New Journey Log.

I haven’t finished talking about my previous trip but as I am writing this I am preparing for yet another trip. I will be leaving on Sunday and if all goes as planned I will be spending 14 to 20 days backpacking across Indo-China. Itinerary has been iron-stiffed. One way plane tickets, bought. All I need to do now is pack and do some last minute research about all my stops.

14 days 3 countries

 

Despite being nervous, I am surprisingly adamant about making this trip happen. So yeah, bravery has nothing to do with what I am doing. This is more about pushing my own limits and trying to see how far I could go with so little courage and money :p . Hopefully I’ll make it back in one piece.

Weather has been a challenge lately. One quick look on weather underground and I find myself  looking at a very tough journey ahead. Thunderstorm for the next ten days where I am going. I put my safety in the hands of God. I’ll just go and yeah think about survival once I am there!

weathercm

The first leg of my journey will begin in Northern Thailand. I have never been to Thailand before. I’ve seen sooo many beautiful photos. I am can’t wait to begin!! Wish me luck!

A Letter for The New Year.

Hello 2014. I finally have the chance to greet you. How are you? Hope you’re okay. The world is FREEZING. But I hope you’re okay.

As for me, I’ve been busy. I don’t even have enough time for my own website. But I have a lot of time for other people’s website. As long as they’re paying that is. 2014 is a good year to make more money. Especially when the cost of living keeps increasing.

I will not be spending much time ranting here. I am beginning to think that it is high time I begin turning this site into something else. The time for writing and self-reflecting is over. This website no longer serves those purpose.

I will, revamp. Re-theme. Re-do Everything. Look out for the new look. It will roll out sooner than you think.

So, that’s it 2014. I’ll be seeing you later.

Look down.

Have you ever seen a Rangoli? Rangoli is an Indian sandpainted design often seen in Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. Rangoli can be any size and can use a wide variety of materials. Most of the time I see it made with colored rice.

Rangoli

A few years ago I had the chance to see how Rangoli was made. It was our University’s light festival and a bunch of students gathered together to create this beautiful artwork. It took a lot of preparation… and hours of intricate work to come up with beautiful rangoli designs. As soon as they were finished, the Rangolis were left on the floor just like and that. No warning sign were made to warn people of their existence. I thought that perhaps since they’re so beautiful and big… people would’ve notice and would try to not to walk all over them.

I was wrong. Not a few minutes later a bunch of students walked all over them, destroying these beautiful artworks in matter minutes. As I watched this happening,I wonder if those students who made the rangolis should’ve put up a notice to make people aware of their artworks?.. and then I noticed some of the students did see the Rangolis… but they just didn’t care!

A few lessons were learned that day :

The first lesson is, if you are on top… you tend to not see what’s below you. Sometimes, people just stare up ahead and they forgot to see what’s around them. Don’t make this mistake. In life, you should be aware of your surroundings. Look around. Appreciate beauty and kindness… and if you’ve climbed to the top of the mountain, don’t just spend too much time staring at the sky. The sky may be beautiful and blue .. but there’s a vast beautiful world below you. Look down. You might see beauty. You might meet new friends. You might discover new things.

The second lesson is to know that awareness is important. If you are doing something, make people aware of what you’re doing. Especially if it is something important. Don’t just leave your work on the floor for people to walk all over it. Put up a sign. If you value something, make sure that you let people know that you value it. Like ‘time’ for example. You may hate waiting around for people. So let them know. If you don’t, people wouldn’t know that you value it so much and will unintentionally waste your time.

The third lesson, sometimes, you will meet people who just don’t value things. These people could see beauty and not appreciate it. They will see injustice done and not do anything about it. Not because they can’t. But because they just don’t care. Avoid this people. They will bring you down. …. Also make sure you are not one of these people. Not caring, is the worst thing to be in this world.

Choose to be aware. If you are not aware of the world around you, it would be hard to be grateful.

Eat Slowly. Choose Happiness.

How to be happy? A lot people seem to know what happiness is and how to find it. We have these weird ideas that the only way to find happiness is by achieving all the things we wanted to achieve when we were younger. Some people want to be rich. Some people want fame. Some people want love and friendship. Those are the universal image of what happiness would be like. But happiness is trickier than that. Usually we would come to a point where we realized we have achieved everything that we thought would bring us happiness and we are still unhappy. Why are so many rich people unhappy? Why do famous people kill themselves? Why do marriage fail and friendship broke apart?

Most of us have a misconception about happiness. But it is not our fault. We were raised to believe that happiness is closely related to what we can achieve, what we have and the people we know. When the truth is, true happiness should come from within ourselves. Not from things… or other people.

The easiest path to happiness is to be grateful for the little things that you do have. If you complain a lot, you don’t have time to be grateful. If you’re grateful you don’t have time to complain. Let God deal with all the monkeys and politics in the world. Concentrate on making our lives better from the inside.

But really, it’s easier said than done.

Take a breather. Stop complaining about things you can’t control. Eat slowly and choose happiness.

Also visit the Gratitude Project.

Quiet Thoughts.

“Time ticks by; we grow older. Before we know it, too much time has passed and we’ve missed the chance to have had other people hurt us. To a younger me this sounded like luck; to an older me this sounds like a quiet tragedy.” ― Douglas Coupland, Life After God

I’ve been staring at a blank paper for so long; I could feel it stare back at me. What do you do when you have feelings you cannot put into words? Regrets that you cannot share? Thoughts that got stuck inside of you; weighing upon your chest – pounding with every breath you take? Would you write them down on a piece of paper and burn them? Or would you write them down and let others see them? Which one is more vulnerable? Being quietly sad or being openly sad?

Sometimes, I wonder why I write all the things I write here; making myself an open book. Is it the wisest thing to do knowing that everything here could probably be used as some sort of ammunition against me?

Why do people write memoirs anyway? What joy can one find from being an open book?

Dare to LIVE.

Dare to Be

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!”

― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

I was put in a difficult position earlier this year. It turned my world upside down and it made me question whether I want to continue on living in the path that I had chosen for myself. It made me question everything and in the process of doing that I learned that I hated everything about my life. So I thought, maybe this is it… this LIFE, this PATH that I am walking on… maybe this is the problem. If only I could change it. If only I could be away from it… Everything would be better again. It would have been a great realization if I had known what to really do about it. Back then, my idea of changing everything was to run away. To apply for new jobs. To immerse myself in activities that took me away from thinking about my life at that particular moment. I thought that if I could travel to places and meet new people and do new things I could somehow change my life. So that’s what I did. I ran to places far away. Sometimes for real and sometimes only inside my head. You know what they say about people who travel all the time? They’re all running away from something…. I believed that to be partly true. At least it was true for me.

I really had no idea what I was doing. I thought it was the negative environment that was making me feel like I was suffocating to death and I am not going to lie, every time I escaped to another place, I really did feel better. Going to other places gave me the sort of rush that nothing else in this world could give me. It made me feel alive after being dead for a long time. But of course, those insane rush were temporary. I’d go back home and it disappeared. The next thing I know I was suffocating again and desperately planning to go on another trip again. It was an endless cycle of trying to make things better and failing. At one point, I just gave up. I hit the low of lows and I was thinking that maybe that was it for me. I thought I was going to be doomed to feel restless and out of breath for the rest of my life. I thought, at one point life just stops moving and there’s no point in trying to push things further. I was wrong. But of course it took me quite a long time to figure that one out.

When you’ve lived with depression for a long time, you’ll notice how things tend to be just black and white for you. There’s no grey area. You alternate between two extremes. Happy and Sad. Insane and sane. Highest highs and the Lowest lows. This was how I view things. If I am not happy that means I am sad. If it’s not white… it’s the blackest of black. So due to this, it took me a long long time to recover from a fall. I cried for months. I cried and cried and cried and cried and cried and cried and cried. I cried buckets and then I realized that I could no longer cry. So I became angry. I was angry for a long long long time and then someone saved me. It came in a form of a friend who came to my aid when I was incapable for pulling myself up from the floor. I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but one day I woke up and said to myself NO I WILL NOT DO THIS TO MYSELF ANYMORE. I told myself: yes, someone did this to you. Someone pushed you till you fell on your knees. But if you don’t get up, it’s going to be your fault. If you’re going to let a scrape on your knees defeat you… it’s going to be your fault! … and just like that everything changed. Well, it was not as easy as I made it sound… but, things changed. Gradually and then suddenly. The next thing I know I am back on my feet again. I am standing on my own and I am moving towards something now rather than running away from things that I can’t control.

You hear people say this in motivational seminars (etc etc). It may sound very easy but very hard to do. But once you’re able to do it, you’ll be able to beat any challenges. The secret is inside you. Your thoughts are projected into your life. Think good things and good things will come to you. Dare to live and let live. Don’t let anything or anyone upset you. Feel what YOU want to feel. Don’t let others influence you into feeling bad about yourself. You are responsible for your own happiness. If you start blaming others for your unhappiness then something is wrong with you.

Even though I used to feel like I have been pushed away to a place that made me feel so small and vulnerable. I feel like it is my obligation make this as a better place for me. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonades, right? I am in a better place now and in a better state of mind. Better than before and stronger too. I could look behind me and be grateful, to that person who stood behind me and pushed me down that flight of stairs because if I hadn’t fallen… I would never know that I could heal. I would never know how to climb back up and LIVE.

Yup, I am good now. My life is great. I forgive you for everything. May you have a good life pushing people down flight of stairs and may they all learned something from that experience and thank you later for it. Thank you.

Cracks

We all go to pieces now and then. We are fragmented beings who cement ourselves together but there are always cracks. Living with the cracks is being, well, reasonably healthy – Siri Husvedt.

There are always cracks. You see it when you look into the mirror or when you are browsing through old photographs. It could be on your windowsill, underneath your sink or on the body of a coffee mug that you’ve been using since God knows when. There are always cracks. Sometimes they are visible, sometimes they are not. Sometimes they’re as real as you and I and sometimes they’re imagined.

You don’t see these cracks unless you are paying absolute attention to details. They are easy to miss and dismiss. Sometimes you see them but your mind don’t want to register their existence. They are so small and almost invisible to the naked eye. It’s so easy to forget they ever exist. So your bathroom’s mirror is cracked, but what’s the problem? Nothing is ever a problem until it breaks into a million pieces leaving shards of broken glass and blood behind. Nothing is ever a problem until it breaks.

There are cracks inside my mind. They’re invisible. I think I may have imagined them. But they’re always there in the back of my mind. Sometimes, I see brilliant lights shining from behind these cracks… sometimes, there is only darkness.

Should I be afraid?