Mr Mitty and I

I think we all encounter at least once in our life a book, a movie, a song or a tune that really resonates with us. It speaks to us in a way that others will never understand and stays with us forever.

That’s what happened when I was exposed to Mr Mitty. For those of you who don’t know who or what I’m talking about, Walter Mitty is a character from a short story of the same name written by James Thurber. He first appeared in the New Yorker in 1939. In 2013, a movie adaptation was released and stars Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig. I think it’s such an inspirational movie and was crafted beautifully.

Mr Mitty is a daydreamer; he transports himself into a wild and elaborate world of imagination to escape the mundaneness of reality. In the short story, he escapes his weekly shop with his wife and her trip to the beauty parlour. In the movie, he escapes his workplace, his responsibilities and ultimately, his average life. Walter’s journey to find a missing negative leads him on an adventure of a lifetime. I also love that the evolution of his e-Harmony profile is used to show how much he grows and progresses as a person and it details his life experiences in the space of a few weeks.

What I love the most about the movie is Life magazine’s motto:

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I shamelessly have this quote printed and hanging above my desk at work. It’s corny but it really inspires me and I know it inspires a lot of people and I’m glad it does. When I start to feel stagnant at work and question what I’m doing and why I’m there, I look at the quote and I’m reminded that I’m working towards the bigger picture.

I think a valuable lesson we can all take from Mr Mitty is that while extreme daydreaming/’mittyism’ is okay, why waste life just dreaming when you can go out there and make it a reality? Don’t wait around for things to happen – go and make it happen. And if you can’t, why not? What’s stopping you? Can you find a solution?

I feel like for far too long, I’ve been putting off travelling for various reasons: career, relationships, fear and ultimately, money. I’m not going to lie; money is still an issue. Unfortunately I’m a lover of new superficial things and living a life of luxury so that doesn’t help when you need to save money for tickets, accommodation, transportation and well, experiences because some of them don’t come cheap!

But it’s okay to live the poor life because I know in the end I’m going to be rich… rich in experiences that is! And who knows, I might just meet my ABC man at the other end of the Earth.

For those of you who don’t know what ABC is, it’s another Mitty reference:

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Well Mr Mitty, I hope you stay in my life for a while yet and continue to inspire me to reach out to my dreams and make it a reality. I’m not going to lie, the thought of travelling is terrifying because it’s way out of my comfort zone but, another movie reference: life is about courage and going into the unknown.

My challenge to you (yes you! The person my friend Emma is pointing to!!) don’t just sit there and be afraid… grow some balls and go out into the unknown. Even if you don’t succeed, you’ll come back richer. With a moustache and maybe a sombrero.

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If you haven’t read the story or watched the movie, I highly recommend it.

Photo credit: Drunken photo booth pic from a staff Christmas party

The cure to loneliness

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Okay I did it. I’m sorry. I feel like I need to apologise for being really naughty but I really couldn’t help myself. I don’t know what to say… I guess in some ways I’m just out of control.

I just had to click bait you.

Now, now before you click out of this post I’m not entirely lying to you. While I don’t have the cure to loneliness, I do want to talk about it.

Let’s start with the definition. I would define loneliness as the feeling of actually realising you’re alone and wanting to be in someone else’s presence.

I googled what it meant and the first definition that popped up was “sadness because one has no friends or company”. Okay I’m not gonna lie, I had a bit of a chuckle at that definition but it’s not wrong. I think we all perceive loneliness differently. For me, when I feel lonely I just really want to talk to someone or be in the presence of a being or feel connected to someone.

As what is considered an ‘introvert extrovert’, I don’t often get lonely but I know that when I do, it’s a bit of a rough patch and I get a bit confused, particularly if I haven’t felt lonely in a while. Plus loneliness can strike at any time even when you’re out at a party or at a BYO with friends.

SO when loneliness hits, I devised a little plan on how to feel less lonely and I’m going to share it with you:

  • Phone a friend, mother, sister, brother, whoever. Just phone someone and if they’re around, invite them out for a hang sesh. I know it’s the obvious but I thought I’d start with the obvious
  • If you’re at a party and feeling lonely, talk to someone. Chances are there’s someone there who feels exactly like you do and who knows, you’ll end up with a new partner/friend/beneficial bro/enemy
  • Read a funny book/blog/article/joke. You’ll be in stitches and we know that when you’re laughing away, it releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals
  • Go for a walk, preferably somewhere in the bush where there are trees, birds and flowers. Soaking in nature and fresh air really opens me up and makes me feel calm, relaxed and well, less lonely. Plus if there are people around, you’re surrounding yourself with company! (well, sort of)
  • Have a bath. Now before you yell at me, warm baths really relaxes your mind and body and I know when you’re feeling lonely, the last thing you want to do is be further alone with yourself and your thoughts. But if you have a podcast or music playing in the background, it can turn into a refreshing experience and you can remind yourself of why you enjoy alone time
  • Talk to your flatmate, even if you may not be a fan of this person but sometimes just having a conversation with another human can make you feel a bit better
  • No flatmates? Talk to your cat(s). I have flatmates but I still talk to my cats. They just meow back but I always feel less lonely. Maybe it’s cause I’m crazy but meh it works
  • No pets? Well sometimes just writing down your thoughts and feelings down really help because in a way, it’s like you’re talking to yourself. I mean while you’re reading this and I’m writing it, I feel like I’m talking to myself. Hell, start a blog. That’s what I did and trust me, I always feel less lonely when I’m writing

We can never fully get rid of feeling lonely but at least we can make the feeling more bearable. I hope this helps! What do you do to combat that empty feeling?

Photo credit: dawnchapmanphoto, check out her stuff!

The deep end: Part One

 I’m thinking of solo travel in 2017.

I’m not going to lie – doing anything on my own is pretty terrifying. I think back to the days when I was growing up in Kuala Lumpur – a country where serious crime such as kidnapping, assault, rape and theft is common – and I used to catch a taxi, go to the mall and watch movies at the cinema and get food on my own. I was 12 years old.

Of course, my mother used to lose her shit and get so angry at me because she was concerned about my safety and wellbeing but did that ever phase me? Nah.

Fast forward to today in Wellington, New Zealand – 26 years old and the thought of even going to the movies alone is unheard of. I mean, what if people start judging me and think I’m a sore loser who has no friends? No, no, no… I couldn’t possibly have that. How about going to a cafe alone and god forbid, actually eating/drinking coffee there. Alone. (I think I just shat my pants).

Did I mention I’m thinking of solo travel in 2017? Oh the irony of it all.

In the last couple of weeks, I decided to throw myself in what I call ‘the deep end’ – that’s putting myself in scary (okay, uncomfortable) situations and see how they pan out.

Scary situation #1

I had to go into town for a walk-in appointment but unfortunately, it was really busy. What a waste of bloody time.

So rather than turn around and waste the day in the comforts of my own home, I decided to visit the Wellington City Gallery because I really wanted to go (and no one seemed to have a vested interest in joining me…) AND because why the heck not.

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It was great. It was educational. It was interesting. I had a good time by myself. I had so much fun, I pretended I was a foreigner from Paris who wanted to immerse herself in some good ol’ Kiwi culture.

After that, I decided to take it a step forward and went to the food court by myself (GASP. Such public place, much alone, what loser).

I ate food, I read a book, I soaked in my surroundings and guess what? I DIDN’T DIE.

And yes, there is a second part to this… watch this space…