Just breathe

I don’t know what this lesson is, but it’s starting to make me sick with stress from it. It felt like I had been exactly where I needed to be today and this evening and tonight. So, why did someone have to hit the car as I drive home? And why did he have to drive off, as though he hadn’t just rammed his car into this one?

What’s more, why did he have to be a clear stereotype expressed in reality?

I don’t know what to do about it all, but I’m getting really sick of having a new car. Sure, it reliably gets me places. However, it also has cost me more in repairs than the old little blue car ever did. Plus, I’m paying literally thousands more for this one. All just to get ridiculously stressed out every handful of days.

But it does get me places reliably. And maybe that’s the point, somehow.

Somehow…

Things got messed up with school, and they didn’t pay me. Naturally, this happened just after my having to pay this lump sum of nonsense for the windshield repair BS the car dealership put me through. So, that all likely will be rolling into my credit tomorrow morning… they, of course, are providing me with a physical check to replace the digital error… tomorrow morning.

And then this tonight, just as that was potentially about to be solved.

God and Universe, please help me to read whatever this language is, because I’m not getting the message properly yet – I need help.

Post-a-day 2021

Reminders and Surprises

I think we are given exactly what we need, exactly when we need it in life.

I have not recently been earning loads of money. I began this week a short-term teaching position that pays much higher than my recent earnings. I was looking forward to getting a few things handled, financially during this time working here, earning more money. I also am prepping for some really fun new work to begin once this teaching position finishes this Fall.

However, I had a chunk of a filling – a filling that never should have been replaced, was replaced poorly, and has been falling apart ever since – fall out the other day, to the point that it must be fixed now, as I cannot bite effectively anything at all with any front teeth. I called the old dentist and asked if they would do anything about the filling. After an extremely frustrating telephone call, I thanked the office person, and evaluated my options. I needed to find a new dentist.

I almost immediately called the dentist who was recommended to me by a dentist buddy of mine (who lives out of town), and whose website I had rather liked. Of course, I hadn’t let all the frustration release yet from the first phone call, and so was practically sobbing as I chocked out my explanation of why I was calling their office. The office girl was wonderful, though, in all ways, and even got me an appointment for that afternoon. Suffice it to say that everything about this dentist’s office felt right. I signed up for the yearly dental cleaning etc. plan with him, and have a cleaning and check-up scheduled for next week.

The repairs on my teeth, however? He definitely listened to me and heard me in everything. He seems genuinely to care about my situation, rather than as though it is just a job. He does dentistry, because it helps make a positive difference in real people’s lives almost every day. So, the plan for fixing my teeth to the full way I want them to be long-term is just over eleven hundred dollars. And, from comparing prices elsewhere, that’s actually quite a decent price, since he’ll be doing teeth whitening with it. (Because, let’s be real here: I want beautiful, straight, white teeth. I’ve got the straight part finally, and they’re white-er, but not all the way to where I want them. And the fillings [both front teeth need them] are part of the beautiful aspect.) However, it is still $1100.

But maybe I can handle that, especially with the 6-month payment plan option.

However, something large and loud hit my windshield on the highway. I was shaking afterward, it had been so terrifying, and the crack so loud. The windshield insurance I had purchased took days to get back to me, at which point the crack had spread. They said they wouldn’t do anything for such a crack, as it was longer than only a few inches…. ‘So, what is the point of your windshield insurance? It would cost less to get a chip filled anywhere, than the fee I pay monthly for your nonsense insurance…. What are you actually insuring???’ And so, when I went to a glass repair shop today, they said the crack had now expanded too much for safety, and that they would not even plug it to stop it from running further…, but they would have done so, had I not waited on the response from the insurance place, and the crack hadn’t grown so much… UGH…

So, how much does the replacement cost? Oh, a thousand dollars. Because the car is too new.

I pray to God that the manufacturer’s warranty or something will cover some part of this replacement. I have an appointment with the dealership tomorrow morning. (They give shuttle rides from the dealership via Uber, but won’t give return rides. So, you can drop off your car to them, but you can never get it back…) This way, though, since I have an appointment, they can handle the other problems I’ve had with the car lately, of which I had to get videos, in order to prove I wasn’t making up the problems. But I have the videos now…

So, we’ll see how that all goes…

Anyway, so all of this is happening, right?

I go to a resale shop, meeting my mom there, to find some work pants for me. Yes, fitness is great, but not fitting into the only business work clothes I have is not great. So, I need new work pants…. aka more money needed to be spent… ugh…

We find nothing, and that’s okay. I trust the World and God.

As I am leaving, I am presented with a situation that reminds me of the value and importance of commitment, intention, and just going for it, no matter how odd or uncomfortable it may be socially or emotionally – when it is what needs to happen, just do it. That is how we help make the world a better place, step by step, day by day, interaction by interaction, person by person.

And all of my monetary frustrations, though they did not disappear, suddenly were not so important as they had seemed. No, I don’t know how I will manage all of this yet. But that “yet” is what makes all the difference. At some point, I will manage it all. I trust that, as I believe in myself and my life and the world around me. I am not here to suffer, but to make a positive difference in the world through being my whole, fully self-expressed self.

And so that is exactly what I shall do. I am nervous, but also calm now. I can only do what I can do, and stressing about something serves no one.

Post-a-day 2021

Man, oh, man…

Do you ever have a sudden 180, and go from feeling proud and confident and comfortable to feeling absolutely undeserving and unworthy?

One of my best friends connected me with someone last year. We got along well, but he wasn’t about being not in the same location. Okay, fine. My friend and I both were surprised by that, but it is what it is, and he wasn’t open to options.

Nonetheless, my friend encouraged the connection, and the guy and I stayed in contact, and I even went so far as to have him be a sort of fitness buddy, with whom I discussed this and that around our similar workout regimens. It was cool and fun.

So, we finally meet in person, at my friend’s wedding. And we get on really well. And I feel great about myself and confident and comfortable. And it’s an amazing time.

Even after the wedding, I am still in that space and the guy and I are still getting along.

Then, my friend wants to know what I thought after meeting the guy in person. I share. We discuss. It is silly, yet fun. She then speaks to one of the major drawbacks I had crossed with the guy. And with that information, she unknowingly blows my mind.

Yes, that drawback is still the same drawback. But now, this guy is more attractive than ever…

To the point that I, confident and comfortable I, feel as though I am not on the right level for him, that I am not worthy of him.

And then begins the positive feedback cycle, swirling ever downward… he doesn’t like me, and no wonder: I’m not good enough. I’m a failure in so many ways already, and, now, because of them, I’m a failure with this, too… And so it continues.

I have listened to my responses, and I have let them go each time. I have felt the physical reaction to such an emotion, and I have allowed it to be just what it is. And I have looked inside to see what had me lose my value as a person, simply because of money (because that’s what it was really about).

I’m not all the way there yet. But I am improving. I was in a significantly worse space only hours ago, than I am now. I don’t feel great about it all – not at all. But I am feeling less and less crap and anger, which is a beautiful sign so far.

Now, to sleep through the night and see what steps I will take tomorrow. Those steps will be toward clearing up this struggle for myself. I feel inadequate, because I know I can do better than I have done, but I let something stop me, somewhere along the line. So, let’s figure out who or what it was, and get past it already.

Post-a-day 2021

Ouch…

But seriously, who invented all the nonsense that goes alongside menstruation? Utter nonsense… ::facepalm

Anyway, this weekend, I saw the wife of someone I know. Though I had seen the husband many, many times, I had not seen the wife until this Saturday.

When I first saw her, it took a few moments to process fully what I was seeing. Then it took another few moments to allow for my initial reactions. And another few to crave indulging in them. And a final few to allow them just to be, and then, therefore, to release. Rather than being upset by what I saw, I knew I could have it be a positive experience – even if it took some effort.

“Body goals,” I told myself, letting it fall heavily from my lips, the initial sigh thereby dispersed. Music was playing loudly at the gym, so I had no overhearing ears. I really only could feel the words vibrate through my body, as it wasn’t loud enough for my own ears to hear over the music.

But I felt it… and in more ways than one.

After that, I kept going back and forth between awe at how amazing she was physically, and wanting to break down crying at how far away I am from that right now.

I knew pitying myself was neither necessary nor valuable, so I always let that one go. But that didn’t stop it from co to hint to pop up at intervals throughout the whole day afterward, and even the following day somewhat.

As a friend reminded me later, the wife probably wasn’t like that when they got married, and it probably took her years to get to that point. Same for the husband. (Though, he was always less intimidating or whatever, because he’s male, I suppose.) It wasn’t an overnight process for either of them, and they probably weren’t already like that when they first met one another or even got married.

That idea gives me hope… that I can find someone who is fit beautifully already and who values my own work thus far, but who will continue to grow with me and thereby support and empower me o to further-enhanced fitness throughout our future. I would continue this same road, but no longer on my own. I’d have a true partner in crime for it all. (So to speak, that is… haha)

Anyway,… there’s that ouch and the menstruation and resulting digestion ouch, and the utter exhaustion that they and all the other stress have brought for this evening.

Alas, I shall now go sleep… with an alarm every two-ish hours, of course, to use the bathroom. ::facepalm I swear…, whoever made up this nonsense must have been severely out of his wits at the time… Man

Post-a-day 2021

Longing for Catharsis

I have a lot of emotion going throughout me right now. It has been a calm yet tumultuous few/several days over here, and the circumstances suggest that there will be at least a handful or so more.

And yet…

Perhaps this has been thrown at me so powerfully simply so that I might get husked into gear on a few different things… meditation…, finishing sorting…, fitness goals…, art. These are things I have wanted to be greater parts of my life, especially lately, yet I had joy taken real steps towards making that happen. Perhaps these stresses are here to encourage – read “force” – me into just going ahead and doing them already.

I shall consider this, and see what actions lie immediately before me as likely aids in further alleviating this discomfort. While running, especially with the weighted vest, had been somewhat cathartic, I can tell that it is not enough. I will run myself into the ground, if I keep pushing it the way it feels I would need to do to get this all out of me. I have already begun the meditation this past week, and have felt a pull to do even more of it – it felt right but not enough. It was the same with doing laundry. I have a feeling the others will be the same, too.

Tomorrow, my calendar is empty.

Alors, tomorrow is the day to do exactly those things I just listed. I shall begin.

P.S. Today has been 4.20, and I didn’t even realize it. It was wonderfully ironic that someone asked me to help with something at the store, and, when I pulled it out of the bag, it wreaked of marijuana. 😛

Post-a-day 2021

What are you doin’ New Year’s Eve?

First off, I love the little video (from almost ten years ago!) and version of this from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. It is adorable and beautiful, and they are both adorable and beautiful in it. Anyway, to answer the question, I will be staying with my mother in a little beach-front-ish hotel on the main little island about an hour southeast of Houston: Galveston. Many people complain about it being dirty or something of the sort, but it is merely the clay soil we have that makes the water not-clear and brown most of the time. The sand is also brown, but it is much softer than any white sand I have ever crossed. All-in-all, I really like Galveston. It is a wonderful connection to the ocean for us here in Houston, and my mother and I tend to remember it and visit it and appreciate it greatly often. New Year’s Eve will be yet another of those many occasions.

The reason we are going is that 1) I like to watch the first sunrise of the year, as is customary in Japanese culture, and 2) my mom wanted to go do something adventure-y somewhere not-at-home recently, and wasn’t able to go do that. So, I offered for us to combine the two things, and handle both our goals, and together. I booked the hotel room this morning, and I even got a little extra discount, because I had signed up for a rewards program thing back when I lived in Japan, and I was getting a hotel in Korea for the weekend I attended a dance even there. (Fun fact: I had to change the currency from Korean ₩ won to US $ dollars when I logged into it. [Double fun fact: The $ is technically the Mexican peso symbol. The US dollar symbol has two vertical lines through the S.])

So, that’s what I’ll be doing. I also may or may not be going to bed around 8pm… like I am right now… 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Working it out…?

I am going to test out my old gym this coming week, and see how it goes, how I like it all. I am nervous both that I will like it and that I will not like it. If I like it, I still will have to figure out whether I want to find a way to make it work to go there again, despite the super high price now. If I don’t like it, I will have to get myself sorted in entirely doing workouts at home for the future. While I trust that I can do that, I do not want to do that. That’s a lot of alone time for something I prefer to have as a social situation.

So, we shall see… fingers crossed that, no matter the experience this next week, I am complete about how it goes and about how to move forward with and from the experience.

And now, I must sleep, as my alarm will be going off at five, because sign-ups open 24 hours before the start of the class… and they have very limited capacities…, and I need to attend the 5:15am class. Ugh. So, I’m getting up at five not even for a workout, but to sign up for a workout. Totally ridiculous, I agree. 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Lend a helping hand… from a distance, of course

On my way home tonight, tired, I pulled up to a stoplight and waved with a shake of my head to a young guy slightly shaking a small red gas can toward me in an almost greeting. As I come to a full stop, I hear him say aloud, “I’m not even asking for any money.”

I crack the passenger window – automatic in my just-picked-up new car!!! – a bit and ask him for what he is asking. He tells me he just needs a ride, his bike was towed, and he’s been trying to get help for hours.

I wasn’t sure about the scenario… I’ve always ridden with the tow truck when having a vehicle towed. Perhaps he parked illegally and had the bike towed.

“Where are you needing to go?” I ask him.

“Just 45 and the beltway,” he says, as though that isn’t a half-hour drive away by highway.

“North or south?”

“South.”

Yup. Half an hour. And in the opposite direction of my home.

I nyackered, and don’t want to be driving for another hour. He is also looking rather sweaty and I just picked up this brand new car. I don’t exactly want a sweaty person in it ever, but especially not at this moment. Not that that would be my reason to deny helping him, but it is a factor. Really, I don’t want to spend half an hour in any car with this unknown kid/guy. His desperation makes his space a little rough and hard to read.

“I’d even give you money like an Über… that’s really all I need.” He has kept talking, but I’ve not been paying full attention to his words.

“What kind of bike do you have?”

“A Suzuki,” he says.

“Yeah, but what kind?”

He tells me some numbers… perhaps a 300 something?… I drive a 300cc Vespa…, so that isn’t a very hefty bike, if that’s what he said… No, he didn’t say 300, but I don’t know what he said…

I didn’t really listen to his words – just that they were the right kind of words, naming an actual type of motorcycle, and hey had no hesitation to them. They were simply a statement in response to a question. And that’s what I wanted.

The light had turned green.

“Shit,” I say, and I pause just a moment before saying, “I’ll meet you at the gas station.” I point as I say this to the gas station on the corner, through the intersection where I was stopped. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do, but I would figure it out without the pressure of a green light and cars waiting behind me.

Seconds later, as I pulled into the lot, I knew I would get him an Über. I didn’t really want to be alone with him – after all, I was then parking in a specifically lighted area next to the building of the gas station, because his vibe was just enough off that I wanted to stay in the light and visible with him around – and I had the added aspects of exhaustion and keeping the car clean.

When he made it over to me, I was leaning on the hood of my car, pulling up Über on my phone. I knew there was a reason I kept this app on my phone, and even logged it back in. Thank you, Universe, World, and God for that.

I pulled up where he wanted to go – and yes, it was 27 minutes away – and ordered a car for him. Why didn’t he just order one himself? He apparently left his phone in his bike. The bike whose carburetor had blown, requiring it to be towed. He had just grabbed his stuff out of the bike in a hurry and let it go, not realizing until afterward that his phone was still with it.

He looked disheveled enough and carried the right odd mixture of bags for this to be believable. Trust me, when I have unexpectedly had to stop somewhere while on my bike (Vespa), I have definitely walked inside with the oddest-looking set of “baggage”.

I didn’t see a helmet with him, but I didn’t want to find out that he rode without one, and a small part of me didn’t want to tear apart his story enough to disprove it. His desperation to get home was real, and that, apparently, was enough for me. Whether his story was true or not, I appreciated his effort in making it all up and having details enough to go with it. Though, in full frankness, he did not strike me as someone to come up with much backstory detail when trying to pull a fast one on somebody. I mean no offense by that statement. Most people wouldn’t come up with much backstory in a scenario ahead of time. So, I was hoping he was in the most people category, and so was just genuinely telling the truth (or, at least, his version of it). But, just in case, I didn’t want to find out that he wasn’t. So, I didn’t ask about the helmet, nor did I ask any further questions. I knew what I needed to know: He needed help, and he was grateful to have found it.

He said he had been there for hours, trying to get help from somebody. Obviously that was to no avail until I stopped for him. I didn’t mention to him that he was in the wrong neighborhood for looking as he did, and expecting someone to pick him up and drove him half an hour away… or anywhere at all. This was a Mercedes and Tesla and Range Rover neighborhood around us right now. They don’t give people rides off the side of the road. But they might give you a dollar or few just for standing there.

If I hadn’t picked up the new car, and had been in my old one, it would have made sense that I had stopped. I in my crappy-looking 2002 Hyundai, with duct tape and peeled paint all over the place, crank windows, and only three door handles that work… it would have been obvious that I didn’t belong in that neighborhood’s genre of people, had I been in that car. But I had just picked up the new one, the one I am leasing, and so I almost seemed to fit into the crowd of shiny expensive cars all around. Nonetheless, I was not one of them, and the fact that I stopped and invested my time (and money) into this kid showed as much (to me, anyway).

I was proud of the fact that I had grown up in that neighborhood, yet was the one who was willing to stop to help, to give my time to someone in need, in a sudden desperate situation. Even though I didn’t wasn’t to mess with it, I found myself doing it anyway, because it just felt necessary for this poor kid’s sake.

I think he was in college, at the University of Houston, because he was wearing a UofH mask and had something else I don’t specifically recall that made him seem like a student there. He also had the physical look and mental space of a college student, or someone very near that age, anyway. He spoke on the younger side of life, not as a college graduate. I think he thought I was the same age, and not over half as much more. But that was okay.

He shared of his concern that Coronavirus was keeping people away, scared to help him. Had my life changed much because of the virus? I told him an extremely brief version of my running incident the other week, and how the people were too afraid to help me as I lay in the road. But, otherwise, my life wasn’t all that different than pre-Coronavirus.

He told me about his name on Facebook while we waited for the car, and I smiled at the genuine sweetness. He was clearly grateful, and he was relieved beyond explanation. There was no denying that.

As he was getting into the Über, he reminded me to ‘”send that request”. I smiled and said comfortably that I probably wouldn’t. He smiled back and said, “Okay,” not so much disappointed as understanding of my honesty and my lack of desire to send him a friend request on Facebook.

Man sieht sich immer zweimal im Leben.

If it is meant to be, our paths will cross again at some point, at least once more.

Twenty-nine minutes later, after I’d gotten home and was already getting ready for bed, about to shower, I received the notification that my Über ride was completed. He had been dropped off right by a gas station that is at the entrance to a neighborhood, and not just at the mall, as he had told me to input for the ride. It was only a few streets from the mall, but on the other side of the highway. I think he probably lives in the neighborhood there, and the driver offered to take him more to where he was going than just the mall as a whole, and on the opposite side of the highway. I was glad to see that. And relieved.

What an adventure, eh? And all I did was go home, and be nice along the way. It cost me only a few minutes of my time and $29.93. Whatever the guy’s real story, I was glad to have been able to help him get where he needed to be. Yes, that is a lot more money to me than to most people. But it felt right and worth it to pay for this kid’s ride home. For whatever reason, he was desperate and needed it. And I had it, and wasn’t desperate.

“Just pay it forward, okay?” He seemed slightly confused, probably thinking I meant actual money for the Über driver. “Do something to help someone else now.” And he understood, both that I wasn’t expecting him to pay me or the driver anything, and that I wanted him to pay forward the kindness.

And that felt right.

So, I’ll see ya when I see ya, Alfred. I hope you get yourself more organized and at ease by then than you were tonight, and I wish you all the best going forward.

All in three hours’ work

Well, today, something amazing happened(!!!)!

As we sat in the car, which was freshly parked by my dad, I told him the final detail of what I wanted him specifically to know before we went inside. ‘I only want to work with someone I like, someone with whom I feel comfortable doing business. So, if I don’t feel comfortable with whoever comes up to us, I’m going to tell him to go help other customers and that I want to be left alone, please. And then I will find someone I do like and trust to help me. Okay? I just want you to know that, because I am not working with someone with whom I don’t want to work.’

He surprised me by not saying or suggesting anything in disagreement with or contestation with my words, and just saying a genuine and semi-excited, “Okay.”

Not quite three and a half hours later, we drove out of the lot in separate vehicles, my having leased my first car (and that included over an hour of just sitting in the finance department, waiting for an agent to become available to let me sign paperwork, after we had already settled everything with the car salesperson).

My dad was blown away. While we were waiting on the final bits of negotiation between our saleswoman and her manager, my dad kept commenting on how he had never gotten a car on the first time he had walked into a place. He once bought a suburban on the same day he first saw it, but he had test driven it, then gone home and discussed things with his then-wife, and they had gone back later that evening and purchased it. Other than that, though, he hadn’t gotten anywhere near purchasing a vehicle on the same day he first saw it.

But I was prepared. I had been looking at used cars for so long, to no car-providing avail, and I was sick of them all. When I had looked deeper into leasing and discovered that I just might be able to lease a vehicle all on my own, despite my annual salary being iffy, so to speak, and my being self-employed. I had enough money to put down, after all, and my credit history is amazing, despite my work history being wonkers the past few years. I’ve had a credit card that I have always paid on time and usually paid in full for over eleven years, and I paid off all my student loans within three and a half years of their first being required to be paid upon. Do someone with so little money going back and forth in her life, I’ve done a great job of building a positive credit history and credit score, greatly due to my father’s initial step of having me open a credit card in order to begin that process. And I had a back-up plan, if needed, for a co-signer on the lease, but it didn’t sound like a likely necessity. I just had to make sure the car price (MSRP) was under my yearly salary last year.

What’s more, I did some research on car salespersons’ commissions (I suggest reading the basic info and a personal account I found in my research), and I knew I wanted to take as little of a salesperson’s time as possible. And that would benefit me as well as the salesperson – win-win. And my dad… win-win-win! 😛

So, we walked into the showroom this afternoon, I , in a comedic way, found myself kind of loving the energetic older Chinese lady with a very strong Chinese accent who greeted us right near the door, handing us her business cards from her blue-gloved hands, and reminding me of Japan and their business card culture, as well as the shamelessness often found in Chinese culture (ironically enough). I told her why I was there, and she took me to her desk to figure out some details of what vehicles were available for lease that matched what I was seeking.

While sitting there, she comments to me that I have very pretty eyes, and I thank her. I happen to agree, so I determine that I will accept the compliment despite its potential aim at being falsely friendly in order to get a sale. After a few minutes, she says-asks that I’d been there before, right? I told her that I had not. After an Oh exhale, she says that I just look familiar. Another possible “move”, but it doesn’t bother me. She could also be being genuine. It wouldn’t be the first time for me.

After a few minutes more, she asks me again, asking if I’m sure I’ve not been there before. I tell her that, no, I have never been in here before today. She genuinely seems a bit bugged about this, and tells me that I just look so familiar. I smile.

When we get up and start walking to go outside and “Pick the color you like,” she says suddenly, “Well, do you dance?” still looking at me quizzically. I stop and look at her more carefully.

“Yes,” I tell her.

Within a few more sentences, we have both worked out that we know exactly who the other person is. She wasn’t anyone who did dance classes, but she was friends with some guys who did, and often would go out dancing with them, and that sometimes meant with a group that included me.

When I ran into dance friends at dinner tonight, I relayed this story to them. Brows were crooked and eyes were rolled at first, but everyone laughed and sighed when I said the, ‘Do you dance?’ line – they know exactly how that works in life. You can’t place a person, but dance is mentioned and it suddenly all clicks into place (and you sometimes have to evaluate what side of you this person has seen in the dance world before moving forward). One of the girls at dinner knew just whom I meant when I described the car saleswoman. The dance community is like that – we kind of all know each other, even if only distantly or in passing of sorts.

Anyway, tangent ended…

So, I introduced her to my dad at that point, and explained the connection to him. He was surprised and obviously a bit more at ease. We then chatted about dance stuff while walking out to the cars, and it was just kind of really cool.

Once at the cars, we got down to business. My dad and I browsed details and asked questions, both agreed that the dark gray was not only a good-looking vehicle but also the best-looking one out there.

We test drive it. 2.0L versus 1.8L engine made a huge difference for this little car. We were impressed by the pickup and by the interior quiet and vehicle stability feeling on the highway. Really impressed, actually. This car was much better than I remembered from the oneI drive in college that belonged to a friend of mine.

I liked this car.

And so, after the test drive, I said a clear yes to wanting to see about leasing it, and the saleswoman got to work. Tentative prices were shown, and I approved a credit check in myself. When they approved my credit score, real negotiations began. My dad helped me with the bargaining part – I’m not the greatest with that, which was part of why I wanted him with me in the first place – and the saleswoman was actually really awesome throughout it all. Frankly, the directness of her Chinese culture was a huge relief to both my dad and me. It is just utterly annoying having to deal with the excuse and BS nonsense I so often hear from salespeople from US-born culture. We don’t need to come up with excuses for why you are offering this versus that. Just say your offer, and I’ll say mine, and we’ll continue easily that way, with no one getting offended on either side. And that is just what we did.

And it was so easy, I barely even felt any stress at all. My only actual stress, really, was when I realized I needed to go to the bathroom, but I kept having to read or do something or wait for my dad to come back from the bathroom and then an important time-sensitive thing he had to do on his phone for a few minutes (sign up for his lap swimming at the pool as soon as the registration room opened at 3:00 for Tuesday, that is)… literally the only time I felt actual stress at that place.

When our offers were getting pretty close to being met, my dad started to retract his statement of waiting to call back until Monday or Tuesday. “We might be able just to do this all today,” he said, slightly amazed. And then repeated every so often, when a new price drop had occurred.

Eventually, our exact number request was met, I signed a tentative proof and filled out some further information, and we were walked over to and dropped off at finance to sit and wait to sign the real papers.

We had spent roughly twenty minutes doing the initial desk stuff, then just over half an hour on the colors and test drive, just over half an hour on negotiations, another ten finalizing , and then over an hour just waiting for finance, and not quite half an hour in a finance room, signing papers.

Then, after one last bathroom break, I met the saleswoman and my dad in a certain covered vehicle area just outside, and took a few pictures and connected to Bluetooth and played around with the keyless start (my dad was quite delighted by that part, actually), before driving on out (and then immediately calling my mom on the car phone system…, which turned out to be quite decent, actually).

And so, now, I have a car that is reliable, super covered under warranties and full maintenance coverage, high-tech, handsome, and, really, quite fun to drive.

I am grateful for such an awesome turnout for today. Thank you, Life and World and Dance. 😀

P.S. One of the photos the saleswoman took while I was talking to my dad for his photo.

Post-a-day 2020

Normal life, again

Reading the epilogue of a book tonight, I found myself smiling and marveling at one of the ideas presented by the man to his love. He is giving her money to live a life she never anticipated or even hoped to pursue, because he wants her “to live”. He doesn’t mean, he says, that she needs to be jumping off tall buildings or swimming with whales – though he very much likes the idea of imagining her doing just that – just that he wants her to live life fully, out in the world as a full participant in it.

I was truly marveling at how amazing that would be… her going out and bungee jumping off a tall building and swimming with whales. That any average girl (well, woman) would have done such things, and that it inevitably would be a surprise to anyone who found out about it, because she was just so normal a person – as opposed to an obvious thrill-seeker or adventure type, I mean. How amazing that would be if I could ever have my life be such that I could go do such things.

And then I had a thought that rather shocked me, and that I mentally sputtered over: I have.

My eyes wide, I searched my inner head for clarification on the thought that had just popped up. I already have done that…. both of those…

And then, clear as day, I saw how I truly had actually done both of those things… and I’d forgotten about them. I see myself and my life as so utterly normal, even I forgot that I had pursued such adventures. Now, to be fair, the bungee jumping was more like jumping off of a tall platform led structure than a downtown skyscraper or anything. Though, I’m not too sure it’s safe or possible to bungee off those buildings in the first place… anyway…. But that was in college. I helped a small group of folks go, and it was a total blast. And, for the whales, I have to check to verify that they count as whales. They were whale sharks, you see. One even ran right into me, and I got to feel he fellow, skin to skin, while we meandered together in the waters.

**Okay, I just verified: They are sharks. So, in a way, that part is even more shocking: I’ve swum with sharks. And not while in cages. Haha. Frightening, really. But perhaps it would be even more frightening to swim with something two, three, or four times the size… with perhaps several of them around. Hmm… how could I have that happen safely in my life? Goals… 😉

Anyway… when did I turn into this person? This person who adventures so easily, she hardly even considers herself as someone who adventures at all? Perhaps that is exactly why I keep feeling like I’m not doing the right things with my life. I feel that I am being unproductive, slow, and not myself…, and it might just be because myself is accustomed to adventure as the casual, the regular, the “Let’s grab lunch next week,” kind of statement – it’s just plain normal. And that’s why pursuing any semblance of normal life never quite feels right.

… Wow…

And that’s why pursuing any semblance of normal life never quite feels right.

Remember that, Banana.

Post-a-day 2020