My New Philosophy 

A few weeks ago a friend messaged me to tell me about a guy she had met who was Japanese, nice, funny, smart, dressed well and was tall. Most of those things I don’t actually care about and as I had PMS I basically told her I’m not interested in meeting anyone. I also told her I have enough friends. 

I discovered he lives in the shithole place I used to live and ironically enough, the same place as my ex. That should have been warning bells enough. 

Without going into detail I discover he not only smokes pot (something I won’t tolerate) I also discover he fucks around and is yet another guy to assume I am a huge party person and have a list of men on call for every whim and fancy. He then insulted me further by insinuating I could have an STD. 

I’m angry for a few reasons:

Number one: I’m sick and tired of men assuming things about me. I enjoy my life and going out with friends but most of my Friday and Saturday nights consist of staying at home watching dramas or reading a book. Or cycling somewhere to get rid of the frustration I have with arseholes like him. I don’t even have one guy I would ring for a booty call and even if I did, no guy seems to understand that I have never have and don’t ever want a sex friend/fuck buddy/whatever terminology you want to use. I don’t use people and I don’t want to be used either. 

Number two: I’m pissed off that I knew I was right to say I didn’t want to meet him but then felt sorry for him because of where he lives. Not my problem. 

Oh and about the STD, I don’t have one and the only reason he said that is because he assumes I’m like him and fuck everything that breathes. 

Yes I’m pissed off. 

That’s why my new life philosophy and dating love philosophy is all about the following statement:
I have never wanted to and still don’t necessarily want to get married but I do want someone to spend the rest of my life with. I don’t have a list anymore because I will accept whoever I fall in love with no matter what they look like, their nationality, geeky habits, whatever. They will do the same. 
Hence I’m not dating AT ALL anymore unless that person would be willing to marry me. Why waste my time and why waste theirs if they are the type of person who just wants to fuck everything in sight and have what I consider to be shallow relationships because they’re scared, been hurt in the past or just want sex? 

I don’t give a fuck if someone agrees with me on this or not. I don’t need or want your opinion or your approval. I won’t be changing my mind on this unless or until I meet the person who is going to make me believe that not all men are arseholes who constantly disappoint me. 

I’ve had enough of that. 

A Holiday of Healing 

Today I went back to my old neighbourhood, Xindian, where I used to live in Taipei. I stepped off the train and found myself walking up the same steps I’d traversed so many times before. I saw the public telephone where I rang my mum in tears more than once and I smiled as I took a photo of the entrance to my old apartment building located above the station. The people walking out were new, but everything else was just as I remembered it.   

I walked out onto the street and couldn’t believe that the same crazy man who was always high on betel nut was still selling sugar cane juice on the same corner. I walked over the suspension bridge that crossed Bitan (The Green Lake) to the other side where my friend had once lived. The little restaurant where I used to eat oyster omelette was still there, run by the same family. I remember my housemate taking me there the first time and then on the second visit, me pointing to the words, ‘oyster omelette’ in my guidebook because I wasn’t sure of the pronunciation. 
  
   
I walked back over the bridge and along the riverfront where I’d sat with friends one night and had dinner at one of the fancy and slightly pricey restaurants. I noticed how most of the shops were the same, but the area had been upscaled. Streetart now decorated it and the trees had grown and almost formed a cooling canopy overhead.        Before I knew it, my feet had led me back to the Old Street where the fresh food market was. There’d been a cafe called, ‘The Green Hornet,’ which was run by a Canadian expat. I thought perhaps I’d missed it or that like many places in Taiwan it wasn’t in existence anymore. Then I saw it.  

 
That was when it hit me. I was overwhelmed with the realisation that despite me leaving (and others too), life goes on. My heart actually leapt with joy when I realised that it is possible for things to continue. Things don’t have to end. In that moment it was like I’d been stuck by a lightning bolt. I had regained my faith and most importantly, trust, in knowing that relationships can be the same. Even after many years (in this case, four), it is possible for people to still be around and still love me and me love them. Not everybody leaves. 
As I continued walking with a smile that can only be described as one of peace, I suddenly wondered if my favourite breakfast place was still there. Yes indeed.   I recognised one lady but the other girls were younger, probably family. I ordered 葱油饼 (spring onion pancake) and smiled when the girl understood my Chinese.

 
Funnily enough, the entire time I was walking around prior to that, I was thinking in Japanese and automatically exclaiming, “懐かしい [なつかしい (natsukashii)],” which basically means nostalgic. Years ago I had stopped trying to learn Chinese because no one could understand my pronunciation; now, I just gave it a shot. In Japan, I don’t often speak a lot of Japanese because I’m shy and afraid I’ll make a mistake and people will laugh. It took a trip to Taiwan to realise it’s an unfounded fear and even if someone were to laugh, I wouldn’t care anymore. 
Eating my pancake I looked around, taking in everything with my senses. The same menu was there, but with small changes. The slightly higher prices are evident, but the core remains unchanged. It’s a metaphor for who I am. 

 I’m essentially the same person that I’ve always been, but I’m a better person. The me four years ago and definitely 10 years ago would never have eaten something like that at 10 o’clock in the morning! It was a breakfast or lunch food; fruit was more appropriate. 

The rigid life I had woven for myself no longer exists. I’ve finally learned not to walk away from chances or opportunities and I seize them and enjoy them. The way I was living was NOT living. I deprived myself of all joy. 

I came to Taiwan for what I thought was a holiday; a well-needed rest (and it has been!), but more importantly, it was incidentally, a revisiting of old emotions that needed to be felt and fully experienced and worked through in order to let go and move on. I’ve finally grown up.*
*And just for your information, the pancake was just as good as I remembered it. I didn’t have any expectations but I wasn’t disappointed either. I took things as they were and I was greatly rewarded. I think there’s a lesson in that… 

Don’t ever lose sight of who you are

The other night a very drunken friend gave me a good piece of advice. She told me never to give up on my own interests or hobbies when I liked a guy or when I was in a relationship. It made sense.

A few months back I was involved with a man who was very charming, very witty and made me laugh. Unfortunately, he was also very married. It didn’t bother him, but it did bother me greatly. My moral compass was spinning around like crazy and couldn’t seem to find the right direction. Luckily I got a hold of myself, finally ditched him and regained my ability to navigate life.

During the entire two months or so, what is now very interesting to me, is that I lost all motivation and indeed, inspiration, to write or do anything creative.

THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN A HUGE WARNING SIGN!

A neon lights warning sign. But still I ignored it.

It was like I had lost sight of who I was and what was really important to me. I think a partner should be someone who compliments you, someone who makes you a better person, not someone who detracts from all that you are and what you like. If they aren’t like that, than they aren’t the right person for you. I’m not saying they need to have all the same hobbies as you, just that they need to show support and interest in what you like and find important.

My friend’s words gave me some food for thought. Sometimes you just need a little reminder to tell you what you already know but have lost sight or perspective about.

Thank you Yuri. xxx ooo

I’m a human rice ball

Today I was flipping through a paper copy of ‘The Japan Times,’ that was on my desk at school and came across a very interesting article. I was supposed to be searching for examples of present continuous and future simple tense, but I was so eager to write down my own thoughts and questions about what I’d read that I abandoned the other task. It could wait.

The article was twofold. Firstly it highlighted the idea that your favourite food signifies your desire and secondly, it posed the question: in what order do you eat your food if several dishes are on hand, one of which is your favourite?

My favourite food, which of course, is Japanese, is onigiri. In English, these are rice balls filled with various things such as salmon or tuna and mayonnaise. They are commonly wrapped in nori or seaweed and can be both a snack or part of a meal.

How does that relate to my desire? I must admit, I did laugh. An onigiri is both a perfect example of me, and also what I tend to be attracted to in guys.

Although I do tend to be fairly transparent as far as body language and facial expressions, the ‘real’ me takes far longer to discover and is hidden away, deep inside of me, just like the filling in a rice ball. If you can’t read kanji or at least, some hiragana, there’s also the possibility that you’re never really sure what you have in your rice ball until you get to the middle.

As for the men I usually like, I have two main types: the shy ones who won’t reveal how they really feel until they are totally comfortable or the confident, almost arrogant type who have a tough outer ‘shell,’ to cover their insecurities.

Onto the second part of the article; the question that was posed about the order in which you eat.

Now my friends at my favourite café know, I always leave my favourite thing till last. That way I can finish the meal feeling completely satisfied and it’s something I look forward to the whole time I’m eating the other components on the plate.

According to the article, the order in which you eat something reflects how you treat your craving for something you want. The options that were listed are shown below.

1. Eat favourite first.

2. Take each dish in turn.

3. Save the best for last.

4. No thinking involved; eat whatever.

The writers attributed the order in which you eat to how you do your shopping and so:

1. Bad shopper. You grab everything and are impulsive.

2. Buy sensibly.

3. Inclined to resist but you may find that what you really wanted has sold out when you finally submit.

4. No consideration. You end up with things you don’t want.

I’m hoping this only relates to shopping, because if it relates to relationships, it could mean that I’m resisting love (or at least, avoiding it at all costs), either consciously or unconsciously and that when I do decide I want it, there will be no one left.

I’m going to err on the side of caution and change my ways starting from now. As Brené Brown suggested, I need to ‘dare greatly’ and reveal my vulnerabilities to those people who have earned the right to see them.