Category Archives: Living Life and Yoga, Too

Adulting: Buying a Condo

Even though I live by myself, pay taxes, contribute $400 a month to my 403b, spend way too much money at the grocery store on all-natural and organic foods, no longer have student loans, own my own car, and work a 9-5, I still don’t feel like an adult. I keep thinking that maybe I’ll truly feel like an adult when I get married or have kids or buy a house. I don’t feel like a child or even a young adult, but I just don’t feel like…my parents.

There are some perks to not feeling like an adult. I still look youthful, I get lots of birthday and Christmas presents from my family, and no one seems to expect me to bring anything to the holiday family get-togethers.

Recently, though, I got the itch to buy my own place. I’ve lived in Chicago for five years and for 4 years and 11 months of that, I had no desire to own a house. I even said I was happy to rent for the rest of my life. About a month ago, the flip was switched. I was ready!

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What if my Luck has Run Out?

With only a few months left of living in Hong Kong, I was grabbed by a stranger who ran past me on the sidewalk near my house. I turned and watched him run away, my feet unable to move. I screamed obscenities at him. I texted my friends. I called the police. I went to the station and told many people my story. I went to court but didn’t have to testify because the culprit pleaded guilty.

I hesitate to call it sexual assault, but he did violate me and my personal space. After the incident, I was shaken and pissed that this man had taken a piece of my dignity. I hated that he made me feel unsafe and unsure in my seemingly very safe Hong Kong bubble.

Afterwards, I was more cautious about where I went and how I got there. But in the five years since, I’m still fairly nonchalant about my safety. I’ve never once carried pepper spray, I leave my second floor windows open all the time, and I take public transportation/walk home whenever I can.

Last Saturday, my mom sent me an article about a woman who was sexually assaulted not five minutes from my house. She was the twelfth victim in a month in the neighborhood directly south of mine. That night I went on a very bad “date” where as soon as the guy sat down, he told me that he “forgot his roofies”. When I schooled him on how NOT funny rape jokes are, he asked if “it” had “ever happened to me.” I told him no. “Has it happened to someone you know?” Again, I told him no. “Then why do you care so much?”

“Excuse me, you POS, just because I have never been raped or don’t have friends that have told me if they have been raped, it doesn’t mean that I can’t have a stance on rape or on rape jokes.”

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That Time I Sobbed While Meditating

I’ve flirted with the idea of meditation for quite some time (what is meditation you ask? read here). In December 2015, I went to a yoga and meditation retreat where five minutes into every 30 minute-session my legs ached from sitting still – we did that twice a day for five days, mind you. A while back, I read an article about seven ways to happiness (see previous post) which states that you should meditate for two minutes every day. I tried that for like…2 days…then I gave up. At one point, I downloaded the Headspace app. Fell asleep every time…because I did it before bed. *insert eye roll emoji here*

I have been lucky enough to have some amazing “out of body” experiences, too (literally and figuratively). When I first started taking yoga classes in college, I’d lay in savasana (that relaxing pose at the end of every class) and could SEE MYSELF. No freakin’ joke. I’d be above myself looking AT myself. (And, no, I wasn’t dead, in purgatory, or in seven minutes in heaven.) Also, almost every time I go to my acupuncturist, I can zone out in mediation with needles stuck out of my head, hands, legs, and feet for a good 20-30 minutes.

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If I Lived in Ottawa Again…

As I drove into Ottawa recently, tears sprung. I really do love this town. I had the best job I’ve ever had while living there, I enjoyed my friends, and it’s where my yoga blossomed. Yet, I was lonely a lot of the time because I was too scared to do anything alone. If I lived in O-town again, I would:

  • sit in the park and read books
  • go to the farmers’ market every Saturday
  • walk to yoga every week
  • join an activity or a sport
  • try new restaurants by myself
  • walk around the plentiful parks
  • go to the movies alone
  • shop alone (and I don’t mean to Walmart on Saturday night for groceries)
  • and by golly I’d go to a laundromat

My life when I lived there was my job (which, did I mention I loved?) and my VCR. Thanks to my parents, other family, and friend visits, I actually left my comfort zone. Yes, I had friends that lived in Ottawa, but they were all married and/or had a family. We did things together, but not often enough. I was too scared to “bother them,” though I’m sure they would’ve welcomed me into their family lives more than they already did.

It’s crazy to think that 7 years after leaving this town, I do just about anything anywhere by myself. Where was this tenacious, give no effs self then? I hesitate to call these regrets because I wasn’t ready to be that person. But if I could do it all over again, I’d be more adventurous, even if it was as simple as buying a hot chocolate at Jeremiah Joe’s and reading a book while solo. Thanks, Ottawa, for always having a special place in my heart xoxo

My Dream: Hygge

From a young age I assumed my life would go the traditional route: meet a man, fall in deep, passionate love, get married, buy a house with a picket fence and a blooming garden, have babies, live happily ever after. When my life didn’t exactly work out that way, I started dreaming more broadly.

For starters, I wanted to move to Asia. I’d been there in college and had *that* feeling when I was traveling around China; I knew I’d live there again. So, I did it. I researched, I day-dreamed – a lot – and moved to Hong Kong.

Then when I was in Hong Kong and my “get married and have a baby” dream wasn’t coming any closer to fruition, I dreamed up a new dream: at the age of 35 if I was no closer to having a family, I would move abroad again. I’d always been interested in joining the Peace Corps, I wanted to learn Spanish, I’d like to see more of South America, etc. The possibilities were endless.

Recently, though, that “move abroad again” dream faded. I like living in Chicago. I love my job. I love my new yoga gig. My family is close. My life is here and I’m not ready to leave – even if 35 is 1.5 years away. As the “move abroad again” dream receded, a new dream formed:

Own a tea shop & yoga studio

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