Archive for the 'nostalgia' Category

describing a bit of the past and present (and ruminating on the future)

Happy New Year, everyone; I hope it’s been going well. After being slammed with an enrollment hold due to academic probation, an enrollment hold because I forgot to pay my tuition, a lack of housing and a breakup, I’m well-rested and healthy (well, I *was* healthy, but I think I just caught the flu from my dad), and am currently at the Halloween Town world in Kingdom Hearts.

I’m a little miffed that my sister went to Siem Reep and Kuala Lumpur without me. Damn, why couldn’t I just have taken winter quarter off, too? (Answer: Because after six months of being out of school, I would have to start repaying my college loans.) Now I know what it feels like to be on the vicarious end of an adventure.

Stanford is just as I remember it– cold as all hell during the winter, albeit gorgeous whenever the sun’s out. I haven’t seen everyone yet, but the friends I’ve run into look and act the same, only nine months older. The frosh look and act really young to me now, though. It reminds me of when I came back from Japan and returned to high school as a senior and noticed how small the freshmen were.

Speaking of Japan, I’ve found a lot of my old AFS Tokyo friends on Facebook in the past year. It’s fun to see what they’ve been doing and how much we’ve changed, even though we look more or less the same. And it’s awesome to meet up with them because it’s like a blast from the past, a past of which I’ve forgotten so much. 

Last year in SF I met up with Sin Yee, my best friend from Japan (she’s from KL), and showed her and her friends around while we reminisced about karaoke-ing, purikura, a boy named Masa – whom I’ve also found on Facebook – and the day he “married” us in a pagoda in Tokyo. I’m still really sad that all my pictures from that day got deleted when I dropped my camera. They included, among other things, pictures of us and a Ghirardelli Earthquake. ;_;

In Paris, I got to chill with Pascal. (I remember him as the first guy who ever proved to me that guys think about sex 24/7. Ah, les Francais. XD) Turns out he goes to ESCP-EAP – meaning he’s absolutely brill! – but he’s as nuts as I remember: He sat down and immediately started trading Jewish mom stories with my friend Alex (a half-Indian, half-Slovenian Parisian Jew :). It turned into a contest of Jewish mom jokes, but with the French, you can never tell if they’re trying to one-up each other or if they’re just having fun…

I can’t believe it’s been four years since I left Japan. I also can’t believe that I still haven’t contacted my host family. I’d really love to go back and live in Tokyo, but I’d want to talk to my host family and liaison before doing that, and I know it wouldn’t be the same without everyone there. (Well, Diogo’s still there, but he’s like totally fluent now.) Plus, I have a couple more places I’d like hit up before going back. 

Maybe there’s a limit to the number of languages that I can learn and the number of places I can live in. Should I just give up on working in South America and Africa so I can start making a name for myself in the Japanese rock scene already? The prime of my life has been ticking away. I’ve got to start prioritizing.

Wait, what the hell kind of priority is Japanese rock stardom?


spending time in preparation

I’ve packed up my life too many times to count, or even remember. Bags and boxes have become a permanent fixture in my house, or wherever my home happens to be at the moment. I used to get frustrated with losing things that were important to me, only to find that the distance of a few months or years made them lose their value completely.

Now I only have a handful of prized possessions, and even then I’d gladly let them burn because they’re so easily replaceable. I wouldn’t mind losing my old diaries, or photographs, or the many hard drives I’ve written stories on over the years. I’ve already lost some of them, but from those losses I’ve learned to always reinvent myself, keep things fresh, even at the risk of forgetting. It’s because I figure that the things worth remembering will stay salient in my mind (or at least on the Internet). And too often I would slip into the trap of relying on my past self too much for ideas or adventures.

Maybe those artifacts will become precious to me when I can no longer live the life I’m living, when I’m old and tired and adventured out, when I have to live vicariously through the self I remember being, and even then through things remembered for me since my memory will have faded. But for now, I’ll put aside material things and continue to write those stories that my frail, forgetful old self will read and enjoy and repeat and repeat and repeat…

That’s how you live forever, you know.

twenty years of mischief management

On this day twenty years ago, I was born at 7:43 pm Eastern time in Queens, New York. I’ve lived in four countries and nine different houses and have taken on a number of different personae. I’ve ditched meat and the binding chains of schoolwork and have resumed dreaming as fervently as I had when I was little. I’d like to get my shit together, but I’ll be forever distracted until I find something I’m passionate about. (That won’t stop me from trying time and again, though.)

I thought I was going to lament the end of my teenage years, but they were mostly moody and awkward anyway. I’ll try to be cooler in this next decade.

Dear Future Self,

I hope you are awesome.



This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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