a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Archive for September 2010

On the subject of couple-dom

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[Upon re-reading this post, I am decidedly rambling (especially with that bit at the end), but for some reason, I just don't feel like editing to tighten the prose. Sorry everyone, just deal.]

Fran and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary soon. It’s right near my birthday so that I can remember it. Yes, I am the one who forgets. (I had to ask Fran which day it was just recently.)

I must admit to something: I don’t talk about being married or taken that much. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve had several awkward sorta-dates inquiries from guys. I usually don’t even see it coming and when it does, I’ve still had to ask friends just to make sure that there was Romantic Intent involved because I still can’t tell.

Call me blissfully unaware. Or ignorant. Whatever.

The problems seem to be: way too friendly, a complete lack of any kind of ring, and failure to gush about the husband. Let’s break it down…

Hi, be my friend!
The most interesting thing about already being spoken for is that I think it makes me even friendlier to the majority of guys out there. I don’t worry about the awkward moment when one of us finds out that romantic plans are on the brew. It’s just not even on the table for me since I’m off the market. I guess it puts me at ease when it comes to getting to know people.

(One of my single girlfriends observed that I probably so easily meet a lot of guys because I don’t have that does-he-like-me-too awkwardness. I suppose she’s right, but I never really thought about it like that until she pointed it out.)

What ring?
Oh and then there is also the interesting fact that I do not wear a wedding or engagement ring. The real reason I don’t wear them is that we bought both rings when my fingers were significantly larger and now the two rings are too loose to be worn on my left-hand ring finger. We have meant to get both resized, but it’s a bit complicated by the fact that 1) the wedding ring has evenly spaced diamonds around the perimeter which would become asymmetric if they cut it to make it smaller, and 2) the engagement ring is a weighty and thick loop of platinum that might not look right after a significant resize.

The main solution right now is to put the engagement ring away somewhere and wear the wedding ring on my right-hand middle finger, the most comfortable option, but not indicative of the relationship situation.

Oh that guy? My roommate?
I should also mention that I don’t really talk about Fran all that much to people. I don’t like to throw around the phrase "my husband" to people just because, well, some people automatically think married people are boring.

Let’s face it, married folks are boring for the most part. All they want to do is go do stuff with the spouse. And never hang out with friends alone, and never make friends of the opposite sex.

That’s not how we operate. I have actually had several friends mention how I don’t act like a Married Girl because I still have a social life on my own.

It’s not like I hide Fran’s existence. I do talk about him if the situation warrants it (e.g., discussing how he plays ice hockey or where I got my Japanese candies from), but for the most part, I find that it is unnecessary to gush about him and gratuitously toss him out there just to call him My Husband.

[Aside]
By the way, for those of you who are one half of a co-dependent couple: I really want to get to know you as an individual person, not someone who is half of a couple and constantly listening to you gush about your Special Someone or not being able to hang out alone with you is really lame. Do you have to bring him/her everywhere you go? Really? Are you able to do anything on your own without this person? Ever?

I get the puppy love thing, but there comes a point where you have to resume your own independent life and stop spending every waking moment together, right?

So sorry, but I don’t think we’ll become good friends. I dislike co-dependent couples.
[End aside]

Haha… For a coupled-up girl, I am so anti-couple it’s ridiculous. I’m just glad Fran lets me retain my independent spirit. Then again, if he didn’t, we wouldn’t be together in the first place.

Written by Reese

September 14, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Posted in just life

Five on Friday: Birthday Edition

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I’ve been recovering from a really fun bike ride from this past Monday. I led a ragtag bunch of folks from San Francisco down to San Jose on a quest for phở! Yes, we all rode 60 miles for Vietnamese food. They are amazing fun folks for sure, and everyone made it (except for two who dropped off at Palo Alto), and no one died. Well, I sure tried to kill them all, including not stopping for any rest or snacks for the last 20 miles, but somehow everyone still made it. They were pretty unhappy and tired, but they made it. I’m insanely proud of each and every one of them, many of whom were strangers to long distance riding. Really, I’m so proud they all made it and could still smile at the end.

Oh, and I randomly tipped over on my bike when my wheel caught on the curb and landed directly on my knee. I saved the bike and sacrificed my knee. The darn thing then swelled up, so Dr. Franny decided that I needed to rest at home for two days (one of them was a vacation day too!) and then that he would chauffeur me to work the rest of the week. I still need to take the train home and walk home from the station. I think it takes me a good half hour to walk that mile home. The good news is that my busted knee is finally starting to look about the same size as the other one again, so it’s only a matter of time before I’m back to being my regular active self.

Yes, on to better times. It’s my birthday this weekend, and I’ve been planning a very fun party and some very tasty pies to share with friends. Since I’m completing yet another lovely year on this earth, this week’s list will be a random list of things I’ve enjoyed about this most recent year.

1. The bikey life

Yes, I know I am a broken record about this, but I can’t help it. This past year, I have really enjoyed riding my bike so much. I’ve gone from simply riding to and from work to riding longer distances with others and alone. When there’s too much noise in my head, I take my bike out to calm myself down, to think things through, and to relieve stress. I’m sure at some point I can find some other alternate outlets, but for now I’ll enjoy the bike rides.

2. Photography

I have not been doing as much photography this past year, but it’s still there in my life. I think I’ll always be one to document events, even the seemingly insignificant ones, and photography is my weapon of choice. This is mostly because I can’t draw worth a damn (other than the odd, uneven stick figure) and sometimes writing just can’t cut it. I can say much more with an image than I could ever write. That said, sometimes photography is so frustrating because I just don’t have the skill to capture the image I want. Sometimes it’s a matter of technical knowledge, but sometimes it’s a matter of timing. I can definitely learn the former, but I don’t know that the latter will ever become second-nature to me. Just need to keep practising.

In the end though, I think I will always be one of those photographers that needs to combine words with images to get the point across. I am just not a strong enough photographer to rely solely on the images, and I can freely acknowledge that.

3. Loving and learning

In terms of my romantic relationship, this past year has been tumultuous to say the least. Since I’m not one to air my laundry online, I shall completely fail to go into details, but I will say that I think our relationship is stronger now than ever. This year we will celebrate five years of marriage, a small milestone to some, but forever and a half to others. I don’t know that the number of years is such a big deal to me personally, but I have felt that the memories we are making together are becoming richer and deeper and more of an ingrained part of myself. When we first got together 10 years ago, I would say we were more like two very individual people whose life path happened to travel next to the other. Now I would say that our lives and personalities are more interwoven. We are still separate people with separate identities, like two coloured threads, but we are also building an identity and knitting ourselves closer to one another.

4. Just being

This past year I’ve worked hard to just enjoy life right now. The moment is what I am living in, not the future or the past. I can’t worry so much over what I cannot control in life. All I can really do is do what makes me happy, build relationships with others, and quietly live my life in a satisfying way. And by satisfying, I mean only on my own terms. I can’t worry if my life is satisfying to others; I’m the one living it, so as long as I can still find adventure and happiness, then that’s all that matters. We may be embarking on our biggest adventure yet in the coming year, and I can’t wait to see what happens.

5. Friends

I actually wrote this item first because I have so much to be thankful for with regard to friends, old and new. I’ve met a lot of new friends this year and become closer with friends who are so supportive and fun. I cannot stress enough how much I love and adore my close friends and how much I enjoy meeting new friends to get to know. Hey guess what, my mum was right (again): people and our relationships with them are what really matter in life. As a blatant extrovert, I wholeheartedly agree.

Note to self: listen to mum more often.

Written by Reese

September 10, 2010 at 8:52 am

Posted in just life

Five on Friday: Pre-holiday edition

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Monday is a holiday here in the US and I happen to have the day off from work. This will be a nice long weekend for me, and of course I’ve already packed it tight with meeting friends, bike riding, and generally having lots of fun. Life is fun, guys. I wish we can all focus on the good bits more and understand that if we can truly make the best of what we have in our lives right now, then we can enjoy life so much more.

So guys, just focus on the good stuff. It’s all about perspective. And hotties. Don’t forget to surround yourself with hotties.

1. Speaking of hotties…

I’ve spent quite a bit of time with J this week and it’s been really nice. We were both sorta in a rut (separate ruts, actually) in our lives. He was stressed with work and I was just not feeling up to par, but somehow September has arrived and we’ve both managed to de-rut ourselves in the nick of time.

2. The freedom to choose

(No, it’s not about abortion.) I have to say that I’ve been really enjoying my own personal freedom lately. I’ve always been free to do what I want, but I am definitely taking advantage of it more often and doing what I’d like to do, when I’d like to do it. I take other people into account, but for the most part, I’m not letting myself be tied down to obligations until I really want to spend the time on them. Freedom is wonderful.

3. Personal goals

Self-improvement is not overrated. Unhappy with something about yourself? Just try changing yourself a little bit at a time. It works. Even if you end up not liking it, at least you gave it a go.

I wrote in my previous entry about my September goals, so I won’t reiterate them here. I guess I just want to mention that setting and working towards personal goals does make life seem more orderly and worthwhile (at least to me). It’s good to have something to shoot for, even if it’s something small. Just don’t get too discouraged along the way, and remember to step back and enjoy what you’re doing with your life.

4. Get the hell out

I’ve never been much of a "great outdoors" kinda girl. I’ve never gone camping and haven’t spent much time hiking around the woods or anything. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the outdoors a bit more though, especially on bike rides. It’s a good compromise to me because I can stay on the road and out of the woods, but still get out and enjoy the fresh air. Plus, it works my body and I love it when I’m sweating and feeling the rhythm of my body. I really enjoy the steady pumping of my legs, the breath rushing in and out of my lungs, my heartbeat bumping around in my chest, and even feeling my hands grip the handlebars alternately as my weight shifts slightly left and right. I’ve turned quite into an addict.

5. On the topic of happiness

For me, it’s easier to be happy than it is to be sad. I’d rather take a situation and see the positive end of it, than to dwell endlessly (and hopelessly) on the negative end. If you end up thinking about the negative side of life all the time, how do you find the hope and energy to keep going? I’ve felt out of sorts for the past couple of weeks, almost to the point of wondering if I was having some kind of nervous breakdown. My solution was to keep plugging along, let my set work schedule pull me through the day, and find the time to be alone with my thoughts. Somehow, it’s a simple solution, but it works. I’ve been feeling markedly happier and more interested in life. I think life has a way of working everything out if you don’t stress too much over it.

Written by Reese

September 3, 2010 at 10:18 am

Posted in just life

Lovely September Goals

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Sometimes I get frustrated by my own inadequacies. I’m not the best at handling certain situations, and I can usually clearly see myself spinning out of control with stress, worry, anger, or sadness (or any combination thereof). This month, this Lovely September, I am making some personal goals for myself to try to combat my own inadequacies.

It’s also my birthday month, so this is probably some kind of self-improvement jag because I’m reminded of the passage of time.

Yes, of course, I am sharing them now. I hope this will help keep me accountable, so feel free to wag your finger at me and point out one of my Lovely September Goals when you see me stressing out.

—-

Goal 1: See people more

I’ve been so fed up with the almost completely textual relationships I have, that I am vowing to see the Ones Who Matter Most more often in person. It’s good to keep in touch with friends via email and IM if they live far away, but I have no excuse if they live right in my backyard. Hopefully, we can all figure out our busy schedules and see each other more regularly.

Goal 2: Listen, really listen

I will admit that I am not a good listener. In fact, I may be one of the worst listeners I know. I cut people off when they’re speaking, jump wildly to conclusions during a conversation, and just plain don’t pay attention. This is something I have to consciously work on, and I want to really hone this skill and learn to listen more actively to others.

Goal 3: Relinquish control

I am so guilty of feeling like I can control most situations. Something go wrong with a friend? Maybe it’s something I did (I know, so egotistical). But maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just time for our friendship to languish a bit and we can pick things up later on. I don’t need to endlessly stress over it and wonder what I could be doing to ‘fix’ things. Most of the time, it’s just life being busy, priorities shifting, and people losing/gaining interest that causes friendships to change. There’s no judgment being made on either person. It’s just how things are. Doesn’t make sense to force things to bend to your will when it’s just not meant to be.

My ego clearly needs to calm the hell down and get over itself. I can’t control what other people do, think, or feel, and I cannot sit around wondering what’s going on in someone else’s head. That’s their head, their business. Life goes on.

—-

So those are the goals for September. In August, I practised learning to enjoy my own company and do more activities on my own. It was difficult at times because I mostly yearn to be with others (I’m like a really pathetic lonely puppy, I swear), but I got through it and realised that being alone is not the worst thing in the world and I quite enjoy my own company. I don’t know that I would go on vacation alone anytime soon, but I can clearly understand the appeal of having the freedom of doing what I want when I want, and not having to worry about coordinating plans/desires with others. The dictator in me loves that.

I still love people and I really enjoy being with them, but August has clearly shown me that I can also learn to enjoy alone time now and then.

Maybe one of these months, I’ll look back at these random monthly goals and decide that I have indeed improved myself little by little. Or maybe I’ll decide this was a useless project and I’ll always be the same person no matter what I try to change.

Either way, I’m enjoying the journey.

Written by Reese

September 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Posted in just life