Saturday, February 28, 2015


According to this article, there are only 5 basic fears, in which all our feels fall under:

1. Fear of Ego Death
2. Fear of Separation
3. Fear of Loss of Autonomy
4. Fear of Mutilation
5. Fear of Extinction

I am very lucky that at the moment, I don't have the bottom two fears. My hearts go out for those living in war-torn zones or high violent crime areas. However, all of my life I have been struggling with fear #3, and at the moment, I am especially struggling with fears #1 and #2.

Everything I do at work, I am trying for the first time, and hence I'm not very good at it. I am a bit upset that I have picked a field that is so unstable and advances so fast, that as soon as I barely master the skill, my contract will end and I will have to find a new job which will require me to learn a brand new set of skills. On the plus side it'll keep my brain very active. On the down side I constantly beat myself up for sucking at what I do every day, and I constantly worry that the boss will want to replace me and I won't be able to get that next job. This is my ego having a very low self esteem.

At the second level, I don't have many good friends right now, and my bf, due to troubles in his own family, cannot provide security. To him, fear for the loss of autonomy is a lot greater than the fear of separation. For me, my fear of separation is so high that I act all crazy and sacrifice some of my own autonomy, and of course the strategy is not working.

Because I find it impossible to connect with people here (also contributes to fear #1 - my ego hurts for sucking at building close friendship), my gut tells me I should leave this country ASAP. But who knows if the next place will be any better? Similarly, because of the vast difference of our backgrounds, my bf and I are not a good fit, but separation anxiety takes over me at the thought of splitting from him. We talked about breaking up, but while he seems calm, the thought of it makes it feel like my whole world is about to fall apart.

I think I need to learn to deal with my fears a lot better or else I will be a mess forever.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Trying to understand my family through observing Taiwanese politics

I have been following Taiwanese politics lately and been watching Taiwanese shows and TV. Basically missing home. However I was there not too long ago and pretty much was dying to come back to Sweden after barely 1 week.

Taiwan is going through another party change. The DPP party recently majorly beat out the ruling KMT party by winning the majority in the municipality election, and will likely win the presidential election next year.

But that's not my main concern. I felt that from observing the election campaign news footage plus the Taiwanese political discussion shows, I have learned a lot about my family and about the Taiwanese culture.

Many of the politicians are in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s, but if their parents were also held office in the past, the reporters would ask them, "Do your parents approve of what you do?" And in some cases, indeed the candidates' policies or decisions to run for office were deeply influenced by their parents. In a culture where you are never truly independent from your parents even if you have reached your 60s, of course I'm considered as a huge sinner in my family.

In Taiwan politics is considered as dark, corrupt, complex, and evil, and good citizens should not meddle with it. Most "good" families strongly discourage their good kids from participating in the political scene... which means, that, the country would forever be run by sons and daughters of existing politicians and gangster members... basically this attitude ensures that the political, social and economical condition of the country would never improve.

Good thing that a few capable people in their 40s and 50s finally found the courage to "rebel against their parents' wishes" and run for office. It sounds a bit pathetic from the western point of view, but it's huge progress for Taiwan. The younger people, who aren't so obedient anyways, have been very supportive by volunteer their time and efforts during the campaigns, and exercising their right to vote. Traditionally, it is very costly to win an election, and voting rate is very low among young people. As internet and mobile technologies mature, it because easier to reach people, to spread information, and communication becomes simpler, even among strangers.

I have been very excited following the progress of Taiwan, since I miss home very much. Sadly, when I returned home in Taiwan last Christmas, I found that my closest family members have not been following this progress at all. This is because the mainstream TV and the internet show different kinds of information. While you can look at many different points of views on the internet, the mainstream media are still much more biased. In addition, all kinds of media contain a lot of misinformation, and it takes a lot of effort to judge the correctness of a piece of information, which my family has no in wasting so much brain power on deciphering the information. The results is that where I see a rainbow in the horizon, they still see doom, and would rather ignore the doom and talk about my weight instead, and pretend there are no strains within the family by continually saying nice things, hoping the cracks and strains between the interpersonal relationships within the family will disappear on their own.

For the longest time I didn't understand this attitude. If there's a strain between person 1 and person 2, they should talk it out. They might not agree with each others' values, but it helps to see where the other person is coming from. But in my family the situation is more like:

"This is the set of (arbitrary) values. Since you are a member of this family you must follow. Because that's how it's always been and always will be. We try everything we can to keep people on track following this set of values. When people derail, we force them back on track. But when most people have derailed, and there's nothing we can do to bring everyone back on track, we just pretend everyone is still on track, because this is the best we can do. We cannot have a conversation about the current situation, because the values cannot be wrong. They must always be maintained".

This is the exact same attitude of the current Taiwanese president, who currently has <10% of public support. Since my family comes from China and came to Taiwan from the same ship (figuratively) as the original KMT members, the behavior of KMT is very similar with my family.

I don't wish to have a revolution in my family. I just wish people would acknowledge all the problems we have, face to face. But instead, I suspect everyone will continue to hide behind polite greetings that sound very strained and fake. Everyone is too busy trying to hide their own wounds to notice other people also have wounds and troubles. The ironic things is that we already know about each other's problems, so I have no idea what people think they are hiding. I guess it's like playing hide and seek. My family still thinks that by covering our own eyes, other people cannot find us.

This makes me really sad.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Back to hot yoga

I finally managed to drag my ass to bikram yoga class... I would prefer to take up an Ashtanga regime, but I have to take into account of studio location, convenience (times of day I can go to class), and price. Based on these criteria, Bikram won out. It is really good to get back into some sort of exercise routine.. my body needed that. The first class I went, my quads were really hurting from stretches. I had no clue that my quads were that tight.... Shows how little I know about my body. My hamstrings also ached from forward bend stretches, but that was an enjoyable ache. However I'm not exactly sure if I should enjoy this kind of stretching aches. A positive thing is that my calves also get stretched in the process, so hopefully I won't be getting calf cramps in the middle of the night any more. My feet do still get cramps during class though (in Eagle pose and pashimottanasana A), so I still do carry some tension in the body. Hopefully they will go away soon.

My cardio has always been terrible, and in the Bikram room often my heart/lung feel the intensity more than my muscles. Even though this is not "true cardio" (not like running, swimming or jogging), I figure it'll still help my heart improve a little bit before I get started on real cardio workouts. It's been tremendously difficult to get started on any kind of exercise routine for me so even a baby step it a move towards the right direction.

My focus really should be on strengthening rather than stretching (except for the calves of course). If possible I should try to haul my ass into the gym as well.

I've been feeling less anxious than before.. probably a combination of yoga and an improvement to my current situation. I don't think I should take a break from yoga for such a long time in the future... was really sinking back into the feeling of anxiety, tension, helplessness, fear, and low self worth. Exercise is as essential as food and sleep in life.