dreams end when you wake up.

Dreams end when you wake up.

I was talking to Dave earlier about continuously dreaming until at one point, you realize it’s not for you. We dream all the time but it’s an idealized future without uncontrollable or unknown variables. It’s your made up reality where you achieve a goal. This dream fuels us to work harder to achieve it until you reach that point. A few things could happen, 1) the goal is similar to what you have imagined and you are left satisfied, 2) the goal is so far out that you just want to abandon it, or 3) you just live with it making the most out of it. Personally, moving abroad was always a dream. It’s a combination of 1) and 3) for me because for the most part, I am happy. I did imagine that I’d find a partner along the way, but it seems to be just a dream once again. I manage my expectations and adjust with what I have. I’m not the 100% content, but it’s enough for me to believe that the situation is still acceptable.

Disruption.

I love the disruption of a vacation trip. It makes you learn about new things. You learn about the place you go to. You learn about yourself and choices you make. And you learn more about people around you. It’s not positive all the time but it makes you see more things with a different viewpoint and gives you a better understanding of who you are in your present and your future.

Looking for Alaska

The second book I was able to read this year is Looking for Alaska. This is written by John Green — the same guy who wrote The Fault in Our Stars which I also adore. I truly enjoyed reading the book!

I’ve been a big fan of the young adult genre of books because I felt that I never really experienced assimilating these ideas/thoughts when I was growing up. My parents weren’t big fans of reading (except the news) so I was not exposed as well to literature then. I had to read things for school, but most of them were just too adult or literary. I can only remember A Separate Peace that truly connected with me and for a teen who never got into literature then, it’s a big thing. I feel that I am catching up even if I have already formed some strong ideas/philosophies in life, there’s still some value in reading these bits of literature. I don’t know if that’s just a mere rationalization of some Peter Pan syndrome, but I guess there’s really no harm done.

For me, Looking for Alaska represents the idea of acceptance and self-direction. It gives us hope that we move forward in our lives through acceptance even if we feel that we live in a “labyrinth of suffering”. Reality is that life is not all good and we will experience a number of tragedies that shake us to the core. A big chunk of these tragedies are things we cannot control. These are questions we cannot answer completely; similar to what happened to Alaska. As humans, we try to make sense of everything. Why did it happen? What could have I done differently? But those questions are moot because whatever the why and the what if analyses, life still moves forward. You learn to accept things happen because they can happen. It makes it easier to live on if we get this notion that I cannot be in control of ALL things. That’s why I envy people who have strong faith to their religious beliefs, because they submit easily that it’s part of some elusive plan of life to salvation — something positive. For me, I just really think shit happens and we need to live with it —- pragmatic but a bit cynical.

Yes, I’m Aware.

It was a rather mixed few days for me now that I am looking back. It felt productive, but also somber because of the love occasion. Yes, it was Valentine’s Day last Saturday, or how I call it — the “spit on my face that I’m single!” day. I have been doing really well trying to focus on being happily single, but when everything just reminds you that you are alone with no one enjoying it with, your resolve crumbles. I did not spiral into depression, but it really affected me because it was a big reminder how alone I am. I guess it is more pronounced living here in the US where you are expected to stand up on your two feet and trudge on independently. But, that’s that and I have to adjust and live with my choices, and hope for the best.

On a happier note, JT, one of my Cinci friends visited here for a night of volleyball last Thursday. It was nice to see him and reconnect, even if we chat regularly. It’s still different seeing him in person and being able to interact with him face-to-face. He has some stories that are familiar to me since I’ve lived in Manila, but a bit foreign as well because there are many new things that have just moved on. Not that I am complaining because I do not have any plans of moving back to the Philippines anytime soon.

It was also my last day to play volleyball for a while. I have finally listened to the aches I feel in my body. I really need to let my knee rest, and strengthen it. It does not mean that I will just let things go because I still have to meet some goals — stronger core, and upper body. The current plan is to rest my knees for 2 weeks, and then start strengthening them out in the next 2 weeks. So I should be able to focus on my upper body then. In my head, it sounds good but we will see if this will fly.

Last weekend (while sulking at home), I invested my time in watching a documentary on the history of the US. It all started with my frustration on the history category of the Trivia Crack game. I was practically clueless about US history, and I was really fascinated by the short history of the US from its humble beginnings in Jamestown, until its current status as a superpower. I am informed, but there’s still a lot of history that I need to learn! It was a good start for me enabling me to cover the major milestones in US history.

I also got to watch this movie called That Thing Called Tadhana. It’s a Filipino movie tackling the sad aftermath of a breakup. The style reminds me of the “Before…” trilogy of Linklater because it was mostly conversation between a man and a woman exchanging stories, and ideas. I really love these kinds of movies!

That brings me to this week! I’m getting my first vacation of the year and will be travelling to Portland and Seattle this Thursday. I’ll be meeting my friend Danuel there. Hopefully, everything would be smooth and enjoyable! I’m mostly excited about Din Tai Fung in Seattle so that should keep me in high spirits until Sunday (the day when I leave Seattle).

Loosen Up

I stumbled in a website called http://www.succeedsocially.com/ where it gave some valuable insights in being able to be more successful in your social life. There is a bounty of tips, and pieces of advice that can really help in dealing with people. It’s something I really need to be honest. I consider myself an introvert, and would consciously clam up during situations where I am required to socialize. I cannot pinpoint exactly where the root of my issues are because I think I also act in a more outgoing manner with a different set of people. I think it’s more on comfort and self-confidence in asserting myself.

In my line of work, it is really important to have some social skills. I have read some tidbits in the net about Shy/Introvert Project Managers and why it’s very difficult for them to be successful. I partly disagree to this because managing a project is not all about social connections, but the experience and perspective on how manages should and could run. At the same time, I do understand that communication and being able to build relationships with your stakeholders can also be a factor in making or breaking a project. I do not want to come off as insincere or fake (or am I just being tough on myself?) by just doing it for the sake of doing it. I do want to be genuine in building connections and networks and for me, it takes time. It is a work in progress and definitely one of my major developmental areas not only in career, but in my personal life.

It’s February!

January flew by really quick. Too quick to be honest. I did not really prepare much yet on how I plan to achieve my 2015 goals, and that really reflected with my results. It’s not really a great start. That would mean some major corrective actions that I need to do for the next few months or so. So far, I have identified some wins and issues with my goals:

Financials – meh.
Shopping seems to be the bane of my existence. I did not really do great in this area because I had to buy some shoes, and succumbed to sales to fill up my closet with winter clothes. I am assuming I will not add to that, but I will need to account for my Seattle-Portland trip in February, new volleyball shoes, and my plan to have my genetic data read. I’ll have to spread that out in the next few months, and I have to control other areas of spending as well (food!). On the bright side, I think I have curbed down my food spending. I did go over my budget, but it was mainly because of big Costco purchases that should last me for a month or two. So, if I remove that, I have exceeded my expectations. February should be better here, even if I will go to Seattle-Portland. I pack my food now to work which is (1) more Paleo-compliant, and (2) cheaper.

Career – more focus needed.
I really need more focus with work. Boredom gets the better of me, and I feel so unproductive at times. I complain of not being to do some work, but I think I can use that time better. I also need to improve my social skills to be honest. I need to be more sociable with the people around me, and not just with people I am comfortable with. I need to work on being able to overcome my shyness with new people and being able to just carry conversation and small talks.

Health – Pause on the horizon.
I have decided to take a break from my volleyball. I plan to play only until mid February, and then I will take a 1 month hiatus to let me knee fully heal and strengthen. Physical activity will not stop of course. I will probably focus on building on my core, and upper body strength. I will not have strenuous activities for the first 2 weeks, and then gradually introduce strengthening exercises in my hams, and quads. Let’s see if this plan will work. If not, another doctor’s visit might be necessary. Diet wise, I’ve been more Paleo compliant during the week because I bring food at work. I’ve moved to almond milk for my smoothies and morning coffee. I have not really felt any results to be honest, but I am assuming these things take time (PLEASE!).

Effort

My friends and I were talking earlier about what the right approach is in scoring someone you like — either you exert effort and put yourself out there and be aggressive about the situation, or just be chill and let things happen. For some people, it’s so easy for them. They are likes flowers where they easily attract bees, flies, butterflies and other creature because they are just attracted to them. Most people I think are not that gifted and they have to put some more work than others just to get something. Of course, there are also those who put in 110% effort but will still come up empty-handed – a long entry on this on another time perhaps. This is life and it’s not meant to be fair so you have to roll with it and make the most out of it.

Of course, being me, I was completely honest. I told my friend, you need to put in effort because we’re not like our other friend (he gets a daily dose of hits in those dating apps). He agreed on my thinking, but of course, it’s not as encompassing as it seems. Attraction is still relative. Some will exert effort, and some will not whether they need it or not. I’ve seen hot people who would really go out there and work it. Personally, I am firm believer of putting effort. If you want something, you have to work for it. It’s not 100% sure that you will not get it, but your chances increase in achieving it. I think it applies in almost anything I’ve done, so it has been my guiding principle. Work for it, but do not expect it.

Jan 31

Happy Saturday! I feel much better with what’s going on with life and I think it’s because I am already settled with my routine. So far, my personal time and work life are not clashing and that’s pretty good. I had to adjust some bits but all are working well. I just have to let go of Tuesday volleyball and switch that with the Monday volleyball. Madisonville is just closer to my place than OTR. I can do my groceries and other errands on my gym days so they all fit well. Of course, I still think I am racing against time, but it’s not too frustrating anymore.

Volleyball – I played bad on Monday, but I think I did well on Tuesday and Thursday. One thing I have noticed though was that I was getting dependent on caffeine to keep me moving in the games. I just had coco water to keep me hydrated last Monday and Tuesday and after 4 games, I was already losing steam and just wanted to sleep it off. I just need to do more adjustments there I guess. My left knee is still acting up but I don’t think there’s something I can do to fix this.

Work – it’s been going well. I am getting more clarity about what I need to do, but it’s just so boring being in the office most of the day not doing much. I went to the downtown office last Wednesday and it was a good thing. I was trying to find the memory leak in my laptop, and I ran the driver verifier to check if one of my drivers is the culprit. Well, because of that, I got stuck in a BSOD cycle that prevented me from logging in my laptop. I cannot run it in safe mode because I do not have my BitLocker key. I had to re-image my laptop because of that and the onsite IT was as big help in that. Phew!

Updates

Once again I’ve been plagued with inertia and unable to do much other than my routine. I am still adjusting with my normal life where I get a 8-5 job in the office. I think I can give it one more week and I will be fine.

Last week, was a long weekend. Manila of course had a 5-day holiday because of the Pope but I’ll not complain with mine. A holiday is a holiday. I didn’t really spend it out of town since I figured I’ll be vacationing next month in Portland and Seattle. That Monday, I just did a small walk at Sharon Woods. Nothing really earth-shattering but it’s a nice walk there.

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This week, my schedule was kinda thrown off. The court at LA fitness was closed so that meant no volleyball last Thursday and Saturday. I don’t know when that will reopen but I think I need it. I want my Fat % to drop down to at least 9. I don’t want to be really lean but I think that 9 seems reasonable… Right?

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So last weekend was kinda fun and a bit lazy productive. I finished Blood on Olympus last Saturday finally. I was kinda disappointed how it was written especially the last few chapters. I thought the fight will be more epic but it was not. House of Hades is my favorite. Then, yesterday, Irene, Abu and I cooked some Chinese Lumpia and it was a success. It was so good. The last time I ate this dish was in Dec 2013. It’s really long overdue, but it is so worth it. And now, I saw how it’s made so I think I can do it. I wanna make other dishes that I grew up with in the future so that’s exciting.

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There’s really nothing much for me to tell in terms of other things going on with my life. It’s pretty quiet and calm. I want it to be better but my state is not really worth complaining. I need to be grateful and enjoy what I have. It’s all I have after all.

Busy Busy

I’ve been assigned to a new project and that required me to be in a new work location at Winton Hill. It’s an easy drive from my place actually, but it’s just something different for for me. I kinda lost some of the flexibility of my schedule because I am at the customer site so it just made me realize how tight my day can be! I am at work until 5PM and then I have to drive home to eat a quick meal before driving for volleyball on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I guess this is something I need to get used to. The good news is that I’ve been bringing food at work, which is helping me save up and also eat more Paleo-friendly meals.

The work is something new and it’s definitely a challenge. Once again, I consider this as a teachable moment to be able to learn more about lead a different kind of project. I’m enjoying the moment so far, but I know that this is just the honeymoon stage. I expect some stress-induced pimples to come up soon and a bunch of rants in my blog. Life, oh, life.

Well, that’s the quick update for now. I’ll probably have to figure out my schedule in the next few weeks because I still want to go to the Downtown office, and/or work from home once in a while. Let’s see what we can do.

For now, here’s 2015.

I’ve been sitting on my 2015 goals because I felt that it was pointless and misplaced. I’ve been in a spiraling existential crisis that made it difficult to move forward. If I do not find any meaning in my life, what is the point of setting goals for myself? Why do I need to challenge myself if I will just eventually die alone? The little things became moot because it was not fulfilling any purpose. It was just doing things for the sake of doing things, and I hated doing that.

The gospel of Avenue Q hit me a few minutes ago that kinda helped me inch out of my conundrum. I remembered a musical number called “For Now”. It talked about living “for now” because we are merely living through the moments we exist in. The moment we live in does not persist, and it is just temporary. Humans have the ability to transcend and that should enable us to prosper in the present. So, it brought me to a compromise in my head — Even though I do not feel my life has some purpose, I should still live through the moments in life. My crisis is really not a dead end or a block, but a reminder for possessing opportunities in defining what my life would be and making most of what I have in life.

My overthinking totally ignored the fact that I want to be able to live life the way I want it to be. Who cares if there is no fundamental reason of all the things I want to strive for. It is something I want for myself for now. Is it permanent? Heck no! But it is damn satisfying.

Now that issue is out of my head, let’s go to 2015. This year is pretty exciting in my opinion. For one, I am not afraid to actually say that I want something to change in my life. For the past few years, I always felt that I cannot do some massive changes in my life because I felt that I lacked security. I got my green card last year, so it really made me feel more open to the idea of change. On top of that, I have my usual areas of where I want to continue to work on:
– Financially, I want to keep a 10% savings target. It’s not as aggressive as I want it to be but I have to realistically target this because of the situation with my parents’ health. Last year was totally disappointing in this area. It will actually possibly continue this year if I get a house. But who knows, right? For now, 10% sounds reasonable.

– Career-wise, I need to kick this up a notch. Whether there is a change or not in this area, I need to correct my problem — I need to instill more discipline. I lack focus and drive to follow through on items. I need to work on that this year. I’d probably look for a ton of lifehacks here.

– Health-wise, I want to improve my core. Seriously, my core is so weak that it’s embarrassing to do the ab workouts in my Step Class. I need to work on that, and also be leaner. I’ve totally lost control with my diet, and my body. I need to listen to my body, and also consciously manage my Paleo-ish diet.

– In the self-improvement area, I plan to continue on my usual targets to learn more about the world and myself. Knowledge is power! :-)
> Watch 50 movies
> Read 6 books
> Go to 3 new locations
> Learn a new hobby
> Join a social group

So far that’s the idea for 2015. I will probably do my normal tracking and also put a page dedicated for that. Discipline, discipline, discipline. I wish I can do this.

2014 – sum up!

Gah, I forgot to write my blog entry for my 2014 sum up because I have been binge watching The Good Wife since last week. I am on the third season of the show now, and there are still 3 seasons to go. I will probably need to pace this out because my mind is turning to mush to be honest. Binge watching hangover sucks.

So how was 2014 for me? If we are just looking at my goals, I practically failed almost all of them to be honest. Financially, professionally, and some parts of my personal areas really did not progress the way I wanted them to be. There were external factors, but I was also not focused in making sure these goals are achieved. It’s something I need to do better in 2015.

Even with that, I felt that it was still a good year to be honest. Top #1 is that I got my green card this year. It gave me a sense of permanence in the US, and reduced my worries. That really made me happy this year. I also got a new car, wallet and a new drive to put change in my life.

So, it was a so-so but very satisfying year.

PS: I’ll put out my goals tomorrow. I wanna watch 2 more episodes of The Good Wife! LOL!

2014 Year End Survey

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
– Took off my shirt in a club?
– Experienced a polar vortex
– Shopped for a new car
– Get a ticket violation

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
– I keep goals that I try to track regularly.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Melodie — did I miss anyone?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Robin, A colleague from work passed away

5. What countries did you visit?
I did not go out of the US this year. Within the States, I visited San Francisco, Washington DC, and Chicago.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More gratitude and love

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 25- The date when I got my green card.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Being able to complete my Whole30 diet and applying some of the practices from the Paleo diet.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Beating myself for things I cannot control and not being able to grow much.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Hand Pain, Runner’s Knee, and the usual flu

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new car, and my new wallet! I love them.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
none.

13. Whose behavior appalled you and made you depressed?
none.

14. Where did most of your money go?
My parents.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Progress on my green card until it got approved!

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Frozen’s Let It Go

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? – sadder
ii. thinner or fatter? – fatter
iii. richer or poorer? – richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Further enhance myself personally and professionally.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Overthinking and beating myself for failures and shortcomings.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Christmas eve was spent with some friends, but Christmas day was spent in bed. I practically slept the entire day.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
No.

22. How many one-night stands?
I know but I’m not putting that info out here. Haha!

23. What was your favorite TV program?
House of Cards

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope!

25. What was the best book you read?
The Fault in our stars

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Sam Smith.

27. What did you want and not get?
Love

28. Favorite film of this year?
Gone Girl, Boyhood, Interstellar

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
31st birthday was spent quietly with friends in Cincinnati.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Love.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Smart Casual and more sporty.

32. What kept you sane?
volleyball.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Weirdly, no one.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay Marriage.

35. Who did you miss?
Family and friends from the Philippines!

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Brian I guess.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Do things that will make yourself happy and satisfied, and you need to be happy on your own.
Pain demands to be felt.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Guess it’s true, I’m not good at a one-night stand
But I still need love ’cause I’m just a man
These nights never seem to go to plan
I don’t want you to leave, will you hold my hand?

Nearing 2015.

There are just a few more days left for 2014, and the idea of 2015 is very exciting to me. I always like ushering the new year because it’s the always the perfect time to plan new things and work on my self to be better and experience more. It can be any date to be honest, but starting at 1/1 still has some novelty in it.

I’ve been thinking really hard about what I want to take on for 2015. I have some sort of idea on what I want. For example, I really want to have a dog but that will require getting a new apartment (or get a new house), so it really depends on how much I want this to happen. Earlier, I was in my fun step class (not as good as Manila’s, but it’s already good for Cincinnati levels), and realized how I really needed to work on my core. That is already a target for 2015. I think I have been able to nail down what I want, but the problem I had for 2014 was more on monitoring and control.

I did my Excel tracker file but I kinda forgot about it. I will probably need to own this and make this work. I probably will need to simplify and set up alerts so I am able to make sure I can do this. That’s for the tracking part, but what I need to do is how to create preventive/corrective actions. That has always been a bit difficult because honestly, who am I accountable to? If I miss it, it’s just really me who’s gonna beat myself, which is not really much in the greater schemes of things. Compare to that to a project at work where you have stakeholders who keep you accountable. Ah. Moments like this make me really want a partner who can keep me in line. I’ll probably have to resort to negative reinforcements or punishments to make this work. Right now, that’s still a big unknown — a few days before 2015. :-/

I’ll work on my 2014 summary and goals for 2015 in the next few days. So, that should be up soon. I did my annual survey already and I’m just waiting for the days to pass by so I can get that out here.

2015, work with me.

Tidbit to ponder….

I read this from a FB post my friend shared. This is from Francis Kong:

A person who has a passion to improve and excel will always out perform 99 others who merely have an interest to do the same.

There are those who say they want to improve but they go back to their own lazy ways. And then there are the rare winners who constantly find ways to improve and when they do, others see and conclude that they are mere “lucky.”

Cincilove

As a continuation of my last post, I feel more at ease now that I returned here in Cincinnati. I am back in my comfort zone where everything is familiar and easily accessible. I think this kinda gave me a new lease on life here in Cincinnati. I do not look at what I find as deficient about the city, but I am now celebrating what I love about Cincinnati.

For the past few days, I’ve been enjoying going out with friends and around town. Some liquid courage made me more extrovert than usual, and the familiar faces I see around bars have names now and it can usher to something bigger locally. This idea excites me a lot. It made me realize that the city I call home now is not that bad at all. It will never be a Chicago, DC, or Seattle for now, but expectations need to be managed and also look at what the city can offer which I am really thrilled about.

This is comfort for me. This is home.

Almost over.

Today is my last night here in Chicago. Joel is arriving later on and tomorrow, I will be riding the megabus back to Cincinnati. It’s a good glimpse of life here in Chicago. I was able to tend Sasha while Joel is out. I lived in the Boystown area. I walked around the city in December weather (albeit quite mild based on the locals’ opinion here). I played volleyball at the Center at Halsted. It was a good laid back stay for me that made me love Chicago even more.

Call it rationalization, or whatnot, but the idea of Chicago life got chipped a bit. It’s not the pristine image I had in mind a few months ago. I am seeing some cracks on the perfect image I created in my head, which is probably a good thing because it gives me a better sense of reality here.

For one, I realized that I am more subdued/conservative than I thought. I like how progressive the city is, but it also attracts some interesting people that I will probably not deal with if given the chance. I played volleyball twice here, and I sensed a bit of chaos and bitchiness that I do not get in Cincinnati. It can be that I was just overwhelmed by everything, or a sense of alienation because it’s something I cannot really claim as “home”.

If I would nitpick some more, the effort of having to wait for public transportation that’s sometimes out of schedule can throw your schedule off. I love public transportation and using it here has been pretty cool. It just peeved me a bit that I needed to wait for 15-30 minutes for a bus just to go from Point A to Point B. So, I have to give more allowances for travel time because of that. As said, it’s nitpicking because it’s not really that bad, but something that kinda bothered me a bit.

Of course you have to balance that with a good amount of diversity in the city. Having access to my favorite spots (Shake Shack, Nespresso boutiques, Eataly, Boystown, and soon Uniqlo). There’s an abundance of things to do here that interest me. Just being in the Mag Mile / Loop area can take a whole day already for me.

I guess this trip gave me a better perspective on things, and allowing me to give Cincinnati its props because it is really not bad at all. Moving here in Chicago will not make my life any better than my life in Cincinnati. It is a trade off — you gain some, you lose some.

One thing is for sure though — this is a good vacation break.

Chika-GO!

I. Really. Love. Chicago.

I am back here in Chicago since last Thursday. Irene, the kids and I drove here and I will be staying until Wednesday to tend after Sasha Fur. It should give me an idea on Chicago life if I ever ended up here (WISH!!).

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So, what have I done so far? I was mostly with the Boloquis and we just spent a huge amount of time in Mag Mile. I was walking last night there while listening to the Once The Musical soundtrack and I felt that I was in the right place. This is the life I want — living in a diverse city with all good money, the lights and progress. I am not sure if this is something that is achievable but ultimately, it’s something I can see myself. Note, that I also see myself settling down in Cincinnati, but there is some chaos that I also want amidst all the routine life.

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Of course, the main purpose of this trip is really to eat at Shake Shack! It is heaven! It’s reason enough to go to Chicago. There’s also Eataly (awesome sweet brioche), and Garrett.

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I also got to play volleyball here last Saturday. It was fun to play and just not care for who you are. There are bitchiness, and sororities, but it’s people you can relate with. Even if I was an outsider, I did not feel left out at all. I felt included and part of the community here. I’ll play again tomorrow and see how that goes.

setting the mindset.

For the past year or so, I’ve been trying to ready myself to the big possibility of living life alone. Not because it is my choice to live this way, but it just does not happen. It’s another topic if I am actually ready or not, but it’s good to actually try it out, right? Some people get it easy, but my life has made me realized that I am not one of them. Social sciences also indicate that this is a reality that other people live. This is not new. There are people who get married and live old together, some of them separate, and a lot of people do not couple up, either by choice or not. This is not a far fetch theory that needs a proof, but a possibility that people usually dismiss because it’s really depressing to think that you can live alone and not get that “happily ever after” with someone.

Lately, I’ve been feeling the downside of solitude. It can get boring just living alone and not being able to share life with another person. So, I think it’s time again to think through what I need to do to enjoy life as it is, and plan it accordingly so I don’t spiral out of control to depression.

I want to expand my circle of friends. Being an introvert, it’s pretty tough. I am not a big fan of small talk, and dealing with new people. In group discussions, I’m more of an active listener rather than a talker making me appear aloof and detached. Not good at all. What is interesting though is that I can be extroverted to some people, but not to others. I fall into this selective extroversion that I have with a certain crowd. If only I can just normalize how I deal with other people — especially with new crowds. I need to dissect why I get out of my shell, and what my behavior is. For sure, there’s an underlying rationale behind this and potentially reapplicable to other areas of my life. My gut feel says it’s all about confidence, but I am not sure.

I want to grow professionally. I’ve been toying with the idea of studying further to help enrich my skills, and also to expand the people I surround myself. I blogged before that I feel that I’ve degraded as the years go by and my prime was probably 5 years ago where I had the gusto and drive to excel. I really need to get that fire, and use that to light up further growth.

I want change. When things become too normalized, it is time to make a change. I don’t know specifically, but I really need to shake off my life and be forced by the change that would be sweeping me. It’s always a risk though because change can swing good or bad and you never know, but you have to roll with the punches, or reap the benefits of it.

My next-few-years goals shape how I can live life happily with or without someone. I want my own place, a dog, and a sustainable hobby (I say volleyball, but my knees are singing a different tune). It’s very simple, but requires a lot of work and working with personal constraints, assumptions and dependencies. I guess this is a preview for my 2015 goals, but I think it’s simple enough to work on, and challenging enough for me to have an interesting time dealing with this.

day 1.

I’m officially on vacation starting today. I took all my leaves for this year, else I would lose them. It’s something I earned, so I should use it. Next year though, I need to be wiser in how I use them because I don’t want to get stuck with 15 days of vacation close to November. But, the good thing is that I have a planned vacation already to the Philippines next year. I am just on the fence if I want to do it during the Christmas holidays. Perhaps, I can just do it after Christmas and spend 2 weeks after all the holiday rush! Yeah, I hated all the traffic, and stress that last year caused. I’ll have to check with my parents on that.

What has happened? Last time I posted something was about Thanksgiving. I finally finished The Leftovers, which was something that did not really appeal to me at the start but eventually, it improved a bit. I did not like how it ended, but I could not also think of anything else to end it in a good note. I did the book club session and I still felt like I was walking in egg shells because the theme is about losing people you know inexplicably, and the loss of our colleague is probably still very fresh in everyone’s mind. It ended up well, and I needed to really improve on rallying people in discussions and engaging them. I need to analyze how I talk with my friends and to other people. Believe me, it is a stark contrast.

Yesterday, we did our cookie exchange for the volleyball group. It was nice mingling with other people because it’s kinda interesting how people deal with others. I still think I need to improve on that especially in small talks and just being able to carry conversation with people around me. Being an introvert kinda sucks in that department. Anyway, the cookie exchange haul is kinda daunting. I am not sure how I would finish all of them and being on vacation kinda limits my exposure to people who might want some of these. Worst case, I’ll ask Dave to bring it to office this week and hopefully, my work mates would want to take a piece (or more!) of these treats.

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So what else is in store for me? I have an upcoming Chicago trip this Thursday and I’ll probably head back to Cincinnati on Wednesday. That should be fun since I’ll be dog sitting Sasha, and I can experience Chicago life in the middle of December. I hope I can tolerate the cold and wind and I am already thinking what I’ll bring since it will be very frigid.

I’ll be doing a lot of staycation and just going around town and think about what I want to do in 2015 and plan for it. Maybe do some risk analysis and cost benefit analysis on things I want to work on and start doing since I am dead set in doing some changes in life next year. I just need to be sure of it and commit to it with a plan and drive!