A birthday isn’t a celebration of your birth;
it’s a celebration of why you live.
Friday was my birthday, and it was… different. It’s the only one i remember enjoying. It’s not like i was ever miserable on my birthdays, but i just never assigned much importance to them. I don’t remember my childhood birthdays, but for the last eight or so years, my attitude was that it’s only another day in the year, nothing to make a fuss over. My parents would ask me what i wanted, and i’d reply, “I don’t want anything. Who cares about birthdays?” I’d hate having to have my mom’s seaweed soup (a traditional Korean birthday soup), because i hate seaweed soup, and she’s not a good cook. I used to threaten her that i’d stop being her daughter if she made me any. But this year was different.
I didn’t do much. I woke up at around 5pm, wrote a few emails, and headed out to FedEx to send out my last document for a job. UPS was supposed to come by my house to pick up something, but instead of knocking and picking up my package, the delivery man just stuck the mailing label on my door. (UPS, you have a lot to learn from FedEx.) Then i went shopping with my parents for “teacher clothes” (more on this in another post) and finally had the ddeok-bok-ki i’d been craving for weeks for dinner. The ddeok-bok-ki was really good, but the draft beer tasted strange.
And so, it was an altogether unremarkable birthday. But i was strangely happy, and it was only yesterday that i figured out why, when i was up at my usual summer pre-bedtime hours in the morning. I’m at a point in my life where i’m perfectly satisfied. I know where i wanna be in a few years (grad school for Philosophy), and i know what i wanna do before i get there (teach). And now that i’m closer to making that dream of teaching a reality, i feel completely at ease and confident at the same time. This is the perfect opportunity for me to take some time off, get away for a while, make new friends, and also have a bit of time to myself to read and practice philosophy in preparation for grad school. And i value this opportunity because it’s what i wanted most.
Filed under love, personal
Today, i got the closure i needed. I was hurt a year and half ago and brutally reminded of that hurt two weeks ago, which made forgiving very difficult. But i’ve come to realize that it’s not forgiveness that matters—it’s the memories. Sure, he’s made mistakes, but somehow, my memories of what he and i shared remain untainted. I recognize the good in him, and i remember the love we shared, and that’s all i need. It’s unfortunate that it had to end this way, but that doesn’t diminish the power of what we had, and it doesn’t weaken the love we still have for each other, and forever will.
Today, we vowed to never forget each other. And that’s enough.
What do you do when he who has hurt you irreparably wants to get back in touch?
What do you do when you can’t forgive him but don’t want to hurt him either?
What do you do when you know that forgiving him would mean hurting your loved ones?
artist credit: Kevin Townsend
There’s something about New York. It’s amazing and depressing at the same time, and i’m starting to feel more of the depressing part these days. Despite having grown up in urban and suburban areas, i feel like the city is becoming too much for me. All i can think about these days is retreating to nature. I used to love taking aimless walks here, so i went out this weekend to take advantage of the warmer weather, but i didn’t enjoy the walks this time. It was an opportunity to think to myself, but the roads, the cars, the crowds just got to be a bit much.
I’ve been told that i’m pretty good at expressing love, but sometimes even i have to resort to nonverbal expression, because i have my shy moments just like anyone else. Here are the ways i express love nonverbally:
-impromptu gifts, usually ones that will only make sense to me and the significant other
-sharing beauty, usually in the form of art
I’d say the most subtle way (and therefore the easiest to accomplish, emotionally speaking) would be the last one. Whenever i see something beautiful, i want to share it with a loved one. Sharing art isn’t just about sharing taste, and neither is it only about letting someone else express your love for you; it’s about experiencing the beauty of life with a loved one. It’s a union not only between you and another, but also between you two and the universe. The most ideal way of sharing beauty would be experiencing nature together, but you have to admit, in our increasingly technological world, finding an untouched enclave of nature, planning the convenient time and method to get there, and finally getting there with your significant other is difficult to do. But what has become much more efficient is communication, and that’s what makes it so easy to share art, which, by contemplating the human condition, is what comes closest to embodying the universe.
And now for the inevitable question: how do you express love nonverbally?
This is a personal tradition i started in 2007. I decided to make a soundtrack for every year of my life with a song for each month. Here is my 2007 soundtrack:
2007: My year in music
Pre. Zero 7 – “In the Waiting Line”
Jan. Radiohead – “Up On the Ladder”
Feb. Republika – “Poranna Wiadomość”
Mar. Mackenzie Phillips – “Another World”
Apr. Tori Amos & Ani DiFranco – “Silent All These Years”
May. Duncan Sheik – “Half-Life”
Jun. Imogen Heap – “Hide and Seek”
Jul. Joe Purdy – “Isn’t Love”
Aug. Cat Power – “Evolution”
Sep. KT Tunstall – “Universe & U”
week 1. The Doors – “The End”
week 2. Neil Young – “After the Gold Rush”
week 3. Aqualung – “Garden of Love”
week 4. The Poems – “Ballad of a Bitter End”
week 5. Ingrid Michaelson – “Keep Breathing”
Nov. Brandi Carlile – “That Year” (live in Birmingham)
Dec. Nick Drake – “Time Has Told Me”
Fin. Simon & Garfunkel – “The Only Living Boy in New York”
I know, there’s a prelude and finale, and October has five(!) songs. I’ve got a lot of explaining to do.