Funny enough, the last time I had seen Jade we went for Vegan "Soul Food" at Red Bamboo. She's vegan and I'm pretty flexible like that- I love my bacon and chicken - but NY has some really amazing vegan spots and I'm adding "Jajaja" to that list ( you should too-- the "fake eggs" in my breakfast burrito were unreal- amazing and the mezcal cocktails - off the hook)
Anyway, I guess THAT'S the marker of being settled, huh? Dating. When you've not exactly "put a ring on it" but you've definitely invested your heart into someone who has roots here on this side and who can kind of.... what's the word - it's a gardening word- ahh when you attach one plant to another and they fuse?.... ( let me Google it) ----- GRAFTING. YES. ( Thank you, Google) "The process of joining two plants together ( an upper portion and a lower portion) to grow as one."
I feel like a LOT has happened and is still happening btwn May and June here. Job-wise, Church-wise, LGBT Pride-celebration-wise, Banking-wise, Health-wise, etc...
But no, I have not "grafted" myself to anyone yet at this point. I'm not dating anyone.
Have I smiled to myself over someone recently? Have I had thoughts about someone? Did I just receive an email at 10am this morning from someone re: her updated email and phone number and saying we should really keep in contact? - YES. BUT I am fairly certain..... that we will not be "grafting" ( lol). I like this woman and we plan on meeting up and staying in touch. She lives just outside of NYC. She's a few years older than me. But, I'm not hoping for anything more than building a solid friendship at this point.
I'm excited to "give myself a year here" ( to decide if I stay) but I think I need to be a little further on before serious dating crosses my mind. Honestly, with everything going on - the stress with my mom and with the long days commuting, I hadn't really lifted my head to "look around" until recently.
With all that there is to update on, I want to keep this post as focused as possible, so I guess, for now, I'll just tell you about my FIRST birthday back in the USA ( in about 5 yrs). I am still..... "30-something" ;) It was lovely and simple. Like I had said, I met up with Jade for brunch here https://www.jajajamexicana.com and then we walked around Chinatown and, funny enough ended up in a store that sells QIPAO! SO many qipaos.... all different colors and varieties. It's funny now because when we had our first "Qipao Night" in Taipei back in 2015 to celebrate my friend Leo's grad school graduation, I thought it would be so hard to find one and I didn't see tooooo many that I liked ( besides the one that I bought) but here, there were several that caught my eye. They even had a QIPAO WINE COZY for your wine bottle!! HA. So great! I want to find the shop and go back-- maybe buy a new qipao? ( I still have mine from Taipei) it wasn't too far from Jajaja.
Then, after that I met up with Kate and Sara at their apartment in Dyker Heights and we made salted caramel brownies and played "Candy Land" and then, I read Sara a bedtime story. They got ready for bed and I headed home- Kate called me a "Birthday Uber" from Brooklyn to Grand Central. The day before I went out with Aunt Joan and Aunt Anne for a Birthday dinner at good ol' "Applebee's". (one of their favorites). It was nice but.. a little bittersweet not hearing from Mom and Dad.
I managed to schedule a session with our therapist for next Monday- my first session since February but I have no idea if Mom has been in contact with her and/or how things will be going forward. I only know that this space- no contact with Mom has been helpful as well as physically/mentally/emotionally healthy for me.... but ultimately I WOULD like a relationship with my mother. What daughter doesn't? ...but I also know that it's not up to only me and I'm not sure what the factors are that are contributing to her behavior and if things can change. So, We'll see. Please keep praying for wisdom, clarity, and humility for both of us going forward.
As far as "grafting", dating, I feel like, for me in the past, I've never allowed myself to stay in a place long enough to commit to someone. I hope that happens soon. Even with 6 yrs in Taiwan/China I kind of always felt like I was "passing through". I didn't make the conscious decision in my mind to commit to being there. As much as I think about putting down roots, I think I honestly might prefer to have a partner who could grow wings though. If something works out over the next year here.... I'm willing to graft, but travel is definitely a part of my life now and I hope it would be part of my future partner's. Even just twice per year. To make time to get out and see the world with new eyes.... to make time for travel.
For June/July I've got a trip up to Maine ( this coming Wednesday!) to see a friend who just moved back after 9yrs in Taiwan, in a theater production he's doing and then I've got a solo bus trip up to Montreal in the works. Since I've just recently stopped working and will be looking for a new job here soon, I think that's enough travel for now. More on that later.
Thank you for the birthday wishes, as bizarre as this year feels, I'm patiently excited for all that is to come. The good and the challenging.