Mindfulness: the cure to “seen zoned”

I was talking to a good friend who’s in a blossoming yet struggling relationship, and one of the challenges she’s facing is one we’ve all probably faced:


Verb, past tense. When you see that someone has read a message but they haven’t responded. There are many degrees of being seen zoned, depending on such factors as:

  • time (this boy hasn’t responded in a day/afternoon/hour/minute!!!)
  • other social media activities (omg this boy is like totally posting stories but hasn’t responded to my dm so like why is he ignoring meeeeee)
  • your own busyness/state of mind (gurl, i’m out at the club so i ain’t even noticing VS GURL I’M HOME ALL DAY AND THIS BOY ISN’T RESPONDINGGGGG)

No matter which flavor of seen zone you have regrettably tasted, it is not a pleasant experience. It adds to anxiety, stress, and just plain old overthinking. So what’s the solution? Well from the recipient’s standpoint, it’s easier said than done: DON’T OVERTHINK. Who knows what’s going on with the other person. We have no control over them at the end of the day, so why stress about it?

But that’s actually not the reason for this post. The solution I want to talk about is MINDFULNESS, and this is actually more for the person causing the “seen zoning,” ie the person who read/saw the message but didn’t respond. In a nutshell, DON’T READ YOUR MESSAGES IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO RESPOND. Don’t check your emails constantly throughout the day like a bad habit, only to be too busy to respond properly at the time (which leads to an inbox full of “read” but “starred” messages lol). Wait for the moment when you can focus, read, and respond to the message. BE FUCKING PRESENT. Stop multitasking and focus on the task at hand. If you don’t have time to respond, just ignore it for the time being and come back to it when you can. THE WORLDS NOT GONNA END IF YOU DON’T OPEN THAT TEXT. The more we can practice these simple habits of mindfulness, the more clarity we can create in our interactions with others.

Namaste y’all!

#mindfulness #socialmedia



I have really bad FOMO (fear of missing out)

Not in the way that I immediately think of, like a typical millennial on Instagram following the stories of his friends instead of enjoying the present moment. I have fomo caused by too much thinking. I overthink my decisions and all the dominoes that will fall because of what I set in motion. I doubt my actions to the point that I can’t perform them with full conviction. And maybe worst of all, I tend to regret my decisions and think: what would it be like if I chose a different path?

“Man, I should’ve sat on that side of the bus…the views of the Ganga are so much better on that side!”

“Guhhh I should’ve ordered X instead of Y (known as futterneid or “food envy” in Deutsch).”

“How would my life be different if I didn’t quit my pastry chef job and move across the country for an ex?”

Enlightenment is the simple realization that everything is as it should be. Everything happens for a reason. We humans are so myopic that we cannot see where the ripples we make end, and often those ripples have some positive impact on a shore somewhere further in our own life or even in someone else’s life. So stop overthinking, stop wavering, stop regretting, and stop fomo-ing. Everything is as it should be.

#adventuresinme #lessonsfromindia #onlyhuman

A view of the Himalayas, taken on the same bus ride that I wrote this. The mountains must have given me some of their wisdom and perspective 🧘🏻‍♂️

On a more practical/personal note, how do I prevent these fluctuations of my mind in these situations? Before, during, and after my decisions?

1. It’s good to consider the repercussions of my actions and the people who will feel them. But the way I overthink is a far cry from consideration. At the end of the day I need to listen to my gut and the voice within, for it is this voice that is the Divine within all of us. This Consciousness can do us no wrong, so we should place our complete trust and faith in it.

2. Once we believe in this higher power within, all hesitation in our actions fades and gives way to conviction. This conviction gives us the strength to take that leap of faith, no matter how many doubts hold us back.

3. Armed with this faith and conviction, there is no more regret. I may not see it now, but the decision I made was made for a reason.

I’m a barbie boy…

We’ve all heard the phrase “throw some shrimp on the barbie” (which is incorrect, because shrimp are actually called prawns here), but why does one of the biggest Aussie stereotypes revolve around the Australian barbecue?

It’s because they’re everywhere here.  During orientation week, there were barbies everywhere serving free food and heaps of people waiting to get some hamburgers and snags (sausages, which are particularly good here) on white bread (no hot dog buns or hamburger buns here).  Of course no barbie food is complete without a smattering of tomato sauce (that’s ketchup for you Amuricans…our tomato sauce is their tomato paste…and I’m still trying to figure out what our tomato paste is in OZ).  And curiously the hardware for barbies is more often a flat top than a grill with grates and charcoal.

We had a barbie in the courtyard the other night for Arni’s birthday.  Along with the snags, steaks, chicken breasts, and kebabs (pronounced the way its spelled, NOT “kebobs”) that Arni brought, I made some kangaroo steaks with mango salsa.  Yum.

My 11th floor U.S.A. crew (plus Kah Ngee) enjoying the food.  For once, WE were the obnoxious people in the courtyard 😛

Can’t wait for another barbie!!

Bourdain Hunt #1: Queen Vic Market…

No Reservations is my absolute favorite show on the Travel Channel.  The premise of the show is Anthony Bourdain, a New York City chef who’s seen the good and the bad of the restaurant industry, travels around the world to eat the best that each country or city has to offer and tries to understand what makes up their food culture.  He’s also a chain smoker and a borderline alcoholic, which makes the show very entertaining.

Naturally, when I go to a new city I watch the episode of that city and follow his food trail.  When I was in Chicago last summer, for example, we hit up Hot Doug’s and Avec and both can’t be missed if you’re in the city.

But I digress.  Bourdain’s tour of Australia starts and ends here in Melbourne, the food capital of the country.  (Did that have anything to do with my decision to study here?  Maybe.)  The first No Reservations destination I visited was the Queen Victoria Market, just a 15 minute walk from my apartment.

Known as Queen Vic by the locals, the market spans several blocks and includes an indoor butcher/fish monger stall area, a deli section with wines, coffees, cheeses, meats, and bakeries, an outdoor produce section, and a huge flea market area complete with souvenirs, no-brand clothes, and more food.

There are also “foodie tours” where you can sample some of the offerings in the deli section, pictured above.

My first trip was during a weekday, so it wasn’t as busy.  But around closing time the vendors will do anything to get rid of their goods for the day: the produce stalls will sell huge bags of slightly worn fruits and veg for just a dollar, and the meat and seafood are heavily discounted.

Luckily I was able to catch the last night of the Summer Night Market (yes, summer is just ending here). Same venue, just with live music, more food stalls, and as you can see, heaps and heaps more people.  I reckon there were so many there because it was the last night.

For dinner I had a Shiraz Sangria (my favorite red) and basically a “tourist plate”: a kangaroo burger, grilled crocodile tail, and emu sausage.  The burger was excellent, though I can’t wait to try roo straight up (we’re throwing a birthday barbie tonight so I plan to grill off some steaks).  Croc was okay, but nothing special.  And the emu…well it was kinda stinky.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to hit up more Bourdain spots and make another trip to the Queen Vic.

Tim Tams: God’s gift to Australia…

I love Tim Tams.  So do all Americans.  Every American I’ve met is pretty much addicted to Tim Tams.

According to Wikipedia, a Tim Tam is “composed of two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filling, and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate.”  Think of them as Australia’s answer to the Oreo.  But there’s heaps more flavors than Oreos: mint, hazelnut, honeycomb, dark chocolate, black forest…

Yes, they’re that good.  Which leads me to my next point…I gave up Tim Tams for lent.   All my friends think I’m seriously crazy, but luckily I’ll still be here after lent is over.  Also I was able to pull a little stunt called the Tim Tam Slam before I decided to give them up.

Here’s the original:

And here’s our attempt:

I’ve heard you can find them in U.S. because my sister did the TTS there, but I have no idea where to find them.  But I suggest you start looking.

A game of footsie…I mean footy…

Had a pretty full day yesterday.  Started out with a quick trip to the Queen Vic Market, went to St. Kilda’s beach again to work on that tan (fewer jellyfish this time!), saw some short plays at the Union House Theatre, and went out to Pugg’s Irish Pub for a few drinks.

But I think the highlight of my day was a trip to Princes Park for a pre-season footy game.  That’s Aussie rules football, a game similar to rugby/soccer/American football.  Basically the point of the game is to kick an oval ball through two posts, and there are different points depending on which ones you shoot through.   There are rules regarding how far you can run without touching the ball to the ground, tackling, etc, but it’s a pretty easy game to follow.

The footy field is a large oval with goals on either side.  If the ball goes between two taller posts in middle its a “goal,” which is 6 points, and if it goes between the outer posts its a “point,” which is 1 point.  See those kids in front of us?  They were pretty amused by us Americans.  Story of my life here.

My attempt at an action shot.  Not really sure what’s going on, but it’s a pretty fast-paced and exciting game.  I had to leave early, but apparently a guy ran up and jumped off an opponent to catch the ball.  Pretty epic in my book.

Kah Ngee (on the far left) is a Carlton fan so that’s how we ended up at this game.  I definitely plan on going to another one and I’ll try to take a better video this time.

Off to the Crown Palladium for dinner and drinks tonight, and possibly a little gambling.  Tomorrow we’re trying to do a day tour of the Great Ocean Road (a stretch of beaches and hiking).  And Monday…classes start T_____T

Bloody lifts…

The lifts have been out at Unilodge for the past few days.  I live on the 11th floor, which means an incredibly long and tiring climb up the fire escape stairwell (especially for us fat Americans, which seems to be a common stereotype here).  One upside though is the great view we have of Melbourne and the CBD.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get a good shot without the safety caging for the fire escape, but I guess it’s there for a reason yea?

The next morning, and the lifts were still broken.  The large dome in the center is the Melbourne Museum, and the launchpad-looking thing to the left is the museum’s IMAX Theater.

Off to St. Kilda’s beach again tomorrow, since summer is officially coming to a close.  After all I’m still pasty from the U.S. winter…

Take care everyone!