The reason for a new blog

When commuting in L.A., mired in a 3-hour bumper-to-bumper quagmire, you’re left with a lot of time listening to NPR, KiSS FM, and your thoughts.

A lot of these blog posts were written while I was sitting behind the wheel, with my foot pressing and releasing the brakes. But, it’s been a year since I’ve stopped driving. And, you all know (because I assume that all two of you wait anxiously by your Feedly for new updates from this blog) that I love my car. The only thing that would keep me from caressing my vanilla beige leather seats in my dark cherry red Lexus every day would be a seriously unaffordable parking fee. And that, my dear readers, have happened because I moved to NYC.

Since moving there have been so many blog entries I wanted to write but didn’t: listing the many differences between Angelenos and New Yorkers, an angry come-of-New-Yorker moment when the romantic black-and-white idea of cobblestones quickly dissipates once you take every heel you own to the cobbler, an ode to the tiny hole of an apartment that I’ve torn apart and repackaged as home. But none of them could materialize into blog form what with the many thought-interruptions that happen on an average commute in the city. Once, I was so engrossed in a homeless man’s narrative of his plight from Sandy and its residual effects on his life that I missed my stop and ended up in Brooklyn. (This actually happened twice — two different homeless men.) Other times I’m squeezed in the train tighter than dough through a pasta cutter that I don’t have the space to think anything besides trying to decide whether wedging my body in between the two large men sideways is better than straight front-to-back.

Alas, the plethora of blog ideas didn’t seem to fit under this paradigm that I couched all my often-bitter rants of life’s hard-learned lessons as a 20-something. The “Minidramas of a 21-Year-Old” has been renamed four times now, and it continues to be tragically incorrect. So, it’s time to bid adieu and come up with something new. 

A blog that perhaps isn’t as cheesy as: “The Angeleno’s Guide To NYC Life” or “An LA Girl In The Big Apple.” If you have any ideas, hit me up.

U for …

If I were to grade my life right now, I would give it a U for unsatisfactory.

Life is at a standstill. Every weekend is too short, every Sunday night too miserable. The everyday commute too long, the 9 to 6 grind too stressful. Life is becoming monotonously dreadful.

To be honest, I don’t have much to complain about. In this drought of an economy, I have a job. I have a house to live in. I have a shitty commute but a nice car to drive in. But I still can’t shake off this unsatisfied feeling. It’s just not quite right.

I wrote this post on December 17. It’s the first of October now yet I could’ve written this post yesterday.

It’s actually really easy to live life. To wake up, eat, clock in and clock out, meet with friends and go in and out of relationships while time effortlessly, unnoticeably moves on. And it’s only when your boss is asking for your holiday time-off request when you realize that another year has passed and you’re in the same place you were the last time you looked up to take stock of your life: unsatisfied.

And like a humorless sitcom, you find yourself back in a coffee shop’s semi-comfy leather seat, drinking an overpriced latte, searching for the key to your happiness, the shape of your identity through perhaps a new job? A different city? A potential boyfriend?

I realized that the only chance I have to get a passing grade in life is for me to actually take a chance at living.

I just need to figure out how.

RSVP for One

I have blisters on my feet — a pain I haven’t experienced in quite some time. I didn’t get them by doing something out of character, like exercising, nor by doing something in character, like dancing all night in stilettos.

No, it was because I was going to Michael’s, then Joann’s Fabric Store, then back to Michael’s, then two different Targets.

I spent the entire day visiting store after store on a quest to find a crucial puzzle piece to the perfection that will be the bridal shower I’m planning.

I’m planning a bridal shower. What a nightmare. Can the record show that Sharon Yi is unfit to make decisions for her own love life, career, and nightly shot intake, and she’s being expected to make executive decisions on a celebration of love itself?

Somebody press the irony button.

Bags filled with mason jars, ribbon, and the other usual suspects of a DIY hoarder’s closet are overtaking my trunk, along with lingerie from Victoria’s Secret and terry onesies from Gymboree. Lately, all I’m doing on my weekends is celebrating babies and civil unions, all the while RSVPing for just one.

At every event, I’m bound to be asked, “Where’s your boyfriend?” “Still not dating?” “Why are you single?”

And every time I respond with “I’m not meeting anyone new,” “I’m picky,” “I’m not ready.”

So sick of the questions, I said yes to a set-up by a married couple at church.

He was cute, tall, and seemed relatively normal.

Then he started asking the oddest questions:

What are the top five things you look for in a guy?

When do you want to get married?

Do you want a boyfriend right now?

I mean, I know I haven’t gone on many dates, but I thought the first date was reserved for questions, like “What’s your favorite movie?” and “How’s the weather in your part of town these days?” … no?

Up next: Bachelor #2

A friend of a friend wants to meet up for coffee, wants to meet up for drinks, wants to do dinner.

So I finally said yes and realized a bit too late that the sole agenda of the night was to get me wasted. Drinks at the bar, bottles at the table, more at his loft.

It’s a wonder I got out unscathed.

And there’s Bachelor #3.

When describing this bachelor, it seems everybody’s vocabulary is reduced to just one word: crazy.

I went from the guy who wants to get married tomorrow to the the guy who parties like there is no tomorrow.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that when it was time to attend my friend’s wedding, I logged online and RSVP’ed for just one.

Words are escaping me

I want to be a journalist because I want to know things.

I don’t know a lot of things, I’m not smart.

I think that’s why I wanted to be a journalist, because journalists are required to know things, and if they don’t then they have to learn.

I want to know things and read things and understand things.

The frustrating thing is that I forget everything I learn. I don’t remember a thing I learned from college, because at the end of every semester, after every final, I would close my eyes and delete the mental files labeled Biology, and Mexican-American History, and Music, because I thought I was making room for more information, but I didn’t realize I was only hurting myself.

I’ve always had bad memory. I can’t remember simple things like 8 x 7 or what I was just about to do before I got distracted. It’s why I blog. It’s why I’ve always blogged.

I wrote about the most inconsequential things because at the time I thought they were consequential, and things I’d want to remember.

And I think that’s why I always wanted to be a journalist. Because paper lasts, words last, stories last, but memories don’t.

 

 

Remembering why I wanted to be a journalist is important because I’m starting to forget. I’m forgetting words, I’m forgetting grammar, I’m forgetting idioms, and how to pronounce things.

I can feel my brain degenerating, my cognitive senses flailing as I try to formulate a sentence.

I want to write, so that I don’t forget, but what do I do when I forget how to write?

A Quick Snapshot

I have so many things I want to write about and share but I find that after pumping out four to five new content pieces about beauty a week, my creative juices are just squeezed dry. So, to not forget, or to create a “blog to do” list to revisit later, here’s a quick snapshot of my life as it is now.

  • Just went to a super exclusive dinner with Dr. Howard Murad, founder/creator of Murad skin care. It included a 7-course meal with the Dr., his son (who’s super cute and told me he waxes his arm hair regularly just to have more room to test new products), and 8 PR girls. I realized how pathetically awful I am at small talk. The Dr. gave me advice on how to avoid road rage when sitting in traffic.
  • I am currently sitting in my empty office waiting for a contact to call me back. He put me on pause in the middle of our interview and said he’d call back in 5 minutes unaware that I scheduled this interview for a freelance story at 6 p.m. so that it’s after I clock out of my 9-6 day job. It’s been 25 minutes.
  • Word to the wise, do NOT take “Fast and Stress Free Traffic School.” It’s not fast and it’s DEFINITELY NOT stress-free. Jerk wads.
  • I’m still single. I’m going to turn 24 in less than 3 weeks.
  • Last weekend, I had Saturday brunch with my old college roommate, Stacy. The first thing we talked about was our most recent, equally horrifying, first dates. Hers was a setup from her aunt and uncle that she couldn’t refuse. The guy didn’t even know he was going to dinner with her and was sadly blase. The conversation dipped into weather. Mine was of a friend’s friend who I couldn’t say no to because he was my friend’s friend. The date ended with him asking me if he could kiss me 20 times. I said no 20 times.
  • I had Boiling Crab yesterday and felt nauseous for 4 hours. I’m never eating Boiling Crab again.
  • At 5:30 today, my bestie coworker IMed me and said, “I think David* is breaking up with me over IM.” … I felt like I was getting broken up with over IM.

I literally feel sick to the stomach at the thought of turning 24. If you look at my posts in this blog, which I started when I turned 21, the number of posts severely diminish with each year. Perhaps it’s because I was traveling then and simply had more things to talk about than my now sedentary life in LA, but more so, I feel it’s cause life just moves too quickly. They always say how turning 30 happens in a blink of an eye — well now I understand. Because the last thing I remember is going up north for a friend’s wedding only to now see that that was a month ago. Where did June go?

I read somewhere that the reason why we feel like time is moving faster as we get older is cause our brain chooses to make less memories. When we were children, going out rollerblading was an event to remember. Getting a book read to us in class, learning about Egypt and drawing hieroglyphs, getting a happy meal at McDonald’s – all activities that we and consequently our brain think are important and thus store in to memory cabinets. Now, we don’t think of our daily morning coffee, drive in traffic, 9 hours at our cubicle, and happy hours with friends to be that consequential. What we did last week blurs into the week before, the weeks easily turn into months and suddenly it’s your birthday again.

The interviewee still hasn’t called me back.

The Countdown

It’s kinda ridiculous how much your mindset can change over just one year.

When I was 22-years-old, I was considered a baby. Barely born.

Suddenly at 23, now I’m expected (or have no way around) to filing my tax returns, fulfilling my civic duty as a jury member and (gasp!) paying for my own credit card bills.

And while this is the expected unavoidable rite of passage into adulthood, the one thing I did not expect – especially so rapidly – was the sudden self- and society-inflicted pressure of getting married.

It’s surprising even to me when I hear myself say out loud when my last relationship was.

“Four years ago.”

My God, what was I doing for four years?! The last time I answered that question over an office cocktail hour, I felt like I was synonymously saying, “I checked myself into a convent.”

Just a year ago, I was so willing to try a fling or go on a date – yet now meeting a guy is never casual as my psycho mind goes through the inevitable checklist of whether the dude is Marriage Material.

1.     Does he have any obvious addictions to video games, cigarettes or drugs?

2.     Does he drink obsessively? Could he become an alcoholic once the stresses of paying mortgages and having kids become overwhelming?

3.     Is he an only child? Does that mean he has a tendency to be selfish and think of himself first?

4.     Is he the youngest? Does that mean he is and forever will be a momma’s boy and expect you to fulfill that role (with benefits, of course)?

5.     Can he cook? Will he expect you to be a housewife, otherwise?

6.     Does he have a job? Is he in debt? Does he have bad credit?

7.     Does he pick up the tab just enough to show that he’s generous, or does he pick it up too frequently and show that he’s financially irresponsible?

It’s utterly ridiculous to think of these questions on a first date but sadly, the mental checklist ensues, because I’m 23-years-old.

Despite the desperate desire for some women of our current century wanting to hold on to their singlehood for as long as possible with the freedom of pursuing their career first and family last, the horrifying spike of prenatal diseases when becoming pregnant after 30 lends an unforgiving timeline for the career-woman-who-also-wants-to-be-a-mother-someday.

That “someday” is actually when you’re 30 … 29 to be safe. So thus begins, what I like to call, the Backwards Countdown.

All women do this. The starting age might be different. But starting from when their ideal first pregnancy would be, they count backwards to how long they would want to be married with their husband before forever introducing another life in to the family. Going conservative on the numbers, let’s say that you want to be married for at least a year before giving birth. That brings you to 28. Then you’d want to be engaged for another year (if only to have enough time to plan the proper wedding of your dreams) — that brings us to 27. You’d want to be dating the otherwise relative stranger for at least two years before committing to a life together. That’s 25.

I’m 23…and a half. So I have approximately one year and three months to find the person that I’m supposed to spend the rest of my earthly life with if going by my ideal timeline.

I’ve convinced my guy friends to watch “Black Swan” (a winner) and “Blue Valentine” (a loser) with me as my girlfriends have boyfriends and my guy friends have … me.

After watching the trailer for the upcoming Mila Kunis movie, I IM-ed Eric, “‘Friends with Benefits’ looks good! Let’s go watch that next!”

He responded, “Ew. Go get a boyfriend. Don’t make us suffer.”

Ha ha ha … I’m laughing on the inside.

I think I’m getting old …

Because I went on my first blind date.

It’s bittersweet, this thing called growing up. After a string of unhappily ended (basically goddamn awful) relationships that I delusionally forced with ridiculously inept boys, I’ve finally come to a place where I’m done with the boys of my past and ready for a real mature, adult relationship.

Odd how one just doesn’t pop up when you’re ready for it.

So at 23 years, I finally said yes to my first blind date. It was a set up my coworker has been asking me to go on for a year now.

When I first met *Michelle, she mentioned this guy that she would love to set me up with — (Would I be interested? It would be so great if we hit it off. He’s SUCH a good guy.) I responded without hesitation, “Absolutely not. I don’t do blind dates.”

And why should I? I was 22-years-old, so young, just getting out of the euphoria that comes with becoming 21 and getting initiated into the real world of post-grad life. Eager to contribute to society, the only thing on my mind was to get a job, get a job, get a job.

And once I got a job, I looked up and realized that I was 23-years-old, still so very young, yet suddenly not of the demographic belonging to the carefree and the single-ready-to-mingle. It’s unfortunate that I spent the majority of my youth in disillusioning relationships that propelled me into an early onset of male-hatred and bitterness, which in turn crippled me from finding ANY remotely successful relationship thereafter.

And so now, undeniable that time relentlessly pushes on, one year later I said to Michelle, “Sure, sounds like fun.”

And so begins the blind date.

First of all, it took me an hour to get to the restaurant that was smack in the middle of Hollywood with “Condoms in Porn!” protests going on around the corner while the opposing street had a line around the block for either a new hard-to-find food truck or a drug dealer. I spun around the aforementioned block for 15 minutes until finally parking at a lot two blocks away. Second, the restaurant didn’t have a sign. I walked to and fro between 1533 and 1537 willing for 1535 to appear. After asking the guy at a next-door ice cream store where Hungry Cat was, I finally came upon the restaurant hidden behind a wall of shrubs (and NO sign) to meet the long awaited *David, along with my friend and her fiancé *Tom.

It was fun talking to Michelle and meeting Tom – David, not so much. He was off the bat the typical Korean guy – wore hipster thick rimmed glasses, was in a suit jacket with jeans and chuck-ish tennis shoes. He had ordered a cocktail reminiscent of a lemonade mojito.

Third, I hate lemonade.

I spent the first few minutes gabbing with Michelle, as I hadn’t seen her in months. We talked about work and such and it wasn’t until I got my drink when I first really heard David speak and realized that I didn’t understand anything he just said. I blankly stared, not comprehending what was going on. Was he speaking Clingon? Did it just suddenly get loud or was I spontaneously going deaf?

Turns out he had a thick Korean accent, one I wasn’t expecting to hear and thus wasn’t prepared to accommodate for. It’s not like it’s an awful accent, but I mean, it’s an accent.

The night progressed; our seafood plates were replaced with dessert. We talked about work, dreams, scary movies, haunted mansions and the end of newspapers. He’s a successful motions graphic designer and part-time iPad app designer. Me? I’m a beauty editor.

“What do you write about?” asked Tom.

“Oh, you know, the worst hairsprays, the best lipsticks, the sexiest fragrances you gotta have for Valentine’s Day…” I said sheepishly as I always do. Not revolutionary stuff.

But even still, at the end of the day, I’m a writer. Using English. And I would need the guy I’m becoming intimate with to be able to converse fully and understand fully and appreciate fully in this medium of which I base my entire profession on: communicating in English. Mastering it, knowing it, understanding it, revising it, it’s kind of what I do, it sort of pays the bills and maybe is just a little bit important?

The only questions he directed to me all night were:

Do you speak Korean?

Do you understand Korean?

What’s your Korean name?

Can you read Korean?

What’s your Korean name again?

Do you eat Korean food?

Do you go to Korean spas?

Can you write in Korean?

So is this how you say your Korean name?

At the end of dinner, they insisted they would walk me to my parking lot. Once we reached the lot, I said goodbye to them as I didn’t (nor ever would I) need escorts to climb stairs, but of course, the Korean insisted that he would walk me, because thugs can come out of the stairwell and jump me and take my purse.

The second we got to the roof, which is where cars are clearly parked, he goes, “yugi majuhyoh?” … in Korean. (Translation: Is this the right place?)

I looked at him as if he had just been body snatched by fob aliens. “Yea, it is, look there’s my car.” I responded … in English.

“Hanguk mal halsuitsuhyoh?” (Can you speak Korean?)

“Yes.”

“Haebahyoh.” (Try.)

Because I’m a monkey and would love to display my level of Korean proficiency for you.

“Uhh, actually I don’t feel very comfortable speaking in Korean…”

I would understand this behavior if we were, let’s say, in Colorado where there are no Korean people and you’re starving for Korean interaction; but when we live in LA with the biggest concentration of Koreans next to the mother land, it’s utterly ridiculous to seek a woman that speaks Korean fluently and is immersed in Korean culture in someone who is clearly born on this side of the hemisphere where there are PLENTY of those just a kTown bar away.

As we were ready to say goodbye, we got to that part of the night where the dude asks the girl for her phone number. But instead of asking me, “Can I have your phone number?” or “Will you give me your phone number?” he asked, “So, you going to give me your phone number?”

Trust me. There’s a difference.

This morning I woke up with such a debilitating depression — just this overwhelming lack of desire to get out of bed and go to work and live life. Dating is awful. Even if the date is fine and it’s not that awkward, the extent of how so utterly wrong this guy was for me and that I spent even a remote time with him depressed me. And in turn, it depressed me that he was so eager to go on a second date with me even though I was so utterly wrong for him. Is this the fate of relationships? Or, rather is this my fate? Am I going to be settling for somebody that is so incredibly not right for me in 7 years only because it’s something that society expects me to do just as he is settling for anything that his luck brings him because he’s 35  and finally ready?

Ugh.

A day in the life as a beauty editor

After spending the afternoon at Nordstrom’s Clinique counter getting a personal skin consultation courtesy of Clinique who wanted me to try their new clarifying lotion, I went home and took a cat nap before getting ready to attend my very first Vogue fashion show.

As press, I was walked to the backstage of the show where hair and makeup was being done and while I was getting my bearings, America’s Next Top Model’s Nicole Fox came up to me and asked, “Do you know where the bathroom is?”

Uh, no, I replied, completely dumbfounded that I just talked to Nicole Fox, and as I stared at her walking away in search of the restroom all I could think of was watching scenes of her crying on ANTM. Now she’s runway for Vogue.

I was quickly ushered to the various beauty heads for interviews: Chanel’s celebrity manicurist, Stila’s celebrity makeup artist, and, unbelievably so, Mr. Angus Mitchell, son and heir of Paul Mitchell, and his wife Michelle.

The world of beauty is a really fascinating place. Perhaps sometimes viewed as the ugly step-sister of fashion, the beauty world is one I am etching into and enthralled to be admitted.

I was invited as a beauty editor to cover the hairstyles Angus Mitchell was doing for the Vogue fashion show. The show was run as a charity event for a nonprofit organization, Art of Elysium. And when there’s a black tie charity event, there’s a red carpet.

We stood waiting for all the fabulous people to arrive. Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Toby Maguire, Leighton Meester, Amy Smart, Elijah Wood, Camille Bell, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kat Von D and Jesse James (whose level of fabulousness is questionable), and Eva Mendes, to name a few, who in a stunning Valentino rushed passed the paparazzi cameras on the red carpet. It’s amazing how close I got to these celebrities — people who before only existed to me in 2-dimension land. I had a very strong urge to reach out and poke them to see that they were really, truly real.

Once inside the California Science Center where the runway and surrounding dinner tables were set up, the aisles were crowded with people trying to find their seats. Kirsten Dunst literally brushed right past me and I just stared, amazed at the unbelievable closeness I was to these people. I walked right by a rather bored-looking David Spade, star of the awful TV series, “Just Shoot Me!” and Jake Gyllenhaal walked in late (sans Taylor Swift) just before Lisa Love, West Coast Editor of Vogue walked onto the runway to start the show.

Just as the lights dimmed, music cued and models lined up, I saw a rather familiar face who called out, “Sharon?!”

It was my classmate from literature class back in college. We took multiple classes together and I still remember some of her stories that I edited. I remember we once talked briefly on what we wanted to do once we graduated with our rather useless literature degrees. I wanted to go into journalism, she wanted to move to New York for fashion. After we graduated, I never heard from her or saw her since and now she was standing in front of me as pretty as I remembered her to be as a freelance styling assistant for Vogue.

It’s amazing how quickly time passes by, and how much things change. How once she and I were both college students with fine dreams of writing and beauty — and now we were actually making it, living it, being it.

Before the show started, we were able to take a sneak peek of the runway and the banquet hall before the celebrities arrived. Right when I walked in I felt like I walked through a time machine. This was where I had senior prom. Or at least where my ex-boyfriend’s senior prom was. I couldn’t believe it. After all these years, I wound up back. Standing there in the glamorously decked out hall set for the celebrity guests, I remembered dancing right where the runway stage was set up — dancing when I was 18-years-old with my then high school boyfriend. My, how far we’ve come.

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Military World

10/7/10: Day 1

I was running through Charlotte Airport after landing in Carousel B. My next flight into Jacksonville was departing from Carousel E – in 15 minutes.

Panting, I was the last passenger to get onto the 30-person plane. The girl I was sitting next to smiled and said some friendly words as I fastened my seatbelt and tucked my purse under the seat.

“What are you going to Jacksonville for?” I asked while stuffing my face with a Whopper Jr. I to-goed.

“To see my boyfriend,” she said, smiling.

“Oh … what does he do?” I asked, unsure if I really wanted to hear the answer.

“He’s a Marine.”

Of course he is.

She had met him six months ago when she went to Jacksonville to see her pregnant sister.

Ah, I see, I said. While taking another bite of Whopper, I thought, wait a minute, why was her pregnant sister even in Jacksonville?

Hesitantly I asked to which she responded, “She married a Marine.” Duh.

Mallory went on to describe how her sister just gave birth to their first child but was now bracing herself to raise the baby alone while her Marine husband deploys to Afghanistan for 9 months.

“Isn’t that hard?”

Mallory shrugged essentially saying it is what it is. She then said her own boyfriend was deploying in three months as well. This time, I asked her, “Isn’t it hard?” while wondering, why would she sign up for the same difficult life as her older sister’s?

She described the relationship with the Marine to be something special. He was a southern gentlemen — something hard to find in her own hometown of Detroit where all the guys were either gangbangers or druggies — or both.

Because the relationship was difficult from the offset, (the long distance and the inevitable doom of deployment to name a couple), Mallory appreciated the little things and never took anything for granted as she would with any other boy.

“If he sends me a text message saying ‘Good morning.’ I go ‘Really?! Wow, thank you!'”

Sounds cute, huh? Too cute. That’s because Mallory is 19-years-old.

A baby started screaming from a couple rows back. The air pressure was hurting his ears.

When we landed, Mallory’s Marine boyfriend was waiting for her at the terminal. I waved goodbye to her watching her face stretching wide with the happiest smile while walking away in his arms. She could barely contain her excitement. She hadn’t seen him for three months. Her boyfriend looked just like the four other boys standing around at the terminal — built, arms crossed, their blonde hair shaved into a half a centimeter trim.

I walked to a seat and thanked Jesus there was free wifi in this three-terminal dinky airport — I was barely making deadline. While impatiently waiting for my Mac’s AirPort to catch on, I saw the mother of the flight’s screaming baby across from me. She was awkwardly bouncing the baby up and down while muttering, “I hope my dumb husband is smart enough to know where the entrance is.”

She was a petite white girl with blonde hair wearing flip-flops and jeans. She looked like she should’ve been writing her college applications about now. Or waving a pom pom in a JV Cheerleader uniform.

Her husband finally came. Looked just as young as she did.

He kissed her, then she gave him the baby to hold while cooing, “Say hi to daddy, say hi to daddy.”

It was painful to watch.

None of the men who enlist in the Marine Corps have gone to college and for most of them it was because they simply didn’t have the option to. Lacking faith in their parents to be able to provide, these young high school students had a rare maturity that most of their colleagues applying to college lacked. It takes a different mindset to think of one’s future and sign up for a four-year contract that offers an opportunity to die for your country before being able to vote in it.

It’s a job with a steady paycheck, free health insurance, and a $40,000 stipend for college tuition — after you finish your service, of course. These boys grow up fast, bypassing another four-year student status and jumping right into the working life packed with rifles, MK-47s and humvees.

When there’s the threat of losing your life, it’s only human to latch on to something, anything, worth living for. For the majority of these 20-something Marines, it’s marrying their high school sweetheart. God knows when you’re surrounded by dudes all the time — 24/7 — having a female voice on the other line at the end of the day could be the life vest when seeing nothing but cock-infested water.

And all throughout the four-hour-long flight from LAX to Charlotte, then from Charlotte to Jacksonville, all I could think was, “What the hell am I doing in North Carolina?”

Oh you of little faith … happy birthday.

I can’t believe it’s officially been two years since I have started this blog. I have to change my blog’s name again. This is really dumb, I shouldn’t have named my blog after my age. I should’ve thought this through.

Anyways …

Every year on my birthday I get sad.

Since my 20s started, I spent two of my birthdays in Africa, one of which I threw up (from indigestion) and cried into a toilet, the other spent depressed because nobody thought in advance to send me anything.

On my 21st birthday I spent it in Vegas, but on the morning of got a voice message from my mom and cried cried cried.

This year, a few days before my birthday, I got into a small fender bender … and of course overreacted.

Now you have to understand that while yes, I tend to exaggerate, be unnecessarily loud and cry for no reason, there is a perfectly good explanation for why any matters related to my car strikes me to my core.

It is because I love my car.

That really is all that there is.

In such respects I am like a guy whose car is the best thing that he owns and cherishes. It’s to a point where everyday I fear that my car will get stolen. Every single day, whether I park my car in the same spot outside of my office, or on a street in front of a restaurant, or in my friend’s locked garage, I always expect my car to not be there when I come back out. It’s exhausting.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve realized that I have become utterly and completely faithless. Where once I had the faith of a mustard seed, now that seed is lost.

I don’t believe anymore. I’ve realized this tonight. I don’t believe. I’ve become an empty broken record. Speaking the words of what I used to preach, repeating wisdom from lessons I was taught long before but never learned. I realized that I don’t have any more faith, which is why every little thing that goes wrong tosses me violently like a plastic bag on a freeway.

And so I believe in my car; my car which cost me $1,600 because I had to replace all four tires and brake pads; my car which I reversed instead of driving forward and thus causing a ripple of abrasions and a centimeter deep dent in my back bumper, which had just been fixed less than a year ago; my car which has inexplicable key marks down my passenger side door and near my handle and dents on the hood.

Today, on my way to work I drove by four accidents. Four. With the last one, the accident was so bad, that the car was flipped over onto its side and burnt to a crisp black frame. That person died today.

While I aged one more year.

Days before my 23rd birthday, I wrote on my Facebook, “my life sucks. I fing crashed my car.” It’s so far from reality that it’s almost laughable. No, Sharon. Your life does not suck. You crashed your car and lived to see your 23rd birthday. That person crashed their car and died. Why do I keep insisting on putting all my faith and hope into something so extremely precarious?

Somebody searched on Google: “22 years old college graduate feels alone”  and that person was directed to my site.

Well, I don’t know if you’re reading this. But let me be the stranger to tell you that life can actually suck more than yours does now. And also to say that I’m no longer 22 years old.

Oh you of little faith, happy birthday.

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