Monday, August 10, 2015

Lessons i've learned over the last 3-4 years

1. Being pretty (and nice) doesn't actually come with more benefits: For as long as i can remember i was the nerdy one with no sense of style whatsoever growing up with two pretty sisters...and i'm not exaggerating. I really didn't give a rats ass about looking nice until i was about to graduate from Rx school, ie. 26-27. In college i had more lab classes than i can remember. I couldn't really do a lot of fun stuff (even with the Taiwanese students association on dumpling nights) because if i had even one lab class, i am spending 10+ hours in the lab, not counting the time i worked on the lab report, or actually worked in a lab on the side. and some semesters i would have 2 of those lab classes... so i really couldn't dress up because i would have to wear lab goggles anyway. And i had horrible skin conditions (i still do) for a hormonal imbalance problem. So i really just looked like major crap. But things got better when my acnes started dying down when i got put on a magical medication, then around that time i decided that it would be fun to try out different clothes. I started eating better, excercising, wear make up, get nice hair cut..and the next thing i know, i started getting guys' attention. In some way you can say i am a 'late boomer'. But that's precisely why i've run into a lot of trouble these years. I have trouble telling the 'bad' ones from the 'good' ones, mainly because they didn't come with tatoos and a dirty mouth. So yes i am being approached by many many times now, but in some way i almost long for the simpler times, when i can be sure everyone was genuine, if they liked ME back then. As my sister said, that was true love. 

2. If someone truly wants to cheat you, there is no way you can tell: A lot of women think that when you get hurt by men it's because you liked the bad boys to begin with, or you must not have paid attention to the signs...etc. All i can say is, it was easier said than done. I didn't believe my sisters when they would advise me on these behaviors but now i know. Basically, through the past years, the couple guys who i fell hard for and got hurt by, really came to me under the cover of being a 'nice' guy. And maybe to some degree, they are already nice enough in this world of beastiality where women throw themselves at men in fear of dying alone, or just having low self confidence, i dont know. But basically, on one occasion, a-hold A approached me through a women's leadership event i held internally, by being the only male participant who showed up over time. he sent me articles after the meeting to be shared with others, he sent me recommendations for places in other parts of Taiwan that i could visit. We went on normal, sweet dates, bicyling, or looking at the view of taipei from the mountain, or dinner dates after work...until i found out he had strong morality issues, including having switched gf's constantly in the past, including a married woman. I FLIPPED OUT. And after forgiving him, i found out at a later point that he was dating different people, one of them actually living on my street. then i pulled the plug. so no, they dont come with tatoos..and once you fall for them, you fall for them pretty hard. you almost feel bad to walk away from something sweet and genuine to begin with. I had such a horrible time in 2013. 

3. Even the 'good' guys can hurt you: Yes, case number 2, came from a good friend who i knew for almost 10 months in the MBA program, who has been a sweet friend, but passive. When he finally professed his love, that's when our relationship changed and i started looking at him differently because he was such a 'good' guy. Then i decided that i would reciprocate...until...my job offer came from SG from the company i want to work for. Then it was that speech -- i dont want to do long distance (more on this later)...and i need my gf to live in the same city as me. blah blah blah. not even pretending that we would TRY. even when i decided that I would be nice and left a copy of a book that i had introduced him in his mailbox, NO WORDS. And on the last day before i left france, i asked if he wanted to stop by the school cafeteria where i bidded everyone goodbye, he said he was really busy that day. When he did stop by, it was barely a hug. then he was off. I then left France with a broken heart. but a good friend. a 'good' guy. and i couldn't even tell a lot of people because he's been such a well-behaved, nerdy guy that no one would believe would kill an ant. 

4. I wish i was selfish: So through the past years i have heard the 'i dont want to do long distance' from at least 3 guys. all of them i had gone on cute dates with, and all of them delivered this same speech to me, when i at least was willing to TRY. heck i am even willing to MOVE if given the right guy, or given up a good offer. But NO ONE so far has shown the same decency. So in my defense, if you didn't show that you're worth it, i'm also not gonna even try to put my career or family life on hold. I want to be in Singapore, where i got a great oportunity and i would be close to my family. Why is it that everyone else gets to say this to me before i get to reject them? which brings me to the next point. 

5. I refuse to let my past dictate my future, and i really want to be with someone like that: Yes we've all gotten hurt or gotten rejected. My last major relationship happened in high school/college, and i was dumped because it became long distance. Yes it sucked really bad. It sucked so bad that it put me into depression. and i never dated for the next 10+ years. But will i never say never? probably not. But should i? probably. But i choose to see everyone as a new individual. I can/should never ask the next person to prove himself to me just because the last a-hole had broken my heart. Who doesn't come with baggage? But still, i've had to hear the 'i've been in LDR before, and it didn't work out, so i am never doing it WITH YOU'. that type of thing. which hurt, a lot. 

6. I am a lot braver than i think: I've moved and lived in at least 5 countries in the past 5 years, and i constant travel bc of my job. and i am immersed by men who judge me for my life choices, refuse to date me, say horrible things to me that break my heart, but i dont want to give up. Just because something's never been done before, doesn't mean that it can't be done. I always think i should just run back to the US, or any western country, before i am too old. Over there women are relatively more free, and age isn't as big an issue, and i will forever look young/exotic. But that would be the easy way out. I like that i get to travel to different places and experience different cultures, sometimes in emerging economy where everything is dirty, or dangerous, or the customers are rude, or the workload is heavy, but i dont want to give up. yet. I want to learn new languages as i go to these places. I want to try to live/work in Japan/Korea even if it means it's a dating desert for me with a western demeaner, and women locally dress better and are more cute and submissive. But i dont want to give up. Will it hurt me in the end? i dont know. 

7. I am too kind, too much a giver: this probably relates to the point of not being selfish, but i can't change who i am essentially. I wish i can play these games of love. given that i'm usually one being strung along for different people's selfish purposes, for them to 'choose' if i get to be their gf's or not (screw that). I never did it to a guy and i never want to do it. I feel like no one should have to impress me like that. if i didn't like someone enough i would let them down easy, but i never do 'pulse checks' or flirt with them online or ask favors of them, because i dont want to. it makes me sleep better at night. And also because i have been severely depressed, i dont want to cause pain to another person. Also when i am in a semi-relationship (if that even exists), i think about the other person and what he said, and i would even bring in coffee or little favors because i remember. But i dont feel like that the same has been done to me. I wish i can be more cold hearted. 

8. The world has gone slutty and i'm being eliminated by Darwinism: I realized this soon after i dated the TW a-hole. To give the proper background, i didn't sleep with any of these a-holes who broke my heart in the past years. precisely because i refuse to sleep with someone before we are even in a relationship, and before we had the talk, or while we had the talk, it became acutely clear to me that they 'weren't sure' if we should be exclusive. So if we weren't, what reason do i have to trust you with my body? Am i suppose to interview with my skills in bed? the scary thing is, whenever i did talk about guys with people these days, they asked me why i didn't? people advised me that i needed to try them out, or that i need to just live in the moment. i WISH i can live in the moment. i really do. but i can't. I know the consequences of heartbreak. And i can't stand lies, and i already feel like few people these days are genuine. good guy or not. So why is it a GIVEN these days that i need to put out? Then it became the chicken or the egg question, perhaps because i didn't want to sleep with them, that they 'weren't sure' if they wanted to date me?! i ask myself the same question. but as i get older, i reall just dont want to sleep with any random ass hole who could give me the same speech. :( 

9. it's really hard being an expat: because you move around so much, you meet interesting people, you create interesting memories, and you leave a piece of your heart everywhere you go. But you're also not right next to your family, so you feel guilty all the time. You also grow apart from the many friends you meet everywhere because you aren't there during their major life events, then you feel guilty somewhere. Then you spend your vacation days visiting people and catch up, and feel like you weren't present during those major events. Because you move you always have to make new friends, learn about a new market, as exciting and rewarding as that might be, you see your freidns posting their baby pictures and new house photos, and you wonder if you need to stop one day. But you just happen to combine your interst for new adventures, with your career. 

10. It's even harder being a female expat: because the world is the western/western-educated men's playground, especially in emerging countries. So all of them have fun with local women, dont want to deal with someone who's sharp and smart and make as much as they do. and then you are open to dating local men, but most of them are too scared to approach you. Or that theres inherent cultural differences that you're not used to. or you make more than them. or they are intimidated by your lifestyle/experience. you can't do anything right. then you feel guilty about your career which you worked so hard on, or your education because you dont want men to think you're intimidating. You are told to not talk back to these men or debate with them because it turns them off. Then you feel like you're not yourself anymore. 

11. I dont like being grey. I am black and white because i've always been like this, and i'm a scientist. so everything is black and white to me. you need to show me the evidence. please dont tell me that people make mistakes and i need to be tolerant. yes i do understand that, and i pray to god that i wont be like that one day. but i can't stand immorality, or cheating. why do i have to understand people's moral problems when they dont understand my desire to do the right thing all the time and i am being judged as being too serious? all that i want is to not cheat someone. you can break up with people, but dont sleep around, not even once. is that so hard to ask? Do i need to develop patience every time someone is 'unsure' about dating me? then how much time do i have? how much longer do i have to wait? 

I dont know anymore. i dont want to let my age define me and what i do, but i'm scared as hell. what if i never meet that person who i think exists? what if every guy essentially is confused? what if i finally meet someone nice and i'm not attracted to him? can i force myself to date someone who i dont love? what if i do meet the right guy and i'm already old and he doesn't see me at my prime? 

some days i feel very tired. and sad. i'm 32 and i dont have the answers. :(

Monday, September 15, 2014

Learning how to unlike someone

A lot about growing older is about learning how to unlike someone. 

Meeting someone you like, who is single, who you have great chemistry with, learning that they are not as into you as you are into them. Therefore, you need to unlike them. 

Meeting someone who you spent a great deal of time and started developing chemistry with, learning they have a girlfriend. You know you are too good to steal anyone away from their partner. You know, for that moment, you are that stand in girl friend. You can feel he misses her. But you also feel that he likes you, because you are smart, and complements him in different ways. But you don't want to get hurt. You don't want someone else to get hurt because of you. So you need to unlike someone. 

Meeting someone who is nice and patient with you who knows something you don't. Who looks at you with those eyes, like someone who appreciates a girl who's strong with a good head on her shoulder who pushes herself as hard as he does and still enjoys a good beer and an inappropriate joke at the end of a long day. Who gives you an unexpected big hug after the big project is over. But he's legally not available. So you need to unlike someone. 

So you keep your distance, and you try to keep those memories as something precious of your own. Then you leave and move away, knowing you will never see this person again. 

And you hope, secretly, that one day, you will meet that someone, who wants to create new memories with you. Who isn't for whatever reason, unavailable emotionally or legally. Because he knows if he doesn't say something, the moment just passes you by. 

Someone who wants to make plans with you. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

another post about guys and gals at the MBA

my friend freaked out a few days ago. she was hearing news about a friend she thought she knew well, well, cheated on her partner with someone in our class, who allegedly also has a partner back home. Except this girl who cheated, actually has her partner with her, in Singapore.

Then there's all these other incidences of things that are pretty much truth (the only reason why I did not say 100% because technically seeing is believing, and I wasn't in the bedroom to witness how the whole thing went down. but pretty much people know, or they didn't really try hiding).

- someone I thought I knew well who has a gf back home hooked up with a pretty famous Asian skanky girl, multiple times, and I suspect still ongoing.
- multiple hook ups...not dating, just hooking up (and I really hate this expression)
- girls with bfs and guys with bfs making out at parties/holding hands/dancing intimately
...

list goes on and on.

The trouble with attending a European mba is that, you have to stick true and close to yourself, because if you don't, it's so easy to do something stupid, because people almost WANT you and will LURE you to do something stupid. and anything immoral that happens turns into gossip material and people are no longer fazed by it, which is really sad.

the trouble with being a student again, at the age of 30 as a professional who had a pretty good career is, you have to deal with all the 20 year olds who are still pretty hormonal and stupid in making life decisions, and who are confused as hell about their lives and therefore channel a lot of their energies into finding someone who could be that temporary fix of their problems, and who don't want to settle down. they might be here because they hated their previous jobs, or they are sent on continuous education free-of-charge, which allows them to party even more, even harder, and the women...are just added bonus. everyone is on the look out. they don't really care much to learn about Asian culture, because they don't need to. They are here to party for a couple months. Singapore is a hub for them to go home to. But they hang out with people from the same origin, eat food they are familiar with, party and drink and sleep with local women, life is really good at this point. and they feel that they are entitled to everything and anything, because they are going to the number 2 international mba, so they thin k they are pretty damn smart.

Can there be a worse formula for disaster?

Fortunately..albeit all this...

yes there are days when i think the world is going up in flames when I hear my male classmates talk about visiting orchard tower (a local brothel), that girls in the class are all husband-hunting (so derogatory), cheat on their partners, or think casual sex is okay.

But I am feeling much better/stronger now, although there are still days of hopelessness.

The truth is, i don't want to stop believing. There are still wonderful things in  my life. I have family and friends who check in with me periodically to make sure I am not too stressed out, i'm eating well, and i'm feeling okay. I met new friends who share the same values as me, who i can confide to, who makes me feel normal, who i can catch up over drinks and just completely be myself. who i can bitch about the 'popular kids' to.

I choose to believe there's always good vs. evil and that the evilness in the world will not completely consume us, if there are people who are also unyielding, for whatever reasons.

so what 6/10 guys who hit on me have girlfriends. the 2 act like they could be interested and flirty but never actually ask me out on a proper coffee date. and the last 2...well, they are just desperate. they would ask any girl to go on a date.

thank god for the book 'he's just not that into you'. so many great quotes that are life-saving for women. if he doesn't ask you out or makes you guess his intentions, he's just not that into you. one of the pleasures that comes with growing old, is that you stop putting up with the shit people give you.

I miss a lot of people greatly, for they are my strengths in life. i get tired sometimes, but i don't want to stop believing.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

feelings that i need to deal with and work through

it's been a while since i can do my daily therapeutic posts..mainly because i have been feeling better, after a major breakdown last week. during the week i think i pretty much cried every day over the smallest things..in public, with my friend, with my parents..it's like the tear duct just stopped listening to me. that triumphant feeling lasted for a couple days..and on this rainy day..i decided to do a post.

finally on the last day of Septemter, on the family trip to Kaohsiuong, i felt like i really just had it with these emotional outbursts. I'm really just sick of seeing  myself crying and feeling down. I was on a happy rendezvous with my parents and all i could focus on was my sadness, and it made me feel extremely selfish. but these thoughts and emotions just came to mind -- feelings of deceit, self blame, anger, dissapointment, self doubt, regret, vengeful....all of them.

Feelings of deceit because I am trying to understand how i could have been deceited...some of the memories seem so real and yet i now have to convince myself, that good memories only exist in the past now and they don't mean a thing to the person who's already moved on. bad memories because you realized you were lied to. and you believed the person so much at the time.

self blame because i blame myself for allowing myself to be deceited and to not see the person for what he's worth, despite the red flags...self blame that it's taking me so long to recover when most people just bounce back and find the next guy easily. self blame because i thought i was so smart and yet i tripped on something so trivial. self blame because i want to offer myself to the people who DO care about me and start being emotionally available and i still can't do that 100% (although i have been improving).

Anger because I want to hate this person so much. I wonder if it's ever a good strategy now..to hate someone in order to move on. I still can't get myself to feel absolutely neutral when it comes to hurtful feelings. i practice. I want to look at it from the third person's perspective. but i can't yet. i know it takes time. but i'm frustrated. It's almost easier to hate someone for the faults that he's done.  anger because i am supposed to be ecstatic to begin my new life in 3 months and i just feel sad most of the time. and then sometimes hopeful. I am so angry at myself. angry because the world is so unfair, for someone like him he can continue to believe and behave like women are 'options' to him, and there will still be plenty who he can easily date. angry because it's so much harder for women to do that, even if and especially if you have a equal or even better profile. it's like a double edge sword. you get screwed either way. angry because i didn't completely tell him to go to hell and stay there. angry because i am being passive aggressive, and would passively respond to his messages. and in my head i still get disappointed if i never get his messages. what the hell is wrong with me? angry because he didn't choose me, and he chose his old lifestyle with these low life women with no morals. aren't i good and have lived a displined life and fun to be around and supportive of him in everyway and funny and attractive? this isn't enough to make him like me more than his old flame who he cheated with on her husband? why does this make me feel so defeated like i'm not good enough? and why am i even concerned with these people and their bullshit lifestyle and putting myself on the same level as them?

disappointed because I know i am strong in all other aspects of life..but something like this or someone like this can make me fall into pieces. disappointed because i once thought this could turn into something really good but it turned out to be the signature 'bad boy story' of my life. disappointed because i trusted someone, perhaps too easily and too quickly. Disappointed that he didn't feel the same way i did. disappointed because he didn't choose me. Disappointed because I thought he was a different person and my words or i meant something. disppointed because i'm not moving on as fast as this jerk. disappointed that i am suffering low self confidence because of it. disappointed that it's stoppoing me from feeling the joy in life..disappointed that i'm letting my parents and the friends who love me down. i just feel so disappointed. dissappointed because i didn't feel like i got stronger from the last breakup..this still feels like a mini death to me in my heart.

self doubt because i am now doubting some life choices which never bothered me before...things like spending so much time to get my doctorate degree, and being such a black and white person. i am beginning to question if i should change the way i think so that i can accept these flaws in morality and in human relationships, maybe i should change the way i look at things and deal with things and stop being judgemental and be okay with things i used to look down on. but if i did that, i would not be myself anymore. and why should i change myself for one guy and one encounter that's not even worth it? did i maybe have low self confidence to begin with? Am i letting too much asia get to me in terms of pressure for women to conform and to be married by a certain age and to get super attached to your parents? am i making mistakes that i will regret somewhere down the line? Am i too old? Do i secretly actually really want to be married despite all the pep talk i had given myself before? am i too idealistic in terms of finding the one? am i going to fail? am i wrong and maybe everyone else who's ever said anything negative to me about my age or being too independent is right? what if i DID move around too much? what if i am just paying for the price for wanting to pursue my dream? what if i never come back to Taiwan?

regret because i wish i had never met this guy who himself and the things he represent make me change so much and have felt so low for so long. regret because i could have been happy. we could have dealt with this differently. regret because everytime i think of something that happened in the past, good and bad, i with they never happened. I regret that i ever attempted to understand his world, the world of lies, cheating, cheating with someone with a spouse, casual hook ups, inability to do long distance..i did, i did try to understand. but i still can't forgive him. i can't. it's the hardest challenge i am given. how do you forgive someone who's hurt you, and do you need to?

i know i am better off without him. i just don't know why it's so hard for me to get over someone. i am so sick of my own whining. i am so sick of hearing myself talk about this person to people. but bottling up everything inside feels just as horrible too. what if it takes me too long to get over someone? what if i never meet the person i think should exist somewhere? what if i do meet the person and he's already unavailable?

i am so scared.




Thursday, September 26, 2013

Prayer

Dear god,

Please give me the strength I need to feel better.

Please make me believe and go back to the happy and genuine and confident person I once was.

Please help me get through this.

I really need you to give me strength to hold on to faith, that I will find someone better and I deserve to be happy.

I would like to thank you also, for these things to happen timely.

If I must encounter someone hurtful to me in my life, I would rather experience it now, so that when I am exposed to new things at school I can quickly forget.

I also would like to thank you for making me realize how lucky I am to be able to share this painful experience with the family and friends who have been there for me. It could have been totally traumatic and heartbreaking but I am lucky to have my support system here with me, so I do not fall into the depressive stAte as last time.

I also would like to thank you for the second meeting I had with him which made me realize that it IS totally over and to help me give up hope. If it wasn't for that meeting I would still have dreams in my head thinking he's suffering from the breakup as much as I did and is actually a confused person who I can perhaps change and be with one day down the road. I realized that I was totally wrong. Yes everything he said that night hurt me deeply. But if it wasn't for those hurtful words I would not be ale to knock myself out of this situation.

And thank you for that phone call today. It's made me realize that he is still as selfish as I had thought him to be, having the nerves to ask me for recommendations and as a reference for his job hunt. He doesn't deserve my sincerity and help. And for him to think he can ask someone he's hurt deeply to do him this favor, once again shows how selfish he is as a person, who never once reflected. It's made me stop crying, and I think I've shed enough.

I want to continue to pray to you for the strength which I lack. I know I have doubted myself and you so many times because st times there really seems like there is little hope in life. The social pressure I feel and maybe the heartbreak is making it hard for me to see and feel. And reach out like I aways do. I have become numb and insensitive and selfish to the people around me. And I say cruel things and I only focus on my pain. I hate that about myself. And I want to break away from it.

Can you please teach me to be kind and hopeful again? Can you hold my hand through this? Can you help me realize how wonderful I am as a person again and stop worrying about trivial things in life like marriage, getting old, fitting in, career, and start focusing on getting better and being a better person and being happy for myself and everyone around me?

I am scared. There are so many uncertainty in life. I don't want to fear my fears anymore. But how can I accomplish that?

I really need you to help me let go and move on. Please god if you can offer me your hand and help me find the strength that's in me.

Please can oh also help me forgive, if you think that is the best way for me to move forward, for I have so much hate in my heart.

Can ou also help me forget. I want to forget about the good times and I want to forget the pain so that I can be trustful again.

Please help me god.

Will you feel better

I want to make myself feel better, I want to be better. And I need to feel better for the people around me to feel my presence for the last couple months while I am here. I want to stop crying whenever i think about it or talk about it. I want to come up with a game plan.

Running list:
French
Music (ukelele..?)
Gym (yoga, running, dance..)
Counseling
Focus on the positives
Stop worrying

And I want to tell myself, it's okay to take your time. It's okay to cry. Just try. Try a little everyday. At least youre trying. And you will feel better. In time.





Monday, September 23, 2013

Do you need to forgive someone in order to move on?

Do you?

I haven't figured it out. 

With my last major relationship, which ended also brutally and abruptly, I decided that I would never speak with my ex again and wish death upon him, or a least slaps across his face if I ever run into him. People tell me it takes a lot of effort to hate. And if I do still feel the anger, that means I never completely got over the person. 

I suppose I can see the rational. But my defense was that no it takes me almost no effort to hate. All I need to do is everytime I think of this person I wish unfortune upon him. I don't believe anyone should get away with hurting people with no consequences. Because you are dealing with human emotion, not a fish in the fishtank. People get hurt when you change your mind. I don't know if I will ever understand it from the other side of the table and if I ever want to. I know friends who are close to me also have tried dating people who they like less and who they have to end up hurting. I don't know if that could be a solution and I'm not sure if I am able to do that at all. It may be a curse and a blessing in disguise. On one hand I feel very high and mighty that I don't subject myself to something hurtful to other people ever in my life, and on one hand I almost secretly believe that this will put me on the receiving end of hurt for the rest of my life. Is it better to be a little cruel and selfish when it comes to love so you can at least try things out, or as people say, give someone the benefit of the doubt, then leave them once things don't work out? Then how is it diff from what I am going through right now? But if it helps with the pain...

So lately I read an article on controlling your obsessive thoughts, which really is a good read, after many good reads I've been subjecting myself to. It hits the nail on the head -- treat these thoughts with little to no interest, like you're watching the world to by in a coffee shop. I can't put it as eloquently, but basically the article is saying had we have these obsessive thoughts because we choose to associate feelings and interests with them, which fuel their existence and magnify them ten times more. Then pretty soon all you can RBI k about are these obsessive, negative thoughts. 

It is very true in my option. I give life to these thoughts. They come into my head and I feel sad and therefore I react to them by appearing sad and can't move on in life. 

However since the article, I have tried to look at these past memories, when they do come up, as things that happened to other people. I just watch it happens and unfolds, with no feelings at all. And it's true that the anxiety and the sadness and heartbreak that usually comes wont it, also do not last very long. 

This morning I was thinking that a little. The most precious memories that I have of these relationship, or more precisely, the moments when I felt like I had fallen for this person. And I have to say its hard to look at these events with no emotional attachment, but I tried. And at the same time I also remembered that retrospectively, I understood that at the time, he was still talking to his ex, at the time, he was still dating the girl who live on the same st as me, at the time, he was still weighing his options about doing a long distance relationship. He wasn't in it 100% as I was, to experience the romance. So he didn't fall hard, or in other words, he didn't like me enough. 

It was hard to enough to do the exercise up that far, because every memory was special to me in its own way. And I'm not jaded enough with life that I just take what people say with a grain of salt every time, and treat all men like liars. Maybe one day I will, but I have been a pretty genuine/gullible person up until now. So am I never to experience the joy of  falling in love? And I going to doubt the sincerity of the people around me? 

Its hard to let go but there is no other way than to just do it. I suppose kind of like the move the Etwrnal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. You erase the memories, good and bad. They may be precious to you, but not to other people. When things end.