I have always been lucky to have great friends. But lately I've realized that the majority of my real friends live in other cities and mostly abroad. Yes, they are all a Whatsapp text or Skype call away, but its so different than having a circle of friends that literally surround you when necessary.
Lately, I've been thinking about "real" friends. The people I can count on 100%. The people that know the real me and love me anyway. The people that will pick up my calls at 4am, celebrate my 30th birthday with me when I'm heartbroken, and who will come to DC at a moment's notice. A friend like Toby.
Toby called me on a Saturday to tell me he'd be arriving on Tuesday. We'd been talking about him visiting for years, and more so in the last few months. You see, I was expecting someone else to come visit. Someone who had been promising me for months that he would. But when he didn't, Toby realized how upset this made me feel, and he jumped on the chance.
Toby, you have no idea how much your visit and your friendship mean to me. You are one of a kind and without a doubt a friend I will have for the rest of my time on this earth. I love you with all my heart. Thank you for loving me for me, for sticking around even after I yell at you, for taking silly jumping pics with me, for treating me to the best steak dinner in NYC, and for being someone I can rely on.
So, I don't blog anymore and I hate that. I have so much to say, but it seems that only 25% is positive. I rather not pollute the world with negativity and with bitterness so I've kept my mouth shut.
But, life is not all bad. Things aren't all shit. Great things have been happening and I'm happy to announce that life is falling into place. I'm actually happy, and that my friends, is a huge accomplishment.
But unfortunately, through it all, DC hasn't felt completely right. Something about being home, hasn't really felt...like home.
I read my good friend Clare's post this morning about "home" and I could really relate to it. You try and you try, but sometimes, no matter how hard you do, you have to just cash in your chips and call it a loss. Some places, just don't feel right.
DC wasn't all bad. In fact, in retrospect, its been great. I have learned so much. I've made new friends. I added some great work experience on my CV. I've saved some cash. And of course, having my family near by has been the biggest WIN of all. I can't pot into words how much they mean to me. And the thought of leaving them pains me. KILLS me really. Who will give me big hugs when I get home and make me breakfast on Sundays and pick up my annoying "i'm so annoyed at work, please talk to me for 5 minute" phone calls?
With that, some big things are happening and change is near. I'm scared shitless, but excited beyond words. I'm making changes and I'm proud to say that I'm following my heart and pursuing my dreams. And I'm not letting anyone stop me. I'm the girl with wings who always has to be flying. And in 9 days, I fly back to where my heart is. Back to where things feel right and I hope, that even one year later, they will continue to feel right.
And if it doesn't, oh well. I tried. And I will never regret it. Better try and fail than not try at all.
Oh DC. I love you. And yet sometimes I hate you too. It's not really hate, more like, I know you could offer me so much more but I don't have the resources to truly enjoy you, therefore, I feel shitty and in turn, it makes me hate you. Does that even make sense?
I feel like I'm living here, but I'm not truly present. I'm not able to enjoy this city for what it has to offer and its starting to really frustrate me. I just wish I could afford to live in the city. Well, let me rephrase. Technically, I can afford to live here. But, it would mean not having a savings account and well, at that rate, I'd never be able to accumulate the necessary resources to do all the other amazing things I want to do, like travel the world, and buy an apartment, start a company, and then retire before the age of 50.
And now, as I make tentative plans which may include a change of location, I'm wondering if I'll ever get the chance to truly live here, like I've always wanted to. And I wonder if doing that would make things better. I'm so curious/excited/nervous/scared to see where my life will take me in the next few months. Will I finally make DC my real home? Or will I just be the wandering nomad I am and leave this place behind? Time will tell.
I'm a big believer in healthy work-life balance. However, right now my life revolves around work. Even when I'm at home and away from the office, my mind spins circles around work to-do lists. I've been losing sleep and I don't like it. This crazy lifestyle change has really made me realize more than ever that I need to have a job that allows me to have a decent work-life balance. And if not, then they need to compensate with a nice fat paycheck. And because right now I work ridiculous long hours and get paid like a freaking 22 year old intern, I'm honestly finding it hard to maintain the motivation to keep moving forward. Unfortunately, I have no choice but to keep on trekking and just continue dealing with this new life of mine. Here's hoping that working my ass off will pay off soon.
It's 5:35am and I'm at work. For the second day in a row.
Work has been incredibly busy and the pressure is unreal.
I'm working on assignments for 4 different specialists, and now have been put on a high priority assignment for the President of the Bank.
On one hand, I absolutely love the exposure. I've met with some incredibly high level people from all around the world and within my own organization.
But on the other hand, I always think back on: "how did I end up here?"
I miss Taiwan and my life out there more than I could ever put into words. I tell people every single day how much I miss it, but no one could ever truly fathom what I really feel on the inside. Every single morning when I wake up, my FIRST thought is always something related to Taiwan. Always. And no matter how busy my days get (and trust me, they've been ridiculous) I think about getting on the next plane out of here all day long.
And as the pressure and amount of stress and work amounts, I always think about running away - back to where my heart is. But for now, I have to take it one day at a time. And work my 12 hour days as if they're no big deal. And prove myself at this job and show them that I'm pretty bad ass when I put my mind to something. And just like my boss said, when she came into my office yesterday and realized the amount of work I have to do, I have to remember to just breathe.
Four weeks. That's how long I've been at this new job. It feels like longer though. Probably because I haven't stopped moving since I arrived. It's crazy to think about how much I've learned and accomplished since my first day. But although I'm happy here I'm always dreaming of ways to get back to where my heart wants to be. I miss speaking Chinese. I miss the adventure. I miss my scooter. I miss the chaos. I miss the tea shops on every corner. I miss shopping in the night markets. I miss coffee dates with Lourdes. I miss my kittens' kisses in the morning. I miss the freedom I felt there. And the list goes on. But the reason I don't go back is because I know that things will never be the way they were. And job-wise, it would be hard to find a similar situation to the one I have now. So, today I'm thankful for surviving the last 4 weeks. And for doing it with a cara feliz (happy face). There have been a lot fewer tears in the last few weeks and for that I'm thankful. Happy Firday!
I feel like I need to take a moment to reflect on the last 3 weeks.
First of all, that fancy shmancy office you see in the pic....well that's all mine! It needs some artwork and also a plant but at least I have a door that I can shut it whenever my little heart feels like it. Most of the time I close it when I want to make important phone calls, or want to work without interruptions. But do you want to know my favorite use of the privacy door so far? .... DANCE PARTIES! Yeah that's right. I close the door, turn on Pandora, and rock out to some classic dance hits to get me through those long afternoons.
Aside from the casual dance sesh, I've been working my pretty little ass off at work. Some of its mindless monkey work, but most of it is actually really interesting. I'm working 10-11 hour days but I'm also making excellent contacts and learning the ins and outs of the Bank. I'm actually quite content with my decision to give the IDB another chance because it is proving to be a great experience thus far. I'm happy I decided to stay in DC for another 6 month trial period. My heart is still set on returning to Asia, but for now, this is probably what I need right now. A good job, a new beginning, and a much more positive attitude.
One week ago I was bitching that I hated my job because I had no work to do. And now this week I have my own office, a brand new boss, more work than I know how to manage, and a pretty new blazer that makes me feel powerful and unstoppable. What a difference one week can make!
Hello world. I'm writing from my cubicle and this will most likely be my last day of work until 2012. You see, my boss is gone. And he's been gone all week. He just never had the courtesy to tell me that he, in fact, would be gone. So, ladies and gentlemen: I am boycotting work until 2012. And for the first time in a really long time, I feel JOY.
The last few weeks/months have been tough. Really, really tough. And I know there will still be some tough days ahead. I am not in the Christmas spirit, I am dreading my 30th birthday, and most of all, New Years is a day I abhor and dread every single year. But once I mentally prepare myself for what lies ahead, I know I will be able to regain the strength needed to push forward and get over all the crap. Luckily, I have the best family in the world and they've been providing the necessary comfort and support that I need to get myself out of bed every morning.
Today, my support came from my oh-so-adorable dad, who carpooled to work with me. You should have seen his face this morning as we, father and daughter, walked into the same office together, took the same elevator, and walked to our respective working areas. I went straight to my cube to start my daily routine of doing nothing - yay! And he ran off to attend a very important meeting of the IDB Retired Association, where he is currently holding the very important position of Secretariat. Go dad!
So, the moral of my story is: My dad is awesome. So is my mom. And my sister. And my brother. And my cousins and aunts and uncles too. And although it feels like I've lost EVERYTHING I have worked hard for, I know that I have the one thing that is the most valuable of all: An amazing family.
So yep. No work until 2012. And here's to starting over. One day at a time.
Ok people. I am back for a quick second to say hello and happy December.
But I am not sure when I will find the time or energy to post again.
To tell you the absolute truth, I am not doing so well. Adjusting to life at home has been harder than expected and I'm just not handling all the ups and downs very well. I am straight-up NOT happy and find myself in one of the worst ruts of my life. I keep looking back on all the obstacles I have had to overcome in the last few years and yet, even through my darkest of days, I have never felt the way I do right now. The problem is I that lack motivation and giving up sounds so much easier than pushing forward.
But that is so NOT me. I have to keep remembering that I am not a quitter. I, my friends, am actually the biggest fighter of all time. Because lets remember that if I had not fought and pushed forward during all my uphill battles of the last 3.5 years, I would have NEVER survived all the shit experiences that came at me in Taiwan. So, I have to keep reminding myself that this crappy time is only temporary and one day (hopefully soon) I will find the strength to fight again.
But for right now, I have to take a break from it all and focus on myself and no one else.
I have been part of a pair, a duo, a couple, a pareja, a team, for I swear the last decade. Yep, FOREVER. So time to work on me and only me. Selfish you say? YES, totally selfish. And I hate selfishness. With a passion. But, it just has to be done.
But in the meantime I will leave you with two things that I currently love. That way this post isn't completely negative and gloomy. So here goes:
One.This top coat is a BIG winner. Love it. Did my nails at work just now and I kid you not, 5 min later, I was typing away with no problems. LOVE.
Two. This game has saved me. I am so addicted and I don't care. I love playing a few rounds before bedtime, and it also helped pass the time during my horrible jet-lag. Highly recommend.
After being on a 3.5 year break from the real world, I find myself sitting in a cubicle from 9-5 all over again. I'm incredibly thankful for this opportunity and feel super lucky to have found a job as quickly and as smoothly as I did.
But, I have to be honest. It's been a hard transition. I'm not used to being confined to a desk for 9 hours a day. And I'm not used to commuting for long periods of time and paying exorbitant prices for gas, parking, and metro. And what I dislike the most right now is how tired and lazy I feel once I finally get home from a long day at the office. But, like I told my mom, I just need some time to adjust. Starting over is never easy.
The good news is that I feel like a productive member of society again. I'm also so thankful to be working in the heart of the city (just a few blocks from the White House) and around so many other young professionals. I'm excited about the projects I'll be working on and I have high hopes that some new friendship will be formed in the upcoming months.
Now, I have to get myself to bed. My alarm is now set for 6:15am Mon-Fri. Sigh.
Oh and did you notice how they spelled my name wrong?
September was good month for me. It was a month where I had to make tough decisions, but I am pretty certain that coming home was the right choice. I've been so happy at home. And this is the first time I can say that visiting home has been truly a happy and positive experience.
On the other hand, it's been really hard being away from Manuel. Our Skype dates help us get us through the days, but the hardest part is not knowing when we're going to see each other again. It could be 3 weeks, it could be 3 months. Only time (and my job situation) will tell.
September was a month that I took a much-needed blog break. I wanted to come home and enjoy home without the pressures of having to talk about my daily outings and random thoughts. I wanted to take a break from everything and blogging was at the top of that list.
September was also a month that I started being crafty again. And man did that feel good. And can I get a HELL YEAH for new scrap supplies!?!?! Woo!
I also started running again on a regular basis. Even though I'd go running in Taiwan, the weather prohibited me from going as much as I would have liked. And even though its been rainy here in the DC area, I'm proud to say that I run 3-4 times a week. Part of is good motivation. And part of it I can attribute to my new running shoes.
September was great. But now I have high hopes for October. I think its going to be twice as great. I have a good feeling about what the future brings.
One of the best things about being home is having a lot of time to do the things that I never found time for back in Taiwan. One of which, is being able to go on morning runs. The other thing is making the time to play with paper + glue.
My mom and dad threw me a Welcome Back to the US party last night. It was mostly family, but that's the way I wanted it to be. My dad made this AMAZING dish called Fidua, which is like Paella, but only with noodles instead of rice. Words really can't express how tasty it was. And it was HUGE!! We had 14 people over last night, everyone had seconds, and we still have HALF of it left.
Look how big it is:
In other news, I just finished working on a 6 hour application to a job with the State Department. They ask you so many damn questions and after the first 3 hours, they all started sounding the same. I probably shouldn't have waited to work on it until the closing date, but you know me, Queen of Procrastination. Let's see if I even get a call-back. More later. Now, it's time to get out of my pajamas and enjoy the rest of the day.
I took a 1-week blog break because apparently I really needed it. I didn't do it on purpose, it just happened that way. And it was an absolutely wonderful and relaxing week, full of family hugs, sisterly bonding, delicious food, exercising outside, good friends, and at least 6 different visits to Target.
I thought I didn't want to come home but boy was I wrong. Home = awesome. Being here has put things in perspective and has opened my eyes to a world that I had been avoiding for quite some time. I guess I just didn't want to come home to what didn't feel normal to me anymore.
But, to tell you the truth, I've been really happy the last few days. It feels safe and peaceful and relaxing and comforting. I do miss Taiwan a lot, and Manuel and my kittens even more. But the one thing that I need perhaps the most right now in my life is security. And unfortunately, that is the ONE thing that Taiwan can not provide me at the moment. So, should I stay and feel safe and secure (and perhaps eventually bored)? Or should I go back and continue my adventure but at the risk of never finding security? The answer will come to me eventually. But for now, I'm just enjoying the time I have here and working my ass off to find a job that can sustain me in the near future.