The Race

I’ve never been a very fast runner. I remember in middle school, it was mandatory to participate in a track and field competition. I was placed in the 400m sprint and I already knew it was going to suuuck. If you can imagine the oblong of a track lane, encircling a soccer field, 400m runners don’t start all at the same place because of the curve of the lanes but the distance ends up being the same. I was on the outer lane so I was the furthest in front of the other runners. I got a false sense of confidence that I had less distance so maybe I won’t completely bomb this but as the buzzer went off and we started running, one by one the runners passed me and I finished dead last.

My life for the past 2 years feels a lot like that race. I worked really hard in school and graduated with great grades and lots of promise, I even got an internship at Disney Interactive. I felt ahead. But really, I’ve been sprinting non stop towards no where and in terms of my happiness, it was looking like I was going to come in last. 

This year, I didn’t just break 1 lease after moving in after only 4 months, I broke 2! Ding ding ding! The winner of the Most Embarrassing Amount of Money Wasted in a Year goes to Katy! *crowd roars* Some other highlights in the past 2 years include losing 2 good friends, leaving 2 jobs, hurting pretty hard when my relationship of 3.5 years ended because of my moving to California for the Disney internship,  stopped creating content on YouTube, making an absolute fool of myself on a drunken night out where I blacked out and don’t remember anything but my friends are proof and they sure love to remind me. Thanks guys! Moving back to Seattle to be with him only for us to eventually break up again. I haven’t lived in the same apartment for longer than 6 months.  I’ve become that friend that takes off a lot. Clearly, I have commitment issues.

But it really wasn’t all bad. There was definitely more good than bad. I’m just dramatic. I got to live in Los Angeles for 6 months which is a rad city. 3 of my good friends from high school lived there so we got to hang out a lot and catch up. I went to a Phish concert with one of them! Movies made it seem like your soulmate is someone you’re sexually attracted to and get married and grow old with. I met mine at Disney in the form of a woman and I am 0% gay for her. After hanging out a couple times, I knew we were going to be life-long friends. I had never experienced anything like it, an instant bond. She’s my best friend and I can honestly say I would take a bullet for her.

I got to spend more time in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The above pic is a gorgeous trail that’s in middle of a city, I couldn’t believe it when I found it. I’m definitely going to miss the PNW. More importantly, I got to experience more of it with the most amazing person. He’s been there for me from the start and we had an amazing 5 years together. I’m really proud of what we were and I can’t pray enough for him to have everything he deserves. 

I got to go to Burning Man with the raddest group of people. We all got to go because of the coolest chick in Seattle and I miss her very much. She’s hilarious and feisty and radically loyal. She’s going to rule the world one day. Burning Man, of course, was incredible. I got shocked by a cow prodder and thought we were schools of fish swimming around in the deep playa on *ahem* mind enhancements *ahem.* The trip really solidified our friendship. I’m bummed that I left so soon after.

But I wouldn’t be here writing this today if everything worked out. I was feeling claustrophobic with the routine and where my life was headed. The root of my problems is that I have an impairment of the self-confidence. In fact, it’s completely broken, the parts are scattered everywhere and I think the cat ate a few pieces. It makes me self-centered because all I do is worry about myself. Every time I felt stuck, I found myself reading about budget travel and solo backpacking. I read over and over how much it builds your confidence. Traveling alone, you learn to take care of yourself physically and emotionally but you’re also hardly ever alone so you get a ton of practice meeting new people. Being social is just like any other skill, it takes practice to get good at and I’ve had very little practice. Travel also makes you more appreciative of the world around you and I’m in desperate need to get out of my own head. 

So that’s what I’m doing here today, I’m about to embark on a year-long solo backpacking trip and I cannot be more excited.

I gave notice to my boss at Microsoft in August. He was surprised but he said it made a lot of sense since I was coming in to work with cuts and bruises from Krav Maga classes. He was the coolest chillest boss ever and was really excited for me. We announced it to the rest of the team and it was really sad, they were a great group of people to work with, but were all happy and excited for me on this new adventure. 

The first picture of this post is a photo I took on the plane on the way to Jakarta, Indonesia from Seattle, Washington. I’m here in Indonesia because my family is here (pic: my mom and I eating bakso and batagor while a man with a cart makes us some ketoprak.) I’m staying with them for a while to organize myself and also to spend time with them before I go off and possibly die. Just kidding, I know how to take away a gun ;P

I thought the picture was a great representation of what I’m about to do. The plane was flying over this sea of clouds. It didn’t open to show the earth for a long time. It looked like soft waves. I saw it as me headed somewhere and it didn’t matter what the ground was beneath me. Going to pull out a cliche here, it’s the journey that mattered, not the destination. I’m sprinting this time not to avoid embarrassment of losing but because I’m so excited to accept the world with open arms and find a sense of comfort in my own skin, and I think this time I’m going to win. :)

Stay tuned for more updates! Tadaaa, tadaaa for ever!