin to even understand the stresses of raising four kids.  I’m tired out from having a day with my nephews, so I can’t fathom 24/7 with four kids.  So, I got a call from her about 2 weeks ago telling me the hell she’s been through in the past few months.  I had an inkling about it after her third pregnancy, but she seemed to have bounced back.  This time it seems more serious and my friend and I are thinking maybe she has developed postpartum depression after her fourth child.  We’ve never seen her like this before. 

So, tomorrow (Friday), my friend and I will be giving her a much needed mini-break – we’ve been planning this since she left that message – its been hard to get a hold of her since, but thankfully we finally decided on a day to help her out.  Its not much, but I’m going to bring lunch, clean her place up, do some laundry, pick-up my friend (who will help in the evening with me), and then I’ll make her my world famous (ok, I think so!) chicken stir fry for dinner, and then put the kids down for bed.  My friend and I have decided we’ll try to do it next week as well (and continue to do it for as long as they need), and since I have the time now, might as well use it productively and usefully.  I’m really looking forward to seeing her tomorrow, it’ll put my mind at ease a little just to see her and hopefully make her laugh a little with my silliness.  She said she needed a laugh and I plan to deliver!

Its interesting how pregnancy, and the after effects of it, can whack a women out of balance, hormonally speaking.  It has certainly affected my friend.  I’ve never, ever seen her this emotional, stressed and vulnerable, ever.  It just breaks my heart.

NEXT ADVENTURE

drbeauty1

Memories of the Dominican

My next adventure – I’ve been mulling it over.  Once I settle the job situation, I’ll be working on my adventure situation.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately because one of the girls I went to the Dominican Republic with, where I helped build houses, is going on another volunteer trip.

She does industrial design and she’ll be helping design/build this eco-tourism center and missionary center in Rwanda.  I haven’t been in close contact with her since the trip, but we’re on facebook so that’s how I found out.  She’s leaving in a few days, to do a trip in Europe and then she’ll make her way to Rwanda from there.  I met-up with her briefly today because she’s borrowing my battery charger.  We both have Canon cameras, and she left her charger at her parents, who live 5 hours from Toronto.  She started a blog about her trip and I told her I would stalk it daily, because she is going to Rwanda so I’m a bit worried, and she promised to update it as often as possible.  It was great to see her, she’s got such a bubbly personality, she’ll do good in Rwanda.

I really want to do a trip that will tie in with some volunteering this year as well.  I think I’m hooked now.  I was trying to explain to a friend how I could never do a resort vacation again, and she didn’t quite get it.  She thought it was because of the food, which is ridiculous, but after I explained it to her I think she was a bit embarassed once she understood that the reason why I couldn’t do it was because of what I had experienced not because of bad food.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with resort vacations abroad, but I crave adventure, being active and doing something worthwhile.  I’ve seen what comes out of a volunteer effort and having experienced it I can’t forget it, I want to keep doing it.  

A couple of countries pop into my head for this year – Africa and Asia.  Maybe I’ll just close my eyes and point somewhere on a map of Africa or Asia and that will be where I go. 

Trust me, there is a method to my madness.  😉

THE JOB HUNT

The Job Hunt – one of my least favourite things to do.  I’ve been at it for almost 2 months, more aggressively since the new year and for awhile there it seemed so futile.  It was a bit disheartening, but I kept going at it.

Finally, its paying off and the past couple of days I’ve been getting requests for interviews.  Now, the challenge is keeping track of all the jobs I’ve applied for and not to mix them up.  I’ve been pretty good at keeping the job descriptions and emails I’ve been sending and making sure not to forget to keep them.  And, as I keep building the number of positions I apply for, the challenge is to keep it organized.  My goal is to apply for a job a day or more so I’m going to be accumulating many job descriptions before I actually land a job offer.

My other least favourite thing?  Researching these companies once I get the interview and retaining what I learn about them.  This is my weak point, regurgitating what I remember about what these companies do.  Most of the time I make shit up and the employer can tell, but I’m determined I will get better!!! (at least I hope so?!).

Anyways, I have an interview today and a couple next week.  I’m trying not to get too worked up over these interviews.  I’m not comfortable “selling” myself.  I’d rather gouge my eyes out sometimes then go through these interviews.  It really is that painful to me at times.  But, I know its a necessary evil and I do it.

I’m trying not to tell anyone about these interviews, the less they know the better.  I won’t get bombarded with questions about how it went or have someone coach me on how to do the interview.  It just makes me more nervous.

A 9-5 is not exactly my dream situation, but in order for me to get to where I want to be, I need to do this for now.  Not forever, just a little longer before freedom reigns…LOL.

I guess I better put on that power suit and get ready.  Wish me luck!

WRITING

journal_coverThe first diary/journal I kept was when I was 8.  It had a lock on it, cause I didn’t want my brother getting into it.  I can’t remember a time I didn’t write down my thoughts and feelings, whether pen to paper or electronically, I’ve always recorded my thoughts when I needed to.  It helps me sort out how to work out situations or just to work through my emotions which I often times have a hard time expressing.  I’m better now at expressing myself emotionally, but its still a work-in-progress.

So, I’ve been thinking about the different things I’d like to do now that I have the time to actually do them, be productive.  Someone told me to plot out all the things I enjoy doing and it’ll reveal itself to me.  I visualized it, almost like meditating (but not) and I figured out that I really like being creative, hence the writing.  Its the right side of my brain taking over – my left handed tendencies haven’t completely vanished (my mom forced me to be right handed – so actually I use both sides of my brain – or at least I’d like to think so!).   I don’t think I could make a career out of writing, and I don’t want to, but I could turn this passion into something part-time.  I’d like to enroll myself in a course for creative writing, but because of my low tolerance for a controlled environment, I’m looking at alternatives to help me with my writing process.

Writing has always been a fun thing for me, a personal thing for me.  And, if I could do something constructive with it that would be great.  I’m in a state of flux right now, but I’m figuring it out.  Its not always fun, but its been revealing.

LIVE YOUR LIFE

I am always reminded of how important it is to live your life to the fullest.  That’s one of the reasons why my goal for 2009 is to simplify my life.  I already try to keep it as simple as possible, but I know I could simplify it further.  Simplicity = more time to enjoy yourself and the people around you.

My friend was telling me yesterday about a co-worker of hers that lives in Edmonton, she had a crush on him before, and she just learned that he has stage 3 cancer.  He’s barely 40 years old and he found out just before Christmas.  How’s that for a present?  My friend is worried and concerned, but optimistic, for her co-worker and so am I.  The treatments that are out there for cancer are vast and I’m hopeful he’ll go into remission. 

When I hear things like this, it makes me pause and think about my life.  If I were to die tomorrow, would I die knowing I did all that I wanted to do?  I don’t think so.  And, to me that’s not good.  I have places I want to see, people I have yet to meet, family and friends I want to grow old with and adventures I have yet to get started on. 

Moments of clarity push you in the right direction, but a blast of reality puts you into action.