Wednesday, November 2, 2011

29 memories

29 memories for you, to commemorate my 29 years-o-living.

1. even though my childhood was sort of bad, there were some really good moments here and there.

2. most of my happy moments involve my sister.

3. i wrote a play in 5th grade about a knight who betrayed his king by stabbing him in the back, literally.

4. middle school was the worst. wracked with self-doubt, if i reached a dial tone when i called a friend, i'd immediately dial all of my other friends' numbers. if any of their numbers were also busy, i'd convince myself they were talking about me.

5. i lived in korea with my grandparents when i was 3 years old because my parents were both in grad school and couldn't take care of me. my grandpa and i would go on long drives while singing old korean folk songs.

6. the fist time i was alone with a boy was in 7th grade. we went to a mcdonald's across the street from our church. i was so nervous i ordered small fries and a sprite. he paid.

7. years later, that same boy and i made a pact to marry each other if we were still single by 27. we're both a couple years past 27 now, but he lives in korea and hasn't contacted me in a long time, so i guess that's that.

8. one time in college i wrote my friend gillian into a story for a creative writing class and depicted her as a complete southern hick. problem is she's from charlotte, north carolina, does not have a southern accent, and has yankee parents. so, yeah, i'm basically racist.

9. another time i asked my black friend tommy if i could borrow his clothes for halloween because i wanted to be a gangster. yeah. really freaking racist!

10. i was only allowed to listen to praise music growing up so i don't have any knowledge of music pre-2000, which is when i left for college and made friends with Dan Ra, who is a walking music library. he's also a total music nazi and will jump down your throat if you express the slightest affection for pop music. needless to say, he gave me a pretty good music education.

11. college was amazing. period.

12. the first time i saw chris was in an intro to newswriting class. he was standoffish and i was eager. he never spoke in class, while i raised my hand constantly and made weird comparisons between class content and woody harrelson in the thin red line.

13. in college, chris and i wrote a long feature article about our university opening a sister campus in Doha, Qatar for the school paper. we have a photo of our joint byline somewhere. (where is that photo?)

14. my mom never says i love you out loud, but she recently started writing it in emails. it makes me smile.

15. one day after class in grad school, i stopped by a park on my walk home and fell asleep on a bench while reading my Bible. i woke up to a child asking her mom if i was homeless.

16. wheaton college (where i went to grad school) serves fish on fridays -- an odd ritual for an evangelical school that terminates professors who convert to catholicism. but the fish really is delicious.

17. i'm happy to take after my dad -- for his cheeky nature and his penchant for storytelling.

18. my sister and I are so different that she often tells me we probably wouldn't be friends if we weren't sisters.

19. i want to be more like my sister.

20. i never baked a single thing until i became an RA in college and had access to our dorm oven. the oven in my home broke when i was in elementary school and my parents never got it fixed.

21. at my first job i misfired an email disparaging my boss ... to my boss. yeah. that really happened.

22. I won a first prize writing award in college and made $250! my mother said it was too little. I called Gillian and we celebrated on the phone together.

23. i once passed out at a bar after drinking a midori sour. it was really embarrassing, but pretty hilarious too.

24. my dad often ends our conversations with, i'll love you no matter what. but i'm afraid to test the limits of his love.

25. fiona apple's song paper bag is timeless and beautiful.

26. i hated new york the first few times i visited -- so tiring, dirty, gross, expensive, crowded. but i love it now. i once cried on a subway train at the sight of the brooklyn bridge, such a beautiful structure.

27. in california, i was in this wonderful book club. most of the members really read every single page of every single book we selected. one of my best memories was meeting to discuss one of the books at the beach. we discussed the book as the sun set. we snacked on brie, crackers, and grapes.

28. in high school, fourth of july was always spent at the beach with church friends. one year, my friend chris and i snuck away and, for whatever reason, slow danced in the ocean, out of view of our friends, to spanish music from someone's radio which was left playing on the beach. it was totally innocent, meaningful, and perfect.

29. on that park bench in grad school, when i fell asleep looking like a homeless person, God asked me in my dream if I could be alone with God for the rest of my life. who can lie to God? crestfallen, I said no. God, no. I can't. I need people. I need love. I would forsake you if I had to be alone. I felt so saddened by this weakness. But God said it was OK. that this was how I was built. to need people in my life, to need love.

to need you, dear friend.

so thank you! thank you for being a part of my life!


  1. hi sister

    it's a good list of memories. some i did not know about you and i made a "what the" face when i read them.

    also, i think God heard you and blessed you because you are definitely not alone! :)

    happy birthday.

  2. me too! there were a few new ones in here for me. thanks for writing this jeans.

    in the meantime, I will try to find this photo of our byline. it's awesome!

  3. i soaked up every word. this was terrific! i hope you had a beautiful and joyful birthday. miss you!

  4. where's the like button on this??

  5. Love this, you racist. =)