Hiatus – Day Last

Thoughts of a 30 year old..

I used to laugh at people who made the transition from age 29 to age 30. What were they so afraid of? It’s just another year, there’s going to be plenty more. But now that I’ve turned 30, I repeatedly blink my eyes in hopes I’ll wake up and find I’m 29 again and this year never happened. I didn’t go thru all the stress and pain I went thru, I didn’t gain 15 pounds I can’t seem to shake, I didn’t nearly lose one of my parents, we didn’t elect Donald Trump as POTUS… But alas, here I am, 30, and here are my thoughts:

My body: They always told me I’d lose my metabolism by age 30. Having been someone who always ate whatever I wanted and never had to worry about a thing, it is actually quite devastating to find this permanent spare tire around my middle. No one wants to feel less than they are. But the lesson to learn here, is that you don’t have to keep trying to be more than you are. No one has ever complained, mocked, or had a problem with my imperfections. I’m no longer in my 20s and if I’m hanging out with someone who laughs at my chub, maybe I need to be rethinking the people I am hanging out with. Or I need to laugh louder about their bigger chub.

I can no longer eat extrordinarily spicy food without my stomach protesting later. And I find myself saying, “what?” far more than I ever have. I used to jokingly tell my parents that it was simply because they are old, well now it would seem the jokes on me. Our bodies truly do seem to go thru all those horrible changes as we get “older.”

My money: For the first time in my life, it is tight. I am at this strange point in my life where I am making enough to survive, but that’s all. Living alone is pretty damned expensive, and people looking for roommates are looking for college students in their 20s. So what do I do? How do I live? Carefully. For the first time in my life I understand the value of working hard, and the need to think about how I’m spending my money, and the reward in being able to treat yourself to something nice.

I used to chalk it all up to career choice. I simply didn’t make the right choices when I was in college. But the truth is, those things don’t matter as much now. 3 years of experience is equivalent to a 4 year degree in most places. If your 4 year degree is the same as your 3 years of experience, then you can’t say you made a wrong choice. You are doing what you want to be doing. I am doing what I want to be doing. It isn’t glamorous, or exciting, and it doesn’t necessarily pay well. But it is what I am good at, damned good at, and it is what makes me smile.

My family: In turning 30, I reached the cut off point to sell my eggs. Sounds strange, why would I care? Do I even want to sell my eggs? Not necessarily. But knowing a piece of you has reached its expiration date just makes you feel old period. How did I miss the step at which people have kids? The truth is, I didn’t. I chose not to hike up the mountain along the beaten track. I chose to claw, fight, and drag myself up the hard way, and if it put me on a slower path, then it put me on a slower path. I am not at a point in which I am ready for children. My own parents didn’t have my brother and I until they were in their mid thirties and there was nothing wrong with that. They lived their lives first, found each other and truly fell in love, and had kids when they were really ready for them.

As far as falling in love? I’ve felt love for someone else a couple of times. But I’ve never met someone I could see myself with for the rest of my life. Does that make me broken? I’m coming to terms with the fact that I Am A Virgo. I am thought full, particular, stubborn, and wont act unless I am sure of myself. I haven’t met my special person. I am not sad for it. I am in love with my own independence.

My future: When I turned 30, I had a midlife crisis. I lost people I cared about, and at some point, hit a bottom that created an outward ripple. I lost myself. I wasn’t in my 20s anymore and I wasn’t sure what to do. It was a long journey to try to rediscover myself. And the truth is, I’m no one different. I did not magically wake up and find I was an adult. The truth is, I’ll never be an adult, in that sense. I will always need my parent’s help and approval on the serious things. Maybe there is an added expectation on me, to be responsible and a role model and have experience. But I can only be me. Everyone has their own journey to go thru. It was my errs and experiences that made me who I am. I am finally old enough to look back and see that. I am not apologetic for being who I am. 

I am a Korean-American woman, I don’t know who my birth mother is, but I know who my parents are, an American woman and an English man. I grew up in small town Alaska and got my degree in Idaho, but spent most of my college years in Oregon. I have two cats and two tortoises. I like icecream, and I like beer, and I love icecream in my beer. I play videogames, speak fluent sarcasm, and watch documentaries for fun. I hide myself deep inside the enigma, buried in the pages of an open book. I am who I am, and I am not apologetic. I am me. I am 30, and in a month, I’ll be 31.

Hiatus – Vacation from Vacation – Fin 2.0

From the Otherside..

It was like being ferried across the river Styx, only we had a cafeteria. Getting thru customs was a breeze, they even had a drug sniffing dog for oir entertainment while we waited to get thru the line.

I contemplate the trip and realize I didn’t do very well. 1 for 3. 

I did manage to spot a few Canadian geese.

I did not ever encounter this supposed “Canadian bacon” and still maintain it’s an American Pizza company conspiracy just to sell us ham.

And, as far as I know, I never crossed paths with Nathan Fillion. I’m sure I would have felt the undeniable magic in the air if I had…

Alas, the conclusion I draw from all of this, is that clearly, I will need to go back.

Until next time Victoria!

Hiatus – Vacation from Vacation – Fin

The Return..

We took our time waking up. We dressed, and packed. Nothing opened until 10 anyway. We watched the market brush the sleep out of its eyes. We drank coffee, and ate french pastries. I gave a man my napkin, and the barista made sexy eyes at my Pops. We strolled thru the narrow alleys of Chinatown. We got tacos for lunch. Then headed to the dock to catch our ferry..

Mid afternoon ferry back across the boarder. Doesn’t feel like it’s been a full weekend, but somehow it has. The sun is shining, the water is calm, and today I see just how much I’ve missed. It’s a different sort of culture, for someplace so close to home. If I end up taking anything away from this trip, it is simply to learn to enjoy my time and not take it for granted. If the price we pay for being stressed out, is that ws are a less welcoming country, then it’s not worth hanging onto the stress. It doesn’t make you work any harder and it doesn’t bring you more reward. What a beautiful thing it was, to spend a whole weekend surrounded by smiling, friendly faces. And to be in the presence of complete strangers, who genuinely wish you the best. The simplest thing to pay forward, to genuinely wish someone well. How and when did my country become such a hateful, angry place? I blink my eye and it is gone like a dream, and we are home.

Hiatus – Vacation from Vacation – Fin

The Return..

Mid afternoon ferry back across the boarder. Doesn’t feel like it’s been a full weekend, but somehow it has. The sun is shining, the water is calm, and today I see just how much I’ve missed. It’s a different sort of culture, for someplace so close to home. If I end up taking anything away from this trip, it is simply to learn to enjoy my time and not take it for granted. If the price we pay for being stressed out, is that ws are a less welcoming country, then it’s not worth hanging onto the stress. It doesn’t make you work any harder and it doesn’t bring you more reward. What a beautiful thing it was, to spend a whole weekend surrounded by smiling, friendly faces. And to be in the presence of complete strangers, who genuinely wish you the best. The simplest thing to pay forward, to genuinely wish someone well. How and when did my country become such a hateful, angry place? I blink my eye and it is gone like a dream, and we are home.

Hiatus – Vacation from Vacation – Day 3

Some Sunny Sunday..

We park the car in the small lot the woman directed us to, and walk on blind faith down the street. The park seems obvious once you’re in it, but with every step it seemed to expand further out. It was initially empty, a field infront of an outdoor auditorium, and one family eating lunch. But then we saw the path, curling away and leading down, into the thicket. We follow it, breaching the line of trees, and immediately the zig-zagging path falls away below us. We follow, back and forth, and back and forth, down the wooded walkway. We are enclosed in greenery of all shades, 3 different types of trees, and 7 different types of bushes and ground plants. The occassional glimpse of our prize peeking between the branches. The lower we get, the stronger the smell of the sea, until at last, we break back thru the thicket, onto a known secret escape. Before us lays a wide, wooden boardwalk maybe half a mile long, across the edge of the water. Where sprinkled all along the way, down to the very end, are families, drinking beers, eating lunch, and crabbing.

We drove along the West coast of Vancouver Island, completing the wingspan of Victoria. The road was whindy, reminding me of driving Out the Road in Juneau, the teal blue of the ocean just thru a thin layer of trees to our left, but instead of tall mountainside to our right, we see large homes to our right, looking out over the road to the water.

We return from our adventure just before 5. Though it be a Sunday, I find myself frustrated by the town. Nothing opening before 10AM, and everything closing by 6PM. How does anyone get anything done? But then I started thinking, maybe that’s it. Maybe that is why the atmosphere is so different here in B.C. than in America. No one is stressed out, or angry, or rude. Everyone is so cheerful, and friendly, and so eager to just… chat with you. Maybe letting people sleep in and have time to drink coffee and eat breakfast before going to work alleviates some of the stress of the day. Maybe closing and letting people go home at 6, not worrying about people working too long or needing coverage past 8 hrs of work alleviates some of the anger people feel. In fact… in short, it actually seems genius. The only person I’ve seen running to the Starbucks, was the guy who was finishing his morning run. And the fact that it took almost 5 full minutes to then get our drinks after we’d ordered them, at first jarred me, Starbucks doesn’t make people wait… but then it just didn’t matter. The girls making our drinks were smiling and laughing the whole time. That’s what work should be about…

In the end, we found our English Pub. With its low, wooden ceilings, heavy wooden chairs, and friendly waitstaff. It wasn’t crowded, and two men in the front performed live music. The pub was doing a Sunday dinner special, but it was lovely Bangers and Mash, and a nice tall glass of Extra Special Bitter for us. A nice last night of our Vacation.

Hiatus – Vacation from Vacation – Day 2

I see now..

We rented a car, and after a satisfying breakfast, drove around a bit. There were a few markets scattered about. Upon parking the car we were overcome with the sombre tones of live market music. It felt like being home, the music filling the air, the smells of frying foods, and soaps, dogs, toddlers, craft. Something shiny catches my eye and we drift towards a booth. I hold the hand forged sickle in my hands. I want it, but I don’t dare. We wander some more before returning to the forged metals booth. Mom is buying a pair of earrings and I’m thrilled. The lone booth owner, quiet, humble, comes to assist. He finally looks up from the table and I am awestruck. His eyes are like honey in sunlight. I’ve seen that colour of eyes once before, and as before, I was left speechless. My hand closes around the sickle again, anything to get him to lay those eyes on me. But I let it go, and when mom’s purchase is complete, we move on.

We follow the edges of the coast, and I begin to think I finally see it. Those dashes of old English. I see it in the homes we drive past. They are an odd mixture of classic English and incredibly modern. One home with its white and black curving trim, the next all windows and right angles. And for a moment, as I fight fatigue, I am back in England, driving the harrowing streets to Nanny’s. Breath-taking homes hidden behind intimidating gates and solid fences, only catching a heart beat of a glimpse of them as you drive by.

But in truth, the whole place doesn’t feel too different from home. There are still kids selling lemonade on lawns, Saturday morning farmer’s markets, Starbucks on block corners… What feels different, is the atmosphere. People seem at ease. No one seems to be in a hurry, or weighed down with stress. No one seems angry. No profane graffiti covers the walls, no angry protests march up the streets. Even the homes seem to have room to breathe, rather than being stacked side by side by side. I, feel like I can breathe.

Maybe it isn’t the biggest city, or the most tourist attractive. Maybe I’m glamorizing the view. It is not somewhere I could live. I doubt it is somewhere you could live. Homes around here go for 700 grand upwards 1.5 million. Even restaurant prices are not humble. Granted, the current exchange rate between Canadian and U.S. is in our favor. It still makes my stomach turn to look down and order a $7-8 pint of beer, and a dinner entree for $20+.. I’ve never been good with math, and I admittedly hate numbers. Only pulling out my calculator will make me breathe a sigh of relief. Everything here just feels expensive. Maybe in some odd sense, you’re paying for the freedom from stress.