the laid.back Buddhist has MOVED...back!

Tuesday, December 18

Simply Bribe Me With Food

Yeah, I'm that easy.

But it’s hard work, this work-hard-play-hard-eat-hard thing.

This week marks the transition from being a sedentary university student with jet-lagged days of sleeping, studying, eating, and skipping yoga to…being my mother’s daughter.

And it’s killing my calves!

Before Vy starts throwing Facebook cows at me (again), let me explain...

I haven’t played basketball in months and usually when that happens, I make-up for it by running on the ellipticals at the gym for an hour, 1-2x a week. But then this year, I got lazy and decided that going to the gym once (sadly, if even!) a week for yoga would be enough.

Yeah, not one of my brightest ideas.

Understandably, my body protested the whole Thanksgiving week in Taiwan—and sore muscles paired with lack of sleep is a surefire way to put a girl in a cranky mood, which is not the best way to spend a vacation. So, I refuse to have déjà-vu torture this upcoming week when we, as my mom jokes, continue to conquer Japan (Sapporo is in the works for the Spring/Summer).

That means re-building my leg muscle. That equals painfully hard work.

It all started Sunday. One brutal, sweat-filled hour of dance sport with Todd (aka Cutest Tush Ever). Feeling overconfident, I decided to bake stuff (in addition to all the usual household chores I pick up when I come home). Toss in cutting my own hair, my sister’s hair, and cut/dyeing my mom’s hair…I’m spending a lot of time on my feet.

It’s enough to induce me to skip 6:15 AM yoga. More than enough.

Unless, of course, you bribe me with food.

This morning, my mom bought a 6” mango cake from Whole Foods. And tomorrow? She’s going for my weak spot: their pumpkin pie.

Mmm, and it’s totally going to work, you know. I didn’t get to eat pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving, which is something I look forward to every year starting in October. Therefore, it’s quite safe to say, I’ve been having this unsatisfied pumpkin craving for over 2 MONTHS!

I’ll be damned if I don’t wake up tomorrow at 5:30 AM to go to yoga.

That pie is so mine.

Sunday, December 9

Contentment is not Satisfaction

I’ve been distracted. From writing.

It’s a temporary affliction, I assure you.

With finals week looming over my head, my current life mainly consists of alternating between my studies and rewarding myself with episodes of Korean dramas/movies. So, I haven’t really had the time to focus on blogging. And instead of writing before bed, I’ve taken up leisure reading, which is something I NEVER do during the academic year. The current book is a whim (a collection of poems by Rumi) that I picked up from Barnes & Noble over the weekend.

However, it’s not so much distraction as it is dissatisfaction. My thoughts are in chaotic limbo, so please...consider yourself forewarned.

I scolded him when I wrote back the other day. For being bored in Darmstadt.

I gave him the quote from my dad on how the world is like a book, urged him to “read more lines,” and joked that he was seriously being jipped if he—especially with the thirst for activity I know he has—didn’t take full advantage during his stay. I also wrote that it takes me awhile to build a new heart so he can stop asking if I’ve met anybody new, thanks.

Truthfully, even if I did, I think it'd be difficult to make work.

You see, during this time I’d be too suspicious that I was just exhibiting rebound behavior or something. And I must confess...that’s also the reason I haven’t gone clubbin’ at all this semester, believe it or not. You know how I once wrote that the darkness of the night reminded me of him? It’s because I often spent the evenings with him and even when separately with our friends, we spent a good amount of our nights together. So, I knew that this new start of not having the option of his arms to hold me afterwards would crush my heart, flat out overwhelm it with loneliness and/or longing.

Yup, and that concludes the impromptu sob story of why I stopped going to nightclubs on weekends.

Honestly, the appeal has totally been lost and I don’t know if it’ll ever come back since I can satisfy my dance urges at private parties with friends or rockin’ it out alone in my room to all my favorite songs.

On a side note, not partying it up as much as I used to has saved me a shit load of money. Once, my mom even asked if I was secretly working a job on the side because (1) my money market account, for which the account statements are sent home, has been growing faster than usual and (2) she already knows I don’t like receiving a monthly allowance, especially since it keeps increasing (“To keep up with inflation!” she claims). For someone who has never had an allowance growing up, to suddenly be given so much money after entering college still bewilders me.

Another reason, I’m what most people would call…cute when drunk. Think of it as my normal crazy impulsiveness in happy overdrive. I’ve also a tendency to be very, very...friendly. That sort of uninhibited attraction is absolutely fine when I’m raising hell with good friends (gets diffused amongst us) or when my heart is already engaged (gets channeled towards that one person). Otherwise, I fear the alcohol would make me do something my self-esteem would probably definitely regret. So, I’ve taken care not to put myself in situations where rebound behavior could possibly come out and bite me in the ass (if you haven’t noticed, I tend to curse more when stressed from exams, too).

But I’ve digressed.

This post has drifted so far from the originally intended topic (see title for a refresher)… I’ll have to re-start this topic another day, as tonight I’m not sure exactly what I’m blabbering about.

Oh, and did you know? I remember the exact moment when I lose my heart to someone.

Sure, I’ll be somewhat unclear as to all the reasons fact, I’m likely to drive myself crazy trying to figure it all out. But I know that once given away, it’s GONE and even if I could, I don’t want it back (ideally, I’d want that person to give me his heart instead).

And for that very reason, I’m scared.

Because I fear that if I see—in the flesh—the person who broke my heart, he could take this new one I’ve only just begun to re-build. I fear that, and it frustrates me as it means that on some level, I also don’t trust my heart. Or perhaps I am stronger, have come further than I think. However, sometimes I get to thinking...what if I’m more scared that in meeting each other again, I would realize I’m over him, over it ALL.

For if that were the case, it means I can’t use nursing-the-broken-heart or still-hung-up-over-the-past-heart to cowardly guard my heart away in oblivion.

So, maybe all I know for sure is that…I’m never going to be sure.

And maybe, just maybe, for now that’s good enough.

Wednesday, December 5

I Think So...Er, I Am

“We’re going to Seattle for winter break.”

“Okay. To visit Scott in Vancouver?” Scott’s my favorite younger male cousin.

"That, too."

3 weeks later.

“Actually, we decided on New York.”

“Ooh, does this mean we get to see Brian?” My favorite older male cousin.


“Yay! Okay.”
Last week.

Voicemail: “Honey, don’t forget to bring back your passport. We’re going to Japan instead.”

That's an interesting new development.

2 days ago.

“Where do you think we should go for winter break?”
Ah, welcome to my mother. Queen of impulsive short getaway trips. I’ve learned not to get overly excited upon hearing a new destination, as there’s a good chance it’ll change.

“What happened to Japan?”

“Osaka’s too cold for your old Ma in the winter.”

I chuckle, guess there IS a way to put a clamp on impulsiveness after all!

“Well, I don’t care where we go if you want to travel," I mention the last part hopefully (albeit casually, I know how much my mom loves the family trips), "And, staying home is just fine, too, you know?”

Yesterday, early evening.

Email from Darmstadt informing me that someone’s going to be back during winter break and with a subtle invitation that he would like to catch up in person, anytime from Dec. 21 to Jan. 3.


I changed my mind, Mom. I definitely want to travel—far, far away, please.

Yesterday, late evening.

“You called earlier?”

“Yeah, we might still be going to Japan.”

“Really! Mom, I thought you said Osaka was too cold?”

“Not if we go to the southern part of Japan.”

“Hm, I see.”

“Right now, we’re waiting for tickets from Tokyo to open up. I’ll let you know, okay?”

“Oh, wait…what are the dates you’re looking at?”


“I, uhh, just curious.”

Did I mention I suck at hiding things from my mom? Well, I do. MAJORLY.


Final Confirmation. Wish granted, Japan trip is on!

And I'm completely happy about this, right?

Monday, December 3

Friends and Lovers

Everything I say…

It’s an art form, they say.

Erich Fromm wrote The Art of Loving. Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War. Those are just two of all the many, many books titled with The Arts on just about anything you can think of. And that’s just the start of it.

Everything I say is true, but…

The ultimate goal is to take everything to a form of art, isn’t it?

To be able to say: hey look! I mastered it (oh, you sly devil, you), this art of fill-in-the-blank. Sure, it was a long, difficult journey and half the time I thought I was losing my mind way rather than finding it.

But see, I made it. Because I’m here now.

Ends don’t necessarily justify the means, but they make the journey meaningful. They’re a way of giving life purpose for us, lost souls. So, we continue to take everything to a form of art, including the art of an indispensable justification.

The art of justifying why I should say I’m happy after losing a friendship.

I don’t need a lesson on loss. I know what loss is and know that the hardest part is not the actual loss but of letting go. I’ve been a sorry witness to the havoc that not letting go wrecks on a person (and the people who love that person). It’s tough, learning how to come to terms with reality while being able to hold on to dreams. It’s having the guts to make such dreams reality by first having the courage to acknowledge the past for what's worth and simply...let go.

Everything I say is true, but what if…

You see, I have issues. No need to quote me on that, but I do. With letting go. Sometimes, it comes waaaay too close to sounding like giving up. So, I question it. Every goddamn step of the way. Would I be calling it quits or coming to my senses? Or perhaps, calling it quits is coming to my senses.

Okay, sure I’m happy that I’m happy with the latest realization, but that also means I’m happy I lost a friend, doesn’t it? The irony doesn’t escape me.

Everything I say is true, but what if it’s not…

The fact that I did...lose--slowly, inevitably, and despite really naïve hopes--made me sad and hurt and terribly confused because I cared.

And by following my weird, roundabout logic correctly, does being happy now mean I no longer care?

I never expect easy answers, but what I hadn’t expected was not being so sure anymore. Because I do care. Always will, that’s who I am. It’s an indispensable justification for ALL my actions, you ought to know.

I’m happy, I’m alright, and I’m sad that our communication is henceforth going to be just me giving happy birthday wishes once a year.

But that’s how I keep in touch with someone I’ve let go, if the past is any indication. That’s how lovers become friends become yearly well-wishers.

I’m happy, and I care.

Everything I say is true, but what if it’s not what I really wanted to say?

Very much so.

Winston Churchill