Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Month: May, 2013

Filling the Days

I’m in a holding pattern and have been for the last week or so.  Another week or so to go before I take the plunge!

My holding pattern consists of hanging out at my parents’ house in Arizona and finding interesting things to occupy my time.  I’m not really bored.  I’m definitely taking life slow, and so far it’s been nice and relaxing.  Like a vacation after the whirlwind of the last eight months.  My travel is over.  I’m eating homecooked meals again.  And I’m enjoying the beautiful late spring weather in rural Arizona.  Life is good. view in AZ

So some of the interesting things I’ve been doing to occupy my time are…

Reading more!  I re-discovered the joys of borrowing e-books from the library.  It was something I got into a few years ago, but then I didn’t have time to read for awhile.  But I’m back!  (For those of you who don’t know, you can use Overdrive Media Console, an app to download ebooks that you borrow.  Check it out!)  And what an amazing thing– to borrow a book on my iPad for two to three weeks, read it, and then return it.  All without the exchange of paper or money and without actually having to go to a library!  I am as much a book purist as the next person (I mean, I had more boxes of books than I did clothes when I packed up all my stuff!), but having access to e-books is such a convenience.

I’ve been reading a hodge podge of books (back to my love of lists!):

  • Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum, which I found is totally different from the movie.  And maybe it’s just me, but I had some difficulty understanding all the action-lingo.  But it was a fun, fast read.
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, this was in real-book form.  I’ve read it once or twice already, but I just love Jane Austen.  This is one of her shorter books, and on this 2nd (or 3rd?) read, I was able to pick up more of her witticisms that I hadn’t last time.  I realize I’m a fast reader, like I’m a fast eater, and by slowing down deliberately, I pick up more.  This one is quite witty.
  • All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith. I somehow came across this one when I was doing a search of e-books on my Overdrive site.  It’s OK so far, a bit wordy and she’s not the best writer, but I’m entertained.  And it’s another way to read Jane Austen without actually reading her books because I can’t get enough!

I’ve also been watching re-runs of The West Wing, starting with the first season.  Aaron Sorkin’s “walk and talk” and fast-talk techniques can get a bit tiresome and annoying if you watch too many episodes in a row, so I’ve been limiting myself to one, maybe two, episodes every day or so.  And I’m just reminded what a great ensemble cast this was.  Each character adds something important and interesting, whether lovable or not.  I was always a huge fan of C.J. Cregg, Allison, Janney.  She was smart, sexy, and tough and could hold her own in a crew of mostly arrogant, know-it-all men.  And I’m always a sucker for team-oriented movies, where the crew/ fellowship/ group/ team matters more than any one main character.  This was such a great series; it was sad to see its demise and end.

I’ve just been sitting in the back yard, listening to the birds, watching the sunsets and moonrises, admiring the unique southwestern landscape, feeling the winds and sun of Arizona.  The spring in Arizona is a well-kept secret, it seems.  I never knew that there were flowers in bloom and that the temperature was so bearable (unless you’re in Phoenix where it’s about 10 degrees hotter than where my parents live).  Blue skies, cool in the shade… It’s nice.

I was continuing with my C25K training until a few days ago when I sprained my ankle pretty badly.  I was so sad because it was my last day of the training before I could actually do a free 5K run.  So I’m resting it, massaging it, walking on it, and hoping to get back to running again.  ankle

I’ve been spending time with family.  Hanging out with my niece and nephew a bit, seeing them growing like weeds.  It’s ridiculous that every time I see them they’re another inch taller, a bit skinnier, more verbal.  Helping my mom teach my dad to cook.  That’s been interesting.  It’s all in preparation for if/when my mom passes first; they both wanted to make sure he knows how to feed himself.  So my mom’s been teaching him Korean dishes, which are pretty complicated.  But I helped out a bit here and there, too.

I’ll be in Berkeley a little more than a week from today.  Anxious, nervous, and excited for what is in store!  And in the meantime, I’ll keep filling the days.


Endings and Beginnings

It's been awhile since I last blogged (a month!), and it's been a whirlwind month. I have:

  • traveled to Boston, the Bay Area, Philadelphia, and New York
  • had some job interviews in the Bay Area
  • signed a lease with a friend for an apartment in Berkeley
  • eaten out a ton, allowing me to reconnect with countless friends from all parts of my life
  • slept in many different beds
  • ridden on planes, trains, buses, and cars
  • packed up all my belongings into two moving containers to be shipped cross country
  • experienced the mixed emotions of watching the 117th Boston Marathon
  • been to a pig roast
  • presided at a wedding
  • done my laundry twice
  • reached the seventh week of my C25K training, now running a straight 25 minutes!
  • made the official decision to move out to the Bay Area

View of Oakland and the Bay Bridge from the Ferry Building in San Francisco

It's been a busy and productive month. And now my time in Boston is coming to a close after 14 years. I came to Boston to go to graduate school; and over the last 14 years, I have (note: as I have shared before, I love lists, and it seems apropos in this entry where I'm reflecting a bit on this past time period, so bear with me!)

View of the Boston skyline from the red line train crossing the Charles River

  • lived in six places
  • had three full time jobs and a few part-time gigs here and there
  • put in countless volunteer hours working on projects and initiatives with amazing teams of people, mostly on issues in the Asian American community
  • had great meals in restaurants and in people's homes
  • participated in three, maybe four, different CSAs
  • bought a car, my trusty 2000 Honda Accord
  • been on lots of weekend retreats, with youth and adults (I think over 20…)
  • grown my hair out and cut it short again
  • picked up yoga
  • watched lots of teens grow up before my very eyes, where many of them are now getting married, having kids, making a difference in the world
  • mentored and been mentored
  • met and become part of many people's lives, people I now consider family

The last time I left a place where I really felt connected and sad to leave was in college, 17 years ago. But then it wasn't really a choice. We had graduated, and it was time to leave. Now, I make this choice to leave voluntarily, not because of anything bad that is pushing me out. In fact, I have much to keep me here– namely, the people I know and love here.

Not really sure what kind of tree this is, but look at those buds and flowers on the branches!

I've made the decision to leave Boston because I'm ready for a new challenge, to take on a new city and see what I can make of myself and my surroundings. To push myself out of my comfort zone and build new things: work, relationships, community, space. I've never been one to do things “traditionally,” and I wonder what the future holds.

I'm looking forward to settling back down in a new place, cooking my own meals again and having a regular schedule. It's been an amazing 8 months traveling and exploring, but I'm definitely done with the living out of a suitcase, eating at restaurants, not having my own bed, and spending money that comes with traveling.


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