A word

Published December 3, 2015 by Ms.Turtle

There is always one word, or one sentence, or something tiny that may change the situation completely. A weekend with Kevin was great, or to say, was utterly incredible. I was happy, and I guess, I was in love. But there was a joke he said afterward, when I was back and still texted him. Maybe it was a joke, or maybe he was seriously trying to stop us from getting further than it had been supposed to be. He asked me “How an independent woman falls for a stranger!” Well, an exclamation has hit my mind immediately. You know, that happens when you communicate in the second language of both. He chose a bad word for his joke, or perhaps, he meant it. I don’t know and I don’t want to know either. “Stranger”. I was kind of mad at him. Like, you don’t use that word for a girl you had sex with, or like literally had living with, someone you had know for almost 2 years even though we had not frequently interacted. Anyway, “stranger” is an absolutely unacceptable word in this case. So I just decided to stop texting him.

I missed him at first. I was extremely tempted to text him. But now, I think, everything is normal, be back to what it was before. He was back to be like a vacation. What I have for him is now a mere reminiscence of a romantic weekend getaway. Well, he said he love me. And well, I said I may fall for him. But that’s it. Just let it be something “he said, she said”. And let it go.

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Sending a text

Published November 14, 2015 by Ms.Turtle

Do you know what the most horrible feeling is? It is when you have sent a text, then remind yourself DO NOT WAIT FOR REPLY, but actually you check your phone every 5 mins to disappoint yourself, then remind yourself again but check again. A depressing endless cycle. Over and over again. And know what, if you really get a reply, you will turn out to be a crazy paranoid girl. You are elated, obviously. However, the endless cycle has taken your mind. Elation is not strong enough to alter all the verdicts you have made up. They are like: That person is not interested in me. If he like me, he should have had replied earlier, etc. You are on the edge of being happy+continue on and upset+paranoid. So, for girls, nuclear bomb seems so trivial but a text is a serious problem. If a continent is destroyed but not included the girl’s country, then sending a text and waiting for reply are more destructive, I mean, mentally severely destruction.

So, can I be back to my own story. I sent the text 15 minutes ago, and I have been in the second phase of the cycle: Reminding myself. I don’t know how long I can hold it up but I feel like I’m doing well in “not checking”. Disappointed? Yes. I am more likely “plan-your-feeling-ahead” kind of girl. I tend to assume the worst scenario, well, no blaming – I’m too old for “blaming-the-world” attitude. I just try to put myself in the failure so my hope, of course deeply inside I still hope for something good, doesn’t get destroyed too much. Maybe saying I’m good at covering my hope, or overprotective to my hope. I pretend I have no hope, but to be honest, I do. Then, I just mask it with something else in case something, like a nuclear bomb probably, shatters it.

Here is what my best friend would say if he knew about these (probably never since his English is terrible): You are too insecure, and paranoid. Open yourself then be brave. Such a coward. Well, one of his dearest obsession is insulting me. But I guess he is right. Sometimes, overprotection turns out badly. The more I try to shield away from someone, the more vulnerable I am. But it is really hard, to open up, to admit that I am falling for someone and to say that I desperately wait for uncertainty. Too much confession, just saying. I can’t handle that.

Monday November 9, 2015

Published November 9, 2015 by Ms.Turtle

I got my tattoo last week. It was a painful process, but I did it. I’m so proud of myself. A special thank to Ashley for having sat and yawned and recorded the whole process – 3hours straight. She hoped to record my crying but I did not. She was pretty impressed.

Like I said last time, if only love were like tattoo, going through pain would be much easier because you would know the result beforehand. I am thinking about getting few more tattoos, yet I need an occasion for doing. I don’t want to point at my tattoo and have no idea why I have it. “It’s just hobby” is not a good excuse for making my body an accessories. I have changed, from strictly conservative on this aspect, but not to be a “girl with millions of tattoo”. I still respect my body enough to have each mark be significant and memorable. I even have picture of my next tattoos. Just wait for an occasion now.

I’m not sure if it is just me, or anyone is also. I am good at paralyzing my feeling, or should I say suppress my emotion well enough that I almost forgot about him. I am going to Montreal, in 11 days. Somehow I am deadly calm now. No more excitement, no more nervous or imagination of our reunion. Even, sometimes I don’t want to text him. I will anyway. I know I will regret if I don’t.

By the way, why am I sneezing a lot recently? Superstitiously speaking, there may be someone who is constantly talking shit behind my back. Or I am getting a flu soon, ain’t I?

Being single.

Published October 30, 2015 by Ms.Turtle

Few days ago (maybe two days), a guy friend told me “You are special, strong and ambitious. One day, you will find someone that understand you and he will be attracted to you intensely”. I guess so. Then I remember I also told him “Sometimes being too ambitious is not good. Because I feel lonely, a bit, just a little bit” . I was honest. I do feel lonely, sad, or even sort of depressed. But I guess it is normal, isn’t it? I still remember the movie “Inside out”, the most significant message I got from that animation movie is that “When we grow up, it’s not just Joy (well, the character name) that make sense of our lives, but also sadness, anger, confusion – all need to collaborate well to make us — happy, I suppose. It would be too much for us to hold up to being joyful all the time. We all have to learn to accept our non-linear emotion graph eventually. So, it is not my singleness, which causes my depressing moments. It is life, and I loathe when one of my friend insists on making me to admit that I’m lonely because I have no partner. Well, to be honest, his persistence confuse me sometimes. I questioned myself as well whether he was right.

Then, I read a blog post today, and completely relieved. People are doing the same as what I am doing out there. There are women who are working, living their lives to the fullest. They, or let me say we, are totally ready to fall in love and hope to be loved in return. But we are not sitting around and waiting. We are not letting life slip out like that. We choose to do whatever we love, to explore the world, and to enjoy every single moment of life. We accept sadness, depression, or any down mood as inevitable elements of life. We are willing to love and to be loved. But let borrow something from Buddhism – “It is written”. When it is time, we meet the one, then we fall in love. For now, live well because each day is a precious gift that we should never forget to cherish.

Appreciate every moment of my life

Published October 21, 2015 by Ms.Turtle

My friend said “We have all done what we need to do for our love, so when we are old, we will have nothing to regret. But you, I suppose, will have many things you will wish you have done.” He may be right. I am worried too much, even though I don’t look like so. I’m afraid of failing, as consequence of life-time participating in contests after contest. I always tend to judge and evaluate situations to the minute, and then estimate my chance of winning over, then comes prediction of failure, etc… A long process, or excessive and unnecessary, or silly – as my friend call it. He told me, when it comes to relationship, what your brain tells you is bullshit, follow your heart.

I asked my friend whether I love Kevin. He told me that it has never been a matter of yes or no. What matters is Kevin is different, and special to me. That’s all I need to at least try. I hesitated.

Then Kevin called. I guessed, for one time in my life, I actually took my friend’s advice seriously. I let my critical-thinking process drop. I answered the phone, not worrying about Why he calls? or What am I to him? or What should I say to make good impression?. I let every wandering, clustering thought in my mind slip off. I talked to him, just as much laid-back as to my friends. I think it’s something Dalai Lama would call “approach people with sincerity”. I felt an ease between us. Probably my friend was right, love or like or whatever at this age is not the same as which at my 20. I might not have a heart-racing moment with him, like I had had with my ex-. I was not trying obsessively to say something impressive or cool, like I had tried when I was younger. We did not talk about fancy, interesting or dramatic stuffs like people describe in romance novel. We did not flirt or throw out subtle hints like we have always imagined about relationship. We just TALKED. And I actually enjoyed it. Or to be honest, I love how we communicate that way. When I did not carry a burden of future, I appreciated presence more. In the end, it’s all that matters, isn’t it? Appreciate every moment of my life.

This time, I should thank my friend, more than Kevin. Because ultimately, he was the one that make my talk more enjoyable. His truthful advice had cleared my clustered mind before I talked to Kevin. I still love my friend the most.

“Celebrating the Universe”

Published October 19, 2015 by Ms.Turtle

I just started another book – “Celebrating the Universe” by James Mullaney. Have you ever read something that is so inspirational in just first few pages. This is a book like that. J.Mullaney walks me slowly into a deep appreciation of our majestic universe. Each page opens my eyes to the space outside of my current comprehension. I can’t say I have learned a lot, yet it is absolutely true to say I am opening my heart and my mind, gradually. Plus, this book gives me another bucket list, as he mentions dozen “must-seeing” celestial showpieces – so, I made it mine as well.

Look up! And you realize how small you are, how such massive universe is, and start thinking why we are busy fighting with each other over a piece of landmass, or few centimeter of borderline. We are all the same, tiny pieces of stardust in this magnificent universe. We are separating each other by race, gender, background, language, all sorts of man-made definition. Why not looking inside our bodies, and respecting how much we share. Universe began with a big bang. And we are pieces of that first tiny subatomic pea after nuclear explosion. We share the same elements as the core of trillions of stars shining in the sky, calcium in our bone and irons in our blood. How awesome it is, isn’t it? Our life is short, comparing to billions of years of ever-changing universe. Why don’t we spend more time to love each other, to celebrate our common, and to gaze up to where we all came from. Look! Those are beautiful shining stars, which are just the same as we are, aren’t they? Those are gorgeous Milky Way, and incredible planets. How impressive!

Do you feel that you are getting old? No, we are not. We are children of the universe. We are perpetually young, and small. I slowly learn to stop constraining myself in timeline of human beings, but putting me in the growth of universe. I love to feel like a baby, compare to our billions-year-old universe. All we have to do is looking up, and feeling a flow of youth submerge ourselves. Remember, we are never getting old, we are young and small, and free to spend every night gazing stars and imagining about some other lives out there. Just put ourselves in massive universe, we will be able to travel back in time, and enjoy our childhood dreams again and again and again …

I am still reading the book, not chapter by chapter, but opening to any random chapter and indulge in Mullaney’s spiritual, yet scientific description of universe. The book is beautiful.

My spiritual confusion

Published October 6, 2015 by Ms.Turtle

I am reading “Beyond Belief” by Susan Tive and Cami Ostman. They collected stories of women in different religion. I guess the main point of the book is to understand why those were willing to practice religion which appears to be “extreme” to outsider. Somehow I feel like the book is speaking to me, loud and clear. An inner voice just bubbles up whenever I try to analyze the subtlety in each story in the book. I want change, I want to find my own spiritual practice.

I am not religious. Or to say, I am not in any known religion, but rather involve in what I may call “an ancient vietnamese tradition”. In Vietnam, we have a small number of people, which are actually expanding now, practicing this “tradition”. Maybe I should call it “religion”. It is female – dominant polytheism, with supreme deities are Tri Great Mothers. Then following are hierarchical levels with different deities. We have rituals to celebrates each of the deities every month. It is super complicated to explain. But we, I mean people who are practicing this tradition, believe in the power of the deities to give us things and to punish us for what we have done wrong. The reason that I was cautious in calling it religion because we have philosophy. Like it is not like we believe that our Gods created the world or we have to follow a strict behavioural guideline. We worship people who are believed to have sacrificed for the country, and to obtain the holiness. It is superstitious because we are looking at signs that we assume to be instruction from the Mothers, and we believe that if we perform the rituals frequently, the Mothers will be happy and will grant our wishes.

My family is a well-known family in this society, and I was supposed to practice it. I do believe in it, sometimes. I mean, now, when I am working on my happiness project, I am determined on finding a spiritual path that may lead to my ultimate goal. I am practicing Buddhism meditation and following the virtues guideline of Buddha. I am relieved and happy. I truly want to deeply follow these practice. It is not that I am going to be a Buddhist. It is that when I read Buddhism idea and philosophy, I have a strong feeling that it is the one, it will make me happy. I want to walk out of my family tradition. But I know it will be a serious problem for our family. I just do not want to perform any rituals, but we are expected to do it, otherwise it may be considered as “sin” for not ever performing the ritual. I am a highly educated, well-trained scientist. And the moment I get involved in a superstitious rituals, I feel like someone is squeezing my heart and draining out my brain. I feel nothing but exhaustion and lost. In my heart, I know this tradition is not for me, because I saw my sister, my aunts has done the rituals and they were happy, they were glowing and enjoyed. I was not ever. I felt miserable, and trapped. I am trying to walk away slowly.. Then, it means I have to avoid seeing my relatives, and it bothers me as well because I hate hiding from anything. I sincerely want to talk to my uncle, who is alway the master for me. But I know it is some kind of a forbidden topic. I am just trying to prolong this state, when people forget that I haven’t done the rituals for so long. And then, I will try to stay out, and keep finding my own spiritual practice that makes me happy. I am seriously not interested in being in any religion. All I need is some practice with therapy aspect to calm my mind and to be relieved.