Why and how everyone should be their own best friend

Not until recent time have I realized how difficult it is for me and my friends to gather, and how I should start to have fun on my own more often.

Since we, my friends and I, have our own busy lives and plans, scheduling a date is a real struggle. It takes us true efforts to all agree on which date, place, or activities should we indulge ourselves in. For instance, the other day, I found out about a live music bar which, to me, would be an awesome place for our group to hang out. My friends, however, shown no interest and kept suggesting other places. Eventually, I went there by myself and was absolutely enjoying it.

By the end of that evening, I got so hyped that I just wanted to tell my friends how wonderful everything was, about the band, the atmosphere and the drink. But as soon as I picked up my phone and was about to text them, I remembered the reason why I spent the evening alone.

Obviously

my friends would have no interest in listening

about

it, so I was just turning on my laptop and turning those awesome moments into words like what I do most of the time.

It is undeniable that happiness or enjoyment is supposed to be shared and multiplied among oneself and others. But this doesn’t mean you can not have fun on your own. Let’s think it this way: there is only one person in this world who is capable of loving you eternally, who ultimately shares the same interests and hobbies with you, who truly understands you, who knows all of your problems and secrets, who is your soulmate.

Is there anyone on your mind already?

Yes, it is you, yourself. No one other than you could be so cool and ideal. Who doesn’t want to hang out with that special person!

That’s why I’m striving to be a best friend of my own.

It’s not easy at all, especially when hard times come as it feels like the world is going against me and even I couldn’t be there for myself to rely on. That feeling sucks. But the good news is that things have been changing for the better. I don’t find myself get caught in that dark place as often as I used to be. Since I have been kinder to myself, I am now very mindful of how important it is to tell myself: “Hey, I am here with you”. Not only am I moving heaven and earth just to be available to myself all the damn time, I’m also exerting myself to be an honest, positive friend.

Be a friend of thyself and others will be so too.” – Thomas Fuller

This journey to self-love can be extremely difficult sometimes. But it’s possible. You can be a friend of your own, a nice one, by comforting yourself, conversing with yourself with kind words, doing the things you love, dating yourself and taking care of yourself. Do those things little by little, day by day and you will soon realize how wonderful you are as a friend.

Let’s start with a pen and a piece of paper. Write down 10 traits of your ideal friend, or simply the things you want to do with them. My list begins with:

1. Traveling to Thailand

 

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Does my skin color affect my chance of traveling/volunteering?

It’s been 5 months since I started saving for my summer trip in Thailand. Although I still have 4 more months until the departure day, I already feel super excited about it. However, a recent incident has occured and it may cause me to change the whole plan.

At the beginning, everything seemed to run smoothly since I’d found out about a website called Workaway – a place where people can find projects to work in return for free accomodation (or even food) and cultural exchange while traveling. I soon signed up for it, sending out my requests to my potential Thai hosts (though I know that it might be too early to do that but I couldn’t help myself). After a few days, I received 2 replies saying yes, decided to go for one, had some exchange with the host and extended my trip from a week to a month.

To be honest, at first, I was so scared of the idea that I might be not getting any acceptance just because…I’m asian. I was made to believe that those Thai hosts prefered white people to join their projects, since I could hardly see any asian’s feedback on their pages. Some even make it clear that they only accept “white people”. Yes, they use the exact words: “WHITE PEOPLE”. I can totally understand if many hosts need English native speakers for their English teaching projects. But “WHITE PEOPLE ONLY”? I’m quite intrigued by the reason behind. Is that the “white fetish” people’ve been talking about? Is “white fetish” even a thing?

Anyways, I was glad that I found a perfect project to work for. It would be in a small province in the surburbs of Bangkok, definitely not a touristy place with sunflower fields and golden temples. Not to mention the host, she seemed to be trust-worthy with all the positive feedbacks. I felt so lucky – “So maybe this racism thing is not as serious as I thought it was. Maybe I was just overthinking.”

And as the host and I mailed back and forth, I was so sure that I got my “reservation”.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there. As soon as I informed the host of my exact arrival date (because she insisted me to), she turned over and said that all positions had been occupied.

“What???”

“Why it has to be right after I booked my flight tickets?”

“Doesn’t she know that I decided to extend my staying (which eventually led me to book my flight tickets in accordance with the dates) just because of her assurance?”

“Doesn’t she know that I’m very poor and it took me a lot to eventually have this trip?”

A full-blown panic attack.

Back to this momment, when the panic attack is gone, I’m still quite confused and nervous. A lot of questions are being stuck in my head and mostly around whether I’m able to find another decent project/host. Even when I’ve calmed myself down and started to send out new requests on Workaway, I feel lost. Negative thoughts keep filling my head no matter how hard I try.

So my story is going nowhere. Hope I could soon find direction for it. I really don’t want to blame this on racism because it’s not. But since I have to get back to the search again, racism is definitely taken into account.

For now, I’ll just continue breathing and hoping for the best.

How do couples manage their time?

I don’t know. If you know the answer, please tell me.

Believe or not, I’m in my early twenties and I have never been in a relationship. I have no idea what it’s like to actually be in one. But recently, I’ve been witnessing my one close friend handling with hers, which has triggered this question in me.

She is a college student. Since also being one myself, I know exactly how strenuous and exhausting a day of a student’s life could be with tons of assignments, projects, not to mention the inevitable part-time jobs and extra-curriculum activities to polish the CV. Everything will easily run out of control and drive you mad if you’re not able to manage a little while for yourself during the day to reflect and relax. I sometimes struggle a lot to just finish all the tasks without any time to take care of myself. But somehow, my friend is still doing very well. Above all, she’s able to do that WHILE BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP.

How does she do it???

How do people do it???

I’m not talking about toxic, abusive relationships but healthy, happy ones. As far as I know, being in a relationship with someone else means that you’d have to take out a specific amount of your own time every day for that special one to take them out, send a few texts or at least to think about them. In other words, you would need to truly make efforts to tailor your schedule to your significant others’ in order to make sure that they feel cared and loved. I don’t know how much time lovers spend for each other daily, or how much is enough. But I’m sure it is there somewhere included in their schedules which might be already tight with their jobs, studying, hobbies or even daily routines.

This truly makes me stunned. Love couples – masters of time management, you guys got my respect!

Still, can someone explain how? I’m ready to take some notes.

Or being in a relationship is probably not difficult as I think it is. I’m just terrible with time management and being busy is the excuse why I am still single till this day.

But am I sad because of that?

Not at all.

I don’t rush for it either. I can imagine how my life could turn into a hot mess if I get caught up in a relationship. So thank God for letting me be free and single!

Moreover, what’s the point of whining, being miserable all the time just because of “loneliness”? Are you actually lonely?

I don’t know what your answer is but I’m only single, not lonely. I’m surrounded by my family and friends. I’m taking my time to look after myself, to fully embrace myself, to learn and grow. Maybe I’m spending too much time for myself. Maybe this is the reason why I’m bad at time management. Maybe this is the reason why I’m single. If so, I’m totally cool with it. I don’t need any guy to make me feel happy and loved.

At the end of the day, being in a relationship is not a bad thing at all. Being single isn’t either. The key is always self-love. Once you’re fully in love with yourself, happiness will forever be there whether you’re single or taken.

Tại sao cứ yêu nhau là phải xưng hô anh – em?

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Lướt insta story và thấy một hiện tượng rất “đời”, rất “Việt Nam” nhưng tự dưng trong đầu mình lại nảy ra suy nghĩ như thế này:

TẠI SAO TRONG MỘT MỐI QUAN HỆ, NGƯỜI NAM ĐƯỢC XƯNG LÀ “ANH” TRONG KHI NGƯỜI NỮ LÀ “EM”, KỂ CẢ KHI NGƯỜI NAM ÍT HAY BẰNG TUỔI SO VỚI PHÍA NỮ?

Mình không bàn về việc xưng hô “kính trên nhường dưới” tính theo tuổi tác, chức vụ bởi đó là quy cách ứng xử truyền thống của văn hóa Việt Nam (mặc dù cái mình ủng hộ hơn vẫn là việc bình đẳng trong cách xưng hô). Vấn đề ở đây, trong một mối quan hệ giữa nam và nữ, giữa hai người cùng địa vị xã hội, cùng lứa tuổi, thậm chí người nam kém tuổi hơn, thì họ lập tức ở vị trí “anh” trong khi người nữ yên vị làm “em”. Điểm khác biệt duy nhất giữa họ là GIỚI TÍNH. Có lẽ bởi nữ là phái “yếu” cần được phái “mạnh” che chở, và đương nhiên kẻ “mạnh” được phép làm anh của kẻ “yếu”? Hay đơn giản vì nó gần gũi, tình cảm hơn? Vì đó là LUẬT?

Các cậu có thấy có cái gì sai sai không?

Liệu với cách xưng hô như vậy người phụ nữ đang vô tình tự đặt mình ở vị thế thấp hơn phía còn lại? Nhiều người sẽ nghĩ rằng dù sao đó chỉ là cách xưng hô, chỉ cần hai người yêu nhau và dành sự tôn trọng đối với nhau là đủ. Nhưng mình tin rằng, người phụ nữ dù có hoàn toàn giữ vai trò điều khiển mối quan hệ hay không, nhưng cách xưng hô sẽ ít nhiều ảnh hưởng đến tâm lý, cách ứng xử của 2 bên. Mình sợ rằng nó sẽ dần hình thành sự phân bậc rõ rệt trong một mối quan hệ vốn bình đẳng…

Dù sao cũng chỉ là cách xưng hô. Người ta yêu nhau là đủ, hơi đâu quan tâm mấy cái tào lao. Mình hơi lo chuyện bao đồng rồi.

———————

Thực chất  bài này mình đăng trên instagram với một bức ảnh rất “deep”. Bạn mình vào bình luận và đặt vấn đề vào cả trong hôn nhân: “Chẳng ai vợ chồng lại xưng chị – em cả.” Và cho rằng đó là “do ngôn ngữ”, rằng nó “quá cụ thể”. Cô ấy có ý đúng. Nhưng mình vẫn nghĩ rằng đó là do hệ quả của tư tưởng Nho giáo. Tâm lý phân bậc, trọng nam khinh nữ đã ăn quá sâu vào tiềm thức người Việt. Nó đã thành cái luật: trong hôn nhân, chồng trên, vợ dưới; chồng là anh, vợ là em. Người ta chấp nhận nó một cách dễ dàng như thể 1 + 1 = 2 vậy.

Dù sao đi nữa, mình chỉ đặt vấn đề như vậy. Giải pháp? Mình không chắc. Chỉ muốn nhóm lên một suy nghĩ gì đó cho những người xung quanh về sự bình đẳng giới, vềchính xã hội mà chúng ta đang sống.

Coping with bad grades

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I’m here. Again, at the exact same position I was last year when I was grumbling about school, grades. As always, a semester has passed by resulting in all the traumas as the finals’ grades have been revealed and they are not to my expectation.

I feel lost, sad, disappointed, hopeless, upset, jealous,… The list of my feelings can go on and on with all the negative adjectives you could think of. I’m confused. I’m confused by myself and my life.

Let’s rewind back to the last semester in which I was full of energy and motivation to begin with. I set my goals and was so determined to achieve them. The roadmap I drew out was so clear. I confidently invested major on my studying. I worked extremely hard. And the finals came along. But eventually, all of my endeavors went zero.

“What did I do wrong?”

“Why nothing good can happen to me?”

I constantly doubt about my worthiness, whether I deserve anything good in life.

Hey, wait a minute.

Do the grades at school determine your grade of life?

More specifically, how do you measure happiness?

Look around. You have all the good things you need. You have your family who loves you unconditionally. You have your best friends who are always there for you. You have your lovely goofy pets. You have access to knowledge, to entertainment. You have house and food. You’re privileged already.

Humans are greedy. They never have enough of anything. They always want more. They never get satisfied about themselves. They only look at what they don’t own, which is massive, and feel bad without noticing the precious things they have. That makes them prone to negativity whenever facing failure.

Dear myself, failure is the tool to success. If it’s what you have at this moment, use it. It will lead you back to the right direction. Don’t let yourself be defeated by just a tiny failure. Your biggest goal is still waiting for you to achieve. So get yourself together, stand up straight and move forward.

And the talks between I and myself go on and on…

I’m a Dog/Cat Person

Mic, my dog came to my life 5 years ago when my mom brought her home on a Sunday morning 2012. The day has changed my life completely since it has made my life so worth living. Before that, dogs had always scared the shit out of me, even the tiniest ones. And my dad, who is an extremely clean person, hates the idea of having to clean dog poop/pee, was never a dog lover. He said having to put up with us sisters was already enough for him, no need for any other animals’ existence in his house to mess things up (I know, my dad is that brutally straightforward). Thus, I never bore the thought of adopting a pet.

But that day happened and Mic showed up to our surprises. It was then followed by lots of smiles and happy tears because she was so small and cute. I was a bit reserved at first but as soon as I realized “she is MY DOG now and I’m actually having a pet”, my fear completely disappeared. And as the time going by, the more I got to know about Mic, the more I felt stunned about the fun as well as the perks of having a pet around.

How didn’t I adopt a dog earlier?!?!

Mic is such an interesting being. She’s smart and she knows how to get people’s attention. Sometimes she’s really hyperactive jumping and throwing her body at others but that’s just how she shows her love. That energy she having is priceless and it’s contagious. I always find myself powered up and excited when spending time with her.

I constantly perceived myself as a dog person.

2 years later, I adopted Khoai-my kitty despite my parents’ opposition. I made up a story of how my friend gave me this cat as a birthday present and it would be so rude not taking it. So my parents finally accepted her presence in our house. And I had never been surrounded with so much love like that.

Wow a dog and a cat?! This is LIFEEEEEEEEE

Different from Mic, Khoai is quieter and sometimes cold. But I think she’s just being herself no matter how people perceive her to be. Khoai doesn’t spread that kind of energy like Mic, but instead, she listens and calms me down, reminding me of the fact that I’m home. She shows her love perfectly when it’s needed and that love is warm. She’s soft and soothing like music to my soul.

Mic and Khoai, they’re both important components of my life. They together reflect my personalities. They are family. They are love. I cannot imagine my life without them.

So I guess, you can say I’m either a dog or a cat person. It doesn’t matter. What truly matters is their being here with me.

No further ado, pictures!

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To the happy face!

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Mic is always a good poser in front of camera

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Who can resist that face!

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THAT SHAPE THOUGHHHHH

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Believe it, she’s a mom.

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When mama gives your little sister food and you got none

[Day 205] Why does Vietnam hold national day of mourning for Fidel Castro?

Here is my super quick answer:

Considering what I got from Vietnamese media, during the Vietnam war, Cuba, which was under Fidel Castro’s regime, gave Vietnam troops the assistance which was believed to be “valuable”, “timely” and “effective”. The country even celebrated the day of Vietnam’s victory as they had hailed: “For Vietnam, we are ready to devote our blood.” Not to mention both are socialist countries and they have remained close-knit relations for more than 50 years.

So I guess it’s rather reasonable for Vietnam to hold a national day of mourning for Fidel Castro in return.

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He was a dictator, but he wasn’t even our dictator. He wasn’t even Vietnamese.

He had been to Vietnam three times. Why did he do for my country?

Why should I mourn for him?

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