Just A Phase

I realize it might be a bit excessive how I’m handling this transition, what with meticulously calendaring a full daily schedule, unique to the day of the week, each day following my corporate departure. And I realize it may seem a bit nuts to have a separate doc with a specific plan laid out for each blog and each venture I plan to pursue. But I just don’t want to lose momentum.
I mean… this is my life. I can’t let it fall apart again. I can’t lose momentum. I just can’t.
And I’m scared I’m going to.
Well… I don’t really think I will. I’d like to think I know my own ambition too well to think me capable of letting my dreams slip away.
But then I did let it happen before. I did lose sight of my dreams amidst the bright lights and fancy lingo of the illustrious high tech business world. And I’m ashamed of that. I’m ashamed that I so unceremoniously sacrificed my health and creativity for a life that didn’t give back all that I put into it.
That’s why this is so important to me. It’s a huge step for me, and it’s one I do not take lightly. So I plan to take this all the way, wherever that way may lead. I’m leaving all doors open, all possibilities endless. But being the planner I am by nature, I am taking some extra precautions for the immediate future and setting out a daily schedule to help keep me on track.
So is that really such a crazy idea?
This is my life, and I chose this new path. I chose it myself, for myself, based on myself’s definition of a successful and fulfilling life. And I have to stand by it, no matter what other people might say.
Oh I’ve heard the concerns. I’ve heard their doubts. I’ve heard them say they don’t think this will last. I know some think this is just a pathetic attempt to relive those old glory days of young naïve freedom. Sure I know what they are referring to. Everyone had their own version of that period between college and adulthood, where you get to pretend you are still free from responsibility and bills, to just have fun and travel the world, before having to face a real job and the real world.
So that’s what they think this is huh? Just a phase?
Well, maybe it is a phase. But I’m not treating it like one. I made a serious commitment with this life-altering decision. I put serious time and thought into determining the right next step. And though I truthfully don’t know where it will lead, I have a pretty good sense now of who I am and what I want in life. And likewise, I have a pretty good mind that what I’m doing now is what is right for me and my future.
This is not some fun mini-adventure, or an attempt to take a break from my life. It’s my way of trying to finally live my life, to its fullest potential and my fullest happiness.
I was catching up with one of my favorite coworkers over lunch recently, and I was explaining why I was so careful with the timing of my resignation, considering the bonus we just got and how bad that might look. So she stops me and asks why exactly I did that. She pointed out that I am leaving the industry entirely, so it’s not as if it would really matter what people think. I realized I didn’t actually have a good answer to this.
But when she suggested it might have been so as not to burn any bridges in case I did ever want to come back, I found myself saying that though I am essentially leaving all doors open, I am pretty damn sure I will never again want to work in this corporate world.
Now why I felt compelled to say this so definitively, I don’t know. But it must have something to do with the fact that as nebulous and unpredictable as this new path is, I do have a pretty good sense of what I am about on it. I have a pretty good idea where I’m headed, and I chose that direction very deliberately.
This is indeed the next phase of my life, but that does not mean it is just a phase. This is not me trying to be 23 again. I am moving forward with my life, not backward. It’s my time now, I have made my choice, and I’m going to live it with every inch of my being.
So take that world!
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Mad

I am mad.
Well ok. Yes, we all know I am crazy / mad… but that’s beside the point.
Today, and for the last several days, I’ve been angry / mad; like peeved off at the world and all the annoying people in it / mad; like how can there be this many stupid people in the world? / mad; like why am I still stuck here with these people instead of getting on with my new life? / mad.
Firstly, I’m mad about the big stuff…
I’m mad at my life and how much I have seen myself changed. I’m mad that somewhere in there, I lost myself. I’m mad that it took so much time and energy to find myself again. I’m mad that I’m still so lost, even after all that.
I’m mad that all these changes feel so scary. I’m mad that I’m not stronger in facing them. I’m mad for being weak. I’m mad that I am so afraid of being weak. I’m mad that that makes me weak.
I’m mad that they don’t understand my reasons for these changes. I’m mad at their criticisms and concerns. I’m mad that they think I’m moving backwards. I’m mad that a tiny part of me wonders if they are right. I’m mad at my own weakness in questioning myself.
I’m mad at my job. I’m mad that it provoked such panic. I’m mad that I let it. I’m mad at how empty it left me. I’m mad that I ever imagined myself satisfied in this environment. I’m mad every time I question whether leaving is the right decision. I’m mad that it took me this long to realize I need to leave.
I’m mad at my computer. Oh man, am I mad at my computer. I’m mad every time I have to restart this damn thing. I’m mad that it loses all my open tabs every time. I’m mad when it runs so incredibly slow, or needs another software update every 5 minutes. I’m mad that I can’t be more patient. I’m mad that I’m taking for granted this actually very nice MacBook computer, which work gave to me for free!
I’m mad that it didn’t work out with him. I’m mad that I finally found this incredible, indescribable, incomparable connection – and it was with someone who had no idea how to be with me, despite his wanting to be. I’m mad at how I’ve handled the others that have come around since. I’m mad (and confused) at how they want me. I’m mad that I don’t ever want them. I’m mad that it never seems to work out. I’m mad that that’s likely largely my fault.
I’m mad that everyone else around me seems to have someone. I’m mad that I’m still alone. I’m mad that that makes me feel alone. I’m mad that I pretty much always have been alone. I’m mad that I’ve mainly kept myself that way. I’m mad that I’m afraid I’ll end up this way. I’m mad for entertaining the idea that I need anyone anyway.
Then I’m also mad about the small stuff…
I’m mad at the appallingly bad drivers in the Bay Area. I’m mad each time someone forgets to signal a lane change, or cuts me off, or drives excessively slow. I’m mad when they break unnecessarily in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I’m mad to think I was ever that bad a driver. I’m mad that I’m an Asian woman, and therefore stereotyped as a bad driver. I’m mad that my one stupid accident is coming back to bite me in the ass, two years later! I’m mad that this is probably going to haunt me forever.
I’m mad at how terrible that massage was today. I’m mad that he thought it was a good idea to just hit my back several times and rub my skin till it hurt, and then call it a massage. I’m mad that he had the gall to charge me money for that. I’m mad that I paid him. I’m mad that I’m complaining about a massage, which I got during work hours, at discount. I’m mad that this makes me feel like I’m acting entitled.
I’m mad at all the seriously entitled people at work. I’m mad at having to tiptoe through the tulips with these people. I’m mad to think I was ever like them. I’m mad to think I sometimes still can be. I’m mad that I can’t be sure until I get away. I’m mad that I can’t get away fast enough.
My god, I am mad at literally everything. And now I’m mad that I’m mad. It’s a never-ending, vicious cycle.
And the process it took to write all this out, though much needed, also lead to my first panic attack in two months. So now the anger, or madness if you will, has transformed into something even worse: confusion.
It’s not enough that I’m mad and sad and terrified. Let’s throw confused into the mix! Let’s add complete bewilderment about my present situation and my future. Let’s leave me totally flummoxed about what I think, what I’m doing, and just who I am in general. Let’s question every genuine thing I thought I’d found, and blur the lines between real and surreal.
Ah yes, and there’s the crazy / mad part I was telling you about. You see? It all comes right round full circle. And boy does that make me mad!

The Sign of the Self

My birthday is coming up very soon, in less than 3 weeks in fact, on March 25! Yes, this means I’m an Aries. I know, big surprise right? In fact, I’ve always found it a bit freaky just how blatant an Aries I am. Everything I’ve ever read about the zodiac sign has seemed to perfectly describe me, to a tee.
Well I was casually pondering this the other day, and I decided to do a little online research for good measure. You know, just for shits and giggles. And did you know just how much information there is to be found on the internet? It’s awe-inspiring, and a bit overwhelming!
I sat engrossed in my computer for barely a couple of hours, and in that time I stumbled upon more insight into my astrological background than I ever imagined, and more insight into myself than seems possible from one night of Google-ing.
But then I realize I am a biased reader. So hows about I share with you all what I found instead, and you can tell me whether or not you think it’s actually significant?
Here’s what I learned:
1. The Aries sign is the first sign of the zodiac, as well as one of the four cardinal signs, indicating that Arians are natural leaders and always like to be first themselves
2. Arians exhibit fearlessness and aren’t afraid to explore the unknown in life – which just seems so fitting for where I am in my life right now
3. We are apparently also energetic and daring, and fighters who crave adventure and enjoy the thrill of the hunt – ring any bells?
4. Similarly, it’s part of being an Aries to know exactly what you want, and have no problem going after your goals in a very edgy and passionate manner
5. Arians always prefer to get on with the job rather than waiting around for something to happen, which can translate into impatience for people who work at a slower pace – wow, did they study me before writing this?
6. Arians also have a freedom-loving spirit, which means we like having the space to do our work on our own terms, and thrive in situations where we are our own boss, make our own decisions, and create our own destiny – this is getting spooky
7. Since I was born between March 21 – 30, the planet Mars is doubly strong for me, which means I can be demanding and not so tolerating of opposition – am I really like that? Tell me now!
8. But being born in that part of the month also means I have an increased level of stamina, and require more physical activity to release this resulting frustration – soooo true!
9. Arians is the sign of the self, so people born under this sign strongly project their personalities onto others
10. And lastly, Arians are evidently very impulsive, and usually don’t think before they act or speak, often just saying whatever pops into their head – ahahahaha!
In closing, I’ll leave you with this final thought:
The Sun’s presence in the Aries zodiac basically gives our will free rein of expression, which we can either assert through a leadership role, or (get this) in forcing others to look at themselves in a new way.
Coincidentally, this touches right on a major part of my motivation to be a writer and a sharer of my journey. I hope through all of this, I have inspired some of you to look at your own journey in a new and different way, and perhaps explore the unknown in your own life.

A Little Bit Of Magic

Have you ever taken advantage of a random excuse to make a wish? I found a loose eyelash on my face – make a wish! I just drove over train tracks – make a wish! I held my breath through the whole tunnel – make a wish!

Well I was driving home last night, exhausted from a most energetic evening catching up with great friends, and I saw the clock on my dashboard strike 11:11pm. As if by instinct, I immediately thought, ‘oh I should make a wish!’ So I thought about it and finally said, ‘I wish that I’ll be able to get quickly back to the house without any delays, so that I might see the housemates before they go to bed, instead of having to sneak inside in the dark.’

But once spoken, I realized this was a rather odd wish for me. Oh I meant my wish, but it’s just that this is not at all like the wishes I’m used to making. In fact, I guess I really haven’t been making my usual kinds of wishes for a while now, since this whole recent life revaluation began.

A year ago, if I saw the clock hit 11:11, I would have wished for a more peaceful state of mind, or even for world peace. I might have wished that my job would suck less or that I’d soon find that one guy that can inspire me to love. In a sense, I would have wished for something on a bit of a grander scale, something less specific, and thus less easily attained. I’d have set my sights too high without a clear idea of how to reach them, and as such, would probably never have reach them.

This was a common theme for the way I lived my life before the massive re-haul which redefined my path. But in turning around and looking back at how I’d lived and who I’d become, I saw this theme emerging. And I didn’t like what I see.

Now that I’ve come through the thickest part of the forest, and am making my way into the wide open fields, I understand what making wishes is really about. If you want to wish for something – I mean really wish for it – then you’ve got to start with a clear idea of what you want and how you can get it. That’s the first key ingredient, and it’s something I’ve only just recently figured out for myself.

A wish is a mixture of one part dreaming and one part reality. You can’t manufacture a miracle out of thin air. It’s got to be based on something that already exists around you. But then you add the magic of the wish, and with confidence and courage, you just might be able to see it come true.

That wish I made last night was a perfect example of this. Sure, it was a small one and very simple, but more importantly, it was based in reality. I was already on my way home, and making good time. But I also knew it was very late, and could a little helping of wish magic to make sure I got back in time. It wasn’t much to wish for, but it was sure as hell a realistic wish – one part dreaming, and one part reality.

Of course, I’m not afraid to shoot higher than that, so long as I keep this in mind. I’ve got a great many other wishes I’d like to whisper upon a shooting star, that ask for something a bit more than just a reasonable bedtime. But each one is still based in reality, with a clear sense of what I want and how I think I could achieve it with a little bit of magic.

I wish that I’ll survive the next two weeks at work, and find the peace I believe will come at the end of it. I wish that I’ll be able to reconnect with those people here that truly matter to me, and ensure we maintain those relationships long after I leave. I wish for the strength to continue, and not lose momentum on this new journey, once I finally taste that sweet, sweet freedom.

I wish that in good time, with a combination of dedication and aptitude, I will become a successfully paid stuntwoman. Equally so, I wish that I’ll find someone out there willing to pay me for my writing!

I could keep going. I wish that my upcoming birthday celebration will indeed kick ass! I wish for my intended trips to Hawaii, Yosemite and beyond to all become reality. I wish to continue finding newer and better ways to simplify and streamline my life, and maximize my useful time. I wish to always have a clear idea of what I want, and how I can go about getting it. I wish that I will keep writing everyday, and really utilizing all the powerful outlets I’ve identified to express myself. And I wish through all this, to continue realizing ways of inspiring others to do the same.

Are you seeing a trend here? All of these wishes I’ve listed, they are all really just goals of mine. You could just chalk these up to the objectives I’ve set forth to achieve on this new phase of my journey.

That’s all wishes really are anyway. They are the aspirations that you’ve determined you truly want, the intentions you’ve deemed possible, with just a little bit of magic.

So now it’s your turn. Tell me, what do you wish for?

It’s The People

Here I thought I was completely miserable being back here at work. But funnily enough, the past few days here have been oddly happy. I’ve had the random luck of running into a few old favorite friends and colleagues, and indulging in some long overdue quality catch up. It’s amazing how something like that can really pick up your spirits!
Now I know I said the culture here is one-dimensional and the interactions lacking authenticity, but that of course is a generality not necessarily applicable to everyone. In my four years here, I was lucky to find a number of truly wonderful and candid people, and it’s been these people who’ve made working here for this long bearable. Truthfully, anytime someone here has resigned and sent around the usual mass farewell email, they’ve often sited the people they’ve worked with as the best part of their time here. Likewise for me, it’s been the people I’ve known here who have kept me coming back to work everyday.
I’d almost forgotten that, lost in my woe-is-me-I-hate-my-job whirlwind. But over the last couple days, I’ve been fortunate to run into some of these folks and experience real heartfelt conversation. It’s a wonderful reminder that there are genuine souls here that I’ve had such a lasting connection with them. These are people I actually plan to stay in touch with, and make a part of my life’s next journey. Just a few happy days, and with it some long overdue Facebook friendings and promises that my last day here won’t be the last day for our friendship.
What’s more, many of these people were inspired by the tales of my next journey and have confided their own secret dreams of freedom and expression. I was so caught up in my own vision that I didn’t stop to think there might be others here at work with the same aspirations. It’s an unexpected treasure to discover I’m not the only artist-turned-corporate-drone who wants to return to my roots. It somehow makes me feel less alone, and eases some of the guilt about abandoning this seemingly perfect company and dream job.
So as I struggle to keep my composure in this place day by day, and as I endeavor to preserve the precious bits of my soul recently recovered, I can take comfort in knowing that these people have become another much needed source of comfort and confidence – and that I in turn have the ability to provide them with the same thing.
I know now how the hell I lasted a whopping four years here, and why the prospect of leaving, though relieving, still feels a little like breaking up. It’s not because of the cheap massages, or the free laundry, or the gourmet meals… it’s because of the people.

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