Jing's Blog

Solo Traveler / Self-Improvement/ jing.liu@hey.com

This is sth I learnt over the years, but I know I am still bad about it.

My boyfriend was very excited to show me sth he built over past few days, and I was very excited, too. I have been thinking that I should learn more about his life and what he is doing, since our relationship has been going really well (I think).

When I jumped into the call, he showed me the product and pitched his ideas. I quickly switched myself into the review mode, asking questions about product concept, direction, goal and customer stickiness...

I thought I was trying to be patient, hear out the ideas, and asking open questions...mentioned that I was just trying to help him to refine the idea... blah blah blah...

You can imagine, it destroyed all the excitement and that was not what the other person needs!

The call disconnected due to poor internet. During that break, I realized that I have to detach my work life from my personal life. I decided to start this relationship, not to be business partner with him, I cannot talk to him as if I am talking to my stakeholders or reviewing their product road-maps. He wanted to talk to me about his ideas and didn't expect me to be an investor who challenges his business ideas. He wants to share the excitement with someone he cares.

Then why this is happening? I think the answer is: Sometimes, I still expect my partner to be the way I expected to be based on my own value. The second layer of this answer is: I am not inner-secured enough to accept whomever I am dating.

I believe everyone should make independent conscious decisions on what they want. If I want to change the person I chose, then I'd better to learn how to choose the person in the first place.

SLU, Seattle, WA

I woke up 5 seconds before my alarm rings at 6:30 am Looking out from the window, it's pretty dark, not sure its like this last week Then I saw a message from a friend who just settled down in Stockholm, who supposed to join me in Seattle in March, 2020. Pandemic changed his plan. He said I have a home in Sweden if I ever be able to travel to EU again.

Life started to get into a new routine: – Hand making my own coffee, Storyville whole coffee beans from Bainbridge – Toasted whole wheat bread, a slice of smoked salmon, half sliced avocado – Listening to an Audible book on my Echo. [The Goal] by Eliyahu M. Goldratt – Stretch, Sit, Check my emails – New day started

I would never imagined this could be me 6 months ago. Happy new life times

SLU, Seattle, WA

I am 30, earn well, moved around, live in evergreen state in U.S.

Pandemic gave me more alone time, more opportunities to slow down in life And I want to share one topic that has been constantly bothering me along my journey, especially since I moved to U.S. by myself during Pandemic.

What do I really need? – It's different with what I want – It's different with what I have – It's very different with what I think I need – It's absolutely different with what others think I would need

I love to ask this question, it keeps me honest and keeps exploring myself

Over the years, I went through cycles and cycles of these questions, it is across my book selections, music, clothes, furniture, electronics, career, friendship, financials, relationships, family, life goals, where do I want to travel next...and I am sure it will continue in rest of my life

It's not an easy question to answer. Sitting at my SLU apartment, thinking of how to get rid of a lot of furniture I bought 3 months ago when I moved into this place, after weeks of thoughts when I finally realized that I need to move to a smaller apartment with very limited things with me.

When I decided to take the current apartment, I was so excited. This place has everything I wanted: big windows, access of private patio, ground floor that I do not need to wait for the elevators, modern design, new full kitchen, very close to my office means I can walk there everyday, and it has enough nice space for me to host house parties as I usually do. I bought outdoor dinning tables, benches, rocking chairs, decorated with nice grass wall and lighting bulbs, not to mention how many new cookwares and hosting stuff I bought for potential house gathering events, so on and so on...

I had all the reasons I thought I need this apartment, regardless that I need to pay 3K dollars each month for it. I planned financials, I planned how to arrange furniture inside of the place, lighting, music, projectors, wine glasses... Everything sounds perfect. And it was, when I got everything setup, it looks as perfect as I expected, I was happy and satisfied, just cannot wait to announce to the world about the amazing place I have.

But, there is the problem. No one wants to have any group gathering in a new comer's home during Pandemic.

1 month, 2 months later. I start to realize that all the things I have around me are not utilized as I expected, I enjoyed them for a while, then I cannot get continuous satisfaction from them.

I was trying to ask why to myself? Then I realize I was working backwards from what others might need, what I might need, instead what I really need.

I do not think this is sth I did wrong, but it's certainly something I learnt that I am really glad. I thought doing sth others need would make me feel great, and this drove me making those purchasing decisions. And it indeed happened many times in my life, that I gained tons of satisfactions from those house events, home gathering, dinners, coffee afternoons and romantic nights when I know others liked it. I am sure it is still a great thing to do if we are not in a Pandemic, but now reality is I need to deal with a new situation and organize my life differently.

If I may narrow down on one specific areas: physical things I need.

Over past few weeks, I was asking myself everyday: what do I (only I) really need now? I kept putting things I do not need away in storage area: – I donated 95% of my apparels. Shoes, Clothes, Socks, Bags.. – I giveaway all my books to neighbors. – I sold all my electronics products that I haven't use for over 3 months. – I donated/threw away all decorative things in my home. – I limit cosmetics and make-ups to one small bag.

Eventually, I was able to fit all things into one carry on luggage and one backpack. I felt so stress free since then, I can always close my luggage, grab my backpack and go anywhere. I have my life with me.

Home? What furniture do I absolutely need to live in this apartment today. – Bed set, plus 2 sets of bedding sheets. – Sofa – Dining table and 2 chairs – Small standing table for projector – Office table and office chair (may be eliminate later if not WFH) – Stand lamp (I hate installed light in bedroom) – Mirror

That's it. 7 things I need to worry about for now. So I decided to sell all the rest . If I need it later? I can buy one if I really need to then.

The lesson I learnt: stop buying things you might need more than 2 weeks ahead. I still imagine what I want and what I would need, but I do not buy it unless I absolutely need it now. We are living in an extreme convenient society, where a house could be built in days, I really do not need to plan more than 2 weeks ahead.

Now I feel so good. At any time I know I have 2 luggage and 7 furniture I need to worry about. I cannot promise that this will never change, but I am really glad I learnt this, and I know a light life is something I really need now.

Seattle, WA

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