Tag Archives: friend

Extroverted Introverts

One of my facebook friends recently posted this online article called “18 Struggles of Having An Outgoing Personality But Actually Being Shy & Introverted“.

After reading the article, I felt certain points rang true for me.

“#17. You prefer to travel alone, but meet up with people once you’re there.”

  • Every single month, I try to visit my sister in Houston.  At the end of this year, I plan on driving to California (a total of 21 hours of driving) all by myself.  As an introvert, I don’t view long road trips as a daunting or dreadful task.  I look forward to them and try to make the drive as enjoyable as can be, by burning some new songs, downloading some new audiobooks, or making some few scenic stops along the way.

“#16. You’re at your happiest in places like coffee shops and cafés: surrounded by people, but still closed off and keeping to yourself.”

  • I always bring my headphones while I’m at Starbucks.  That way, I can be around a full coffee shop and still feel excluded.  I frequent Starbucks at least once a week and always feel productive when I’m there.  I guess a small part of me enjoys seeing people coming and going.  And a big part of me revels in the seclusion that is promised to me while I drown myself in my music.

  “#7. Dating is weird, because you’re smiling and laughing and talkative at dinner, and then you don’t want to answer their texts for four days, because like, you just want to be left alone…”

  • My alone time can sometimes be mis-interpreted as a lack of interest in the opposite sex.  I remember my last girlfriend wanted to break up with me because she didn’t even feel like we were dating.  I guess I enjoyed my alone time too much.  There are times where I get too comfortable in my personal space, that I forget about the other person.

“#4. When you do choose to grace a party with your presence, you are the life of it. You’re dancing on the table and doing body shots until 3 a.m.”

“# 5. … You then retreat into three days of complete solitude to recover.”

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Top 10 Reasons of Why I’m Still Single

1.  I’m gay.

  • My cousin TA told me this.  She said, “A lot of people have been asking me if you’re gay.”  I didn’t ask her who, but I assume it would have to be her friends.  It could also be people in our family too.  I’ve been single for about 10 years, so I can see why they are wondering.  No girlfriend for such a long time, maybe he doesn’t like girls?  It doesn’t help that I enjoy going to gay clubs.  Plus, in my parent’s living room, there’s a picture of me wearing a dress when I was young.  I have to admit, I looked very flattering in that dress.

2.  I hangout with TA too much.

  • This is my mom’s words.  I went on a road trip to New Orleans with my cousin TA in August and when my mom found out, this is what she had to say, “Going out with TA again?  Don’t you know this weekend is Marian Days in Missouri?  Over 60,000 Vietnamese Catholics!!!  I’m sure you can find one single Vietnamese Catholic female there!”  To be frank, my mom does have a point.  TA is the closest thing I have to a best friend.  She’s hilarious, entertaining, and tons of fun.   When you have a bestie like TA, sometimes you forget that you’re still single and supposedly miserable.

3.  My mom is a cock blocker.

  • My dad is referencing to what happened with my very first girlfriend.  She was my first girlfriend, so I fell very hard for her.  I fell so hard that my grades started slipping and I had to drop a course in college.  I was a zombie in love.  Even on days where I’m sick and bed-ridden, I would crawl out of my bed just to visit my girlfriend.  Obviously my mom thought this obsession was unhealthy, so she advised that I take a break from dating and focus more on school.  I broke up with her a couple weeks later and ever since my dad has attributed my  relationship woes to my mom.

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Fun Time Vs Boring Time

What makes the difference between having fun and being bored?

I recently went to an event with a friend.

We were both photographers.

Yet, we had two different experiences.



If you ask him, whether he had a good time or not?

He would say he was bored out of his mind.

If you ask me, the same question.

I would say I enjoyed the event very much.



The difference between me and him lies in how we spent our time.

I was very involved with all the activities.

I volunteered my time, I took charge of certain projects, I took pics as much as I could.

He took a laid back stance, doing as little as possible even when it came to taking pictures.



It almost felt like he was waiting for life to happen to him.

He was sitting at the dinner table waiting for someone to set the table and feed him.

He expected to be entertained and didn’t want to put in any effort.

His expectations were too high, so he was disappointed.



For me time went by really quick due to all the activities I was a part of.

I was in the kitchen getting down and dirty trying to come up with dishes for my guest.

I wanted to contribute to the entertainment and put out as much as I could.

My expectations were low, so even if I didn’t get much out of it, I was still content.



When you wait for life to happen, you are at the mercy of life.

If there’s nothing happening in life, there’s nothing happening with you.

Life is boring when you have to wait for things to happen.

But waiting for things to happen is a conscious choice that you make.



If you wanted to, you could make things happen in life.

You could be proactive and seek to make life more eventful.

As a result, you are making things happen in life for yourself and others.

Instead of waiting in uncertainty for things to happen, you act knowing for certain that things will happen.



A fun time or a boring time depends on whether you want to be the driver or the passenger.

Are you going to allow someone else to drive you around hoping it’s what you want.

Or are you going to take the steering wheel and take everyone for the ride of their life.

A boring time is something that you let happen to you, while a fun time is something that you must make happen for you and/or others.

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Not Even Here

I’ve been hanging with my friends often.

And more than once, someone has said following to me:

“You know, I don’t even notice you are here man.

It’s like you’re not even here.

You okay man?”



And I usually answer with:

“Yeh, I’m perfectly fine, nothing wrong here.”

With a big smile.

They usually go back to talking and socializing with everyone.

And I go back to my own reserved, quiet self.



I’m reading this book called “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle.

It says that everyone is trying so hard to stand out and differentiate themselves from everybody else.

We are obsessed with wearing the newest brands.

We try to get into exclusive events.

We strive to be the center of everyone’s attention.



There’s nothing wrong with feeling special and different, because everyone is special and different.

But when it becomes compulsive and you start to feel inferior when others don’t notice you.

Then perhaps there is a problem lurking beneath the surface.

The author prescribes the following to remedy the incessant need to always standout.

Do the opposite of standing out.



Blend in, don’t try so hard to stand out, be there without drawing attention to you.

The trick is to do it willingly.

There will be a part of you that rebels and say’s this is wrong.

It will make you feel extremely uncomfortable.

It won’t allow you to just blend it.



Of course you will meet resistance.

You’ve spent your whole life being brain-washed by everyone that standing out is better than blending in.

All that thinking become habitualized.

Your job is to program your brain to think otherwise.

And that just means continuous repetition of the newest message, until that too becomes a habit.



The power in willingly wanting to blend in communicates the following message:

That it is perfectly fine not to stand out all the time.

That you are loved just the way you are whether everyone is giving you attention or not.

That you being who you are right now is perfect, without the need of trying to be more.

Everything is already good and even if I don’t do anything at this moment, everything will continue to be good.



This is what I’ve been practicing in the company of friends.

Just being quiet until I’m spoken to.

Not needing to dominate the conversation with others to show how knowledgeable I am.

Allowing others to have their moment in the spotlight without feeling inferior or envious of them.

Being okay with losing an argument, even if it make me look bad in front of people I think highly of.



In the end, what this looks live from the outside is me not even there.

But inside, I am there.

I know exactly what’s happening on the outside and the inside.

I can freely choose to communicate without needing to stand out.

If the situation doesn’t require anything of me, I’m perfectly fine with just blending in.



It’s okay to stand out.

But it is equally okay to not stand out.

It shouldn’t be a sin to blend in.

But it can be a sin, if we make it into our own personal sin.

We are always love-able whether we decide to stand out or blend in.

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Runaway With You, John

I have a tendency to say the most inappropriate things in the most inappropriate context.

My intentions are always good, pure, and appropriate in my mind.

Always.

Yet, when it leaves my mouth, somehow it becomes misconstrued.

Take for example, “I wish John was here. Sometimes I wished I could just runaway with him.”



Of course, if you just heard this I can picture your reaction as being:

“Are you gay? Why do you want to runaway with John?”

“And what exactly are you two running away from? The pressures of a straight community?”

Then, I could tell you that John is actually a little kid that’s only 7 years old …



Then you would say:

“Are you planning a kidnap? Should I report the authorities? This sounds so wrong on so many levels.”

“Who is John’s parents? I need to warn them of you.”

Then, I could tell you that John’s mom was in the car with me. She is my friend. And no I did not kidnap her.

(I can remember John’s mom reaction being very silent. Perhaps she was contemplating on whether to call the authorities or not.)



I do remember my cousin Tram Anh voicing her thoughts though:

“Did you just say you want to run away with John?”

Yes I did.

“Yeh, cuz I could’ve sworn you just said … WHAT?!? Why would you say something like that. He’s a little kid.”

Of course, that’s when I realized what I just said doesn’t sound that great to the public’s ears.



This is what was going through my head before I said “I wish John was here …”:

“Oh my gosh, TA and John’s mom are such good friends and have so many things to talk about. Sometimes, I feel like a third wheel.”

“I wonder why John wasn’t invited this time. Last time when he was here, I didn’t mind that TA and John’s mom had a million things to talk about.”

“I was too busy running around with John, playing tag and hide-n-seek. I wish John was here. I should tell them how I feel …”

And of course, you know the rest of the story.



Perhaps this is the reason why guys never ever share their feelings and inner thoughts.

Because it always comes out the wrong way.

In my head, I pictured running around and playing with the little guy.

Outside of my head, I sound like I wanted to kidnap the kid and eventually end up on the 9 o’clock news.

Not cool. Not cool at all.

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Girlfriend Material Vs Boyfriend Material

I was hanging around with some of my friends and one of them said, “Hey, Anh Thao you would make a great girlfriend.”

I was taken aback.

Did she just said what I think she said? Maybe she meant a great boyfriend. I could definitely feel good about that.

I wanted to make sure she meant to say girlfriend, so I clarify, “Did you just say I would make a great girlfriend?”

She responds, “Yes. Like for slumber parties. You’re very neutral. You blend in well.”

I definitely regret getting clarification, because without a doubt she meant it.

I guess the positive side to this is, I wouldn’t mind attending a slumber party where everyone is wearing panties. I would bring my tighty whitey’s.



Her comment really got me thinking and in some ways it makes sense.

First of all, people say I’m super feminine for a guy and for the longest time I didn’t even notice it about myself. But now I admit that I am.

I enjoy pampering myself with bubble baths, massages, and trips to kingspa. I enjoy shopping and dressing myself up. I spend way too much time checking myself in the mirror.

Second of all, I notice I love the company of ladies over guys any day.

It’s not because I find girls cute and want to be surrounded by hot, sexy ladies all the time.

I find that when you talk with a girl one-on-one, they are more likely to open up to you. And I’m addicted to that.

Its really interesting because with a good amount of my “girl” friends, I know them two different ways. I know them based on a group setting and a one-on-one setting.

It’s almost like know two different people. I know that I act different in group settings as opposed to one-on-one and so do they. Some of my “girl” friends, I don’t even talk to them in a group setting. We only do one-on-ones and treat each other like acquaintances in group settings.

I also notice that with certain people, I am more comfortable revealing certain aspects of myself that I wouldn’t with someone else.

All this translate to a myriad of friendships, sometimes with the same person.



Another thing I notice about guys is I tend to bond with them as long as we are doing something.

Guys don’t sit down and talk about emotions, feelings, worries, or things you hide deep inside of you. Guys sit down and talk about sports, job, money, cars, … anything except what’s deep inside.

Guys enjoy companionship, but only when it directed toward a goal. For instance, I notice I connect really well with guys when we are playing volleyball. Whether we win or lose, the act of working together through wins or losses, creates a relationship that can’t be replicated anywhere else.

Girls on the other hand, don’t need to be doing anything. Girls just need to know that you will listen and that you won’t share their secrets with the whole world. If you can do those two things, most girls will open up to you.



Once girls open up to you, there’s almost no boundaries to what they will share. Insecurities, worries, anger, jealousy, frustration, … anything that goes inside a woman’s intellect and emotions.

Talking to girls, I feel like I’m allowed into a very dark and deep place inside their soul.

It feels good to be trusted on that level and it doesn’t happen every time you sit down and talk with them.

I have sat next girls who have broke down crying talking about their boyfriends or ex-boyfriends. Sometimes I don’t even know what to say, but I’ve learned that saying nothing is usually the best response.

They mainly need someone there to listen.



I guess my friend knew what she was talking about when she said I would make a great girlfriend. I just never heard anyone say that to me, so I was surprised.

First admitting that I’m feminine and now that I’m great girlfriend material … what’s next … sex change?

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Cheating Husband

Yeahhhhh … time to bash on men.

I’m actually not qualified to give advice on relationships, but when asked, I will give my two cents.

A friend recently came up to me and told me she caught her husband cheating on her.

She came home from work early, walked into her bedroom and found him with another woman on their bed.

She then grabbed all her stuff, moved out, and now they are living separately.

Her life is a complete mess.  Family and friends keep on telling her she needs to divorce the man.  Finances and bills are slowly catching up, now that they both pay separately for all expenses instead of sharing them like before.  She’s thinking of quitting work, but knows that will only make things worse.

Of course she feels hurt, betrayed, and disrespected, but deep down she hopes that both her and her husband can grow together from this incident.

She says that her husband has a history of cheating.  He’s never cheated on her before, but in previous relationships he has cheated.  He once used her to cheat on someone else.  When she found out, she broke it off and they never talked for like 2-3 years.

Now, they’ve been married for 5 years.  Not all of them happily though, but the blame shouldn’t be placed all on him.

For the past year, they have just been co-existing together.  There’s no words exchanged, no physical embraces, nothing that might resemble a healthy relationship.

She feels she is partly responsible for this void and thinks that he reached out to another woman because of this void in their relationship.

What hurts even more is the woman that he cheated on her with is a mutual friend.

She has been suspecting of them being up to something.  Texting and calling each other whenever they can.  Catching them playing footsies under the table, which he denies and say’s “It was just an accident.”  Him getting another phone, so she can’t track all his calls and texts.

She even made him agree not to see/talk to her anymore when she felt it was getting out of hand.

They still found a way to see each other though.

Their mutual friend also has a history of cheating.  She has jeopardized other people’s marriages too.  She’s even tried to make it work by being the “3rd” person in the relationship.  That obviously failed in the end.

She asks me, “What does it mean when a guy says give me time and space?”

I told her, “If it was me, I’d need that just to think things through and make sure what I intend to say to you is what I really want.  But in his case, it could be an excuse for him to keep on cheating.”

Then she asks, “Do you think I should try to make this work?”

I told her, “Honestly, I think he will cheat on you again.  He has a history of it.  And you even confronted him about the early flirting and he still couldn’t control himself.  I say let him go.”

He tells her that he doesn’t want to see her right now, but still wants to talk to her on the phone.

She says that in order for them to move on from this, the adulteress needs to be completely out of the picture from here on.

She says that she feels like he’s just waiting for her to file a divorce.

She says she will if he doesn’t try to make things better.

He has until the end of this year to make things better.

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Putting Yourself Back Together

I’ve been single for a while, but I have my moments of weakness for the opposite sex.

What that really means is, I’m crushing.

Crushing for me happens easily, especially when I don’t know that person well.  I just happen to see them every now and then because they are a friend of a friend … of a friend.

So they’re not really a friend, but rather an acquaintance.  It’s easy for me to admire someone, if I don’t have the slightest idea of who they are.  They possess a “dark and mysterious” trait that piques my interest in them.

What makes this crush even more enticing then previous crushes is … I probably shouldn’t be crushing on her.  Let’s just say, the more time I spend crushing on this person … the deeper the hole I dig for myself.  And one day, I’ll be the one who has to pick myself after falling into this deep hole.

Let’s just say that if this whole situation was based on the Twilight series, she would be Bella.  I would be playing Jacob, not Edward.  Sadly the role of Edward has already been filled.

Having said that, I can’t help it.  I can’t help it that every single time we hangout in groups, there’s always some type of interaction between us that makes me feel like I’m falling for her again.

Even though I know I shouldn’t be falling for her.  Even though I told myself the day before that, I’m not going to go weak for her again.

I’ll go hangout in the group.  Me and her will have our moments of joking around, talking, and some harmless flirting.  It’s not even noticeable to the the group.  And I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even realize I’m crushing on her.

But I am.

And what usually happens after the group hangout is I spend the next days just mesmerized by those brief moments of interactions that we had.  Sometimes it can last more than a week.

I replay every shared moment, every word that was exchanged, every single sound of her laughter.  It’s the only way I can keep the moment from ending, even though it already ended the moment we said, “See ya later.”

I will say this though.  The quicker I learn to get over her and move on with my life.  The sooner everything goes back to normal.  No matter what happens between us during the group hangout, life always goes back to the way it was before we hanged out.

I actually dread every group hangout in which I know she will be there.  I should be excited, but how can I be excited about falling for someone who I know can’t workout?

So I dread it.  I build walls leading up to the group hangout.

It’s similar knowing that you will get into a car crash tomorrow.  Doesn’t matter what you do, in the end you’re destined to crash. You can put off driving, but somehow you will be pulled into it.

Since not crashing isn’t an option, you protect yourself beforehand.  You wear a helmet every time you drive.  You place pillows all around you to absorb the impact.  You double the strength of your seat belt.

The logic behind this is … if I know it’s coming, and I can’t prevent, why not put myself in the best situation possible to deal with the crash.  The best situation possible being one where I don’t get hurt as much.  I may end up crashing hard on this person, but the crash doesn’t have to leave me helpless and vulnerable for days to come.

Which sounds kind of crazy.

Because what it really means is, I’m actually trying to get over her … even before we actually hangout.  I’m already prepping myself for the fall, even before it happens.

Most people would just deal with it as it happens, but I’m actually dealing with it before it happens.  Based on history, I’ve learned that the moment it happens … my world gets turned upside so fast … I don’t even realize that I’m crashing.

It takes me a while to do a reality check and tell myself, “Yeah, you need to get over her dude.”

And even then, I might resist the reality check.  I’m quite stubborn sometimes.

I will bare witness to one thing though … my plan is actually working better then expected.

The more I prepare myself before the crash, the quicker I find myself moving on.

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