I’m in Limbo

CF605C7B-995B-424A-918A-476260790158Every store in The Old Quarter is shut down. The usually chaotic and loud streets of Hanoi, are now filled with an eerie silence, with the occasional sounds of a puttering engine from a motorbike passing by. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think an apocalypse was about to take place.

It’s Tet, the Lunar New Year. That means, for 10 days, Vietnam will be as lively as the dude who works behind the bar I go to, who has a permanent resting bitch face, and moves at the pace of my friend before her morning coffee. This means I have 10 days with nowhere to go, no place to workout, and 10 days without my favorite vegan chickpea sandwich.

Right now, I have as much stability as a girl in heels standing on one leg, trying to take off a pair on Spanx, blindfolded. You’re welcome for the imagery I just created in your mind. I’m in between jobs, and have not a single obligation. I have no idea what is to come after Tet. As for now, it’s a waiting game.

Normally, this would be the devils playground. My twisted mind typically lives for these moments of uncertainty and instability. Then it can fuck with me, and sit back and relax as it enjoys the shit show called my anxiety ridden life. Not this time, motherfucker.

I’m not sure what has changed. I know what triggers me and how I tend to handle certain situations, but now things are different. I have more faith. Not only faith that the world has my back, but that I also have my back.

I’m genuinely enjoying this time of nothingness, indulging in more snacks than I want to admit, and being a hoe because there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do, and I have a dating App. I’m not worried about what will happen because I’m here in the moment, and I know everything will work out. I’m excited about what’s to come if anything.

What. The. Fuck. You don’t understand how weird it is that I have nothing to do, no future plans, all of this uncertainty, and I’m chillin’ like a villain. I do however feel a bit lame for actually writing chillin’ like a villain. Like, who says that these days? This chilled out bitch, that’s who.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so okay not knowing what’s going to happen. It’s because the more I go through life, the more I trust the unfolding of it. When I experience hardships, I grow and learn. When I succeed, I have gratitude. There’s never a moment in life where I’m not moving forward. I may feel like I’m in limbo during Tet, but my mindset shows me that I’m still moving up. 

Why You Shouldn’t Tell Someone Who Uses Dating Apps To Meet People Organically Instead

5A387FD3-1117-46CB-B6D2-991C962526EF.jpegI couldn’t even count the amount of times I’ve heard people talk shit about dating apps, or try to tell someone why they should meet people “organically” instead. I’m no saint, I’ve called Tinder trash multiple times. Still, I’d never tell someone not to take a chance and try it, nor should you.

I went to 10 National Parks during an epic road trip with a guy I met through Bumble. Obviously that trip wasn’t on our first meet up, but if it was, you’d have my permission to heavily judge my sanity. I connected with another person from that app while in Japan, and we’ve talked almost every day for the past several months. I’m starting a business with someone else I met on Tinder. No joke. I’m also currently looking forward to a new date I have tomorrow because he’s been playing his cards right. We even transitioned from the dating app over to WhatsApp, which for those who don’t know, that means shits about to get real. Not to mention my best friend met her boyfriend of 5 years from a dating app.

Now, I’m not saying it’s all rainbows and butterflies. I’ve been utterly underwhelmed. I have spent many hours having small talk that lead to no meetups and would have preferred hearing nails against a chalkboard over wasting my time entertaining them. I’ve also been borderline cat fished considering his pictures were not at all a representation of what he looked like. If he didn’t tell me what he was wearing and waved when he saw me, I would have just assumed he was a random, unfortunate, and unattractive human. Damn, that’s harsh, but I would have kept that to myself if I didn’t feel deceived, so that’s my excuse for sounding like a heartless bitch.

Regardless, they’ve all taught me something. It doesn’t matter if it turns into a meaningful friendship, a romantic relationship, or brief encounter. They’ve all made me more clear of the kind of man I’m looking for, and the woman I have to be to match that.

Yes, meeting people organically is great, but why not open up our options to new and exciting experiences? There are plenty of fish in the sea, so why not put more fishing nets in there? There’s nothing to lose if it’s either a good time, or lessons learned. Not to mention, those nets will reach places a fishing rod can’t, which is to say there are some people who you wouldn’t meet otherwise.  Maybe one does yoga, but the other goes to a boxing studio, and they have no mutual friends, etc. Dating apps might not seem “organic” but in the world we’re living in, what really is anymore? 

I’ve heard plenty of comments made about my usage of dating apps.

“You’re going on another date?!”

Yes Susan, while you’re watching The Notebook alone for the one thousandth time, sobbing into your giant carton of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, I’ll be having a new experience. Ideally free food or drinks too. If you don’t want to use an app or don’t have the time, do you boo, but don’t go around shaming people for having the courage to put themselves out there.

I’m here to tell you that you deserve to make connections to help you grow and have fun. I’m not saying a dating app is the only way for that to happen, but it is one way. That one way shouldn’t make you feel shameful or less than in any way. If anything, I feel like a badass boss babe for showing up and making moves to have new adventures and connections.

If someone wants to use a dating app, let them do their thing without your two cents saying another way is the “right way”. If you’ve been wanting to use one but need that extra nudge to get the ball rolling, take this as a sign and enjoy the ride! The journey that is… not the kind of ride often associated with Tinder meetups. I’ll shut up now.

What’s Making My Life Great But My Heart Heavy

695CA264-9535-4662-8106-0A6160E13884.jpegHave you ever thought to yourself something along the lines of “Yeah, I’ve got legitimate reasons to feel mildly terrible, but in the grand scheme of things, life is fucking fabulous, so stop being a little bitch.” Just me? In that case, maybe I should have kept seeing my therapist oversees. I have a feeling what I’m saying is at least resonating with some of you though.

Why is it that life can be great, but you still feel as though you were ghosted by your crush while having the guilt of eating an entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s, even if that didn’t actually happen? Well, currently I have to spend a stupid amount of money to see a doctor, and have been coughing my lungs out like a chain smoker with asthma just attempted to run a marathon. I’m also trying to people please, which I know I shouldn’t even be doing in the first place, and seem to be failing miserably. This past week, I went on a trip and had as much nutritional value as Cookie Monster does. My caloric intake in one meal was probably more than a football quarterback has in an entire day. My body is expanding accordingly. Did I mention I can’t sleep for shit? That said, the only reason I feel any sort of negativity is me, myself, and I.

Currently, I spend my time traveling the world, seeing some of the most beautiful places. I have such a great community and amazing friends. I have plenty of free time to work on projects I’m passionate about. I love where I live. I’m supporting myself financially. Need I go on? So the fact that my emotions are anything but positive is entirely on me and because of what I’m giving my focus and attention to. Even if all hell seemed to be breaking loose, the fact that we have the ability to grow and become stronger from hardships, and have food on the table or shoes on our feet, we can still feel good by giving our attention and gratitude towards those things.

Gratitude, consistency, and perseverance, builds positive momentum, and allows us to move through times like these more effortlessly. The more I find appreciation, the more my life will be a reflection of that. Some may look at this as some woo woo hippy dippy shit, but I’m not talking out my ass. It’s scientifically proven that gratitude changes our brain chemistry. (Let’s pretend I added a link here to some studies so I seem more credible. You can google that on your own time. I’ve got suitcases to bring home and doctors to see.)

What I’m trying to get at is our feelings are, and always will be, a result of how we choose to look at life. In each situation, there is good that can come from it. In each moment, there is something worth appreciating. In each second, we get to create our lives and how we experience our time on earth. So now, I’m going to appreciate any free time at the doctors office to learn my Body Pump routine, and be grateful for being in this cab ride, taking me home, so I am able to write. Comment ⬇️ and tell me what you will be grateful for right now!

From Suicidal to Success

033995C7-6994-44C3-A8A1-8CF9C8AB1791.jpegThis topic is heavy, but I know you’ve all got some muscles and can pick up what I’m about to put down. Depression and suicide is no joke, but it’s in my blood to shed light on hardships and not take anything too seriously. Without further ado, here’s life from suicidal to superb.

I remember lying on my stomach, over my floral bedding, while googling “How to tie a noose.” The flowers on my blanket looked like a watercolor painting from my tears.  In other words, I was depressed as shit, and wanted to put an end to all of the suffering if that was not clear enough. That was me at 16 years old.

In between then and now, there were plenty highs and lows. When diagnosed with a-typical depression at a young age, something as small as dropping a pencil could send me on a downward spiral. Needless to say, if something not so pleasant actually happened, my lows were lower than the pants of a rapper in the early 2000s. That said, my highs felt that much sweeter because that meant I came so far. Now, not only am I at a high, but because of how I’ve gotten here over the years, my lows will never be as bad.

No matter where we are, life is ever changing. When someone is at a low, don’t forget that it’s an opportunity for healing and ascension, and there’s light at the end of every tunnel. Okay, maybe not literally if there’s a tunnel with an actual dead end, but you get the point. Life doesn’t have dead ends though, just detours. But those detours help us become who we are because of how we walk through that path.

Back in 2016, I crashed my car in Santa Barbara, California, while on my way up the coast. It wasn’t a “Whoopsy, my bad” type of crash. It was more like a frame from a zombie apocalypse movie, when everyone’s trying to flee from those freaky dudes, and shit goes haywire. It looked like the manifestation of my internal thoughts. My mind was a total shit show, and now so was my car. I was so uncertain of my life and future. I was full of confusion and anxiety, which was also the catalyst of a serious relapse at the time to top it all off.

Two weeks later, I was sitting on a bench in the backyard of my uncle’s acquaintances house, who so graciously took me in for a few weeks as my car got fixed. I starred off into her garden and had a moment of clarity. I saw how I let my circumstances continue to affect my mindset, and it was up to me to change this downward spiral. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and chose to walk towards the light with diligence.

My mantra became “Everything is always working out for me.” Reframe from categorizing that as some new aged, airy fairy bull. I repeated that mantra every time I caught myself thinking negatively. I believed there was something in all of my perceived chaos that was helping me in some way. A few weeks later, everything fell into place like magic, and I found peace.

Our circumstances and hardships do not define us. It’s our resilience and ability to let life take us to the light at the end of the tunnel that builds us. Don’t give thanks to those hardships because they don’t deserve our attention. We deserve to thank ourselves for moving beyond them.

That bedding adorned with my 16 year old tears no longer lies beneath me. Now, I’m on my stomach over the fresh linens of a bed in a 4 star hotel, traveling the world. Will I be on a high forever? Absolutely not. Do I now always see the light and walk towards it with faith in my ability to become better from a detour? Fuck yes.

What the Fuck is Going to Happen

0DEDF99A-E0EA-4FDA-A794-0F765EEA036E.jpegHave you ever thought “What the fuck will my future look like? What the fuck is going to happen? When will I settle down enough to become a fur mama and get an Italian Greyhound?” Maybe not those exact words. You could be a cat person, in which case I would mildly judge you. Anyways, I certainly have thought that.

Sometimes, those thoughts make me curious, creative, and joyful. Thinking about what could be can be exciting. However, there are days where those same thoughts have me feeling as melancholy as Bo Jack Horseman, minus the drug abuse and alcoholism. Thankfully the future currently excites me, but how the fuck can the same thoughts make us feel completely different from day to day, and can we do anything about it?

The answer to the latter is, with practice, yes. I’m not saying by doing the following you will be skipping around like Dorothy down the Yellow Brick Road. That said, there are ways to help. And yes, it’s been scientifically proven, so I’m not talking out my ass.

You might say you’ve heard this before, but bare with me because this blog is still funny af and worth the read. The answer is breathe. Breathing deeply and consciously will recalibrate your nervous system, which will bring you more emotional stability. You don’t need to stop feeling like Bo Jack Horseman, but it will help, so breathe.

Now why do we sometimes feel good about a subject, when the week prior we were walking around like Bridget Jones on a bad day, thinking about the same thing? Well, I’m no saint and don’t have all the answers, but I have an idea. Our nervous system is fucked from our repetitive toxic thoughts or actions that aren’t in our best interest. So breathe, reset, and appreciate your ability to take positive actions.

Ultimately our feelings on any subject have nothing to do with the actual topic and hand. It’s our nervous system which is out of alignment due to our negative emotional state of being. Our state of being is a mixture of our past programming, and our conscious or unconscious practiced habits. However, we also have our freewill in the present moment to choose how we will take action and respond in any given situation. To use our freewill to breath, and practice that habit, we can take back our power. So if you ever worry about what the fuck is going to happen next, just breathe. Wow, talk about getting deep and preachy. But hey, if you’ve made it this far, you must have been entertained, so my work here is done.

Relapsing

4635A99D-8925-4F1E-9FBC-15A9A07D4EA2.jpeg

Traveling the world the past 6 months has been the ultimate mode of healing in terms of transcending old beliefs, and addictive disorderly thinking and behaviors. I have never been less concerned about what I did, ate, or how I was perceived. However, it’s common to get to a point where we think we’ve done all the work we need in a certain area of our lives, only to discover there’s more we need to climb before we reach the mountains peak. That’s what happened to me this past weekend when I went to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

It’s everyone’s dream to get paid to party on a private island with guests for several nights. I knew my liver wouldn’t be thrilled, but I was. Then, things took a turn for the worse.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around how I went from Lindsey Lohan pre Parent Trap, to her post Mean Girls. I’m kidding to a certain extent. I didn’t go crazy and go to jail, or whatever that chick did during her scandals. What I did was go back to my old ways of thinking and behaving.

I began to feel insecure, binge, and feel tremendous guilt for everything I ate or drank. I know I still have some reflecting and contemplating to do in order to trace back and acknowledge how this all manifested. There are however a few triggers that seem more obvious.

My co tour guide, Lu, is a sweet young girl from Germany. She’s also hot af. Standing next to her was the equivalent of super model Heidi Klum next to Snookie from her Jersey Shore days. All the guys drooled over her like they were on the Survivor reality Tv show, and they were about to eat their first meal since going off the island they had been stranded on for months. I felt utterly invisible, and undesirable. The large buffet style meals they served were something that took me ages to face again after rehab because that was my eating disorders happy place. As you can imagine, when that’s in front of me while I’m feeling like an ugly old fart, it’s a recipe for disaster. Also, the extensive drinking and empty calories certainly weren’t positively contributing to my body or mind. My self control and self esteem fell harder than a fat kid on a seesaw.

I’m looking at that temporary digression from a new and higher perspective. It’s an opportunity for growth,  transcendence, forgiveness, and self love. In the past when I’ve relapsed I beat myself up. This time I’m more forgiving, accepting, and loving towards myself. Granted, it wasn’t nearly as bad, nor did I go as far as I did in the past when I went back to some of my old ways, but regardless, I digressed. Now though, I’m perceiving it more as a success because of how I’m handling it. I’m not saying having done that was a good thing. I am saying shit happens, and how you handle it can change your future. At the end of the day, I’m living my best life in Vietnam, but sometimes you have to go through ebbs in life so you can flow more smoothly after. 

What it was like to be in a Bathhouse in a Foreign Country

C19C8E47-44EA-4CB0-9C99-391BC4B47E23.jpegOriginally I had little interest in going to an onsen when I was in Japan. I can’t imagine many people blaming me for not wanting to get butt ass naked, and bathe with strangers, after having spent the last several months shoveling food in my face like a squirrel getting ready for hibernation. Still, I put my big girl panties on… or should I say took off, and headed to the bathhouse.

A Sesame Street game might seem irrelevant to my experience at a bathhouse in Japan, but it gives a great visual representation of my life at that time. In this game, they place several items down. One of which is clearly out of place. For example, an apple, an orange, and a squirrel. Then, they begin to sing “One of these things don’t belong with the other.” and the child has to guess which it is. You see where I’m going with this? When I was in the onsen in Japan, I was the squirrel.

It’s safe to say I’m not your typical petite Asian chick. Yeah, I’m 5 foot nothing, but that doesn’t mean my love handles and thic thighs instantly vanish like my self esteem did in middle school. Granted, I have no problem with the way my legs are, minus chafing on a hot summer day, but again, I was the squirrel.

At first my mind raced faster than my heart after I think someone might have accidentally seen a risqué photo in my camera roll. My thoughts consisted of… They’ll all stare. There is no way they’ll miss my cellulite and that upper back roll that I see slightly beginning to appear. Will they think I’m a greedy fat ass who has no self control?

Then, I entered the locker room. Crystal chandeliers adorned the ceilings. The relaxing spa music and cleanliness instantly gave me a sense of tranquility. All fear vanished and I was filled with curiosity and joy. Whether I felt that way simply because of the ambiance, or more so because I was on a high from feeling bougie af, is still yet to be determined.

I certainly compared the women’s naked bodies around me and saw the many differences. Obviously not in like a creepy sexual way. I felt more and more at ease as I saw the beauty in all of our differences and especially when I noticed people were not staring at me like I was the squirrel.

The baths themselves were so relaxing and beyond what I had imagined. From hot baths and cold baths, to lying down baths and silk baths, I tried them all with peace and fulfillment. It was hands down one of the highlights of my trip.

That’s not to say insecurities didn’t arise. I’m sure there was a moment I wish I hadn’t had that Pad Thái binging spree in Thailand. At the end of the day, that’s insignificant compared to the happiness, acceptance, and triumph I felt when it was all said and done.

To think I almost let that experience slip away makes me more determined to go beyond my fears and insecurities in the future. If there is one take away from this that trumps the rest, it’s don’t let the fact you feel like a squirrel stop you from an experience you’ll grow from. Also, if your ever near a bathhouse, just get your ass naked and have fun with it.

 

 

 

There Are Plenty Of Fish In The Sea But How Do I Find Mine?

2CE6F487-5081-47F3-9BEC-3514BBE4BBD6.jpegBetween living in a hostel, going out, and dating apps, there are no shortage of fish for me to meet in the sea I’m swimming in. Yet, all of these years and experiences has only kept me saying “Just keep swimming”  like Dory from Finding Nemo. Only at least Dory wouldn’t remember boring dates or unmet unrealistic expectations.

I’m not one of those thirsty girls trying to get wifed up and start a family… Although dual citizenship sounds pretty nice. I’m just ready for love, and want to be with someone who’s down to be goofy, and spend time with me long term-ish. Is that too much to ask?

I find myself asking how I’ll ever find my fish when I’ve done all I can think of on my part. I go out on dates, meet countless new people a week, and put myself out there on the daily. Still, 9 out of 10 times it’s fun, yet as I walk away I internally hear Ariana Grande’s song “Thank You, Next” play in my head.

That’s not to say I’m not enjoying the single life. I think it’s healthy to like where you are, but still want more for yourself. So, the question remains. How do I find my fish?

The answer is I’ll never find it. It will find me. I know that sounds just about as cliché as a basic bitch wall hanging that says “Live, Laugh, Love” but it’s true. There’s a natural unfolding that takes place when you replace searching with being.

I’d be lying if I said my life didn’t occasionally turn into a game of where’s Waldo, and by Waldo I mean my future man. It’s not always easy when you want something and it’s not showing up. Yet, I have confidence that the best has yet to come for me and my love life. In the meantime, I’ll keep living it up, and appreciate the single life. When the time is right, my fish will appear, so long as I just keep swimming.

What It’s Like Living In Vietnam

957AB956-CE02-456B-8E35-65AAC1B7E274.jpegI chose to move to Hanoi, Vietnam, which was an unexpected turn of events. There was a moment of silence after I told my mom the news.

“Didn’t you just tell me that Hanoi was a shit show?” She replied in confusion.

My response was “Umm yes, those were my exact words, but I never said that was a bad thing!”

I guess I like a good shit show. There are an absurd amount of motorbikes and cars in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. I see my life flash before my eyes every time I go out. It feels like a live version of the video game Frogger, when you nearly escape a car, and there are no extra lives left. They beep their horns so much I’m sure they are convinced they need to honk for every person or vehicle they pass. When locals walk by, they shove you aside like they’re Regina George from Mean Girls storming down the halls to get revenge. By the end of the night, the streets look as though a frat house just threw a rager, and sometimes I have to hold my breath walking through the markets.

Yet, it’s so rich in culture, and there is so much beauty. Even though they shove, they don’t realize they’re being a dick head because it’s just their way of getting by. They’re so friendly once you get to know them.

But guess what? I’m living my best life but not for those reasons. I love living here because of the community I’m in, the freedom that I have, and I love what I’m doing with my life.

Someone could be happily living in the bum fuck middle of nowhere. Another person could be in the most advanced, pristine city in the world, feeling like the Scrooge who had one too many drinks the night before and regrettably texted an ex.

After giving it some thought, as much as I love Hanoi, it really wouldn’t matter if I was here or anywhere else in the world. I love my life in Vietnam because I followed my joy and am living a life of freedom, fun, and adventure.

Yes, I could have easily gone back to my home country and convinced myself a 9-5 was the more safe and stable action to take in my late 20’s. However, I chose to work somewhere that fills my cup. Maybe my liver isn’t thrilled when I have to lead drinking games, but my soul is when I’m socializing with people who’s company I enjoy. 

Theres a sense of instability for sure. I know there will be a time when I move on and the future seems unclear. That said, I’d rather be happy where I am and have an unclear future in Vietnam, than be miserable and hope one day I’m happy in a place that feels stagnant.

I Am Not On My A Game But Here I Am

0977DB6E-7159-4E90-B8A1-FCA66F8C1D48.jpegUsually, I have a few ideas of what I could write about that would excite me and give value to my readers. Right now is not usually. Right now, I’m jet lagged. Right now I’m tired, hungry, and against my fathers wise words, I still haven’t taken a nap. Yet, I refuse to believe that just because I’m not feeling like the offspring of Robin Williams and Elizabeth Gilbert, I can’t produce something worth putting out into the world.

I was so close to not even trying to write because I’m not on my A Game. I don’t even feel I have any game right now. If the hottest dude in the world came up to me and asked me out, I would have the response of the dude from “The 40 Year Old Virgin” meets Sleepy, Snow White’s dwarf.

I still have fear that this won’t resonate with everyone even though I know damn well I can’t please them all. There is still worry that this post will seem too short. I don’t like admitting that I’m not in the creative flow.

However, here I am, proving to myself that those thoughts in my head telling me I couldn’t do something now worth sharing is only true if I give it power. Here I am still tired as fuck but feeling like a bad ass boss babe for acknowledging my limiting thoughts and pushing through. Here I am, hoping that next time you try to brush something off that you deep down know is best for you to do, you remember this, and  you choose not to give your limiting thoughts power.

It’s times like these that you enhance your ability to push through more easily in the future. Of course you won’t try to power through every time you feel like a zombie from The Walking Dead, and that’s fine. As long as you’re not jeopardizing  your well being, and aware enough of those limiting thoughts to take action, that you’ll get that much closer to being on your A Game.