Life has been really good. I don't want to jinx it - but 2017 has been solid so far. I feel like I'm really getting into a good groove now. The below is gonna sound quite clinical since it's almost like I'm doing a self-diagnosis, but anyway - if you have been an old-time reader, you know my habits.
has been fantastic. I started out last year wondering if I should quit within six months (yet again), and now some days I find myself so eager to start the work day. The projects I've been working on have been intellectually challenging in industries that I thoroughly enjoy learning more about, with teams and managers that are bright, competent, and relatable. Basically, most of my team are Asian, and we get each other _so much_. Lol. In terms of like, being results-driven, being all about efficiency, finding the smartest and easiest way to achieve something, while cutting out all of the nonsense small-talk jabbering bullshit that people in the corporate West like to do. I'm so happy I found this little niche group where I can speak Mandarin with and virtually nobody else in the firm would understand us (my company is overwhelmingly British, so much for marketing ourselves as a diverse global powerhouse, heh). I also don't see many of my other peers in the office anymore which is great because honestly, I don't fancy most of them as they have terrible, terrible taste (for example, a highlight for them was going to Tiger Tiger to party - are you fucking kidding me? Tiger Tiger is literally a sewer.)
I'm also being recognised for my capability and my results and it makes me really happy. My teammates have also remarked to me that they really like having me around, because I light up the room aww. All of this + very reasonable working hours (plus I work from home 2-3 times a week) + no silly travelling that most consultants get involved with (I've been firmly rooted in London) = a very happy working man.
Social life -
has been unexpectedly packed - it's heartwarming. I really did not expect to see London as home, but now it is really slowly seeming that way. I've made terrific friends here. There are many little circles that I can call up on (I only like small groups rather than large social gatherings - they annoy me due to the fake trivial bullshit small-talk) and we always have a whale of a time. It took me a while to build these all up, and to also re-believe in myself, but I am thankful that I do have a pretty charming magnetic quality about me, and I shouldn't have doubted in the past that I would struggle to make friends here. Once again however, these friends are basically...all Asian. Lolol. But I really can relate to them the easiest: we love terrific food to the point we would hunt like vultures for the special food events (pop-ups, or guest chefs) [I've also now racked up 72 unique Michelin stars in the UK; i.e. counting 2 stars in total for visiting a 2-star restaurant more than once], everyone's ambitious as hell (all lawyers, bankers, consultants), everyone's got such a great blend of Eastern and Western values, and everyone loves karaoke :) ahahaha. Also, we all identify with the whole minority-ethnicity thing, along with the yellow fever thing, yadda-yadda.
Also, per the Proximity Principle, I've made quite a few friends in my apartment building - mostly when I'm at the gym, or in the sauna / steam room. It's great because social isolation tends to happen for people who work from home; I don't get that because there is a semi-community vibe around here.
One thing I did about my social life though - I straight-up cut out friends who I felt had a negative impact on my life. Friends who are too self-absorbed and drag me into their pathetic whining-to-fish-compliments situations, friends who are too morally different from me (e.g. going to sex parties all the time, or taking too much drugs) and who I then regularly end up arguing with because I am opinionated and find them morally repugnant, friends who are so fake and I bring nothing to their table yet they keep asking me to hang out for idk-why reasons - all got cut out. I was pretty vicious. I just stopped replying to most of them. But it has helped so much - it's all such unnecessary drama.
Having the confidence to do things alone -
I do a lot of things alone now. As obvious as it may sound, it took a while for me to realise that alone does not mean lonely. I go to parks alone, art galleries alone, spend Sundays alone, watch movies at home alone, and I really enjoy it actually. It is my agenda, and I don't have to think about pleasing others. It's a great treat to do things alone. From this I know that I truly am becoming an old man haha, but that's okay too.
is slowly but surely getting better. Some days I look in the mirror and really go 'wow, you've done well.' Here is a very poorly cropped progress picture:
Now I'm still nowhere near my avatar picture (that man is so hot btw oh my days) but I have definitely bulked up and I fill my shirts out more nicely now. This has really given me self-confidence to, ironically enough, focus less on nitpicking my physical appearance. And I think slowly, this is what I feel is key really to my own self-contentment (this obviously does not work for everyone). It's not about being a fat person and saying 'I love my body. My body is mine and nobody else has a right to tell me how I should look.' No. I don't want to be one of those who constantly verbalises 'self-love' and accepting one's self for how one is, but then having this knee-jerk social-justice-warrior stance of going apeshit the minute someone critiques one's appearance. This sort of verbalised 'love yourself for who you are' bullshit will not resolve the crux of the actual insecurity. Okay - let me back-track a bit. It is entirely useless by its own, but when combined with an actual dedication to CHANGE one's ways positively (in any context, not just physique-wise), self-love can then be sustainably achieved.
Dating life -
I stopped it. I deleted all the apps in the end. I was trying my best to keep my options open and see what else was out there - but honestly, very little is out there. I remember I was back home in Asia for a month last December, and I had 900 Tinder matches. Loads of guys were just crawling to see me naked, or sleep with me, or date me, and it strangely was the digital panacea that I needed to realise that I didn't need any of this attention at all. Okay - it probably was because I satisfied that barbaric need to feel sexually desired and therefore didn't need it after. It's a bit like gambling / investing maybe. Once you rack up the winnings, you quit on a high note - because it all goes downhill after that. For example, I could have become addicted to the validation from these men, and caved to having rampant sex (like every other generic fuck-boy out there) with no standards just to feel 'wanted.' No - I am not generic, and I certainly will not commoditise myself like the other plebs out there.
N and I - hah! Okay, it is 2 am now on a Sunday and I should go to bed (I wrote a lot more than I thought I would - guess I always am swimming with thoughts) but needless to say we have a very complicated relationship. Complicated mostly by unhealthy circumstances, that are slowly un-complicating themselves. We were two people who loved each other, and though we were right for each other, it was the wrong time for each other. Separately now, over the last year, I have grown and found myself in a far stabler footing - and so has he. In fact, he has done very very well for himself and I am very happy for him. We aren't back together, but it does seem now, more than before, that the stars may re-align again. If we were to get back together, I think things will be very different this time, both of us being far, far more mature and on the same path in life (essentially, we both are working, very good jobs really, and surprisingly quite similar). Well, only time will tell.
So yeah, life is really good. I'm optimistic and positive, which isn't normal for me hah! and that feels really nice :) Here's a video (with a song that I love) to end: