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The other day, while I was sitting at the coffee shop & severely procrastinating on writing a new blog post, I was sorting out the thoughts flowing through my mind & making mental notes about myself. I started with going over all of the different quirks & habits in my life that make me stand out. the more I think about these habits/routines/quirks, the more I get a better understanding about how I’ve reached the place in my life where I am now. Stepping back a few paces & really taking a hard look at myself has been a bit of an eye-opening experience.

There are many things that I do, things that seem kind of like rituals, they’re second-nature to me by now. Most of the time I don’t even realize that I’m doing these things, & I don’t consider them strange or unusual. However, an outside person looking into my life would think I’m a bit obsessive compulsive, or rigid/strict, or just plain weird. At first, Jian thought I was being overly dramatic or overly fussy about things, but now I notice him picking up on the things that I do that I don’t really pay much attention to…like wiping down the toilet seat after multiple guests have used our bathroom. I really wish I could say that I’m just a clean freak, but I think I’m slowly becoming a germaphobe. I can say for certain though, that I’ve got weird quirks.

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This is probably my most notable quirk. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times in this blog. There are certain foods that I have to eat a certain way. For example, when I’m eating Asian food with white rice, I don’t like other foods touching my bowl of rice unless it’s meant to be eaten over rice like curry. Also, when I’m eating a snack box, I will eat each compartment separately unless it’s like a Lunchable type of box where all the items are supposed to be assembled to make one snack. The best example I can give is when I go to my local big box coffee shop & get the cheese & fruit protein box. I will eat all the items in a very specific order every single time. First, I eat the fruit. Next, I separate the dried fruit from the nuts & eat them separately (first dried fruit, then nuts). Then, I eat the cheese. Finally, I eat the crackers. I never deviate from this order. Ever.

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In the mornings, I will always make my bed. It doesn’t matter how late I will be, I will make my bed, come hell or high water. This habit has been drilled & etched into my brain from the time I was a small child all the way into my adulthood. It used to be because my bedroom was in an active hallway that guests had to pass through in order to get to the bathroom. My parents used to host a ton of dinner parties for friends & guests, & my mom always wanted my room to look clean & presentable so that when someone walked past my bedroom on their way to the bathroom, it would look nice. As a kid, if I didn’t make the bed up to my mom’s standards (my mom once worked as a housekeeper, so she has high standards), she would make me re-do the bed all over again. Then, when I became a teenager, I would just make my bed anyway, so that I could get my parents off my back & not have to nag me to make my bed. It just became so commonplace & repetitive that eventually it became engrained in my personal habits. Now, I personally will feel sloppy & like my room’s a mess if the bed is not made. I can’t just smooth the comforter over the bed. I have to nicely fold & tuck the sheets in & fluff up the pillows & the whole shebang. I also have to make my bed first thing once I get out of bed. I can’t wait until the end of my morning routine, or wait until I get home in the evening. I have to make my bed, even if it means I will be running late.

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The same goes for my bedtime pajamas. I absolutely must fold them in the morning when I put on my clothes for the day. I can’t just throw my pajamas in a pile on my bed. I have to fold them, & place them in the same spot on my bed each & every morning. Now, I’m not so exacting that I have to fold my pajamas perfectly, but I do have to at least fold them & not wad them up into a ball & throw them on a chair. On top of the pajama organizing in the morning. I also have a self-imposed rule that I should not & I do not wear my pajamas outside of the bedroom area. That means I don’t lounge around the house in my pajamas, not even on holidays, vacations, or relaxing weekends. My dad always taught me that when you get up in the morning, you have to make yourself look tidy & presentable. Wearing pajamas like they’re everyday wear only makes you look like a slob. That’s one word I try extremely hard to kick out of my vocabulary: SLOB. I never want to come off as a slob or a sloppy person. So, I don’t wear pajamas outside of the bedroom. I will be fully dressed in my everyday clothes.

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I’ve got more mundane tales from the bedroom. I’ve got a handkerchief (a few of them actually) that was purposefully given to me by my beloved dad. He hated seeing me sniffling my wet nose all the time, & he detested even more seeing crumpled up wet tissues wadded up in my pockets. So he taught me how to use & appreciate the handkerchief. A lot of kids in my generation either think this type of accessory is either outdated & old fashioned…like something they’d see their grandpas use, or way too hipster fashion. I find handkerchiefs to be extremely functional & cool. I always keep the handkerchief my dad gave me under my pillow. Yes, I sleep with this handkerchief under my pillow every single night. This handkerchief never ever leaves my bedroom (except for when I wash it, obviously). If you already follow my blog, then you’d know that I named this handkerchief Tom Hanks-erchief. I keep a second handkerchief in my purse, & I named that one Colin Hanks-erchief (yes, I named them after the actor Tom Hanks & his actor son Colin Hanks). This handkerchief under my pillow has, in a way,  become my “security blanket”. I feel comforted knowing a piece of my dad’s memory is close to me while I’m sleeping. However, I don’t need to bring a handkerchief with me while I’m traveling. For one thing, I don’t like my handkerchiefs touching foreign objects or foreign beds. Another thing is I don’t want to accidentally leave my handkerchief in the hotel bed & lose it.

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Keeping with the bedroom theme, I can’t fall asleep if the closet door isn’t all the way closed. Sometimes I try to justify my craziness by telling myself that I like everything to be orderly & neat, but really this habit stems from my childhood fears of scary things hiding in my closet & all that jazz. I have a built-in closet in my bedroom, & there is an open space between the top shelf & the ceiling which is covered by the top lip of the door frame. When I was a teenager, I used to scare myself by tricking my mind into thinking there were bugs crawling around up there. One time, I did try to get something from the top shelf, & I thought I felt something move. Ever since then, I never used the top shelf to store any of my things until Jian helped me re-design my closet & put in a new Container Store shelf system. Let me just say that I get scared very easily, even from the littlest things (like over-produced Hollywood movies). These days I know for a fact there is nothing creepy hiding in my closet, but I still like the feeling of my closet doors being 100% closed. They can’t be ajar or have a gap. I feel a sense of completeness & organization when I know the closet doors are fully closed.

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I have a similar situation with my bedroom door. In the beginning, when I was a teenager, I would keep my door closed for privacy. My parents never let me close my bedroom door when I was a youngster, so I felt a huge sense of maturity & freedom once my parents started letting me close my bedroom door. As a teen, I thought I’d be able to hide stuff from my parents if I had my door closed, but I never had anything I wanted to hide or keep secret. My teenage years were fun for sure, but they were also kind of “vanilla”. It wasn’t until I was older when I would close my bedroom door for a sense security. I thought if an intruder tried to attack me, I’d be able to hear them coming through my squeaky door, & that would buy me a few precious seconds to climb out my bedroom window to possibly escape. Now-a-days, I continue to keep my bedroom door closed for security purposes. I feel like a closed door in some way keeps out baddies & evil spirits. I will not be able to sleep if my bedroom door is even slightly ajar. It must be all the way closed.

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I don’t know if this considered part of the “bedroom” category, but it sort of applies to every category. Ever since I started wearing lip balm (a.k.a. chapstick), I must keep a stick of this addictive stuff everywhere. Let me preface this topic by saying I’m a mouth-breather. Due to my childhood health issues, I’ve had major problems breathing normally through my nose & mouth. I’ve since had cosmetic surgery to correct this issue, but I still breathe mostly through my mouth. Sometimes I find it difficult to breathe through my nose. Therefore, I use lots & lots & lots of lip balm to keep my lips hydrated, otherwise they’d be a dry, chapped mess. I use so much lip balm throughout the day that I’ve got to keep a stick in pretty much every place I can think of. I keep one stick on my bedroom nightstand, so I can apply this before I go to sleep. I keep another stick in my purse for obvious reasons. I also keep one in my car for emergencies. I keep another stick in my work desk drawer, & another one in the kitchen…because my lips get super dry after I eat. I know this is nuts. I don’t have to hide several sticks of lip balm all over my house, but let me tell you, I use sooo much of this stuff that it makes sense to me to have so much of it lying around. Yeah, I know I’m another “consumer sheep” keeping the billion dollar beauty industry in business, but I’m OK with that as long as they keep the Carmex lip balms at $1.99USD. LOL!

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This quirk is kind of gross, but I’m going to mention it anyway. This would probably sound better if I told you I was over 65 years old. I mean, it would sound more reasonable if I was a senior citizen with a bladder problem, but I’m neither a senior nor do I have a bladder problem. This is just something that’s developed over time. I used to be able to hold my urine for ungodly amounts of time when I was a teenager & didn’t care about urinary tract infections, or bladder infections, or general health issues whatsoever. Now, I feel like I’m in the bathroom more often than not, especially at night, even more so right before I go to bed. Like the description says above, I’ve got to pee before I go to sleep or else I can’t fall asleep at all. No matter how much I try to will myself to not think about urinating, telling myself my bladder is empty & I don’t need to pee, I just can’t fall asleep. I have to pee at least once before I go to sleep. I guess it’s all in my head, but my body just won’t let me rest.

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This next topic has a connection with my previous bathroom topic. I am constantly, & I mean CONSTANTLY sweeping, vacuuming, picking up loose hairs off the floor. I’ve noticed three places around my house where there’s the most amount of shed hairs on the floor & that’s the kitchen, my bedroom, & my bathroom. No matter how many times per day that I thoroughly brush my hair, I am constantly shedding hair. I even take one of those hair, skin & nails supplements to strengthen my hair & to prevent excessive shedding, but I don’t notice any difference in my hair. I still shed a ton of hair, & no my hair is not thinning…thank cuss. I probably spend at least an hour, cumulatively, per day cleaning up all the shed/loose hairs off the floors in my house. I can’t stand dirty floors, & even worse, I can’t stand seeing hairs everywhere. My bathroom is the hardest hit area of shed hair. I’m constantly taking my cordless Dyson vacuum & cleaning the floor in my bathroom. Not only is it gross to have loose hairs all over the floor, but what would guests think if they saw an unkempt bathroom? Yuck!

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Finally, let me take this loose hair dilemma one step further. I also dislike seeing loose hairs sticking out of my hair brush. I don’t spend ungodly amounts of time per day cleaning my hair brush, but I at least pluck out the loose hairs that stick out to the sides after I brush my hair or use my hair brush to style my hair. I don’t necessarily go so far as to obsessively clean my hair brush, but I at least want it to look neat & tidy. The same goes for my round styling barrel brush as well. I get grossed out if I see loose hairs sticking out of my brushes, & will pluck them until all the loose hairs are gone. It’s just another one of my organizational quirks. I can’t help myself. That’s also probably the main reason why I don’t like to use other people’s hair brushes/tools, & I don’t like to share mine with others. I feel very uncomfortable when I see Jian grabbing my hair brush to brush his hair, even when he has just washed his hair. Knowing that his hairs are tangled in my brush creeps me out. See below for an example of what I’m talking about.

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Well, there you have it. Those are my main habits/quirks/routines/patterns in a nutshell. I know I’m a weirdo, clean freak, obssessive compulsive germaphobe, or something to that effect, but I’m learning to deal with these things every day. I used to jump up & down, rant & rave, & have a mini freak-out over some of these things. However, the more I openly recognize these quirks, the more I’m able to find ways to handle them differently. I try not to let myself fully freak out over these little things, & I think I’m getting a better handle on myself. I embrace these weird aspects of myself, & work on not letting these aspects take over my life. That’s the best I can do. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“Audi.” by Smokepurpp

audi smokepurpp

There is a common saying of, “Old habits die hard.” I think about this quote sometimes when I’m sitting at my local big box coffee shop. I go to the same coffee shop at least twice a week. Sometimes, I go there to escape the confines of my house, & to get away from my everyday chores & away from all the people in the house. I just want to be alone for a while. Other times, I go to the coffee shop in order to motivate myself to write more of my blog. I like the feeling of being unrecognized, & I really enjoy the hustle & bustle. If I haven’t told you before, I am a people watcher. Jian says I blatantly stare/gawk sometimes in public places, but I believe in wanting to be fully aware of  my surroundings (in case something bad might happen). I DO NOT stare uncomfortably at people. Merely observe. 

Ok, let’s get back on the original topic. Every time I go to my local big box coffee shop, I sit at the same seat (or next to it if it’s already being occupied). I rotate my purchases between the same three coffee drinks & the same three food items. I have a certain way that I always prepare my coffee drinks at the condiments cart. I only take no more than two napkins (It annoys me when people grab a handful of napkins just for one cup of coffee or for one small pastry. It’s so wasteful!) Then, there is a specific way I like to set up my seating arrangement. I like to sit at the counter at the back end of the coffee shop. It feels quiet & a little secluded, even though it’s right next to the restroom. The counter is just the right height for my short frame, & the stools are great for my short legs. My feet can actually comfortably reach the foot bar on the stool. I place my food & drink on the right side of the counter, my tablet sits directly in the middle, & my smartphone is always placed on the counter’s left side.   

My most commonly ordered drink at this coffee shop is a dark roasted coffee. I usually order a kids menu size & ask the barista to put it in a small (one-size up) cup. I like to have lots of room in my cup so I can load up my coffee with a lot of cream. (Sometimes Jian will say that I drown my coffee in cream. That is a slight exaggeration.) It’s also fifty cents cheaper to order my coffee this way than to just order a small cup with lots of room for cream. This is my little coffee shop trick to save some money here & there. Food-wise, I tend to order the easy stuff like croissants & danishes. I don’t really like to order the breakfast sandwiches; they’re too greasy & they  sell out often anyway. Sometimes, when I’m feeling extravagant, I will get a pre-packaged fruit & cheese box.

After all that is said & done I will find my spot, sit down, & immerse myself in my tablet for a couple of hours with the music flowing from my MP3 player. It really was a shame that my BOSE noise-cancelling headphones crapped out on me. Mechanically, the headphones work perfectly well. It’s the fabric & the padding of the headphones that are tearing, coming out, & giving me trouble. These headphones are the really, really expensive kind, & one would expect them to have a little more durability in the wear-and-tear department, but that just was not the case here. Well, at least I didn’t have to pay for these headphones myself. They were a free company gift.

I recently (approximately 2months ago) got myself a better pair of Audio Technica noise-cancelling earbuds. I have been using them for about two months already, & I am loving these earbuds more than the headphones. 

Ok, I am trying to find a way to tie off this blog post, but can’t think of anything witty or clever, so I’m just going to stop writing. Cheers.

Today’s songof the day:

“Southbound” by Ben Barnes & The Stay All Night Rounders

 

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