Does Anyone Need Any Ones?

One of my favorite things about the end of the year is all the lists. Top ten, top 100, etc., anything in between, with a vast range of categories. Top songs of the year. Top books. Favorite websites. Favorite people. Embarrassing things your mom likes to say in public. Top soups in the spring for Aleutians. 

I’ve done this in years past, looking back on the year before facing and focusing forward. I don’t think I’ve done it every December 31 since I’ve had this weblog/online journal, and I remember times when I’ve told you if you want to find out what I’ve done in a particular year, go dig around the archives yourself. This year, I’ve decided to try pulling events of my life from memory instead of resorting to the blog.

This year was pretty spectacular. Lots happened.

1 awesome roommate
1 trip to Austin, TX
1 foot after another in 3 races
1 triathlon with Bumpass included
1 new couch, party included
1 drivers license
1 American citizenship
1 reciting of the Constitution’s Preamble to a party crowd humming “God Bless America”
1 visit from Jenny
1 visit from Sarah
1 meeting with Ray
1 meeting with Ericka
1 Pleasy for the summer
1 taping of The Daily Show
1 National Spelling Bee with 1 numnah
1 mom and Tom visiting
1 BYU English class finished with an A
1 invitation to get published
1 camera to go crazy with
1 trip to Charlotte, NC
1 drive through Shenandoah National park
1 trip to Maine with a wild detour on the return trip
~1 dozen dates
1 amazing seminary class so far
1 pretty awesome Summer Olympics
1 sighting of Goblins and Abandon
1 incredible presidential election
1 great view of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
1 roommate who graduated with her MBA
1 pretty amazing video1 truly addicting Wii
1 biological father who seems unusually intent in finding his daughter
1 very easy move to Inwood
1 amazing New Year’s Eve party to anticipate
1 of the best years of my life 

I know that’s not everything. 

You. You are everything. Thanks for a phenomenal 2008.

Happy New Year. Make sure you kiss somebody.

Two Thousand Zero Zero … Nine

A string of white lights hang in an apartment. The apartment has four walls that are mirrors from floor to ceiling. The apartment has a closet whose doors have mirrored panels. This apartment is nearly empty, save for a table and chairs and a television and a Wii and some speakers and a Cuddlebag and a rug. Some party food sits along the ledge of the northwest window. Some soda sits in the refrigerator.

The apartment waits. It’s ready for a big party to happen.

New Year’s Eve.

We will party. We will nosh. We will fizzy-drink. We will Wii. We will dance.

2009, here we come.

2009. Oh, my gosh.

Am I even ready?

Without Facebook, I Wouldn’t Have As Many Chances to Embarrass Myself

Four feet, ten inches. I reached that height when I was about 12. Maybe 13. Then I stayed there. I knew I wasn’t going to be tall as an adult. My mom was short – 4’9″.

As a kid in elementary school, I always watched the kids playing basketball on my way home from school. It looked fun.

It was probably all the bouncing. Bouncing on the court. That’s called dribbling. Bouncing off the backboard. That’s called lucky. It looked like it took a fair amount of control. Even at that age I liked the idea of being in charge like that.

I tried out for the basketball team in 8th grade. I stayed after school for tryouts. Running the mile before drills. Layups, passing, calling plays. Sprints the length of the court.

Not too many other girls tried out, and it didn’t seem too far-fetched that I would make the team.

I made the team. They announced the names the next morning after a week of tryouts.

I didn’t have all that much skill. All the bouncing I watched when I was younger took much more control than I had. Still, I dribbled halfway decently and could weave around people just fine.

My height required me to be scrappy. I chased after the ball, even when we played man-on-man. I’d manage a steal sometimes.

My foul shot was pretty solid.

It was fun being on a sports team. I’d come home from practice and do my homework and practice the clarinet and then spend the rest of the time until I fell asleep going over plays and thinking of ways to improve.

I was in the best shape of my life then. That was the year I actually earned the Presidential physical fitness award. I didn’t even feel sore or fatigued after practice. 8th grade. 13 years old. Almost 20 years ago.

We won our first game that season. It was a nailbiter, and we were behind at halftime, and Coach Gilmore gave an amazing speech to us in the locker room.

I sat the bench this game. It was too close to let a first-year player go in. The other team stayed ahead for most of the second half, but we steadily caught up.

It got down to the wire, a one-point game, five seconds left. Our ball. Pass, dribble, pass, dribble. Drive to the basket. Shoot. Score. Buzzer. Pretty incredible. One of the coolest experiences of my life.

All-county auditions happened to be the same night as that first game. I tried calling my parents to let them know I’d be at the game instead of auditions.

They’d already taken off to the school holding the auditions, Orange Park Junior High. And I didn’t have a way to get over there from Wilkinson Junior High.

The game ended, and Dad walked into the gym looking pretty angry.

I was off the team. I had to quit.

My first and only school basketball game. Pretty awesome from the bench.

I left my uniform in the locker the next day. I told Coach Gilmore I couldn’t be on the team anymore. Then I had to explain to Mr. Coleman why I didn’t audition for All-County Band.

If I had to do it again, I’d make sure my parents knew I’d be at the game instead of auditions. Then maybe I would have gotten to play later in the season. Then 10-15 years later, I’d be the only 4’10” player in the world playing professional basketball.

The photos are from Tracy (Rood) Zang’s yearbook. She scanned them into facebook.

Who else would be holding the ball?
Who else would be holding the ball?
I look the same. I do not understand this.
I look the same. I do not understand this. I am boxing out no one here. BEAUTIFUL jump shot, though.

I might sleep into the new year.

We never really said goodbye.

We didn’t really go away.

I’m not sure what to think of it.

Did I deal with this earlier? or do I still need to face it?

The sleep thing.

The body keeps winning when I try to watch movies on television.

But now.

My mind knows it’s time to go to bed, but I still have a good bit of unpacking to do.

Muscles tired.

Feet sore.

I have to write about Christmas.

Also, Dirty Dancing.

Sleep of Late

Dreary morning, this. Not much trouble sleeping. I can sleep when I make myself. Usually snoozing before midnight on school nights. Usually asleep by 2am on non-school nights. Sometimes school nights, too.

So, it’s not that I can’t sleep; it’s that I don’t want to sleep. Spare me the lecture. Lack of sleep takes a major toll on me the next day. School days that I treat like weekends my body is on autopilot. Focusing is more difficult.

When it’s grey like today, when the buildings melt into the sky, when the landscape seems a literal impressionist painting up close – muddied, yet chunky – I could keep sleeping. But I don’t.

I woke up to an overcast sky and tires from traffic 11 flights below slicking through water on asphalt. Yet, I couldn’t return to my dreams. Last night I dreamt of flexing my biceps. My mind switched channels between that and something else, and it was during something else the alarm clock rang. Then I lie in bed to start my routine of deciding what to wear. It’s Christmas Eve: I need to try to be a little festive.

Other people have these vivid dreams with specific details. They enjoy sleep. Sleep is nice, and goodness knows I could use the rest. My body needs the rest.

But my body fights with my mind.

My body wins when it’s just too much.

If there’s the slightest chance, my mind takes over. Thoughts dart back and forth; thoughts fixate; thoughts drill deeper; ideas stir. Sometimes I write. Sometimes we film. I wonder about my family. Seminary class. Friends. They are with me. I can hear their voices; see and feel the texture in their clothes. Their warm, smiling eyes melt into my memory, clearly.

Consciousness starkly contrasts the mushiness outside today; it rivals and betters even my sleepy visions of flexing biceps and jumping from planes and breathing underwater.

I may need to sleep, but I don’t want to, because my dreams are no match for being awake.

He’s actually kind of hunting me down.

I’ve calmed down considerably since Sunday. I promise. I’ve considered calling my therapist, because I could really use a therapist’s help. The therapist knows my entire life story and could offer some reason and encouragement to pray about this situation, just like all of you have. It’s been an entire year since my last appointment.

An update:

Apparently, my biological father hasn’t asked around for my mom. He has asked for me, specifically.

He travels between the Philippines and San Francisco regularly.

He has even been to Florida.

This brings me to ask, have we seen each other and not known it? Could we have met? Could our paths have crossed with us completely oblivious to each other?

Also, why is he so determined?

Writing Right Now Will Probably Make Me Late for Work

So, I’ve tried visualizing it.

What’s blurry is the part where I give my consent to my mom’s cousin, whose brother happened to run into my biological father. In the Philippines. Right place at the right time. Probability baffles.

What’s a little more clear is me sitting somewhere with him, and we’re talking. I don’t know where we decide to meet. In my mind it looks like a counter in a public place. Is it in the United States? Is it in the Philippines? Would he be willing to travel? Do I need to continue sitting on my hands waiting for the government to let me know when I can swear in as a US citizen so I can apply for a passport so I can travel?

Who are my half-brothers and sisters?

How long has he been looking for me?

How often did I cross his mind these last 32 years?

I imagine him being slightly tortured. He knew I existed all this time, but I had no idea of him until I was about 20 years old.

If I had known longer, would I have gone looking for him? He’s been a faint blip on my radar, but like I said, the possibility of meeting had never really occurred to me. It wasn’t possible. It wasn’t reality.  Plus, I already have a Dad.

I have this full life, halfway around the world, with friends and career and family. I could strive for more and probably will, but this is probably the happiest I’ve ever been.

That doesn’t explain the sudden tears from two days ago. I still don’t understand it. Usually I can identify emotions. This one’s new, or the reason behind it is one I haven’t experienced. Of course. Maybe I’ve deliberately or subconsciously set this part of my life aside, I haven’t processed it the way I should. So maybe that’s why I’m confused.


Confused? Well, yeah, I guess. This loose end is now more prominent, more present, more immediate, and I have to address it. It didn’t seem to need closure, but now it is an issue I understand needs a resolution. That’s all I understand. I understand enough to be redundant, that’s how confused I am. At least I understand that.

Is he religious?

What are his sensibilities? his tendencies? Do we have similar gestures? facial expressions? idiosyncrasies?

I guess I’m also curious. But the stronger emotion wins here. It makes everthing blurry.

Maybe there’s something he needs to say to me. And maybe it’s something I need to hear.

I wish this made sense.