New year … old me because I love it!

New year … old me because I love it!

First of all, let me say Happy New Year. Wishing you all the best.

I’m spending this New Year alone but not lonely. (That’s so corny, sorry)

I’m sure everyone probably like the start the new year with the resolutions, new year new me stuff but I’m not sure I am up for that.

I have come a long, long way before I am who I am today. I’m pretty damn proud of it. I am grateful for those who were always beside me, my family, my boyfriend, my friends and I am thankful to have them by my side this year and in all the years to come.

I have no resolutions this year. I just have plans. I’m just making schedules for things I want to do instead. I want to make time to do what I want. I want to build new habits and get rid of some of my not-so-cool habits.

I’m scheduling for time to go to the gym every day. I’m scheduling for time to go to my art classes every week. I’m also scheduling for time to paint or at least sketch something every day.

I’m not changing anything. I’m just giving myself more time to do what I want.

It’s been a long and arduous fight finding myself and it’s going to be quite a journey.

The past year, I realized that my painting style started to jell. It’s emerging. Not consistent yet but it’s coming. I can start seeing similarities in all the paintings that I do and I actually like it.

I’m sure not everyone will like it but it’s the journey and the process that I’m getting addicted to.

Most people have certain expectations about things that they should be this way or that and it’s ok. Most of the time, my work or my art won’t meet these ideals and that’s ok. A lot of the times, I won’t meet these ideals as a person, and that’s fine, too.

After all these years, I can really say that I am proud of who I have become and it’s ok if who and what I am doesn’t fit other people’s molds. Because I don’t have to.

I supposed I just want to say that it’s ok to be true to yourself. As a matter of fact, you should be true to yourself and do what you’re passionate about.

I used to love to paint when I was a kid. Like everyone, we get the question, ‘What are you going to do with your painting?’

As kids, we just wanted to paint because it makes us happy. After the ‘growing up’ phase hit, I quit painting for years. I mean, years. I pretty much gave up all my art because I felt like I’m not doing well in school and I need to sacrifice what I love for what I should be doing.

I still didn’t do well in school. Never really did.

Fast forward years later, I realized that I want to paint. Actually, I realized I need to find a constructive hobby. Work has been stressful and I needed an out so I turned back to my art. I found an art hobby school that’s not far to go to and I started taking classes.

Now I’m working as a managing editor for an expat lifestyle magazine and I would never give up my art for anything. I always carry my little sketchbook with me. I would love to carry my paint palette with me as well but that will just be too heavy. It’s one of the things that keeps me sane.

Art is not useless. We see many emerging artists today than ever before.

The point is it’s ok to be different. It’s ok to be yourself even if it doesn’t fit other people’s expectations of who or what you should be.

We should be proud of who we are and never be ashamed of how other people sees you.

They’re just wearing a different filter.

happy new year 2017

I Dont Know What I’m Doing All I Can Promise Is That This Is Going To Be Fun

I Dont Know What I’m Doing All I Can Promise Is That This Is Going To Be Fun

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MorganJt On Writing Manifesto

Do you believe in reincarnation?
I do because my religion taught me so, but I don’t care.
I don’t know what I’m going to be in the next life.
I’m more interested in what I’m going to be … today.
Life is fleeting.
We meet someone today, they could be gone tomorrow or the next day.
Why should we worry about the things that don’t matter when there are so much more waiting for us.
So live while you can. Do what you love whenever you can.
Walk on the beach. Spend time with your loved ones.
Take time out to be with your family.
Make time to do what you love, create art whenever you can.
I am an artist and I make a point to create art everyday.
I believe that we all have the power to create art in our own ways.
The art that I’m talking about isn’t restricted to drawings, paintings, or even writing.
The art I’m talking about is the ability to produce work that is beautiful and emotional.
Art (noun)
“the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination…producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” 
If you choose writing as your outlet to create art, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve created this blog to share with you all about getting inspired and start creating the habit of writing.
We will go over a bunch of how-to’s on writing, starting your free writing journal, daily practice, daily or weekend prompts, and much much more to get your creative juice flowing.
I am so happy you are joining me on this journey, on writing.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, drop a line on my social networks and stay connected. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks!
There Will Be No Resolutions for 2016

There Will Be No Resolutions for 2016

I have no resolution for 2016

Image via MorganJt.com

There will be no New Year Resolutions for me this year.
Honestly, I have lost faith in New Year Resolutions. I had resolutions after resolutions and that’s all they have been, and it seems that’s all they are going to be.
This year, I’m going to try something different. Instead of resolutions, I’m going to set goals.
So what’s the difference between resolutions and goals? One is an intention, another is a plan. Setting and reaching goals required a detailed breakdown of what you are going to do to reach the goals. It required planning in stages and periodic self-check.
There are so many self-help tactics and techniques out there regarding this matter. It’s an important thing, reaching your goals, however, how many people really pay attention to how to set goals properly? Not that many from what I’ve seen.
If you want to get it done right from the beginning, there’s a great resource when it comes to setting goals. Check out what Michael Hyatt’s free videos here.

Things you need to know about setting goals 

1. The more specific you are, the easier it will be
Sure, we love flexibility but when it comes to setting goals, it is confirmed in recent research (link to research here) that to achieve goals, it is better to be more specific and less flexible.
Setting clear goals sure are better than setting ambiguous plans that you are going to get there … someday …
2. Humans are made to reach goals 
A study suggests that our brains have an internal guidance system when it comes to reaching goals. There’s a specific neurotransmitter dopamine that will signal the brain. The closer the goal, the stronger the signal will be.
3. Inner conversation matters 
We put ourselves down millions of times a day. We need to stop that. Internal conversation matters because we are listening to it, whether we realized it or not. According to a research, you can use your inner voice to help control your impulses. A simple, “You can do it. Just keep at it” will help keep you going. That little phrase can kick the impulse’s butt.
4. Don’t overdo it
Go overboard on self-motivation can undermine the achievement. Fantasizing too much about that big hit, that dream job, that success might also undermine your achievement.
In the end, it’s all about expectations. It’s useful to plan ahead and think of things that might happen and how you would adjust or fix your plans along the way every now and again. It’s unhealthy to have unrealistic expectations of how it’s going to be like when you reach your goals so keep your feet on the ground.
5. It helps to stay optimistic
Be optimistic and positive is always great but it is a lot easier said than done. Stay positive can help you effectively deal with stress which is another key in helping you reach your goals.
Be aware of the bad things that could possibly happen but keep looking on the bright side.

So here are my goals for 2016 

1. Apply for that writing position I’ve been holding off on (because I was afraid that I’d get rejected)
2. Publish a personal manifesto (end of Feb 2016)
3. Google Analytics certification (end of March 2016)
4. Google Adwords certification (end of April 2016 – just because there is math involved)
5. Earn $1000/month from my writing/blogging
According to this article, there is power in written goals. It is also best to keep your goals few in numbers and make sure that all your goals are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-bound).
Do you have 2016 resolutions? How about turning those into goals? Please share in the comment section below.
Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing you a happy new year 2016. Best health. Best opportunities. Lots of happiness and lots of love for all the years to come!

Happy new year 2016

Happy New Year 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Seasons Greeting from Morganjt.com

Season Greeting E-card via Morganjt.com

Merrrryyy Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

I can’t wait to get started on my holidays. I will make sure to take with me all the tools of the trades just so I can write, paint and take pictures while I’m chilling by the beach.

Whatever plans you have for this new year, don’t forget to keep on smiling and keep on writing.

See you in 2016!

Traditional Thai Marriage: What the hell is Sin Sod?

Traditional Thai Marriage: What the hell is Sin Sod?

traditional thai marriage and sin sod

Image by Morgan.jt

I was approached by a friend who asked how I would explain the traditional Thai marriage to a foreigner. I thought of it and I figured it would be an interesting topic to write about … even if it totally has nothing to do with the general theme of my blog. It’s the kind of knowledge that is not even common in Thais.

It’s not commonly discussed because it is a kind of touchy subject in Thai traditions. I mean, my mom doesn’t even discuss this with me. I’ve asked her how much would my Sin Sod be if someone were to ask me to marry him and she would just say, “It’s going to be a lot, that’s all you have to know.” (Thanks, mom. Love you, too.)
So, I think it would be interesting to cover this traditional Thai marriage and ‘Sin Sod’ in this article. There are so many sources online that aren’t really that accurate. Instead of making things clearer, they made it sound worse than it really is. So, I am going to try and explain this as accurate and as simple as I can. This information comes from bugging and asking my grandparents, my parents, aunties and uncles that I have. Here goes …
Traditional Thai weddings usually consisted of 2 parts: the legal part (signing the marriage certificate at the Amphur or the registration office in the province you’re living in), and the more important part which is the ceremonial part. These two parts are usually done separately.
The bride and groom can go to the Amphur and legalize the marriage prior to the marriage ceremony, however, the unless the ceremony is completed, it’s not ‘official’ in the Thai’s point of view.
The ceremonial part usually involved more than one location. Usually, the house the bride and groom are moving into and the temple. Since Thailand is a Buddhist country, it is vital to have a ceremony at a temple, however, there are no government documentations required for this part of the ceremony. It’s more like a gathering of friends and family to bare witness to the event.
Also a bride token or ‘Sin Sod’ is common. So if you are a foreigner and is planning to marry your Thai girlfriend … expect this from the bride’s family.

There are a lot of misleading information about Sin Sod online. First of all, Sin Sod is NOT a dowry. You are not buying your Thai girlfriend so please do not approach her family like you are going to BUY their daughter.

Why do you have to offer Sin Sod?

  1. Sin Sod as repayment
    Sin Sod can be considered as a repayment for the money the family invested in the daughter from putting food on the table to putting her through university. It is also referred to as payment for the ‘mother’s milk’.
  2. Sin Sod as income replacement
    Traditionally, the family is taken care by the eldest unmarried daughter. Sin Sod, in this case, is the amount of money to replace the income for the parents because once the daughter is married out, she is not expected to send a portion of her salary to the family anymore. This money is, then, the income supplementary once the daughter is married.
  3. Sin Sod as insurance
    Security fund for the family and the daughter who’s getting married herself. Because of how the Thai society works in the old days, it is very hard for married women or women with children to find another decent man of decent stature to marry her. Sin Sod, in this case, acts as an insurance in case the relationship didn’t work out and the husband took off.

 

In Thai culture, the women don’t always get to walk away with half of everything like in a lot of western countries when they divorced. So Sin Sod is an insurance to help support the family while the women tried to find a job to take care of her family after the big D-word.

What factors affect the amount of Sin Sod?

1. Age and societal status

If the woman is from an influential family and she is young, expect that the family will most likely ask for a ridiculously high amount of Sin Sod.

This is because when it comes to marrying a foreigner, it’s all about FACE in Thailand. Sometimes, if the women’s family is asking for a high amount of Sin Sod, it’s not really because they want to con the foreigner. But marrying a foreigner, the amount of Sin Sod of less than 200k would be considered a loss of face and face is everything. Not just for her, but also for the family and for you and your family as well.

2. Agreement between the two families

However, the amount of Sin Sod is usually the amount that is agreed upon by both the bride’s and groom’s families. So there are some wiggle room for the groom when it comes to the amount of Sin Sod agreed.

3. Don’t expect it back and don’t ask for it

It is unacceptable to ask for this amount of money back. The family might choose to offer a portion of it back in some cases, but it’s not for the groom or his family to ask for it back.

I hope this has been an interesting read. If you would like to see more articles regarding to the Thai traditions and cultures, or if you have questions and curiosities regarding Thai cultures and traditions, please let me know and I’ll try to cover the subject as best I can.

Have you ever been to Thailand? What did you enjoy most about your visit? Share in the comment section below.

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