Reflection, Something magical, Who Am I

Tomorrow Is Today’s Choice

“Tomorrow has nothing to do with yesterday, and yesterday has nothing to do with tomorrow. Tomorrow would only be as yesterday was, if today was the same pattern,”

“Okay, I’ve got to calm down,” I told myself, hands on my side, ears plugged with the earphones, with a dude saying, “breathe in; deeply, exhale; fully,” while lying on the bed. It’s been going on for a bit now, this new habit of daily night meditations. Something I’ve picked up in November of ’18, and I just wish for it to stick with me for as long as possible. It was hard, although, because I was active. Or, my mind was active, that is. It was everywhere; the future, the past, the could-haves and would-haves, the “I’m sorry,” and the “Please get out of my face,” to the “When I say I don’t wanna talk, it means I don’t wanna talk,”. But I think I have slowly grasped the whole idea and concept of meditating; “It’s not shutting down, it’s waking up,’ says Gelong Thubten. Jesus Christ, that gave me a  new perspective altogether. Pair that up with Jay Shetty and the Iceman himself, Wim Hof, and suddenly meditating is not a “want to” anymore but a “have to”.  Life since then has been more powerful, I can’t quite say why right just yet.

So yeah, there I was, on the bed at 12.30 A.M, way past my own-set curfew, mind just zooming here and there. I know I am supposed to be conducting my nightly ritual, but how and where do I even begin with it? “Okay,  okay, try and recap what you’ve done today,” I told myself. “Tell me everything, from the start of your day, up till 10 o’clock. Go,” And I just lay there and took myself back in time.

I recapped my day:

“At 9 A.M, I woke up, 3 hours pass my initial time. Then, I lay there and waste time by scrolling for memes and lols until 10 A.M. I hit the shower, and it is now 10.30. I broke my fasting rule and ate, and in the same bidding, I also broke my ketosis rule and ate carbos. I then slumped back to being a useless piece of crap until 3 P.M, to which I then peaked in fruitlessness by taking a non-deserved, dimly-though of nap until 4. Then I woke up and….yeah, remained useless until 5.30, to which I then worked out until 6.30, and then ran my dumbass dog. That was until 7, it didn’t last long. Hit the showers and then I was at the dining table by 7.30, ate dinner till 8 and then went for grocery shopping until 9. Folded the clothes and scrolled for more memes until 11. Fruitless day,”

If you skipped it, it’s completely okay. If you don’t agree with some things I did, it’s okay too, I don’t agree with it either so yeah.

But while I was walking down the day’s events, a thought hit me:
“Do you want tomorrow to be the same?”

And I was like, wait what the f-

“Do you want tomorrow to be the same? I can make tomorrow the same as today. I can make tomorrow the same as yesterday,” The thought continued.

It almost snapped my concentration because, I was not expecting a question to arise. But in the very same doing, my curiosity surfaced, and I questioned this thought, “How would you know if tomorrow can be the same as today was, as was yesterday?”

“Simple, you just do you. That’s it,”

Okay, I’ll admit it. This was one of my wtf moments, simply because it raises both my dark and light sides. “You scrolled memes for hours, now that’s called dedication!” And the other part is like, “You scrolled memes for hours. Pathetic,” Do you see why I don’t necessarily trust my thoughts all the time. It’s not even a question at this point of time, it’s a statement.

I had to sit down in my mental world and analyze that statement. “Simple, you just do you. That’s it,” What did the voice mean? I mean, I know it’s telling me something, no shit to that, but like, why is it telling me this? This may be a part deep in me that’s trying to say “DON’T DO IT! CHANGE YOUR COURSE OF ACTION! DON’T DO YOU!” or, subsequently, it may also be saying, “You’re doing just fine, keep it up,”So yeah, most of my confusion stirs from here.

At this point, I read the pattern of today and tried to understand it. It was my old me trying to surface. It was that old, trash-talking, ego-driven, close-minded and unproductive side of me trying to convince me to continue on living on a Shit-Based Lifestyle.

But today, here I am, also given another choice. Do me, or do the otherwise.

I’m going to the gym for a bit.

Not gonna do the old me here.





Reflection, Something magical

I Welcome You, ’19.

Hello, 2019. Welcome to my life.

Hello, 2019. I welcome you to my life. I am Joe, and this is my story – so far. I do not know what to expect, but I think I do know what I want to do and what I wish to have. It’s crazy, although. It’s crazy because, I thought I was so ready in 2017 for 2018, but I was far from it. If anything, 2018 was pretty much an opened can of worms for me. I saw sides of me that I kept buried and hidden so, so deep inside of me that I thought, “It won’t surface, not for the next years ahead of me, and when I am more ready, I will take them on,” But it seems that, 2018 happened to be that year. All of those “next years” balled up into one year, and it just slammed right down into me.

I am not gonna lie and say that “ah, ’18 was a walk in the park, a summer breeze and I pretty much did not break a sweat,” It would be an absurd lie for me to say that. If anything, ’18 was pretty much my opportunity to meet these devils in me and  have a cup of coffee or tea, and see what’s going on inside of me, from my spirituality hygiene, right down to my physical well-being. Of course, ’17 was way more enjoyable, but I guess the only way is forward. I can harp onto ’17 and hope for every year to be like it, but then again, I guess it’s just a matter of learning and relearning until one has mastered his craft. If that was the case, then ’17 was just me playing with the waters, taking a few strokes into the sea, and ’18 is just me diving into depths that I don’t want to dive into.

But, in a certain way, it is a blessing, really. See, if I didn’t intend to dive at that level, I wouldn’t have. And if I was forced to do so, then I have no choice but to find my way around and learn the ropes before I suffocate and die. I dealt with the devils in me and pretty much “got my shit together”. If anything, ’18 was just a time for me to realign stuff and rediscover depths.

I thank God (whom or whatever this presence is) and I really do thank him for the people around me.  I learnt the ropes from them, and add that to support, man, this is just crazy. Like it makes no sense to feel dreaded and dying, while feeling very much alive and making huge progresses.  And, yeah, here I am.

If anything, a part of me wishes for this whole thing to stay and remain as it is, but what an ideal thought it can only be. ’17 taught me to be swift, ’18 taught me to be agile. ’19 should be the year I try to put these 2 together and see what that gets me. I hope I don’t crash and burn.

’18 was an interesting year, altogether. I’ve been into corners of myself and the world and, yeah, saw things I didn’t exactly like about myself, but it also taught me that I am not the product of my choices, but instead my consequences. It taught me that I can only choose, but I can’t alter the outcome to be exactly what I want it to be. I can definitely take more steps and take more initiative to craft a path to get to where I exactly want to be, but maybe it’s a little more fun to run with uncertainty. Maybe.

I don’t challenge you, and neither should I shun you out. I instead embrace you.

2018 has opened many doors for me, from switching habits, to eating clean, to lifting heavy, down to listening more and talking senselessly very much lower, and ultimately being much more mindful and aware of who I am, where I am and what do I wish to do.

I learnt to trust my instincts more, and to listen to my body while also respecting my limits. Yeah, if anything at all, ’18 had a whole lesson on trust on instincts, from my trip to Bali, right down to my participation in the Student Council.  Nonetheless, fun.

2019, here are my final words before we really begin:

2019, I will stay truer to myself.

2019, I will not stop learning.

2019, I will trust my instincts more.

2019, let’s go.


Friendship-related, Reflection, Something magical, Who Am I

“And, Huzzah!”

“The world is so noisy,”

I said to a great friend of mine, as the buses honked and the 40-tonners zoomed, black fumes coughing from the exhaust pipes strapped to the side of the vehicle, cars zipped in and out of the road. “The world is so, so noisy,” I repeated. “It’s all in your head man,” he said. I’ll admit, it wasn’t the most solid and effective tip yet for that situation. Should’ve given me the build-up, man. But half loaf is better than no loaf! Anyways, a part somewhere deep deep down in my heart says, “I want to be busy. I want to be so busy to that, I’ve got no time and space in my head to think of her (especially her, at that time). I want to be so busy that, I’ve got to think twice on hanging out. I want to be busy, I want to be busy,” Spoke my heart, but never my mouth, but all I did was sat there with a fuzzy mind and tears dripping onto the granite below our feet, occasional motorcycles stopping by picking up their passengers.

Couple months down the road, and I knew that I am supposed to tame my mind down, tame the stallion from running wild. I caught myself thinking about her more than I should, almost on instinct, almost natural, almost like…..a calling. But it was neither any of the 3. If anything, it was just a matter of habit, a matter of “practice makes perfect” kinda thing going on. Was it hard for to find another habit? Not really. Was it easy to try? Kinda. Was it easy to stick and commit? Anything but that at all. It was hard, and I hated it, though. Like, imagine this. Waking up every morning, with an enthusiasm burning brighter than the Sun, readier each day than the day before. But, as soon as the though of her popped in, God, I’ll just slum right back in. Just, right back in. Tough times it was, tough tough times.

But I stick very close to the very thing my heart wanted me to do, to be busy, no matter what. I don’t really know if I should call it instinct, a low-key calling, or just a blessing in disguise, but I just listened to it. Easy for me to say now, with me being in a clearer picture. Add instinct into the mix together with mental noises, fuzziness, screaming in your head, daily dose of anxiety, unease, with peace nothing more than a word, and a zest of anger, and there we have it, a fresh batch of confusion, a turmoil of senseless directions and ultimately, being lost. For a pretty damn long time, I was in that state, I have to and will admit, not gonna lie.

There were moments when giving up seemed like a better option, when I asked,”Why walk the distance when you know you’d fall? Why carry it when it’s so heavy? How far do you think you’d go? How much further do you want to go? Your legs are tired and bleeding, maybe it’s time for you to just throw the towel in, this is stupid,” But, if anything at all, I am in a huge debt with one person, and that’ll be the shade of myself that I’ve always relied on. The General, some of you may know. “No, that’s all noise you’re listening to. That’s all crap, that’s all bullshit, don’t listen. Don’t listen, and I’ll tell you why. This is the only reason why we’re here, and this is the only reason to why I am still here. So don’t you dare give up. Not now, not ever. Get up, let’s go,”

Stick together, team, stick together. We’ll get through, I promise.

And so, I participated in way more events, went to the gym way more frequently, walked more frequently, ran with my dog, and educated myself more. “Make yourself busy, make yourself busy,” the words bounced about in my head. It repeated itself every single time I was doing anything at all. There was no peace in my head, it was either the thought of love, or these words. Nothing more, nothing less. Did I enjoy the process back then? Absolutely not. What about now? I thank myself for that. I thank myself for catching me and trying to bring myself back up. I thank myself in not giving up. Ultimately, I thank myself for once, to be the minority. The one that stood by thru thick and thin, the one that sat by myself when I needed to cry, when I needed some company when I drink.

Ever since then, the world in my head seems to be so much nicer, so much more manageable and so much more…at peace. It’s crazy, really. I got what I wanted. Well, what my heart wanted, at least. Nonetheless, what a crazy world we live in, in such crazy times. I love it.

Reflection, Something magical

So, Maybe You Do Exist, After All.

Dear God,

Dear God, I thought you didn’t exist. Dear God, I also once thought that kissing made babies. Point is, I was wrong.

It’s funny, really, how you show your presence in very discreet and indirect manners. Oh no, you don’t just show up, you send your angels. And today, I saw a few of them. I have to admit, I was scared as Hell to see them. Funny how movies and TV makes your angel look so….angelic. Not to say that they are not, I guess Hollywood has another perspective on what angelic is, and what angelic really is. You get me? Anyways, God, I just wanna ask a few things that has been on my mind for sometime already.

So, God, question 1. God, what do you look like? And who are you, really? I mean, my perspective towards religion would be this. Again, like every other things out there in the world, it’s all about perspective. And, I would say that the only reason that there are so many religions in the world today is the fact that, there are just so many views onto You. I do acknowledge the fact that there may exist an external force that is, not to say dictate our lives, but more like assist. Or am I wrong? Some people tell me that our lives are already planned, from A to Z, and that the blessings that we get are from our past lives and/or accumulated from our parents. But then again, these people also sometimes commit sinful acts. So now, can I say, that that is also part of the plan? And if that was at all part of the plan, the very act of committing sin, then don’t that make you somewhat responsible as well? If the argument was as such, then don’t that make you kinda the bad guy here too? In that light, then can I now say, that there exists no creature that is absolute good?

And God, on the point of who are you, I beget the question, are you of not the same constitute as of Fate? Like, if “things were meant to be,” and that “things were planned,” then are you also not the same as Fate? And what about coincidence? Should something happen, then where should the line be drawn between Fate and Coincidence? Like, let’s talk about mishaps first. Probably, on an overall scale, people would say its Fate, with the intention of having hope for things to be better. But, should something minutely small take place, chances are that that is categorized as coincidence. Put both situations side-to-side, why is one fate and the other coincidence? Is this yet another game of perspective, where one involves rescuing hope and the other is about making one’s day better?

Dear God,
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in you. Which leads me to a question that should be asked, which would be how far, or how much do I believe in you. Because, in my sense of experience, we own up for every mistakes, mishaps, joyful ending and/or anything at all, for that case. We can’t blame anyone else but ourselves for the consequences that follow from the action that follows. But then again, God, it’s funny. Put it this way; a person is diagnosed with depression (the most common and increasing rate of mental health), and then the person is given 2 choices. The first being, of course, to save him or herself. If that was the case, then chances are they are gonna say that You are their pillar of strength, the beacon of light that guided them out of the dark, the rope that tugged their hands out of their murky world, where peace resided in their soul, content in their hearts. But, the second choice is a more morbid, and that’ll be suicide. Which I now beg the next question; why is it that when something happen at all, people say that it has been planned, and when something was to go wrong, they say that the subject is returning home? I don’t get that part of it, God. As in, why give hope to eventually take it away? And then they’ll say, “It’s God’s plan,” To which, I question the very intention of giving to take it away. Of course, people will eventually die, it’s just a matter of now or later. And what about the ones that are affected? Are they part of the plan too?

Dear God, I need answers, for my questions seem to grow by the day.

I’ve got to say my thanks here too. For, as mentioned already, I was in the first option. I seek advice, help, comfort, content and peace from my immediate circle, but it was either temporary, fake, or non-existent. It was the very first time that I bought flowers on my own, lighted a joss-stick, actually prayed at a shrine, and all in all, I found peace. Peace that lasted for days, dare I say. It was such an experience, having being so lost at one end, and at the other, finding peace. It’s crazy, it really was.

Whatever it was and will happen, God, I hope that my answers would be answered. I don’t mind when, but it would be beautiful to be sooner than later. Or maybe I am already in the journey of uncovering the answer.

Part of your plan, too? Maybe, huh.


Reflection, Something magical, Who Am I

The World Is My Piggy-Bank.

“Be yourself,”

So I hear that statement I way more frequently than I anticipate to at first. I’m hearing it slither out of people’s tongue and out of their lips like a mantra, a saying, a prayer, if I may. But hypocrisy seems to be the name of the game here, if not an enforcer. Simply because, more often than not, people that slur this out usually do not know who they are. Or rather, do not know the full extent of themselves.

Faced this statement, I usually ask 2 questions. 1, Who am I, and 2, Who do you want me to be? Because, put it this way. If there is one thing I strongly believe is that humans are complex creatures. Note how I used the word complex, and not complicated. I say complex because I acknowledge the different levels, faces and selves that we have in us. There is, of course, the Happy Guys, then there is also the Sad Ones, and Angry Personage, to name a few. But the point is this; each persona has an alter ego. Each “personality” that I see in people, I acknowledge the fact that there is more than meets the eye. A person, I would say, is complicated is when they are yet to figure out the basics working terminologies that can be used to describe themselves. A mess is when they acknowledge that the are complicated, but are stagnant at knowing what to do. Know your stuffs, ladies and gentlemen.

So I was asked by a friend of mine one day when we were sitting in a room, both behind a counter, and we were talking about how people lose themselves and how they eventually find themselves again. To which then, he asked me this, “So Joe, do you think I should be myself, if people despise me?” And I would admit the fact that, that question rung a bell in my head, simply because I had been thinking about it for quite some time until he resurfaced it. “Yeah, I guess that’s our only choice. Again, who else do you want to be?” I asked back. It was a half-hearted answer because I couldn’t give a full-faced answer to that. But, I think I now can.

So, imagine this. People are like piggy banks, aight. Spare changes like nickels, dimes, and quarters gets into the piggy bank. And every now and then, the piggy bank breaks,and the innards of the pig spills across the table, chiming and clinks of coins on the marble table. And then, naturally we would re-institute them into a new pig, but sometimes, in the process of reinstating them, chances are we would separate them in accordance to types of changes; dime, nickels, quarters. Now this is where it gets complicated.

So we take the dimes and pool them, so we do for the nickels and quarters.We pick one up, and bring it up to our eye level and inspect it. We’re looking at the tails side of the coin, as we put it down, away from the three piles. Here’s the thing; chances are we get so stuck onto one single dime that we blur out the rest, and all we see is that single dime. And so we stare. And stare. And stare. At that single, tail-sided dime facing upwards. So then we look up, and we see other people being so happy and contented with all the spare changes that they have. We walk towards them and ask, “How did you do that?” And all they say is, “Count your blessings,” as they pool their coins back into their piggy.

We walk back to our table, eyes fixed on the table, but mind still perched onto that one single dime. “But how do I count my blessings? I’ve only got a dime!” Spoke a voice inside our heads.

This concept clicked to me after months and weeks of build-up, to which a voice in me said, “People are like coins; two-sided,” And at first I was devastated at the fact where one statement always contradicted the other and no middle ground could be sought for. “Spineless,” I would’ve said, but looking at the bigger picture now, I would say that the world is more of a gray area than a black-and-white orientation that we were initially taught to see.

So here I am before you, as I fathom my references.

So people are very much like a piggy bank, and the coins represents the very personalities, interest, beliefs, values and virtues that we makes us who we are. Each one of us have not one coin, but many. And I mean many. And each coin has 2 faces. So you can roughly imagine how many faces one has in a single embodiment.

I guess that all people should do is acknowledge the fact that there are more than what we expect to have personas living in us, each one tailored to fit certain events, situations and settings that we will face. Acknowledge the fact that there are more than 1 dime inside of us, and the fact that there are more than 1 face on that same dime.

And, of course, this is where you and only you have to learn and understand what’s best for you. If you don’t like cake (hard, although), that’s okay. It’s not a crime to not like cake. But, it is crime to convert this dislike into hate, and thus lashing out to people.

I acknowledge my coins that I have in me, and I also acknowledge the fact that there is more to come. I know that when I rattle my piggy-bank, I hear more that I see. And I believe the same for everyone. And that’s why, I see the world as my piggy bank, where I can find dimes and quarters at unexpected corners, at unexpected time. Learn and grow everyday. I doubt it when people say they don’t have a dark side.

Everyone has a shade that he shows not to people.

So when people tell me, “Be yourself,” I ask back, “Which one?”




Reflection, Society, Something magical, Who Am I

The Night I Felt Like One.

The smoke, the fire, the incense, the joss papers, the songs, the sounds, the people, the altar, the food.

I walked into the food court with my parents, and it was smoky. Very, smoky. And it had that very familiar smell. The smell of….joss. Joss paper on fire. Joss paper ashes. Joss paper smoke. There were few to no patron to be seen, and we automatically assumed that there were no stalls opened tonight.”It’s closed,” Said my mum, stopped dead in her tracks and turned around to tell my dad. “Ah, no, there are people there. It’s open,” My dad spoke. “Must be something going on there, like not many people like that,” My mum continued. Something’s up ahead. Prayers, must be I thought to myself.

The air was thick and smoky, my eyes dried up and breathing was like suffocating. Quite the irony, if you ask me. I can hardly see at all, my eyes felt so dried up. Nonetheless, we sat down and ordered our food.

And curiosity got the better of me. Again. (Why am I even surprised at all at this point of time?)

“Mum, can we go see?” I asked, the inner child in me hardly hiding at all. “I wanna see what’s going on,” We walked to this whole closed area that stretched from one end of the road to another. At one end stood these 2 really huge altars, one housing an effigy, probably as tall as one floor, and the other was this board-ish thing with pictures of at least  gods on them. The sidewalk of the road was neatly laid with table, each one having a joss stick bowl and some joss papers beside it.

Okay, before I go on, lemme just point out one element of this story for those of you that are like “Oh, what’s going on?” So in Chinese culture, there’s a practice that has been done for generations, where there is a month, in accordance to the Chinese calendar, which was the seventh month. Now, it’s believed that in this month, the Gates of Hell will open, and ghosts and such are to roam our realm for one month. Why seven, you ask? Don’t ask me, I don’t know.

So, back to the story. We walked the entire road, from one end to the other, and there were so many different elements, as mentioned in the header, that created the setting. Long before, we were seated at our table again. I have got to see what’s going on. I need to know what’s going on, I told myself.

If you were to ask me what was on my mind during dinner, it would be the thought of walking straight back into this whole “parade” thing going on. I needed to know. I have to. I felt like… this is where I embrace what I am and who I am. Yeah, I know I’m loud and hyperactive and what not, and yes, I have found my clique in my circle, but….if that was that the case at all, then why was this voice speaking to me in such a way? I mean, okay, I am comfortable in my skin, but…why do I feel like, there’s a part of me that is telling me that I don’t belong there?

Denial is a heavy gateway drug that takes reality away from one; it creates an illusion that the eyes can never resist. Denial; The Gateway Drug.

I was thinking and toying with the statement of “I need to know,” throughout the entire dinner. I had to know what was going on. Why? I felt very out of place. I felt very out of place in the terms where… I never quite embraced fully who I am, and what makes me, me.

It’s funny, really. I am in an environment and situation where Chinese in my university are minorities. Not to say that we are outnumbered a million-to-one kinda statement, but like, I see very few Chinese in every intakes. “My kind!” I would say out loud when I see a Chinese in the new intakes. Yeah, I was joking, but don’t you think that in every joke told, there’s always a tad bit pinch of seriousness?

See, that’s the thing. I have not many people around me that I can fully embrace both what am I and who am I. There’s only so much of room for one to play and move, but even then, there will come a time when one would ask, “Is that all?” Tonight was that night for me. It felt real good to see so many people embracing what makes them, them.

Yeah, I know that there are statements out there that says “Screw society,” and yada yada as such. But, think about it. This is how the statement then continues. “Screw society, walk your own road, and create your own society,” Which is very ironic because, so screw society, and make your own? Do you see how much of irony there is in that single statement? But that’s not my point.

My point is this; the society that we have, yes it may be screwed up and here and there, and that I adamantly admit it. There are things that I wish not to question, for the answer I get would make me wish to just rewire everyone. But then again, every coin has 2 sides. One can only choose to land on either side, but never both. So if society was that screwed up at all, there must be some upside to that. I mean, the higher one’s climb, the higher his fall, right? And if all we’re seeing is the trench, then why don’t we look up for a bit and just see what’s above?

That being said, I would say that tonight, I embraced society. I embraced the society that I was birthed into; The Chinese Society.

I feel very at one with them, even if words were not spoken and glances were not shared. We are here for the same reason, and I think that, that’s more than enough.