How the Past Came Back to Calm Me

“I’ve never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don’t understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now.” – Sophia Loren

February 18, 2012 1PM. Berkeley, CA.

I’m calm yet excited as the escalator rises me from the underground.

I have arrived at Downtown Berkeley BART station.

The sun is out. Once I hit street level, students are roaming all around me. I look around and feel like I’m in a novel land.

Put San Francisco in a blender with many sprinkles of hipster and you get Berkeley.

After looking around for a minute, my date meets me with her bike.

This isn’t just any ordinary date. She’s a 99% match.

Yeah, we met via that dating site, OKCupid.

She takes me to an amazing co-op pizza place. They only serve one type of pizza each day. The choice is easy for their costumers.

We start talking about her soul animal. I consider her a lynx. We’ll get back to that.

Then we go to a random cafe that I don’t remember. We talk for three hours about everything there is to talk about. My love of talking to strangers, her interest in fun, nerdy things as well. So many other random things.

Then we go to dinner and chat for another hour. We make plans for a second date. She tells me that she wants to definitely go.

We walked back to the BART station and we arrived at the point where we would part ways. She hugged me. I smiled at her and went on my way down the stairs.

As I waited for the train, I wondered if I should have kissed her.

Yeah I probably should have.

“It’s okay, Matt. If the second date goes well, I trust you’ll be fine.” as I spoke to myself.

——

After a few exchanges where we can’t find a common day to meet up due to being busy, I finally get this message.

February 29, 2012.
“Can’t make it; now in a relationship with a guy whose soul animal is a lynx.”

The second date never happened.

Glad two lynxes met one another.

——

Where have I seen this picture before? It was around 19 months ago

——

July 19, 2010 11AM. Berkeley, CA.

I’m calm yet excited as the escalator rises me from the underground.

I have arrived at Downtown Berkeley BART station.

The sun is out. Once I hit street level, students are roaming all around me. I look around and feel like I’m in a novel land.

After looking around for a minute, she meets me with her friend.

This isn’t just an ordinary hangout. I’ve fallen in love with her the day before.

Yeah, we met on a penpal site.

I take them to an amazing Indian buffet place. The place is rather empty and there are all sorts of choices. Talk about having all sorts of Indian food for their costumers.

We talked about soul animals. She was definitely a fox.

We walk around UC Berkeley for three hours and eventually end up at Starbucks. We talk about random things. Their train came first. She hugs me.

Then she invites me to go to a goth club with her and her friend. I decline due to shyness.

We walked back to the BART station and entered inside the train station together. I smiled at her and went on my way down the platform to see when my train would arrive.

As I waited for the train, I wondered if I should have kissed her.

Yeah I probably should have.

“It’s okay, Matt.” as I spoke to myself.

——

Yet the reactions are different.

Back in 2010, I lost my way for months on end because of that mistake in my mind. “My own shyness blocked me from magical moments” or so I thought.

But now in 2012, I feel at ease.

The past got me ready for the latest setback. The 2010 version got me prepared for the 2012 version.

If this is what the “bottom” feels like, then there’s only upside from this point on.

Even if I get the same story a third time, there’s only upside from there.

The past is a guideline to all future experiences. Remember and respect your past.

I’ll keep going.

Upcycling (Lynn Fang @upcycledlove)

July 11, 2011 1PM

I drove to a coffee shop in Menlo Park because Lynn lived around that area.

After looking around for 10 minutes, I found her in line behind me.

We both sat down at a table.

She had tea in a blue cup. I had an iced coffee that I downed in a few minutes.

We started out talking about what brought her up to NorCal. She told me that she was going to a horticulture event later on that week. Then I asked her more about horticulture.

She told me that she would be taking lessons later on in the year. I noticed how passionate she was about the topic. She said, “There needs to be a more sustainable way to produce healthy food.” She told me about the latest advances and how genetically modified foods aren’t good for the environment.

I added quite a bit to the debate because I took a genetics class a couple of years ago that had many documentaries regarding genetically modified foods. “Imagine eating a bag of Doritos. You’re eating modified stuff.” She told me that she was open to eating it if her friends shared some Doritos with her but wouldn’t get it on her own.

We also talked about my whole idea of meeting strangers and I told her about its importance. If you find people from all sorts of beliefs and places, you’ll have a much better understanding of people’s variations in beliefs.

For another three hours, we also chatted about:

– Interracial relationships – Both of our personal experiences with relationships.
– Creation of e-books – I was considering making some while Lynn has a few on her website.
– Other bloggers that she has met herself
– Being near students – We were near Palo Alto after all, which is home to Stanford.
– Both of our personal college experiences.

Check out her work on her website Upcycled Love (Disclaimer: Nothing shared except ideas).