A Sunshine State of Mind

I’ve written before that sometimes I am haunted by apparitions of the past.

It has not been that bad recently – I would occasionally turn my head to someone with a slightly hunched figure in a white t-shirt and light-washed jeans passing by. I would still berate myself for commenting on well-used pair of Vans when he asked if he should get a new pair of shoes. God, I miss his voice.

Anyway, it hasn’t been bad, I swear. It was just those moments when I was on a walk and a similar figure with a head full of sandy blond hair would catch my attention every so often that I would have to tell myself that there was absolutely no fucking way will he be back in here, a place he left behind for home and for greener pastures.

With the place opening up to the world again and the restrictions that broke and placed strains on relationships being lifted little by little, I feel a surge of hope that needs to be suffocated to death. Yes, I’m talking about those scenes in television dramas where a helpless chap on his hospital bed gets suffocated by a pillow by the villain.

The feelings had an uptick when I was cleaning for the Lunar New Year. Photos and memorabilia of what used to be were unearthed. I wasn’t going to look but the letters fell when I was moving it to store it somewhere else. I sat down and read the first letter and last letter that was sent. Those letters were starkly different. To spare you the details, learning how to read between the lines is an important life skill to acquire early on.

The apparitions – I wish they just would leave me alone.

Welcoming 2023 Early 🎆

End Result: Gratitude

The end of 2021 and 2022 may have been less than ideal but I can confidently say that I am really grateful for this year and a half. I am still sorting my priorities as there is a much-needed realignment on what I would like to accomplish in the coming years.

It dawned on me last Saturday how happy I am and grateful for the things and the people I have in my life. It took quite some time to get to where I am now but boy, I can confidently say that I’m content and happy where I am now. Could life still be improved? Yes, of course. Am I still working to move forward towards my goals? Yes, definitely but instead of slugging through daily life, apathetic or hating every single second of it, I’m enjoying the journey. I learned that I can take a serious and heavy beating and cry about it for as long as I can until I fully let it out but, in the end, I will rise up, bloodied and soldier on, tougher and hopefully, wiser than before. I also learned that I am quite resourceful and quick on my feet to come up with and execute different solutions to my problems.

Journey before destination.

Thank God that God created me as someone who’s tough as nails and I thank my parents for nurturing that trait in me. It was during this time of weakness I was able to pinpoint some of my strengths. Knowing what these are, I hope to use them to help others in their times of crisis.

Strength before weakness.

As 2022 is about to come to a close, I would like to give it my thanks because without this year, I would have not been able to drill into my head that there is more to life than my current situation. The healing process, as cringy and cliche as it sounds, did wonders for my growth towards self-actualisation. My desperation, the hurt and the negative voices in my head made me cling to that dying hope and will to live inside me. Every day was a struggle and it was a mental battle to find the balance between toxic optimism and self-flagellating depression.

As new experiences, happy or sad, compounded, my attention was brought to the present instead of the past. When I reminisce about the past, I simply remind myself, “He will never come back. He left for something or someone he thinks is better than you. He will never come back and he has forgotten about you. Just walk away. Don’t come back to this place that you’ve worked so hard to move on from.” I do now know if you need to hear those words but if I were to give you words of advice from whatever it is you’re experiencing, always fight for your will and right to live.

Life is going to be a struggle but fight to see how your life unfolds. Live.

Life before death.

Up Next!

Hey guys, thank you for staying with me through this turbulent time in my life. I really appreciate it. I’m getting back to regularly writing, creating artwork and photography. Once I have a rough trajectory of what I want to accomplish this coming year, I’ll be writing an article about that so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I hope everyone is staying warm and healthy. Christmas is coming around the corner and I hope that, whether you’re celebrating it alone or with family or friends, you have a wonderful one.

Thank you again and I appreciate each and every one of you.

With much love,

Allison Lagarde

Coming of Age

Revisiting my earlier posts, I admit that I was still holding on to some kind of hope that my ex would come back to me. I was fantasizing about how he will fly back to Hong Kong and then, we will meet again at one of the most memorable spots we have gone to throughout our relationship. It would be by some kind of twist of fate or a one-of-a-kind miracle that God grants to those He loves. After all, I believe that miracles still do happen. I think this miracle is just not for me.

As days turned to months and months turned to a year, my hope dwindled. I prayed and prayed but nothing happened. My prayers evolved into reminding myself that he will never come back and that he has forgotten about me – an anaesthetic to that longing that does not go away. In the midst of my proactive waiting, someone told me that when someone leaves you, it’s usually because they think they can do better and that they will be happier with someone else than with you. Is it the truth? I don’t know but I wouldn’t deny its plausibility.

It was like someone splashed cold water on me when I heard those words. It made sense and these words were what I needed to hear to decide where I stand in all of this. Thus, I am able to fully let go and release any hope regarding that what-if. Hopefully, I can give all of my sincerity to the things I do daily and to my goals as there’s no lying that it took the wind out of my sails.

By ending this ‘should I or should I not’ game that I have played with myself for over a year, I hope to fully be alive instead of living half-assedly. Someone told me recently that I was their sunshine and it makes me think of those days when my happiness was unbounded in spite of the problems that I faced. I want to get to that point again. I want to become that person again – a person who’s mature yet beholds everything with a child-like wonder. I think it would be nice to regain a piece of my old self back.

This was an indubitable coming-of-age experience and I feel like I have become every aspect of the word, ‘Adult’. This was a major character development on my part and seeing it for what it is is a strange experience. To recall what my ex said, maybe I’m better for it.

Sincerely yours,


Fluorescent Adolescent

Remember when the boys were all electric?

I sit here with a newfound love for this song.

As I was going through one of the earlier playlists that I like, Uppers, I realise that 2022 has been a crawl and I’m not even talking about the macroenvironment. I find it absolutely outstanding that so many things happened over the course of a year like – moving flats (again.), going on a couple of dates, helping my mother get a job, helping my rabbit give birth, letting go of some of my rabbits, my sister graduating and getting a job, becoming friends again with E, falling out – just so many things that I failed to journal because of the roller coaster I was on.

Now I’m settling down into a new flat, working on my career, and working on reentering the social scene, and maybe pursuing my travel plans next year. I still dream of my life from two to three years ago every now and then because sometimes maybe I peaked then but I believe that there will be many more peaks and troughs in life. So I look back at my life from the end of 2018 to mid-2021 fondly.

In terms of my romantic life, well, love will find me again. I didn’t look for it then, and I won’t look for it now.



Hello, November! 🦃

I am officially out of the slump!

Healing, depending on the person, takes a really long time and much like losing and keeping the weight off, it is not linear.

It took about more than a year but I have started enjoying life the way I did before my first relationship, maybe even a bit more. It is truly just now that I get to see the nuggets of wisdom that I earned over the last three months which I can slowly but surely, apply to my life.

Lastly, without these changes, I would have not been able to appreciate just how far I have come since August 2021.

Reflections on Some Areas of my Life

1. Self and Self-Improvement

My flatmate is moving out by the end of November or early December and for the first time since I moved out, I will have a relatively huge space to myself. I am absolutely excite and looking forward to it as this oddly timed event signals the end of a chapter and the start of a new one. I can definitely attest that it is almost like having an interlude or a filler chapter as this was a rather awkward and unsatisfying but maybe necessary year of my life.

I do not know the reason why the stars did not align and that I have to stay back for a few more months. Maybe I will never know why and this is some kind of plot device to move the story forward. All I know is that I will be using this time to recoup and regroup so that I can further figure out what my priorities are and whittle away the distractions.

After all, my 27th year is just around the corner and well, my Dad reminded me that I’m not getting any younger so, I need to get moving.

2. Career and Money

In one of my recent articles, I talked about how I had a brief stint moonlighting as a waitstaff in one of my favourite casual dining places in Hong Kong. It proved to be one of the most stressful things that I ever did recently as I was trying to give my 200% to both my full time job and my part time job. I almost burnt out doing that but it did provide insight and new lessons about health, career and money.

  • I think health is definitely one of the pillars of wealth. We all have to make sacrifices every now and then but, when I sacrificed my health, my performance at work started to suffer and my quality of life went down considerably. It took me a long time to get where I can be a little bit more comfortable without overextending myself.
  • Being debt-free is a blessing. Granted that I’m almost there, just finishing off the balance from my credit card but the idea of being debt-free and having enough savings sounds like heaven to me. I made a lot of bad decisions in my early 20s and it took me years to recover but this is the last leg of the race and I pray to God that I do not fall in the same line of thinking ever again. If there’s one thing I can advice in this article is that do not put yourself in the same situation that you asked God to help you get out off.
  • Learn how to be smarter. I got scammed recently and both my parents agreed that I give my all at the start of a relationship / friendship. I kind of knew that this might be the case but I usually justified it as why shouldn’t I right? When I reflect back on all of my friendships and my relationships, I was the one who got hurt the most in the end. My mother pointed this out as well and now I understand why ‘trust is earned, not given’. As an extension of this, so is any friendship or any relationship.

There is so much to say about this but those are the three major takeaways that I had over the last three months.

3. Romance and Love Life

I know, for a fact, that I’m not ready to date. I tried going on a date and he was nice but my heart was not in it. It is not the guy’s fault but I am very much in the camp of finding someone, being friends, falling in love, getting married and then it will be until death do us part.

As cheesy as it sounds, my ex-boyfriend found me and it took a lot of discernment from my side because I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this person. He became a great friend and then became my best friend. I still think that meeting him and us, confessing our love for each was one of the most magical moments in my life. My ex was an amazing person and he has set the bar high. Whoever he ends up with is definitely one lucky person.

As for me and as controversial as it is in today’s dating culture, I will be proactively waiting for someone to come along for now who decides to choose me and I, him. It is a crucial time for me to sow seeds as much as I can so that I and my loved ones can have a better future.

I will say it again that August up until early October has been an awkward transition and were just months of constant change. Without it though, I would have not felt that I matured even just a little bit. I am starting to love my life and starting to feel alive again. It feels good as I get to appreciate more of the things that I used to enjoy and the people I would have missed creating connections with had I stayed being sad.

I’m happy to be back.

Have a lovely end of October and a beautiful start to November.


Growing Pains

I think it is quite interesting how life keeps surprising you while you’re alive. I do not think that I will ever get used to losing friends and people while growing up and getting older. Growing pains take on a new form than just an ache in your bones. People focus on the physical pains but no one really prepares you for the pains as well as the joys of growing up, getting older, and just by the virtue of being alive.

Unexpected Surprise

With a month and a half left, I learned that my flatmate is leaving even when it was written in our flatmate agreement that there should be at least three months’ notice. She made it clear that she is not going to extend her stay at least another month to help me out so that’s why I have started scrambling to get into a routine that will help ease the decision fatigue over the course of next year. With the current state of my life, I cannot afford the time and the energy to go apartment hunting.

It came to me as a shock initially but I think it only solidifies my thinking that maybe this is for the best and it would also be better for me if we stop being friends because I do not think it would be wise to be friends with someone who leaves you high and dry.

On another note, someone came back into my life recently. We had a chat and he and I were reminiscing about the old days and catching up. We didn’t talk for a period of about two years or so because of life but after being left behind, I felt some regret about letting this friendship go by the wayside. I have my reservations because a year of barely talking and being apart does not make any difference in one’s growth but I never say no to reconciliation.

Life has thrown me plenty of curved balls to the head recently and some have given me concussions.

The answers are not always as straightforward as they seem to be.

New Plans, New Ventures

Due to the sudden turn of events, you got to adapt.

My plans of saving up for a Master’s or a move out of the country may take a little longer since I have to adjust to the new constraint. If ceteris paribus applied to real life, I would have achieved it by the end of next year but, it would take me an additional 6 to 12 months I might as well look to leave by 2025. Even then, I do not know what the next six months have in store for me.

All I know is that I would have to look for another income stream to make sure that I cover the additional portion of my rent that was previously split with my flatmate.

Well, it seems like I have to scrap the majority of my plan and start all over again.



Easing into a new routine: Sleep

Hello guys!

It has not even been a hot minute but, man, taking up a physical job is a more enormous task than I thought it would, especially on an ‘All You Can Eat’ Mussels Monday or of course, on a Friday evening. So before I start the 75-day hard challenge, I need to find and figure out what my schedule would be like on top of other commitments.

The good news is that by the end of the evening, all I want to do when I get home is to feed my pets, rinse, watch a couple of YT videos then, maybe journal and spend some time with the pets then go to bed. The entire ritual would take me about an hour to an hour and a half so I go to bed at 12:30 or 1 AM, max, depending on what time I get home which is better than when I was sleeping at 2 to 3 AM for no apparent reason other than I am not sleepy. A year to a year and a half of sleeping way past midnight ruined my circadian rhythm and well, I gotta scale it back a bit.

Before, from the time I hit the hay and go to sleepy time junction, I would wake up, unfortunately, close to 8, 8:30 which is cutting it close for my daytime job. I have been trying for a year to start waking up at 6 or 7 like how I used to but it is usually a hit or a miss and it is often a miss. Now, I’m aiming to wake up around 6 AM and eventually, easing back to a 5 AM or a 5:30 AM wake-up time like before so I can squeeze in a workout, spend some time with the pets, learn, sweep, wipe counters, journal and all that other stuff that I do but at an earlier time of the day.

Over the next few days, with the official start of my 75-day hard challenge being Monday, 10 October 2022, I will be waking up at 6:30 to finalise how a day would typically look like until the end of the year. Afterwards, when I finish my third month of working as a waitstaff, I’ll reevaluate to see if it would be worth to keep or if it would be better look for a freelance or, another part-time job that is less physical.

I will write about this and have a monthly check-in but definitely look forward to how I will be establishing a daily routine over the next 75 days and refining my rules and goals even more and no, I may or may not try Andy Frisella’s rules but definitely the 1 gallon of water rule. Haha!

It is going to be a rather interesting three months.

See you!



When it is a terrible time to fall in love

The title says it all.

Falling for someone when you do not have the time or the resources to do so is a conundrum that I am quite familiar with as I have faced this before.

The idea of entertaining or pursuing a romantic interest or to just let it pass by.

There are a few questions running inside my head right now that direct me to what I need to do and what I know and understand that I need to do like:

  • You’re preparing to undergo entrance exams and applications. Will you have the time?
  • You’re saving up for said master and possible immigration. Will you be able to spend some funds?
  • Have you even met this person in person?
  • From the get-go, do you think you have the same values?
  • Do you actually like this person or are you just craving companionship?
  • Can you say that you don’t have any more emotional baggage if you were to pursue this?
  • Should I? Should I not?

This set of questions is similar to the a set of questions I asked myself previously to which I have overridden the majority of the answers by saying, ‘Fuck it. Whatever happens, happens.’

I can only imagine the immense stress on my brain as it pushes against a proverbial front door as my heart bangs incessantly against it frantic and screaming, “Come on! Take a risk. You don’t know what’s going to happen! Maybe it will work this time. It has been so long since you have had any sort of romance, just please indulge me once in a while. It has been a hard year and it’s not even over. Please, please. PLEASE!

Now that I am writing it down, I see how insane my heart is. To quote Albert Einstein and his Parable of Quantum Insanity,

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein

Like a parent to a child, it kind of hurts to deny me of something that most people require but I know it is for my own good. Deep down inside, I know that the answer is not yet. The good thing is though, I get to do a do-over of what I should have done the first time around and maybe, I’ll be able to gauge how long this infatuation will last and use this to save myself from less than ideal situations.

It is a strange way of exercising self-control and self-discipline but it is only strange because this thinking or value is not what is usually propagated in the media and the apparent instant gratification culture that we have. YOLO, anyone? It is not to say that I have not fallen for it because I have, clearly, but what I’m trying to get across is that there should be calculated risk in taking up an opportunity and therefore, it is alright to say no and I do not want to get burned twice.

This is in no way self-flagellation but rather, self-care. Thinking and taking action for the long term is a form of self-care.

One last note that I would like to make is that this guy is into D&D and I refuse to have my heart broken again by another D&D player as much as I would like to be able to play D&D with my partner.

Truly, my disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined.




26 November 2019, An Excerpt

The song was on repeat when we were first getting to know each other.

Reflection on the current situation:

Have you ever wondered what love is like? What love is? I have.

For years, I have always wondered what love, romantic love, would be like. Even now, I still wonder what it is – what it feels like and how it is going to present itself when it comes knocking at my door. I think that at 23, it is a bit late to start your first relationship because you miss out on all the childish and innocent moments that youth get to relish and experience without the strains that accompany adulthood. Yet, at the same time, it is almost the perfect age to have your first because you are somewhat young enough to still have some of those experiences while viewing the relationship through realistic lenses. I believe that, at 23, one would be mature enough to know yourself and handle your own life whilst being in a relationship.

I would know this to be true due to having a few previous unrequited love. As I like to give it my all in every opportunity I chance upon and take, you throw your whole being into it in the hopes of being loved back. I thought that it was love from a different perspective and that was also love teaching me what it is not.

Now love has different plans.

Now, he has stormy grey eyes. Beautiful grey eyes that reminds me of quiet and soothing rainy days where everything seems to be washed anew. I told him before that I am from the islands and I love the sun but now when I look into his eyes, I am starting to love the rain, the thunder and the lightning just a tad bit more.

Now he has hair that aptly becomes like a halo in the sun. He hates his hair because he thinks it is sandy in colour but I love it. The way it gives him a soft glow and how it contrasts his grey eyes. It is really lovely, just like him.

Now he has a gentle voice that matches how kind he is. He has managed to evoke emotions in me just by hearing him say my name. I get elated like I have never been before and my heartstrings are tugged and thus, my heart cannot help but sing a tune in glee. Don’t get me started on his smile because when I think of him smiling, I try my hardest to stop myself from swooning.

This guy has his imperfections but who doesn’t? He is just perfect the way he is and I love him more and more each day. I am, without a doubt, grateful that I get to love him and I am so happy that I get to spend my life with such an amazing person.

Regardless, I still sometimes wonder why love came when it did but one thing I know is for sure, I have never been so content in my life up until now.

I was 23 and I was smitten like a moth to a flame.

If I had enough self-awareness to know that I would combust eventually then maybe, I would have been able to avoid the catastrophe that followed. I mean I think I did because at the beginning I told him that he would be either my greatest love or my greatest disappointment and hurt.

Unfortunately, we all know how it went down. I just think that this excerpt from November 2019 reminds me of Bruno Major’s Regent Park which I will leave here as a closing to this rather sentimental page from my journal.

I think that this song summed this relationship perfectly.

Sincerely yours,