when do you decide to not settle and to continue striving for bigger and better things? or, when do you decide to stop chasing what you want because the only thing you are getting from it is the feeling of inadequacy?

i think life is a constant struggle between these two questions (well, at least for me). i feel like i dont ever know when to draw the line between settling and not settling, between ‘life will give me what is mine’ and ‘i have to fight for what i want’.


i know i will survive because i always do, but that doesnt mean i dont sometimes wish that it would be easier. because i do occasionally hope that there would be someone who could accept me for all that i am instead of trying to make me become somebody i am not. someone who would be willing to scratch beyond the surface and take the effort to understand me. but of course i realize that life is not a fairytale and never a wish granting factory. so i gotta be enough for me because i am all ive got. quoting one of my fav tumblr posts, “sometimes you need to remind yourself that you are the one who sits with the cold body on the shower floor, and picks it up.”

so it has been 20 days since i landed in shanghai and i still havent really talked about my feelings about this place. ok actually i was avoiding having to write this post because feelings are messy and erm ya i have a tendency to run from my feelings haha. but i have been thinking alot lately and i feel like its time for a word vomit:

during my first few days i think i had abit of culture shock cos shanghai turned out to be a lot less developed than i thought it would be. also cos the level of hygiene here isnt very acceptable for a cleanliness freak like me haha. plus i hate the food here and erm the locals arent particularly friendly either. but slowly, as i travelled to different places and witnessed different things, i felt like i got to know this city and its people better. i honestly get impressed by so many things on a daily basis – its amazing how interesting shanghai is and how it has so much to offer.

but at night my heart longs for the things that shanghai doesnt have or cant offer me (i go out during the day so the feelings usually dont hit me that hard). like food that suits my taste buds. the sound of the living room tv from my bedroom. bathing in a clean toilet. feeling safe when i go out to buy supper at 11pm. using google / instagram / dayre etc without vpn. quiet buses. menus in english. access to boiled water and ice. fridge that i can actually use. familiar faces and surroundings. the list doesnt end so yes, i feel that even though i would enjoy being a tourist in this vibrant city, shanghai isnt a place that i would want to live in or be a part of.

i thought that coming to a foreign country alone would make a person more sociable but i guess that isnt always true. i came to shanghai thinking that i would love to have the chance to interact with people from different cultures & background. 

now that i have been here for one full week, i have come to the conclusion that i would rather do things alone than engage in meaningless social conversations with people i dont give a shit about. like right now, in this very moment, im sitting alone in a restaurant having dinner. the street outside is dark and deserted and im perfectly okay with that. im also perfectly okay with travelling alone and navigating my way around a country ive never step foot into. this, despite the fact that china doesnt believe in streetlights and despite the fact that i sometimes fear for my life when the streets are too quiet and despite the fact that i am in freaking china and half the time i experience some form of communication barrier

i shall say that i have come to be very comfortable with being alone. i think part of the reason why i chose to come to shanghai is so that i can ‘find myself’ (i know right, fking mainstream) and i think im achieving some progress in that 🌱