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
Something old and something new:
My last few posts have catapulted my mind in a million different directions. All of my posts do, actually. It’s just . . .
Sometimes it’s hard to focus on a single string of thoughts. Tangents are everywhere.
Today, then, rather than wax philosophical, I’ve decided to talk history. It occurred to me recently that I’ve never explained how I ended up in Asia in the first place. I’ve also been thinking about starting a weekly section — “Forever Friday” . . . maybe? — and, well, if I do that, why not combine the two?
And so, without further ado, here is the first installment of . . . whatever this is. I hope you approve! Continue reading
Danshui, Taiwan • Dragon Boat Festival • June, 2011
The hot sun hung high in the western sky. Beneath it, brightly colored gods — with their wide eyes and big lips and expressions both goofy and severe — danced and sang in the dusty streets. The parade swayed to the beat of drums and exotic music as it snaked its way past the MRT station and between the tall Danshui buildings. A ways off, down by a three-story Starbucks beside the river, I saw lions, dancing. The performers were teenagers. They were incredible. Continue reading
All of the inspiration I need is in the stars.
I went running tonight, as usual. It’s been too hot to run during the day recently, and I like running beneath the stars best, anyway.
If there is one area in which Taiwan does not not compare to Northern California, it is the night sky. The humidity in Taiwan and, in many places, the smog and bright lights, make star-gazing an almost impossible dream.
In Northern California, on a moonless night, they’re all you see.
But I was worried, tonight, that I hadn’t been clear in my last post. You see, although I loved Taiwan, it would be a lie to say that I loved every minute I was there. 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