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My Queer Book Club: February’s Pick

Hello Strangers on the internet,

I have not been blogging much recently, been finding myself in a rut. Anyway, I am back with this month’s book. For February, I have picked ‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle. The writer is a queer woman herself and I think she takes us on a journey. Anyway, we shall read and find out.

My Queer Book Club’s February Book Pick : Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Last month’s book review will be going up soon. I haven’t finished it yet. Stay tune for that one.

Happy Reading 🙂

xoxo

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Not settling for less than you deserve

Hello Strangers on the internet!

Hope you are having a lovely day and taking care of yourself. I wanted to share a little something on this space today. I mentioned last night that I will be starting a new job in February and that I am grateful for that opportunity. However, today I turned down that job offer.

I was referred for this job by an ex employer, whom I really respect and have a good relationship with. I am pretty sure she is unaware of the working conditions or the reality of that place otherwise she would not have suggested it.

So I called the person who was hiring and I instantly knew in my gut that this is not right. I am not feeling it. I decided to overlook my gut feeling and proceeded to a mini phone interview. I should not have. That person was highly inappropriate and I was asked about my parents, their occupation, my religion, the way I dress and what not. I was cringing the whole time. I do not want to go into too many details because it’s not even worth mentioning.

I gave that person the benefit of the doubt because they were old. BIG MISTAKE! Never ever let someone get away with something because of their age. I think it’s an asian thing, respect your elders. That person did not even realise how inappropriate they were being. After that phone call, they told me to wait for a couple days, their board will meet and they will inform me of their decision. The next day itself, I get the call, I have been selected.

I accepted the offer, for all the wrong reasons. I settled for this job. A few days later, I find out that I have a friend working there, about to leave the place. He tells me that the working conditions are horrible. They are racist, sexist and stingy when it comes to paying. I instantly decide not to take up the job. I call the person who hired me and tell them I am passing on the offer. Suffice it to say that the person tried to guilt trip me and was inappropriate again. This time I did not take shit.

I held my ground and I did not give in. Never ever settle for something if you are not feeling it in your gut. There is a huge difference in refusing to try at all and that very strong, definite feeling that this is not right. That person was so out of line and completely against my values, my beliefs and what I stand for. They did not even pretend to respect me.

Moral of the story, do not settle for less. Be it for a job, for a relationship or anything else in life. Also, if people are not going to respect you, leave the situation or set boundaries. I did all that today and I feel so proud of myself. I am not settling and I am not putting myself through unnecessary drama or stress. I was not taught any of those skills and it took me years to reach this point. If you are someone who struggles with boundaries, I would encourage you to work on it. Once you learn how to do that, people will not take you for granted.

xoxo

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How is your January going so far?

Hello, my fellow queer people and strangers on the internet!

How are you? How has 2022 been treating you so far?

It has been quite relaxed and stress free for me. I am doing my best to stick to my theme for this year which is to go with the flow and take life as it comes. Now, mind you, I am a control freak so sometimes, it takes me some good hours of journaling for to ease my mind into it. Accepting that things are beyond my control and doing what I can with I have is also my current mantra. Reminding myself of this simple thing from time to time prevents me from over planning or obsessing about things. Obsessing over something never did anyone, any good. Remind yourself to take a breath.

As I am writing this, I am seeing my own growth. A few months ago I would never have been able to relax. I have been in a constant state of stress ever since the pandemic has started. Actually, I have been in a state of stress my whole life but that’s for other blog posts. The pandemic simply added a totally unnecessary layer to that stress. Stress is an oversimplification of what all I feel and go through – I do not want to get into all of that right now.

I have been sticking to some of my goals and I am quite proud of myself. I have read three books already and right now I am reading the current January Pick for My Queer Book Club. If you have not read my previous blog post, well the book of the month is Detransition Baby by Torrey Peters. Reading has been keeping the dark thoughts, the spiral that leads to an anxiety and/or panic attacks at bay. One read a day keeps the dark thoughts at bay? haha I wish it were always that simple.

On the physical fitness aspect, I only did a couple of workouts so not doing really well on that front. I do not want to pressure myself and make it a disgusting experience. Usually, I tell myself I have to work out so I do not accumulate fatty deposits in my arteries or so I do not age quickly or so I am not sick when I am older. So the motivation is not really a positive one and the whole vibe going into it is quite negative. I have some brain rewiring to do so I can work out with a healthier mindset.

A recent addition to my mental well being journey has been listening to Esther Perel. There are monthly videos posted on her YouTube channel under the playlist ‘Letters From Esther’. They help so much! It is also free therapy people! I am learning so much about how to navigate conversations and how to have better relationships by using better communications. It is sad how us, human beings, do not use language to our advantage as a species. It is never too late to learn folks.

In 2022, I wish to treat myself more. For years and years, I lived on auto-pilot. I put the needs of shitty people above my own or simply denied small pleasures to myself at the thought of bothering other people. I think a lot of us care too much about what people have to say. That too requires a lot of mental work to let go of and it has not been easy for me. So this year, I am treating myself to things I want for myself. I will be documenting everything on my blog because I want to relate to people like me out there and feel less lonely.

I am well aware that I have not given a lot of context on my mental health, about my sexual orientation and life story. I am scared to be honest, to put it all out there. Living in the closet (not out of choice – I tried coming out but I was shoved back in by my mum) is not easy and I am sick of being alone and lonely on my journey. I will be writing bits and pieces in different blog posts. For today, that’s all!

How has January been like for you so far? Comment below.

xoxo

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My Queer Book Club: One queer book to read for each month of 2022

Hello strangers on the internet!

I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself mentally and physically.

Recently, I mentioned on one of my blogs that reading has really been helping with my mental well-being. Being engrossed in a fictional world and transported into the lives of the characters, I find that my mind does not wander to the dark place as often and I feel much better, lighter and at peace. So, I have decided to start an online book club, not just any kind of book club but a queer one.

Each month we are going to read a queer book and review it here. I am saddened to say that I do not think I have read enough about the different categories of people that fall under the queer umbrella and I would really love to do that this year. After much research, I have compiled a list of books to read this year. I haven’t read any of them before and I hope that you join me on this new adventure where we can learn more about one another (queer, allies, straight people wanting to educate themselves – you are all welcome).

For January’s pick, I chose the book called Detransition Baby written by Torrey Peters.

January 2022 ¬ My Queer Book Club

Have a great read! Let’s meet here next month for a review and stay tuned for next month’s pick! Take care and spread the love.

xoxo

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¬ Book Review: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gillbert

Hello Strangers on the Internet!

Last year I read the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gillbert and I thought I could review it on here. Let’s dive in.

I love that the book is a woman’s journey discovering herself and fulfilling her desires. The story follows this author through Italy, India and Indonesia where she is on a sabbatical, doing what she had always wanted to do as a way to soothe her mind because she struggles with depression. It was nice to see her heal through her travels. Not going to lie, it was not a fast read because there are times where I felt like I was reading somebody’s personal journal. I was curious to understand the state that she reached when she peaked during her meditation practices. However, she chose to say that words could not describe the experience. I was disappointed because throughout the entire book she spends a lot of time describing minute details about certain events. I wish that would have been one of them. The gay in me also thought at some point that Elizabeth would have a gay encounter with Wayan from Indonesia. Of course did not happen! There are a lot of takeaways in the book in the form of quotes that the author talks about at length and her stance on each on of the quotes. I have listed my favourite ones below:

God is an experience of supreme love.

Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognised yourself as a friend.

Happiness inhabited my every molecule.

Beauty attracts beauty”

“…it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”

Be careful what you pray for, Groceries, cuz you just might get it.

That’s just your ego, trying to make sure it stays in charge. This is what your ego does, It keeps you feeling separate, keeps you with a sense of duality, tris to convince you that you’re flawed and broken and alone instead of a whole.

The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart.

You cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water.

…the concept of God is considered by some Buddhists to be the final object of dependency, the ultimate fuzzy security blanket, and the last thing to be abandoned on the path to pure detachment.

Eventually, everything goes away.

Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss.

They do say there are consequences to your action-so choose your behaviour accordingly.

…it is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it was born.

Anyway, if you are in a mental funk and looking for something to inspire you or you are on a journey of self love, you might want to give it a try.

xoxo

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Things I did for my well-being today!

Hello Strangers on the internet !

I hope you are taking care of yourself.

Today I wanted to talk about the things I have done today to keep myself sane and for my general well-being really.

  • I got out of bed shortly after I woke up. Sounds silly but this small little practice has helped me for the past 6 to 8 months. It has been truly life changing. By nature, I am a night owl. I am most productive in the evening and night time. I used to stay up till 4 – 5 a.m. No, it’s not a quality that I am proud of because at night my demons come out. Dark thoughts haunt me and I spiral very easily into worst case scenarios which spike up my anxiety and lead to self destructive actions/behaviours. So yeah, I woke up early ish after a good night of sleep.
  • Today, exceptionally, I tried my best not to go on Instagram or Twitter for the first chunk of my morning. It was refreshing and my brain felt silent. Yes, silent. As soon as I go on social media, the noise starts. The little self sabotage, the nosy aunty, the parent who constantly compared you to other people as a child (and still on some occasions!), the venomous snakes that pretend to be your friends, the toxic ex – all their voices come in! So yeah, today I chose not to go on social and not to let those voices come in.
  • I did some light yoga to stretch my shoulders and back! I have been spending too much time hunched over my computer and it felt really good!
  • I decluttered and cleaned my room! I hate clutter! I love space and light. I got rid of old things. I truly believe that you have to get rid of the old in order to make space for the new (quoting my guide Chris Corsini here). If you keep filling your current space with junk, at some point, there is no room for new, positive and fresh things. Clutter around means clutter in your mind!
  • I read for a couple hours! Reading has been helping me a lot lately. Entering someone else’s world as an onlooker and watching things unfold without actively participating is strangely comforting. Also helps distract my brain from thoughts that lead to anxiety and stress.
  • Finally, I am writing this on my blog ! Maybe it might help someone, probably myself in the future when I re read this.
…at night, my demons come out ¬ MQC

I have been struggling with mental health issues ( not gonna go into all the details in this post – maybe future posts) and I have spent a major portion of my life looking for ways to cope or find a way to end them. By now, I know not to resist and not to look for short cuts. It takes A LOT of time to heal! More often, it is the consistent things, the little things, the mundane things, the little healthy habits that you form along the way that help rewire your brain in the long term. Habits are like muscles. If you do not work them, they become mush.

Anyway, those are the things I did for myself today. I did other stuff too but those had nothing to do with self care or me time. Penning off,

xoxo

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New Year’s Eve, 2021

Dear internet people,

Hello and welcome to my first blog post.

Starting a blog was on my wish list for quite a while and on this new year’ ever, I have decided to give it a go. I feel like I have a lot to say and cannot always express myself IRL. This will be my safe space on the internet where I write about whatever I want to, inspired by my chaotic life.

2021 has been a shit year, for me at least. I have no expectations going into 2022. We shall see how things go.

Wish you all a very peaceful New Year!

Sunday night blues

You know when you have just spent the weekend with the person that you love? And then you have to come back to reality.. sucks really! I miss her so much and I cannot wait to do life with her. Circumstances though..

We almost had it and then we forgot to be grateful for how far we had reached. Pandemic hit. We were back to square one – which is living apart after having lived together. Lesson learnt! Never EVER take anything for granted – even if it’s free or easy or seems like it. Nothing is actually free or easy but sometimes, after you have worked really hard and you are in that phase where you are supposed to cherish and savour the fruits of your labour – you forget to do that and you also forget that you are in a better place. You forget to be grateful and then bam! Universe/karma/ nature or whatever you wanna call it, teaches you a lesson!

Be grateful folks. Make a gratitude list tonight. I’ll start myself:

I am grateful for having a roof over my head. I am grateful for having access to food and having the choice to eat whatever it is that I want. I am grateful for my girlfriend, my love, my everything. I am grateful my mum is healthy and well. I am grateful my cat lives a lavish life and is spoiled rotten. I am grateful at the prospects that the future hold – resuming my education. I am also starting a new job soon so I am grateful for that opportunity. I am grateful I get to live. I am grateful for my good health. I am grateful for everything that I have. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

On that note, good night.

xoxo

¬ Book Review: Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

An absolute gem of a book! It is hilarious, fun and takes you on a roller coaster ride of family dynamics in Asian families. There is never a dull moment. I devoured this book and I cannot wait for the sequel.

Dial A for aunties is the story of a 26 year old girl who is torn between her hopes, dreams, desires and those of her mum and four aunties. She spends most of her life trying to be the obedient daughter that her mum and aunts raised her to be, almost never voicing out her true ambitions. She even gives up on the love of her life to fulfill her ‘duties’ as a daughter. All of that changes when she accidentally murders her date one night and instead of going to the police, she panics and comes back home with a corpse in the trunk of her car. A series of mishaps happen when together with her aunties and mum, she tries to get rid of the body. I do not want to spoil the book too much but there is a little bit of gay too in the book.

I learned a new term while reading this book, ‘filial piety’. According to britannica, filial piety refers to “an attitude of obedience, devotion, and care toward one’s parents and elder family members that is the basis of individual moral conduct and social harmony“. While this may sound like a blessing, it can also be quite burdening for children to grow up with that kind of pressure. I am intimately aware of the concept being of Asian (West) descent myself. The writer gives you a window into the psyche of Asian children, in a light, fun but poignant way. The struggle to keep your parents happy and satisfied while trying to have a life of your own and a sense of individuality is very well portrayed.

Filial piety is the main theme of the book from my perspective. Sticking to this theme, the writer feels the need to mention that this book is a love letter to her family both at the beginning of the book and in the acknowledgements. Of course, you would not want to offend anyone in the family because it would reflect badly on your parents and upbringing xD. There is an overall positive message but we all know that it is not always easy to navigate life when you come from that kind of upbringing. Anyway, filial piety deserves a well researched blog post on its own because I could go on and on about this.

Coming on to the gay part of the book, it did not make any sense at all (not to a fellow gay woman anyway). Spoilers ahead so stop reading if you have not read the book yet. I do not want to give too much context here but why would anyone steal jewellery as a way to confess one’s love? Theft is not the way to a woman’s heart! That is not how we do it in the gay world. A looooooong conversation or multiple long conversations is how the situation would play out in real life (yes i know it is a fiction). Plus, how come Maureen never got vibes from Jacqueline or vice versa? Gaydars are real and pretty accurate! Also, why does the gay woman have to be involved in shady shit? Stealing.. seeking the help of douchebags like Ah Guan.. Stealing guns from the police.. There could have been a different twist to that plot.

I am glad that there was no taboo regarding the gays in the book but I do wish that there was more research done for that part. The writer has a lot of creativity, imagination and is very intelligent from what I have read so far. Having the gay character be suspicious and involved in crazy shit disappointed me. Now I am certain there was no malintent here and I love the book and I am rooting for it. Consider me a fan of the writer too. It just did not feel as genuine as the rest of the story. There is room for improvement here. It would also be refreshing to see a gay character in a positive light. I am also choosing to believe that it was not a gay bait because I loved the book so much.

I think I have rambled quite a bit now and you are probably asking yourself if the book is worth a read. The answer is YES! It is funny with unexpected twists, and very visual. I kept telling myself this could be turned into a movie before reading the acknowledgements. It is in fact being made into a movie by Netflix. Looking forward to that one! If you liked Crazy Rich Asians, you should definitely give this book a go. The book promises to make you laugh and it does!

Did you enjoy the book, stranger on the internet? What are your thoughts? Did you like it as much as I did? My queer people out there, what did you feel about that gay part? Eager to know. xoxo

Hello 2022

Hello 2022!

This new year started on a surprisingly positive note for me.

I usually set a theme every year and I try to stick to it. So far it has worked wonders for me. Last year’s theme was gratitude and I used Rhonda Byrne’s book, ‘The Secret’ as a guide. I started with a 30 day gratitude practice and then found myself going back to those practices. They helped ground me and look at life through a different lens. It is a no brainer why I chose gratitude for 2021, all things considered. I should probably review that book on here one day because it rewired my brain in ways that I did not anticipate it to.

This year’s theme is to have no expectations and to go with the flow. Sounds basic but I am a planner and a control freak, so letting go is going to be CHALLENGING! With the pandemic throwing all my plans up in smoke, I do not really have a choice anyway.

For this blog, I envisage writing about everything and anything. I have no specific plans, sticking to my theme for this year. That’s all folks for today. Not even sure if there’s anyone even reading this but we shall remain hopeful.

Wish you strangers a Happy New Year and lots of growth and prosperity.

xoxo