Category Archives: rambles

Secret (Not So Secret) Introvert

Photo on 13-09-01 at 12.28 AM

Many people don’t believe me when I insist I’m an introvert. Growing up I was painfully shy. As I got older, I learned how to disguise it to the point where I sometimes believe I’m an extrovert. I certainly exhibit some extrovert personality traits. But for me, it take a bit of energy to exert myself and be more outgoing.

Did you know…

… I experience a lot of anxiety when someone invites me to a party where I don’t know anyone else but the hostess. I know she can’t hang out with me the whole night as she has to meet and greet everyone else too, which means I’ll need to meet new people. I’ll need to mingle and make small talk. And for some reason, I just can’t do small talk. I’m no good at it. I can vaguely chat about the weather, the news, etc but I can’t sustain it. And inevitably, the small talk eventually turns into an awkward pause. And what’s when everyone else decides to turn away from the horrible accident scene which is me and talk to each other instead.  And then I get all weird and feel like a loser.

… I even hate meeting up with friends one on one unless I know them really well. I’m always worried we’ll have nothing to say to each other. And then we’ll be stuck at the dinner table, loudly sipping our soups and crunching our salads to fill in the void created by our lack of anything to say to each other. For this reason, I always want another friend there. To act as a buffer: to take the pressure off me to keep the conversation going.

… Thank God cell phones have become so ubiquitous. I’d much rather text someone than people to them on the phone. And I’d much rather talk on the phone than meet in person. God, why can’t the world just function in a way whereby I just “like” stuff on Facebook/Instagram?

… While I love dressing up and I love the idea of going out to a club, bar or party. I get all excited planning out what to wear and dream up different scenarios of what will happen that night. But once I get there, I realize that I hate vapid conversations with strangers and being put into situations which highlight my social ineptitude. (Thank God for liquor.) I’d much rather being at home cuddled up to my favourite pillow with a warm cup of tea and a good book.

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A Bolt of Blue

I don’t know about everyone else but I had trouble sleeping last night because it as so hot and humid. And this morning was the worst because I was so sleepy. On my way to work, while stopped in my car at a red light, I saw my ex cross the street not even five feet in front of me. It took about a half a second to register that the guy in front of my nose was someone I was intimately acquainted with so long ago. It was a like a shot right through with a bolt of blue just like the song, Bizarre Love Triangle. For the rest of my commute, I never felt so awake coming to work.

It was an odd experience because last night, I was playing a song and randomly a memory of him popped into my head. And I couldn’t quite picture in my head what he looked like even though I used to know that face so well.

How long it had been since I last saw him, my coworker asked me once I finally arrived at work. About 8 years since we dated? And about 4 years since I last saw him, randomly getting off a Skytrain station. For a small place like Vancouver, it sure was easy never to see him again. We didn’t end on good terms; he was the one who broke my heart and I held onto a lot of bitterness for a long, long time. (The good news was that experience helped me become a better writer and blogger.)

But thinking about everything now with the benefit of 8 years perspective, I can understand what happened and why with so much more clarity and objectivity.

I can see that I mixed up superficial common interests and strange coincidences as signs that we were “meant to be”. Because we both liked 80s pop music like Wham, somehow this was a sign. Because we both liked to speak French at random moments, somehow this was a sign. Because we both happened to be playing Marvin Gaye in our separate cars to meet up, somehow this was a sign. But now I can see that a relationship can’t be built on so-called signs. Instead, a relationship needs to be made up of shared goals, interests and beliefs.

I can see that we were both pretty young and still had a lot of growing to do to ever have worked out. He was (is?) still too judgemental of me and what I had done in my past. I was still too naive to understand that I didn’t need validation from others to be a good person. As much as he judged me for my past, I judged myself much harsher and hated myself for it. I looked for validation from everyone that liked me. I suppose I was testing my friends, my boyfriends, to see if they still liked me once they knew “who was really was”. And I suppose the reason this particular guy hurt me so much was because he was the first one to hate me for my past as much as I hated myself at the time. But through that, because of that experience, I grew and learned that I wasn’t a bad person after all; that I was a good person and deserved to be happy.

I’m glad I’m a different person now. And as painful as the experience was, I’m glad he was a part of my life and life story. Because through him, I now know how far I’ve come and how much better my life and perspective is now.

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Spring is here

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Saw some lovely flowers while out for a walk today. Yay Spring!

Things I Hate: March Edition

1) Cyclists who, rather than sharing the road, demand the road. They swerve right in front of you, ignoring all other cars, pedestrians and even buses. They glare at you as you carefully drive past them. They take traffic lights as suggestions rather than laws that need to be obeyed.You are not anymore entitled to the road than anyone else. We all pay taxes. We all have as much right to the road as each other.

2) Rain. I know we live in Vancouver so it comes with the territory. I know it’s March so technically still winter. But damn, it’s been raining for like 7 days straight and I’ve really had enough. I hate rain. I hate carrying around a soggy umbrella. I hate when my socks get wet because of a previously unknown hole in my shoe. I hate that I walk in such a way where I end up kicking water up the back of my calves.

3) Daylight Savings. I know that by now everyone else is used to it. But waking up 1 hour earlier is seriously killing me. I feel like the walking dead until at least two hours and copious amounts of coffee. All this week, I’ve been coming to work looking like crap because I’ve been desperately trying to catch a few last z’s before I really really need to wake up.

4) Ingrown hairs in places that are hard to see. Then it’s just blindly poking around hoping for the best. I had an ugly one last week that took a lot of perseverance and determination to get at because it was an *oh so sensitive* spot. I had to angle around with little compact mirrors, directed lighting and zero sense of pride. And that spot was sore for like two days afterwards too.

5) The price of gas is currently 140.8 at my current Esso/PetroCan. Holy crap, I didn’t think we’d be getting to a buck fifty so soon. At this rate, I’ll have to start busing to work which sucks because it rains so much in Vancouver (see rant #2 above). On top of that commuters are smelly and vicious: a deadly combination.

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When I was 5…

Grade 1 picture

Grade 1 school picture. My mom used Christmas ribbon for my hair.

I grew up in a small town about 45 mins east of Vancouver called Aldergrove. Today the population is approximately 12 000 but when I grew up, it was substantially smaller, maybe just under 10 000. My family was one of the few Asian families who lived there. My parents knew all the other Vietnamese people who lived around town which amounted to about half a dozen. There were also some Chinese and Japanese families we also knew about. Growing up, I don’t remember feeling that different from the white people who lived in my town; I never really felt like I was treated differently from other kids in school.

I remember one cloudy summer day we were visiting another Vietnamese family who lived in a different, poorer section of town just beside the local Safeway. The neighbourhood was lined with townhouse complexes coloured a muted grey-beige and dirty dark brown. Back then though, the whole world seemed slighted muted with shades of grey and dirty brown.

As our parents discussed whatever it was parents discussed back then, their two daughters & I left to go to the playground just around the corner. I was excited to go play because I lived in the countryside without anything like playgrounds or even neighbours nearby for miles and miles. We were all sitting on the swings minding our own business, talking about whatever it was kids discussed back then.

Halfway through our conversation, three girls walked up to us, circling the swing set we were sitting on. They pulled their eyes back while chanting “ching chong ching chong” at us. I remember me & my friends watching them stunned into silence. I particularly could not take my eyes off the leader of the pack. She was a tall girl with long dirty blond hair wearing a faded white tank top and shorts. She looked a couple years older and was beautiful to my eye. I remember the distinct feeling of hating her and envying her at the same time.

As her friends continued circling and chanting, she came forward and said to us, “you can speak Chinese better than us but we can speak English better than you.”

I never heard of the word racism much less knew what it was. But I knew in the pit of my stomach that at that moment, it was my Asian-ness that made me different and that was what they hated about me. And I would have given anything to be a blond white girl just like them.

After less than a minute, the three girls took off, leaving my friends and I to ourselves. The only thing I could quietly mutter under my breath as I watched them go was “We’re not even Chinese…” After the coast was clear, we all ran home to go tell everyone what they said.

And although it wasn’t my general experience with most other white kids, I knew I was different. And would always be on the outside looking in.

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Sex & the City for 2012

SATC: The Complete Series

At home sick, I spent the afternoon watching the third season of Sex & The City. It’s been a couple years since I last watched the series, although I used to love love love it a few years ago.

I used to be inspired to write by Sex & The City, identifying with Carrie and her relationship struggles (although mine were less dramatic in comparison).

Watching it now, I still love the show, even though I’m not sure how much of it is due to nostalgia. I don’t feel as annoyed by Carrie as other people on various blogs seem to. Yes, it veers toward vapid when a lot of the conversation/scenes centre around sex. Also clothes/shoes. And yes, Carrie’s conversations revolve a lot around her relationships and problems. But lest we forget, SATC was a comedy-drama and its protagonist is Carrie.

One thing that has changed about how I feel towards the show: I don’t feel inspired to write anymore by the SATC episodes. I guess because my own relationship dramas have died down. My husband and I have a pretty drama-free life together. We not only get along romantically but also we just enjoy each other’s company. Anyway, my life suddenly makes Carrie’s life unrelatable to me. I found the person I want to be with the rest of my life. And he wants to be with me. And he’s a nice man who does all the right things. I guess I found my Aiden rather than searching/pining for my Mr Big.

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Obligatory Intro Post

Petting a penguin

Yup, that’s me in the picture there. In case you weren’t aware, I’m the less fuzzy one. I’m petting an adolescent king penguin at Seaworld. (Does that make him a prince penguin?)

This blog is my attempt to get back into writing again. I’ve been writing in blogs for years, from Livejournal to Xanga to Blogger and now, WordPress. There were a lot of other insignificant blogs inbetween.

For a long while, I stopped writing because of a lot of family issues that were happening in my life. I just felt a bit too exposed after my family’s business was splashed over the front pages of various newspapers all over the country.

But now, after a really long hiatus, I’ve decided to pick up the proverbial pen again and start writing. I’m used to writing about relationships, makeup and general life observations. This blog will be more of the same, hence the name: Anna Rambles. I’m not 100% sure of the focus of this blog yet, but I figured I should just start writing.

Here goes nothing.