Choosing people to spend time with wisely

I met this girl at at event last November. Thinking back, I may have presented myself in a weaker way, because I just suffered from profound sadness on that very same day. Please read my last blog post to understand what I am referring to.

I wasn’t feeling “strong” and I think some people may just think that I am easy to manipulate. The girl asked me for contact number and I gave it to her. Yes she said that she was an insurance agent, and I am thinking and wanting to let people reveal their true motives.

Anyway, she had actively tried to schedule dinner with me throughout these few months and all of which, she had always rescheduled it after she couldn’t make it. I was not pro-active in rescheduling any of this.

One day, she texted me with a spammy message, asking me to click on her sister’s facebook page to like a post. This is so that her sister could win in a contest. To me, that’s pretty spammy and I’m afterall just an acquaintance.

I ignored it for a day, and asked advice from a friend on how to reply this. Obviously I’m not going to click “Like” on her sister’s post. My friend suggested that I refer her to a fiverr service to buy likes.

I did that, and her response was “hahaha, I was just doing a once off thing”. My response was “The fiverr way is more efficient to get likes than texting your contacts one by one.” Her reply was “Thanks babe, I didn’t even know such service exist!”

I don’t think she understood that she crossed the line.

That left a bad taste in my mouth somehow.

We are supposed to meet for dinner next week, but I’m just not feeling it. So I’m going to cancel it and tell her that I’ll contact her when my schedule frees up.

_______________

Yes I did it! It is cancelled.

 

 

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Today I experienced heartbreak

I don’t really have an idea of a blog title for this. One year has passed, and since the end of  a few dates with the guy with childhood trauma, today I felt heartbroken again.

Sean was an acquaintance I knew 10 years ago. Our lives can be best described as a “mis-connect”. When I went to Vancouver, we met once. Back then he was in a relationship, but we met up for coffee as friends, since I traveled so far and it was a rare chance to meet. After that, we kept in touch over emails for a while and then lost touch for years. In 2008, we somehow found each other on Facebook. We went on with our own lives. Earlier this year, he started chatting with me on Facebook. He just gotten out of a long term relationship. His ex-fiancé asked him to move out. We started talking again. This time it was learning about each other all over again.

I feel that I am an expert in building emotional bond or connection with someone over the Internet, provided the flow of energy was there when we chat. We both felt something. I asked that we try to make plans to meet. He was actually seriously thinking to come visit me.

And then before I know it, the ex-fiancé reappears and suggests to revisit the relationship with him. He was confused but ultimately decided to give her another chance.

As I type this, it becomes clear to me. Many things become clear to me. But I’m still feeling like a train wreck. One moment I feel very strong and calm, and then the next moment I feel so sad and heartbroken. Acknowledging these emotions (I know) is the first step to getting over it.

I console myself by saying that “Not getting the things I want may be a blessing in disguise.”
I want to believe that.

One of the most valuable lesson I have learnt in our short period of interaction was “allowing myself to be vulnerable”. I shared many of my deepest secrets with him. Because I felt comfortable with him, I shared many thoughts with him. It was the first time I shared in such depth. I learned that it made me feel free. I was willing to “tear off my layers and show him my scars”. It felt wonderful to be able to show my authentic self in front of someone. Likewise, he said I was the only person he could share his deepest thoughts with.

Because of this wonderful experience, I feel so attached to this person. I am fearful that I would never be able to replicate and make that emotional connection with someone else again. Please tell me I am wrong.

I know I am wrong. I believe that I can re-create those closeness with someone else again, just because it had been made possible. I think this is really my biggest lesson.

As always, one of the common learning themes that keep repeating itself is “unconditional love”. I know I don’t love him, it’s just infatuation, attraction and of course attachment. You can’t love a person until you see how they react when they don’t get what they want. But my meaning of “unconditional love” here means, I want him to be happy and not possessing him . Even though he made a decision that does not include me in it, I wish him all the happiness and hope he finds love and peace in that.

I’m thankful to him. Sometimes people come into our lives for a brief short moment to teach us a thing and then they leave…

This week has been hard for me emotionally. I have been obsessed with the thoughts of us and now with handling this piece of news of his decision. I know it will take me some time to get over it, I don’t know how long that will take. Maybe this is the catalyst to make me return to my meditation practice which I have been slacking.

Dating a man with childhood trauma

I have never went out on a date with a guy who had childhood trauma before until 2 months ago. He did not tell me about the trauma until the third date. As always, I listen intently to what others have to say. I’ve learnt to let people reveal themselves.

He thought that I would laugh at him for what he is going to say. At one point, he even put on his sunglasses while recalling his trauma to me. I thought he was going to cry, that’s why he needed to hide behind his sunglasses. Later I found out it was because he felt ashamed, and couldn’t bear to look me in the eye.  He was surprised that I did not laugh at him or walk away from that.

Because of his childhood trauma, what he wanted in a relationship was very different from the norm. He preferred zero physical intimacy. The most he could accept was probably holding hands and possibly kissing. Honestly, I told him that he is looking at probably 2 % of the pool of available dating women who wanted the same things.

I shared with him some perspective and I suggested that he should try therapy or counseling. Most men shy away from therapy because it is hard for them to accept that they need and require help. They feel ashamed and have so much fear speaking to a stranger about the past.

I learnt that though my intentions are genuine and I wanted the best for the other person, but if the person isn’t ready to accept help, then you can’t force that to happen. The best thing you can do is walk away.  The other person needs to have the self awareness to recognize that he needs courage, commitment and determination to change and re-learn many things before he is even ready to enter into any relationship.

I realized that I am also getting “sharper” in my encounters with men. I tend to get emotional or upset when things turn out differently in the past. I would have taken a longer time to get over things in the past. But I’ve realized that I’ve gotten so much stronger each time and especially this year. Being able to walk away without feeling sad is such an empowering breakthrough for me. Learning to let go and move on was such an important lesson for me. I’m grateful…

2 years before smiling

Is this strange? But I may have mentioned this in one of my earlier blog post. I run regularly in my neighborhood and when I first started, I’m not sure why, but I don’t really dare to make eye contact with anyone. Slowly I’ve started to enjoy my jogging routine, including the nature as well as looking at the joggers around me. If I happen to make eye contact with someone, sometimes I’ll smile. I think one particular lady started smiling and saying hi to me and it may have changed me for the better. That’s how I started smiling at random strangers when I jog sometimes.

There is this particular guy, I think we may have ran past each other for almost 2 years now. For 2 years, he kept looking at me when we jog past each other, but we never smiled. It was pretty awkward I must say. Then in April, I started breaking the ice by smiling whenever he passes by. The first time I did that, I think he was shocked. Maybe he wasn’t expecting it. He didn’t smile back. The second time we met again while jogging, he started to warm up and gave me a awkward smile. Then we did not meet for more than a month as I was away.

Yesterday, I saw him again while jogging. He passed by me and this time round, he smiled at me. That was really nice. I smiled back. It took us 2 whole years to start smiling at each other. Isn’t that funny?

Now I wonder what will be next. Will we ever be able to say hi eventually? That would be nice.

My trip takeaway

It’s been more than a month since I wrote in my journal here. I was away for most of May, on my first ever learning trip. In the past, my trips though always included some form of classes, but they were never intensive.

I put together this trip on a very short notice. Due to some circumstances, I decided that I wanted to learn a lot about my work and so a longer trip was required. I was partly scared but excited at the same time for such an opportunity.

One of the important things I ever learnt prior to this trip was to “Never put your life on hold for someone else”. I’m so glad I went ahead with my trip and had a lot of learning done. If I had put my life on hold, I would have felt really miserable right now.

I feel very blessed to go on this long trip with a rather peaceful mind. Back in my corporate days, being away for a week was giving me alot of stress, let alone 3 weeks. I shudder when I think about all the emails I have to deal with for being away for so long. I am grateful that I can enjoy being a real “student”, just concentrating on absorbing and learning as much as I can. Being away like this is such a luxury.

Apart from classes and all, I also got to visit new places and attending a talk on my own. I also went for a game with all strangers for one event. One day, class ended early and it was perfect for me to go location recce. I needed to know how to get to a new place for a talk I was attending. I got stranded in the rain on that day. Although I had an umbrella, I was still drenched. I didn’t manage to find the place and was feeling unaccomplished. The next day, I decided to find the location again and was successful. I’m really proud of myself.

I also kept up with my jogging routine amazingly during this trip. I remembered to pack my jogging gear in my suit case. I jogged 3 times a week, always early in the morning. It helped keeping me energized for the day. Again, I’m proud of myself!

 

Alone

I usually don’t go out to mingle after my work on weekends, especially if my work earlier involves a lot of talking, as I feel so tired. But today, I managed to finished early and I was still feeling very energetic. So for the first time, I went to a meetup event. This is so unlike me! But I am liking the challenge I gave myself.

I ate before I went, and because it was located in a city district, it was especially quiet during weekends. Now I know where to find a quiet spot to hang out and have tea in town if I needed a quiet place to talk and chill.

It was actually really lovely. There were less than 5 people in the restaurant I was in, and after everyone left, I was alone. It felt like I had the whole restaurant to myself!

But what I really enjoyed and savored at that very moment – was sitting quietly by myself, eating alone, without music, and watching the leaves on the trees moving like crazy. The wind was very strong. What a sight. I was really enchanted with that very moment. I felt peaceful.

I sat, rested and had a good half an hour to the peace and quiet surrounding me before I left for the meetup event.

I just wanted to document this as I will remember that joy I felt with being at the present moment.

Feelings come and go

It’s been almost 4 months since my last blog post. How time flies, and more importantly how my thoughts have changed. How I felt about things back then has since changed. I no longer feel so sad or strongly about some things. I feel like this is a good thing and I’ve grown emotionally.

I still remember vividly in one of my earlier blog post, about how much I regret or how much I wished John wasn’t one of the first few men I meet while just returning into the dating world. I felt so strongly about it then and that brought me a lot of momentarily sadness. I don’t really know when it happened, but slowly I no longer think that way, and I can probably even say that I don’t have regrets. I don’t have bitterness about this person at all, and it still remains true that if I see him on the streets, I will have fond memories of the learning (vulnerability) that this person has provided me with. Looking back, I can now laugh at my own silly attachments.

I’m still keeping up with my meditation practice and this is something I am happy about. It continues to provide a sense of peace and calmness in my life, and more importantly, it gave me a lot of clarity into things. I am grateful for that.

I feel that there are constantly things that I am learning about love, even though I’m not in a relationship. Just by observing how other couples treat one another, hearing their stories – these are all opportunities to learn about what kind of relationship you desire, and how you want to conduct oneself when you get into one. Is that strange?

I still believe that every encounter with a person is also an opportunity for learning and growth.

I’m not sure if I am ready to talk about another new lesson because this is still very much lessons in progress. And I feel the lessons here is about knowing what you want, drawing boundaries, not fall into the trap of falling in love with the “potential”. That’s a lot, you know! Each lesson seems to be getting harder and harder.

I’m still very much a work in progress…

The thing about meditation

You know, I’ve been practicing 15 mins breathing meditation for a few months now. I’ve been rather irregular with my practice the past week, and didn’t manage to do it daily. This month, I’ve particularly felt that my meditation practice seems to be going down south. I feel that each time I make 2 steps forward, 1 step retreats automatically. My mind is so hard to control, thoughts just come and go as they please. There were probably about 2-3 times which I’ve experienced deep sadness while meditating and tears would just flow uncontrollably down my cheeks. But I just let them flow. Strangely I do feel better after that, way much more peaceful than when I didn’t meditate while crying. My emotions got richer too I think. Maybe that’s not the right way to express it, but I think I’m trying to say I am more tender-hearted.

Just an example: I just saw a video clip of Giovanca, the female singer, teaching a group of girl students (probably in Sierra Leone) sing a line or 2. I was so touched by that scene, and wished I could hug all the little girls.

Part of meditation practice is also learning how to be gentle with oneself. Simply embrace your experiences moment by moment, without judgement. That is what I am still learning. So if the thoughts come into my mind, I’ll just let it come, and see it fade away like a piece of cloud.

I need to remember this:

Gentleness is the spiritual warrior’s most powerful weapon.

The re-appearance of the Ex

Still here. I always had a peaceful, uneventful life, I think. But for the past few weeks, the re-appearance of an ex added new lessons in my life.

This was someone who ghosted on me 9 years ago. Once, I saw him online and I said hi, but he disappeared. I asked him about that and he said he honestly don’t remember. I said it’s OK, maybe you were not ready to talk.

Last week, one evening after dinner, I came back to my computer and saw that someone had left me a online message while I was away. It was him (M). So we chatted online casually for a while before we talked on Skype. For some strange reason, it didn’t feel awkward. We chatted and reminisced about the happy times for a bit.

Then I picked up the courage to apologize for any hurt that I may have caused him in the past. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to make peace with the past, say sorry and let things go. That is why I had no fear when it came to putting myself out there and saying sorry first. I told him I never intended to hurt him in anyway and I am sorry if I ever made you upset. I have held onto these words for 9 years. 9 years of things, things that I wanted to say, and finally I was able to tell this person. I felt so so happy for myself. I am thankful for whoever up there, who made this opportunity possible. Truly. I think M was a little surprised. His reaction was he don’t remember what happened in the past. He usually forget things quickly.

In a way, I felt that I had grown and matured through this experience.

We talked 2 more times casually over the next 2 weeks and honestly I do not know where this is heading.

One thing I know for sure- I no longer loved him the way I used to in the past. We had a great connection in the past, and I am grateful for all the fond memories that we had, but that alone doesn’t mean that we would be a good match for each other now. That was the clarity I had.

I think the next lesson for me is to express this clearly, yet in a gentle way. But I’m no longer going to be the one who initiates contact with him. I’m over that.

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.