Birthday, Hobby Changes, and Park Exploration

Friday, May 06, 2016

My new favorite place to chill in the park.
I feel like last month was more than usually insane, but I guess I always say that. In all seriousness, it has been so crazy that I’m chilling with my writing group ladies at the coffee shop right now sipping peppermint tea and listening to “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz over and over and over again.

It has been a month of eye appointments and ordering cheap lenses online. It has been a month of shopping and cooking and designing websites. It has been a month of parties and over-eating. It has been a month of bad acne and semi-good hair cuts.  It has been a month of conflicting emotions, passions, and lack thereof. It has been a month of stressing over all of the things I have to do and having no energy to do anything but stare at the wall or cry.

I’m twenty-two now. That’s new, different. It’s also kind of overwhelming. A lot of my old friends and acquaintances are graduating college this year and making their plans to get on with their lives. Even though I’m married, I feel like I’m still sitting here waiting for my life to start.

Maybe it’s just the birthday depression, but I’m not sure if I want to write anymore. That’s probably the scariest thing. I’ve been hard-core into novel writing for the last six years, but early last fall I feel like I lost my zest for it. I’ve been trying to get it back for the last half year, but it might be time to accept that it’s never coming back.

I tend to pursue my passions to the exclusion or mild toleration of all else, and a lot of those hobbies have been shoved aside to make room for writing. That leaves a gaping hole in my life that I don’t know what to do with. It’s not just a time thing—it’s an identity thing. If I’m not a writer, then who am I?

None of my other hobbies are like “Oh, pick me! Me! Me! Meeeee!” Maybe it’s time to stop identifying with a hobby or a job as if it’s who I am, and just be me. That being said, I’m noodling around with some of my interests to see what I want to learn next.

I’ve had a fascination with languages for most of my life. I used to tell myself that I didn’t have time for language learning and writing along with all of the things I actually have to do in my daily life, and I was probably right. Without writing, that leaves a lot of time to learn Japanese. A quick survey of my bookshelves the other day turned up a DS game and several books that look like helpful starting points…and there’s always the Internet. Apparently my local community college also offers classes, but it looks like Japanese 101 won’t be offered again until the fall term. So that’s my new adventure. I may come up with something else later, but for now that looks like my most attractive option.
The center of attention at my birthday party (ze baby, not ze mama).
Kind of stole my thunder, but thoroughly entertaining.
Eating ice cream and watching anime.
In spite of all of the anxiety around my birthday, it was actually pretty fun. I also got to hang out with my Love and Respect small group Friday night, do my own party stuff Saturday, take a walk by myself in the park on Saturday night (walking alone in the dark is always good for an adrenaline rush), have a potluck at church Sunday, plan my anniversary trip with my husband in the afternoon, and then hang out with my writers’ group in the evening. I had just gotten my haircut, so at church I had a bunch of old ladies telling me my hair was “so sexy” during greeting time, which was massively entertaining. One of my favorite people gave me flowers and a rad birthday card (not my husband, but it’s something he would have done if he’d thought of it). Somewhere in the midst of all of that, my best friend texted me that she lied to me and was, in fact, coming back to Oregon, but was stuck in Seattle (she’s been in Alaska the last couple of years, so that was kind of a big deal), and I got to see her and take a walk with her and her sons on Monday. In all, it was a pleasant, action-packed weekend, and it reminded me of the importance of people in my life.
Rice balls and lots of tea.
The party was fun. We had veggie and PB&J rice balls, tea, and chocolate & matcha banana ice cream. I guess I got rid of my ice cream scoop awhile ago because I never use it. I normally just pour my banana ice cream from the blender to my bowl and eat it right away, but this time I borrowed my Mom’s ice cream maker to make a hard-serve ice cream…and forgot that I had gotten rid of said ice cream scoop. So I thought “No problem, I’ll just borrow my friend’s ice cream scoop when I go to pick her up.” Her family didn’t have one either. They’d lost it, and her mom recommended using a spoon.  So I texted another friend and asked her to bring a scoop. She did, one that she bought just for the occasion, and I broke it trying to make my first scoop of banana matcha ice cream. In the end, I had to use a spoon.
Bubonic plague lamp? Death and thief?
Bubonic plague lamp? Jester and witch doctor?
While said party was going on, my husband was off with his best man, hitting up as many Goodwill thrift stores as they possibly could. He returned with some really cool stuff, but some of it was like “This is what I get for letting you go thrifting unsupervised and without a budget.” Much as I joke about it, I do actually like his bubonic plague lamp.
Platter my husband picked up at Goodwill.
When you're an adult and you go to the park at 8 a.m.
so that you can play on the merry-go-round by
yourself without looking like a total creeper.
My haircut is kind of a trial thing. My husband’s mother’s friend cut it for me and we went longer than I had originally planned because she’d never cut my hair before and wasn’t sure how it would behave. I’m playing with it as it is and trying to decide if I want to go shorter or add some texture or what. Not sure anymore if I’ll do the purple streaks thing either. I love the color I bought, but I’m not sure how it’ll look with my existing hair color. Right now, I’m thinking I might ombre it, then dye the whole thing purple so that parts of it are a darker purplish brown and parts of it are genuinely purple, but it’ll be awhile before I’m done researching for that.
Park adventure time!
I’ve also been on a local exploration kick recently. There are a bunch of parks by my house that have a few well-trodden official paths and about a thousand smaller unofficial trails that people have just beaten down over the years. That has definitely been an adventure. I’ve found a bunch of kids’ abandoned fire circles and stuff (unauthorized campfires anyone?), but I’ve also found rotted out suitcases, sleeping bags, pillows, boots, and all the makings of an abandoned hobo camp. I’m not done with my explorations yet, but what I have left is in one of the the more popular parks, so I don’t expect to find as much weird stuff there…but I have a friend who has volunteered to go with me, so that’ll be fun.
Door to creepy fenced-in building in the park.
Probably has something to do with the water purifying plant.
Layered graffiti under the bridge includes a chibi--
because that's the sort of town I live in.
Hobo camp exhibit A: tent poles and rotted out suitcases.
Hobo camp exhibit B: Men's boots.
Hobo camp exhibit C: rotting sleeping bags.
Hobo camp exhibit D: pillow in briars.

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