February 2024

february 2024 journaling
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Ok, so this is the first time I’ve ever journaled. Guess that this should not be easy (but I’ll do my best).

Initially, I thought that I would only start this habit in the upcoming month (March 2024) – so that I would have a chance to be better prepared.

That said, something – no, a lot of things… A lot of things have been stirring up inside me and troubling me now. So troubling that I have to start it – right away!

This month had not been really bad, to be honest. That is, until the final week (we will talk about it later).

In my country, we had the Lunar New Year celebrated in February 2024. The holiday this year was pretty special to me – because this was the first time I had gone through it without a full-time job at hand.

Yeah, you read it right.

I decided to quit my full-time job in September last year. For a lot of reasons.

What Happened Back in the Day?

I was completely overloaded at that time – trying to sustain one full-time job (in which I was acting as a team leader), two part-time jobs (both were extremely demanding), and two Japanese evening classes (one for JLPT, one for Kaiwa) all at the same time. Needless to say, all of them suffered in terms of performance due to my own greed.

I was earning quite a high amount of income at that time – to the point that I could spare a portion of it to hire freelancers to do my jobs for me, as well as to buy coffee/snacks whenever I got so stressed out.

And yet, I felt completely disoriented and unfulfilled.

One day, in order to serve one of my part-time jobs, I read a publication named “The Earned Life” written by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith – in which he discussed the topic of living an authentic and fulfilling life.

I strongly believe that the incident was not coincidental (maybe something that had been orchestrated by a higher power – I don’t know). Reading the book has kind of like lit up a “light” inside me. Suddenly, I realized that all this time, I had been living in illusions.

All this time, I have been pursuing things that were just unreal, and I was too dumb, too greedy, and too hesitant to refuse them from the beginning.

I was treading a path that did not bring me real fulfillment, and I was just trying to live up to others’ expectations – so much to the point that I completely forgot to take care of myself. To spend time thinking about what truly matters to me.

For years up to that point, I had been working in the Digital industry, across various positions. At that time, I was acting as the SEO Team Lead at a digital agency. We had quite a few international projects at hand.

My paycheck was good – I must say, everything about the job was amazing. Except for the fact that this (I realized it so deeply after reading Dr. Goldsmith’s book) was not the path that truly meant something to me.

Years ago, I attended a TESOL training course at an Australian training center based in Ho Chi Minh City. After finishing the course (and getting a beautiful certificate), I took up a part-time job as a teacher for a while.

I could not describe how it went out – but deep down, I knew that teaching (or, in a broader sense, developing & empowering people) was the job that brought me true fulfillment.

And yet, I was too hesitant (should say, too greedy & lazy) to make a switch.

Then in May 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in my city. Needless to say, I stopped teaching as a part-time job after the incident. And after a while, I completely forgot about it.

That is, until I read “The Earned Life”.

I realized that my calling was somewhere else – not in the Digital landscape. And I have to act fast – because I’m no longer young (compared to the Digital industry’s benchmark).

Given the volatile nature of the Digital world – especially following the emergence of AI, I knew that sooner or later, I could not stick to what I had been doing anymore.

So an unfulfilling job that would soon become unsuitable to me…

I handed in my resignation letter soon. The reason I specified was that I would like to focus on learning – so that I had enough time to prepare for the December 2023 JLPT test. And also because I was considering a shift in my professional development trajectory.

Aside from quitting my full-time job, I also cut one of my part-time jobs (which, at that time, became so demanding that my earnings from it were no longer worthwhile), while keeping the other to sustain my life. And, I enrolled for an intensive JLPT N3 class in the morning – so that I could pass the December 2023 test (which I did, thankfully).

The experience above was quite a “leap of faith” for me. Never before had I done something similar. Never before had I quit a job without having a new one waiting for me already.

So yeah, 2024’s Lunar New Year was quite special for me. Mind you, none of my family members know about the things that have happened since then. Nobody – except for some of my closest friends (if you don’t count my previous colleagues).

I don’t know how they would react when they are informed about what I have done (I hope they would not get too upset; after all, I’m a grown-up person, no longer a child that needs to be taken care of. I can perfectly hold things on my own).

But well, that’s enough about things that happened months ago. Let’s go back to this month.

After 2024 Lunar New Year Holiday

I knew that I had to get a job soon to sustain my life (one part-time job is not enough for me) – and to prepare for something that I intend to start soon (which requires quite an investment).

So it’s time to go back to teaching, I guess.

After 3 years, this should be challenging. I have to do something to prove my capabilities to those who will soon receive my application.

And yet, I still have a lot of things on my plate.

In the morning, I still need to attend my JLPT training class – so that I may have a chance to pass the N2 test in July 2024.

I’ve also been thinking about finding chances to practice Kaiwa (which means conversation/ speaking in Japanese) – otherwise, my Japanese study will not progress in a healthy way.

But how? I don’t know yet.

Attending class? Too expensive & ineffective.

Joining Japanese-speaking clubs? Seems fine, but not sure how to start.


Another thing on my plate is this blog. I need to populate it with articles as quickly as possible – so that it may start receiving traffic and then become a channel that generates passive income for me.

Too many things to do all at once. Too little time.

And worse, without anyone to encourage/ support. Without any partner to hold me accountable. To give me the push when I am overwhelmed by feelings of uncertainty and inertia.

OK, let’s just try my best, and tackle things one by one.

Let’s focus on the blog this week – and then I can think about getting a teaching job. And then I can think about my Japanese study (including finding chances to practice Kaiwa).

I was thinking about writing down something bad that happened to me lately. One person whom I considered a friend had insulted me deeply. It hurt so much – to the point that I have been getting crazy (and breathless) from time to time for the last few days.

That was the initial reason I started this journaling.

But now, after reflecting on things that have happened since then – on my personal plan so far, I have (somehow) pulled myself together.

Maybe my emotions may overwhelm me again tomorrow – but now, I guess that I no longer need to write about that bad memory.

I still have a little homework to finish for tomorrow’s Japanese class. And I’m feeling pretty tired now.

So I guess I will end my journaling here (for now).

Btw, let’s mark the date with these pictures of my N3 certificate – which I received this afternoon (don’t want to brag about myself – I just want to have something positive to revisit & affirm myself if I ever get stressed out later).

JLPT N3 certificate

See you!


(10:45 PM GMT+7 – February 28, 2024)

Last Day of February 2024

Well, here we are, 29 February! Another 4 years.

It still burns inside me – feeling hurt because of something that the friend I mentioned in yesterday’s journal said to me last Monday.

Why? Why? I cannot keep asking myself.

I have always considered her a friend – nothing more, nothing less. I only asked if she would like to go out for a coffee this weekend. No offense, just a friendly conversation – something that I occasionally do to keep in touch with the people I respect.

And she said something I found really mean.

She told me to stop – and to respect her boundaries.


What did I say to make her react that way? That sensitively?

I have always done the same thing to other connections of mine – asking them for a day out, both to chat about daily life, as well as to discuss things related to our professional life.

I never said anything mean. And even if I did (which I don’t think so), I never intended to do it.

How could she have done that to me?

Even worse, as someone older than her – a previous supervisor of hers, I find her response really disrespectful. Something that a younger person SHOULD NEVER say to one born before them.

Have people in the later generations lost sense of the most basic manners when communicating with others?

Or is it just me overreacting?

I don’t know. I have nobody to talk to (and even if I have, should I bother sharing with them such a seemingly trivial thing?)

I guess that sooner or later – if the pain does not go away, I may have to talk to someone about this. Someone I can trust. One I can bother without causing them to feel uncomfortable.

Is it selfish?

I think about it – and then wonder, if a patient goes to a doctor, and the doctor says the patient only cares about healing his wound without caring for the doctor…

Such a doctor would never exist, right?

Anyway, for now, let’s just keep myself busy. I guess that’s the most effective solution I can think of at the moment.

So that other things may occupy my brain, giving me the time to slowly heal the wound by myself.

Do I have anything else to write down?

Ok, I think let’s switch to something more positive.

This morning – during a temporary break in class, I found an interesting post on LinkedIn (which I have screenshot below).

linkedin post

Also, here’s the link to the original post.

I have seen various posts that discuss self-awareness tips like this before. But this one is among the few that have made me crack a smile.

It reminds me of childhood, of things that seem silly – and yet, if we look closer, we may discover hidden gems that we were never aware of before.

Childish? Maybe. But is there any problem with being childish?

We all have our own lives – should we try to live up to others’ expectations UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES?

After all, reflecting on things like this – I guess – may give us the chance to shed light on who (or what) we really are. Things that truly matter to us.

It may enable us to realize hidden patterns that we have never been aware of (or too dumb to admit) before.

It’s almost time for my weekly private English tutor class (with one of my friends), so I guess I have to stop journaling now. Later this afternoon and evening – if I have the time to (after dealing with my Kanji exercises for tomorrow’s Japanese class), I may revisit this.

See you!


(01:30 PM GMT+7 – February 29, 2024)

My house’s Internet connection is down now – I guess it’s time for me to have a little break before going to the coffee shop.

Teaching is tiring, but it’s so empowering, I have to say.

(03:40 PM GMT+7 – February 29, 2024)

I guess that’s it – there’s nothing else I would like to say about this month. Let’s just wrap it up here and look forward to the next month with hope and faith!

See you, February!


(10:45 PM GMT+7 – February 29, 2024)

Let’s Tread the Path Together, Shall We?

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