in hindsight, january was definitely unexpected. a pleasant surprise, delightful beyond what i could have pictured or dreamed up for myself. it was very full, after december felt very spacious - full of languishing. it allowed so much love to flow in, however, because i made room for it.
in january, in addition to setting out after fifty first dates and my first four, i also set out to pursue dry january free of alc and coffee. i set an intention to practice thirty-one days of yoga. i aspired to meditate each morning, in bed before rising. and finally, i wrote down an intention to cultivate novelty, awe. trying new things would do it.
Now? i'd say that i tried and made space and achieved all of it. it wasn't perfect; no, all pursuits were incomplete -- which made them interesting and glorious. i'm basking in the warm glow of progress (not perfection). this might be because one, i did most of it (not all of it!), and two, because i was unexpectedly tickled by what i came across.
date one of 2023 was my second date with A, zoo guy who i met through a set up by a thoughtful friend. he was kind with a warm smile, chivalry and great communication. turns out he worked in tech in a similar role to my first. we had so much in common that at first, it felt uncanny.
backstory: on sunday december tenth, he picked me up at home in his audi. we had been texting for a month, exchanging audio messages from LA to Singapore and back while he traveled with his family across asia and trying new foods that he'd tell me about. he was curious, ambitious, interesting, and my exact same age. i liked that he was ted lasso for halloween, that he booked tickets for our date, and that we had a kind-hearted mutual friend from my college years. we hugged and climbed into the car, setting off toward griffith park to see the annual Zoo lights at LA Zoo. we walked, rode the archaic carousel, and talked about our families and travels. he was an only child. it felt easy.
come 2023 and we had postponed our date at least three times due to life. i was sick; he had a family emergency. we hadn't talked constantly but we both loved John Mayer and trying new restaurants. i hoped a bigger spark or flame would sizzle on this night. a weeknight Japanese food outing became a halfway meetup (he didn't offer to pick me up again, i noticed) and he suggested Silverlake, a hip & in-demand spot of which i hadn't heard. i wore my lucky red sweater and a black go-to top that makes me feel sexy but subtle. he greeted me out front - but he didn't seem to notice.
i don't remember the contents of our conversation (is that a bad sign?). it felt similarly easy and effortless to talk to him, but in that way that a strong conversationalist finds it easy to be curious. he didn't ask me about me! he said a few "how about you?s". i insisted we could split each piece of sushi so that we could both experience the chef's selection; he insisted that i should enjoy the ones I picked and i notice/wondered if he didn't want to share a bite. there was friendship in the place of magic. there was comf yet casual warmth in place of a spark. i wanted fire.
we chose a dessert that neither of us loved but ate in an effort to be polite. when the waitress brought the bill he didn't reach for it, so i offered to go dutch. he accepted. finally, when we left to part ways at the valet stand -- we quickly-awkwardly hugged when realizing that my car was "up" in line. when i reached home, he had already sent me a text that he was only feeling a friend vibe and wanted to let me know, though i was "a complete catch."
date 1 of 2023 was complete but my ego (and wallet) were pained from this sticky sushi venture. at least i had tried somewhere new; i had put myself out there. the song that was playing in my head (and in my car the whole way home) was "Music for a Sushi Restaurant." but the zest for life and the longing in Harry's hit is what was lacking. I had to let the search continue.
Who am I?
I am a girl who loves my island and a girl who loves the sea; it calls me.