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Storytelling

storytelling

I’m getting better at storytelling.

Per the McKinsey workshop, storytelling is constructed on content, tone, and body language. The biggest praise came on my content, although I did get compliments on tone. I know my content is great – my stories, compared to those of so many around me, are so interesting – crazy even. I had them on the edge of their seats – and this was just a 3 minute story that was part of a work shop.

Anyways, the point of this blog is to note my progress in this goal of mine – being better at story telling.

Also, this blog is getting stale and I need to commit better to writing weekly.

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Watering Attraction 

I haven’t realized this til now but I’ve been subconsciously studying what makes people attractive recently. I don’t mean physically, but by way of actions. I’m learning from attractive (in this sense) people in my  social circle. Showing care, different ways of caring. Showering someone with attention – remembering what they said in passing weeks ago, checking up on them for when their brow furrowed when they thought no one was looking. Certain highly-sought-after people have this in common and it’s no coincidence.

Another problematically attractive thing I’ve noticed about someone is their empty promises.

Guess I really am making an effort to earn how to love.

 

Edit (June 12): why am I so bad at writing/articulating my thoughts.

“…And I’m listening to you… tell me this story about this girl, and all of a sudden… you jump from starting to develop a crush… to all of this” she looped her hands wildly around.

“We’ve talked about this. This is a classic case of you overthinking… again.”

She’s right. Overthinking is normal but I over-overthink. The crush has barely started yet I’m already painting out everything that can go wrong, all our incompatibilities, and all these stupid reasons excuses why it wouldn’t work out between me and her.

One of my new year’s resolutions was to let myself be emotionally vulnerable. So don’t think, just do. Let’s do this, no reservations.

Moving on

On one hand, being single feels great.

Sure it’s all I’ve known my whole life, but doing things at my own pace is so freeing and I feel like I get a lot more done.

On the other hand, I do want to be in a relationship with someone. But the internal struggle here is finding someone who I will not tire of and who won’t make me lose my (short) patience, someone who will make me a better person.


A friend winged me real good the other night.

She drunkenly announced at the bar, “I’m gonna wing you tonight” and I told her I thought the girl in the jean vest was cute. This dummy goes up to her and dances with her. Then she keeps signalling me over to dance with her. After much hesitation I did, and we ended up talking a little. I asked my friend what she said to her, and apparently she’d said “my friend thinks you’re cute”, and she was into it. At one point, I volunteered as tribute to a four-person competition which involved popping balloons with our bodies. Unfortunately jean-vest girl didn’t go up for it, but on the bright side, I ended up winning three free drinks and two tickets to an Idina Menzel concert.

She left fairly early, at about 1am, but when she did, she came to say bye. So I said “One of the biggest regrets in life is not getting a cute girl’s number.” And I whipped out my phone.

I’m two for two with that pickup line.

But I’m more cautious than ever with getting emotionally invested. If I’ve learned anything these past few months, it’s that people come and go – whether as friends are as potential partners.

But I’m making moves. We’ll see where it goes.

Of course.

I broke my eight-month streak of not crying on Saturday night.

And I laughed it off as it was happening, because all I could think was “Of course. Of course it would be over this.”

I’m scrolling through my old blogposts to see if I had perversely written out that I had predicted my bond with C wouldn’t last. We are the same but too different.

As much as I welcome dialogue (and I feel I’ve been making good with that for the past year and a bit), it’s a two-way street that involves listening and talking from both parties. There was no dialogue these past two nights; only attacking and defending.

Let me explain.

On Friday night, I got drunk with my co-workers and decided to shoot C a text since I knew she was getting off work and leaving around the same time. We streetcar’d home together and we caught up on in person – I was drunk and verbal diahhrea’ing. I didn’t mind – I felt I could trust her to keep all this in confidence. I told her and showed her a picture of this girl from Tinder who I was texting (details to follow), talked about my coworkers, and talked about random things. Oddly, as I showed her our texts, she grabbed the phone from out of my hand and started going through my text messages with other people… It was intrusive but I didn’t know how to address it – I was drunk.

Even after getting off the streetcar, we took the long way back through her condo building so we could both have more time to catch up. We hadn’t in a while especially since I had distanced myself from her recently.

Next thing I know (and I’m still pretty tipsy at this point), she’s yelling at me in an empty food court at 3am. “I can’t do this anymore. I just can’t”. And she storms off.

I’m perplexed. My forehead sore from trying to recollect and make sense of everything that happened between getting on the streetcar and her abandoning me. It seemed to have gone downhill when the topic of the Korean girl came up — why her name came up, once-a-fucking-gain, I have no idea. Several times I was genuinely unsure if I was so drunk that I didn’t realize she was drunk – it would’ve helped things make so much more sense. It seemed to happen out of nowhere, her buried discontentment with me. It seemed like a terrible dream.

I messaged her the next day, open to talking out whatever had happened. I was still exponentially confused. She was open to talking but had no time until later that evening, at the bar where our friends would be meeting before going out to the club.

So we talked… and I made sure I wasn’t drunk this time.

And it went the exact opposite of how I had hoped. It blew up.

In hindsight, I wish I’d finished typing this up the day I started it (Sunday), but I dropped off after a few paragraphs and now it’s Wednesday…. and I’ve already talked far too much, to the point where it’s become exhausting to have to reiterate, revisit, and retell the stories – and relive what I was feeling when I was first telling them. But for the sake of this journal, I will try. 

She was essentially berating me for how I had not invited the Korean girl and another person to New Years. My decision, as I stand by it, was built off “I cannot host another massive party as I have roommates/a live-in landlord. Therefore I must keep it small. Therefore I can only invite my closest friends”. When it was spread via social media that I had a party, it was interpreted by them as me siding with a friend in a feud she had with that person. This interpretation was wrong, but I can absolutely see how she would view it that way because if I were in her shoes, I would see it that way too. So I took the initiative to apologize for it seeming that way.

HER interpretation was that I had buried a bitter hatred for the Korean girl not reciprocating my feelings, thus it played a part in my decision not to invite them. Coupled with my rolling my eyes when she brought her name up, I can see how it may seem like contempt… which I could not explain in the moment – it was pure instinct. When she called me out on it and extrapolated that as an indication of toxic feelings, I gave a poor explanation, but in hindsight (and a clearer, less emotionally affected mind), I was able to articulate (to myself, and too late), that it was at the fact that we are, once again, talking about her. And I never bring her up. She’s the one who ever brings it up.

Anyways,

I just don’t have the energy to type it up.

TL;DR I trusted her and I felt like she betrayed my trust (by going through my text messages, by telling her partner everything) and while I thought she was listening and giving me a shoulder to lean on, she was silently judging me. And she let it show on Saturday in its truest form and I cried because I had opened up and been vulnerable (I argued that night that these two can be separated, but she argued that they go hand in hand — after discussing it with someone else who believed as she did, I think it’s something that I want to explore in depth – but another day. Because, as the point of this blog, I want to rationalize my gut feelings. Perhaps I am wrong, but until I articulate my gut feeling, I am going to table this. But I DI-FUCKING-GRESS)……… and I was hurt. And it hurt deep because the fact is she sees the good in everyone and has good intentions. As I’ve preached on this blog over and over and over again, the only thing that matters about a person when/if judging them, is their intentions – not their actions.

At one point in the midst of our heated argument on Saturday, she asked, rhetorically, what I think the solution to gay drama is. Unprepared, but without hesitation, I said “communication”. I still believe that. I genuinely feel if she had communicated how she felt all this time, we could’ve avoided all this. I did my best.

The worst part is, I trusted her enough to let her know about this blog. But I hope she’s not reading this because many of these are unfinished thoughts that I’ve rushed to write down – I’m already a few days behind on the posting and if I don’t write something down now, I never will. Not to mention things have unfolded that I think would be healthy to write about. Like having a minor (?) panic attack last night.

But I’m all “wrote out”. It will have to wait til next time.

I’d also like to write about the girl I’ve been texting. We’re moving a little too fast and it’s freaking me out.

And parts of her remind me of Twitter girl. Which scares me because I ended up falling for the idea of her, and not her.

2017…. please be kind. I don’t know how much more I can take.

Busy bee.

I’ve done pretty well with keeping my urgency for employment in check these past few months, but I’ve been getting antsy and stressed out recently. With my final presentation this past Monday, I’ve decided to switch gears fully to job hunting. It’s been incredibly hectic with everything going on in my career and my personal life and I… just need to write as my outlet for clearing and articulating my thoughts.

This will be a two-part post which will serve as a professional strategy for my career and a needed update on my personal / queer life.

Putting my Career in 6th Gear

Bridging that gap between urban planning and big data was just as hard as I’d thought. Before even jumping ship, I knew it was a risky move – the big data industry is in its infancy in Toronto and carving a city-building niche out of it here has been tough.

That being said, I have absolutely no regrets. Taking a break from working gave me time to work through and reflect on my own issues, and most importantly, it’s given me sufficient time to comfortably come out to my family and friends . I’ve gained so much more confidence this past summer because frankly, I went through a shit ton. I’ve always had a joie de vivre… but I’m coming to realize it’s always been confined to the circle of my career; I think the freedom of this year has allowed it to extend into my personal life. The feeling of “something I can never have” feels more artificial and I’m shaking my head smiling at how trivial my lesbian identity crisis was.

But money don’t grow on trees and mama needs cash for good timez.

I’m essentially up against engineers and programmers when it comes to data analyst jobs and I’m being judged on the same 5-year undergraduate criterion with my 4-month certificate course. I’ve also noticed that I miss the real estate and development industry. I miss looking at metrics and economics and city-building. My passion ignites every time I read an urbanism-related news article. I don’t think I can pull myself away from this field. So from here on, I’d pursue a career in:

  1. Real Estate Development
  2. Data analysis / land economics
  3. Urban Planning

As a step forward, I’ve started compiling a list of firms to check job postings for and they’re all in this field. I’m reaching out to people and getting back in the volunteering space with ULI.

I’ve seriously considered more precarious jobs, like working in marketing and project management – it won’t fulfill me to my soul as I’d hope with other things, but the important thing here is that I was okay with it. Quitting this summer, I’ve met more artists and freelancers than ever, and it goes against principles I was raised upon – e.g. “not having a stable job means you can’t get a stable job and treads closely to being a failure“.

Hey. If you have a roof over your head and you’re not starving… you’re more than okay. You’re so fortunate. Although I won’t be pursuing freelance work, coming to terms with this has instilled a sense of calm at my core that I find myself finding retreat in at desperate times.


Personal Update

I took a 5 hour break in between the last paragraph and this one and I seem to have lost my momentum for writing about my personal life. Whelp, here’s a lesson to get shit done as close as you can to when you first conceive of the idea.

…So there’s this girl.

And I feel like we like each other but I’m not sure and I’m trying to be vulnerable (let myself fall for her??? It gets blurry???) but I’m not too sure how to give myself to her. It’s emotionally frustrating. I’m good at loving; I’m bad at flirting. And so, unbeknownst to my objects of affection, I love silently until they think I’m disinterested and they walk away. I don’t know if it’s more tragic that this happens or that I know it happens. I keep reminding myself:

“just because someone doesn’t love the same way you do, doesn’t mean they’re not giving it their all”.

But I did get burned the last time I held this too tightly (as previously mentioned). I don’t know.

Let the chips fall where they may.


It was inevitable, but it only took a few months for Gay Drama ™ to catch on. Long story short, a downtown queer invited a three or so queers to go to O’Grady’s tomorrow, followed by dancing at Crews. It was a fairly small group compared to the usual Gaysian hangout which comprises 15 people on the reg.

Because there were only about 6 Gaysians going, I decided to extend the invite to a buncha other queers, including the tall blonde, the artist, and a handful of others. It’ll be an interesting mix. Oh, and I invited J.

It’ll be a good time. We’ll see how it goes.

BYOQ

I hosted a massive queer party last night and it was probably the greatest event I’ve ever held.

What started off as a small “lez night out” of five queer women quickly escalated to a huge if-they’re-queer-invite-them party of 25+. “Why not meet more gays”, I thought, and my apartment was flooded with gays. There were several gay cliques: the gaysian party crew (from last Saturday), “fandom” gaysians, Twitter gays, and normal white gays with 9-to-5 jobs.

I’m rather sad I didn’t get to bond with the normal white gays – I feel I’d get along with them fairly well. Too bad I was too drunk.

Regardless, I partied hard (so hard) with the gaysians – boy, could they drink and dance. I had such a good time and thank god for friends’ Snapchats or I wouldn’t remember any of it.

We never made it out to the bar – well, we made it out to bar, just not one where we could dance. No cover, we used the washroom and sat outside on the patio, until we decided it was time to grab a burger (and accidentally leave a drunk friend who I didn’t know was with us. Oops. I was wasted. :/ ).

I can confidently cross one thing off my bucket list though. It wasn’t at The Abbey, but I did partake in gay (hungover) brunch at Hair of the Dog. A couple of them stayed over at my place and I bonded so well with them. It’s definitely been a while since the last time I laughed so hard that I cried – these guys were woke af and we shot tumblr-meme jokes at one another like we were at war. It was amazing finding other people who could keep up and I had met one of them only the night before! Bless up.

Anywho, it was an amazing night and definitely one of the greatest parties I’ve ever hosted / been to, queer or not. I’m not sure when I’ll get to host another like this again (we were definitely way too loud and got noise complaints from the neighbours), but this was definitely one for the books. I met and bonded with a buncha queer ladies. Life is good.


<gushing>

There’s a cute girl and I don’t think we’d get along for too long but it’s just so annoying that she’s queer and cute at the same time (latter, specifically to me, cuz all girls are cute) and it’s annoying cuz there’s hope because I think she’s slightly interested in me except she’s sorta seeing someone and I am just…. hnnngghhh.

</gushing>

“What if she doesn’t like me?”

I asked Jillboard on Tumblr for advice leading up to the (/non)date. She gave an excellent answer here.

But I hate that she titled it “What if she doesn’t like me?”

I mean, I guess that was the first example question that I gave. But my anxiety was coming from so many different places that it felt almost unfair (by no fault of Jill’s) that that was the title. Perhaps it was the way I phrased the question. I wasn’t too concerned about this girl not liking me. I felt like our (/non)date was more for me to figure myself out.

Although she did address my real question, which was “how do you stop overthinking?”, she didn’t provide an answer that I could work with. Moving forward, this is something I’ll need to learn for myself.

Anxious.

I think my “anxiety attacks” come from me trying to let my walls fall down.

Understand that I’ve had them up so, so high for the past 23 years. I never talked about my feelings with family nor friends. I grew up in a Chinese family, so we definitely never talked about anything other than school, family friends, gossip in the badminton community – this includes not ever having The Talk, nor did they ever even bug me about my (/potential) relationships or crushes. I held everything inside. I held everything so tightly. For so long.

Aside from that time on the plane back from San Francisco, I’ve only ever had one “anxiety attack” (in quotations because it’s unconfirmed and I don’t want to appropriate this term from people with diagnosed anxiety). In February, I was getting so sick of my job but I was stuck at the office. I’d been crushed by something about Tinder Girl #3 – I think it had something to do with not knowing what we were, how I felt about her, how she felt about me, etc. And I almost broke down in tears at the office – which I had never done before. It caught me completely off guard, how miserable I was, and I blamed it on birth control pills. I’ve since stopped taking them.

I felt the same crushing sensations (different in duration and dept, but otherwise the same) – writhing helplessness and a decaying-feeling in my brain, like the synapses were being muted, and my thoughts going haywire and absolutely out of control, like I was trapped in a speeding car and my foot was on the pedal but I couldn’t take it off.

The only two commonalities between the episodes were girls. And the uncertainty surrounding them. They’re different from everything (everyone) else in life because this time i knew it was possible – I’d found lesbians, finally, and I knew it could possibly work. I finally had a reason to let my walls come down. And it’s fucking terrifying. It’s so fucking terrifying.

Maybe it’s not because of me letting my walls down. Maybe I’m just trying to find a reason (any other reason than anxiety, please don’t let it be anxiety) for how I’ve been feeling these past two days. But in my moment of clarity, I’m identifying this terror as a possible cause.

I don’t know, I’m hoping it is. I really don’t want anxiety and I’m going to do everything in my power to attach this feeling of weakness to something I can actually control and fight. This is how this episode is unravelling. I’m terrified.

I haven’t found myself yet

I had a strange realization today. I had an aching feeling that I hadn’t found myself yet.

I’ve traveled but I’ve never lived in another city. “Getting up and going” is something people in their 20s are supposed to do, before the mortgages and children kick in, and I’ve done my fair share of travelling, but aside from New York, I feel like I’ve been travelling in a closet! I’ve experienced local cultures, fine-grained urbanism, and various nightlife, but in Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Chicago, I was basically lugging around a closet.

But that begs that question, what does it even mean to “travel gay”? Is “travelling while gay” a status I must now endow? Do I need to go on a soul-searching trek around the world per Ellen Page’s Gaycation?

I’ve only been out nine months, and I’ve been racing to catch up on all the life experiences I may have missed. I feel like it’s morning and I haven’t put on my glasses yet. Except it isn’t just morning, it’s all my life.

What am I doing with my life? I’ve gotten my career sorted out (I just passed the one-week mark of unemployment and it has been amazing and surprisingly productive). I’m going back to school for a few months this summer and I’ll sort myself out after that. BUT what am I doing with my life? What am I championing? What am I after? What do I want?

Up til this point, my life and my career were synonymous to me. But there’s so much more to life than a passion project – you don’t come home to this. You don’t spend weekends on this (for the sake of pacing your motivation and drive in the long run).

I need answers. But I don’t know what I’m asking.

I did a bit of research and Portland is a pretty LGBT-positive city. I’ve booked a flight there so I’ll be there for a week, alone. I don’t know what I’m looking for or what will come of it, but I’d like to go to a gay bar alone, check that off the bucket list. I don’t know.

This post is all over the place. I don’t know.