[DIARY] LOVE YOUR IMPERFECTIONS

31 days into 2015 and it has been surreal. I’ve been thankful each day for the people I’ve met, especially to those I’ve learnt to count on for simply being there.

The obstacles in my current career are finally levelling out. I’m beginning to understand why some of my colleagues would fall in love with this jet-setting lifestyle. Don’t be fooled – good money and free travel comes at a price. When I tell my friends about the hardships we face on a daily basis, everyone rethinks the facade of a glamorous lifestyle we lead. A certain kind of sadism cannot be denied (of me) since I’ve stayed beyond my 2-year bond not for the money but the sheer intensity of hard work involved. I love challenges and when they come my way, they become means of making me a better person, because the process of clearing major hurdles forces one into endless introspection.

I like to think that what I’ve really done in this past 2 years was to experience the world, gather my thoughts on living, get to know a lot more people. And then I really want to write them down. Whilst I will leave my job, the journey is not over. For those who can live vicariously through my words someday I hope you know that life is about giving and receiving experiences, not the things you buy or get to keep. I also know that life is not about making sure something or somebody stays in your life as long as possible when you know they are not yours to keep.

2015, I don’t expect you to be awesome. I foresee bad days, heartaches, disappointment and yet another emotional roller coaster ride. But I trust myself to know that when 2015 comes to an end I’ll emerge triumphant with battle scars that makes me both imperfect and wiser. This is what we have to do.

Accumulate experiences like it is the air you have to breathe, for in time to come we’ll have our own stories to tell. Tell yourself to keep going, run the extra mile, and don’t be afraid to fight losing battles, or to lose. Never lose sight of who you were. Never forget who was there for you when you needed them the most. Most importantly, never fall out of love with yourself. Love who you are, and appreciate who you’re not. Embrace and acknowledge all your imperfections. Because the most imperfect people have been through the worst.

“I am not a graceful person. I am not a Sunday morning or a Friday sunset. I am a Tuesday 2 a.m., gunshots muffled by a few city blocks, I am a broken window during February. My bones crack on a nightly basis. I fall from elegance with a dull thud, and I apologize for my awkward sadness. I sometimes believe that I don’t belong around people, that I belong to all the leap days that didn’t happen. The way light and darkness mix under my skin has become a storm. You don’t see the lightning, but you hear the echoes.”
Anna Peters

I want to hear some good stories when December 31st comes round.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

viktoriajean

[DIARY] A Well-Intended Closure

Been a while since I last saw the likes of my WordPress interface. Most unfortunately the whole of last month was a whirlwind of flights, school (which I detest thanks to very uninspiring professors) and social activities I’ve been meaning to keep up with. Suddenly, it’s December, and the we’ve all hit the final chapter in 2014. Despite it being the last leg of the year, I’m determined to end this with a bang.

Lessons I’ve learnt from these couple of months:

(a) heading back to school isn’t always the best idea. Sinking back into the academic hermit-shell has cost me an expensive and important lesson, and opened my eyes to a whole new world of people I don’t wish to emulate. I don’t wish to elaborate either so let’s just close this quarter of a chapter.

(b) in the grand scheme of things, people aren’t always prepared to be self-sacrificing. In fact, that dog-eat-dog world will never cease to exist.

(c) you’ve gotta find your niche in life and it’s never too late.

 

Like everyone out there I’m still trying to summon the strength and courage to see what I really want to pursue in life, and what I’m really meant to do. A pessimist is perpetually stuck with a dead-end perspective of life. An optimist however sees no end to learning. We never should stop discovering new facts about ourselves, others and the world around us. Therefore, although the year is ending and we’re one step closer to a whole new calendar, it’s time for brand new inspirations.

Who’s with me?

Reflections – On Life’s New Undertakings

For the best part of 2014, I thought my gap year was turning into a gap lifetime. In 2013 my bachelor’s degree in psychology was fresh meat from the chopping block, and in 2014 I’m sitting on decaying sheets of qualification, swatting at hungry flies. In a world where sitting on your laurels is success (and causatively, happiness)’s greatest nemesis, hitting a dead end in career progression scares the shit out of any living soul. So imagine my joy at finally scraping my mind out of an inherent gutter. Comfort is indeed a painful skin to shed.

Having embarked on a career almost 2 years ago, my life revolved around endless globetrotting, walking from country to country (albeit 30,000 feet above the sea), losing days of sleep, accumulating eye-bags, and waking up in different hotels in foreign cities night after night. At the beginning, I’d regrettably wasted a great deal of time letting fatigue and timezone differences beat the crap out of me. I surrendered to being lazy! *gasp* This past few months, I’m glad to finally say that I’ve settled into my job, learned how to raise my energy levels and the ability to focus beyond everyday mundane activities. While many more challenges still lay ahead, I am no longer bound to limits of tunnel vision.

My arsenal of life experiences opens a floodgate of nostalgic sentiments: I’ve had the best cappuccinos in London, excited my tastebuds with India’s local spiced curry, sampled Japan’s freshest sashimi, cycled across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, lived to see sunrise on Santorini, ran my fingers along washed-out travertine stone walls of Rome’s Colosseum… etc etc. Ask any of us in the profession and we will share a multitude of touch-and-go, been-there-done-that travel tales. Stories like these make for great rainy day anecdotes for my future as-yet-non-existent grandchildren. In short, I’ve lived.

Which leads me to my next point. Along the spectrum of time, how much further can I go before the need to seek higher aspiration sets in? Try as I may, I cannot escape the need for self-definition. I didn’t give a damn before, but certain words of advice now rings true. Could I really give up years of tertiary education and have my life recounted along the lines of “she has given her life to air-hostessing for 35 passionate years”? That I was a professional in providing service is an excellent accreditation if I were to decide here and now to devote my life to it. I would, if I could fall in love with my job. Any minute now, please.

Truth is, everybody loves travelling. But how different is it from uprooting when you’re hardly home for the best (or worst) parts of your loved ones’ lives? I hadn’t realised (or rather, my family members neglected to update) that my paternal aunt in Melbourne had passed on earlier in June until I was bound for a Melbourne-flight in August and enquired to visit her family. Amidst all the time differences, I’ve lost a sense of anchor and became flightier than ever. In my mother’s words, I’m never going to settle down.

But I am taking small steps. New undertakings in self-improvements, regular courses and a routine to keep my feet on the ground. Clearing up the mess I’ve previously made of my life and starting anew. Starting somewhere is what we’ve all gotta do.

So a post-graduate course seems to be in order. I suppose clearing up one’s act is part and parcel of sailing into your mid-20s. Sincerely, I hope the path ahead is clearer once I get started on my graduate studies.

Writing is, was and will always be a huge part of my life. On par with it is my love for dance, my craving for a lifetime of learning, and delegating time to enjoying the simple things in life with my friends and family. For the record, I will not regret that I’ve not chosen to do a masters in english literature because that would mean, once again, letting comfort and pleasure take over. Some may feel that their one-true-calling lies in their ultimate guilty pleasure. I love curling up in bed with a great book, with my feet up, and a cuppa hot coffee. It is however not a professional pathway I would choose. I shall celebrate my great love for literature by remaining its biggest fan.

For the rest of 2014, I hope to take things in stride.  Learning that integrating changes into my life instead of cutting off a limb for prosthetics in my biggest lesson this year. Life’s new undertakings never needs to be disruptive. Life’s new undertakings can be a breath of fresh air in your existing bed of roses.

IMG_2356.JPG

♛ Scarlet Carousel | Prologue IV

{Prologue} Eiji Saito’s

1999
Fukushima

Sunshine boy! 

Back home in Fukushima, the old lady with the limp at the convenience store welcomed her favourite elementary school boy with a daily tube of chocolate mint candies. Before her passing, Eiji crossed the street twice a day just to say hello and accepted her gifts with great appreciation. Despite being only 6, his ready smile and charming boyish disposition won hearts whereever he went. 

Sunshine Eiji!

Ever since mother-and-child fleed Japan, days thereafter had been colourless, stormy and dreary. Witness Protection Programme, or so the state of law claimed, for the Saito’s continued existence in Japan threatened all their relatives and friends. South Korea however provided little salvation, for they found neither peace nor stability. Eiji could never recover his prior glow of happiness.

Until, following years of misery, he chanced upon one true reason for belonging.

“You would stay with me?” He had sputtered, all bloodied lips and swollen cheeks from being at the receiving end of his drunken boss’s anger.

She had gently wrapped an unworn gym teeshirt around his split knuckles and applied pressure to the deep cut. “Yes.” He had turned away with disbelief. Why would a total stranger show him such kindness?

“If I didn’t, you would do nothing about these, right?” She wet her fingers and gently dabbed at his bruised undereye. It felt cool, comforting. 

“No. There would be questions. I could be arrested for underaged employment if I went to the hospital. My boss would be even more furious.”

“Then I will stay here with you.” Her gentle voice seemed to reach a deeper part of him, re-ignited a spark of warmth and happiness. That night, they went from unacquainted schoolmates to fast friends as they talked of the uncertainties that plagued their lives. She hadn’t lied about wanting to stay.

Eiji Saito was subsequently nothing without Reina Yamaguchi.

✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫

Scarlet Carousel
Searching for the centre of the universe, the centrifugal force that holds everything together.
Each spinning out of control, yet inevitably riveted.
Is this a journey with an end, or does the weight of the world settle in places where the spinning never stops.
Where then will the spiral lead them?

To be continued…

✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫

xoxo
Viktoria Jean

talent is a wonderful thing, but it won’t carry a quitter

“This is the key to life:
To expect everything to be given to you from above, yet to be genuinely surprised and forever grateful, when they are.
Expecting all good things to be yours, while not knowing how to take anything for granted.
If there may be a key in life, this is the key.”
― C. JoyBell C.

keyh
“My accident really taught me just one thing: the only way to go on is to go on.
To say ‘I can do this’ even when you know you can’t.” 
― 
Stephen KingDuma Key

suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going.
And I have trained myself to love it.
Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight,
that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight.

And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to.
But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings.
You may not know where you’re going,
but you know that so long as you spread your wings,
the winds will carry you.”
― C. JoyBell C.

fly

keeping passion at bay (or surrendering blindly to it)

runnn
“Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace.
A lot of people are frightened because, when it appears,
it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path.

No one wants their life thrown into chaos.
That is why a lot of people keep that threat under control,
and are somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten.
They are the engineers of the superseded.

Other people think exactly the opposite:
they surrender themselves without a second thought,
hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems.
They make the other person responsible for their happiness
and blame them for their possible unhappiness.
They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened
or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything.

Keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it –
which of these two attitudes is the least destructive?

I don’t know.”
― Paulo Coelho,
Eleven Minutes

bright sunshine on a cold day

11

“As the years pass,
I am coming more and more to understand that it is the
common, everyday blessings of our
common everyday lives
for which we should be particularly grateful.

They are the things that fill our lives with comfort
and our hearts with gladness —
just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it;
just warmth and shelter and home folks;
just plain food that gives us strength;
the bright sunshine on a cold day;
and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder,
Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder – Volume One: On Wisdom and Virtues