…when the night begins to win over the day. when the air begins to grasp at your skin. when the trees start to turn, growing gold, then crimson, as if infected. then drop their leaves as if seeking to blanket the Earth, keep her warm, keep her safe. safe from the ghosts that slowly drift in the dew light, from the shadows that yawn and stretch in the twilight…
I’m in love with a ghost, my wrecked heart, boundless and bare, lonely sands stretching far away..
I’ve started going to movies by myself. My taste in movies doesn’t always align with my peers. Case and point, every solo movie I attend, I find myself hunkered down in my seat, surrounded by grey haired viewers.
Tonight, I park on the otherside of the market square, bypassing the friday night festivities as I walk. Hispanic music coming from some corner. The theater is expensive, small, and surprisingly crowded. I buy a strong beer and find a seat to the side. This is my favorite experience, surrounded by a respectful crowd, sipping cold beer, and watching a film that is simply a story.
And when the first name appears as the credits roll, the room is filled with soft music, and we all just take a breath. No one claps, no one gets up, we all just sit for a minute to absorb. This is my favorite experience, when someone tells you an story about life, no explosions, no special effects, just acting, and writing, and in the end, your heart’s responds..
When I step out of the theater it is full dark, and thru the hispanic music I can still year the crickets chirping. The air is warm and I quickly walk thru the night stalls, smiling politely at the vendors who call me Pretty and try to sell me things. The alley ways are dark and I pick up my pace as I cross the square to my car, hopeful to avoid attention.
I see my car in the distance, not the strong beast of my last jeep, but still my chariot back to my life. Away from the music, and the dancing, and the few hours I allow myself reprieve from my own life. I head back home.
This last year has been bad, the worst. I entered my third decade of life and I’ve hated every minute of it. I have never been faced with so many challenges to my life and personal identity. I’ve never questioned my own self so much, and felt as though I’d lost so much along the way. I’m 30 and I feel like I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing. I’m 30 and I’ve never felt so lonely. But the truth in my heart, is I am who I am. Long ago I came to terms with the fact that I’m not cookie cutter. I do things my own way. And that not everybody is going to accept that, and that’s okay. I’ve spent so much time and energy trying to make others happy, that I’m not happy myself. And I’ve let people make me feel ashamed of myself. March to the beat of my own drum? The truth is, I don’t hear a drum. I bask in the sound of my own silence. And I like it. And I’m going to be okay. I’m going to have more bad years, and I’m going to have great years. In two days, my year from hell will be over, and I survived it. Today, while waiting for my coffee, late in the morning, the woman behind the counter looked at me, and told me she was proud of me. And that was all I needed. In two days, I’m going to turn 31, and I’m going to have the best year..
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.
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!
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.