The Story of Us – Chapter 2: The First Date

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It’s crazy to think that this is where I would be in a few years time. If you told me a few years ago that I would be on this site, talking to and meeting up with strangers, I would never have believed you. In high school, I was always known as the “goody-two-shoes”. The one who always did what was right, and never took many risks or deviated from their parent’s plans. Since then, I’ve learned that I should do what makes me happy, regardless of what others might think. After my last relationship, I was hesitant to finding someone else. It took me an extremely long time to get over him, and I was ready to move on. I didn’t even know what to expect or what I really wanted when I signed up for online dating, but I just thought that there’s not much that could go wrong, so why not try. It’s another opportunity that might turn into an unexpected, life changing, event (A little extreme, I know).

I’m usually not the type to make a first move. If I’m being honest, I’m actually terrified of making a first move and getting turned down. That’s why, I’d only make a first move if I’m +99% sure that the other person is on the same page as I am. With that being said, I’m not really sure why I took a chance that day. After meeting with him for the first time, we were talking about bubble tea places that were good in the area. He was new to the place and haven’t been to many. There was this one place that I always went and just like that, I said “If you want, we could go there some time.” To my surprise, he said “I’d love that”. And that’s how we went on our first date. Yes, I made the first move, and yes, I was out of my comfort zone. But no, I don’t regret anything.

That day, we met up after he finished work and walked over. After we got our bubble teas, we just sat there and talked. There were a few awkward silences, but after we were both done, he still asked if I was hungry and if I wanted to get dinner. There was a pretty good restaurant in the area, so I thought “why not” and just went for it. During dinner, we just talked some more. I really don’t remember what we even talked about, but it was enough to last a couple of hours. At the end of the night, he walked me back to my apartment and we parted ways. To be completely honest, I was a little confused about where we stood. I guess this is where the traditional side of me kind of took over…

So, there’s always the debate about whether or not the guy should pay on the first date. I always thought that if a guy was interested in you, then he would offer to pay for that first date. If not, then it’s not a big deal either because I’m able to pay for myself, but I would just start to wonder about how the guy thought about the whole situation. To be fair, I was the one who asked him out to get bubble tea, so I guess it would make sense that either I paid or we just split it equally. Regardless, it was a thought that kept lingering in my mind. I guess it isn’t really the money that was really bothering me, but more so that I didn’t know where his heart laid. Afterwards, I just waited for him to message me and see where things went from there.

The next day, we continued going to the gym together, and soon after, he asked me to dinner for Valentine’s Day. That was when I knew that he was interested in me, like I was interested in him. Coincidentally, I had an exam on Valentine’s Day, but he was okay with having a later dinner. That night, we went to the same place we went before. This time, the conversations we had were a little different. I could feel that the conversations went a little smoother, and we were a bit more comfortable just being around each other. One thing that he did that really touched me was that he ordered Cheese Wontons for me…

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The Story of Us – Chapter 1: A New Generation

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It’s weird how much technology has changed society. One minute people are shy to ask someone out to the school dance and the next, everyone’s meeting people and hooking up via online apps.

I’ve never actually believed in the whole “online dating” concept. I was more of a traditional girl who believed that the best way to meet someone is through the most natural process. If you told me 3 years ago that I would be creating a dating profile and actually meeting with some of the people I met online, I wouldn’t have believed you.

I actually met quite a bit of interesting people online and in person as well. I think the whole experience helped myself open up more and be more comfortable when conversing with others. Don’t get me wrong, I might have created a profile and have met some of the people I’ve talked with, but it was never in the “hookup” sense. I’m not that kind of person and I don’t think that I’ll ever be. Through this entire experience, I was actually really quite hush about the whole thing and didn’t really tell many other people because I knew that some of my friends would judge me. A main reason why I even got the app in the first place was because I have a few friends (different group of friends) who met their significant others through the app. Crazy right? I thought “What the hell, it’s a new generation”.

And that’s how I met him.

When we started talking, I didn’t really think too much about it because the conversations were really casual and nothing like the other conversations I was having with some of the other guys. He wasn’t flirting or really showing any signs that he was interested in anything more than just finding a friend to talk to. It wasn’t until one night where we were just having a really long, ongoing conversation about 5 different topics where he just started making me die of laughter. We ended up talking until like 3am that night and that’s when he left a lasting impression on me. At that point, I wasn’t really sure where things were or where they were going because he still wasn’t flirting with me or anything so I just thought “let’s just wait and see where things go from here”. The next day is when things took a different turn.

I made a New Year’s resolution to exercise as much as I can and try to change this image I’ve always had about myself. I wanted to make a difference in my life and become the person I’ve always wanted to be so that I could do something about my insecurities. That afternoon at around 3pm, I went to the gym like how I usually would and just hopped on the bikes. I would usually just listen to music, but that day, I decided to watch YouTube videos, thinking that it’ll make time pass a little quicker. While looking down at my screen, I see this guy walk in to the gym who looks a lot like him. There were a few times where he would turn around to tie his shoes or stretch and that’s how I knew for sure that that was him. I was upstairs in the yoga room so at first, I just continued biking while he was running. After I was done, I did some stretches when I noticed that he finished running and was wiping down the treadmill. I didn’t want to accidentally run into him so I grabbed my stuff and jetted for the stairs. Coincidentally, I ran into him while I was going down and he was coming up. We made some eye contact, but being the shy, awkward girl that I am, I just continued running down the stairs as fast as I could. I don’t know why, but I was just so shy and scared to unexpectedly meet him. I didn’t look my best either because, well, I was at the gym. There was a part of me that hoped he didn’t see me, but another part of me that hoped that he did

Later that night, he asked me if I went to the gym in this specific building and I knew that I was caught. . It was really a coincidence and we both knew it. After that day, we just started going to the gym together for about 30-40 mins. He started just using the bikes because I mentioned that that’s usually what I do. While on the bikes, we would just talk. Nothing more, nothing less. After the first time we worked out together, he ended up talking with me to my floor, even though he lived in the second tower. I’m not sure if I was thinking too much or something, but I thought it was really sweet.

And that is how we met.

Behind my Smile

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If you knew me in real life, you would think that everything in my life is perfect. Nothing will really affect me enough for me not to have a smile on my face. If you were able to see the life that I’m living behind the curtains, you would think otherwise.

When I was a child, I was quite aggressive and rude. Looking back, my behaviour wasn’t the best. My temper was even worse. This was mainly because of the type of household I grew up in and who I was hanging out with at school. I’m not proud of who I was, but I can confidently say that if it wasn’t for who I was and realizing the type of person that I was, I would never have become who I am now.

I think I started to realize that my temper and my behaviour wasn’t the best in high school. I wasn’t entirely clear of who I was until my senior year. My temper was (and still kind of is) horrendous because of the way I grew up. Growing up, I rarely smiled and I was incredibly shy. I’m not entirely sure why, but in performances and videos, I would always have a straight face on. Also, growing up, very rarely did my dad sit me down and talk to me politely and explain things to me in a calm manner. It was usually told by him through anger and with him yelling at me. It got to a point where I would just talk back which made him even more pissed because he never listened to what anyone else would say. If he’s made up his mind, there’s nothing anyone could say to change that. In his mind, everything he thinks is 100% accurate and is the truth. It was very hard for me to hid the anger and the frustration whenever others were to upset me. I would fight fire with fire. Looking back, I’m ashamed that I let my anger get to the best of me and let it control me. Even now, I struggle with regulating my emotions because I am extremely sensitive but at the same time, I don’t want others to see that.

My behaviour started acting up when I was in elementary school. I was in a school that was predominately one race and I felt like an outsider. I thought that the only way to “fit in” was to hang out with the “cool kids” and do whatever they were doing. Even if that meant swearing and fighting at the age of 11. After my best friend moved away a few years later, I decided to switch schools, and that made all the difference.

Because of these experiences, I told myself that I will smile more and I won’t jump to conclusions too fast. I don’t want people to see the sad parts of my life because I don’t want their perception of me to change. I don’t want them to know that I’m anything else than the happy and bubbly person that I try to portray myself as. But in all honesty, I’m broken. I have trust issues, I have a hard time letting people in and telling them my struggles. Just with my best friend, it took about  year to a year and a half for me to be more open and honest with how I’m feeling and the things that I’m going through. It’s progress, but I still question whether I should tell someone about my problems, regardless of who it is.

The transition from who I was to who I am now is still a work in progress. I’ve come a long way to becoming who I am now or who I seem to be, but there’s still a lot of work I need to do emotionally. But something like that isn’t an issue the ordinary person would see just by having one or two conversations with me. Even if they’ve known me for years, they still might not know anything behind the smile. And that’s because I’ve done such a good job hiding it so deep down that my automatic reaction is to shut everyone out. The only way for me to get out the feelings I have inside is through these blog posts where no one knows who I am. That’s the only way I’ll feel comfortable letting anyone in.

Falling too Hard, too Fast

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2 years… It’s been 2 years since my last relationship. If you asked me 3 years ago where I see my love life in 3 years, I definitely wouldn’t have imagined it to be like this.

In high school, I was pretty outgoing and really quite vocal about my feelings towards certain people. I also wasn’t as self conscious as I am now… I guess my life events really did alter who I am as a person.

If you asked me a month ago how I saw myself, I would say that I have more self-confidence than I did before, I’m proud of where I am in life, and I believe that as long as I work hard, I’ll be able to achieve anything I want. Now, if you asked me that now, I would still say 2/3 of those things, but the one I think is most important is now something I’m struggling with. Self-confidence.

In August, I got a tattoo that says “faith”. I got it to remind myself to always have faith in myself and the things that I did. This really boosted my self-esteem and gave me a lot more confidence than I originally had. I thought that I’ve finally changed the way I see myself and that I can finally stand up tall and be truly satisfied with myself. That all changed when, after 2.5 years, I came across a guy that really caught my attention. He has all of the qualities I would want in a boyfriend… Tall, incredibly cute, caring, outgoing, easy to talk to, smart, and the list goes on. After interacting with him, I’ve started to doubt myself more and more. Am I pretty enough? Am I smart enough? Am I too fat? Does he like me? What if he thinks I’m annoying? All these questions bombard my mind as I think about all the different possibilities. All this, just because I don’t know what’s going on in his mind… I understand that everyone has their “type” and not everyone is everyone’s “type”, and this is what scares me the most. I don’t know what he thinks of me, I don’t know if I’m his type. I’m terrified of falling for someone and then getting hurt again. It took me so long to get over my ex. I can’t and I won’t let my feelings get the best of me… But then again, this is getting in the way of any advancements I could have with him… Why can’t I just be the stupid, naive, spontaneous girl I was 3 years ago? Why am I so scared and doubting myself because of this one person? … Because I’ve built a wall around my heart and I’m scared of letting anyone near it.

2.5 years… It’s been too long…

Now, I’m just afraid that I’ll fall too hard, too fast.

Too Reliant…?

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I always thought that it was a great thing that my parents can count on me and that I’m able to do some stuff and help out my parents whenever they need it. However, recently, I’ve been starting to feel like it’s becoming an overwhelming amount… I have so much work (school and others) and I’m trying to prioritize, but whenever I say that I can’t do something for my parents, my dad get upset. It’s like, he wants me to excel in school, while having some extra curricular activities, having a social life, and be able to do whatever he needs whenever he needs it. I’m just one person… They rely on me for so much now that I can’t even feel bad when I say no to them because I know it’s a relatively small thing compared to what I need to do. Needless to say, I am an only child and that’s why they tend to rely on me for everything. Don’t get me wrong, I want to help my parents and do as much as I can for them. I just think that with the amount of stress i have, prioritizing my work is the only way I’m able to stay sane.

Now, some of you might be thinking that I’m over exaggerating here. Trust me when I say that I wish I was. My family friends recently asked us to go to Chicago for a little get-away. We agreed and now we’re going to go. After establishing this, my dad asked me if there were any new requirements to entering the country or if anything has changed. I said that I wasn’t sure and my mom said that they will just search it up and look into it. Before my mom even finished that sentence, my dad said “Our daughter can do it. She just has to do a quick search and I’m sure she can find it faster than us anyways.” I was flattered to hear that, but he told me to do this during the week that I had 2 midterms. I was so stressed already with midterms, but I didn’t want to disappoint him so what do I say… “Of course I can do it. It won’t take long.” It’s little things like this that I can’t say no, but I just hate myself for saying yes. Just today, my parents called me and asked if I was doing anything tonight. I said that I wasn’t because I wanted to focus on my studies. My dad instantly said “Oh, then we’ll come pick you up tonight instead of tomorrow” (because we’re driving to Chicago the day after). I said that I kinda just wanted to stay at school so that I’m able to focus a bit more on my school work. He then said that I can take an early bus home so that I can watch the house while our tenants moved out and while he’s at a dentist appointment… I know that if I go home, I’m not going to be able to concentrate. I asked if I could come home later because I want to focus a bit more on my school work… He got mad… I don’t understand. He always tells me that my education is the most important thing and now, that’s exactly what he’s depriving me of. I have another midterm next week, I practically failed a previous one for the course, so I literally have no choice but to do good. He knows this.

This rant is getting a little long, so I’ll probably just end it with a few last sentences. I’m usually very good at fitting everything in and ensuring that I’m able to complete everything everyone wants me to even if I have to full all-nighters to do it. But I guess this week, with the added amount of work from my extra curricular activities, the added pressure from midterms, and the added stress from not having enough time is getting to me… I don’t know what I should do anymore…

“Minor” Setbacks…

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Recently, it just hit me how my parents think of me as just “okay” and “mediocre”.

Throughout high school and into university, one of the best things that’s happened to me is hearing from my dad, on my high school graduation day, that he was proud of me and that I’m better than how he thought I was. As a child growing up, my dad didn’t really care too much about how I was doing. As long as I wasn’t failing and my grades were decent, then everything was okay. I always thought that he didn’t care too much about what I was doing because what I was doing was never enough. My mom was usually the one who cared a lot about my grades, extra curriculars, etc. I knew that I was always “mediocre” in my dad’s mind until my graduation day. I was so happy to hear those words from him. At that moment, it seemed like everything I’ve gone through, relying on myself for everything, was worth it. Now, just today, I realized that my mom has only viewed me as “mediocre”. And at this point, I feel like pleasing her is the hardest thing in the world…

My mom has been with me through almost everything. Usually if something happens, she’s the one who I can talk to and will help me through everything. So when hearing her say “My judgement is pretty accurate. You’re average, maybe a little above average at times. That’s how you were in high school and that’s how you are now.” really struck home. I was already feeling a bit upset because I wasn’t able to get a job that one of my other friends got, so hearing that from my mom didn’t really boost my self-confidence. That was the moment that I realized how high my mom’s standards are and how I might never be able to meet them.

Everything I’ve done and everything I’m doing is so that I’m able to make my parents proud and show them that their efforts didn’t go to waste… That I am the daughter that they raised me to be. I’ve hit rock bottom and I can tell you that it wasn’t easy for me to climb back up. But I did it. When I was younger, I knew that my parents might not have been fully satisfied with my accomplishments and they’ve never thought I was really that great, but I used that as my motivation to prove them wrong. Now, the first time ever, I’m wondering if I’m able to achieve that… I know that I shouldn’t be too quick to judge and I should still try even if I don’t end up doing it, but it’s hard… It’s really damn hard to do that when you know that your parents have always and might always think that I’m nothing but “average”…

Is High School better than College…?

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High school was so much easier… But just because it was easier, does it make it better?

Recently, I’ve encountered a whole list of set backs. From academics, to extracurriculars, to friends. Now, it’s not as bad as it sounds. I would consider them to be rather minor setbacks, but we, as humans, have a habit of holding onto those setbacks and letting it linger in our hearts. Or well, I do anyways. With these setbacks, I’ve been wondering if I felt better in high school. If things were easier. I think the main reason why I started thinking about this is because the last time I had a major hit in academics was in grade 12, before I graduated. I was stressed during that time because I had to maintain a certain average to retain one of my university acceptances, and my calculus mark was just fluctuating. I remember breaking down a few times either during or after school because I was so stressed out about my mark. Now, I just received one of my midterm marks back and I’m feeling the same sense of anxiety and stress. I feel like breaking down, but my mind isn’t letting me because I have 2 more exams coming up this week. I absolutely hate this feeling. I just want to cry and let it all out, but I have no time…

It wasn’t until writing this post that I realized something. When I was telling you my experience in high school, I remembered the thought I had about a year ago. I was thinking back to how stressed I was in high school and how it really doesn’t matter now what that mark is. I did manage to maintain the average that I needed, but I didn’t even end up choosing that university. I realized how irrelevant it is in the grand scope of things. In 5 years, I’m not going to care about the 50% I got on a midterm in 2nd year. The only reason and motivation for me to continue and to do better in the course is first, passing the course, and the idea of getting a great job. I believe that I am able to do better because I know where my flaws are. I will improve, and that is my determination.

Going back to the whole high school idea, even though I did experience a similar situation, there was a lot less stress in terms of everything else I had going on in my life. But then I remembered all of the good things that has happened since I’ve been in university. The friends that I’ve made, the freedom, just the environment alone is one that I feel more comfortable in. So maybe high school was easier because the classes were easier, you had the same schedule every day with the same people, and you really didn’t have much to worry about (except when you’re anxiously waiting for that college acceptance). But university gives you an experience that you’ll never forget. With the added stress and pressure, it comes with a plethora of new friends, new experiences, and to be honest, a breath of fresh air. It’s here where I realized for the first time, that I’m going to be okay. And that regardless of what happens, I’m able to find my path and create the life that I want for my future.

Thinking too Much

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Many will think that when true love comes, you should always accept it with open arms. That’s how I want to think too… If only it was that simple.

I’m the type of person to over think situations and think way too far into the future. I’ve recently met a guy at the office who I think is the perfect person for me. He has all of the characteristics I would want in a partner. He’s smart, he’s kind, he’s funny, he’s a gentleman, he’s soo attractive (to me anyways), and he just gives me the impression that he’s a true man. We were at a company event and one of the team building exercises was to finish building a wheelchair. When I turned around and saw him, he was soo focused on putting it together and he wasn’t afraid of the muscle work or anything. It was sooo attractive! It’s been a long time since I’ve thought that about someone. But there’s just one problem… Age. He’s around 10 years older than me. If it wasn’t for this factor, I would have long approached him and got to know him better. I keep telling myself that because of his age, I shouldn’t (and can’t) be with him… The age gap is just too significant. However, every time he walks past my desk, I can’t help but stare. His presence and charisma is just too strong for me to ignore. I used to be so against relationships with huge age gaps, but now that it’s happening to me, I’m not so sure what I should think and do anymore.

Maybe I’m just attracted to older men now… Ones who I believe are able to take care of me and treat me right… How much does age matter anyways…?

My Social Awkward Self

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Every time I walk into a crowded room, I always feel like the odd one out. Everyone seems to have their own group of friends and I just seem like an outsider, which ends with me standing in a corner… Alone… On my phone.

Why am I like this? I’m sure the people there are really friendly and wouldn’t mind me joining in on their conversations… So why don’t I? Is it because I’m afraid that they won’t like or accept me? Am I afraid of being judged? Am I just simply uncomfortable being in large groups…? No… That’s definitely not it. I love being in groups and being able to talk about whatever I want without the feeling of being judged. I don’t get it… I’m incredibly open and outgoing when I’m around my friends but as soon as I’m surrounded by strangers or people I don’t really talk to, I turn into this silent turtle that’s just standing there, waiting for someone to engage in a conversation with me… Why can’t I be the one to walk up to a group, introduce myself, and join their conversations? Why aren’t I the outgoing, extroverted girl that everyone likes being around? I try so hard to climb out of my shell but every time I’m in that situation,  I always hide behind my shell and just wait… I know that I’m missing out on so many opportunities to interact with other incredible individuals, but what can I do about it?

The truth is, I’m scared of all of the things I’ve mentioned previously. I’m scared that they won’t like me. I’m scared that they’re going to judge me. I’m self-conscious… I try reminding myself that I can’t control how others see or think of me. All I can do is be myself and let everything else play out whichever way they do. But it’s hard… When I try to engage in conversations with others, I end up saying something stupid or the conversation just quickly dies off. I hate this part of me so much… I think about what I want to do and what I want to say, but it’s so hard to bring myself to actually doing it… Then I think about what I should have done and how I regret not doing what I initially intended to do… I’m restricting myself from the things that I want to do. Is this just how I am?

Am I just an awkward turtle?

5 Pieces of Advice for Success in Any Workplace

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I recently began my first work term this month and decided to write this little piece to share what I’ve learned thus far. Even though I haven’t worked for very long, I’ve learned a lot this past month.

  1. Ask Questions. Before I started my work term, I was afraid to ask my manager anything in fear that I would be annoying them. After I started working, I realized that it’s better to ask questions and clarify any tasks you’re given rather than  assume something that is wrong. By assuming, there’s a possibility that your assumption is incorrect which may cause greater damages for you and your team.
  2. Socialize with your Co-Workers. It gets really boring in the office if you don’t know anyone and have no one to talk to. Socializing with your co-workers will allow you to become more familiar with the business and other departments. You will also have someone to socialize with during the working hours and may also make a new best friend! I’m still working on this myself, but I’ve noticed that as I get more and more comfortable in my surroundings, I’m more willing to talk with the other co-workers and get to know them better. After all, you’re going to be working with them for a while so might as well get to know them sooner rather than later.
  3. Don’t be Afraid to Take Initiative. Once I started working on some simpler tasks, I realized that some of their processes are quite repetitive. After noticing this, I started thinking of ways to possibly simplify the routine. I brought this to my managers attention and she loved it! Every business wants an employee who has ideas on how they can possibly improve a certain procedure. Even if your ideas don’t work out in the end, it’s a possibility of creating a better business. What employer wouldn’t want that?
  4. Be Genuine. Be yourself! I know that it’s nerve-racking going into a new company, but you got the job because the employer not only liked the skills that you can bring, but also who you are as a person. By being yourself, you’re being the best you which means that you’re able to present your best work. And plus, it’s tiring pretending to be someone you’re not, so why would you?And last but not least…

  5. Make the Most Out of Every Situation. When I applied to this job, I was expecting to do something different than what I’m doing now. At first, I was a bit disappointed, but I later realized that there’s nothing more I can do now, so why not do the most I can and learn as much as I can? With this mentality I started to ask more questions about the company, other departments, my tasks, etc. I also stated thinking of ways to make my work a bit more interesting by thinking of other creative ways to effectively complete my tasks. If I do think of a more effective and efficient process, then it’s a win win for me and the company.

Everyone adapts differently to different situations, but what I’m trying to say here is that even if you’re in a position that you don’t necessarily like, there are always ways of turning it around so that your work is more enjoyable.

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”