Tuesday, May 28, 2013

1000 Days of Pine

Dear brother

If you haven't got the reference in the title, it is "500 Days of Summer" reference. It's a story about boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, she took him for the ride, and told him "I cant be your girlfriend" and get married to someone else over 500 days.

Three years have been like that for me, following the shadow of someone who could never fall in love with me. Yet I stayed. Yet I worked the hardest I could to be around. Yet I wanted it to change.

Your heart is only broken as you allow it to be. I allowed the last 3 years to tear mine apart, look at it, cant decide what to do with it, and put it back. I lost faith in love. I lost faith in self. I wish to settle for someone. "You are like a brother to me"

It's funny, I'm only 28.

Yet, 1000 days is already 10% of that and 35% of my adulthood.

I hope you have a better chance with love

Your brother.

Buses, Trains, and Planes

Life is a journey. And the past 2 weeks reminded me of that.

The first week was travelling with my best friend, and a road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco, stopping at a Zen center. Peace and tranquility. Lots of walk. Lots of reflection.

Your heart is only as broken as you allow it to be. Loneliness is only as deep as your yearning for companion. Everything ends. Peace is the end.

The conference is interesting and exciting. I didn't get Booed for my presentation so it must have been good (My prof gave 2 thumbs up and complimented me today in front of the lab). I networked and met so many interesting folks from Silicon valley. Oh, the days of NOC.

So everything that I learned in life, every challenge, every bridge that I burned, have led me here, on top of the world (or the ocean), wine in my hands, and gratitute in my heart.

Some days it's just so fucking beautiful to be alive.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The almost affair

Calgary, May 10th 2013,

Dear brother,

No worry, I am not having an affair or involved in any others'. It's just this matter has been annoying me for a while. As I have always told you, honesty is important. But today, I want to look at infidelity from a different perspective.

I had to tell my friend I am not going to hang out with him anymore. His partner was jealous of me (yeah, gay people...) which was not the reason why. The reason is that, after which, he becomes very secretive whenever we meet. Yes, I know, right? If we are not doing anything wrong, why go the extra length to hide it? This is why it is so wrong in 3 level:

- For his partner: He is already jealous, by being secretive you are giving him more reasons to think he is right. Yes, he is an ass. But when you hide details of your meetings to him, and he finds out, then you become an ass. Same goes if you hang out with a girl, especially girls, because they tend to take their friends for granted and desert you whenever the boyfriend is uncomfortable with you.

- For him: He is in the difficult position. At least if he really is cheating he has the sex to satisfy himself. But we are just hang out friends, why do you want to go through the stress? Same for girls, if you are having affairs with them (or not), lying is such stress. And like all lies, it will come out and explode it everyone's face.

- For me: I am not doing anything wrong. I have no wrong intention. Why am I being stuffed in the corner? I have seen "the other woman" before. And truth be told, I am more sympathetic towards them than judgmental. They have to live with the lies, the stress, the judgment, and they don't even have the guy for a decent quality time. But at least they have the sex. Seriously, I am not ashamed of myself, and I am not gonna hang out with people who are ashamed of me for things I did NOT do.

Of course I am upset to lose a friend, especially when I don't have many friends and support system here in Canada. However, it is important in life to do the right thing, and be confident of yourself when you are doing the right thing. There's no need to hide, because it's not doing anything for your self esteem. There's no need to be involved in others' relationship drama because it is not your fight. And lastly, sometimes, you just have to accept a lost and move on.

The lesson here is that it is so important in any relationships to be open and honest with each other. That will give you the way to security and trust, and no matter how many friends your girlfriend/boyfriend has, you will be at peace with it. And don't cheat. Don't be the other man in an affair. You will be hurting others. But worse, the hurt you bear yourself is definitely not worth it.

Either that or you just have to be straight and Caucasian, or Tiger Woods. Then you can cheat all you want :p But no, don't cheat.

Your brother

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Calgary, May 7th 2013

Denial - Anger - Bargaining - Depression - Acceptance.

Dear brother,

Loss happens everyday. Death. Heartbreaks. Failure. Rejection. The more things we do/wish for, the more chances we are exposed to loss. So, dealing with loss is a constant process.

In a week, my research grant got rejected, my research poster got horrible review, I lost a friend and my ex found someone new. Of course I will not bore you with the details, but needless to say, the grieving process hasn't been easy.

Of course I kinda expected this to happen. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt when it did happen anyways. The cynic is ready for the worst, but the optimist in me is forever hopeful. "We must remember that disappoint is finite and hope is infinite" - Nelson Mandela. And there it is, the first stage of it all. Denial. I was still hoping. I was still wishing. Until it happens.

I was angry, of course. So much hard work was done. So much preparation. So much effort to maintain a good friendship/relationship too. And then it comes the bargaining, the waiting for it to happen, the wanting to do even more than what I have done. Now I'm just plain depressed.

I want to be done grieving. I want to be out there again. I want to wake up with the infinite hope of doing my best and getting recognition for what I do. I want to be surrounded by friends and a supportive environment.

I am not as strong as I used to be. Brother, if only I can share all this with you right now. I cant wait for you to grow up fast enough. But then, you will have your own loss to grief and to overcome. Am I too selfish to want you to be an adult? By then, will you, too, grieve your loss of innocence?

Life. Growing up sucks.

Big bro

Friday, May 3, 2013

Learn vs. Study

Calgary, 3rd May 2013,

Dear brother,

You are having your final exams today, so I thought I would talk to you a bit about studying and learning.

I'm back at school. At my age, it's not an easy task. Somehow I am doing pretty well. I guess when I put my mind into something, I tend to do it well. I know you will be too. Your score might not be great right now, and your studies may not be stellar (yet), but I know you are a great learner and a great adapter.

The problem with studying is that, in academic settings, the goals being set and the method of transferring knowledge is too different than reality. In life, we don't often get to sit in the same room, listening to everything, and then get exercises to do it. We have to pick up experiences along the way, and then make connections and apply them when the circumstances arise.

I'm struggling a bit with the busy lifestyle of both working and studying, especially with the salary I got. But learning is important. Getting the experience that you need in life is important. I guess sometimes when we are young, we trade time for knowledge, and then trade knowledge for money. When we do have enough to wisdom (and money), will it be too late for time to do what's more important in life?

This is your last year of high school. I know you don't get along well with a many friends at school, but 18 is a pivotal time in your life, I hope you live it the way you wish for.

I will be there with you every step of the way

Your brother