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(no subject) [Wednesday, June 19th, 2013, 01:11 pm]
Xian
Life is really hectic right now! I guess it always is. I'm not sure what to do with myself. I spent a lot of time with J this past week and I'm starting to develop that strange feeling of spiralling down the rabbit hole. I need to tear myself away gently and attend to my life.

It's not quite as bad as it was last time. We've been having productive conversations and I've gotten a lot better at expressing my needs. I still don't know how to handle his. We had an exhausting week of talking through stuff, and at the end of it I felt exhausted but relieved, and ready to go do some other things - and then on Tuesday he brought up a bunch of his own negative feelings. Oops.

Anyway. I'm doing about 3 million things every day and sleeping at home only half the time. I'm trying to climb more. It doesn't feel like a lot, because it's a very small percentage of the things I'm doing, but I'm averaging outdoors 1x/week, and at the gym 2-3x/week. That's not bad. I'd like to climb outdoors more but finding partners is a bit of a pain.

I've been reading dharma books, but not making time to actually do any meditation. A common trap. I'm starting to feel more tapped into some spiritual communities and traditions, starting to flesh out my historical knowledge of the various lineages, and it helps, but I really do need to just MAKE that hour or two every day. I experienced some distinct progress of insight about a month ago, and I'm realising that if I want that, I'll have to make some lifestyle changes. There are no shortcuts really. The path is sort of backwards in the West. Traditionally, you follow the lifestyle precepts, train in concentration, and then train in wisdom/insight. Among my peers, it seems like it's more common to experience some insight through an intense retreat, drugs, or other extraordinary experience, start trying to meditate consistently (training in concentration), and eventually creating the lifestyle modifications necessary to create a supportive environment.

Taking lots of dance classes. 3/week right now! Hopefully we will see some improvement. I'm grudgingly hooked on this dance form, even though it is kicking my ass.

Tomorrow I'm catching up with Tina, and buckling down for some serious work-at-home time. In the evening I have dance class, a discussion group, and then volunteering at the Madskillz circus arts festival late at night.

Friday
11am Juggling workshop
12nn Hooping workshop
1pm Volunteer shift
3pm Lobster party in the 'burbs
9pm Fire show
11pm open jam session at Sideshow Studios

Saturday
9am Vipassana group
11am brunch at the beach
8pm Madskillz gala show
10pm Noir

Sunday
3pm-10pm Dustin's moving-out penthouse party
430-630 Volunteer shift
8pm Full moon yoga at the park

In between I have to schedule 2 phone meetings. One is a preliminary interview for a job I would really like to get!! I'm waiting for the respective people to get back to me so I can figure out how to arrange my days tomorrow and Friday. Gah!
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(no subject) [Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013, 07:25 pm]
Xian
LIFE!

Thursday
9am-1pm: work from home and brunch with Tina
3pm-5pm: climbing with Jen S
6pm-10pm: Home 2.0 Potluck OR Poly101 Discussion Group

Friday
9am-5pm: Maybe beach, probably not. Apply for jobs, deal with freelance invoicing and other tasks, maybe lunch with Joe
6pm-10pm: EATVancouver with new boy who I met in Penticton, a.k.a. Climbing Ryan (to distinguish from Swinger Ryan, Kinky Ryan, and Rope Jesus Ryan)
10pm-2am: New Democratic Dance Party as I am long overdue for some good music zen

Saturday
9am-10am: Vipassana group sit
10am-12nn: Climbing!
2pm-3pm: proactive coaching session with Kaitlyn
3pm-6pm: semi-date with Kinky Ryan
7pm-whenever: Jon&Bri's house-leaving party
Late: potentially Geekenders, probably not

Sunday
1pm-3pm: Zen Centre introductory session
11am-5pm: Snuggly brunch at Sonjo&Nemo's
evening: Kitty Nights with Jeremie and his friends

Monday
9am-5pm: Job search? Study for CSC? Freelance work?
6pm-8pm: Teaching yoga
8pm-late: long overdue date with KJ

Tuesday
WORK!
2:30pm-4:30PM: Climbing meetup
5pm-6pm: Teach yoga
8pm-9pm: Vipassana group meditation sit
10pm-late: Dark 80s at the Astoria

Aaaaand it goes on. I'm also doing 1-2hrs of yoga and meditation every day. I'm tired of managing a schedule this hectic! I want a 9-6pm where I can do a few things in the evening.

Or maybe that's only what I think I want, because there are so many things I want to do that I wouldn't be able to, and I would start to be dissatisfied. Imagining working Monday to Friday, climbing 2 evenings a week, going to bellydance 1 or 2 evenings, filling up the weekend with stuff, and... oh hey actually that sounds pretty nice. Let me resume this job search with renewed vigour.
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(no subject) [Monday, May 13th, 2013, 04:46 pm]
Xian
Joe and I have been having good conversations. Nothing to heavy, but little bits of unresolved relationship stuff are coming out here and there. It sounds like we're on the same page. I'm happy about it.

Now time to stop thinking about it and focus on my stuff!

I'm in a friend-making phase right now, deepening friendships and being pleasantly surprised by how close and supportive a network I'm building. I like the shape my social life is taking.

I need to focus harder on career stuff, and be more aggressive and/or creative with the job search! Better time management and discipline would be good, too. The freelance thing is alright, but I want to try a 9-5 for a while at least. I want the stability and freedom to focus on other parts of my life while still being able to support myself.

Leaving for Skaha on Thursday morning. It will be this season's first climbing trip and the weather is supposed to be good (fingers crossed) and I am waaaayyy excited!! Last week Joe told me he was going. We're going to have fun together but try not to have *too* much fun because we also want to meet new people.
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(no subject) [Thursday, May 9th, 2013, 10:00 pm]
Xian
The climbing bug has bit, my hands are totally shredded, I have calluses on top of calluses. But they're not seasoned enough yet and so they just keep flaking off. Joe offered to buy me a pumice stone yesterday.

... Aaaand Joe and I have been hanging out recently. He emailed me a week or two ago, we fought over email all day (while I was out sailing with Tom, his dad, to boot), and then I called him around midnight and we chatted for about 5 hours. After that I didn't intend to see him for the next week or so, but on the weekend Things Happened and long story short he came and rescued me at 3AM Saturday night and took me back to his place.

After that he said we should hang out again, but I didn't have time until a week and a half later. Which was Tuesday. He suggested packing lunch out to the park, and brought a lovely picnic and we lay on the grass by False Creek and then went and got ice cream after.

Tuesday night we talked on the phone for three hours.

Wednesday I called him impromptu after I locked up the yoga studio, because I remembered him saying something about it being easy to meet on Wednesdays. I went over to his place and played with Greg, which was really, really nice. I've really missed hanging out with him and Greg. It's not the same with Peggy (his mom).

All of this sounds lovely, but I'm really feeling pretty conflicted. He's self-professedly not looking for a relationship right now and really loving being single, which is fair enough, but he's also going on dates with about a million people, and I'm having a hard time reconciling that. He says they're explicitly casual dates, but he just doesn't DO casual. He might feel casual but he doesn't know how to behave like a casual date.

I get so jealous when he mentions any of the women he's seeing. My reaction to the whole thing was to just feel put off dating for a while. If I can't have Joe it feels like everyone else is just irritatingly insufficient. It's hard for me to put myself in his shoes - I've been dating a LOT over the past couple years, and I'm sick of it. He hasn't been dating AT ALL and he's had to deal with a lot of relationship crap.

I guess I'm worried that he's going to fall in love with someone else and it will all be simple and easy and fun and sweet, the way I wish it had been with us. It feels unfair. We've stuck together through so much shit and I think we didn't work out because of external factors. When I ended things the reasoning was roughly "We love each other but your divorce and other stuff are things you need to deal with on your own." Can I actually be happy for him if he gets seriously involved with someone else? I think that's a little too much for me.

I feel fine about everything else but the dating other people part. I'm considering asking him for some more space. Seeing him has just made me remember how much I want to be with him, and this uneasy limbo is fucking painful. The good parts are great, and I've been doing well re-gaining equilibrium, but it still takes effort, and I don't know if it's what's making me tense and irritable generally.

Lately I've been enjoying being single too and thinking that maybe I don't want to bother with relationships for the next little while, indefinitely. I've generally felt pretty reluctant to let people in. I can be really guarded with my time. But when it comes to Joe... making him happy makes me happy. I can't explain it.

A little complication - he's coming to Penticton next weekend. It'll be fun, but if I tell him NOW that I don't want to be friends after all, that might make things awkward. Maybe I'll tell him after. Not make a big deal of it. Maybe I'll wait a little longer and see.

He has faith that you can fall in and out of love frequently and intentionally. I don't. If I force myself to get over him I feel like I'll be losing something precious.
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(no subject) [Sunday, May 5th, 2013, 10:09 pm]
Xian
Been a crazy hectic week. I want a job more than ever. The freelance thing is stressful even when it's going well. Planning my day every day is fun, but also tiring, and so is trying to keep up with so many people in such an unstructured environment.

Today I made it out to Squamish for the first time this year. I went with Nissan and a friend of his, Lachlan, from the outdoor club, a really strong climber who happily set up top-ropes for us all day (after he'd got a chance on a 5.11d on his to-do list). The weather was beautiful, and the geography up there only gets more meaningful for me the more time I spend there. The Tantalus range and other alpine mountains spreading out in the distance, still flooded with snow and glittering in the sunlight, and the climbing cliffs closer, a little hazy, brown and somehow brooding and friendly at the same time. And that pale green of the scrubby brush that you find everywhere here. Nature makes me sentimental now - it never used to.

On that topic, I visited the Vancouver Aquarium for the first time last week with my brother, and discovered that they had a tropical rainforest section. When I walked in I felt inexplicably and overwhelming like I had been transported back home. It wasn't just that it was warm and humid - it was warm and humid in exactly the right way. And it smelled right, and the soil was just the right shade of brown, the leaves the right shade of green. Even the little exhibits felt like home, the way they were presented. I couldn't put my finger on it. But I felt instantly comforted and homesick, simultaneously.

Back to Squamish. We drove up to Chek, which I think of as my climbing home. We started off at Forgotten Wall, literally right next to the parking lot, which I'd discovered last year with Geoff. It has harder climbs on it and I'm a wuss, but I think I'm ready to push myself. We started right off with a 10a. Usually I warm up on something a couple grades easier, but I just went for it. I don't think 10a is too hard to do cold, actually. I just like to coddle myself.

Anyway. Long, boring climbing story short - did lots of climbs, almost all 10s and over. One 8 that was sort of sketchy and felt like a 10 in places. I'm feeling like I pushed myself and I feel both humbled and confident. I haven't been outdoors in over a year, and last year I only got in about a week or two of climbing before I hurt my ankle. So I felt like a beginner, and the rock was just a bewildering array of STUFF, and I had a lot of trouble figuring out what might be holds - but I felt myself improving and was encouraged.

Long, tiring, beautiful, relaxing day. We climbed in mostly a companionable silence, just how I like it. I want to go climbing with Nissan more often, but he wants a partner that climbs harder grades. So maybe I'd better buck up! The only way to improve is just to climb more.

I also want to start biking more, build up more endurance. Good thing there is a nice hilly bike route right by my place! I think I'm going to rearrange my schedule so I work early morning and evening and can take advantage of nice weather to bike and go to the beach and climb and do other fun stuff.

I saw Joe last weekend. Long story short, I went to the work less party party, stuff happened, I called him to pick me up, and more stuff happened. We shared a weird and intense and amazing and confusing experience, left on good terms, and later chatted on the phone. We haven't really been in touch - although we got chatty on text last night - but we have lunch plans for Tuesday and I'm looking forward to it and also feeling nervous and a little scared.

Life is getting so so full. I need to learn how to prioritise. And come to terms with missing out on some things.
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(no subject) [Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, 09:12 pm]
Xian
Exciting and busy month. I've somehow picked up a whole bunch of freelance work. I started doing some work on Mona's website (I met her at yoga teacher training, she owns a hair salon), and our mutual friend/classmate Sandi saw us working on it and enlisted me to work with her drum studio.

Sandi is much more professional and I feel like I'm learning so much working with her. I'm totally green at this freelance thing and I'm acting a little more professional than I feel, but I trust Sandi enough to be a bit vulnerable with her and trust that she won't take advantage of me. So she's paying me $20/hr (which I feel is generous for me) and I'm billing her for less time than I actually take (I cut out the time I take to learn new stuff, admin, etc), and we both feel like we're getting a good deal. Also she's working pretty closely with me and I feel like I'm learning things about professionalism, being organised, etc.

It's weird because it's new, and I feel like I'm playing at Being A Grown-Up, but this is cool! Grown-ups are just people who have learned more than you have, and I'll never be a Grown-Up... I'll probably be eternally marvelling at all the new things I'm learning and all the things there are to learn.

Sandi's husband Michael took a look at my writing and communication and was apparently so impressed that he wanted to hire me to work with him (he runs a small PR firm) and we'll be working on stuff for PainBC and Vera's Burger Shack. He's already tipped me off that PainBC might be looking for someone on a more permanent basis, and I'm sure he has tonnes of professional contacts that he can hook me up with if I continue to impress him.

I used to be super insecure about job stuff (I guess I still am) and Joe always said not to worry - that I was smart and learned quickly and good at a lot of things and people would notice and pick me up. I never believed him!

I'm STILL applying for jobs. Somehow my cover letter and resume have grown to sound better even though my experience hasn't really, not by much. I'm learning what kinds of things are important, I guess, and picking out the specifics. Like instead of saying "used multi-tasking and organisational skills to successfully run promotional campaign" I'll say "used PR/Communications skills and event organisation skills to succesfully run promotional campaign and attract over 3,500 visitors over 2 days, in only our 2nd year running." Or something like that. Apparently numbers look good. I'm learning to sell myself HARD. Or what feels like hard, anyway.

The traditional job hunt is quiet enough that I'm feeling more comfortable using increasingly casual language and just really PUSHING. MYSELF. ON. THEM. The first time I wrote a desperate sounding email was also the first time I got a personal response back, so I had some positive reinforcement! Now I write emails that basically say I'm fucking awesome, I want a job, you should write me back, come on, do it already. But less swearing.

The job culture thing is really different here than back home. I know at home we're supposed to write in business-ese and I'm actually really good at that - or was. I think I'm losing it. But in a good way. It really doesn't fly here, and I'm surprised by what DOES fly. Maybe my perspective is skewed because too many of my friends work in video games, but Nisan puts STALLION TRAINER on all his resumes and has no trouble getting jobs. Curtis has a bizarre resume that basically says "I'm awesome, hire me." And he has been gainfully employed in his professional field in various jobs for, well, years. And so on. Mine is pretty tame still.

Relationships-wise. I can't remember the last time I've been on a date, but that's probably because my weeks have been busy and I generally don't have a good conception of time. It was probably a week or two ago but it feels like forever. I'm surprised that I don't miss getting laid. I'm generally not that interested in dating anyway. I get excited over new people but it fades pretty quickly and the whole experience of going on a date and discovering all the ways that they are not Joe and feeling disappointed... is disheartening. I should just wait till Joe fades a little more, or until I can have him back.

We traded some emails a week or two ago, and after one or two back and forth I wrote something sunny and positive like I'm happy it ended well, still think well of you, lots of heartache but I don't regret any of it, learned lots, blah blah blah. He wrote back this really... dramatic email. He does have a tendency towards a dire turn of phrase, but still. That was the first time I felt like he put things a bit too dramatically. Probably because every time before that I was caught up in the drama too.

I'm doing him an injustice. It wasn't THAT dramatic, just a couple lines, and he finished by saying that maybe we could get together after his life has settled down a bit, like when he takes his sabbatical. And promised to be more positive after some time had passed. It just really threw up for me how stressed out and chaotic his life is compared to mine. Toxic combinations.

I still miss him like crazy, because for me it was mostly an amazing relationship interspersed with periods of self-doubt and missing him. I guess for him it was an amazing relationship coloured by constant stress over time, baby, Brooke, and a house collapsing around his ears, guilt from both directions, and an inability to make any time for himself. Oh, and interspersed with periods of self-doubt and missing me.

They've sold the house, Brooke officially bought an apartment yesterday, he moved out half a month ago, and his latest work project's official release date is June 25th. So that probably means the month of June will be crazy overtime all the time, which is slightly disappointing, but whatever. I can wait.

And that's what I'm doing right now, waiting for him. It's not that hard with a finite timeline, and I have no real interest in anyone else right now anyway. I'm not pining, but I'm not getting over him either. I'm busy with a whole bunch of other things and relationships are on hold right now and when I think of him I nurture good memories. I don't know if that's good or bad, I have no idea what kinds of feelings he's moving towards, and I'll just have to wait and see and trust what feels right for me.

I'm not sure about anything except that it still feels like unfinished business. My predominant emotion (after wistfulness) is curiosity. It feels like we're halfway on a journey and I want to find out what happens next. Maybe we'll end up together, maybe not, but we're not done yet. There's more growing to be done.

I fucking love my life right now. Except for the "making pitiful amounts of money" part, but it's growing, and I love what I'm doing, and the bank of mom and dad is continuing to subsidize me for the time being, as long as I can show that I'm progressing.
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(no subject) [Thursday, January 3rd, 2013, 02:39 pm]
Xian
I got my second LSAT score today, 173, 99th percentile. UBC is starting to look more like a sure thing. But concurrent with that I'm wondering if I should apply somewhere more competitive. UC Berkeley? U of T? Unsure. It appears that UBC's policy of only taking the best 3 years of undergrad into consideration is more common than I thought, but not the default. My GPA from SFU is 3.08, but that includes about a year's worth of failing grades. I don't know what my grades from Buffalo are but I don't think they're bad.
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(no subject) [Wednesday, July 18th, 2012, 09:43 am]
Xian
Flying back to Singapore for an impromptu visit. I'll be home Friday evening (20th) and leaving again August 12th.

I would like to hang out with everyone that wants to be hung out with!
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(no subject) [Sunday, July 15th, 2012, 04:54 pm]
Xian
Just back from regional Burning Man. So glad I went. More later. Have to squeeze in a nap before going to Sunday dinner at Joe's parents'.
Link2 make a circle

(no subject) [Thursday, May 31st, 2012, 11:09 am]
Xian
It's been a while since I updated! Days have been full of stuff. Life is too interesting to write about from memory. Some things off the top of my head:

- taking Greg to baby yoga
- taking Joe and Greg to slackline with Pete and Geoff in the park
- watching a cheesy movie with Tina at an indie cinema in the West End that I had no idea existed
- sharing a perfect trifle at a dessert restaurant in Kits with Joe, after a romantic day together
- Joe picking me up for our date night after work, and entertaining my impulsive desire to ride the bike out to Kits and sit by the water, and then going to the neighbourhood pub where all the UBC students hang out, and sitting on the couch and talking late into the night. Riding into the late afternoon sun as we head west down Broadway.
- Going to the Mine Museum at Britannia Beach and taking a train into the old mine and watching our tour guide demo the fearsomely loud old drills and other mine equipment.
- Going to the Revelry party and snuggling with Joe in the backstage play space and realising that I knew half the people there. Watching Ryan doing suspension bondage, bumping into someone from the poetry slam, Pete telling me about hooking his friend up with someone, who turns out to be a friend of mine... feeling safe and happy and connected.
- Going to Wreck Beach for the first time, lying in the sun, reading The Princess Bride with Joe
- Riding the motorcycle on a sunny day, holding my sweetheart close and talking about houses and trees and the other minutiae of living, together
- Taking Joe to a cartoonist convention and watching him be really pleased and interested in everything
- Hanging out with Joe's parents after a delicious dinner and cake that I baked, watching Greg run around and do ridiculous things

Still laid up with the sprained ankle, but I'm able to walk now, although it still hurts.

I'm thinking about law school. Registered for the LSAT, at least. But it's a lot of money and 4 years before anything approaching stability.
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