Flex day today. This one's a little different though. My days off since January have been spent writing exams, with the one yesterday being my last. I woke up this morning with no where to go, no place to be. It's a surreal feeling because I haven't had a day where I didn't feel pressured to have any sort of obligation to meet. No spectre of some sort of deadline over my head. Some people relish in being busy and preoccupied, but after four months of kicking and screaming through full time work and school, it's nice to breathe.
"Why are you doing this to yourself?"
This was in reference to my schedule these days, which has been dominated by mostly school work. I hadn't been out of the house very much since January. I haven't seen my friends very often since the semester started, my time was mostly thinking about school 50% of the time, working 25% and whatever was left was spent training for the marathon and dragonboat practices. It was 2 AM in the morning while I was studying for a final that I realized that these past 3 months I haven't been living like a normal human being. I wanted to pull a Dave Chappelle.
I didn't know what to say to him at the time. I guess when it comes to ambition, there's a level of psychosis and sacrifice involved that sometimes we don't understand.
'cause I wonder sometimes of a still verdictless life.
It’s a terrible feeling knowing that in the end, your feelings meant nothing at all.
What a waste. I need to start trusting my friends more.
It was a low key 27th for me. Used my birthday pass this year to go out for a run after work, then locked myself up in a room playing the guitar for God knows how long. I've been swamped with school work every day since January, and I told myself that I'd spend today doing anything but. It was nice to – at least for a night – do things that I've enjoyed doing since I was 15. My mind was blank this evening. I missed that.
Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I don't like making a big deal out of my birthday when it comes, but I do make it a priority to express my thanks for those who recognize it.
I remember that night well.
I was still at work, trying to get through the last hour before heading out when I got the call that my grandpa was not going to make it that night. For the past couple of years, he was battling Leukemia and had suffered an infection a few days ago. As a family we gathered around him and spoke to him, despite the fact that he had slipped into a deep coma. After a while, we decided to leave for a quick dinner in hopes that when we come back later that night he would still be there. We got the call as we were about to leave that he had left us.
This morning we had a beautiful ceremony for him, and as tragic as the night he died was, my mood was different today. Leading up to the funeral, we all got a chance to look at photographs of him throughout the decades. A healthier, more vibrant him complete with some of his grandchildren and my uncles awesome 80s mustaches. He was there in Vegas. We saw him underneath the Eiffel Tower, in the middle of Tiananmen Square. I was in awe. I looked around the chapel today and it was completely filled. He lived a life we all dreamed of having, and he clearly left an impression on people. As for my relationship with him, I spent more time with him this past year than before. I was there during his last breaths. And I would be one of the six to carry him to his final resting place. I felt content in knowing that I had very few regrets with him.
On the night he passed, as we were driving back to the hospital after dinner, my mom reminded me of what he appreciated about me. One of the things he would ask about me is dragonboating, and I guess my athleticism was what he enjoyed about me as a person. She told me, paddle hard for him.
There is no guide on grief, no simple formula to help us understand it. We all have to figure it out on our own. For me, to continue doing the things he admired about me and doing them well is enough to carry me forward.
From that night on, I knew what I had to do.
I wish I could like a Final Fantasy game again.
One of my goals this year is to be more creative. I’ve focused so much this past year on training for my marathon and dragon boating that I neglected the other part of me that I’ve known much longer than either of those two: music. I want to do more in that sphere, and since September I’ve been riding this wave of momentum with my guitar playing that I hope to sustain well into 2014. Maybe actually perform out in public.
Oh, and also clear out this horrible back log on my Amazon Kindle app. I have a handful of books I have yet to read that I bought over the last year. Unacceptable.
I don’t know how to define 2013.
Which is somewhat of an odd thing for me, because I’ve been able to categorize every passing year in some way. 2013 was tough, but not without a sense of accomplishment, growth and of course, happiness and peace that I didn’t know was there. It was a mixed goodie bag of a year for me, but I think what I had achieved was what made this year special. I guess when I think about it in that sense, it was pretty good.
Farewell 2013. 2014, please be kind.