Happy 3 years to Me, Myself, and I

I cannot remember a time scarier, more exciting than now. Despite of my recent unexpected cold, I've been in the best and fittest shape of my life. My career is gaining momentum. My family and I are all getting along. I genuinely have the most caring and supportive friends. Surely, you can only imagine how I am feeling at the moment. The revelation is simple. I'm completely on Cloud 9. Despite of this, if you take a look closer at all the things and people I've just mentioned, there is still one evident thing that is missing  and that is a romantic relationship. Last year, I wrote a blog post about being single for two years. I'm going to link it down below in case you want to check it out. https://khanhpduong.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/happy-2-years-to-me-myself-and-i/

I clearly remembered how happy I was going into 2014 being single and that much hasn't changed. I'm still very much satisfied with my current status. However, more than ever, I've been receiving a lot of questions from strangers who just met me to relatives as to why I have yet to settle down. Therefore, I'm going to take this opportunity to give you (and them) a better, clearer explanation. If anything, writing it down will hopefully give me the clarity I need.

1) I have not found balance. Miyoko Ohno, a Japanese bridge designer, once said that there is nothing more beautiful than balance. Because my career is such a passion of mine, I find it rather difficult at times when creating the necessary space for my passion suddenly impacts the quality time that I do have with my loved ones as well as for myself. That elusive balance is essentially the end goal; however, it takes a conscious effort and work to eliminate noises, toxic people, non-essential things out of your life. Because my schedule is always flowing and ever-changing, sometimes it can be quite tedious for me to allot everything in a day, a week, and at times, a month.  Unlike active members of the hookup culture, I find it to be completely unproductive for me to expose myself into the dating scene and perhaps swiping left/right just for the sake of creating space fillers when I actually should be utilizing that time for more productive things. I've read a lot of online articles and research studies on this and most of them have pointed out that a lack of balance can later lead to other negative health effects such as stress and fatigue, which is exactly what I'm experiencing right now.

My friend Emily said it best. "Khanh, you have such a big heart, but it's not your job to compensate for the lack of love people experienced." She even later called me out for not staying true to my words. "What happened to scheduling a mini getaway at the end of January, hmm? It's almost the end of February now." 

She is completely right. While I've dedicated so much time trying to appease my parent's expectations as well as penciling people into my schedule whenever I can, I need to first make time for a person equally as important: myself. I don't think I've realized this until my conversation with her yesterday, but I've been completely derailed from the track I have set myself on, and of course, it has not only impacted my mental sanity but also my physical health.

2) I'm keeping my options open.  I have this unique quality has allowed me to expand my network of friends and that is my innate ability to connect with everyone I meet. Whether it's a stranger at the supermarket or even my college professors, I can strike and hold a conversation with just about anyone. For the most part, I find this gift to be rather fulfilling. I get to meet so many inspiring people and at the same time, be able to play a small and if I'm lucky, a big role in their lives. The only con that I can outwardly point out to you is that while finding chemistry with other people is rarely ever an issue, it also doesn't take me that long to see whether or not I can envision a future with someone (not just intimately but also professionally and socially).

Over the past couple of months, I've been meeting a lot of people who are very much different from one another. From their educational backgrounds to their pursuits, I would be completely lying to you if I didn't say that I haven't had my fair share of crushes. Presently, I could probably count those numbers on a couple of fingers or so. I'm a lustful person at heart, but at the root of it, there's no doubt in my mind that I would make an amazing girlfriend. I've been one before. However, I'm a better person today than I was three years ago and so Khanh 3.0 vs Khanh 1.0. Who do you think is going to take home the grand prize? In spite of everything, I cannot confidently say that I have found someone whose diligence, work ethic, intellect, and interest aligned with mine. Essentially, who I choose to surround myself with, especially in a romantic setting, has to be someone who can without a doubt handle a person who is obnoxiously driven and unapologetically free-spirited as me. And currently, things are still looking a bit hazy.

I, for sure, am not going to shy away when I tell you that I have a very specific taste when it comes to men. Physically speaking, most of them are fairly tall, built, and handsome. But whether these types of men are present or not, I have already created an inner barrier when it comes to love or anything that is close to it. It's not a matter of me being scared of getting hurt or committing myself to just one person, it's about discovering the perks that comes with being a successful and young millennial who has absolutely no desire in settling for anything less than what she deserves. So the only way I can go about doing this, without hurting anyone in the process, is if I continue to take my time in order to really see what/who's out there. Simultaneously, it's also about discovering myself and recognizing the things I want or don't want in a partner.

3) I just haven't found Mister Right  There has been plenty of Mr. Right Nows. The casual conversations, the daily text messages, the brief chase. I've experienced it all. Either that or I've seen my friends experience it themselves. There's this old saying that I firmly believe in which is, "When you know, you know." I've met enough people in my lifetime to know that some people are meant to stay while others are meant to stay, but only for a little while. This is also why I've never really been heartbroken or torn since my last relationship ended. I guess you can say that I'm in tuned with myself enough to recognize when chemistry is present or when it's not. When it's natural or when it's not. I would like to think that my prospective significant other is nothing short of a catalyst of joy, but there are still so many things that cross my mind whenever I encounter someone new. 1) Do I see this working long-term? 2) Will this person be able to satisfy my emotional, physical, and most importantly, intellectual craving and vice versa? 3) Will committing myself to this person enhance my life or deter me away from my goals and ambitions?

I take all areas of my life very seriously. I don't like playing games, I don't like leading people on, and I don't like wasting people's time. At the same time, I also refuse to construct a fairytale in my head and throw all my eggs completely in one basket, especially at such a critical turning point. At the core of any healthy and successful relationship (that is if you dismiss the romantic connection entirely) is friendship. So that's what I want to work on. Establishing grounded friendships first and see where life takes us later on. When it really comes down to it, I want a best friend before I want a lover. The only way I can find that person is if I completely stop looking and let things happen as they may. And I'm very satisfy with how things are. You'll see it in my smile.

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One day, maybe everything as I know it will radically transform and without realizing it,  my very own Chuck Bass walks into my life. I'll be completely head over heels, gushing over him via Instagram posts and noteworthy tweets. (This is just the optimistic me speaking). The realist me will tell you that I'm in no rush. I've made a choice three years ago to commit in a love of self and this vow stays true to this very day. So happy 3 years, Khanh. I'm proud of you for everything you've accomplished, for being grounded in your values, and for maintaining your status, despite of everyone's pressing questions and societal pressure. Let's drink to that.