This year it’s my Golden Birthday – turning 27 on the 27th. It only happens once in a lifetime, but then again, technically, doesn’t every day only happen once in a lifetime?
A year ago today, I had no idea what the future held, but I’m pretty sure I pictured turning 27 in a much different context. Not necessarily better, but definitely different. A lot can happen in a year. A month ago, I was dreading turning 27 because I felt like I haven’t accomplished all the things that I thought I would’ve done by now.
I’m starting to realize at 27, when people ask the million-dollar question, “What do you want to do in life?”, they actually start expecting serious answers. No longer do you get the chuckle and the response, “Oh, but you still have so much time,” when you say you don’t know. That doesn’t really fly anymore.
But since today is a joyous occasion, I’m going to list all of the things that I have done in with my life thus far. And because lists are fun.
- Graduated college (five years ago!!)
- Moved to Taiwan just because
- Lived in said foreign country for two years, and living like a diva no less
- Moved to Hawaii just because
- Traveled all around the island and fell hard in love with it
- Got a real job and got started on a path to a potential career
- Stayed in touch with my close friends from high school and college
- Made lots of new friends all over the world
- Traveled to Europe
- Traveled to Japan
- Traveled back to Hawaii multiple times since I’ve left
- Eaten my way around the world
- And yet, still managed to drop 2 pant sizes (this is recent, and I’m really proud of this one!)
Today, I turn 27 in a new city that I’m starting to fall in love with, living with the best roommates, surrounded with the love of family and friends that have stood with me through all the turbulence and nomadic decisions, and most importantly, I turn 27 with renewed feelings of ambition, humility, gratefulness, and faith for the future. It’s going to be a good year.
The weather is cold here in SF. If you ask me how I’m liking the city, I will always bring up how I hate how cold it is. Summers in Nashville and Taipei, and living in paradise have spoiled me.
It’s cold enough to make you want to stay in bed, trying to keep the heat in. I don’t think our heater works. That doesn’t help.
On this chilly Sunday, I’m in a poetic kind of mood. I saw Skyfall yesterday, and it was as great as everyone says it is. When was the last time a movie quoted poetry? Anyways, I went a-hunting and found the entire thing. It’s a good one, and I’ve been in need of inspiration lately. Inspiration to keep moving, to stay active, to pursue passions, to carve my place here in this new city.
Alfred,Lord Tennyson : Ulysses
It little profits that an idle king1,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an agèd wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades2
Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy3.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
This my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles4,
And see the great Achilles5, whom we knew
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
So I’m officially back in Nashville. And it’s eerie how this city is exactly the same. Nothing’s changed. You can’t even tell that a devastating flood happened just a few months ago.
I’m living with my parents again for the time being, and it’s like going back in time. My parents moved right after I went out to Taiwan, and now my room isn’t really my room, but more like a storage. The furniture’s the same, the rules are the same, and I’m pretty sure the curfew might be the same too. (I haven’t attempted to break that one yet. I’ve been jet lagged this past week.)
It’s been a week, and I’m already getting a bit stir-crazy. I’ll be looking for some part time jobs while I brush up on those standardized tests again. In the meantime, I’ll try to find a new theme for this blog.
I arrived in Taipei two years ago on August 8th. I will be returning to Nashville on August 8th. It will be officially two years to the day since my adventures in Taiwan began. (Did I mean to buy the tickets like that? You got me.)
What will I do when I get back to Nashville? Quick preview: seeing friends, job, GRE, grad school applications.
In the meantime, I’m just going to focus on how am I going to cram two years of stuff into two luggages that have to weigh under 23 kg each. This may be my biggest challenge yet.