So this is my life, on the road again. You can see the photos of what I've been up to but in short.
Quote from a friend of mine.
"Oh no, look more tall white guys with short asian chicks, can we pull this ride over so I can puke."
Now actually those two are friends of mine, whom I really know all the stuff that they've been through to get to that point, so it's wrong to generalize on cross cultural relationships.
But I will let the factual statistics speak for themselves amongst my friends.
Queer Asian man to pretend to me my fiance?
But there's somthing really messed up going on here.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry about it
For a while my friends had an unspoken disdain for conspicuous displays of wealth. We all either drove crappy cars, Honda Civics, or crappy honda Civics. My best friend gave up his Mazda Miata, to drive a Civic, and still got flack because it was an EX versus the less luxurious models. My boss at work got flack for driving a Saab, and the doctor didn't hesitate to poke fun at the guy with the SUV with leather seats.
Now it seems as my friends have slowly migrated up the food chain. Yuppies they are probably not, but just looking at my driveway, it's not just waistlines that have gotten bigger.
I used to drive a beat up Honda Prelude. Now I drive a Maxima.
A4, to a Passat, now they have a Murano - Minivan.
Ditto for the folks across the street. Jeep Wrangler becomes a Honda CRV.
Even the family downstairs has upsized.
Mercury Villager --> Toyota Sienna - 6 inches longer, 2.5 inches wider.
Add to that the F-250 that sometimes appears, and the Expedition that occasionally shows up from the woman downstairs.
And I'm supposted to be living in a city where having a big car is a hassle? As for me, It's not simplicity that drives me. It's just plain being cheap.
So part of me wants to go back to the way things were, so I'm driving a pretty beat up 14 year old Honda Accord.
"If we don't live by priorities, we will succumb to pressures"
Four years ago I went to a church retreat, where we laid out or lives on post-it notes across a large sheet of paper. On every post it note was written an event, a person, or a memory. I found it quite eye opening, and seemed to satisfy the logical reasoning visual mind in me. It's a different experience seeing your life put up in front of you.
Given that a lot of the people were right out of college, or still in college and hadn't experienced too much of the fullness of their lives, people got mixed results. I however found myself recharged and inspiried by the ordeal.
I'll have to go through what I said back then if I can find the sheet at all, and see what I remember, somthing about living a unified life. In a way I'm surprised at the ways that God has worked in my life.
- I've gone back to work in the semiconductor industry,
- I've renovated my house,
- I've gotten to know a good portion of the neighbors on Austin Park,
- I've traveled far more extensively than even I could have imagined.
In a way I have lived a unified life.
But in there is a lot of pain, rejection, abandonment and betrayal.
- I've still had good friends leave me.
- People with their differing priorities have moved on in life.
- My old boss went to seminary, and is still set on being a philosopher.
- The most wandering friend, settled down, got married, moved closer to his parents, bought a house, has a full time job now, and is well... starting a family.
Finding that my calling, my passion, my spiritual life, and my professional life have come together. In a way right now it's pointing in a lot of directions. I've made my fortune, I've traveled the world, I've built my house. Yet looking at it, I've found so much of what I've been striving for, unity, community, friendship, fellowship, church. It's all meaningless and empty.
I miss my family, the travel doesn't excite me anymore. I suppose my biggest fear is waking up some day in the future, surrounded by the filth of my existance and realizing that I'm alone in the world.
Thus, in a fit of rather goal-oriented determination. Yesterday, I asked a friend to lay out her life. She seemed to be in an pain avoidance mode. Thinking that such thinking is a short sighted view focused on self preservation, rather than embracing the richness of life. I chastised her, and said that she should set some goals, about what's important for her to do, and then all the little pressures in life, she'll find her own priorities to get it done. Surprisingly she embraced the challenge. I should do the same.
So looking at my life right now, and seeing just how reactionary it has become, where I'm making decisions based on short term thinking saving a dollar, and having it cost me ten. I need to sit back and again look at the values in my life, find out where my priorities are.
Thus I'm also embarking upon this exercise. As a way of doing decision making. Debating the three options which I've laid before me.
1) Staying here
2) Going to California
3) Going to China
Knowing You (All I Once Held Dear)
C G/B Am F C F G C
All I once held dear, built my life upon,
G/B Am F C Am G
All this world reveres and wars to own;
C F G C C/E F G Am / C
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
G/B Am F C Am Gsus4
Spent and worthless now compared to this.
G F6 C F/G G C
Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
Am Em/G F
There is no greater thing.
You're my all, You're the best,
You're my joy, my righteousness,
C/E F/A C/G G
And I love You Lord.
Now my heart's desire is to know You more,
To be found in You and know as Yours,
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All surpassing gift of righteousness
Oh to know the power of Your risen life,
And to know You in Your sufferings;
To become like You in Your death, my Lord,
So with You to live and never die.
©1993 Make Way Music
So I guess it's because I'm of that certain age, or maybe because I have a certain type of friends. Or for goodness sake I don't know it could be anything.
I've been invited to like two weddings a month (not including that one in Korea which I might have gone to, but alas)
But I was at a wedding this weekend, and pondering both my own good fortune to be invited to my friend's wedding and the misfortune of it not being my own wedding. In between the seafood quiche, and the first dance I suddenly became quiet.
So I thought, what would I do differently. And of course the response is "12 course Chinese banquet, and make sure there's a both a whole roast chicken at the end, of which I'll make sure Chin spits the bones on the floor!"
To which my friend looks at me and says. "Would you invite me to this wedding?" My sheepish response was "If there were only two people going to the wedding, you would be one of them." umm... maybe that wasn't the right answer. Not even the right question right now.
In any case I realized that it wasn't that I wanted to be married. I just wanted to plan a wedding. Which might explain the subconcious need to subscribe to Modern Bride. Said magazine causing a strange look from above mentioned friend.
Oh and yeah, if you're interested to read about really really bizzare gender relations and to see what it's like on the other side. Go read Chiedog's blog and his observations about dating, Chinese Women, American Guys, Chinese American Guys, the company he works for (which I considered working for) and the like.
Be forewarned although I agree with his observations, I don't think his analysis are completely right. In a sense one has to be careful, although it is true as observed by a few people that it is very likely that I would meet a lot of nice Asian women, and have no problem being hooked up. But that's not the point really. If you're looking for that kind of woman, AND one who's spiritually mature and not interested in either, your money, your green card, or anything else exotic.
For that I'll quote match.com:
"Are you a thrill seeker? Do you seek out dates who are very different from you just for the shock value? It can be very exciting to date someone who's exotic because it's so easy - and so much fun - to romanticize about who you think they really are. But getting involved with someone just for the thrill is unfair to both of you. Examine your motives and if you find you're forming relationships on the basis of the thrill factor and not deeper qualities of the person involved, take some steps to break this bad habit immediately."