When writing feels good again

For quite a while I’ve forgotten how writing was my main (perhaps only) catharsis for getting a load off my chest, or when I simply needed a go-to outlet as a person who never felt a need to pour my feelings out in entirety to someone else. Throughout my schooling days I’ve kept journals detailing all sorts of ups and downs, rights and wrongs, external events, inner struggles, fulfilling occasions, worthless promises, important highlights, the lowest lows, and stories of people and things whom I wish to keep in my memories and close to heart.

As I grew older, I stopped textually detailing my memories with such fervent frequency – in part perhaps due to a more colorful social life resulting in less me-time, and partly (lately I’ve come to realise) because I have had more memories I wish to lose, rather than to keep, it’s harder to write them down and see them turn into reality.

So I turned into writing crap fiction with protagonists sounding a lot like me (most of which never saw the light of day because I killed them with CTRL-A-DEL). When I stopped needing to write, I also stopped listening to my thoughts, or drowning them out with late nights just so I can breathe and live in the day, not needing to face up to the reality of my own feelings. And I must say it has been harmful in more ways than one. Writing could in fact subconsciously organize the chaos inside one’s head, provide a source of tranquility and peace in those moments of penning them down, and align the head’s thoughts with the heart’s feelings. You know how some will say that your heart and mind disagrees? It’s true, I fully concur.

Many years ago, I’ve had to cut away from a life I knew, and people who were my everything for a couple of years before graduation. I stepped into the working world afresh, thinking I would be fine with never looking back, but I’ve always felt something was amiss and never properly addressed. I lost a part of myself lately, in a different manner this time due to a conflicting decision. I was lucky to be away and alone with my thoughts for a bit. In isolation I could be me, to live out the outcome of this choice. For a while I even felt good suffocating myself in my thoughts. But I knew this could be something that will slowly eat me out from inside.

Then I wrote it down.

There was immense relief turning these into words. It doesn’t feel better when I remember – it could hit as I close my eyes in bed, or find myself in a crowd of unfamiliar faces, or as I’m speaking to a close friend to whom I will never bring this up. But in the very least, my textual log was an emotional release that feels better than telling someone else.

Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to a right place. Sometimes you just get lost and find a need to pick yourself up in a brand new environment and start anew. I just know, everything prepares you for what comes next, if you can move on, and it’s crucial to find your best way of moving ahead.

Writing is mine; I hope everyone finds their most trusted and effective emotional outlet in this crazy world.

And so, I found my mojo back, and it feels so damn good to write again.

P.S. When I die, I wish for my journals to be burnt.

xoxo,
Jean

[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

cracked perfection

20140727-035937-14377993.jpg

“I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.

And I will not be afraid
of your scars.

I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.”
— Clementine von Radics

20140727-035937-14377008.jpg

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

The Great Tom n Toms Escape

Life is endless escapism. Despite feeling very sick, I escaped to Tom n Toms to avoid the accumulating mess in my room which is the result of 3 travel luggages meshed by my bedside. I will have to start packing for my trip tomorrow, I swear.

Meddling with my baby Lumix GF6 on a rainy afternoon at Icon Village led to a series of repetitive shots on food & various cafe knick knacks. When you have a long list of books you wanna read, escape to Tom N Toms, closest substitute to Seoul cafes. Cold weather never deterred me from an ice-cold strawberry smoothie! On the plus side, lunch was my favorite Tom n Toms honey and cheese thick toast.

20140317-153836.jpg

20140317-153829.jpg

20140317-153919.jpg

20140317-153846.jpg

20140317-153912.jpg

20140317-153856.jpg

20140317-153903.jpg

After conducting tomorrow’s dance workshop, I’m escaping to Incheon! The rest of March is gonna be amazing.

Currently suffering the aftermath of having mounted the epilogue of one fantastic novel. The insomniac (me) is facing more trouble getting to sleep by having started on Sophie Kinsella’s Wedding Night. Yes a little late to the game but this only just arrived on my doorstep! To be frank, the book has been a disappointment from where I left off, but I hope the rest of the book lives up to what I’d expect from Sophie Kinsella.

20140317-033705.jpg

 “Youth is still where you left it, and that’s where it should stay. Anything that was worth taking on life’s journey, you’ll already have taken with you.”

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

HOW DO I

HOW DO I

How do I sleep with voices in my head –
telling me what to do, what to say,
who to love
in a torrential rain of unspoken words,
this cascade of love misplaced
from desired keepers
whose intentions long expired;
all memories are deadweight.

How do I sleep with footsteps in my head –
walking miles into a receding path
of all that’s forgotten
bursting from dams across distant shores
like prisoners newly reprieved;
we are dredged up beached whales
awaiting a death sentence
we hardly know is coming.

How do I sleep with a bullet in my head –
point blank fired,
lodged in a hollow in the shape of you. 

How do I sleep with these raindrops in my head –
a constant drip-drop, walls a-stripping
till what’s left to fend against (you)
is but a thin membrane.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

How do I

Micro-Chip, Macro Dreams

20140115-012937.jpg

Could somebody invent a micro-chip for our brains, to programme us in such a way we can speak all the languages we will ever need? Frustrates me soooo so much that I can’t speak German, and I’m in Frankfurt where everybody rattles off in their native tongue and all I can mumble back are Guten Tag, Danke…Ciao.

Frankfurt is loooovely! And I’m here with very awesome people to hang out with. Am checking out places to go, things to do in future, yummies to eat and cathedrals to see…. Already hoping to come back in spring or summer. The next time I’m back I wish to speak a little German if I can!! (Yeah right I say that about every other language)

Till then 🙂

xoxo
Viktoria Jean

[THAILAND] o10.Lamai Beach Samui

Samui Asian Girls Beach

Ever taken a day from work to stroll all morning along the calmest beach on Koh Samui? I love how my traveling job makes it all easy to find myself on an entirely different city from day to day. Yet it makes me appreciative of nature’s beauty on a minuscule scale. I’m all excitement and “let’s take more pictures!”, even when all that’s truly picture-worthy are a row of colourful beach houses, or teeny-tiny pretty sea shell on the beach. Hell, if you’re not noticing these little things, you’re missing out on a whole lot in life.

Lamai Beach Samui

Lamai Beach Samui

Lamai Beach Samui

Lamai Beach Samui

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[THAILAND] oo8.CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

Day beds, bean bags, egg chairs, shishas and the island’s most varied selection of cocktails on the beachfront: there’s nothing not to love about CoCo Tam’s Bar. The music was sooo good we had to ask the bartenders for their playlist! Ideal for after-dinner chillout drinks, we took a short walk here from H Bistro @ Hansar, and watched the sunset on Koh Samui whilst chilling out on our beanbags with cocktails. A jug of Samui Sling, anybody?

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Thailand

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

Beach Koh Samui

Living the Life CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

Sea CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui Girls

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

Viktoria Jean Thailand CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

Couple CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

Coco Tams Bar Samui

Shisha CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

Cocotails CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

Cocotails CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

Girls CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

Girls CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

Girls CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

Girls CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

Girls CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

Sunset Girls CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

Girls CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

Girls CoCo Tam's Bar Samui

CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

Couple CoCo Tam’s Bar, Koh Samui

Worth a second trip down here when we come back for Koh Samui’s Full Moon Party in the future!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

99/1 Moo 1, Bophut
Koh Samui 84320, Thailand

[THAILAND] oo2.Island Lovin’

Headed for Thailand’s Koh Samui with my favourite travel pals in exactly 3 days’!! ❤
So stoked about scuba-diving, and living the island life in my friends’ resort. Also can’t wait to start partying at the local hotspots on Chaweng Beach.

Koh Samet Thailand

On our last trip to Koh Samet, another offshore party island in the Gulf of Thailand, we spent our afternoons snorkelling, swimming, speed-boating, tanning, scuba-diving, Thai-massaging, getting our asses bruised from bumpy rides on the island lorry and eating the freshest seafood the island has to offer.

Though we won’t be in time for Koh Samui’s famous full-moon parties, my local Thai friends insist that the island’s year round nightlife is insane. I’ll believe when I see it!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Pick of the Week

pick of the week

Karl Pilkington brandishes his unique class of intelligence once again in The Moaning of Life, a humourous take on the human condition and crucial ever-evolving global issues. In Trust Me, I’m Lying Ryan Holiday does an exposè of popular blogosphere; hook, line and sinker of the biggest liars in social media. Onto a lighter read, award-winning Jane Lovering is back with Hubble Bubble, in which wishes come true in twisted ways when 5 women dabble in witchery.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

At Least You’re in Tuscany: A Somewhat Disastrous Quest for the Sweet Life

I received this book in exchange for a review, and here it is!
16057849

    By Jennifer Criswell

Published September 28th 2012 by Gemelli Press LLC

MY REVIEW:
“It was this trip, during which I learned to say “yes” to every adventure, during which I’d felt romance and trusted my instincts, that convinced me that if I could muster up a little courage, I could chuck my legal briefs and follow my heart. To write. And to write in Italy.”

Taking the first step in solo travel takes a hell lot of guts…especially so if you’re starting over in an entirely new place, with no friends, bad grasp of the native tongue and just your gut instincts to trust.

Jennifer Criswell earns my respect – when she finally leaves New York and moves to Montepulciano, Tuscany, with her dog Cinder, she throws herself into the thick of it all, tries it all, makes many memorable mistakes while living it up in Tuscany.

In reality, life never comes in pretty packages. Cultural difference and language barriers aside, she meets roadblocks such as terrible landlords, monetary shortages, food crises and many more. Finding new friends and strengths in unexpected places is what makes her experiences worth reading about.

Despite being a ‘somewhat disastrous quest’, the spirit of finding yourself isn’t about being in the most glamorous places, but about discovering your inner will to make it anywhere, no matter how terrible the circumstances. I thoroughly enjoyed her tales of Tuscany, a truly beautiful Italian destination of many dreams!

SYNOPSIS:
At Least You’re in Tuscany: A Somewhat Diastrous Quest for the Sweet Life is Jennifer Criswell’s memoir about her first year in Montepulciano during which her dream of expat life meets the reality of everyday challenges and results in sometimes funny, often frustrating, always lesson-filled situations.

Jennifer Criswell’s move from New York City to Tuscany was not supposed to go like this. She had envisioned lazy mornings sipping espresso while penning a best-selling novel and jovial Sunday group dinners, just like in the movies and books about expatriate life in Italy. But then she met the reality: no work, constant struggles with Italian bureaucracy to claim citizenship through her ancestors, and, perhaps worst of all, becoming the talk of the town after her torrid affair with a local fruit vendor.

At Least You’re in Tuscany is the intimate, honest, and often hilarious tale of Jennifer’s first year in Montepulciano. During that time, her internal optimist was forced to work overtime, reminding her that if she were going to be homeless, lonely, and broke, at least she would be all those things—in Tuscany. Jennifer’s mantra, along with a healthy dose of enthusiasm, her willingness to embrace Italian culture, and lessons gleaned from small-town bumblings, help her not only build a new, rewarding life in Italy but also find herself along the way.

5 Things I Learnt about Dubai

This weekend, I’m in Dubai, feeling so lost about the city’s roads, culture, everything.

With Harper’s Bazaar World of Fashion, Fashion Forward Season 2, Global Village 2013 – 2014 and all those exciting events going on, no doubt Dubai deserves being hailed as the regional fashion hub. There are just soooo many things I can’t get used to.

It’s a lovely lovely city, especially Downtown Dubai! People actually offer to hold your bags while you fish for your wallet at small local delis. The grocer at Robinsons hands you your change on a dish like in Japan and waves you goodbye. And everyone holds doors for everybody else.

Fascinated by this city, really. Here are 5 things that sprung to my mind.

1. There are no Cafès. Period.
Gosh. What’s their secret? How do people get their daily cuppa?

2. You get stared at, if you’re female and alone.
Then they start walking backwards with their eyes still trained on you.

3. You get stared at, if your skin colour is different.
Yes I know I’m pasty and practically translucent

4. Barricades in (some very rare) Starbucks are meant to separate  men and women
That being said, I’m darn impressed by Starbucks’ Dubai interior designers. Omg SO PRETTY
268044812_439e5c71bf_o

5. Everyone walks > an arm’s distance apart.
I thought it was just me. Until I observed and realised they just don’t walk close to anyone else. Like a habit.

Also, girls can bear their skin. It’s not a sin.
Contrary to my misguided belief, it’s alright for tank tops in the sweltering heat! It is just very uncommon. The girls here are also very very pretty.
Well, seems like I’ve learnt something new!

Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take

A meeting, a perfume launch, and an after-work HappyHour at Words Worth — all these on my only day home this week!

Loving what I do because I could be spending the entire day in bed with my truckload of books, but if I’m not filling up my days and making sure I’m dead beat by the end of the night, I feel underworked and downright lazy.

Come to think of it, I’m turning 23.

Working has made me feel that age is nothing but numbers, cuz nobody ever takes that into consideration. Being too young or too old doesn’t give you any excuse not to be at optimum efficiency. It’s so strange for me to be the youngest most of the time, yet nobody treats me like a kid. And I appreciate not being treated like I can’t handle myself plus 250 people.

Today I had this strong epiphany while doing up my chignon – that is, my hair is not growing faster than usual. Rather, time is flying day after day without my conscious awareness that it has slipped me by. Didn’t I just transform my long hair into a bob a coupla months ago?

How many more days can I still tell my colleagues “I’m turning 23”?

I just know that when it’s time for me to say “I’m turning 25”, I want to be a hell lot of a better person than I am now. And as always, no regrets.

 

“My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing,
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.” 
― Edna St. Vincent Millay

Storm cloud revelations

Last night I plowed through my own list of Pros and Cons between furthering my psychology degree, and getting a second degree / MA in something I well and truly love i.e. Literature.

Came up with nothing 😦

Besides, a part-time masters in Psychology requires 4 years, after which another 4 years of Doctorate for clinical psychology would likely be necessary.

Then I stumbled across answers that have lingered at the back of my head for the longest time.

I’m so excited to say, that I have found a new purpose in life (:

eternal graffiti in the heart

photo (29)

“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” – Max Ehrmann

Despite ups and downs (literally turbulence, and figuratively) life has been pretty awesome of late. I wouldn’t have traded summer for its worth in gold, and I’ll look positively forward to the rest of it.

Itacho Sushi with Nataon Dia, my favourite Thai!
We’re deluded in believing that we’ve kicked the habit of ordering too much.
No matter how maxed out we are from jetsetting, I still believe ourselves to be very fortunate, indeed. So there we go, chopping up our unhappiness and serving it up in exchange for laughter and mutual understanding.
Also tonight I’ve met my new favourite drink: the White Russian.