Thoughts on life and death

Recently one of my great uncles decided he’d die.

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Contingent Contemplation: Philophobia

I haven’t done one of these contingent contemplation posts in a while.

Philophobia is a thing I have. I don’t understand why it’s not a part of everyone.

Philophobia is the fear of emotional attachment; fear of being in or falling in love.

It’s a scary thing isn’t it? When you fall in love, you’re committing your emotions to someone. Everything that that person does will come to emotionally affect you, whether it’s big or small.

My family are people who I love, though I didn’t choose it I guess. But you can very much say that I also have a fear of emotional attachment to them. The thought of losing loved ones is never fun, and I sometimes wonder why I’m given a family, only to have them taken away from me some day down the road. But at the same time, that fear of love gets dispelled when you manage to forget the mortality of things and realize that although other people come and go, luckily enough, my family is here to stay. They’re here for me and love me unconditionally. I cannot help but do the same.

A few years ago I decided to get a pet. It was against my dad’s wishes, and I didn’t have the guts to tell him about the hamster I had bought. Then as I carried the little thing in a paper bag with her new cage at my side, I realized there’s no way I can keep this a secret. Our Hong Kong apartment was only so big, and my hamster will not go noticed. I phoned my dad, telling him of my purchase, hoping that telling him via the phone would lessen the shouting. Funnily enough, he didn’t shout. He wasn’t the happiest, and he worried about the hamster ruining our hygiene (I’m so sure that a 17 gram little hamster will bring the plague to our family. On second though, plagues were started by rats. Hmm.). A few months later, the hamster’s picture would replace my baby picture that he kept as his phone’s lock screen.

My hamster is probably the first and last pet I will ever get. Allergies aside, her passing away impacted me a lot. It’s weird, because I had willingly given my heart to her. And she took that little bit to the grave when she passed away two years later. I realized that I could never be brave enough to get that dog I’ve always wanted. My issue wasn’t with taking care of pets, but with their ultimate departure after you’ve committed to loving them.

Philophobia has followed me into relationships. All my prior relationships consisted of me keeping the guy some distance away. I wasn’t willing to get too involved emotionally, fearing that I will get the worst out of it. I over-think everything, and try to base my decisions on what will hurt me the least in the long run. It just wasn’t worth it to take the risk and ultimately feel the pain. That’s probably why none of them worked out because I always choose to end it, fearing developing the relationship any further.

But here I am, having fallen in love with a guy, and it’s funny because I don’t think I willingly choose to either. I think it probably has something to do with the whole “you’ll know it’s right when it’s right” thing because you can’t help it. Philophobia makes itself more known to me every day because I’ve let myself fall in love. He’s doing his best, but I’m not the most confident of myself relationship-wise. At times, you wonder if they like you just as much as you like them only to realize you can’t gauge that. So you go on to look for signs that can tell you, only to falter at points of doubt. You think of all the ways and reasons you can lose him. Then you let the fear ruin you.

Philophobia sucks. You’re unsure of your next steps, but at the same time you want to take them. And it almost feels like every step further, you feel yourself wanting to pull back because you know it’ll hurt if it goes wrong. But for the first time, I think it’ll be worth it. I just need to get Philophobia out of the picture.

San Fran Fam Jam!

Hello all,

This is definitely a late post, but three weeks ago I went to San Francisco with my family! Although San Fran is quite close to Vancouver (well. comparatively.), it was my first time there.

The sun was out during our whole trip, which was nice when we got to San Fran, but not so nice as we road tripped by California. I had forgotten how hot it can get out there.

We did a bunch of touristy things such as visit Fisherman’s Wharf, including having a bread bowl of chowder. Apparently it’s considered a tourist trap, but I still went for it and it was good. The seagulls there must be pretty happy with all the people who throw unwanted pieces of bread to them after they’re down with their chowder!

I had wanted to go to Alcatraz too, but the tour was all sold out for the weekend that we were going. Instead we decided it was only right if we visited a museum or something to properly play the part of a tourist so we went to Ripley’s! Ripley’s Believe it or Not books were such a big part of my childhood it was cool to see their displays in person.

I must say that one of my favourite parts of San Fan was Chinatown. We came back three times over the course of three days for food. Something I found special was their dim sum. They sold them in stores and unlike everywhere else I’ve been in most parts of the world, you didn’t sit down in a restaurant to enjoy them. They’re packed up in a takeaway box and you eat it wherever you please. The dim sum places didn’t even have tables or chairs for you to sit, so that option was non existent.


Chinatown was so authentic in San Francisco. If I don’t think about it too hard, it almost made me feel like I was back in Hong Kong. The mannerisms of people there, the language, the things they sold. Of course, there’s a lot of western influence intertwined but it didn’t make it any less authentic.


My sister got me really hyped up for Ghirardelli’s factory, but when we ordered an ice-cream sundae there, it tasted like poop. Well, that’s a little harsh, but it definitely wasn’t worth the $11. I’ve had better chocolate (literally anywhere else).


Our trip to Union Square was not eventful. It looked like a typical downtown region of any city, but the weather was really nice while we were there.


ALSO, I never knew Japan towns existed. Chinatowns? Sure, everywhere. But San Francisco’s Japan Town was quite cool. They had so many geek wares there that I was trying not to freak out.


10613079_10152440934504748_5513272189264340628_nWe lived a little ways outside of San Francisco, since we wanted a nice hotel that wasn’t overly expensive. I’d highly recommend everyone do the same since all the nice hotels cost a pretty penny inside the city. In the end we chose a hotel in San Mateo, which was close enough. We’d drive for about 20 minutes to get back to the city each morning, but that was no hassle with a car.

I wonder when I’ll have another family trip. This trip reminded so much of what it was like to be on holiday with my family, especially since it was a road trip. The past few family vacations always lacked a member or two — my parents and sister went to Vegas without me; my mom, sister and I went to Hong Kong/Japan sans my dad. You get the story. But family time really is the best 🙂

– Karen