For some, the path has always been clear . . . But not mine!
My parents had a plan. From the time he was a kid, my dad knew he wanted to be a doctor. My mom was fostered into a career as a physical therapist — in high school, she fell in love with gymnastics. She was naturally strong and interested in fitness. Becoming a PT just made sense.
I never knew what I wanted to do. While the rest of my friends fell into paths almost identical to their parents’, I was not a science person. I hated Chemistry and Biology. Give me a literature class any day! And besides, I’d seen how hard my parents worked and what working with people in pain could do. I knew I wanted to help people, just not with their physical health.
Fast forward several years. A college graduate with a B.A. in English, but now what? . . . I’ve held a handful of jobs since I graduated, ranging from being a copywriter, to an ophthalmology technician, to an ESL school teacher (in Taiwan and Hong Kong), and now, to a freelance writer. I’ve been trying to come up with my long-term plan: But what? I’ve wanted to return to Asia: I have this HUGE fear of getting tied down. The world is too big and too beautiful and too full of need to live in one tiny pocket my whole life . . . But. But.
Do I always want to be alone? Continue reading
Empty streets, and she awake,
the one who walks alone.
She will not the world forsake,
and she’ll do it on her own.
There’s a love, it is an ache —
it’s all she’s ever known.
While her love the world did take,
to her, it’s never shown.
Not to say the world’s a rake,
or one she would disown.
But the moonlight makes her quake —
it’s here her heart is flown. Continue reading
And as by day the sun doth shine,
by night, oh moon, you are but mine.
For whilst the world around me sleep,
I walk alone and you doth keep.......
.. Image: Google
And what is beauty, anyway?
And how do we decide?
If we look around the world,
it changes with the tide.
And what about the history books?
Do they all agree?
From days of yore to evermore,
not from what I see!
And so it is that beauty lies
somewhere down, deep inside.
Our differences are beautiful
and not to be denied.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
couldn’t you just make me tall?
Thinner, too, yes, that’d be great,
with abs of steel to compensate . . .
For all I lack (it is a lot),
maybe then I would be “hot,”
worthy of the magazines,
so full of pretty, lovely things.
Or what if you just made me blind—
could we then be of one mind?
For no matter how I try,
what I see just makes me cry.
After all, you know it’s true,
looks are the important view.
It matters not what lies inside:
Beauty isn’t one to hide.
I blinked. I blinked again. Each time I blinked, searing pain ripped across my right eye.
Something’s not right.
It’d been going on for months. Every morning I’d wake with red, painful eyes—my right eye worse than my left. I’d quit wearing contacts weeks ago, but these days the redness wasn’t clearing up like it used to . . . and drops weren’t helping.
Why do you divert your eyes?
You and I have naught to hide.
Honest truth, we’ve never met.
We are strangers as of yet.
And all I did was smile at you,
(couldn’t help my passing through),
and yet you looked away from me,
as though I were an enemy.
And so I went along my way,
but on my way I had to say,
the world would be a better place,
if you’d return my smiley face!
It starts with a kiss,
then all is amiss.
The two become one,
and then there’s . . . a son!
He’s raised and he’s loved,
a gift from above.
But something is missing—
who’s that Mommy’s kissing?! Continue reading
Forgive me, my friends,
for my absence.
The week charges on,
and I’m worried!
I’ve freelance to do,
and there’s work to be done,
so though my heart’s here
I am hurried!
The heart doesn’t lie,
knows what’s to be done.
So though my lips sigh,
escape there is none.
The mind likes to drift,
on seas none can find.
Creating a rift,
‘tween body and mind.
Or is that the truth?
Could the opposite be?
The mind is the sleuth . . .
The heart out to sea?
Image credit: Pinterest
My running route in Hong Kong.
There are roads—
paths I know by heart.
Up and down and up and down,
End to start.
There are paths—
friends I pound apart.
Fast and slow and fast and slow,
with no restart.
There are friends—
routes of little art.
Loud and soft and loud and soft,
They know my heart.
- what orion said (jesscy.com)
When I turned 25, I was sooooo old. That was before I went to Taiwan. I knew everything by then.
When I turned 26, I went hiking and ate “authentic” Italian food at Pizza Olmo in Sanjhih.
When I turned 27, I was the director of an English camp in Taiwan.
When I turned 28, I was a teacher in Hong Kong. I learned that love can be like a pile of laundry—and that that’s a good thing.
When I turned 29, the pope abdicated his “throne.” I visited friends in San Francisco. I realized I have 365 days to accomplish all of the goals I set out to accomplish before 30. And I remembered: Continue reading
Ten years ago today (January 25, 2003), I fell 80 feet (24 meters) while rock climbing at T-Wall, a popular climbing site in Tennessee. The doctors said I might not live; when I did, they said I’d never be the same again. Today, not only am I “normal,” most people don’t even know this incident ever happened. This is part three of my story. (To read parts one and two, click here and here.)
A scream. More of a growl, actually. Arrrr! Arrrr! Arrrrrrrr! The pirate a few rooms down was hallucinating again.
Footsteps echoed off the laminate floor.
I could hear machines humming. My machines. Whirrrr. Whirrrr. Their green lights glowed in the dark. I pretended they were aliens. Continue reading
It was dark. Suddenly, as I scurried about my apartment cleaning and folding laundry in shorts and a tee, I realized my blinds were open.
The view from my window.
I live on the first floor near the entrance of a busy apartment complex. Directly outside my bedroom window is a sidewalk lined by grass and trees. Across the street is a pool and fitness center. A nice location, for sure, but not when one considers a little thing called privacy.
Here in the West, privacy is held in high esteem. Close the blinds, Johnny! Someone might see! Even when I lived on the second floor of a large home on several acres—when a person would have had to climb a tree to see in my window—still, as soon as night fell, Close the blinds, Jess. Someone might see! Continue reading
The woman behind the counter smiled when I walked through the door. Her face was young; her dark hair, tinged with gray.
Crowds in Seoul (image credit: world-walk-about.com)
“You ah back from Taiwan?”
I nodded. “Yes. Actually, last year I was in Hong Kong.”
“Oh? Hong Kong?” She reached for the dry-clean-only garments in my hands and began to examine them as we talked. “Did you like?”
“Yes, I did; I liked it very much,” I said. “Except it was too crowded! There were soooo many people.”
She nodded, knowingly. “Like Seoul.” Continue reading
There are moments, instances, experiences that shape our lives. Both good and bad, big and small, these are the things that make me me, and you, you.
These are the comments from your mother, the good mark from your teacher, the accident in February, your father’s death in June. They’re acceptance into grad school, the crazy trip to Tokyo, the man you bumped on the subway, the loss of your job, too soon. They’re the traffic jams, coffee breaks, playground brawls, road trips, pregnancies, broken hearts . . . These are the fabric of our lives. Continue reading
Fish head soup is a common meal in China.
Unfortunately, fresh fruit isn’t *all* kids eat in the States.
Bugs are a common treat throughout Asia.
Or how you do your hair . . .
Pink! Tokyo, Japan.
Some like it short, and to look like wallpaper. United States.
Orthodox Jewish boys in Palestine.
“Baba” in Nepal.
what you wear . . .
Woman in India.
“Goth” teens in the States.
Boys in Incwala.
Muslim women in Karnataka.
or if you like to wave it around like you just don’t care . . .
Tribesmen dancing in Uganda.
In case I didn’t paint a clear enough picture in my last post, I thought this one might help.
Boy from the Solomon Islands.
Next time: “Talking Heads.” A look at how language shapes culture, and vice versa. And how it feels to be a foreigner, in oblivion.
Note: Images taken from a variety of sources on the Internet. I will be posting a list with each individual source soon. Not meaning to infringe on any copyrights!