I didn’t, now I do

You know if there’s one thing that I’ve noticed in my life is that a lot of things I used to detest are things I enjoy now.

From the earliest example I can think of – smoking. When I was young, I remember my uncle letting me try a puff of the cigarette he was smoking. What followed was me coughing miserably and spitting out whatever I had put into my mouth (no, cigarette is not euphemism for his cock here). Fast forward to a few years later, when I would accidentally drink a can of ash (I saw an unattended can of Shandy at a party – turns out that people were using it as an ash tray). Also, is it just me or did everybody smoke in their own homes back then? Or did I just grow up around a lot of smokers.

Anyway, for the longest time I wouldn’t touch a cigarette. Every time I was offered one, those experiences I had with smoking would pop up in my head and I’d reject the offer. How I started – that’s another story. But I’ve spent a quarter of my life as a smoker. I also rock a vape and consume the occasional snus.

Spicy food and cilantro. Two more things that I avoided like the plague when I was younger. I had no tolerance for spicy food and I thought cilantro had a terrible scent. I always made sure I didn’t order anything spicy and if my dish was served with cilantro, I’d remove it.

Now – I love them both. Sure, my tolerance for spicy foods still isn’t amazing, but I can at least eat spicy food now. I actually enjoy adding chili to a plate of food that’s bland. Same thing with cilantro. I can even eat it on its own. No idea how it started, but I just started eating them one day for a reason I can’t recall and I’ve been doing it ever since. Not sure if I’ll ever enjoy petai or celery in the future, but we’ll see.

Coffee. I never drank it as a kid (the most I had was Neslo – a blend of Nescafe and Milo) because I thought it was bitter and unappealing. I didn’t understand why my parents, uncles and aunts all enjoyed it.

Now? I drink it more than once a week. Sometimes even daily. My love for the drink started when I had to stay awake for some work and I thought I’d give the drink a shot. Turns out it was something I enjoyed. Initially I had to take it with milk, sugar, or blended with other ingredients. Now I love it black and bitter. Hot or cold depending on the weather.

Pop, folk and electronic music. When I first discovered music, I was very open-minded. I consumed everything the radio had to offer. Then when I found out what I liked, I only listened to songs from that genre. It has been many years since then and now I find myself listening to everything and anything – as long as it catches my attention. I don’t let its genre stop me from checking it out. I remember back then I called all electronic music techno shit. Pop music, ballads and boy bands were for sissies. Not anymore. I can put my mp3 library on shuffle and songs from every kind of artist or genre will pop up. And you know what? That’s what I like.

I still love baked beans and rice, peanut butter sandwiches and cartoons. I doubt I’ll ever stop.

The Only Conversion a Dying Person Needs is Respiration

I was listening to the latest episode of the Break It Down podcast today and they brought up the topic of dying happy. There was some interesting points raised during the discussion, including extending someone’s life against their own will. What if a person who is hospitalized would rather die than be treated? Who would it be the person in charge of making the decision? According to the guest, doctors usually go with the conservative route – meaning if somebody wants the life of the patient extended, they will comply. After all, they say things like: he’s too old, he can’t think properly, of course he wants to die.

But how can you tell if someone is saying what they truly mean? Do you hook them up to a lie detector? Some people have lived enough and are ready to leave the world. Do we deny them their wishes? What a tough position to be in. I don’t envy doctors. But if it’s against the law to not do everything in your power to save a life, why aren’t people left hooked up to machines forever? After all, there is a chance in a billion that their bodies will miraculously recover due to sheer willpower to live. Can you still call it living if you’re forever tethered to your bed or a drip machine?

Speaking of people who are dying, do we take advantage of them and convert them to our religion when they’ve lived their whole life following a different one? What makes it okay to do so? Are all their past sins (praying to idols and various other activities) suddenly forgiven? To be honest, it’s happened recently to some of my family members and I find the act despicable. What gives you the right to convert someone to your religion just because you follow it? Fuck that shit. If someone wants to live differently from you, let them.

What is the point of converting someone to your religion when he/she doesn’t have enough time alive to contribute anything meaningful to your cause? Does it even matter at that point? Why does this god want the souls of everybody? Sounds the plan of some sick, twisted villain. If everything was according to ‘God’ then I guess it was supposed to happen that way. You can’t fight destiny right? Oh wait, I thought humans had free will. So what does ‘God’s plan’ really mean? Nothing?

You know, when people can’t be saved by medicine, they say – it’s part of His plan. So why even bother praying? Why even bother checking them into the hospital? If they were going to survive they would regardless of what they did right? Using religion to cope with problems is one thing, but using it as a convenient excuse just unravels the whole farce that is essentially a legalized cult.

I used to be a believer. I would even consider myself devout at some point in my life. Initially when I left Christianity, I was apathetic to the whole situation. It didn’t bother me and I left it at that. It’s been over a decade since I stepped foot into a church to worship, but I find myself filled with contempt instead of indifference. It’s like God has turned me into this hate-filled meatbag to go against his word. Wait, does his master plan still apply to my life once I’ve dismissed his religion? If I don’t believe it, does it make it false?

I believe that religion was created during simpler times when there were no proper laws in place to govern the behavior of people. Now that we’ve evolved and progressed as a race, there’s really no need for such things anymore. Sure, keep it around if it helps you get through with your life, but don’t shove it down the throats of people despite what your god tells you to. Or do. I don’t care. You’re just wasting your time, go be productive instead.

Talking to Strangers

A few weekends ago, I was tasked with approaching some strangers in a mall to get some answers for a survey. While it may seem like nothing to most people, I didn’t find it very easy to do. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone and had my colleague’s help to carry it out. While I had to work up the nerve the approach strangers to ask them the questions, she went in like a pro, approaching crowds left and right with no hesitation. It was interesting watching the immense skill gap between the both of us.
I’m not physically incapable of talking to strangers, but I’m the kind of guy who dislikes being approached by strangers in public. Be it to sell me shit, talk about religion or beg for donations – I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve thought to myself, “I’m glad they came to me!” whenever it happens. For me to put myself in those shoes was immensely difficult.
I’ve had jobs approaching strangers before – but that was as a promoter in a supermarket. Having a product to push and being in a controlled environment made it much easier. It also helped that people would be curious about the stand I was in front of. All I had with me in the mall was a notebook, pen and company name tag.
Anyway, not much to say about that experience except that it was eye-opening for me. I guess we’re all proficient at different things in life, and I’m the kind of guy who’s more comfortable behind the scenes instead of out talking to people on the streets. But it’s a skill I’ll pick up one day, as it’s more beneficial to have than not.

The Mysterious Stranger

It was somebody’s birthday party, I was outside by myself having a smoke. Out of nowhere, this guy sits down next to me and we start having a conversation. He was a lanky Asian dude in a Na’Vi hoodie, which was strange because it’s been a long time since I’ve seen anybody rock those bumblebee colors. But he seemed friendly enough and we had a nice conversation, with Dota being the icebreaker. Eventually the guy tells me his plight. He didn’t have a place to stay for the night and needed somewhere to rest. For some strange reason, I agreed to let him stay over at my place. I mean, nothing wrong with helping out a fellow Na’Vi fan right?
Fast forward until the end of the night and we’re back at my place. Upon entering my room, he immediately sat down in front of my computer and turned it on. I’m not sure what he was doing on it, but he seemed very comfortable, knowing all my shortcuts and how to navigate around my system. I didn’t question him since it was pretty late and I was ready to sleep, so I left him in my room while I went to the toilet.
While taking a shit, a thought crossed my mind – what if this guy was stealing all my passwords? Or planting some trojans on my computer? That worried me a bit, so I quickly finished my shit, cleaned up and went back to my room. When I stepped in, I saw my computer was still on, but the guy was nowhere to be found. He had vanished. I didn’t even hear the door open or close. I thought to myself, “fuck! He’s probably taken what he wanted.”
The dream ended after that.

It’s great being an adult

Today, a thought crossed my mind while I was having dinner and I saw a kid a few tables away having his meal with his family. He was the only child seated there, the rest of them were old-ass people chatting and eating. It’s great being an adult.

Sure, these days it’s not too bad being a kid – everyone has got their own tablets and smartphones to keep themselves occupied during a boring dinner. But I remember when I was young, the countless times I had to follow my family out because I was too young to be left at home by myself.

I’d sit down with the aunts and uncles, bored out of my mind, waiting for the adults to finish talking so I could go home to watch my favorite TV shows, read a book or play some video games.

Now that I’m old enough, I’m able to decline invitations to dinners I don’t want to attend. If I do attend them, I can occasionally speak to adults or other people closer to my age. I can order a drink and enjoy some alcohol. I can pull out my phone to browse reddit, play games or watch videos on YouTube. When I feel like it, I can just walk out for a smoke. Assuming I drove to the venue by myself, I can make an early exit to do whatever I want. There’s really no expectation for me to be present (barring important occasions). Everyone’s an adult now – they know I have shit to do with my time as well (these days it’s leveling up my Battle Pass kek).

I don’t miss being that kid who didn’t have a say in his parents’ social engagements. Being old does come with benefits. Now when I think of it, who wants to be young again? I mean, sure – nobody likes looking like an old fuck, but if you are an old fuck then what’s wrong with looking like one? I think I look my age these days, and I’m cool with that.

It’s great being an adult.