Underneath my yellow skin

50 goals for turning 50

In taiji yesterday, a classmate was talking about celebrating her youngest stepdaughter’s birthday. She (the stepdaughter) turned 51, and my classmate said that ‘young’ is relative. She also mentioned that the stepdaughter made a crack about some old man, and her sister said that someone who had just turned 51 should be careful about calling someone old. It got me to thinking about turning 50 and how I’m not ready for it. I’m 47, and, yes, I know that’s closer to 45 than 50, but this birthday was really hard for me for some unfathomable reason. I don’t usually care about age, and I’m not upset about being 47 specifically. It’s just that it crept up on me, and I don’t know what happened to the last ten years. I’m nearing half a century on this planet, and I have nothing to show for it. It’s messing with my mind, and I think par of my current depression is because of this.

So. Resolutions.

1. Health. I’ve talked several times about not being happy about my weight. It’s not about health, though I’m sure that could be improved as well. It’s that I hate the way I look, and I want to do something about it. I thought giving up gluten and dairy would help, but it hasn’t. Probably because I started eating rice again which is SO GOOD but calorific. I haven’t eaten as much as of late, so that’s probably helpful. As much as I love rice (and I love it a lot because I’m Asian), it doesn’t really have any nutritional benefits. I’ve also cut out potato chips, added them back, and cut them out again. I’ve slowly added back fruit and veggies, and I cut down my caffeine intake by four-fifths.

Which, by the way, was by far harder than giving up dairy and gluten. I was so logy and cranky, I could barely function. It was two weeks before I felt human again, but I’m still adjusting. I have one cup of tea/coffee a day and have completely given up pop. I had some while I was in Malta, but those were extenuating circumstances. I will have a glass occasionally if I’m dining out, but more often than not, I’ll stick to water.

Side note: I want pizza right now. I want it so bad, I can taste it. There are many tasty substitutes for many gluten and dairy foods, but gluten-free/dairy-free pizza just isn’t that tasty. A local pizza joint had a fall special a few years ago that had sausage and sauerkraut, and it was amazing. So delicious! Heavy as hell, yes, but I would eat it every day all day long. I have a feeling I’ll break soon and get one because I can’t stop thinking about it, but I don’t want to fall off the gf/df wagon. I did while in Malta, but again, it was extenuating circumstances. How the hell could I not try pasta in Malta? Especially pasta with cheese in it?

I need to start cooking. I’ve said it several times, but I’ve yet to do it. I’ve boiled gf macaroni and added spaghetti sauce to it, but that’s not exactly cooking, now is it? I should get a pressure cooker because it’s magical, but it seems like a lot to learn. I could be wrong and probably am, but that’s how it appears to me.

Also, I smoke. I feel like I’m confessing a big sin because of how successfully it’s been demonized in this country, but I’m putting it out there because it’s part of health. I smoke two – three cigarettes a day, though I’m trying to cut back on it. I have a feeling that it’ll be easier to quit cold turkey, though, because that’s the nature of my personality. My doctor told me having a cigarette or two a day isn’t that big a deal, but I’m thinking it’s time to quit. A part of me is resentful, however, because it’s the only vice I have. I don’t drink; I don’t do drugs; I don’t do any other high-risk behavior. Two cigarettes a day seems like a paltry price to pay for a moment of contemplation.

I want to pick up the taiji weight-set again and perhaps extend my daily taiji routine. I need to exercise more as much as I loath it. I want to lose 50 pounds by the time I’m 50, which isn’t that much as it’d be spread over three years. I just have to be careful not to get caught up in my EDs again, which is a slippery slope, indeed.

2. Romance/sex. Hooooooo boy. This one is so fraught, and I don’t even know how to unravel it. Ian and I were talking about how in order to date, you have to believe you’re worthy of love. I don’t think you have to love yourself in order to love other people, but it helps to have healthy relationships. I do think if you hate yourself, you can’t have a healthy relationship because you’ll end up chasing away anyone who loves you because either you can’t believe they love you or you think there’s something wrong with them for loving you.

Despite hating the way I look, I don’t hate myself any longer. I don’t think I actually love myself, but as I said above, I don’t think that’s a prerequisite for being with someone else. I’m saying it as vague as possible because I don’t want a long-term monogamous romantic relationship. I don’t think I’m truly polyamorous, but I’m not strictly monogamous, either.

Side note: one of my problems is that I don’t fit neatly into any category. I’m not Asian, but I’m not completely American, either. I’m bi, but I don’t like the limitations of the word. I am not a normie, but I’m too straight-edge to be a freak, either. Not monogamous, but not polygamous. Not looking for a romantic relationship, but also not looking for a booty call. Somewhat related, this was my favorite tweet of yesterday:

OK, it’s not related at all except by including the phrase ‘booty call’, but it’s hilarious.

I don’t know if I’m ready to date, nor do I want to do what’s traditionally known as dating. Let me be frank. I want sex. I want companionship. I want laughs and cuddles. Then, I want to sleep alone. I don’t want a romantic relationship, but I’m not completely opposed to it, either. I just…thinking about waking up to the same face every day for the rest of my life has no appeal to me. I’m not a forever friend. Or rather, I don’t expect to have forever friends. Except a few. I’m never surprised when I lose friendships, and rarely do I mourn them past a few months or so. I haven’t been with a romantic partner for longer than four years, and that was a long-distance thing (as are most of my romantic relationships), and I can’t fathom what it’d be like. My BFF has been with her husband for 33 years. While I can admire that, I have no concept of how that actually happens.

I don’t want to be beholden to someone else or have to account for my time. I live alone with my cat, Shadow, and that’s exactly how I like it. The idea of living with someone makes me break out in hives, and I’ve never done it in my life. I understand it’s possible to have a romantic relationship and not live with the other person, but I also know how easy it is to let things slide into that direction.

I also don’t think I’m girlfriend material for many reasons. Just the fact that I don’t want to marry or have kids is a biggie, though the latter is fast becoming a non-problem due to my age. I also know I have a whip-saw personality in a romantic relationship. I become obsessed with the other person while simultaneously resenting them for having such sway over me. I’ve only loved one person romantically and with all my heart, and even that relationship was doomed from the start. Every other romantic relationship I’ve been in, I’ve always felt a mix of complicated feelings. Most of the time, I’ve convinced myself that I ‘should’ be in a relationship with the other person because I was so close to them or for other not-so-sterling reasons, and they’ve always ended badly.

I’m alternately clingy and aloof in a romantic relationship. I’ve learned to curb the clinginess, but only outwardly. I still have a running loop in my head that is focused on that person to an uncomfortable degree. I don’t think I’ve ever been my best self in a romantic relationship, and while the adage that every relationship is a failed relationship until the one that isn’t is true, I don’t feel as if I’m at that point yet. I don’t know if I’m even ready to try to fuck someone. I still have a lot of negative beliefs about myself and the way this would all go down. Apparently, I still haven’t broken myself of the habit of catastrophically thinking, and it shows up the most in this area.

I installed Bumble and was immediately freaked out by having three responses in a week. Four, actually. One message from a woman (because that’s how it works for same-sex hookups) and three ‘he swiped right on you’. Or left. Whichever is the good one. One guy even spent a buck to SuperSwipe on me, and I felt guilty about him wasting his money like that. I also couldn’t believe someone would spend money just to let me know he’s interested. In addition, I don’t quite understand the purpose of the SuperSwipe since Bumble lets me know when other guys swiped right on me as well.

I’ve never been good at dating. Ever. I tend to just start ‘going out’ with a friend, develop physical affection for that person (or pretend to myself that I have), and then it ends badly. I know I have to do something different, but I’m not exactly sure what. I think I just have to go out and actually meet people, then see what happens. It’s worth a shot.

I’m done for now, so I’ll be back next week with more of this list. You’ve probably gathered that I’m not actually going to do 50 items, but there will be at least two more.

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