Me, for example.

It’s strange how people can change without even being aware of it.

Take me, for example.

image via Pinterest.com

I used to have so much more to say but now I just have so much more to think.

There was never a conscious decision.

I never told myself, “Today’s the day I’m gonna grow up!”

I think it just happens gradually, it takes lots of time.

I think part of getting older is becoming more self-aware and learning new things about yourself.

I started to notice that things were changing when I discovered that my parents opinions aren’t always the same as mine; when I realized that even though it’s difficult sometimes, I am allowed to think for myself.

I started to see that someone’s bad decision shouldn’t define who they are as a person.

My friends tell me that I’m different than I used to be.

“It’s not a bad thing, or a good thing. It’s just a thing, you know?”

But I believe there is a lot of good that can come from change. I think that being different than I was before means that I’ve learned a lot and that I’ve started to become who I’m supposed to be – who I want to be.

Maybe I have changed, but I’m okay with that.

 

 

Advertisements

Why, Disney, Why?

A couple of days ago it was announced that the release date for the live action Mulan was pushed back yet again to Spring of 2020.

Photo Credit: weibo.com

Meanwhile other movies have been pushed up and newly announced, now I can’t say what is going on behind the scenes at Disney or what is going on with any part of the Mulan-in-the-making, however I can say that from where I’m sitting I’m angry.

I’m not angry at production, corporate, actors, etc. I am a general type of angry that I will have to wait two more years to see my favorite Disney “princess” back on the big screen (admittedly, I watch the cartoon version almost monthly {life is stressful}).

Photo Credit: ew.com

Why, Disney, why? I understand the importance of Avengers: Infinity War but I want to see an Asian-woman-led movie. Which I will get courtesy of Constance Wu in Crazy Rich Asians (GO CONSTANCE!), but it’s not Mulan.

My heart hurts and child-me feels a little bit like I was offered matcha ice cream only to find out it was a heaping scoop of wasabi, but oh well. I guess I’ll have to wait two more years to see Liu Yifei (who I will, until further notice, imagine is me) kicking some major Hun a*s and saving China.

Plenty of fish

Photo via thumbs.dreamtime.com

Statistically speaking, how likely is it that anyone will ever find their soulmate?

Sure, it’s probably possible, but just how possible? There are what, like, seven billion people on the planet? Most of which are living in completely different parts of the world and who you will most likely never meet.

So really, is it feasible that somehow you and your “soulmate” would end up in the same place at the same time, and then go on to fall in love forever? Is that even a thing?

Is there really a way that two people could be destined for only each other?

Maybe this seems like a pessimistic outlook on things, but I like to think of it as an abstractly optimistic approach.

Think about it this way: if there are billions of people in the world, the chances of finding your one perfect person are extremely small. But that also goes to show that the chances of finding someone to fall in love with are just as large.

Love and relationships are all about compatibility, right? So, seeing just how many humans there are, there could be thousands of people out there who are potentially compatible with you.

So, even if it seems hopeless, there really are plenty of fish in the sea. Seven billion fish, to be exact.

But hey, what do I know? This is coming from somehow who looks forward to the day after Valentine’s day because of the discounted chocolate prices.

 

Fair Harborside (4)

Read Fair Harborside (1), Fair Harborside (2), and Fair Harborside (3)

Frank abruptly walked headlong into a grimy wall. His mind wishing for the beautiful side of the city had tried to take a right turn, but he was on a rounded road. He tapped his pocket again, for comfort, to remind himself of his dreams, to remind himself what the city had promised him, what the city had baited him with. He pulled the postcard out of his pocket. It was lined and greasy, the creases were chipped, he could barely make out the beauty he had once found so heart achingly perfect. He was too late. His toes had hit the steps of a factory.

Amelia slowly stepped out of the elevator. The sounds of the crowds reached her first, then the bright flashes of cameras. Her new world was set to be bright. She was designed for the city. The city was designed for her. She stepped out the doors, the cameras followed her, she turned to the monoliths, she understood: Harborside knew the world and the world knew Harborside, within Harborside was the world. She turned to the sea, there laid the cradle of life, status, money; it flooded into her the meaning of value, the true meaning: money.

Photo Credit: http://funguerilla.com/

As she walked the city doors opened to her. She was Amelia, the city was hers. She would never be lost to the crowd, the city would never bowl over her, time would not forget her, Frank was already fading.

She wandered the city all day, the crowd only grew around her, but as she strayed closer and closer to the borders of her postcard the crowds grew restless. Space seemed to shift. Where she walked she owned, the postcard was empty space with blank people, but where she walked new hope, new futures sprang up like daisies in her wake. But as she neared the last corner, the last wide boulevard, her daisies seemed to fight for sunlight. Her unique ownership was being pushed back by the ownership of the many, the workers no longer singular but one full moving entity, lost to the mindless grind of the crowd, the fingers became a hand.

She had reached the end of the immunization ring, the end of the filigree border on the postcard of Harborside and standing on the other side of the glass was Frank.

Before Amelia, who was the crux of the city, eyes of the future, was Frank, whose hands bled from his first shifts in the factories, who was beginning to smudge around the edges.

Before Frank, the disenchanted dreamer, a man of ideals and cities past, was Amelia, a small mechanical girl with holographic eyes and the entire modern world and future in her circuit board chest.

Fair Harborside (3)

Read Fair Harborside (1) and Fair Harborside (2)

Amelia was city-made and city-grown. From where she lived the city was just a writhing mass, gridded like a chessboard, and full of monotony. Her circuits were overstimulated. She was surrounded by wires, cords, and progress. She was living modernity and on clear days she could almost feel like a part of the masses, she could almost feel like she interacted with them. Almost.

Frank wandered the city, cataloguing every face and type like a child seeing the world for the first time, walking a new language, but the people seemed to pass by him – no, look through him, like he didn’t matter. In truth, he began to think, do they really matter to me? But as he took another sharp corner, his mind clipped the edge of the building and then lodging was on his mind. He was in the right district given the signs hanging above doors and out from awnings, but he soon found he barely had enough money to stay the week out. How strange that what had had so much value previously in his life was so empty and useless in exchange here in Harborside.

Amelia was coming down from the clouds about to face the world for the first time, naive and one of the richest and rarest people in the city, but equally mysterious. Her mind had yet to grasp value; everything to her was bought and categorized away into an advanced filing system of uses. 

Photo Credit: ashleyhooper3d.wordpress.com

The sky filtered into her windows, if she reached out, the clouds almost reached back, but who cared about clouds when she was going down to the ground.

From Amelia’s window far above Harborside its postcard appearance was breathtaking, heart-stopping from the aerial view, perfectly aligned like an OCD wet dream – but beyond the picture perfect Harborside was its dark truth, its fingers, its slums. Where the roads wended their way around makeshift homes, bodies being consumed by the cobbles of the city. The roads staggered like a drunk artist’s footsteps. The slums belied truth, the reality of the city for the majority. The true artists, the ultimate image of life, a slow burn out. The truth was, the city moved too quickly for anyone – even the top Moguls and Traders – to live contentedly, too fast for them to not eventually blend into the tapestry of time, of the city.

But while Amelia’s elevator sunk level by level, Frank’s feet were dragging him from job to job, ebbing closer and closer to that blight, the narrow streets, the moss, the dark sky, the forgotten, the true heart of the city. The cost of living had drained Frank, his week was up. Once a private person, he now broadcasted all he could, he needed all the help he could get. He dreamed of the past. When he was well off in the country, people tipped their hat to him, they knew his name, they cared. He dreamed of a city long past, just emerging from the harbor, crawling onto land like a new life form, full of opportunity and riches. His feet were carrying him further from the monoliths of global life. From the masses that thrived on standing out from the crowd, from the masses who had found what they sought, or at least the veneer of what they dreamed.

Fair Harborside (1)

It was dingy as hell, not recognizable as the city everyone saw in the postcards: moss and algae crept down the walls; the side streets were lined with open sewers; the factories ran all hours of the day, belching out waste and haze. Soot streaked down the faces of the workers whose hands were cracked and brown with exposure. What little they had they called home, whether roof or coat, they took what they could. They struggled through narrow congested streets, seemingly stuck in the past — a bygone era, that had long since been passed by the rest of the city — an open sore without medicine.

On these congested streets lived all manner of discard: tech no longer current, factory waste, dreams of fame and fortune, the relics of the country people once left, heirlooms of cultures long swallowed. But as the streets turned oceanside they widened and lightened, the haze of smog dropping away the closer one moved to the harbor, the mecca of trade, the jewel of the city, the picture perfect postcard. Harborside was a world of glass and gold that rose high enough that those with bloodshot eyes and wasted dreams believed that maybe it reached heaven.

The city of Harborside was rich, modern, urban, cultured, and only surface deep. Every man, woman, and child that lived in the skyward reaching world was a dreamer, a planner, a story. Their streets were lined with rare plants and their roads paved with exotic shell. Every home was its own, sitting pretty at the height of progress. They would want for nothing and everything.

Such severance was there in the city of Harborside that it was as if a blight, a disease, had been stretching out from the landward outskirts of the city but had abruptly hit a vaccine three quarters of the way toward the harbor. It was as if an immunization had been injected into the sea and had spread to the seafront but had been content to protect the few.

Photo Credit: steemit.com

Life was bobbing at a sea-sickening rate as Frank finally found the city. He had taken every form of transport available to him: car, bus, train, plane, his own two aching feet, bicycle, and finally boat. As the city rose over the bow of the leaky, decades-old fishing boat, the tug behind his gut seemed to loosen. The folded postcard in his breast pocket was a molten brand of hope and childlike optimism on his heart.

Life had ground to an overly warm stagnate existence for Amelia. Trapped above the cloud level – in a glass box – Amelia had the entire world at her fingertips. She was at the height of modern technology, she was as mapped out as the best planned city. There was no one like her, there never had been another like her, nor would there ever be one like her. She was a road map. She was not her own. She was caught, ensnared. Made and unmade.

Lovestruck

I’ve never been in love before, but I know what it looks like.

This Saturday night I went to a bowling alley with my brothers and friends. We were there for nearly three hours, and in that time lots of people came and went.

As I was waiting for my turn to bowl, I inadvertently noticed a couple move into the lane next to mine. They must have been in a relatively new relationship; they still had that air of flustered, nervous excitement. They were probably somewhere in their thirties.

The first thing that caught my eye was her chevron striped, orange and red and dark green skirt that came to just above ankles adorned with bright pink socks peeking out of chunky bowling shoes. Somehow, though, the outfit wasn’t really what stood out. She had wispy blonde shoulder-length hair and thinly framed round glasses.

The second thing that caught my eye was her date. He was just a few inches taller than she was and he also had glasses. His didn’t have rims though, just two lenses that floated in front of his eyes. They complemented his square jaw and short-cropped brown hair.

Since they were right across from me, I got to observe the couple for quite awhile. I was captivated.

It wasn’t because they were stunningly handsome or eccentric, in fact they were just sort of plain, normal looking. They weren’t unattractive, but weren’t strikingly beautiful either. She was probably an Anne or Jane or a Cathy, and he might have been a Scott or maybe a Mark or something along those lines.

She first stood up to take her turn. She trotted up to the line and made a very uncoordinated attempt at throwing the bright orange ball, which almost immediately went into the gutter. She spun around on the balls of her feet, and shyly laughed at the unfortunate result of her inability. He watched her as she walked back to him and he was laughing too.

Image via Pinterest.com

Plucking a ball from the rack, he began demonstrating how to properly throw it. And he didn’t put his arms around her in that uncomfortably corny way movies do. He just stood in front of her, swung his arm back and forth, explained his technique.

She tried again, extending her arm out in front of her and throwing the ball towards the pins. It slowly made its way down the lane and knocked over two or three pins on the outer right side.

“See!” he exclaimed with genuine pride. “That was already so much better!” They were both beaming. She scuttled back to their chairs, he rose to his feet, wrapped his arms around her and lightly kissed her forehead.

Over the course of the night I became very sure that they both enjoyed science and books, rainy weather and went to large public high schools where they maybe played in the marching band. As I pieced together these imaginary details I also realized some obvious truths in that they were completely enjoying each other’s company and they were completely happy.

As Scott or maybe Mark returned back to his chair he stopped midway to dance to the Britney Spears classic “Womanizer,” pointing his fingers in the air and bouncing from side to side. She threw her head back, laughed. This made me smile, too, because right then another thing became very clear to me: they were in love.

I don’t know if they knew it yet, but I definitely did.

I’ve seen lots of young couples out on dates before, but for some reason this was the first one that has made such an impact. Being able to see these two people who seemed to be so plainly normal and were out on a plainly normal date. But they were so, so happy. Bowling really isn’t a very exciting activity, but they were perfectly content just being with each other.

They probably could have been anywhere in the world and still showed that same subtle adoration. It didn’t matter that there were people all around them in that bowling alley because they were only looking at each other.

I think that’s all I really want.