Remembering Dad Today

This isn’t something that I like to bring up, because I’ve told people that I’d much rather remember someone’s life rather than their death, but about 9 years ago, my father passed away very suddenly, about a week after I went back home to Texas with the intention of moving back to the USA.

There are a few posts on Facebook that made me remember my dad’s passing away. I saw a lot of “memories” where people were posting really sweet and caring messages to me.

During that time of my life, I had been really depressed already and by the time I got to the USA, I was already taking some pretty strong anti-depressants so I wouldn’t be constantly unproductive, sad, and feeling miserable all day. When my father passed away, I appeared to take it quite well, I guess you could say. The medications I had to take kind of numbed everything and made me appear to be mostly unaffected by his passing away. I guess you could say that those medications helped me appear to be strong when my mom and sister were having a really hard time.

Now that I am unmedicated, I think back about how that appeared to people. It’s something I think about a lot. But even before I got off the medications, I made a decision not to mourn constantly over his death, but to remember how well we bonded in my adult life. Yeah, my childhood wasn’t full of pleasantness, but he really made an effort when I was older. He apologised for not being the best dad, and you know what? That’s perfectly fine. I am happy with that.

I do miss the guy a lot. I miss going back home and dealing with t his craziness that I didn’t really get until I was older. He was full of wisdom that I ignored when I was a rebellious teen. You look back and appreciate those things. As I type this, I’m not sad or crying, but I’m appreciative of what I had when he was still around.

I also still dream about him which also makes me happy. There are a few times where I have gotten really sad in my dreams, but the rest of the times that I dream about him, it’s been really nice. I might sound crazy, but that is my way of remembering him and reminding myself that someday, somewhere, and somehow, I’ll see him again. I’m content with that.

That’s what I’m thinking about at the moment. I don’t know it would go if I talked about it in a podcast episode, so I’ll just put it here. I’m just remembering my dad and the good times I’ve had.

I just don’t think that it’s nice to remember death dates. I probably wouldn’t have remembered this if I didn’t look at Facebook today and/or yesterday.

It Will All Be Okay (I Hope)

As you could see, I’m in the middle of moving things around so I haven’t had much time to post here. We’re just waiting for our utilities to get connected before we move, so I’m staying mostly with my partner’s family. I thought that it would be good to get as much of the family living thing as I can get before I move. A lot of you know that I have been struggling to come to terms with the fact that I need to move and with only a few days left in the Melbourne area, I’m starting to really feel it.

I used to complain a lot about the place where I’m living because, really, it’s not in Melbourne. It’s about an hour and a half away from Melbourne and, to me, it’s a little isolated. It’s not too terribly bad but I had lived in Melbourne and it’s suburbs mostly while I’ve been here. I still want to go back and live there, but I think of it this way: I can either be forced to work my ass off to pay for a place to live, or I can live a little further away and have a little extra money to feed my addition to mints and electronics. I haven’t been able to save much while I’ve been away from Melbourne though because I’ve been doing training stuff (which I am not being paid for, may I add). Since I found out where we’re moving to, I started thinking maybe the current city I am living in isn’t really that bad, you know?

I think that living in a rural area will help me save money and appreciate the city more when I get to go there. I will be living walking distance from the place I’ll be working (and my partner will be working at the same place doing a different job). Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), the place we’ll be living is a bit slow and boring. I can’t just jump on a train and go to Melbourne anymore. Melbourne is where all my friends live and I’m not really sure that I will be able to find other people like me (cough cough gay) to relate with where I am moving to.

I only have a few more days until I move away and I don’t think I have all the time to do the things I want to do before I move over 4 hours away. I guess I’ll be fine though, since this is supposed to be a temporary move anyway. I keep trying to tell myself that, but the move where I am currently living, or the place I’m moving from, was supposed to be temporary too and I spent a lot longer there than I expected.

I am a little anxious and scared to go away, but this is stuff we already know. I just need to look at the positives though. I will be saving money from being so bored all the time and work being so close. The rent is cheaper. I won’t be alone. I think I’ll be fine.

Stuff Moving Day

It has begun. Today is the day we have moved all our stuff out of our place. A big truck is bringing all our stuff about 300 km away to the new place as I type this. Through movers were quite nice, friendly, and professional at least.

I’m sitting here in an empty place and it’s just a little sad.

So empty. It’s always a bit depressing when you have to move. It’s extremely depressing when you have no furniture or computers. I know. First world problems.

I might be limited at what I can do until I move next week.

Further Updating

Sorry I haven’t been in touch much while I’ve been gone. You know how it is. I just thought I’d drop a note to let you know that I am doing fine and my vacation is coming to a close soon. I know I’ve said I’ll be gone longer than that, but once I get back home, it’s full-steam ahead to packing the house and moving away. We have a lot to do in the upcoming few weeks. I’m a bit sad thinking about moving and I’m still a bit sad about my dog.

Since I plan on talking about my trip to India in my next podcast episode, I thought that I’d share some feelings here.

I’ve done some searching on Google about where I’m moving to. Let me tell you, there isn’t shit to do. There are no gyms, no pools, no KFC, no nothing. It’s very isolated. I am assuming that I am going to be going to other places a lot. One of my biggest issues is getting my partner to get off his feet and onto hiking paths and stuff. That’s what I like to do but getting him to go for the past three years has been impossible. I wanted to spend some of my time here in India doing that, but no such luck. Maybe next time?

I’m wondering, besides work, how am I going to fill my time? What am I going to do? Where am I going to go? Who am I going to socialise with? How am I going to stop myself from getting any fatter? I should have some answers within the next month. I hope I do, at least.

I haven’t really told people in Melbourne that I am moving even further away. I’ve told some people, but not everybody.

I think mostly that’s what I’m feeling not sadness, but a bit dread. I probably need some positivity (from myself) about moving. We’ll see!

OK, I will go now, and as always, I hope that every single one of you are doing well!

RIP, Andy

I haven’t really said anything for a while but rest assured, I have not accomplished anything much in the last few days. There hasn’t been anything recorded or anything like that. In case you weren’t able to read my Twitter feed, I’ve had a rough week. My MacBook Pro decided that it was going to bite the bullet and stop working. (I think the hard drive finally failed after a really rough run. The thing’s been giving me trouble since I got it.) And secondly, my dachshund in Texas had to be put to sleep over his irreversible health issues. He was suffering a lot by that time, and the last time I saw him, the poor little guy seemed like he was having a lot of issues. I’m just really sad right now about it and it’s put me in a bit of a funk over the week so much that my husband and his family have been asking what’s wrong. I finally told them.

I got a playful dachshund puppy Andy (who I named Andrew–I totally believe in giving dogs people names) in 2003 in the spring. (His birthday on his certificate was 14 March.)

I loved my little puppy so much, really. I went to the farm (it was a real farm, not a puppy farm) to pick up a puppy. I had already picked one of them out but there was this puppy who ran up to me excitedly and brought me a ball. I threw it. He brought it back. I decided that he was the one that I would bring home instead. I got him home and he still wanted to play ball. In fact, he wanted to do this constantly.

I also thought that this would be a dog that wouldn’t sleep in bed with me but I’d put him into his kennel but that never went very well. I let him out and eventually he won that battle. He was always really good to sleep next to. Really warm, really still and when I was ready to get out of bed, he’d be there right with me ready to eat breakfast. (My parents kept this up with him until his last days. As he got older, he’d eat, then head right back to bed.)

This dog loved the water. He loved to swim and my parents had a pool that he’d swim in. You could throw his ball into the pool, and he’d go fetch it. He’d get out, and you’d throw it, and he’d get it. I’d regularly take him swimming when I finished mowing the grass and he loved it.

The bad thing though is that he’d chase his ball until he’d get completely exhausted. When he’d recover, he’d want more.

I got him a toothbrush but he grew to hate that thing for some reason. I would take it and say “here, let me brush your teeth” and he’d move his head out of the way. It was pretty funny.

He ate his fruits and vegetables like a weird dog.

I could bring him places with me and hold him, and he’d behave. He’d let people pet him (and then he’d try his hardest to get them to play ball with him).

I could bring him in the car with me and he’d be well-behaved. He always wanted to sleep on me while I drove. He’d sleep curled up in my lap or with his head on my shoulder. He was so happy to go anywhere. I loved to bring him everywhere with me, if I could. He was well-behaved on the leash as well.

He barely showed any anger towards me at all except when I told him I was going to bite something on him like his ears, legs, feet, or nose. Then he’d make the scariest face and sneeze a billion times. He never bit me though.

I could say “Who is it?” and he’d start barking. Or I would say “bark bark” and he’d start barking. Or “tell me” and he’d bark. He was quite vocal about what he wanted, even when it was mostly for someone to get his ball. We had to keep it out of reach or he would completely exhaust himself or get it caught under something and injure himself.

For most of my early adult life, this dog was one of my best friends (and I’d tell him that, because you know, he should know). When I was about to move to Australia, I was going to bring him with me but I couldn’t face what I’d feel like if I made him fly for 20+ hours and then be stuck in quarantine for a few months. So my parents adopted him. I knew they’d take care of him, though I would get quite upset to see him get fatter when I would come back home.

It was hard seeing him grow old. I just didn’t know whether I would see him for much longer on my last trip so I spent some time making some videos and taking pictures of the little guy.

It’s hard losing a pet and since my mom has had him most of his “adult life” I know making the decision she did wasn’t an easy one. I really feel for her and I was worried that she might think that I’d get upset for her making that decision. I loved Andy a lot but I don’t think I would want to prolong his suffering either. I am sure it took a lot of courage to do it. So, I can’t be mad or upset with her. I’ve had a dog live to be 20 years old and it wasn’t pretty. I wouldn’t wish that on another animal.

I wish pets could live forever but nothing lives forever, and over the years I am understanding that a lot more now. So rest in peace, Andy/Andrew/Mr Weens. I will miss you.

I’m still really sad. I am sadder now that I had to find a picture of him.

It Has Been Done

shiny happy people holding hands

I didn’t really expect to be back so quickly, but here I am. I’m going to talk more in detail about the wedding day, but I will say that it went pretty well. It was cold, wet, and windy most of the day, but as I’ve said before, I always wanted a winter wedding, but I’ll be honest with you, I’m a bit over winter now. I guess that’s a good thing now that it’s a matter of days before I head off to my temporary summer in India.

Besides the really awful windy weather, things went okay. I stumbled over my vows. I could feel myself turning as red as a beet. I just don’t handle these situations very well, but I’m still alive. I’m happy to finally have the marriage done and behind us now. Who knows what exciting adventures are ahead! (Some not-so-great ones are coming up…)

All in all, I am fine. Nothing feels really that different right now. It did hit me a little when I dug out the marriage certificate and took pictures of it for my mom.

I’ll talk about all this stuff a little later though but it just happened yesterday. I wanted to give myself a few days of this because I’m noticing some things a little more now. It’s nothing negative. They’re just observations.

Anyway, poor guy is stuck with me now. I wonder if he really understands what he’s gotten himself into.

OH! And I finally got a slow cooker. I’ve been eyeballing one for a long time. That was my wedding present to myself.

What’s the Run Down?

I feel a little weird: physically ill and mentally unwell and it’s hard to think. I’m confident enough though that I can write out a weblog post. It’s one of those days when I’d rather type than speak. For some reason, I’m not feeling like my regular self lately. A few things happened between the last time that I recorded a podcast episode and now, but I’ll talk about that later in the next episode.

As many of you have heard, I’m tumbling through life right now towards some really crazy major events in my life and I’m probably ill-prepared for all of it. I think it’s safe to say that life’s surprises haven’t been all too great to me and I think that’s why I’m run down, irritable, and really worried. I just feel physically ill from it. That’s no good.

I can imagine what all these changes (there are more than one of them) are going to do to me, but I guess some things should be talked about than typed here. So, tomorrow, I’ll try to get up early enough to record the next episode and post it whenever.

I know this post doesn’t have much of a point, but thought that if I got a teensy bit out, I’d start feeling better. It’s not happening now, but I hope it does soon. Chat with you soon!

All That I Can Say: Loving You is Wonderful

you are the cheese to my macaroni
I didn’t make this. Gina Mayes did.

It looks like about three years ago, Jay and I decided that we’re going to be a couple. Honestly, I didn’t think that I would ever be in another long-term relationship ever again back then. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, but because I believed that I would never have the opportunity to do so again. I guess you could connect that to my really awful self-esteem. I still don’t really understand what good things people see in me, but this guy does. He assures me that and I probably feel better about that now. It’s really good. It’s a nice feeling to know that there’s a person who has my back through my good and bad. I know, for a fact, right now, that things are far from perfect with me right now, but he’s inspiring me to do better and is incredibly supportive of the things I want to do (full-time at least, not casual).

It’s been a good few years. I do complain about him sometimes and he does get on my nerves a little bit, but he knows that if he mentions farts or something childish, he can coerce a smile out of me. He knows that I don’t like pink food. He knows that I don’t eat seafood though he comes from a place where they eat a ton of it. He knows how nervous I am around a lot of people. He knows that I’m probably not as social as I really should be. He knows that the only kind of foods I can really cook have about 6-10 ingredients before it goes bad. He knows (and exploits) that I really have a not-so-healthy relationship with KFC. He knows all these things and he still loves me as much as he possibly can. I love him too.

Yeah, I know this is really sweet and everything, but it’s been a good few years for me. I’ve had more schooling on South Indian culture in the past three years than I ever thought I would in my life. It’s been different and difficult at times, but it’s totally worth it. And in a little more than a month, we’re tying the knot. I made him wait long enough and secretly, I’m looking forward to it.

So here’s to another year (and many more years) of being with this really incredible person (who needs to get his hair cut or at least trimmed)!

OK, the title of this totally came from this… kinda.

Self-Love, Self-Care

Just a quick one to let everybody know what’s going on. I’ll still incredibly busy and won’t have much breathing space for a while, but hey, I’ll come here when I can. Well, someone’s in the bathroom and I can’t accomplish much until they get out (I need to leave home soon). I have been in a rough spot for the last few days, but think I managed to pull myself out of it, mostly.

A few people have pointed out that I am really critical of myself, that I’ve been withdrawing, that it looks like I don’t have that many friends around, and that I am just looking sad and down. I guess it’s pretty bad when people are pointing this out to me.

I spend a lot of time worrying. I worry about what’s going to happen next week. I worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow. I worry about what’s going to happen for the rest of the day. At lunch time, I worry about what I am going to be eating for dinner. I spend a lot of time worrying and I spend a lot of time worrying about other people rather than myself. I’m always worrying about what people think about me (though they probably don’t care). I just worry a lot and I think that takes its toll on my health. It really does.

I had someone yesterday ask me what good worrying about everything is going to accomplish. Am I going to gain anything from being so stressed all the time? Am I going to lose anything from it? I’ve been seeing the effects from it now.

The same person also told me that I need to think more positively about myself, which is true. Probably in this post, I’ve said some pretty negative things. I need to get out of that habit and I guess probably make a better attempt to give myself more credit where credit is due. Deep down, I know I’m not an awful person. I really do but I’m always wanting to be that better person. I just have a hard time accepting that I am not perfect, don’t have all the answers, and can’t save the world. I need to just accept things how they are, do what I can, and move forward, and at the same time, give myself more love than I am giving myself now.

Pretty good advice, right? Now, I just need to follow it, I think. I guess I need to put his plan into action and just having the chat with the person yesterday, I’m feeling a bit better which is the reason why I’m here now writing this. I forget sometimes how important it is to talk things through, especially with someone I don’t know on a really personal level.

About the having friends part, I will admit that I don’t have many friends. I have some and that’s okay. I’m not the kind of person who will walk into work and make friends automatically or even try to attempt making new friends. I’d rather have a few close friendships than many distant friends. I wasn’t really aware that this is a problem though. I’ve been a loner most of the time anyway. I don’t think that it’s because I’m unlikable, but rather it’s because I only have so much friendship to go around. And sometimes, I even neglect the friends I do have! šŸ˜‰

Getting Lost in the City

I’m back in the place where my Australia story began: Sydney. I am not feeling so great today* so I’m sitting back working on a presentation and video for next week, well, at least that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. I haven’t been successful actually starting the research yet. I probably should get on that–after I type this.

So, Sydney. A few of you who have known me over the years know that this was the first place I came to and lived when I reached Australia. I distinctly remember how horrified I was when I couldn’t understand anybody because I was so used to my then-boyfriend’s Hong Kong English accent. I just assumed everybody would sound just like him and I was a bit nervous when I discovered that the accent wasn’t the same. I didn’t leave the house for several weeks because I was so afraid that I would get lost. After my boyfriend locked me out of the apartment to get me to explore a little bit (and I do appreciate that he did it), I got lost a time or two, calling him frantically. This was in the time period when people didn’t have smart phones and you actually had to walk up to people and ask for directions or pick up a paper map or something. He would meet me somewhere and gently remind me that I needed to pay more attention to where I was going. That’s a good point. I was so timid and shy that I wouldn’t dare to get on a train, bus, or tram because I was afraid I’d get lost, have to talk to someone and admit that I’m an idiot.

Even during these days, I still get lost (or would get lost) out here. I don’t venture out much for that reason, but at least now, 15 years later, I wouldn’t get too lost with a smart phone. I still have that fear of not being able to find my way where I’m going, though the last few times I was here, I jumped on a train to see a few friends I have kept in touch with while I’ve lived in Australia.

Sydney still has this “vibe” to me where I know that I lived here as a young adult and for the most part, I was a pretty happy guy back then. It makes me a little sad because of that and so much has changed to the point where I have no idea where I am most of the time. I feel like I like Melbourne better. I like the unpredictably colder (or warmer), wetter (or drier) weather there. I like the people there (because I feel like they’re less rude in Melbourne). Being in Sydney makes me miss New York and New York City when I lived over there.

I will have to say that Sydney has some really good food though. Coffee, Melbourne does better for some reason. The food I’ve had over here so far is really good. When I lived here the first time, I remember how good the Thai food was (when I could taste it or wasn’t complaining that I wanted American food instead).

It’s just really weird. I like Sydney and I’d probably live here again, just further out of the city. When I lived here I lived very close to Central Station, like walking distance from it. I think that if I could get out of the hustle and bustle, it would be a little better.

My options are open though and work-wise, I will always be a sought-after commodity. I can work in pretty much any Commonwealth country if I want to, unfortunately that doesn’t include the USA. I am going to have a chat with someone tomorrow about the requirements to get my license to practice in Texas, at least. Will I go there? I’m not sure. I think it will be a hard sell to my husband-to-be because obviously, it’s not like I can leave him behind. At any rate, I need to have a talk with him to see what we’re doing, where we’re going and why we’re doing it. He’s been talking to me about transitioning to a related-yet-different career path (same as mine, in a way) which I do support, but feel like it would benefit him more to do it in the USA.

Lots of thinking to do! Anyway, so yes, it’s good to come back to your roots every so often, I think. I like Sydney but prefer Melbourne.

That’s all from me now, I need to get this research stuff done between visits to the toilet. *Gut issues again. Bye for now, folks.