Halfway through college I was Job. I didn’t want to see anyone. I didn’t want to wear my glasses in front of anyone. I didn’t want to speak to anyone. I didn’t want to wear colors, only black and white and gray. It’s funny how I dressed according to what I learned from watching “A Cinderella Story” and listening to the commentary because twirling around in my downward spiral is what I thought defined me in the moment so I thought I needed to “dress the part.” What I’m talking about is, in the commentary of that movie, she says Sam dressed in colors when she gained her confidence back, but in gray and blue when she became really insecure after being made fun of for who she was. So I started doing this when I felt really down on life.
Then you said you thought of me when we were discussing Job in class and I was like, “you knew me in college?!” But I quickly realized you were referring to something else about me that is related to the story of Job. I can’t remember it now and not being able to remember what exactly that was frustrates me. It’s not something I usually do—share something really personal about myself with someone I just met.
Whenever you share something really personal about yourself to someone, that person takes a part of you with them. At least it feels that way. If you never see them again, it’s like that piece of you goes with them and you’ll never be able to take it back, like a sent text message. If you do see them again, you know they hold onto a secret side of you that could be unleashed unintentionally to other people you may not want to know about it. And that’s dangerous to know.
I got a text from a girl friend asking me if I wanted “in” on going out to the bars. There was promise of green beers and other such St. Patrick Day’s things I can’t remember exactly now. I politely declined because it was a weeknight and I had to get up early for work tomorrow. She politely understood.
I don’t remember how long ago that was, but I remember a little of how I felt when I got that text, like it was so predictable she would invite me out. Like it suited her to be going out and it suited me to be staying in. I wasn’t always like that.
We had just finished a tournament and we were trying to find our way back to the van so we could get some fuel for our bodies. Somehow I had injured my foot so we were going kind of slow. All of a sudden we found ourselves in the middle of a parade of people wearing green. At the front of the line was this guy who wanted a light. He saw me and came up to me to ask for one. Being a non-smoker, I had to tell him, “no.” He looked disappointed with my response and the girl next to him didn’t look too thrilled he was talking to me. I was relieved though. That meant he had someone waiting for him, the type of commitment from a guy I was not looking for at the time. Afterwards, my teammate asked me if I knew “that guy.”
I don’t remember what street we were on, but I remember the smoker was wearing a green top hat. I wondered if he was really Irish because he didn’t look it to me. Looks can be deceiving though.
I just sat down and Emma White* said to the class, “How come none of the Asians are wearing green?” Then she glanced over at me in my green sweater and goes, “Good job, YuMin!” I felt good about myself, the way you instantly feel better when someone gives you a high five.
This happened in seventh grade and for some reason, every year on this day I think of it.
*name has been altered to protect identity
“You have to think for both of us.”
That’s what she said to him and ever since I saw that scene, I have felt like that every time when I’m faced with making a big decision, except for me, it’s not someone else thinking for me, it’s like there’s two of me thinking things over. When that happens, I feel like my head is going to explode.
So I try to think of the things that give me chills and sometimes that helps me make a decision. Someone hitting a high note. Someone killing it in a dance battle. Someone delivering a really good TED talk. Someone landing a triple salchow. Someone killing it in a rap battle. Someone doing a dunk shot. Just to name a few.
These things don’t come with neon signs telling me exactly what to do. No, they are more like will-o’-the-wisps, like little blue floating gems that light a path. I follow them gem by gem until I can see the big picture and when I arrive at my destination, I’ll know I made the right decision.
What gives you chills and what are you going to do about it?