Ahn Wee

“The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.” – Carl Gustav Jung

Never be like you

A year ago, a guy asked me if he could court me and so I told him upfront:

“You can do what you like but I’m telling you right now you cannot expect anything from me. I am not ready for a relationship.”

He asked me so many times, and I said the same answer repeatedly that it almost became an automatic script. To be fair, I was not the only girl he was pursuing. I knew he had other options but the biggest burn of it all would be that he was still not over his ex. He had a lot of issues. In fact, it was our big common denominator: our exes and our shitty relationship we had with them. So I was quite puzzled why he would ask me such a question.

A few days ago, on a taxi ride to the office listening to Flume’s Never be like you on repeat, I suddenly had an epiphany on the cure to being emotionally unavailable. It just hit me right there and then, and it was so simple and beautiful.

Emotionally unavailable? Be emotionally available. Put yourself out there, because even if you hid under a rock you would still get hurt. Pain is inevitable, and we must accept that reality.

Not ready for a relationship? Prepare yourself, open up your heart and learn to trust a little. If we always put our fear of getting hurt again we will actually hurt ourselves before we know it.

We will fail along the way, and we will get hurt no matter how hard we try to protect ourselves. So we might as well live a little bolder and trust generously.

It sounds too simple and easy to say, sure but well not everything happens in a blink of an eye. Everything is a process.

 

 

SOMA 2016

I was in my hotel at Tagbilaran when the music started to play. I looked over the television and realized it was Justin Bieber singing. So I went back to staring at the ceiling and letting him sing. Right at that moment I could not care about the music that played anymore. I was just tired. I was just fed up, and I was fed up about being fed up. However something about his song was quietly soothing in my situation. I could actually relate.

I graduated from college with all these grand visions of how my life would go. 2 months after finishing school I soon realized I ran out of time from my self mandated ultimatum of getting a job. From the whole plan of working in Rehabilitation Center to working my way up the Corporate ladder, I found myself in the cold petridish office of a call center. Which was not entirely bad after all my English could pass as an American any day. 5 months after I realized I could not keep on doing this kind of job. Despite the skills that I was endowed with by my education, I could not perform as good I might be because I simply didn’t like it. I felt that deep in my heart I had a greater purpose. I tried to find that. I applied again and again anywhere but there was no call. I took the civil service exam, and I failed it. I quit my job and with what money I had left I enrolled myself in a review for a board exam. I flew to another city just to take the darn exam. To my surprised, I actually passed. Within the month of passing that board exam I was hired.6 months after, I figured I could not  keep doing the new job I was  given. I sucked at it and so I tried out again to apply to another job. I failed yet again so I enrolled myself in Graduate school to keep my spirits up. My job’s nature started to change I became a jet setter of some sort. My classes couldn’t keep up and so I decided to stop. A year after, the whole climate of work  changed. It became more comfortable. I felt empowered.

However deep down, something else was still missing. I still haven’t made my mark. I have not started on a path where I felt what I do is meaningful.

My life was still in shambles, but that doesn’t mean I will settle with what feeling I have right now.

SOMA – State of The Mind Address 2015

I have a report coming up tonight but I need some catharsis. So to get started here it goes…

I.hate.my.job. Honestly it all sounded so exciting in the early months and then it just got boring as time went farther on. Not boring as in too easy kind of boring but meaningless filing of files kind of routine boring. Organization of papers and dates boring. I don’t find it fulfilling and while I feel a sense of achievement over certain things—the feeling just doesn’t last.

The whole feels of accomplishment is fleeting. Sometimes I can hear my brain getting sarcastic “like wow, you found a way to do things faster!” or “wow you found a system to do things more efficiently”

I don’t know why but i just hate it. I don’t find it at all exciting. Sometimes I think its just my attitude but I’ve tried my best to see the bright side of things but at the end of the day when I think of my work, I just think of it as papers and paper dolls.

I mean sure I like the whole travelling perks I get but you know what, I don’t need this job to do just that. I can earn money in a different line of work and travel for leisure.

I am not at all happy! NOT AT ALL.

Where I am

Where I am right now:

I am a Talent Acquisition Staff in the People Management Department at a 2 year old bank. I’m in my 4th month already and going to my 5th. So far I am struggling with my duties and responsibilities especially in staying organized. To add it all up my new supervisor is going to be my old classmate (to whom I sort of had a rift with back in college).  I’m wondering now if I am going to be regularized. I wonder if I am still going to become a Psychometrician. I wonder now if my future truly belongs to this bank I’m working for. In fact I wonder if my real niche truly belongs to the bank industry, the Industrial Psychology side of things or the clinical psychology part of things.

I want to take up a master’s degree in Psychology but I can’t decide if I should pursue my old alma mater. I don’t want to see the old teachers and classmates all over again. I want a new environment for learning. An upgrade but at the same time, I really can’t afford it!

Then there’s this whole promise of travelling abroad with my old childhood friend. I’m not so sure where I am going with everything but I do hope whatever happens, I hope it will be the best for my growth as an individual and a professional.

I might sound worried but at least its better than having a blank space for a life.

Hell I can’t even decide my jam for the moment.

Intimacy vs. Isolation

Its a Saturday afternoon. A perfect Saturday afternoon. It’s not too hot and its not too cold. The skies are cloudy but that’s how I like my weather. I want to go out yet here I am fumbling over my keyboard online. If it were solely up to me, I would drag out my old grade school friend out of her house and into the malls where we can pour our eyes with interesting things that might come handy for us—for the next payday. I don’t intend to go shopping but I intend to know what would be good to shop for. I’m not the type of person who likes to go shopping and decide right then and there. I like to canvass a set of ideas first, go home and save and then hit the store with a vengeance. Well I do it that way because, I know for a certain fact that if I go with no clear decision of what I want I’ll end up splurging over a couple of things I really don’t need. I only need one or two things, and I’d like to build that over time and not 5 things at once.

Zzz why am I alone anyway? God why won’t she agree to go out? The whole I’m-too-broke-excuse is BS. It’s equally the same thing last Friday night. I want to go out yet it seems I’m always surrounded by people who are either feeling too homely or just don’t find me part of their clique. I have a college degree, I’m a licensed Psychometrician and I got a job but why can’t I get friends like Carrie has in Sex and the City or Sheldon in Big Bang Theory. I guess that’s the whole 20 something challenge.

So screw it I’m going out with or without you.

Random Summary Ramblings

If 2012 was my year at love then 2013 was my year of heartbreaks, and if 2013 was a year of heartbreaks then 2014 was a year of just being me.

A year of me failing and eventually succeeding.

Which makes me wonder now what has 2015 has in store for me?

I wish I could enumerate every damn thing that has happened but it feels too damn tiring to go through it cognitively speaking. I mean, I got my heart duped by a douche I knew since highschool and I was a fool enough to think the years we had known each other would spare me from his immaturity but no. I wanted to be genuinely loved but he was just looking for a rebound for a girl he would never have, and if it went any longer he would have had himself a martyr too.

To make it worse, it was the lowest point in my life not because I was not loved by a man that I wanted to have but that at the end of it all I didn’t really feel I had the support of my friends—except my mother, and sometimes my sister. At the end of it all I didn’t only fail at my friendship but that I also failed myself. I unwittingly took my self-worth a few bars lower than I deserve. So when I missed my expected graduation date and extended a semester later, I vowed to stray away from my ex, and my friends who made me feel nothing but shit. A few stupid flings later 2013 became 2014 and I learned that if I don’t fight to make something out of myself, I had nowhere to go but trash. And so I got stronger, pulled my shit together and tried a bunch of things to get me going.

I got a job at a call center to save money for my masters.

I took up the civil service exam.

I applied at my old alma mater.

I applied at my dream work place.

Guess what? None of them worked. I failed the civil service exam, and the money I earned from my temporary job? I gave it to my mother so that she could fix our drainage problem in our house but that didn’t stop me from trying again. For the span of 6 months I was not at all hired I was just bumming around and reviewing for my board exam.

Instead I decided to quit from my dead-end first job, and enrolled myself in a review class for the Psychometrician board exam. I also unfortunately reconnected with my old friends but you know what? Forgiveness actually paid off. I passed my board exam with my own hard work and the support of my friends who initially let me down. I learned that you know what, if I can’t even be perfect myself then I have no right to cast judgement on others. In fact I realized that this one particular friend whom I’ve always felt like she worked my self-esteem to smithereens actually help me in a sense that from being pressured to succeed I found myself a diamond within me. She was heaven sent after all and I was just busy thinking ill of everyone who approached me. It was an act of tough love all along. In fact she even helped me get a job that would really help me grow as a person.

Which leads me again to the year of 2015. If 2014 was my resolution of being me then 2015 has to be the year of greater positivity. That’s my new year’s resolution, and yes once again I intend to get started on my master’s degree this year and I know this time this is for certain!

I don’t know what 2015 has in store for me but I know I will brave it through and work it to my favor.

Lessons in Levitation

Oh lessons in levitation keep me at bay,
from the sun and the flowers all blooming to pray,
that I change my mind and drop this class,
stand on my chair and drop my glass,
leash on a neck, my ceiling fan’s got me,
he said just let go and let go
And I jumped, and I simply—
levitated forever.

Social Crutches

Image

Today I bought my very first pair of sunglasses. I know it probably sounds too trivial an issue for the average human being. In fact, my mother even raised an eyebrow and asked me:

“What the hell did you need that for, anyway?”

Right at that moment, I could have enumerated a number of scientific facts and theories in safeguarding health particularly the human eyes—-but instead of doing just that, I just stopped and looked away. She then proceeded to tell me about how certain sunglasses in malls could be fake, and ruin my eyesight instead.  She also quietly implied that it was a particular pathetic investment for vanity’s sake. I wasn’t entirely offended by her disapproval and skepticism. It was just that the reason that I had in my heart was something I could not muster in her presence. The real motive I had in buying them were something neither the greatest living ophthalmologist nor optometrist could explain.

I bought it so I could raise up my head and look straight in front of me in public vehicles where I might unintentionally lock into someone’s gaze. I bought it because I now have the perfect excuse to look at anyone without having the consequences of eye contact. I bought it so that no one could ever read my nervousness in public places among a sea of strangers. To put things simply, I bought it as my social crutch.

What I particularly find to be strange now is that this particular Audrey-ish pair of sunglasses is supposed to be a progress of me taking responsibility and accountability for myself. Growing up, I rarely had a choice in buying the things that I wanted to wear. As the youngest of 3 children, the usual system was either a hand-me-down or “I’ll-buy-it-for-you”. Nobody had the time to take me to malls, and if they did they all particularly felt too impatient waiting while I choose which pair of shoes I liked best. So I basically grew up feeling ashamed in having to take initiative in building an image of myself. I wore clothes purely as a necessity and nothing more. I know it sounds all too dramatic but trust me; it does get to you at one point. It feels uncomfortable to wear clothes that suited your sister, and then wearing only to know that it did not flatter your body as it did on hers. It feels uncomfortable that someone buys a pair of shoes of a style you weren’t totally cool to begin with. If “Power dressing” is such a real word then it’s not at all empowering in being where I have been, and I sincerely believe that power lay in the ability to become creative.

As you now see, I have been rigorously making ways into improving myself from the physical aesthetic aspect to the deeply psychological behaviors and attitudes. Coming from a family of strict introverts, I grew up living like a hermit my entire life. I’d like to say that introversion is NOT one of the things I’d like to change about myself. I am happy as myself in that particular way. I am not however happy of the effects in the years of being strictly sheltered from a world beyond the confines of my home—because I grew up to be extremely shy and timid. I avoided all social events, and I turned down anything that needed to built on intimacy or social connection. Hell, I even had a phase wherein I disliked having my photos taken. If it was any consolation on my part, I tried my best to escape within my imagination with the help of books and films (and occasionally, video games)—and it did help me in a way. I learned a lot of different perspectives and different approaches to life as I indulged myself from a genre to another. In spite of this, it still wasn’t enough.  “Math is like life in a way”, as my old geometry teacher in high school once said. “It’s one thing to know what is what and another in knowing what to do and actually doing it”.

From a previous romantic relationship gone wrong, I was able to try and challenge this definition myself. He might have failed on changing me, and I might have failed in helping him grow but I certainly am able to do more things now. I could go on personal walks without having to feel guilty about my mother’s rules. I could go on to public events and realized it wasn’t the kind of life that I wanted to live (certain standards of being socially “cool” is not entirely “cool” as it seems). I have been working on my shyness, but why did I buy myself a social crutch?

To my defense, I think sunglasses provide a certain synthetic form of sprezzatura—the art of studied carelessness (direct words from the Oxford English dictionary here). It’s the ability to sheathe one’s personal desires, emotions and thoughts under the façade of innocent apathy. I mean certain changes can be good but doing it rapidly fast at the same can be quite alarming and threatening the ego. I guess it’s sort of like the training wheels of bicycle or that my eyes just need protection from the sunlight. Sure.

The Ramblings of a Broken Watch

Around 4 to 5 years ago, my sister handed me her wristwatch: a sort of graduation gift she received from a relative living overseas. Four to five years after, I am still wearing the same watch. The only thing that has changed was its glass lens which I accidentally broke 3 years ago. Now, looking at it I’m afraid I’ll also have to change its batteries. A friend of mine suggested I buy a new one instead but I hesitated—you can’t buy sentimentality. You can’t buy history. However at the back of my mind I also thought—yes, you can create new memories to be sentimental about. History never dies, it only grows older and older. One simply needs to connect the dots. Once again, I thank myself for finding ways to disagree with me.

Its funny how I think of this now, and its been months since my portable time teller has stopped working. A few more months it will almost be a year since it stopped working. I’m rather worried by the duration of this negligence and its possible insights to my personality and physiological markup like perhaps I’m just insanely absent minded or perhaps these are one of the early signs of schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s. If there’s any comfort into this (supposed) “ghastly” level of personal negligence: my broken watch still gets the time right at least twice a day. Its true, I’m not kidding my watch is correct for at least a minute, twice a day at 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. Interesting, huh?

Well here is what is more interesting: the claim that time doesn’t exist. The whole commotion that time is a man made concept. An illusion of passage where it doesn’t exist. A reflection on a series of events glued together to make a past. An exclusive awareness of the existence of oneself makes a present while a series of predictions, hopes and goals make a future. And here I am with this leather, glass, and metal contraption of numbers which is supposed to tell me of something that does not even physically exist in the first place! How strange!

On the other hand in my personal opinion as a self-proclaimed pundit, I think its wrong to say that time doesn’t exist while it may be right to claim it as an illusion under certain situations. If I remember one of my lessons in Geometry class from high school, the concept of postulates dictates that once my teacher writes stuffs on the board no student has a right to question it whatsoever because it just is(by the way I was trying to be funny). Simply put, there are some things in life that are necessary conditions to keep other process and structures of living possible. Its a postulate, a truth that one believes in and it will persistently exist through our conscious effort into proving it so. Imagine the the horror of realizing that your 6 pm flight is actually a 6 am flight. To better expound on what I mean into a phrase: time is man’s taxonomy of experiences. Namely experiences to be recalled in memory, experiences to be aware of, and experiences we would like to partake in. Time does not only live in our heads, its a pair of looking glass we wear into the world. Through my eyes, its a 9:33 pm as I wonder about the various people I know living under different time zones like how is my Dad at 6:34 pm?

I wonder. I wonder.

I guess that’s why its called a “watch” huh?

A students on exchange

A+ STUDENTS ON EXCHANGE

so they pad their bossom-resumes
with napkin-leadership positions,
and faked grace under pressure over well defined shoulders—
of a flesh-tender and tense underneath,
their expensive 40s navy blazers.
Its a trade that demands to be done
for you to cross the treadmill and be gone!
For the secret is in the proof of the pudding,
you burned all calories for all traces to disappear,
So as not a single clue was left behind,
as to doubt your seemingly “substantial” credentials.