Purposeful Pursuits

 

I realized today that I need to find more purpose. Now that I have actually (fiiiiiinally) started to feel settled into my apartment and routine, I need something to work toward, something to accomplish. It’s tough though, because I don’t want to commit to anything that will take up too much of my time. I still want the freedom to do basically whatever, whenever, and I need time to explore my area and find things I like about where I live now. But I also need a reason to get up in the morning – a small, yet pressingly present reason. A thing to do.

Work doesn’t do it. I like my job and the people I work with, but it’s fairly unfulfilling as far as feeling like I make any sort of impact. It’s an entry level job, and I work hard to do excel and find ways to improve my office’s function and efficiency. But I have always known that while I want a job that is fulfilling and invigorating, I don’t want my job to be my purpose (at least, not my primary one).

Friends can’t do it. This just isn’t a thing that they can provide for me. It is (hopefully) one  of the purposes of every person’s life, to have and keep and protect and enrich the lives of their friends. But that can’t be the totality of my purpose either. I need to do more.

I’ve been meaning to get an online store underway, and I think that will help. Something to curate, be creative with, strive for success in. I’m collecting all the parts, working hard on developing an inventory, sorting out everything so that when I launch it, I am truly ready for whatever it brings.

Just one more piece of my never-ending adventure.

More to follow.

A Simple, Good Little Life

I read a great little article / blog post recently (and where I read it completely escapes me). It was an opinion piece, which stated that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to live a rather small, insular, happy life. There is nothing wrong with having no grand aspirations. As long as you can take care of yourself and those you are responsible for, be kind to others and the world, be respectful of other lifestyles, and enact kindness and social justice in your own sphere, you don’t have to feel compelled to be something grandiose.

I strongly agreed with the writer of that piece (curses that I can’t remember who it was or where I read it!). The world is certainly better for having people with those kind of aspirations in it, and needs people like that to be at the forefront of the ongoing fight for social justice, respect toward all, etc. But no one person is compelled to be what they do not personally feel drawn to be. As long as you’re not an asshole, you’re good.

Having recently gone through the passing of my 95-year old grandmother, I am at a point right now where I’m thinking a little more than usual about what I want my life to look like, in the far future, immediate future, and present.

I want change. I want some things about my current life to be different. Therefore, I’m making a commitment to myself, to stay vigilant for moments when those changes could take place, and to leap for them when they come.

A simple, good little life is my ultimate goal.

More to follow.

I’m squee-ing like a middle school girl over my boyfriend’s bad morning. Allow me to explain.

He sent me this in a Facebook message:

“I couldn’t sleep and traffic made me late to work and I didn’t have stuff to do at first and I made cold coffee on accident.”

Here’s why all (most) of that is cute to me.

  1. I know what he’s like when he can’t sleep. He cuddles up really close to me and can’t be convinced to give me any breathing room. It’s adorable, and I love it.
  2. This is the exception – upset-in-traffic boyfriend and late-to-work boyfriend are not my favorite versions of said S/O. But it’s still him. And he’s still cute.
  3. I can picture Kyle awkwardly sitting in his corner desk at his boss’s office, not knowing whether he should just… sit still? Look at his phone? Surf the web? What’s appropriate in that circumstance? He gets this look of childlike bewilderment when he isn’t sure how to act, and it’s too cute.
  4. This takes the cake. All I can picture is my poor disgruntled boyfriend, just wanting a nice warm cup of comfort, being stymied at his own skill at somehow making his coffee turn out cold.

When you think someone is cute, somehow most things they do become cute. Even when all they did was have a bad start to their day.

Breaking the News

I had to let my coworkers know about my grandmother’s impending death. It was not harder than I expected, and not easier either, but it certainly was different.

I couldn’t say it in person. I had to write an email. I got the news myself on a Thursday morning, but I waited until that Friday after work to share it, so I wouldn’t have to face anyone that day. That was probably to the benefit of everyone involved.

Phrasing what I had to say was hard. I felt like I should prepare my coworkers for what I might be like in the days and weeks afterward. In retrospect, this was perhaps a silly move, because I didn’t react at all how I predicted I would. When I’m upset by something, I usually cry at random and unpredictable intervals. I also tend to cry whenever someone expresses sympathy. This time, I didn’t cry.

I cried some on my own, of course, but not once in front of another person. That was new for me.

There are myriad differences between this and other deaths I’ve experienced in my lifetime. This was not a surprise – she was 94, steadily declining for the past few years, and had even fallen down a couple times recently. Because we knew it was coming so quickly, I was able to have one last conversation with her. That helped me feel more at peace with her death. I am more used to turmoil, so peace was a strange, yet ultimately welcome difference for me.

Letting coworkers know was easier than having to tell a family member, or someone else who knew and loved the person in question. I had to let my boyfriend know, and that was more emotionally difficult, both because we had a phone conversation about it as opposed to an email exchange, and because he had met my grandmother and really liked her.

This was about a month ago, now. I am still grieving in my own strange, quiet, slow way. My parents are coming to visit in a week, and I have a feeling that seeing my dad will be a key piece of my grief process. Seeing me will likely be a part of his, too.

I suppose all grief is strange and unique. This experience has been my introduction to that concept.

More to follow.

P.S. My first blog post was largely my musings on having been given this grandmother’s plates and other kitchen wares, many years ago. Check it out, if interested.

Old-School YouTube

This is a list of old-school YouTube channels or videos that I can remember off the top of my head, in no more than the next 20 minutes:

  • Charlie the Unicorn
  • Smosh
  • Fred
  • Ask a Ninja
  • The evolution of dance
  • The Annoying Orange
  • Neil Cicierega
  • End of Ze World
  • Charlie bit my finger

… and waaaaaaaaay too many lyrics videos and AMVs. Or perhaps, just the right amount for my interests at the time. Perspective, man.

That list is way shorter than it should be, because I definitely spent a lot more time on the internet as a middle-schooler than such a short list would suggest.

This is a continuation of that list, based on some quick google searches to jog my memory:

  • Dramatic Chipmunk (and Dramatic Gopher)
  • Shoes
  • The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny
  • Peanut Butter Jelly Time
  • The  Duck Song
  • Sneezing baby panda
  • Numa Numa
  • mah spoon is too big
  • All Your Base Are Belong To Us
  • Badger Badger Badger
  • The Llama Song

I am DEVASTATED that I couldn’t remember Numa Numa by myself. The same goes for All Your Base Are Belong To Us. I have an excellent excuse for The Llama Song and Badger Badger Badger though: I first saw those on albinoblacksheep. They didn’t come to mind when I thought about YouTube.

Perhaps I’ll have something to actually say about my early internet experience later. For now, this has been a nice exercise in reminiscence.

More to follow.

 

I Walk Alone

 

I’m getting auditory flashbacks of mid-2000’s Green Day here, people.

I really enjoy taking walks alone. It’s something like a form of meditation for me. Sometimes I just need to be alone with my thoughts, outside. I like the warmth of the sun, or the bite of the cold. Moving my arms and legs gets my mind rolling. Letting my feet choose their path helps my brain trace new paths too.

I also talk to myself a lot while I walk, which can get a little dicey in populated areas. I usually keep well aware of who’s around me, and try to keep my talking, gesticulating, and facial expressions to a minimum. I’ll bet it would freak out anyone who I happened upon in a less populated area more, though. Just them and the lady who’s talking animatedly… to no one.

I get through a lot of one-sided discussions while I’m talking to myself. I prep for difficult conversations, debate myself, and have time to listen to how my words sound coming out. Sometimes I feel bad about doing this, though. If I’m thinking of talking to someone about something, shouldn’t I just hurry up and do it? Isn’t it unfair of me to prepare for a conversation that the other person isn’t necessarily expecting to have? Whenever I think this, I always remember to tell myself that it’s completely fine (and probably better even) to think through what I’m really trying to say before I say it to anyone.

My brain moves faster than my mouth. Some people have the opposite problem, leading to them saying things they didn’t mean. My problem is that I don’t always remember how my train of thought got to where it was, since I got there in a split second, before half of my thoughts even had time to turn themselves into words.  Keeping my feet moving seems to help.

More to follow.

 

Entertaining and Time

I like entertaining a bunch, but I have one huge thing stopping me from doing it consistently: time.

There are multiple reasons for this.

First of all, it takes me over an hour to get home after work, which means that most of my errands have to take place on the weekends, leaving less time for things like entertaining often. Sometimes (okay, often) I need a weekend where I have no commitments other than my own tasks.

I also live on the opposite side of D.C. from nearly all of my friends, so it can take them over an hour to get to me, making it easier just to meet up somewhere in the city instead of hanging out at my place.

That being said, I want to start doing it more often. I need my alone time and my time to run errands, but I also want to take advantage of living in an area where I have friends nearby. I want to either travel to see friends or make plans to see people in the area at least one day each weekend.

I guess it would also be nice if my friends in the area would make plans too. I’ve always been one of few planners in any group of friends, and I don’t mind it too much. It mostly gets to me when I ask my friends to do something and they either don’t respond, can’t commit, or flake out at the last minute. But those things can’t really be helped. The relevant part to this train of thought is that I want to invite people do to things, but I also want to be invited places. It’s no fun to do the bulk of the work all the time, even in order to have a fun time.

It’s the time component all over again. Why should I sacrifice my hard-earned, much sought-after free time to make plans every single time I want to see my friends? I shouldn’t. They should put in their time, too.

Hopefully I can get together with people sometime soon. I have plans to go on a short visit soon, and I know my roommate wants to plan a party for sometime in March. I hope that other people start spending their time to make fun plans that I’m a part of, too.

More to follow.

 

Food

How do single people do it?

I live with a roommate, but we buy our own food (aside from things like oil, spices, and rice – things that can be bought so cheaply and in such large quantities that it doesn’t make sense not to share). But buying food and cooking meals for one is really, really hard.

First of all, there’s the volume of food purchased. Most healthy food comes in quantities that aren’t meant for one person making one meal. I can’t eat a whole head of broccoli by myself, and even if I spread it out over the whole week, I would never want to see broccoli again.

Aside from that, occasionally I will go out to eat, order takeout, or spend a weekend away. Those things, while being absolutely what I want to do, don’t help me with going through food at a fast enough pace not to let things expire.

It limits my creativity a little. I want to spend time in the kitchen, getting used to cooking for more than just myself. I want what I cook to be palatable to people other than me and my boyfriend, who will tell me that anything I make is delicious.

If I find anything that seems to fit the bill for long-lasting healthy foods, or at least healthy foods that I don’t get bored of eating, I’ll write another post about it to share what I’ve found.

In the meantime, here’s a peek into my I-forgot-both-breakfast-and-lunch stash at work.

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Bowl noodles are not a meal. I repeat, bowl noodles are not a meal. See why this healthy and fresh food thing is on my mind?

More to follow.

No More Apologies

If I don’t keep up with the blog, then I don’t. It just means it’s not a part of my life that day, week, or month. Or a few months. No judgement.

I’m putting a reminder in my planner to try to get a post up each week, but I’m not going to pressure myself. This isn’t an attempt at a professional blog – this is a personal blog, just for me, that other people can read if they feel like it. I do enjoy this – it helps me to get some thoughts down on paper, and in doing so I feel like I’m making my own thoughts clearer to myself. It’s a similar mental process to

I should also apologize less. I live an actively kind life. I have no reparations to make that I haven’t already made. It’s time to stop apologizing for doing nothing wrong.

Also, literally no one reads this yet anyway. Yet.

More to follow.

I Didn’t Live In San Francisco

When I tell people back east that I’m originally from California, they ask what city. When I tell them I’m from San Jose, they usually don’t know where that is. They pretend like they’ve heard of it, then ask if it’s in Southern California (which it’s definitely not). When I explain that it’s a sizable city about an hour south of San Francisco, what they say next is often something about how cool it must be to live near a big city like that, where there’s so much to do and see. They ask if I go there a lot.

I’ve been to San Francisco approximately thirteen times. I’m sure there have been a few more that I can’t recall. They must have been when I was too young to remember.

  1. College tours with my dad
  2. Wicked at the Orpheum Theater with my family
  3. Alcatraz with my family
  4. Angel Island with my family
  5. A friend’s 17th (?) birthday party
  6. DeYoung Museum to see French Impressionist paintings
  7. Academy of Sciences with my family
  8. DeYoung Museum to see the King Tut traveling exhibit with my family
  9. A friend’s high school graduation party on a bay cruise boat for a few hours
  10. SF Zoo with a friend
  11. Sightseeing/overnight trip with my boyfriend
  12. Academy of Sciences with a friend
  13. The Speakeasy with a group of friends

Like I said, I’m probably forgetting some.

That might seem like a lot of trips for anyone who doesn’t live in the Bay Area. Maybe it is, even for some who do. It’s certainly an effect of certain privileges I have (disposable income and time, access to a car, friends and family to travel with, etc.) that I am able to go to San Francisco with relative ease.

But I never lived in San Francisco. I lived in San Jose, where there was plenty for me to do. If San Francisco didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have felt like I lived in East Podunk Nowheresville. Ain’t nothing’ wrong with either city. But I’m from the one I’m from, not the more notable one an hour away.

San Jose has events, conventions, performances, farmers markets, craft fairs, restaurants, cultural centers, historic sites, parks… the list goes on.

More to follow.