Those leftover emotional scars

This morning I just read this post “The art of pushing people away” from Sophie, one of the fashion bloggers I follow. Whoa. Wow. What a RIGHT timing. It’s been on my mind in the past 2 weeks and resonates to WhatsApp conversation with my friend last night! It’s such an open, honest post and I love how real it sounds, showing the struggle of late 20somethings. Hell, I’m in my 30s and STILL struggling with this.

While I can’t relate to everything she wrote, there are some things that really, really ring true. Let me quote some of her paragraphs here.

I think it’s safe to say when you hit your mid-late twenties you’ve dealt with enough car crashes in relationships and have had to grow a hardened protective layer. Like scar tissue. 

I think the problem is this. You’re single. You’re emotionally independent. And you think you’re fine. Because you are fine. But as soon as you start dating, you realise the scars that still exist.

I want to be adored, but I don’t want to let my guard down and let someone in. I want someone to care about me but I’m scared of the commitment. Are you still following? Because I sure as fuck am not. Who would want to date me? I’m so indecisive! But also, I am a firm believer if you have all of these questions and doubts, that they’re probably not the right person for you anyway.

Everyone says I have high standards – which yes, can totally be a good thing – but what if they are so high they are unattainable? That they don’t even really exist? And well, perhaps the only reason they exist is actually only for yourself, so that you can keep them so very high that it keeps others out of your perfect world where you have control over everything? Your standards become an impenetrable wall to keep anybody else out.

Okay, so I may have quoted half of her post. Damn.

But the thing is, my problem is quite the opposite of her. I’m not afraid to REALLY like someone. And I don’t seek for validation to find some guys to like me AT ALL. In fact, I couldn’t care less. If we hit it off, that’s cool. If we don’t, I never force anything to happen further. It’s easier than ever now to move on, sometimes too easy to disregard any kind of opportunities, when you have a better idea of what you want.

So what’s the issue? I can go on dates, no problem. Once in a while I even initiate meeting up with new people, because meeting new people can be cool! (Doesn’t happen a lot, though). BUT I seem to go on dates and think about all the reasons for this NOT working out. My default thinking is to immediately find flaws of the person and list all the reasons or probabilities of this not being the right one. There are other good things about the person, of course, there are also possibilities we might hit it off, but I don’t look at those.

The older I get, the easier I find talking to someone. I ALWAYS have something to talk about and can connect with people rather easily, especially when it comes to one-on-one conversation. I used to think it was very special when this happened and this person must have been The One. Now I know NOT to mistake the sign. It’s still and will always be really important for me; the ability to have conversation and connection. But it isn’t everything. (See why shit got so much harder now? Duh).

Another thing is, I’m not sure anymore if there’s anyone really looking for a relationship. For some reasons I feel like everyone just wants to have fun these days. No one really puts effort anymore, do they? I know I don’t. How could I expect other people to do so?

What else? I overthink as hell, trying to predict the future, painting all the scenarios and complication of this not being the right guy for me and I’d probably be better off alone, in my safe zone. I’m aware of it, and I REALLY hate how I’ve become. When I was in my early 20s, I was almost the exact opposite; wearing my heart on sleeves and approaching dates with excitement, curiosity, and nonchalant attitudes. I called it my experimenting phase. Even went for relationships without really giving it much thought. And now it’s all about thoughts, where did my feelings go?

It doesn’t help either that I’m quite satisfied with my life right now. My life IS good. It’s not perfect, but I’ve got shit to do while always try to learn something new and become a better, smarter person. I like my job now. I don’t know about passion and all that shit, but I always try to improve my knowledge in digital marketing. ALWAYS. I’ve got my fitness routine that I keep up and want to be better at it. I’m healthy. I’m not a billionaire, but I’m financially independent. I still don’t have debts. I can do whatever I want with no responsibilities much. I mean, what more could you ask for!? And I believe I’m scared to add someone in life as it could make things worse. Seriously though, I gave up hope long time ago to have someone and make my life better. Just be my supportive companion and don’t make shit worse. Even that, it’s still pretty hard to find.

People don’t really believe when I say I’m single. And many conclude that I am picky and have high standards (just like the quote above!). My world isn’t perfect, but I have control with my life for the most part. Adding someone into it is definitely going to change the dynamics. It’s likely that I’m scared of the uncertainty this person could bring. Ah, psychoanalyzing myself here.

Last night WhatsApp conversation with a friend was all about Love, and it made me feel so weird thinking about that word. Romantic love, what’s that? I haven’t felt it in the past YEARS. And really feel ok with not feeling it, this love thing. I told my friend how I could be slightly more emotionally dependent when falling in love, which I suppose natural when you love someone. But I hate that feeling and that word “Dependence” Oh please. Give me a break.

He called me a tough cookie. Not the first time I heard this. And I still don’t have the answer or solution to everything I’ve written here. Aware of it, though. Maybe this could be a good start, for a change, if I want to change, that is.

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Hey, work is fun (And other things!)

Never thought there would be a day I could say that work has been fun. Actually, I haven’t thought about it until a few friends whom I haven’t talked for a while asked me if I have a new boyfriend yet!? And it hit me then I didn’t think about that at all! So I told them exactly that and added that work has been fun and it’s all I think of, most of the times!

I think I was going through culture shock and adjusting period last month. Now I started to get the hang of it slightly better. Just had my 60 day evaluation and the feedback was great; everything exceeded their expectation. I was glad to hear they appreciate what I’ve been doing, but at the same time I’m never satisfied. I know there are so many things I haven’t done and plan to do more, again, at the same time, if you step back, it IS strange to think that it’s been only TWO months. Many of my colleagues said it feels like I’ve been around here much longer, at least six!

There are lots of things to improve and lots of issues to solve. Not everything is smooth sailing when you are trying to drive everything forward by yourself. But at least I’ve got this autonomy to do things my way and experiment new things, which is very important for me. I find that many people don’t know what they want, so I just need to step forward and take the wheel, figure things out, try something and see if it works. The culture here allows me to do that which is amazing.

I don’t know how you can 100% switch off from work, even it’s on weekend. Take this 3 day long weekend for example, I had to solve Facebook ads that suddenly got disapproved on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. And I did take time to solve that right away. Would also expect my team (when I have one!) to have this same mentality. In my field, if you leave things for A DAY without trying to fix it, it truly feels like AN ETERNITY. So if you want a 9-5 job with clear work-life balance, don’t ever step into digital marketing job. The online world never stops, guys!

Lifting

I could go on and on but will stop talking about work here. Let’s talk about strength training! It’s been a nice routine in life and I try to stick to it 2-3 times a week. I always think I suck and am the weakest in class because everyone else is so serious here. I am for sure NOT as serious as many others, just love seeing my own progress albeit extremely slow. Nutrition is key, and I don’t stick to that at all. How would you progress when you didn’t eat enough protein, right!?

I was very happy that the other week I could squat 70 kgs for 5 reps(!) for the very first time though! First time with number 7. Deadlift 95 kgs, 4 reps last week felt hard as hell. The coach even commented that I looked like I was gonna die while doing it, which pretty much summed up how I felt. So…I don’t feel like I am getting significantly stronger after testing my 1RM in Feb. Hmm. Still enjoy doing it though.

Another thing I’ve recently noticed is I tend to get lazy on weekends with low energy. If I force myself to go to one of those HIIT classes, especially in the morning, it wakes me up, my mood instantly gets better with higher energy. So I try to stick to that. Keyword is TRY! The hardest part is forcing myself to go there in the first place, you know!

Other stuff

I’ve been eyeing The Hop and their swing dance classes ever since I switched job because it’s literally 2 min walk from my office. Still haven’t pushed myself to do it yet! It looks so much fun. And I would really love to try but keep procrastinating. Should definitely go try some day, hopefully sooner than later (This month!?).

And I did mention I wanted to find a place to try on Ashtanga yoga after my Ko Lanta trip in March right? Well, found the place. STILL haven’t done it. Argh, the laziness of transporting yourself after work on a crowded train is effective enough to NOT make me give it a try. It’s an excuse, I know. But that’s the truth!

Other than that? Last month has been fairly eventful. Career advice session in Hua Hin with Chula fresh grads with CareerVisa team felt satisfying as always. Discovered this really amazing blue bar in Banglampu that I would LOVE to go back. Amazing music! Oh, have I mentioned that my love of Silom has grown more and more each day!? Food is so yummy and cheap. Love all the markets and random cafes and galleries we stumbled upon even after lunch at work. It’s so cool that the other day I came to hang out in Thonglor at 72 courtyard and The Commons, and suddenly felt like, wow, Thonglor crowd really is pretentious! What is up with all these overdressed people? To each their own, of course. But laidback and a bit quirky, old vibes in lower Silom feels cooler and more charming for me!

The most uneventful weekend ever

Yup, did everything against best digital marketing practice to catch your attention in 3 seconds by putting it out there how uneventful (Read: boring?) it is for me this weekend. HA!

It’s interesting in a way though, as I checked my Moleskine agenda, this is the FIRST weekend, the whole entire weekend, this year that I’ve been home all weekend long. And working only very, very little.

And I tend to go on here when I have time to “reflect” or rant I’m not so sure. I started and finished this fiction called Normal People by Sally Rooney here in a day. It was alright, quite interesting to get a glimpse of stories of 2 people struggling through life and battling depression. You see how damaged humans are in this kind of novel and it did make me feel depressed at one point (Why am I reading this!? I wonder). But it didn’t leave any great impact on me like all the great reviews and prizes this novel had claimed, and I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else.

It’s been a fairly easy, relaxing April so far! Having said that, I started the first week by panicking, freaking out, and feeling intensely upset about the changes (most likely affected by PMS though…). I was and probably still am having a culture shock and still getting adjusted myself to this new environment. I have more work-life balance now for sure. As far as I know, most likely there will be no 3AM Line messages or emails anymore and I can rest assured that crazy life of mine is now over. But I am sure there will always be new problems and issues for me to solve, no matter where I go. Hey, that’s why we all work, don’t we? To solve problems!

It’s really just the beginning now. But as someone who has been on fast-paced, high pressured, dynamic environment for a while, it could feel strangely peaceful and…slow. Not saying which one is better than the other, and actually I don’t think being too fast or too slow is good, it’s just like I was thrown between different ends of spectrum. And it’s such a sharp contrast to me. Every element in the culture, be it system or people, is entirely different.

It’s also very different when you shift from an agency to a brand. And it hit me in the first week. Now I get it how they say you are surrounded by similar people in the agency and everyone understands each other because we all speak the same language. But when you are a brand, you have to work a lot more on cross departments internally and they don’t really understand what you are doing at all. Communication skills would be very much needed here, and this is great because I believe it’s one of my strength. You would get to see the entire business of how things run as well. And I’m excited to learn about all of that, although I have to admit it can feel lonely at times when no one really knows when you are doing. I had an amazing team which we talked about work all day (and most cases night) long. We always supported each other and gave each other feedback, we tagged each other when there were some interesting news and stats related to digital marketing and so much more. Another thing I am getting adjusted to.

One of the good things now is that, I have more time to read and learn, which is great because they are both my favorite activities! Need to roll my sleeves up and get my hands dirty more from now on for sure as I don’t have a team to fall back on!

Another thing I want to do is try to explore Silom a bit more. It’s a mixture of old and new cultures in this neighborhood here. So far I’ve loved great selection of street food or food in general in all the markets here. Food is cheaper than Sukhumvit but more delicious! Possibly more shopping markets for cheap stuff too. Love it. The whole morning commute for an hour in a packed BTS is brutal though. But hey, you can’t have everything in life, right?

What an endless rambling kind of post (as usual!). Out of sheer boredom (again).

Review: Base Bangkok (Thonglor, Sathorn, Chidlom branches)

เพิ่งรู้สึกตัวว่าไม่เคยเขียนรีวิวที่ Base ทั้งที่เป็นยิมประจำของตัวเอง ปกติไปทองหล่อ ซึ่งเป็นสาขาแรก แต่ไหนๆก็ได้ไปลองมาครบ 3 สาขาแล้วเลยขอเขียนรีวิวหน่อยละกัน

Base Bangkok มีที่ทองหล่อ (คอนโด Noble remix ติด BTS ทองหล่อ) สาทร (ตึกสาทรธานี ติด BTS ช่องนนทรี) และล่าสุดคือชิดลม (ตึกอัมรินทร์พลาซ่า ติด BTS ชิดลม) เราว่าจุดเด่นของ Base คือโลเคชั่นนี่แหละ ทุกสาขาจะมี sky walk เชื่อมถึงเลย สะดวกมากๆ

Classes

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) + Strength Training เราว่าคลาสที่ Base สำหรับมือใหม่ที่ไม่ค่อยออกกำลังกายมากอาจจะโหดนะ เราเคยมาลองเล่น HIIT ตอนเริ่มออกกำลังกายสม่ำเสมอแค่ไม่กี่เดือน ตอนนั้นยังอ่อนแอมาก (แต่ก่อนเราทำอะไรไม่ได้เลยจริงๆ plank ก็ไม่ได้ ยกอะไรไม่ได้เลย อาการหนักมากๆ) บอกเลยว่าเล่น HIIT แล้วเหนื่อยแบบท้อแท้อะ55 คือทุกอย่างมันเยอะ เร็วไปหมด แล้ว core เราอ่อนแอ ทำอะไรก็ไม่ไหวเลย แค่วอร์มอัพ 10 นาทีแรกเราก็เหนื่อยจะตายแล้ว ยกเวทอะไรก็ต้องเอาแบบน้ำหนักน้อยสุดๆ เลยไม่สนุก

แต่สำหรับมือใหม่เราว่าถ้าฝืนใจทนไป ร่างกายก็น่าจะปรับตัวได้นะ ที่ Base คนที่มาเล่นหลายคนจะดูจริงจังมาก แบบหุ่นดีดูออกกำลังกายตลอด ฝรั่งก็เยอะ อาจจะรู้สึก intimidated ได้ เป็นเรื่องธรรมดา แต่ไม่ต้องไปสนใจ เราก็ทำของเราเท่าที่ได้พอ

(รูปนี้ที่ Base ทองหล่อ เล่นคลาสกันตรงนี้แหละ)

คลาสก็มีให้เลือกหลากหลายเลย แต่ละคลาสก็จะมีจุดเด่นแตกต่างกันไป เช่น

– Basecamp จะผสม cardio & strength ใน 6 stations station นึงจะราว 5 นาที ไม่นาน พอเสร็จ station นึงก็เปลี่ยนไปเรื่อยๆ

– Base Build เน้น strength training ยกเวท ไม่มีกระโดด ไม่คาร์ดิโอ มี 4 stations

– Base Burn ตามชื่อเลยค่ะ คือเน้น cardio ล้วน เหนื่อยสุดๆ เป็นคลาสที่ส่วนตัวแล้วแทบไม่เข้าเลย55 ไม่ชอบคาร์ดิโอจริงๆ ขอเข้าคลาสที่มีเวทมาตัดนิดนึงก็ยังดี

– The Works อันนี้สนุกและเหนื่อยดี ผสม cardio & strength แต่มีถึง 9 stations station นึงแค่ 45 วิ คือจะเปลี่ยนเร็วมากๆ แต่ทำทั้ง circuit อะ 3 รอบ เพราะฉะนั้นคือเหนื่อยนะ แต่ด้วยความที่มันเร็วดีเราก็จะไม่เบื่อมาก โดยเฉพาะเวลา station run, row, bike (Read: cardio) เราก็จะไม่ทรมานเท่าไร 555

– Base X อันนี้ผสมๆเหมือนกัน แต่รู้สึกคลาสจะสั้นกว่า แค่ 45 นาที คลาสปกติจะ 1 ชม.

– Base Strong คลาสประจำเราที่ทองหล่อค่ะ อันนี้คลาสพิเศษ คือจำกัดแค่ 10 คนต่อคลาส และจองเต็มเร็วมากกกก คือเราต้องตั้งนาฬิกาปลุกตอน 23:55 เพื่อจะได้จองคลาสตอน 00.00 พอ 00.01 คลาสเต็มแล้ว! waitlist กันไปตามระเบียบ คลาสนี้คือต้องเคยเล่นมาแล้วพอสมควร มีพื้นฐานด้านการยกเวท ไม่แนะนำสำหรับคนเพิ่งเริ่มเล่น เพราะเรายกกันหนักพอสมควร หลักๆที่เราทำคือ Squat, bench, deadlift (powerlifting style) โดยจะมีโปรแกรมแต่ละวันให้ทำต่างกันไป เพื่อเสริมสร้างความแข็งแรง ส่วนตัวเล่นมา 4-5 เดือน ไป 2-3ครั้งต่อวีค เห็นผลมากๆ แข็งแรงขึ้นมากจริงๆ โค้ชดีมากๆ มีความรู้ ช่วยดูฟอร์มอย่างดี ถามอะไรได้หมด

(รูปนี้น่าจะตอน join Base Strong เดือนแรกเลย deadlift ได้แค่ 60 โล)

– Speed & Endurance คลาสพิเศษจำกัดคน เป็น intense cardio คิดว่าเราจะเคยเข้าปะ? แน่นอนค่ะว่าไม่ จุดยืนชัดเจน555

Facilities

เอาแค่ชุดออกกำลังกายมากับรองเท้า นอกนั้นที่นี่มีให้หมด ผ้าเช็ดตัว ผ้าขนหนูซับเหงื่อ น้ำเปล่าขวดละ 10 บาท ที่เราชอบมากกกกกที่สุดในโลก คือแชมพู ครีมนวด กับสบู่ในห้องน้ำ Base ค่ะ! ยี่ห้อ Malin + Goetz แชมพูออแกนิกกลิ่น peppermint คือหอมมากกกกกกก! เหมือนเคยเสิร์ชราคาในไทยมันแพงมากๆอะ มาใช้เอาที่ Base แทนละกันนะ

นอกจากนี้ก็มีโลชั่น Malin + Goetz ให้เหมือนกัน มีไดร์เป่าผม หนังยางรัดผม deodorant spray cotton bud ถุงใส่เสื้อผ้าที่ใช้แล้ว tampon ยังมีวางไว้ให้อะ ทุกอย่างมีให้ครบจริงๆตามราคาที่จ่ายไปนะคะ

อ้อ แต่มีข้อติของสาขาสาทรกับชิดลมนิดนึง สาทรเหมือนต้องแชร์ห้องอาบน้ำใน co working space แล้วห้องน้ำต้องเดินไปอีกฟากนึง อุปกรณ์ก็ไม่ครบเหมือนทองหล่อ แชมพูสบู่ก็แบบธรรมดาๆ

ส่วนสาขาชิดลม ห้องน้ำต้องใช้ของตึก เดินไปอีกฝั่งนึงเหมือนกัน ไม่ค่อยสะดวกเท่าไร แต่ยังดีมีห้องอาบน้ำในยิมให้ สถานที่ชิดลมโดยรวมก็จะใหม่สุด ดูดีสุด มีสกรีนออกจอใหญ่และเด่นมาก

(รูปนี้ที่ Base ชิดลม / Plates ใหม่คือมีสลักชื่อ Base Bangkok ด้วยจ้า เพิ่งใช้กันได้ไม่นาน)

Atmosphere

Base ทองหล่อเป็นที่ที่ Soooo expat-oriented! เดินเข้ามาแทบจะไม่ได้ยินภาษาไทยคุยกันละ ภาษาอังกฤษที่ได้ยินก็จะแนวสำเนียงเด็กนอกหมด อินเตอร์มากๆ คนไทยที่เราได้ยินบ่อยๆก็จะพูดไทย 2 ประโยค สลับกับอังกฤษอีก 5 ประโยค (Oh you know I แบบชอบใช้ trainer เพราะว่า he can motivate me…แนวๆนี้) เราเป็นเด็กไทยแท้เรียนไทยก็จะไม่ชินหูอย่างแรง และแอบทึ่งว่าเค้าสลับภาษาทันได้ไงนะ เราพูดได้แค่ภาษาเดียวยาวๆ ให้สลับไปมานี่เราทำไม่ได้อะ งง555 Base เป็นที่ที่เดินเข้ามาแล้วจะไม่รู้สึกเหมือนอยู่ประเทศไทยเลย แต่เพื่อนเราบอกสาทรก็จะไทยๆมากกว่า เป็นพวกพนักงานออฟฟิศแถวนั้นกันเยอะ

Instructors ทุกคนที่นี่เฟรนด์ลี่มากกกก และดีมากกกก เราจำได้วันที่เรามาเล่นครั้งแรก มาคนเดียวแบบเด๋อด๋า instructor เข้ามาทักเราเลยตอนเริ่มคลาส hey you are new here right? แล้วก็บอกเลยว่าจะทำอะไรบ้าง แล้วก็ดูแลเรา มาจัดฟอร์มเราให้แบบใกล้ชิด คือรู้สึกดีอะที่เค้าใส่ใจ

เราคุยกะเพื่อนที่เล่นที่นี่ เพื่อนบอกว่า You do feel like people who are here truly want to be here ซึ่งเราเห็นด้วยมากๆ ฟีลลิ่งมันจะไม่เหมือนกับพวก fitness first, we fitness อันนั้นมันก็คนหลากหลายอะนะ ตามลักษณะธุรกิจเค้าที่เป็น mass โอเคที่นี่ก็จะมีหน้าใหม่ๆแบบใช้ guavapass เข้ามา แต่ความที่มัน niche กว่า เล็กกว่า เจ้าประจำก็จะมากันเรื่อยๆ เห็นหน้ากันประจำๆ ทุกคนก็ดูตั้งใจ จริงจังอะ เราว่ามันเป็นสภาพแวดล้อมที่ดีเหมาะกับการเล่นฟิตเนส ฟิตเนสที่ดีก็ควรเป็นแบบนี้แหละ สร้าง community อะนะ

ที่สำคัญก็พวกเทรนเนอร์นี่แหละที่ทุกคนไนซ์มากๆ และความรู้แน่นมากด้วย เราเริ่มมาอ่านๆเรื่องพวกการเล่น การยกเวท การกิน ก็เพราะจากที่ได้คุยกะพวกเทรนเนอร์ที่ Base เนี่ย ทุกคนอธิบายได้แบบมีเหตุผล มีความรู้ ถ้าพวก fitness first บางทีก็มั่วๆ พูดอะไรก็ไม่เมคเซนส์บ้าง หรือไม่อธิบายบ้าง แต่ Base จะไม่มีแบบนั้น

Price

เช็คได้จากเว็บ เราว่าแพง แพงเลยแหละ55 ตอนนี้เราใช้แพคเกจ unlimited 6 months รู้สึกจะจ่ายไปราวๆ 30,000 บาท ซึ่งถ้าเป็นพวก fitness first, Virgin ราคาเท่ากันอาจจะเล่นได้ทั้งปีเลย แต่คิดว่าก็คุ้มค่ากับคุณภาพที่ได้รับมั้งนะ

ถ้า PT ราคาก็โหดมากกก ชม.ละเกิน 2,000 บาท เราว่าราคาแรงเกินเหตุ… แต่เพราะเป็น Base เค้าก็มีกลุ่มลูกค้าของเค้าอยู่แล้ว (Read: rich people555) ดาราอะไรก็มาเทรนที่นี่บ่อยเหมือนกัน

สรุป

เขียนมายาวยืด สรุปเราก็ชอบแหละ พอใจ Base แบบรวมๆ ที่นี่ดี แต่ที่ชอบมากๆคือ Base Strong class มากกว่า (ถ้ามีเวลาอาจจะเขียนรีวิว Base Strong แยกอีกโพสว่าทำไมถึงชอบมาก) เลยรู้สึกโอเคที่จะจ่าย

เหมาะกับคนที่อยาก challenge ตัวเองในการออกกำลังกาย คลาสมันเหนื่อยนะ55 อาจจะเหมาะกะคนขี้เบื่อเพราะมันเร็วๆ แป๊บๆ ดี หรืออาจจะเหมาะกะคนที่เริ่มเบื่อพวก chain fitness (fitness first, we fitness, Virgin) ที่นี่ก็อาจจะตอบโจทย์คุณมากกว่าค่ะ

ปิดท้ายด้วย Gymfie 1 รูป 55 (คนจะถามว่าทำไมใส่ converse มายิม? เวลายกเวทเราต้องฟีลพื้นให้ได้มากสุดเพื่อจะได้มีแรง drive ขึ้น แล้ว converse ส้นมันเรียบแบนเลยใส่ได้ รองเท้าวิ่งนิ่มๆเด้งๆนี่ห้ามค่ะ ไม่อีกทีหลายคนก็ยกกันเท้าเปล่าเลย)

Ko Lanta Solo Travel (Part 2): Yoga by the sea

Continuing from my previous post, I’m really in the mood of writing and documenting stuff on this trip! I just finished working on some freelance stuff, might as well continue typing it away while I’m at it.

Love that I eat tons of fruit here! I don’t eat healthy at all at home. This is a really nice change and I can feel it’s good for my body too!

Originally I planned to hit it hard for CrossFit today, but didn’t feel like it at all this morning. I wasn’t extremely sore, but didn’t feel 100% for some reason and was in the mood of something with a slower pace. No problem, yoga it was then!

It was so lovely. Yoga in an open air in a little Sala overlooking the sea was incredibly soothing. You focus on your breathing and posture while listening to birds chirping and gentle sea waves. I haven’t done yoga for at least 4 years and am really not a yoga person at all. Tried hot yoga at Absolute yoga years ago, and I felt it was too slow and not for me. This time, however, I felt pretty amazing. It was so private as there were only 3 of us, and the environment and everything just felt so right. We did Ashtanga and Vinyasa (I think). Oh dear, only a few rounds of Sun Salutation made me sweat like crazy! How come all these slow movements got you sweat like a cardio! Incredible.

I’m not flexible at all and I felt my body was quite tight. Our yoga teacher, Kru Thip, used to do CrossFit for 2 years and she understands me. She said lifting weight made your body really tight which isn’t good (mental note to research on this afterwards). Yoga is an entirely different movement and focus in your body. Found it really funny when she tried to re-arrange my body and said, stop squeezing your glutes, it’s not a hip thrust, use your inner thigh instead!

The rest of the day was pretty random and relaxing. I was walking around everywhere, even in the afternoon heat and I felt my back was burning. Long beach stretched over 3 km long (or maybe longer), so I kept walking along the beach, be in the afternoon or evening before sunset. I love the feeling of the waves touching my feet. Not sure how to describe it, but it’s definitely one of my favorite feelings.

When I stopped at a beach bar for an happy hour to watch a sunset, it just hit me that I was so, so wrong about this trip. I really should have come here for at least A WEEK! Everything about this trip is exactly what I need in a holiday. This is a real holiday, not the kind of holiday you want another holiday to recover from it. Ko Lanta trip did make every cell in my body relax and learn to enjoy simple, beautiful things in life. Can you ever get tired of watching sunset on the beach? I wonder. This alone is more than enough. I definitely should do this more often. Pick some island in Thailand and just go by myself. Save money enough to splurge and live comfortably on an island a bit, sounds great to me.

My bestie called to check on me and asked if I’m ok or already died from loneliness. HAHA. That was really sweet of her. She asked if I made any new friends. But you know what, I didn’t. Not at all. The thing is, I don’t seem to know how to strike a conversion with strangers!? How do people do this? Do people still talk to new people in a bar? It looks so, so easy for some people, but I’m at a lost at how to do it. It’s pretty funny because many people comment I’m a friendly person, and I do talk to people a lot as a huge part of my job. But when it comes to initiating conversion with random people, I just can’t. Not sure why, but I would really love to crack this “art”

Having said that, I still confirm that everyone on Ko Lanta is incredibly nice and friendly, like people in restaurants, bars, and cafes. I did have some small talk with them and most people have smiles on their faces the whole time. They greet their regulars (mostly westerners) with this sincere smile like good friends. I LOVE IT! It’s so nice. This would be one of the reasons for me to come back; nice and friendly people!

I can keep going on and on for every single topic running in my head right now as I have lots of time to reflect on every single thing in life at the moment. Will spare you and call this post an end here. I’m really not ready to go back to the city at all *Sad puppy face*

Ko Lanta Solo Travel (Part 1): An island loser(?)

“Seriously? You are going to an island alone? What a loser!”

Yes, I got teased by a friend after I said I’m going to Ko Lanta alone. I was debating whether or not to do it, simply because I was afraid I would get bored or…lonely perhaps? But the free domestic flight I received from SCB credit card privilege combined with the fact that I got free time to travel on weekdays (Read: Everything cheaper!) did push me to JUST DO IT. I wasted this SCB free flight privilege last year, let’s not repeat that mistake again this year!

Another friend also asked if this is my very first trip of traveling alone and not meeting any friends. Come to think of it, hell yes! It didn’t feel that way because I flew alone quite often, but never entirely alone the whole trip. Cheers to the first real solo travel!

So far, let me tell you, I LOVE THIS TRIP! Why didn’t I do this sooner? A mini beach/island getaway for me, myself and I. It’s so good for the mind and the soul! There’s something about an island that draws me in more and more (as I get older, HA!). It’s so chilled. Everything feels slower on the island. You get to walk by the beach and see the sunset, and that alone clears your mind like no others. No, I don’t really enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving or any water sports. Simple walk by the beach, sipping coconut juice or cocktail on the beach bar are more than enough to make me feel, wow, life is all good, what else could you want in life?

Where I stayed: Soontreeya Lanta Resort

Gotta admit, this part sucks when you travel alone as you have no one to split accommodation cost, and usually hotel takes up majority of your budget. Meh. And because I’m by myself and safety is #1 priority, I don’t plan to go too cheap as I do need comfort and a peace of mind. Following some blogger I randomly found via Google search on her girls getaway blog post, I chose Soontreeya Lanta Resort. I called hotel to book directly and got even more discount than Agoda and Booking. Total 3 nights cost only 4,500 THB (Around $140).

Soontreeya Lanta is a nice little resort with only 20 (or fewer) bungalows tucked in a tiny Soi, 2 mins walk from the main road, at the end of Long Beach which is the most popular beach on Ko Lanta. Nothing too fancy if you ask me, but it’s quite lovely for the price I paid. Comfy bed and fairly nice pillows, little pool to chill, Typical American breakfast like any other resorts in Thailand (lol), and 1 min walk to the beach with a beach bar. More than enough, isn’t it?

What I’ve done (On the first full day)

Lanta Muay Thai Gym

Like I said, I have no interest in joining those snorkeling tours. So…I went to train Muay Thai for the very first time (What lol). The most convenient thing is Lanta Muay Thai gym is across Soontreeya Lanta resort.

It was 1.5 hours of intense cardio and upper body strength training. Also a lot of kicking in between! Just a warm up is tiring enough if you don’t exercise regularly. Thankfully, all those HIIT training at Base the gym I go to saved my life. I ended up sweating like a pig after 10 mins of warm up though!

All Muay Thai trainers are very nice and friendly, and I’ve got a one on one session as I had never done this before. He had to teach me all basic movements. I found it lots of fun although I sucked, haha. I’m so bad at kicking! Couldn’t seem to get it right and didn’t have much power at all. Oh well, still fun!

And they gave me half price discount. I felt so lucky! 200 THB only for a one on one session, the price you can NEVER find anywhere in Bangkok! Just because I’m Thai and no Thai ever really came to train Muay Thai here, haha. Almost everyone I’ve seen today are westerners.

I gotta admit, I tried boxing (no kick!) years ago with my PT and didn’t like it at all. It felt too tiring, next day with soreness in my arms and shoulders. I did think boxing wasn’t for me. Today though, wow, so much different! I feel stronger, with more strength. I could punch and punch and didn’t feel burn out that much. Finally all those bench press, dumbbell bench and upper body strength training paid off. And let me tell you, it’s the best feeling in the world that you can do things you couldn’t back then. Feeling strong is so amazing, and I would keep raving about it to anyone who wants to be stronger too!

Another Thai lady who came with her Swedish husband warned me I would pass out today and feel so sore afterwards. Guess what, I didn’t feel that sore at all! And think I will be ok tomorrow. Yay strength training. Got bruises all over my knees from all the kicking today though. Pretty nasty here, ugh.

Infinity Spa at Crown Lanta (Best one ever!)

My friend stayed at Crown Lanta last time she was here and raved how amazing the hotel was. So I decided to try their Infinity Spa. It was the best decision ever as everything was so perfect. I went it all in and picked a 2 hour spa package; body scrub and aroma massage. Once again, the original price was around 3,000 THB but the lady was so sweet and gave me lots of discount and I ended up paying less than 2,000 THB. Just because I’m Thai, and she said there are hardly any Thais here. Say whaaat?

The massage was too good to be true. Everything the massage lady did felt just right. I love her technique so much. Also her service is top-notched. It wasn’t like 5 star hotel formality kind of nice service you find in Bangkok, it was more sincere, more down to earth, but you feel like she truly cares about you. Afterwards I was served fresh fruit and ginger tea while taking my time absorbing the view right here.

Fantastic. At that moment I truly felt my life couldn’t get any better than this.

Apart from that it was all about chilling, eating, iced coffee, reading, evening walk on the beach. All in all a simple but really good day.

Ko Lanta beach surprised me though. I did think the water would be more crystal clear and the sand would be white. It wasn’t the case and less pretty than I had thought. But maybe it’s because I’m on the most popular beach, and it could be more beautiful way down south of the island. Ko Lanta is pretty big. Most people are really nice and friendly, way friendlier than Bangkokians for sure (Ha!). And somehow they are very welcomed when they know I’m Thai. I got asked if I’m really Thai by a Muay Thai trainer *chuckles* It’s so western-oriented here. But the reason I picked Ko Lanta is because it’s not a party island, more like a quiet and relaxing island which is what I was looking for. Overall it’s a lot of couples, families, or even girls getaway. But somehow I don’t feel lonely at all, which is a good thing.

Will get up early tomorrow to either do CrossFit (never done, looks too intense and I’m a chicken, haha) or yoga by the beach (haven’t done yoga for years). Still undecided. I’m glow with “Lovin’ life” mood right now, with very minimum makeup on my greasy, oily face. So glad I decided to come here by myself!

End of chapter reflection

FINALLY! I’ve been wanting to sit down and write this blog post for about a month now. February was such a whirlwind, a roller coaster ride, a dramatic episode, and I was being thrown up and down in the air before eventually dropped to the ground. A little bit too dramatic perhaps, but it was a peak finale ending before the peaceful and fresh start. Wait, February was…last month!? How is this possible? It felt like another era, another life of mine.

One thing I know for sure, I was so, so grateful for all of my loved ones; all the calls, daily check-ins, face-to-face meetings, messages, anything that shows they cared about me. It was then I realized, hey, I’ve got a good life, with all these supportive people around me, no need to worry about anything.

I’m pretty sure I wrote it on here after I returned home finishing my master’s degree in UK back in 2014 that life from now would probably be so stable and boring. I’ve got years and years of work lying stretch ahead of me. Oh dear, how wrong was I? The past 5 years have been anything but. Of course, there were uneventful, boring moments, and at one point I felt it was so sluggish, so stagnant it was almost unbearable. By that time I decided to get up and change things myself, intentionally made it more dynamic. And boy, was last year dynamic enough? So dynamic it felt like I was on fire almost the whole time.

Friends who know all the details of what I was going through repeatedly asked how I could bear the amount of pressure, stress, and demand it was required of me on a daily basis (Literally daily, there was no weekend, no 100% time off as far as I recalled). The most popular question was, of course, “Are you happy?” Happiness seems to be such an ingrained concept in our millennial generation these days, and I’ve read somewhere it has never been stressed this much in our history. If you are not happy, why bother? What’s the point? I could never answer fully that I was happy. Honestly speaking, in the midst of chaos, of the constant need to be “on” 24/7, I did not have this leisure time to stop and wonder if what I was doing made me happy. Getting from one task to another and dealing with people already consumed so much of my energy, there was no luxury of sitting down and “reflecting” on what I truly felt. I dreamed ALL the time about work and people at work, though, which never happened before. Could never let it go, mind clinging to it the whole time.

Now, though, I could answer. It wasn’t so much about happiness. I didn’t think that was originally what I aimed for anyway. In the beginning I knew then it was going to be very tough. Looking back now that I have time to reflect, I’ve just realized I’ve learned so, so much, and that was the point of it all. It wasn’t such a long time, but I felt like it was another step in life. It was a leap from my previous mundanity. I was given a bigger responsibility, I got to manage my own team for the first time, I learned so much on people, prioritization skills, the art of saying no, dealing with senior management, balancing expectation of every party that demanded my presence, and so many other things along the way. In the end I’m glad I got to experience it all, through all the madness. If you had never experienced this kind of intensity and insanity, you would never have understood, for this I am very certain.

Oh, also, whatever I went through boosted my confidence that, no matter how tough things are going to get, it’s not gonna get tougher than what I had faced! I am immune, I came out stronger than what I used to be. Colleagues called me a “fighter” Not joking!

As any chapter that ends, you can’t help but feel uncertain how the next chapter is going to unfold. I’ve always felt this way and perhaps it’s normal when you face another change in life. But the thing is (And I always learn afterwards, every single time) you don’t need to worry at all as everything is going to be fine. Seriously. Worrying is such a waste of time, yet I do it anyway. And this time is no exception. But at the moment I’ve never felt better about the change. In fact, I am looking forward to it and embracing this next, exciting step as my gut feeling said this is the right thing.

I couldn’t say I had much of a free time at all. As always, I am glad I was able to help with CareerVisa Thailand activities. There was a DTAC project coming, and I was the one who did pre-screen interviews for 20 DTAC candidates, then there was the activity day itself which I went to help out on selecting their management trainees on DTAC CXO Apprentice Day. I went to help for a career design, resume and job interview workshop for Burapha University students. It felt good to connect to people in their team who are passionate about education and career. Though I have no direct background in teaching, I feel great every time I can share my experience with students and help them out. This is one of the things that I learned last year; I feel good when one of my team trusted me and discussed with me openly about his life goals and ambition. I love listening to this shit! and feel honored when anyone trusts me enough to lay down their life plans with me and seeks for opinions or feedback.

What else? Apart from CareerVisa, there was a lot of running around to different places, there were a few proposals and presentations needed to be made, there was a freelance project, there were quotations to be made, there was a mini beach trip to Hua Hin with my team, there was more learning on Google ads, SEO, and more, there was some reading here and there; all kinds of readings from physical books to Kindle to digital marketing expert blog posts. I thought I’d get to go to gym more often, but that wasn’t the case at all. There was some shopping, cafe hopping, connecting with people, relaxing time along the way, so it was good to balance it out. Ah, Balance. Something I hadn’t had for a while.

But overall, I didn’t expect March to be this productive! I thought perhaps I would get to stay home all day doing nothing. But glad it turned out this way as well. My best friend just commented me the other day how she thinks I don’t know what to do without work, when I confessed I still feel weird when I go out with NO laptop (Laptop had to be with me at all times, a staple in life last year). HA! Maybe. I have to admit I’m not used to having all the time in the world, with no rush to be anywhere or do anything. At least not the kind of rush and intensity I had a while ago. Though with no tight schedule or agenda to follow, I still keep my to-do list intact to keep me moving forward each day. Do need some sort of structure in life, still.

Plan to write more on here next week. I’m going away for a mini trip, no big deal really. But for some reason I feel too giddy as I can’t expect at all how I’m gonna feel. Let’s see.