Journal

Fuck Yeah!

I read an article a couple years ago titled “Fuck yeah” by Mark Manson. I thought it was a really inspiring read. The main message of the article is that if you want to be in a relationship with someone then make sure both parties definitely and wholeheartedly want to be together. If it is a maybe, or only a half-fuck yes, then it’s not a committed and healthy relationship. If it’s in dating, it will only lead to frustration with the other person. Only be with someone if they are excited to be with you, and if you are excited to be with them. It seems easy, but of course in practice it can be difficult. Though, I liked the concept of “fuck yeah” so much I’ve taken this read a step further and decided to apply to many different parts of my life as well. It will be a fuck yes to travel, activities, friendship, and of course, love.

Travel

I love to travel with my boyfriend and with my friends. Going around with my family can be quite nice as well, but often we annoy each other after a couple of days. That’s family for ya, especially with a little brother. When I was in secondary school, one of my dreams was to visit Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. It’s a place from where I felt like I heard a calling after I saw pictures of those majestic limestone landscapes, arching out of the blue bay like a dragon’s back. So when my boyfriend suggested that we go to Vietnam, from the South to the North, I said “fuck yeah, of course I want to go!”.

I don’t want to just say “I did it”, I wanted to live in the moment and experience it all. I don’t want to prove myself to others, I just wanted to go for my own self fulfillment and sense of adventure. And so, after around two years of planning we were able to go and live my long-time dreams. I’ll be honest, even though at this point in my life I literally left everything behind to move to a new country, Taiwan by myself, I was still very nervous to go. I’ve heard stories of people getting sick from the food and the ice (not just Vietnam, but other countries that are tropical). I heard that the traffic was very dangerous and that the heat can be terrible. I also was told a lot people will try to steal or scam us for our money. I didn’t even speak any Vietnamese! Yet, the beautiful recounts that I’ve heard from others were more alluring than the trifling fears. I heard stories about delicious food, beautiful landscapes, and the simple thrill of adventure and exploring a new place! Also, of course, I rather say I tried and failed than live in regret.

So fuck yeah, I went to Vietnam, and it was wonderful. It had its ups and downs (for instance we actually got scammed at a temple and we were praying for our lives every time we crossed the street), but the highs were much better, more plentiful, and certainly more memorable than the lows. The food was delicious, we met friendly and helpful people, the museums were educational (and emotional at the War Museum in Saigon), the ocean was fun to swim in, the mountains were fun to hike, and the country had such breathtaking landscapes and views.

I also discovered I love being thrust into the unknown, facing new challenges, and being out of my comfort zone. I love the adrenaline and the thrill of thinking on your feet and being in a totally different environment. I’ve learned a lot about myself through travel and adventure, trials and tribulations, and for that I’m truly thankful. I’m even more confident in my own abilities and my independence. And I even survived the crazy traffic too! Or I wouldn’t be here writing this… So a big fuck yeah to going new places! The urge to travel is more than ever before as my heart swells with wanderlust with every passing day.

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A view of the ocean from a mountainside in Vietnam, Hai Van Pass.

Activities

As a kid, my parents often signed me up for activities I never really enjoyed. I never enjoyed playing soccer or practicing guitar too much. I understood the value of team sports and musical instruments for a child. Too bad I didn’t become a musical genius or a pro athlete. This was certainly due to the fact the passion or motivation was never truly there. I dreaded going to soccer practice or guitar lessons. I thought they were both tiresome and pointless. Even a person has the skills, without the passion it can be hard to be happy with that activity.  I would complain and eventually my parents gave up on signing me up for anything new. Goodbye guitar lessons and soccer practices!

As I grew up, I discovered I had a lot more interest in other hobbies and activities. In high school I found a love for tennis, table tennis, and cross country running. I even tried out for the lacrosse team and got in! I love to try out new sports or hobbies to find my talents or passions but I soon found that I had no interest in that sport either. My participation in the lacrosse team lasted only one season, but my time in the other three mentioned was for all my high school years. When I did those activities I felt at ease with my life. I felt euphoric after a run, and I felt the rush of adrenaline during a table tennis game. I was in the now when I was in a game or a rally. I didn’t feel as if I was wasting time, I was enjoying that time spent. I wanted to practice. I wanted to get better. Even though I knew I’d never be the best, I still played for the enjoyment. It was a feeling I never had with the sports and activities my parents forced on me when I was younger, and I was in love with my newfound passions.

Fuck yeah, I love running! Fuck yeah, I love racquet sports! My parents didn’t really understand how someone could love running like that, but as I got older, I realized that they and I have very different tastes, interest, and opinions. I learned an important lesson in this: Don’t partake in an intensive activity just to make others happy. Find what you love yourself to develop your own self. In the end, it’ll be what matters the most.

In university, I was on their dragonboat team for three years. That’s when I discovered the biggest of all fuck yeahs in terms of sports. I went to practice three times a week, sometimes four. Some days when I didn’t have practice I’d feel lethargic and look forward to days where I had practice. I asked all my friends to join (few did), and I just wanted to share my love of the sport. It was both socializing and exercise, and my endorphins were definitely on a high. I wanted to get better. I wanted to be the best me I could possibly be when I paddled on that boat. I truly understood the passion a lot of athletes must feel for their game. Fuck yeah, I love paddling. Fuck yeah, I love running.

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This is a dragonboat race I went to go watch in Taiwan during the festival!

Friendships

It’s hard to keep friends if you move around a lot. It’s happened to me a few times and to a lot others whom I know. I make a friend, we hang out a lot, then I leave or they leave, and communication eventually goes from regular to a dwindling amount. That’s a common occurrence. Regardless, I’ve had friends that I’ve kept in touch with over long distance for many years. However, lots of friends do get lost over the years and I often wonder what they’re up to now, especially since we don’t talk anymore. I also wonder if any of them stop and think about me from time to time; do I ever cross their minds? Sometimes I wonder about the friends who are at a distance now, will we ever lose touch? Once in a while the friendship is strained and all that is left are good memories, and sometimes that’s enough. Nevertheless, the ones remaining that in my life are the ones where both parties want to stay as friends, wanted to continue going out to eat, talking about our lives and thoughts even at a distance, inviting each other to plans that are made, laughing at stupid things, and enjoying adventures, committing to stay in touch because both of us care.

For friendship to last, both friends need to say “fuck yeah, I wanna be friends. I like hanging out together. I like talking to you.” It doesn’t have to be said verbally to one another, but understood to both members of this pact. And so it was. It’s staying up all night singing karaoke until the rise rises in the morning and everyone feels so dead and tired. It can be biking around a lake on a rainy together in a foreign city. Or it’s Skyping for two to three hours but it doesn’t feel like that much time has passed when we’re 13 hours apart. It could even be stargazing in a field, overlooking a small lake in the wintertime, and playing table tennis past midnight afterwards. It’s simple notions that mean I value your company. And with these great friends, we’ve created memories that I’ll cherish over the years thanks to unforgettable friendships because I’m with people I care about. Fuck yeah to keeping in touch! Because even if we are apart in distance, it is just like no amount of time has passed when we are meeting each other again.

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Woke up at 4am along with a few good friends to watch the sunrise in the mountains in Taiwan.

Love

The article by Marc Manson was originally about relationships. Only be with someone who is excited to be with you, and equally so, you must return that excitement willingly. That’s what I happened when I first saw my boyfriend. I thought he was so cute and handsome I walked right up and introduced myself even though we had no mutual friends. It was slightly random but we were both new members in a student club on campus. We became friends first and we appreciated each other’s company so much that it blossomed into love. We shared quite a few interests, enjoyed cooking together, and playing video games together. We talked for hours, stayed up watching movies at night, slept comfortably side by side until we had to move apart. He graduated, I was still in university. It didn’t matter though, we decided to try to make it work. We visited each other often, talked often, made plans to hang out very often. Every day from both of us was a “fuck yeah! I want to spend my time with you!”.

Obviously, with any romantic relationship, there are so many problems, fights, and hurdles to overcome. It’s been almost four years now. The only way to last this long was that every time it got tough we both thought, “Is it worth it? Is it worth the pain or annoyance right now to stay with this person, or not?” And the answer each of us had to say in order to last this long was of course, “fuck yeah. I love this person with all my heart. I rather be with them than not. The good times are much better and come a lot more regularly than the bad.”.

Communicating our love and commitment is essential for our relationship to last, especially with all of the long distance we have faced. Communicating our problems, our emotions, and our dislikes is equally important. It’s amazing how easy it is to hold a grudge, but the relief of admitting frustration and receiving understanding is much more powerful. I’ve learned to never hide my issues or to be resentful because it will eventually snowball and blow up at a later time. It’s best to be open, and that itself can be difficult to do at first. Don’t be scared to communicate unhappiness. And don’t take happiness for granted either, make sure to openly display that the other person is making your life full of joy.

I didn’t make this relationship easy though. I moved across the world where we were 13 hours apart, an ocean away, for almost a year (how selfish of me!) but we wanted to be together. He even visited me for 6 weeks straight during my time abroad (how sweet of him!). There’s never any ambiguity in our love for each other because of this. I still feel how a dog feels when happily wagging its tail; a sort of unconditional love. It’s comforting to know that he feels the same way. Fuck yeah, I can see the love in his eyes as he can see mine!

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Hiking creepy mountain trails is one of our shared interests! This was 御岳山 near Tokyo.

 

There’s many aspects in life that are important. They differ from people to people, but for me I definitely value traveling, hobbies, friendships, and love (just to name a few). So fuck yeah to living life the way I want to! No maybes!

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