Intimacy – do we have enough?

Contrary to popular belief, the word “intimacy” is not solely used in the context of relationships; the dictionary defines intimacy as “close familiarity or friendship”, meaning that we can also use the term in the context of relationships, friendships, or a familial relationship.

With this said, do we have enough intimacy in our life? What is intimacy outside of the dictionary definition?

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Music is Love is Music (The power of music)

Forget everything you have heard about humans only using 10% of their brains. Nonsense. Drivel. Rubbish. Bullocks. Several other impolite words I would like to use but probably should not. Many, many studies have shown that music and language activate almost the entire brain, and because of this activation, many magical things can occur. Today, instead of a long-form post, I am going to share several short stories about how music is love, and love is music.

(I have source links in every title, so if you want to read more in-depth about what I have written about, go ahead and click)

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The story of Leah and Michael

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are not fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely planned. With that said, I changed names and will not mention any geographic information or time-frames to preserve the characters’ identities. With that said, Leah and Michael, if either or both of you read this, I hope you don’t mind that I’m writing about this.

With all the violence and death that has been going on of late (note: I started writing this in late April and am just finishing this now), I thought I would write a little story about love. Not my own love, (unfortunately,) but of a rare and beautiful kind that I felt privileged to witness firsthand during my travels.

Movies, television, and magazines have created notoriously unrealistic outlooks for romantic relationships. They create the expectation that there will be a great story when you meet the love of your life, that, despite any obstacles you may encounter, you and your significant other will have a fairy tale ending and live happily ever after. In some cases, this may actually happen, but realistically, it does not. I probably do not have to tell you that relationships are built on a combination of love, trust, struggle, and compromise; any of you who have ever been in a relationship or are presently in one know exactly what I’m talking about.

This is a story that, as far as I know, still has no ending, but I still want to share what I’ve already seen with you. I first met Leah and Michael during one of my many travels. Living the poor student’s life, I booked myself a hostel. As it wasn’t my first time living in a hostel, I was actually sort of keen to meet my roommates, hoping that they would be cool and that we could be friends. When I first got into the room, I saw that two of the beds were already occupied and I heard the shower running…and two voices. People traveling and staying in hostels in pairs is nothing out of the ordinary, but when you walk into this sort of situation, you can’t help but think and worry for a brief moment that perhaps you should have taken that extra five or ten minutes in the lobby to ask about the sights in the surrounding area. Fortunately, my worries were laid to rest when Michael walked out of the bathroom shortly after I walked in.

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The first time I said “I love you” to someone

It’s been almost 10 years since it happened. For me, it was my first foray into this world of expressing my feelings of any kind. Being raised in a traditionally Asian household (well, that’s until we became pretty westernized…but more on that some other time), it was unusual to typically express emotions of any kind, such as “I miss you”, “I would like to see you later”, even much less “I love you.” Yes, I had had my “first kiss” while in camp when I was 13 years old, but that didn’t count because it was a dare. Callie, which is, of course, not her real name , was my first girlfriend, my first kiss, and my first love.

Why am I writing about this? Because this was the first time I ever really expressed such sincere feelings to someone else. Because you don’t ever really forget your first love, and I figured some people want to know a bit more about me. Because I rediscovered an old backup of my (god-awful) Xanga from that time-frame, and I thought it would make a good story.

“But, Guang Yi, you were 17/18 years old. How did you know you loved her?”

Trust me, I’ve wondered about this a great deal, and the answer is that at some point between high school Guang Yi and current Guang Yi, my definition of “being in love” with someone has changed drastically, yet it retains a few of the principles from back then. That being said, 17/18 year old Guang Yi definitely felt like he loved her.

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The Principles of Love

(Note: Technically a reblog, but I didn’t want this lost in my Facebook wall, because it’s far too sweet. Edited for minor errors. ~GY)

The phone rang.

She was sobbing badly on the other end of the line.

“I’m going over,” I told her and hung up before she could protest.

1am. It was going to be a long night ahead..

She was still crying when she opened the door. She looked so broken, so vulnerable. I didn’t have to know what was wrong, I just held her in my arms. She cried even more.

“He broke up with me,” she finally said.

I just kept quiet as she let it all out… questions, tears, anger, hurt.

“Why does love have to hurt so much?”

“No, love… doesn’t hurt,” I said gently.

“So says the guy who’s been single forever? What would you know about love,” she jabbed.

“So says the guy who’s been your friend though Mr. Now-ex-#4,” I grinned. “Love doesn’t hurt you.. it’s the person that doesn’t know how to love or appreciate love that hurts you. But love never hurts.”

“You won’t understand, Matt,” she sighed, “you’ve never been in love…”

“That’s not entirely true, you know…”

“Wait what- so who’s this girl I’ve never heard abou-“

“What did you love about #4 anyway?” I interjected.

“I don’t know… he is just perfect. And I love him so much.”

“But you don’t know what it is that you love about him?”

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Borrowed time

We have all used or experienced borrowed time before. There are always costs associated with it, but we find ourselves wanting it all the same.

The simplest example of borrowed time is credit. You are borrowing time from the bank to use money that you do not have yet, but that you know you will, in theory, be able to return this time. The cost of not returning this time is interest, where you simply have to pay an additional percentage of the initial cost. Very simple and straightforward.

Terminally ill patients who live past their given life expectancy are said to be on borrowed time. The cost here is not so straightforward. The cost could be fiscal, as keeping someone knocking on death’s door can be very expensive. The cost could be someone else’s life, where only that person’s organs will prolong the inevitable for ten to fifteen more years. The cost could also be emotional, as families have spent time preparing for the end; when the patient makes it past the diagnosed time, since we humans are creatures of hope, a small part of us may begin to wonder if your loved one is the statistical anomaly, the one exception. The price for this borrowed time, is devastation.

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The Things I Like, Love, and Hate about You (Past and Present)

About several people, not just one:

I liked your excessive use of the exclamation point.
I liked that I could always smell you before I saw you, and not in the bad way.
I liked that you danced.
I liked that you accepted all my weirdness and baggage.
I liked you.

I loved that you and I had, and still have, the same passion for music.
I loved buying flowers for you.
I loved the way you chuckle at jokes.
I loved that I effortlessly remember your cell phone number, and I still do.
I loved you.

I hated that you never returned my texts or phone calls.
I hated saying goodbye.
I hated that you were never single and available.
I hated that you got over me so quickly.
I hated you.

I like that you still post “Happy birthday” on my wall.
I like when you randomly text me out of the blue.
I like that I can be myself all the time with you.
I like that I fundamentally understand you.
I like you.

I love that I can now think of our past without it hurting.
I love seeing you happy, even if it is not with me.
I love watching your success.
I love looking and getting lost in your eyes, even now.
I love you(?)

I hate

Honestly, there is nothing I hate about you anymore. I just sincerely hope that you are happy, and I wish you success in everything you do.

Photo credit: Myself
Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, from the Musée du Louvre

My Anti-Valentine’s Day (Singles’ Awareness Day) Rant

Did you know that St. Valentine was eaten by lions? True story.

Generally, Valentine’s Day is the day that usually ends the season of breakups, which usually starts before Christmas. As with all relationships ending, the reasons vary, but I think that a lot of the ones that end around this time tend to be for commitment reasons (such as meeting their SO’s family). That being said, this period also has the highest number of couples proposing or tying the knot, so I guess it evens out…but I’m not going to talk about those couples. THIS IS AN ANTI-VALENTINE’S DAY RANT AFTER ALL!

My friend, Michael, and I used to bet on the number of breakups we would see (largely from my Facebook or my group of friends because Michael didn’t believe in the social media thing and I had a huge group of acquaintances and friends to look at), starting from around the middle of December and ending on St. Valentine’s Death Day. The winner got…I don’t even think we bet anything because I think it was more for the fact that we wanted to secure our places as worst love grinches in the world. And kudos, I guess.

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