Thursday, January 24, 2013

Decisions decisions

I predict this year is going to be another challenging year, for I have many big decisions to make, especially financial related. I foresee that I'm going to need a lot of money to survive some pending turbulent issues, while maintaining my independance from the nest.

Where's the best place to dump my money for investment purposes?
Should I invest in property and continue to rent?
Or buy my own house?

Should I jump ship from a place where I enjoy the people and the environment, just for better financial prospects?
Should I write a book and hope it becomes the next bestseller?
Or record a few songs and hope I become the next Youtube sensation?
Should I buy lottery tickets and hope I get lucky?

Oh yeah, it's going to be a mind boggling year. Decision decisions.
For now, I'll just deal with the simpler decision.

Should I chop off the hair again, which is getting a bit out of control, or keep it long for a change? :P

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New mindset

Yes, I know my last post was a rather strange first post for the new year, but you'd have to forgive me considering 2012 was probably one of my most challenging years. On the bright side, there were good things about the year. I was fortunate to move into a neighbourhood that I like, with the perfect environment for my dog, which to me is best dog in every aspect except that he likes chewing stuff he's not supposed to. I have a really great neighbour who helps take care of my dog and also gives me good food every now and then. Work was busy but we had a great year, and I get along superbly well with my management still. So 2012 wasn't all that crappy.

Still it was an emotionally challenging year, in terms of love, family and spiritual life. All of which are major aspects in probably everyone's life. So I guess it's not unexpected that I would come out of it with a rather different mindset on all those aspects. Well, two out of three aspects anyway. My mindset on my family has not changed much. I still can't handle living around my parents and I'm still not very interested in having children, unless I get a guy who can convince me that he's capable of helping to raise hem in a way that their view on love and life will not turn out as jaded as mine. But for the other two, there was a change, and it certainly wasn't an overnight change. Or an easy one. But I find myself now in a much better and contented state of mind.

Most people would consider the new mindset rather depressing, so I'm trying not to go too much into the details coz' if I did, I might actually end up making my readers depressed, or break your faith in whatever it is I'm talking about, which is not my intention. I would just like people who actually care to know that this is how I really feel about things. On the outset I will still behave pretty much the same as I always have, just because I don't like being asked uncomfortable questions about my unorthodox frame of mind in public. Besides, the ability to convince people that I'm always happy is quite amusing, and I consider it a positive achievement.

So in brief, here's my new take on the two main areas of life:

1) Love life
I realized that I actually don't have many desires in life. I'm not interested in a lavish life, big house, big cars, handbags, clothes. I'm not driven to climb the corporate ladder. I don't really want children. I don't have a dream wedding. There's only been one thing I've ever really wanted. And given the difficulty in attaining that one, I decided it's best to downsize my desires even further. I'd still like a relationship. But far as I'm concerned, commitment and marriage are optional. If he's not up for it, then it's fine. We'll maintain it for as long as we want to. And when one of us gets bored and decides to break it off, then it's not so bad. Yes, I know that sounds terribly un-Christian-like. How I can even consider it an option is unthinkable in my faith. Well, will come to that in a minute.
Anyway, I know I can be loyal. Just that most guys just don't have a good attention span these days. Either that or I've been cursed to attract those types. In addition to wimpy and weird types. I have such a bad track record with the male species, that seems to be the most logical conclusion. But I admit I also have an unsually high standard for guys, which seems to be only gets higher with age. It might sound unusual, considering most woman my age would take whatever they can get and deal with the consequences later, but well, that's what happens when you grow up observing a very crappy marriage. And an additional one after my first brother got married. The only good marriage in my family is that of my second brother's, who is thankfully the one person in my family whom I actually honestly enjoy being with. However, he lives halfway around the world. So not much help.
Also when you have experienced pretty much close to everything you would want in a partner, settling for less is not an option. You'd only be giving the substandard specimen your second best, while wishing he/she was like the almost perfect one you couldn't have.
But I digress.

2)Spiritual life
Quite frankly, there is no more spiritual life, coz' sometime in May last year I decided I no longer consider myself a Christian. Hence I withdrew from both Sunday School and worship ministry. I decided to keep mum about it til now because I still was on the worship roster until December, and I thought rather than request to be immediately withdrawn and have the schedule rearranged which no doubt would have raised a lot of questions, I would just continue to sing song until end of the year.
And well, since I still had a reputation to maintain, I thought better to keep it myself til end of the year, after which I could discreetly do a disappearing act from church. Which so far has worked well, since no one has really noticed except the assistant pastor's wife, who did make an effort to ask me about my spiritual condition and why I resigned from the ministries. If she had tried to talk to me much earlier on, when I was asking God to do his 'thing' where he speaks someone's heart and get them to talk to me, I think I would have been a bit more open. But at that point, which is quite recently, I was too far gone and just gave her a very vague reply. If God decided now was a nice time to finally get back to me, I have serious misgivings about his timing, coz' I knew many years ago that my faith would derail, I knew exactly what I needed to stop it, and I asked for it many times and waited a long time, expecting for great things to happen which simply did not happen. Of course, it also goes to show that I'm not that great a Christian, since I wasn't patient or trusting enough, and my faith derailed for what some people may consider relatively minor reasons. Even more reason why I shouldn't be one, I guess.

Sorry to my Christian friends. I went into a bit more detail than I promised I would. On the 'bright side', I've not become a Christianity basher. I personally think it's great if God is working in your life, and I wouldn't make any effort to shoot down one's beliefs. Such actions would stem from anger, and I'm not angry. I've just accept that I probably made a mistake in relying on something else to make things miraculously work out and give me what I need, when I should have been making more effort to take responsibility for myself and building my own character.

To my friend whose faith I know has recently derailed as well, for different reasons, my personal apologies that I was not able to answer your questions about why God does things the way he does. Or doesn't. I was having trouble with the same question myself. But hey, at least we can derail together. Weeeee.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hypothetical Conversations 1 - Happy Whatever

Hope: Hey, happy new year! Sorry it's little late considering it's halfway through January!

Jade: Wait a minute, I got rid of you last year. You're not supposed to be bugging us anymore.

Hope: It's just like in the movies, you know. Good guys never die!

Jade: Huh, well it's too bad not everything in life happens like the movie happy endings. Then the two of us wouldn't always be at loggerheads.

Hope: Yes, unfortunately, I now solely exist for the purpose of conversational purposes. As much as I try, I don't have much influence on her anymore....You don't have a problem with me hanging around, do you? *blink blink*

Jade: I will if you cause any more trouble, but I suppose it would be fun to have you around and have someone to pick on every now and then. It was getting a bit boring in the Zen room.

Hope: So antisocial! It's a brand new year ahead. You should be looking forward to positive new things and new possibilities!

Jade: Well, in my opinion, there is no logic in having such expectations. And wishing people happy new year, happy birthday or happy whatever-the-occasion-is, is actually quite redundant.

Hope: Why so? :-( Everyone likes to look forward to good things

Jade: Simply because there's very little chance that anyone can go through an entire year constantly experiencing happy things. There will be crappy events as well, and one is unlikely to be happy through that. Birthdays are not always happy too. You might go out for a birthday meal with family and end up in a huge @ss nothing fight, a concept most clearly explained by Dane Cook. Then what is supposed to be a happy event turns out to be kinda sucky, and rather ironic when after a nothing fight, everyone sings that happy birthday song with some misguided conception that that will make everything better. Christmas isn't always merry either. A lot of people become more lonely and depressed during Christmas and New Year. Apparently the expectation to be happy during that time is just too much pressure to handle for some people that it's make them even more unhappy. So greeting people a happy-whatever sometimes just makes people pretend to be happy because that's what expected of you during new year, or Christmas or birthdays. Which might actually make them feel even crappier if they aren't actually happy during that time. So why make people pretend to feel something they don't actually feel? On the other hand, if they do actually enjoy themselves and have a wonderful year, birthday, or whatever event, then you don't need to wish them a happy one, since they would already be happy. Hence, redundant! So if I had it my way, we'd do away with greeting people with 'happy whatevers', perhaps replacing it with a greeting that raises less potentially false hopes, such as "May your new year/birthday/christmas be generally not crappy".

Hope: .......I don't think that idea is going to take off very well....

Jade: Yeah, I know it won't. People still like to wish happy whatevers coz' we like to think things will turn out great even if all indication shows otherwise. To think otherwise is to lose hope, and not many people can deal with living without hope. They end up doing dumb stuff like become alcoholics or druggies, jumping off buildings. The lonely ones are even worst. In some desperate attempt to hang on to whatever hope they have left, they sleep around for attention, or fall in love with some unknown people on the net and lose their life savings to them when they ask for it. Those are just examples of course. The stupid things hopeless people do are quite endless.

Hope: Gosh, that's terrible.... I guess that's why everyone needs a little bit of me! I mean, hope! *grin*

Jade: Usually yes, but hope, and that means you too, can be just annoying if reality doesn't commensurate with what one hopes for. Good thing is that it is actually quite possible to do without hope. One just needs to do away with emotions.
Think about it, without hope, you usually feel despair, sadness, depression, and you end up doing some or more of the stupid stuff I just mentioned. But without emotion.... There's no sadness or despair or loneliness. And no doing stupid things.
Plus you don't get pissed as easily at other people doing stupid things, which is definitely a plus point. Although it's quite difficult driving on Malaysian roads...

Hope: Whoa, whoa...waitaminute. No emotion also means no joy or happiness too. How can anyone enjoy life like that? Unless you only take the good without the bad?

Jade: Not possible. If you don't want to feel the bad, you can't really enjoy the good feelings either. Coz' there's always the possiblity that the source of your good feelings will lead to sucky feelings later on. Like having someone you consider a best friend and enjoy many good times with, suddenly up and betray you. By completely ignoring you. Or stealing your lover. That kind of sucky.
So best to remain emotionally platonic under all circumstances.

Hope: Hahahaha, ok now I'm convinced you're crazy. We're human, not robots! How can we just 'feeling' stuff. It's not like a switch you can turn on and off.

Jade: True that. But it's possible. All you need is the right motivation and the mental strength to not jump off a building first. I would say having one's hopes dashed multiple times in the course of a few months counts as good motivation.

Hope: ....Well, I refuse to believe that's that. And I'm going to do my best to show you that this year and every year after that can be happy! Ok?

Jade: Yeah ok. Whatever.


Update on 17th Feb 2013: This comic strip from Cyanide and Happiness pretty much says it all! :D