Have a Break, Have a Kitkat

Hey everyone!

I’m back after almost two weeks of not writing anything and taking a break from writing and updating this blog.

A lot has happened during that week and a half off and I am more refreshed than ever. Ready to kick ass and conquer the last quarter of the year.

A quick reflection.

It has been so long since I have ever felt like I am happy and/or content with my life. There was a huge thunderstorm cloud that hung over my head wherever I went for a good year or so.

It was absolutely horrible – nothing that I did ever made me feel joy. There was a huge void in my life and that even when I was trying to be happy, it felt forced and most of all, it felt like a chore.

Hanging out with my family? I am not sure if I should even be here.

Working my job? I only took this job because I thought it would be my ticket to bring me closer to him.

Talking to friends? I want someone to commiserate with.

Now that I was able to have a break and just see my surroundings, my struggles, my victories and my life for what it is and appreciate it, it is like a veil has been lifted off my eyes and I can see again. I can work towards my goals again.

I am like the prophet Elijah and you are too. Sometimes, you just need a break.

The Updates

Update #1: A Part-Time Job

I started working as a part-time waitstaff for one of my favourite restaurants here in Hong Kong. There are things that I am saving up for like a LASIK surgery and a Master’s degree so you know, the dough is not going to work itself. I don’t know for how long I will be keeping this up but I am aiming for six months to a year. It also depends on how long the business will keep me because they are definitely looking for someone who is there full-time.

Update #2: Working on my Certifications

I was given another chance to work on my certifications and I have been taking it seriously. There’s a lot of restructuring that needs to happen in my life if I want to accommodate both learning and my part-time job. I’ll get there.

I have sacrificed a lot of sleep for a guy who was not even worth my time which I learned a little too late. This time around I am sacrificing it for something better. Sometimes, you just got to do it.

Update #3: Changing the blog space

I’m working on changing my blog’s appearance and its contents. I’m thinking of giving it more structure as I want to showcase things that I have been collecting, that I have been trying and places that I am going to visit and revisit.

It is a public journal so a little structure would be good.

The Goals

I have been reading up on The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran which I stumbled upon when I was watching Gabe Bult’s channel and on to another Youtuber’s channel. Seriously, check out Gabe Bult’s channel.

Summary:

  • Complete Caroline Girvan’s Epic I and lose 10 lbs (do a mini-cut) and complete C25K
  • Complete all of my PRINCE 2 Certifications and PMP certification
  • Complete a no-buy for the next 12 weeks (except for today, I really would like to have a pumpkin spice latte. Basic but it only comes once a year.)
    • Rules for my no-buy:
      • No eating out unless it’s a special occasion (birthdays, company parties)
        • Essentials are okay – replacement products, repairs etc.
        • No games, no books, no clothes, no accessories and no make-up stuff. Read through all the ones I have first. Also, Dishonored is such a great game!
  • Hit my target goal for my company (70%).
  • Read more.

It’s almost like another attempt at 75 hard challenge and this time around, without any emotional baggage weighing me down, it is on.

Some of the goals will not start until tomorrow like the no-buy challenge but unofficially, we are starting the following today:

  • Caroline Girvan’s Epic I
  • Read more
  • Certifications and,
  • 70% for my company.

It feels completely absurd to start on a Wednesday when it says Monday but here we are!

That’s it! See you Sunday for an update. 🙂

Cheers!

My 100 Day Challenge: A Pocketful of Sunshine

Shout out to Jack Edward Tuttle from The Writing Struggle for the brilliant idea of applying Agile and Scrum principles to complete a 100-day goal. I first learned about it when I was reading Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal but I was not entirely sure how to apply it. Thanks, guys!

Check their blogs here

SPRINTStart DateEnd DateRewards
122 June 202201 July 2022Waxing Session
202 July 202211 July 20222x Uniqlo Pyjamas
312 July 202221 July 2022Fjallraven Kanken
422 July 202231 July 2022
501 August 202210 August 2022
611 August 202220 August 2022
721 August 202230 August 2022
831 August 202209 September 2022
910 September 202219 September 2022
1020 September 202230 September 2022
Important Sprit Dates.

In my previous post, I put an emphasis on how important it is to rest. Reframing my definition of rest is to work while taking it slowly. I know that I have been drowning myself with extra-curricular activities so as to avoid drowning in another bucket called feelings. However, I am done y’all. I am tired of being sick and tired and there is no better time to start today.

THE RULES

*Some of these rules were heavily inspired by Jack Edward Tuttle and some of which I changed to tailor them to my needs and goals.

  1. MEALS. I will not undertake any other challenges during the 100-day challenge as my main focus is to lose weight and get used to eating healthier. I’m also on a goal to determine what is causing my bloat.
  2. MEALS. I will be meal planning throughout my 100-day challenge but that is not to say that the meals I will be cooking should not be boring. Except for the inevitable eating out, all of my meals will be homemade. If I find that I’m craving deep-fried chicken, I should reassess my meal plan.
  3. MEALS. No snacking and no cheat meals. There is the need to savour the food that I eat and that means taking 20 minutes to eat an entire meal. If I’m hungry after my first portion, I’m allowed to have seconds.
  4. DRINKS. My aim is to drink 70oz or 2.10 L daily. I am an avid milky coffee or milky tea drinker so as long as I keep it homemade instead of going to a coffee shop and to once a day, I should be good.
  5. EXERCISE. On top of my current physical activities, I’m just going to go out for long walks and aim for 10,000 steps a day like I used to.
  6. ACCOUNTABILITY. Create a YouTube channel detailing each sprint, and take photos of every food and drink I eat for the next 100 days.
  7. ACCOUNTABILITY. After each sprint, a short period for reflection on the previous sprint (what worked, what didn’t work) and a planning phase (groceries and cooking schedule) for the upcoming sprint.
  8. ACCOUNTABILITY. I should weigh myself every single day before consuming anything and after peeing.
  9. REWARDS. There should be a reward for each sprint and I will slowly be filling up the ‘Rewards’ column week by week.
  10. EXCEPTIONS & SOCIALS. I will be celebrating birthdays in August and in September. There are no hard restrictions on socialising and its effects on my diet plan. Should such an occasion arise, I need to go through my rules and use judgment. I should be able to eat and drink what I like. Alcohol will only be reserved for exceptional events like birthdays or company celebrations. Taking inspiration from Jack’s Rule 15 , “If they occur frequently, I need to reassess my commitment to the challenge. Should such an event occur, I can eat and drink what I like (holding back if it is polite to do so and within reason). I shouldn’t rely on willpower alone to ensure I stick to my diet plan and should go with the flow. I can drink wine or spirits but steer clear of beer, if possible. Count the occasion as a cheat and resume the challenge as normal for the next meal. Try, if possible, to plan and factor in an exceptional occasion in advance but also accept life happens and sometimes things are unpredictable. That being the case, roll with it, enjoy it and move on when it is over.
  11. EXCEPTIONS & SOCIALS. In relation to Rule #3, I should trust myself that I will be doing the right thing. If I crave, say, fries, I’m going make myself some fries.

I’m ready to take a step forward and leave the past in the past.

Sincerely yours,

Allison.

Life Reset at 26

Currently Reading:
The Body Keeps the Score : Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma

Despite my motion sickness, I have always been pulled to go on adventures. My sister presented an opportunity to go diving and my goal is to either go free diving or explore sunken ships. A desperate need for myself to disappear or to find myself existing for a day, just me in complete serenity and peace. That would be bliss.

At some certain points in our lives, we will have points where we find ourselves muttering, ‘Man, I need a reset’ or in my case, a break. When I was twenty-four, I was frustrated with my job and my financials. Seeing how freeing it is to live separately from my parents without fully weighing the pros and cons and with the incessant encouragement of someone who used to be a friend, I took out a huge loan so that I can move out on my own. My friend at the time was not entirely to blame as when I was regaling her with my woes from my parents’ place (six people in a 350 sq.f. flat, hello!), I did not tell her about my finances. I think it would have been a different story altogether if I did.

Anyway, at the height of my debt, 2020, loan sharks kept calling me. On bad days, I would glance at my phone and see a log of 100 missed calls and the businesses here have thug-like practices where they will harass you on the phone as well as lurking around your building which, thank God, did not happen to me. (For reference: check this Bagel Feud happening in Hong Kong). After a few months of breaking down both from work and from my bad finances, I came clean to my boyfriend at that time. Now, you know why my parents told me that was one of the reasons why he left me. At this point, that might be true and there is no point in thinking about it but 2020 was just full of ‘I need a break.

After 2020, I was able to pay all of my outstanding accounts and find a new job. Truly, I thought I was about to get some rest because I was planning on just saving up for my big move then, lo and behold, at the tail-end of 2021, the breakup happened. Stress levels were at an all-time high because I have been looking for jobs in the UK, applying without any luck then all of a sudden, everything went down the drain. Out of a job, I applied for a job that I still think would help me transfer to a different country, and amidst my heartbreak, I would quickly wipe my tears, go for the interview, and then resume crying.

As I have written before when I get stressed and overwhelmed, I tend to go overdrive. I poured all of my energy into exercise and my job. For ten straight months, my schedule has been jam-packed. There’s barely any time for doing nothing, true rest and relaxation – a sabbath if you will.

Now, sitting here in a half-empty Starbucks place in Time Square and listening to a podcast, it hit me, ‘I need a life reset’. I have already talked about what kind of goals I have set for the latter half of 2022 but I do not have a set plan on how I am going to achieve said goals. Having the realisation that I need a life reset means that I’m feeling burned out and I am not living sustainably. Just think, barely having energy for the physical activities I set out for myself, having no focus at work, and this sinking feeling that it would be better if I was temporarily unalive for a month are clear indicators that something is wrong at least, for me.

Two of the highlighted lines I

Anything is preferable to that godforsaken sense of irrelevance and alienation.

page 115
What cannot be communicated to the [m]other cannot be communicated to the self. If you cannot communicate what you know or feel what you feel, the only option is denial and dissociation... When you don't feel real nothing matters, which makes it impossible to protect yourself from danger. Or you may resort to extremes in effor to feel something - even cutting yourself with razor blade or getting into fistfights with strangers - page 121.
6 month goals
Priorities
1 year
Priorities
1. In before end of 2023, I apply for my Master’s and take some time off from working.
3 year
Priorities

With the help of this book, I am learning more and more about compounded trauma, its effect, and maybe that there is something that I can do to help myself. I am trying my best to reframe that feeling of not being good enough – for anyone and for myself. For anyone, because I got dumped then it must be so, and for myself because I let it affect me so much. This much needed life reset, I hope, helps me slowly get myself out of the pit that I find myself in and find the much needed equilibrium that has been lost due to the events that came about over the last five years with the breakup being the straw that broke the camel’s back.

As my week-long vacation draws near, I am hoping to write more, rethink and update this post with my priorities, and last but not the least, clean my room.

Sincerely,

Allison

Rogue One in Tai Hang! 🚀

I feel at home the most in Causeway Bay.

22 April 2022

Stars Wars: Rogue One. this date marks the first time I have ever watched Rogue One since it came out back in 2016 and to add more to the insult, I have seen I, II, III or I think I have had seen them, I don’t remember. I have never seen Star Trek, original or otherwise and I have only seen one film of Indiana Jones. I have not seen a lot of beloved TV series like The Twilight Zone or Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Seinfeld and movies like the ones I mentioned earlier. It is definitely not because of my parents as my Dad loves to watch movies and I remember he would take the entire family for a day out to the cinemas. Also, I grew up watching movies as a social thing as my siblings and I would watch a movie before our afternoon siesta on a weekend when my mom is out for errands and it is just us and the help.

Even then, I rarely join any movie viewing at home because I cannot sit still for the life of me. I found out that unless I am doing something like maybe standing or stretching while watching or it is the last thing that needs to be done for the day, I normally will not watch anything unless I pencil it into my schedule. Case in point, I spontaneously decided to watch Rogue One because I knew I did not have any set plans for Saturday and that I finished all of the things I needed to finish for the day (work, hoop, chores, etc.,).To illustrate, I watched it in bed while I was having Five Guys for dinner. Sure, I’m a YouTube fiend but unless it is a movie with small details or just something I find interesting or a video format is like TwoSetViolin which uses a lot of visual elements, I lack general interest.

Watching movies just to fit in or doing any activity for that matter, you know, because everyone is doing it is not something I do. I tried multiple times and at different life intervals and it made me just hate myself. I’d rather like myself and dislike most people than dislike myself and dislike people.

Going back K2SO or K2 is definitely my favourite character because he reminds me of Marvin from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He’s the best. He’s so cocky, that aluminium bastard but it is justified because he is good at what he does. Overall, it is an okay movie and I think I appreciate the movie’s straightforwardness – it has a beginning, a conflict, a climax and a tragic end albeit a bittersweet and hopeful ending, I suppose? Riz Ahmed is in it and it took me back to when my ex and I watched another movie he starred in titled Four Lions which I think is also an okay movie. If I were to rate it, it will be like a solid 7. Will I watch it again? Only if somebody asks to watch or rewatch it together. Haha.

23 April 2022

The Baker and the Bottleman. I have to tell you about jelly doughnuts. Do you know how much I love them? I love jelly doughnuts so much that I kept pestering my ex for doughnuts when we were in Germany. I can laugh about it now but at that time, I was so frustrated because he kept denying me my doughnuts. As much as I like Hong Kong, we don’t really have good doughnuts and it makes me sad. The doughnut from the Baker and the Bottleman was a bit dry, the jelly was good though! When I went there, they didn’t really have a wide selection of pastries unlike Bakehouse but maybe because it was three in the afternoon. I don’t know.

FINEPRINT. The raspberry muffin was top-tier! I would really recommend it but I feel like I made a mistake by asking for milk in my cold brew because it tasted like diluted coffee water. Imagine a teaspoon tip of instant coffee dissolved 340 mL of water. I could barely taste the milk as well. It was just weak coffee so I might do a proper review with their single-origin coffee or an iced or hot cappuccino or latte depending on the day. There’s a tiny regret as I could have paid for what is turning out to be my favourite chilled coffee which is from Coffee Academics called Dirty Original and it is a shop of espresso with cold milk if I’m not mistaken and it’s really good.

It is one of my goals to explore each district based on what I research online and since we started with Tai Hang, please stay tuned to see my next article about it. Days like this make me appreciate the transience of life because no matter how much I enjoyed today, the day has come to an end as I’m writing this. I can only look forward to tomorrow. It is also a day like this that makes me think of what if I’m here with a significant other instead? Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with being alone but while I find the experience special as it is, I think it will be a little bit more special to share it with someone special.

That’s enough from me. I wish you a great week ahead.

Sincerely,

My Little Gallery Wall

Crossing out #91 from my 100 goals list. Woo!

Here is my little gallery wall that houses all of my dreams and aspirations at the time I decorated this wall.

As basic as it is, I find that it is important to have a reminder of the people and things that I love and that I am grateful for every single day, the person that I am aspiring to be, things that I am aspiring to have – my goals, my hopes, my dreams and my values. As one can tell, I surrounded my dreams (second row) with the things and people that I love (first, third and fourth row). I was not planning on any order, it just so happened to be that way and maybe I did it subconsciously as a reminder to be appreciative and happy of what I already have while I’m working my way towards my dreams.

Of course, not all photos are on here and that’s to be expected as some dreams and goals are nearer and dearer to my heart.

Since I am still working from home, I sometimes look at this wall to be reminded of what I need to do and to appreciate what I have. To enjoy the process instead of bemoaning it. For someone like me who is sometimes paralysed by envy, self-doubt, perfection and lack-mentality, this has become a place of mental relief.

In a world where perfection is prized and burnout and popularity are the top currencies, I am okay with being an outlier as long as I make progress and reach fulfilment in, I do not know, my own journey.

Progress over Perfection.

Sincerely,