day 2211 – uc crew reunion

underconstruction crew reunion was long overdue. though i last visited hong kong in november and saw one, it’s not the same as having the complete four all together. the visiting uc craved tacos, so that’s where we took our dear friend. we met up at la taqueria for some happy hour nachos and tacos. it’s great to see these faces again and catch up with each other’s lives. not much has changed, but so much has changed. we’re already planning our next gathering and changing our upcoming secret santa rules

short of expectation

i’ve been really down, stressed and frustrated as of late. there were multiple times when i just couldn’t keep it together inside. i feel the frustration has been eating me alive so i decided to open up part of my story

all my life, i’ve been an underachiever, always falling short of everyone’s expectations. i can’t remember the last time i felt like i succeeded and made someone proud

in highschool, i was always living in the shadow of my brother who would get ninety nine percent in math. as an asian kid, getting an A in math was never enough. i rewrote my provincial because it was not an A of respectable calibre. i get it, i’m nowhere near smart; i don’t get straight A’s like most asian parents wish for. i graduated and went straight into post secondary as expected. in university, my path was basically chosen for me based on process of elimination of what my parents didn’t want me to be. they got it all mapped out for me – i applied for environment design program, an honors program meant for architecture. i graduated from that and was expected to be an architect, but i failed to get into the masters program which accepts forty eight students out of the four hundred odd applicants

growing up, sports was something i loved dearly and what came to me naturally. i excelled in swimming, so much that two instructors granted me to skip two levels. i went on to take all lifeguarding courses before i had to wait until i was sixteen. i didn’t pick it back up when i turned sixteen which made my parents outraged. i went on to hear about it for the next six years. my parents enrolled me in skating and i did well to skip the ‘red’ level which was the first level. i didn’t enjoy skating much so i never continued onto figure skating. i was on the tennis court as a ball girl ever since i could remember. soon after, my parents enrolled me into lessons at indoor tennis facility where i played a few tournaments. at the crossroad where players started specializing and turning pro, my parents asked if i wanted a coach. i turned it down because i didn’t think i could be one in a million that turns into a tennis star. i also played basketball starting in elementary school, but my parents forbid me to join any school teams. i finally convinced them to let me in highschool and made team from grade eight to ten. however, it came to an abrupt halt after three severe ankle sprains had me on crutches and one major career-ending knee injury. my doctor did not allow me to take PE in grade eleven. i worked hard at physio and was cleared for PE twelve and tennis team, but still not the basketball team

taekwondo had it’s ups and downs but it did shine at some point. i started as a white belt thinking i’d have some fun one summer. one summer became many summers. in the early stages as a yellow-green belt, i would half-ass thinking matching the green belts’ levels was adequate. it turns out it wasn’t; my instructor wasn’t having any of that and lectured me on how it was unacceptable to not use my full potential. that next promotion test, i was the second student in school history to skip a belt level. i started competing and that changed everything. i became an instructor, a coach and eventually the branch head instructor. though there’s glory, there’s also a lot of burden and stress behind the scenes. from white to black, there’s been many bumps and bruises, breaking my foot three times enroute to my third dan today. i carry a lot weight being in the position i am in today and i feel no matter how much i put in, it is never enough. being in the position that i am, i feel obligated to continue onto my fourth. if i don’t grow, how will my students grow? how will i keep my dreams alive?

tricking is something i picked up partially because i have the aspirations to compete again, but also because i liked it. though i’m neither talented nor daring enough like some others, i still try to do what i can. i have moves i need in order to have any hopes of competing again, along with a list of tricks i want to learn just for the sake of it, but progress has been slowed by my foot and the various injuries i often have. i tried to stay patient all this time, but my patience has a limit and i’m afraid it’s running low. i’ve been extremely frustrated recently because i still have to hold off on things i really need and time is ticking. little do people know, i often beat myself up when i don’t get something that is seemingly so easy for somebody else. i know i’m not a natural at this, but i’m hoping my hard work pays off. until i know the severity of my foot injury, i’ll still be pushing hard – even if it means being on one foot. i’m no stranger to pushing the limits and disobeying commands, pushing and playing through all sorts of injuries is something i’m known for and that likely won’t change. my physio, chiro and kinesiologist knows me well enough that very little will stop me

i started lifting weights for rehab purposes, but soon grew to love it as something that compliments my sports and enhances my performance. i picked up olympic lifting four years ago only because i saw a trainer working out and thought it looked cool. for a couple years, i would always stay within my comfort zone just enough for maintenance. for that reason, i plateaued lifting the same amount of weight and wasn’t making the weight my kinesiologist expected. i remember disappointing him every time he checked on the weight i pushed, be it squats, deadlifts, bench, rows, pullups. it wasn’t until the beginning of this year i got serious about it and started an olympic lifting program to improve my technique. through the program, my technique improved significantly and my strength really took off. only recently, i made a couple personal bests, but even those numbers are not quite the numbers that’s expected out of me. if i can one day exceed any of those expectations, i wouldn’t rule out a future competition

it’s really been a lot of back and forth with constant struggles. i know for a fact that my mom is disappointed i have yet to settle for someone. i’m disappointing them because it seems like i have no urgency to get into another relationship after being removed from one. maybe the previous brought bad experiences and many disappointments and the last thing i want is to get into one that will not make me happy. coming as a joke or not, it bothers me every time i’m being badgered or questioned about my choice; i’m more than positive of my answer and i need not to prove it to anyone. i can only apologize for the disappointment that it hasn’t happened yet, all i know is it’ll happen when the time is right and i meet the man of my dreams

my life has been far from a walk in the park and it’s been a rough stretch that’s consumed more of me than it should have. lately, it strikes me that i have more often than not fallen short of expectations. i’ve failed many people that had any hopes for me and i’m deeply saddened to have failed in so many regards. it seems i can’t ace any test given to me, but i can only promise i’ll keep trying. i know for a fact i’m not a person that settles for any less than what i want. in the meantime i’m just trying to keep it together

day 2113 – catchup time

it’s probably my fault that some hangouts happen less frequently than it should. finally catching up with a long time highschool friend over some food. it was good to just chat and download all the things that’s gone by. i realize all she wanted to do was to treat me to a meal for my birthday. i really do cherish that so much of our lives has changed, but our friendship hasn’t. maybe next time we can get a few of the core people out all at once

day 2036 – physio visit

my ankle was obviously not in good working form so getting it checked up because i can’t afford to have any time off. the faster i fix it, the faster i’m on the roundoff back tucks again. the reason i love my physio is he’s good at what he does – fixing my injuries since highschool. he knows me so well that every time i visit, he would work his magic on my many failing body parts and get me back to my sports in a jiffy. this was time no different. it’s amazing how much better my ankle felt after he did some adjustments

day 1989 – shakespeare

seeing my student reading romeo and juliet for english class brings back so much highschool memories. it’s one of those assigned readings that i never quite finish, but somehow got eighty one percentage on the test. i wasn’t exactly a keener when it came to english homework and it wasn’t a subject i found interesting. i hope she doesn’t ask me any shakespeare question cause i wouldn’t remember anything

day 1971 – fried chicken

it’s crazy to say that it’s my first time eating fried chicken since highschool. i normally refrain from fried foods; i made an exception today not only because it is the holiday week, but also because i’ve never tasted the korean fried chicken everyone boasts about. it tasted delicious as expected, and the crunchiness between my teeth was also to a high level of satisfaction. i don’t know when i’ll have it again, so i’ll savour every lasting flavour of the fried chicken dipped into the zesty sweet and sour sauce

day 1935 – bubble tea alley

got to appreciate a good lunch date with hamberite that started with fancy poke bowls and finished off with bubble tea. the alley was coined as one of the best black sugar pearl in the city. i wasn’t going to have too many on this trip, but i wasn’t going to let this one slip away. i haven’t had bubble tea in a while but man was this one good. we walked around mongkok and shamshuipo for the rest of the afternoon. i’m always good to know that last connections like this still exist