Friday, July 1, 2016

oh June;

June was birthday month and you would think that it would have been partying and all sorts of magical the whole month but in reality, it was exhausting physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc.
At the start of the month, I was exhausted from May's activities and so I literally did not want to do anything/commit to anything. But I have a pretty hard time saying no at times and so by mid-month, I felt like I was packed to the brim with things again.
That's when I found myself kind of just sad and easily affected by little things.
Birthdays used to be super exciting for me and I would seriously have party after party, celebration after celebration lined up all month. And I would be excited for my plans all month.
But I think as I've grown older, birthdays are a time for me to really reflect on what I've done in the past year and what lies ahead of me after turning a year older. And sometimes that gets depressing.

Well, my birthday was yesterday and I'm now a year older and somehow, starting my day today, everything feels better already.
I've cleared my mind quite a bit and with a lot of prayers have let myself come to terms with a couple of things/look at things in a different perspective.
In the past 6-8 months, I've really forced myself to branch out and give new friends chances. There was a point in my life when I was tired of people/friendships/relationships and I let myself shut down. I didn't give chances. The moment someone flaked out on me or disappointed me, I was out, I was done immediately.
As you grow older, you almost resign to the fact that you're not going to make any more close friends. That you have the group of close friends that you acquired when you were in high school and in college and that you're done.
But I wanted to try. I wanted to believe that some of the friends I make now can still become some of my best friends who will be there with me through the rest of my life.
I read an article recently that I relate to a lot, "I only want forever relationships." The first few paragraphs describe me accurately, "I'm a forever kind of person because if I'm going to invest in something I want to wholly invest in it... because if you don't put your whole heart into something then there is no point in pursuing it... I want to be surrounded by people who make my heart pound and skip a beat because their presence makes me so happy. I want to be around people who inspire me and make me want to be better and do better. I want to be around people who I know will be there for me forever through the thick and thin because I will absolutely be that person for them. I want to be surrounded by people who actually want to be around me and don't leave me wondering where I stand with them."
I know that sounds unrealistic and almost impossible but it does happen. You can still find those forever relationships any point in your life. Two of my good friends I got to know through work last year and the year before and they have made their way into my forever friends list.
It is possible but you just have to let yourself not be affected by the occasional let downs and focus on the forever friends you do have and then move on.
You have to learn one of the most important lessons in your life: to let go so that you can open your heart up to better things that will only come when you can make space in your heart for them.

For awhile now I kept telling myself that I needed to be understanding to a certain new friend who slowly made it into my pretty good friends list based on how much time we've spent with each other and the conversations we've had.
But then all of a sudden I realized that I was trying so hard and he wasn't. Also, he expected me to be understanding and to be there for him no matter what but I didn't feel like he would do the same for me.
And this month, I told myself, no more. Not going to do that anymore and while it was hard to cut it off (I even had to say many prayers to ask for help), it was right.
Despite our investments in a friendship, we need to remember that sometimes it is okay to let the investments go to waste instead of continuing to invest and in turn hurt yourself more.
I was talking to a friend about this the other day and I loved what she said - something to the extent of "at the end of the day, I feel okay because I know that I did everything out of love for them and I did my best."
Sometimes people don't reciprocate your efforts in a friendship because everyone has different standards and expectations of a friendship but if they felt your love, that really is one of the best things you can give them.

And so I press forward again with a changed perspective and continue to be grateful for my forever friends who I know will always have my back and drop everything if they have to to be there for me.
Yesterday at the end of the night, I took the time to sit down and respond to each birthday message I received and to actually show an interest in each person's life instead of just saying "Thanks!" and leaving it at that. I responded with questions about their lives and commented about recent photos I've seen of them, etc. And it was so refreshing to me to think about each person and my connection with them. It's pretty amazing how we become connected to people at different points in our lives and how things change over the years. If only we all made a greater effort to keep in touch with people we know from time to time, I think our lives would be that much more rich.
Relationships with others is, I believe, one of the most important currencies of life that will pull us through life. I'm grateful for the amazing people I'm surrounded by.

Wow, that turned into a really heavy post really quick haha.
Lest you may think that my birthday was miserable, here is photo evidence that I actually did celebrate it over a few dinners and it was low key but still so great!
joint birthday dinner with cheryl at tucanos with the singaporeans 
 birthday surprise dinner at sweet ginger. i walked into the room and they all stared at me super shocked because they were not ready and had not lighted the candles yet haha. they then laughed and panicked to try to get the candles lighted AND THEN, blair's hair caught on fire and it was laughter and chaos hahahaha. but she is an amazing friend and didn't drop the cake despite her hair being on fire. see, i have such amazing friends who would make such sacrifices for me. the best! too bad no one got it on video. such a waste. but because of blair, we all got to enjoy the yummy pailletin cake :)
 the waiter took like a million photos and we were just so done and dying of laughter cause he kept saying, "so happy!" hahahaha
good job with the surprise! i'm actually really hard to surprise because i'm such a planner but i think they did fairly good haha. 
dinner at naked fish for the actual day. the sushi was really fresh! i would say the place is pricey though.
art city donuts for dessert. omg so good! i got the blueberry crumble and it lived up to my expectations! i want it again haha. // my constants
 love from my family and friends
 cheryl's gift was amazing! she actually made a card with a voice recording in it. like how talented is this girl! and she even drew us - the green and yellow monsters haha. her sincere, heartfelt words really touched me and made me realized how much i'm going to miss her when she moves back to singapore! she also gave me a huge box of fireworks cause she knows i'm all about the adventures haha. and, even offered her boyfriend's services in helping me set those off haha. what a good friend haha.  
 i took photos with every single present that i received but i'm not going to post them all here. but i definitely felt loved by my dear friends who really didn't have to get me anything. i think more than anything, the written words are by far my favorite every single year. i enjoy handwritten cards and letters more than anything so i loved reading each written word from my dearest friends cause you don't get that much nowadays. 
branon is far far away in japan and he still managed to get someone else to make me something and send it over. that boy is too sweet.  
my birthday dinner dates enjoying the yummy cake haha.

So that was my birthday. Simple and sweet.
Just the way I wanted it. 
It's a long weekend this weekend and we were initially going to go to Lake Powell with some friends but then it's been a crazy week and I decided that I just wanted to rest and relax this weekend and not have to worry about packing and travelling and what not so we're in town for the long weekend.
And I'm super excited cause I have plans to read, blog, rest, catch up on life and the little things haha. And then probably watch the fireworks with friends on Monday.
I'm excited to start reading again.
Recently I feel like I waste a lot of time just scrolling Instagram or Facebook or just watching random videos and I thought back on the time before smartphones.
I used to read a lot.
I've always enjoyed reading and would always read on my bus/train rides to work.
I could go through a couple of books each week and i loved it cause i'm always been a fan of written words. 
So yeah, I think I'm going to try to get back into it again so if you have any recommendations for a good book, send them my way. 

Well, this has been a super long post (sorry) and i'll just end off with some photos of other activities from June:
liz/s bridal shower // liz's wedding 
 love this Disney roommate of mine!
 dinner+catch up at sarah's house finally!
 lunch with tiff before she left for cali
 just one of our many 水煮鱼 dinner gatherings hahaha
 getting to catch up with caressa when she was in town for like a day haha. that girl is still the same - just as hilarious as ever hahaha. i miss having her around all the time haha. 
 little mermaid at the scera shell outdoor theater where we ate yummy musubis and brownie, and found the inspiration for our halloween costumes this year hahaha. 
 manti pageant with the ward. it was a long long day but the pageant was really good!
 finally got to meet up with sora & doosan and omg, they are finally getting married!!! 8 years in the making!
celebrating jarell's birthday three weeks late. oops we're such horrible friends. but we did celebrate it finally with yummy KBBQ and ty made an amazing taro cake!!!

So there you have it, june.
Can't believe it's already july!
Second half of the year, here we come. 

xoxo,
C

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