Tag Archives: reflection

2015 Wrap up: Big Turn and Calibration

Self-portrait on 19th Street Northwest
On 19th Street Northwest, DC

The year has been huge transition for me. The moving from Thailand and to the US was a physical hectic but it didn’t compare to the mental shift I’m having right now. It is exhausting but life is like working out. No pain, no gain.

In the end of 2014 wrap up, I did hint about some ambitious goals. A new overseas job was one of them. It was a bold decision to relocate from one continent to another, to give up the safety nets I had in Bangkok, and to take an insecure pathway in Washington DC. But it’s time to shake things up in my life up, again. Continue reading 2015 Wrap up: Big Turn and Calibration

Thank You, Bangkok

Mirror, mirrow
Mirror, mirror tell me…

Dear Bangkok,

I just want to let you know how fantastic you are and how much I love you even though I am about to leave you, again. I have to say that the years back in the city have given me much more than I asked from you.

Four and a half years ago I came back to you to retreat myself from the whole roller coaster ride in Sydney. I needed a rest, well, kind of a fresh start. You not only gave me back the strength and the sense of security but also inspired me as if this experience in the city was a new one for me.

Being away for almost a decade refreshed my views to the city, which has grown a lot. As I have both eyes of a foreigner and a local, I have discovered so many cool things about you.

Bangkok, you accommodate so many walks of life. I really enjoy people you from around the world you host: expats, migrant workers, tourists, and locals. You are such a sincere hypocrite in this realm of organised chaos. And I fucking love it!

There are for many amazing stories about you to tell the world and I haven’t done a justice for you. I still have photo series and blog posts about you that I want to share them but they haven’t seen the light. And I owe you that, big time.

Now, I am moving on for a new job in Washington DC and entering a phase of uncertainty again. And you know what? I couldn’t do it without you.

I cannot say thank you enough for embracing this old Bangkokian back into your arms and letting me fly out from the nest again to take on the world. I’m gonna make you proud.

And thank everyone who make Bangkok one of the most fascinating cities in the world. That includes my family, old friends, new friends, colleagues, fellow drinkers in the pubs, regular shops and street vendors in the neighbourhood, and even strangers that I got chances to have a look at some glimpse of your lives.

Bangkok, you are beautiful, amazing, and awesome. One last thing I’d like to ask from you is to wish me luck for another new adventure. Again, big thanks to you.

The First Week in and Beyond

Dawn at Rayong Refinery
Sunrise at an oil refinery in Rayong through a back seat of my parents' car

I spent most of my first week back in Thailand with my mom and stay in Rayong where she lived for three days. On the final day, we went to the local district health clinic to have her blood checked. While we were waiting in the queue, I sat down and let my thoughts sink in and contemplated what I had learned in the past seven days in my home country.

We got to four Thai temples for different purposes: to wait for mom while she was having physiotherapy, to see an astrologer, to get a Thai massage and, finally, to make a merit as advocated by the astrologer. That was a triple dose of my religious journey in the decade.

It reminded me of the conversation with tweeter friends of mine: Tony, Jenny, Rai and Frances at a Yum Cha lunch before I left Sydney. We talked about some aspects of reincarnation and I told them I didn’t know what to believe anymore even though I had been raised as a Buddhist, however, I believed that religions and psychotherapy were designed to make sense of our lives.

The question I asked myself about a week back in Thailand became a bigger quest of soul searching—what I had learned about life in the past nine years living in the isolated continent, focusing the last three years that I started to make changes in my life: fighting depression, visiting Thailand, studying a Master degree and so on. Moreover, how I would optimise those lessons in the next chapter in my life.

First of all, I used to point my finger at the dramatic childhood that shaped my today. The depression and anxiety in I suffered while residing in Australia was a product of myself created from the past echoing the present then. It was not easy to be able to see that. Time to let go of it or got stuck with your own misery.

Secondly, when I looked at my mom, I saw a lot of me in her and could not help thinking that if I was sometime that unbearably passive. In fact, I had a despicable feeling for her for not being able to be an assertive role model. But how could you expect someone to teach you something they did not know how to and blame him or her for not doing so. Besides, as I grew up as an adult, I could now be assertive without being an aggressive person. And that was a credit to her because I also got her kind heart (which I did not realise it until the moment I wrote this paragraph). And she should have been applauded more for that.

And lastly, my mom kept telling me to make more and more merits because you would never know those good karmas would return you some favours. For her case, she did not have to wait for the next life when someone, whom she helped a long time ago, offered my parents some relief of home and work when they were about to hit the ground. They have been struggling for years and I felt guilty that I could not be much help. I have been back in Thailand now, might be able to do more merits and could start with my family.

After she finished with her blood test, we had breakfast and they dropped me off at bus stop to Bangkok. When I arrived in the city of Bangkok, it felt I now could look into the future. You definitely could not change what had happened but you could understand the relationship of the environment you grew up with. I just wanted to make sense of it so that I could be able to move on.