Something’s Missing

My whole life, I’ve always felt like a part of me was missing – Like there was a piece that I had to find to make me feel whole inside. I’ve searched for this piece through various hobbies, friends, relationships, jobs, and so on.

To this day, I haven’t found one thing that brought continuous fulfillment to sustain my happiness. It was always temporary. A fleeting moment.

I always make lists for myself just so I can cross things off and say I’ve done them. In my eyes, that was my definition of accomplishment. And I figured that accomplishment would bring me happiness. Creating goals and then meeting them was always the idea I had of finding happiness. Of course I always felt that instant moment of satisfaction, but I can’t apply that same moment of satisfaction to my current state of mind.

I made my list – I graduated high school, graduated college, got an internship, had a long-term boyfriend, got a job after college, moved to New York City. I did all of the things that I set my mind on and now where did that leave me?

I’ve gone through countless boyfriends, jobs, apartments, etc. and none of them brought me enough happiness to carry me through my bad days.

Some people may say that happiness is a series of happenings, but I beg to differ.

I’m fully aware and confident in the fact that true happiness comes from within; that you must feel happy with yourself whether you have the things you have or you don’t.

I recently went through a breakup (or ten) with someone that I had been dating for several months. The breakup itself lasted almost 2 entire months. The reason being is that I couldn’t stand the fact of not having him around. I couldn’t imagine the possibility of being happy if we weren’t together. This is never the type of person that I wanted to become.

How could I, or anyone else, define their happiness through another person? If we do, then we clearly don’t have any control over our lives.

Over and over again, I ask myself, “Why can’t I just be happy with myself? Alone.”

To this day, I still can’t answer the question.

I don’t think it can be taught or explained. I don’t think that anyone else can show you. You simply have to experience it for yourself. I just wonder how many more shitty mistakes I’ll have to make before reaching some sort of epiphany.

Dinner Table Talks

I was sitting on my backyard porch with my parents, Aunt, and Uncle earlier this evening after we barbecued for dinner. I sat there talking with them for several hours just catching up on life and talking about random dinner table topics such as politics, religion, etc. Throughout the conversation, I kept thinking back on how I never really felt comfortable speaking openly about my beliefs, feelings, and thoughts on these kind of topics before. I guess I’ve always felt outnumbered or too immature or maybe that my opinion didn’t matter to them, but over time, I’m realizing that I’m able to speak more confidently about these things now – I guess this would be considered growing up.

As I voiced my opinion and listened to the opinions of my family members about the ever-changing ways of my generation in comparison to theirs, I noticed that I was beginning to agree a lot more with what they had to say.

When we’re young, we often refuse the advice of our elders. We’re too naive or too arrogant to want to believe that our parents could actually be right about the things they tell us when we’re young. We tend to learn things the hard way – through experience. As they say, experience is the best teacher. Until you experience something for yourself, you can never truly understand what someone else is talking about when they try to explain it to you.

I’ve found that as I’m growing older, I’m able to accept many more of the truths that my parents used to tell me when I was young, but refused to accept. The mental age gap is becoming much smaller than it used to be. When I look at my parents’ generation in comparison to mine, the most significant difference that I’ve noticed is how selfish my generation is. Apart from the fact that my parents are immigrants from a foreign country, my generation will be the last to really see what a simpler life looked like.

Talking to family today felt like one of the more eye-opening conversations that I’ve had in quite a while. It’s different than talking to your friends or other people your age because they have the same mentality as you.

The topics that my family and I touched upon had to do with current world issues; Things that actually mattered like natural disasters, disease, and civil rights. Meanwhile, the first thing that I do on a Monday morning is complain about my seemingly tragic problems such as, “He didn’t text me back last night. I hate my life.”

Talking to my family really made me step outside of my life and think about how differently their mindsets were when they were my age in comparison to my mindset on things right now. It seems like it was a much more simple life back when we didn’t have to create our own drama by checking social media and making up stories in our heads about the person we’re dating.

I wish I didn’t have to unnecessarily complicate my life that aren’t actually complicated.

I’m starting to think that my parents’ generation had it right; Their morals, manners, and respect (This may also be skewed because I’m Asian)

I wish I listened to my Mom before making some of the mistakes that I’ve made when it came to relationships, friendships, and reactions to situations.

Maybe if more of my generation would take the two cents from our elders, we’d be a little better off.

Sure Things

It’s strange how distorted memories become when you look back at them. In that exact moment, you may have been so sure of yourself. Everything seemed just right. Then, when you reminisce, those moments seem so hazy and you can’t separate what was good from what was bad.

They say, “there’s no such thing as a sure thing”, so how do you ever really know what’s right or what’s meant to be?

If sayings like these are so accurate, such as “anything is possible” or “anything can happen”, then how can someone ever put all of their faith into something or someone?

It’s hard not to become jaded lately now that we live in a time where people are constantly re-locating, changing jobs, and refusing to settle down.

It’s common now for people to put off the serious stuff. Instead, we just want to stay young and be free. It’s becoming harder and harder to find people who want the same things.

So, how do we keep up with anyone these days?

We meet hundreds of people who come in and out of our lives. All of them somehow contribute to our experiences and growth. We pick and choose which ones we want to hold onto and which ones we should let go.

Often, we try to hold on as long as we can. We don’t want to let go of the feeling, the connection. Then all of a sudden, when it’s gone, we don’t know whether to go back or move forward.

Because nowadays, it is much harder to really connect with someone the way people used to.

It’s rare.

I used to think that I had a pretty clear vision of where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be. It was easier when you were young; to think that things won’t ever change. You envision that you’ll end up with a certain person or live your life a certain way. But it’s never that easy.

It makes me wonder if I ever really knew what I was doing.

Results

I’ve always taken pride in my ability to get things done quickly, but with efficiency. I always anticipate results to manifest as soon as possible. Call me a control freak, but I have to admit that I try to do everything in my power to make sure that the results that I want to happen will happen. Unfortunately, I never take into account the fact that things don’t always go the way you expect them to. You can’t control certain situations.

It’s actually counter-productive to be “too hands on”. I convince myself that constantly holding hands every step of the way actually drives me further away from the results that I want. I guess this is why I’m so consumed in running and training for races. I’m in complete control of how far and long I run. I can plan every week with how much I want to get done and if I fall short, then I have no one to blame myself.

Yet, even in running, you still can never predict what your results will be. Even after all of the hours, days, weeks, and months of training that I put into a race, things can still go wrong along the way. I don’t know why I can’t accept this truth when it comes to life.

After the countless number of races that I’ve ran ever since I first started running, I’ve come to understand that things happen outside of my control. Over the years, I’ve let go of beating myself up if I don’t get the time that I want. I used to be really hard on myself in cross country and track when I was in high school. Thankfully, I’ve matured since then. I just wish I could grasp this level of maturity for the rest of my life already. I can simply apply this understanding to relationships, work, etc…but I don’t. And I don’t know why.

I look back on every relationship I’ve ever been in and I’ve tried to control every single one of them. And where has this brought me? Nowhere.

I continue to drive people away with my continuous anxiety, impatience, and over-eagerness. I don’t know how to remove myself from the situation and just let things fall together (or apart) as they should.

It’s so easy for me to write about this, but applying my understandings to the other areas of my life seems like an impossible task.

It’s ironic that what I really need to do to progress is just slow down, not speed up. Results will always come in time.

New Born

I’ve never been too keen on the idea of being alone. I’m blessed to say that I’ve had a strong support system throughout my entire life. I’m not the type of person who was a part of a large group of friends who does everything together. I was never in a sorority. My Facebook page isn’t bombarded with pictures of thirty girls stacking on top of each other to get into one picture. I have strong ties with a select number of people, and those ties are ones that I know can never be broken. I’ve been so dependent on these people every time things in my life have gone awry. I’ve always known that someone was going to be there for me; to listen to my complaints, to pick up my broken pieces.

Now, I’ve reached a point where these people aren’t so readily available to come to my rescue because they have other things in their lives that take priority. I didn’t like the feeling of it. For the first time in my life, I’m learning to adapt to self-soothing. I kind of feel like a new-born baby who’s crying, but no one is picking them up. Eventually, that new-born is just going stop crying. Well, I’ve learned to stop crying. I guess I can say I’m officially entering a new level of maturity?

It’s weird to admit, but I’m starting to be okay with knowing that there isn’t always going to be someone to catch me when I fall…and that’s the part that scares me. I’m okay with being alone.

Roots

I wouldn’t say that I’m the most experienced person when it comes to traveling, but over the past few years, I’ve definitely broadened my horizons in terms of drifting away from the place I call home (New Jersey) I’m most grateful to my ex-boyfriend for inviting me to be more open-minded about venturing into the unknown. The first plane I ever got on was when I went to San Diego, California for my cousin’s wedding in 2009. I was 18 and a freshmen in college. Leaving for college itself was overwhelming enough and I was only a 45-minute drive away from my parent’s house. Even then, I didn’t make the cut with sticking it out for all 4 years there. I eventually transferred to Rutgers University, which was about a 5-minute drive from my parent’s house. So much for venturing into the unknown.

Now, getting back to the first time that I was on a plane; it was a pretty frightening experience for me to be honest. I was overly excited to even be inside of an airport. Growing up, my parents weren’t extremely wealthy and we didn’t have the luxury to take summer vacations like all of my friends did. As a child, I had never even gone to Disney World. DISNEY WORLD (A sad realization when I think back on it)

Going to California for the first time was one of the most memorable trips of my life. I was blessed enough to have relatives that took it upon themselves to pay for both mine and my sister’s plane tickets. We just had to take care of our own expenses once we were there. That trip opened my eyes to realizing that there was so much more than what I sheltered myself to.

Spring Semester of my Sophomore year of college, I met the man that defined my college love life. I dated him for three years, and loved him with every ounce of love that I had to offer. A majority of it was because I loved his spirit, his personality, his carefree nature. I always wished I could be like that. Throughout our relationship, he would surprise me with mini get-aways. Eventually, the mini get-aways became big get-aways. And they extended further and further. It opened my eyes, and we hadn’t even left the United States.

I’d like to publicly thank him for giving me those opportunities to explore those unfamiliar places. It gave me the courage to move to New York City and embark on one of the greatest adventures I’ve ever been on. But, it won’t stop in New York City. He planted a seed in my mind to be brave enough to travel to where-ever I wanted to go. I learned that traveling exposes you to learning so much about people, places, and more importantly, yourself.

I caught up with another high school friend yesterday and we ran through the typical routine of reflecting on old memories and then moved onto to conversation of updating him on how much has changed in my life and how different I’ve become since high school. I’d like to say that it was mostly just age and maturity that has changed me, but a large part of it also has to do with the fact that I left home to find out who I am.

I have a lot of friends from back home who like to do nothing, but tell me how ridiculous it is to live in New York City for various reasons; too expensive, too dirty, too crowded, the list goes on.

It upsets me to hear them say these things though because although many of their claims have proven themselves to be true, I appreciate all of it. I’ve been able to find myself in a place other than my home in New Jersey. I stepped outside of my boundaries, outside of my comfort zone. And for that, Brandon, I’m forever grateful. You’ve helped me become the person I am, and you’ll continue to help me become the person that I will be.

For all of my upcoming trips to where ever the destination may be, I know that I will continue to learn more about myself. The seed that was planted has strong roots and no matter how far I go, they will always lead me back home.