A Great First Date


We had our first date in Hong Kong. He had blue eyes. I had butterflies.

We laughed, we hand held hands, we kissed. Like I said, butterflies.

But, let me start from the beginning…

Last year, I played hooky one day in late October. Don’t judge me. The clouds made me do it. On that day, I impulsively booked a trip to Asia. It ended up being one of those life-changing vacations that make you want to quit your job and go sell coconuts on a beach.

And so, running away from America became an annual tradition/addiction. Last month, the Philippines and Hong Kong (and a bit of Istanbul) called my name. Obviously, it was wonderful. As my friends back home enjoyed the Polar Vortex, I sipped mangotinis on a beach at 9 a.m.

During the Hong Kong portion of my trip, I decided to look for potential dates on Tinder. Well technically, I was searching for someone to enable my alcoholism. What can I say… my liver likes to be spoiled. No one volunteered to sponsor my bad habits, sadly. A few did volunteer to do filthy things to my body. That just seemed unnecessary.

The night before my departure, a boy asked me out for coffee. I said yes, but then spent the next morning reconsidering and wondering if he was a homicidal maniac. Six hours before my flight, my metaphorical testicles finally matured to the point where I could do brazen things like meet up with another human being for coffee.

My date turned out to be charming, educated, funny and very much on the handsome side.

I told my friends that if this happened in NYC, I would’ve stalked him until he surrendered his freedom and became my boyfriend. But actually, if this had been NYC, there wouldn’t have been a date. I would’ve considered a coffee date a non-date, and thus not worth my time. I would’ve postponed and rain-checked until he lost interest. Or, I would’ve deemed his one blurry photo as an indication of some grotesque disfigurement.

Basically, I would’ve found any reason not to go.

If a date did take place, I would’ve greeted him with a long list of pre-determined demerits.

It would’ve ended before it even started.

But since I was on vacation, I didn’t care where — or if — he was employed. I didn’t evaluate him on his grammar. I didn’t measure him against some unrealistic standard. I only required that he be a biped with a heartbeat.

No, this isn’t the beginning of an epic love story. For all I know, he could be an axe-wielding murderer. Or worse, a womanizer. Thankfully, I’ll never find out. He’ll just be cute story I get to tell over happy hour.

My point is: I had a great date because I didn’t over think it. As it turns out, if you expect nothing, everything is a happy surprise.

Older, Wiser and Saggier


I was pretty nervous about turning 25. By “pretty nervous,” I mean, I expected a monsoon of tears, coupled with multiple voicemails to my ex. But it turns out, being 25 is rather anticlimatic. I did a fair amount of socializing, and a surprisingly large amount of eating-tacos-in-bed-sans-clothes. But, there were no tears.

No questions about my self-worth.
No worries about my professional future.
No qualms about dying alone next to my cat.

Instead, my 25th birthday came and went. It involved all the necessary whiskey, but none of the predicted drama.

We’ve been conditioned to think that our 20s are the most critical years. This is THE defining decade. If you don’t make six figures by the age of 29, you never will. And if you’re single by the age of 29? Well, I hope you’re not totally against the idea of owning a cat farm. These are the fears I once had. The fears I thought would exponentially expand on my birthday.

My fears never showed up. If anything, they retreated. That’s the wonderful thing about getting older. As you age, you become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses. You embrace your awesomeness. And you own your shortcomings. You still set goals, work your ass off and chase your dreams. But, you do it on your own terms… not because some article or book insisted on it.

For me, being 25 doesn’t mean having a quarter-life crisis. It just means saggier body parts and less metabolism. I’m okay with this. I’m also okay with never making six figures or owning a home in the Hamptons. (Still crossing my fingers for an army of minions.)

I have no doubt that this is an important chapter in our lives. But it’s one chapter within a book that’s totally up to us to write.

Inside the Mind of a Workaholic


20131109-140312.jpg

The compulsion to check your emails. The constant work-related worries pecking at your consciousness. The lame inside jokes you have with your coworkers that your friends don’t understand at all.

I’ve become a workaholic and I don’t know how to stop.

Three months after joining a startup, I’m still trying to figure out if this is the right path. I don’t know if I’ll ever get through the suckage. My boss keeps insisting that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s a long, dark, nasty tunnel filled with fecal matter. And that light? Miles away.

Being a workaholic means social suicide. It means I see my family rarely and my friends never. It means becoming inappropriately close with my coworkers. We define “intimacy.” I’m 25 (minus 6 days). I’m young and vivacious and semi-healthy. Okay, not healthy at all. I live in one of the greatest cities in the world. But, I rarely get to enjoy it. Sometimes, all these things wear me down.

Sometimes, I cry at my desk. Other times, I want to throw my desk at someone. I look enviously at the other 20-somethings and wonder if I’m missing out on life. I desperately miss being irresponsible. On the darkest days, I think about walking away.

But, somehow I don’t. I can’t say why. Maybe a chemical imbalance. Maybe Mother dropped me as a babe once too often. Maybe I really should say “no” to drugs. Kidding. You should never say “no” to free things.

I’ve become one of those workaholics and I don’t know how to stop. I’ve got this horrible affliction and I don’t know how to rid of it.

I don’t know if I want to stop.

The Beginning of My Startup Life


I started a new job this week. Decided to leave Corporate America (sorry, Man) and join the startup world. These are the lessons I’ve learned so far:

1. Owning an iPhone does not make me tech-savvy.

2. Tweeting all the details of my catlady existence does not make me a social media guru. It does, however, make everyone aware of my catladyism. So, that’s sorta useful, I suppose.

3. Google is the greatest entity on earth. And not just part where I can Google phrases such as, “how to hide one’s tech illiteracy”… though that’s pretty important. Chrome, Doc, Drive are all wonderful and underused tools; we should all bask in their magnificence.

4. The whole work/life balance concept does not exist. Note to self: don’t forget to break up with friends via email.

5. Free food makes up for the whole work/life imbalance. Perhaps not for other people. Luckily, I treasure my stomach.

6. The term “working from home” refers to the fact that after you leave the office, you will continue to do work at home.

7. Coffee will save you from your impending insanity.

8. The emails never. ever. ever. EVER. stop.

9. The long hours, the impossible expectations, the certainty of failure. All these things don’t matter. Reasoning below:

10. Your team consists of people whose talent, dedication and passion will blow your fucking mind.

Fight or Flight


One of the worst things about adulthood is experiencing a relationship casualty. Sometimes, lovers become exes; sometimes, best friends become strangers; sometimes, your favorite fried chicken spot relocates. And every time, it completely sucks. It sucks to realize that a relationship will come to an end—or worse yet, that it should come to an end.

As we grow, we change. It’s unavoidable. Singularly, change is unnoticeable. For example: I have not noticed the change in my waistline… at… all. Unfortunately, when you’re part of a “we,” change can be destructive.

One day, you start to not recognize the person sitting across from you. You’ve both changed, but in different directions. Now, you have to make the ultimate decision between fight and flight. You can struggle to maintain your connection, or you can flee.

Of course, you choose to be combative. After all, when you love someone, you feel compelled to fight for him or her. No matter how strained the bond becomes, you hold on. It gets tougher with each passing day, yet you refuse to let go. But eventually, there’s no more give. Something breaks. Instead of a “we,” you’re now just two unhappy people.

What you should have realized at the beginning of the tug-of-war is that it’s okay to let go. It seems like giving up. But by letting go, you hold on to the happiness that existed before “we” became dysfunctional, unhealthy and downright toxic. It still sucks. And it still hurts. But, maybe it’s better to let go while still loving someone than to hold on until love becomes hateful.

The Age of Irresponsibility


I’ve been trying to figure out a way to write this post without having it become a YOLO promo. But, that will most likely be the end product. Bear me with me anyway.

When I turned 24, I deemed this year the year of irresponsibility. Twenty five is such an officially adult age (at least that’s what the insurance companies keep telling me), but 24 is a whole different epoch. At 24, you can blame stupidity on your youth and someone might still buy it. And so, I vowed to make this year reckless… to be clear, I mean the dancing in the rain variety, not the venereal disease kind.

Turns out, irresponsibility is pretty fucking wonderful. There are weekends where I sleep in until dusk. Weeknights where I stay out until dawn. I’ve kissed boys in the corners of dirty bars. Gone dancing (okay fine, convulsive body twitching) on tables at said bars. And have even been kicked out of one of these bars. Unrelated note: totes in need of a new alcohol establishment for Williamsburg.

There are days when I feel as if I’m being wasteful with my time. Days when I feel like I should be more productive, more driven — and yes, more responsible. Maybe I should. But then, I realize that when my life nears its conclusion, I won’t remember the responsible moments. And neither will you.

You won’t remember those Friday nights spent at the office. You won’t remember separating your laundry. You won’t remember going to bed at an appropriate hour. And you certainly won’t remember all those risks you didn’t take.

In your quest to be more successful, rich and fulfilled, don’t forget to be a little foolish, too. Those moments of irresponsibility will give your life just as much meaning.

If Your Heart Got an Annual Performance Review


Heart, I think you are a great employee, however, there are a few shortcomings that I’d like to address:

I feel like you’ve been a tad ineffective in meeting the company’s goals this quarter (i.e. trying to avoiding jerks, liars and womanizers). I’m sure you’re not purposely trying to undermine the foundation of Uyen’s Sanity, Inc. And I’m not saying you’re an incompetent employee, though competence has been lacking. I just think there’s a bit of a disconnect between your values and the values of the organization.

So, let’s examine our strategy for improvement. Why don’t we consider another member’s performance… Brain, for example, has excelled this past quarter. Notice Brain’s ability to always consider the repercussions of entering high-risk situations. Take note of Brain’s superior analytical skills and ability to predict unfavorable outcomes. These are the characteristics that we really value at Uyen’s Sanity, Inc. Please try to adopt more of Brain’s work ethics in the future.

Overall, I appreciate your efforts and you are an integral part of this corporation. And please don’t consider these areas to be weakness, but rather as opportunities for improvement.