Gym

I was so looking forward to my usual outdoor run this late afternoon, but the sky turned dark and the rain didn’t look like it was going to stop. I was disappointed. And then I remembered the gym near my home has re-opened, so this is the perfect weather to check it out.

This is the first time I’ve stepped into a gym. I’ve always been quite intimidated with the machines in the gym. The good thing is, I don’t have to pay to get into the gym or the pool for a little long while. I am given a $100 voucher and so I’ll be using this to deduct for each entry. This should last me for a while – I’m so happy.

I used the cycling machine to warm up a bit before I hit the treadmill. I was a little unsure of how the treadmill works, and took a little while getting used to it. But I did managed to jog for 40 minutes, at a slow pace though. I did feel a little light headed when I step out from the treadmill. I obviously still prefer running outdoors, but this will do when I need my workout while it’s raining.

Overall, a happy first time treadmill user.

Therapy Session 2

I went for my therapy session today. The one thing that I learnt today, and which was going to be helpful for me was about sharing about my past with future gentlemen who are dating me. I didn’t thought about that, but today’s session gave me some light. I am thankful. My question was, how do I know it is time I should share about my past with the guy, or is it too soon to tell?

My therapist pointed me to a direction. Think about what telling this would mean to him and the relationship. What is the value of telling him? What do you want him to do with this information, or is it going to help with the relationship?

I guess the answer is it’s not necessary to tell. In fact, if I am not being defined by that incident, then there is no value in telling.

I’m glad to say I am not being defined by that incident. I have always been so tormented by that question, but today I got the answer and I’m so happy.

My therapist’s assessment of me is that, she thinks I have very much control over my life, and I spent a lot of time thinking about my values and knowing who I am as a person. I am also doing things out of my comfort zone to push myself to continuously learn, so she feels I’m not really a serious case. Yes there were events and things that happened, but I have not allowed them to define me as a person. As such, I will continue living life and working on my goals and when events happen and I need to talk about them, I can then schedule a session with her.

Dr. Helen Fisher

I chanced upon Dr. Helen Fisher’s work while listening to a podcast. She has also been in TED Talks. Through her work, I discovered the difference of how men and women build intimacy, and that gave me more insights into relationship dynamics.

According to her, women build intimacy by gazing directly into the other person’s eyes, face to face, talking. But for men, they prefer sitting side by side and looking straight ahead.

As I recall my dating experience, John liked sitting next to me. He made it known several times when we were out, so this was something I remember. The only time when he sat in front of me was the first time we met at the coffee shop – due to the space constraints, it wasn’t possible to sit beside one another. But the next location that we went to, he preferred sitting next to me. Only if I understood this back then. That was his way of building intimacy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love sitting next to someone, especially in coffee places and even more so at restaurants. I like the idea of eating side by side. But I realized that I have a tendency to shift my body towards the person and looking at the person when I sit beside someone I’m attracted to. I want to look at the person when I talk or when they talk.

Another part of Dr. Helen Fisher’s work that I found interesting and I think there is truth in it was about personality types. Why do we fall in love with one person and not another?

I took the test and found out I was a Negotiator and my sub-dominant behavior was Builder. Being a Negotiator, I’m most suited or am attracted to a Director. John was clearly a director – that explains why. I was just naturally drawn to his alpha male personality. Someone with a director personality are direct, decisive, tough-minded, exacting and good at strategic thinking. 

Many years back, I had a guy colleague who wasn’t displaying alpha male personality but was interested in me. He didn’t lead in the courtship, didn’t plan dates and pretty much left everything to me. I felt tired and I didn’t like being put in charge in a relationship. That explains why I tried to like him, but I just wasn’t attracted to his personality type.

There are 2 questions that I would like to ask any one that I go out to dates with in the future. I think this is important as I will be able to find out more about the person and if we click.

1. What is your love language?

2. What is intimacy to you?

Meeting people

So I came back from my trip 2 days ago and fell sick with a stuffy nose and scratchy throat. I saw a doctor this morning and after a nap, I decided I am well enough to go out to socialize. For the past few days, I was undecided if I should go or not. I will be working pretty much all weekends starting next week and into the whole month of November. So, I decided to take a chance to go for a weekend meet up experience. I’m glad I pushed myself to go. I needed to work on my interaction with others.

The truth is, this is my second time going to a meet up all alone and I was nervous during my first meetup. But this time round, I didn’t feel the nerves. I think it gets better each time.

I talked to an Australian lady and I think we had a rather good, deep conversation going. I’m grateful for that.

It’s interesting and fascinating to observe human psychology at these events. At one point, I even helped to introduce 2 shy people.

I didn’t exchange any numbers with anyone except for another girl who was an introvert. She confessed to me how nervous she was coming to this meet up and I can understand how she felt. I know it will get better for her each time.

I practiced talking to strangers about my “new” job. This seems to be a good ground for conversation starters as most people are interested in how that works. At the same time, they always want to know how we get funding. I need to craft out a better answer for that.

I’ll try to do a meetup once a month to continue practicing talking to strangers.

But I have to say I’m pleased how it went this time round. I certainly spoke to a few more people this time round and wasn’t nervous.

Smiling at Strangers

I started this project a few weeks back….just for fun and as an experiment. We live in a society where we don’t brighten up people’s day enough with a genuine smile. I was also curious if I would get smiles back. I normally wouldn’t smile at a stranger, but I am confident especially while I’m jogging. It must be those endorphins. You feel that you have absolutely nothing to lose and even if people don’t smile back at you, you don’t take it seriously. it’s also part of training for myself to open my heart. What better way to do it than to extend it to strangers, whom you have no expectations.

First of all, I must say that so far, everyone that I smiled to smiled back at me!

But I also know it is a matter of time, that I would get rejected. I must be prepared for it. Maybe I’m using this experiment as part of my training to getting used to rejection.

So, I started my project at women first. Smiling at women is easier, since smiling to someone of the same sex would seem pretty harmless. Some women are very receptive and would smile a bright one right back at me. I remember the petite lady who jogged past me at the entrance of the park. Also the lady who sat at the stone bench beside the canal studying. They had beautiful smiles, and I was just happy smiling and getting a smile back. It makes your day brighter when you go jogging and get smiles. Some are a little shy and their mouth would curl into a shy smile and very soon they would cast their eyes down again. I don’t blame them. I also start to smile and say, “hello, good afternoon” to the security lady who is doing her shift at the entrance of the park that I jogged into.

After I gained more confidence, I started to start my experiment on men. The first guy I smiled to was a young guy who was taking a photo of a large crane that was standing near the waters. I think we were both astounded to see a crane so close, and we were delighted with that experience. The second man I smiled at was an elderly caucasian man with a walking stick. He was taking his walk at the park while I was jogging. Our eyes met and I gave him a smile. He smiled right back. The third guy was a shy caucasian doing his mid afternoon stroll. He would always carry a bottle of water with him. I can sense if they are shy from their smile.

At the same time, I must say this. I do choose the ones I smile to. I usually would attempt to smile at someone who at least make some prolonged eye contact with me. If I don’t get an eye contact, I wouldn’t smile. Secondly I would only smile at someone if the path was clear, and there wasn’t anyone walking alongside in the same direction as the person. This is so that the person know I am smiling at him/her and there is no missed signal. Also I would only smile to someone who is alone and not with their friends. I just don’t have the courage yet. Lastly, I can only smile to those who aren’t wearing shades. I need some eye contact.

Today, I smiled at the 4th guy who was walking towards my direction at the park. He was definitely younger than me and looked cute. He looked at me, and so I smiled at him. What I gathered from his reaction was, he was rather taken aback and didn’t expect I would smile at him. Afterall, in where I live, people really don’t smile at strangers. But he smiled back at me. I like to think I have made his day by just smiling at him.

I also want to point out a couple of missed “smiles” that I would have love to smiled at, but timing wasn’t right, or I haven’t had that courage yet!

  • A tall, attractive guy was jogging towards my direction on a Friday late afternoon. He wore glasses and I think he was listening to music. Honestly, I would have smiled at him as he made prolonged eye contact with me. But I didn’t because there were 2 other girls also walking towards my direction and I felt shy doing this in front of them. Well, I can only hope to see him again if we crossed path someday.
  • A regular male jogger lives nearby and we have seen each other numerous times while jogging. Every time when we passed by, he would make prolonged eye contact with me. He would have been my first guy recipient of smiles if I had that courage, but oddly enough I haven’t had the courage to do so. Funny thing is, the last time I saw him was on a Monday. I was at the other side of the road, looking at traffic and finding the right time to cross it. On the other side of the road, he appeared and he seemed rather shocked to see me, but he did turned around and kept looking at me. I think I have enough courage now to give him a smile the next time. I think he would be shocked, and honestly I don’t know if he would smile back at me.

Rejection…getting used to it

I haven’t been writing for a while, but it’s because nothing has really much happened since till yesterday. I think things are over between R and me. In the last blog post, I mentioned that we are texting a little every other day or so. Last Sunday, I asked if he would still like to meet up, and he was affirmative about meeting and so I said how about Sunday. He said OK. We however did not nail down time and location as he was overseas. Then Sunday arrived and I asked if he would like to meet up today. No response. So I think that pretty much says everything.

For a little while, I was upset. I was upset because if someone has been texting you for about 2 weeks, you’d expect some level of courtesy, it’s Ok to say No. But there was no response.

On the other hand, I am clear that I’m not interested in a texting relationship. Real lessons come when you meet and communicate with someone face to face, so I much rather meet someone in person. I like to think I’m not delusional – if someone is genuinely interested in you, they would want to meet in person rather than maintaining just a texting relationship. For some reason, the words and actions from R are not congruent, so I like to think I’m actually doing myself a favor.

I meditated last night and tears flowed as I am experiencing these raw emotions. I am just letting them come and go freely. I think it was good I wasn’t suppressing it. 15 minutes later, I felt better. I woke up this morning, and surprisingly I didn’t feel extremely sad. Is this a sign that I’m getting used to rejection? It’s inevitable that you still think about what you could have done better, but honestly I don’t know if I would have done anything differently.

I was just listening to another great podcast, about Rejection. http://ny.shambhala.org/2013/05/16/dealing-with-rejection-podcast/

I had a few takeaways from it:

  • If rejection comes in manageable doses, it can actually be a great spiritual gift.
  • You’re never going to get what you want; and you’ll never going to stop wanting.
  • Don’t reject the feeling of being rejected.

Will there be a second date?

A big reason of why I’m writing things down, is for my own healing. I need to make notes, just so that I can keep account of things happening. It will help me to be more clear in my therapy sessions as well.

I thought things with R came to a full stop. But on Thursday night (while I was already in slumber land), R texted me good night. I woke up the next morning to see his text, and honestly I was surprised. I thought he didn’t want to talk to me again. I texted him back, and later that evening, we exchanged some text back and forth quite a bit. Our communication lines re-opened after 4 days of silence. Yes it was a little awkward for me as I thought I have “offended” him with my directness. But I sensed he was attracted to me still and was seemingly patient with me. I asked him a question about his experiences with other women, and his reply back to me was that he didn’t like to talk about others, he just wanted to focus on us. OK, I was a little surprised. It wasn’t meant to be a test question, but I like a gentleman who seem to want to get to know me better and didn’t want to talk about past women or relationships. Because of that, I felt he was worth knowing a little better. He said he wanted to take things slow with us.

So that’s the thing with us now, we are texting a little each day, but he hasn’t initiated meeting me yet. And I don’t know if he would ever ask. We’ll see.

Spending time with my friend

Oddly enough, I can count from my single hand, for the number of times I’ve met up with girl friends this year. I’ve always been someone who doesn’t initiate meetings with friends. Oh I remembered meeting with another female ex-colleague earlier this year (Joy). So yesterday was probably the second time I met up with a girl friend.

I really had a good time with Pat. We had lunch, chatted leisurely and even went clothes shopping. She helped me pick a pretty blue and white dress, which I’m so happy to own. Yes, it’s the first dress I bought in such a long time. I have such a hard time finding something suitable that I would like to wear. So I was really thrilled. I even wore it today when I went for my grocery shopping. I feel great! I’ll wear it when I go therapy session too!

We plan to meet up again next week for lunch, I hope it gets materialized.

Funny enough, I felt comfortable enough to let Pat know I’m seeking therapy help. I felt we have been friends for so long and though we don’t meet up so often, we actually can chat naturally whenever we meet up. I wanted to learn how to be vulnerable and this is the first step to let someone know I’m not that “strong”. It made me feel good that I can share with her.

Yesterday evening, I was also chatting with another common friend of ours, and I also told Ning that I was in therapy. I am proud of myself that I shared with 2 female friends.