Tuesday, March 10, 2015

So, I climbed a mountain: A lesson in calming the hell down

I like expected things. I don't like surprises. There is very little I do without having already calculated the risks. I plan. A lot. I like details. So, it boggles my mind when other people don't do that. As I paraphrase the indelible BH, "It must be very difficult to live in a world where you're the only one who gives a damn about time." (Context: I was freaking out about the tardy start to my poetry show.) And, that's the thing. I get very antsy when things don't go according to plan. Now, I know I am known for my stoicism and impassivity. But, really, Mama is high maintenance. Hashtag NotThatSorryAboutItButALittleBitBecauseIAmAlwaysALittleBitSorry. 

Did I do that right?

So, back on track. When my best friend came to visit last month with giving me exactly one specific activity: hiking, I was paralysed with decision. 부산 literally means "a mountain." I planned the majority of the trip, but also left some wiggle room inbetween for naps or copious amounts of Firefly and/or Buffy. I was a pretty solid "non-weirdo-baby" for most of the trip (even when a giant SNAFU [which was actually military slang for "Situation Normal All Fucked Up," which I learned from my mother via an action-romance novel about a detective? and her devilishly handsome "partner." I am sure you can see where this is going] basically created an Asia-wide game of "Where's Whitney").

I did, however, finally find my breaking point. It oddly happened on the wrong side of a mountain ridge. But, Katie, how can you be on the "wrong" side of a mountain? Well, dear reader, I made a wrong turn on our way to 석불사 (Seokbul Sa--a super cool temple), which led us in the exact opposite direction. While we looked across the valley towards where the temple would be, I profusely apologised. I felt responsible (I was) that she was going to miss Busan's coolest temple (she did). She reassured me that it isn't the destination; it's the journey. I kicked the sand and thought, "Yeah, well, tell that to a ninth grader writing math proofs."

So, I kept apologising, because it is fact that if you apologise enough then you teleport across the mountain and reach your destination because Science. She quickly reminded me that for the first time in literal years we are in the same hemisphere, country, city, and rock for goodness sake. She told me to calm the hell down. Although, I doubt she cursed. Broad is klassy.

We continued our day as planned, which involved going to the spa and other reckless activities. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with my previous jimjilbahng shenanigans, read here.

Mmmmkay, welcome back. So, under the guise of "When in Korea" we signed up for an exfoliating scrub. I didn't warn her about any of it. I thought she'd best experience this with an open mind.

And, let me tell you. It is shocking was a middle-aged woman in a see-through star bikini can do. We started with what felt like cold guacamole* on our faces, (*did not taste like guacamole, much to my chagrin), then moved into the shucking of skin, which surprised the wee baby cells who thought they had another 3-5 days to cook before they were thrust into the full time job of keeping my muscles and bones covered up. We finished our best friend sloughing with a delightful Nutella* scented oil massage (*did not taste like Nutella...also to my chagrin).

And, I heard Whitney, who has been my friend for longer than she hasn't, laugh at this experience. After our massage finished, we showered the nuttella-not-tasting oil off, she exclaimed, "That was the best-weirdest thing I have ever had happen to me." It was in that sentence that everything came together.

"Normal" people don't care about time or schedules or plans because it really, really doesn't matter. Everything happens when and as it should. And, I am going to go absolutely crazy if I try to control things that are so far out of my grasp, it is almost laughable. Almost. But, I am going to learn to slow down. Thinking about future jumps, flips, kicks doesn't mean anything when you trip up on the next step. Calm down, Botsford. You got this.

So, we will see how it goes. I am hosting another poetry night this weekend. I am curious if this new "devil may care" attitude will translate to that, or if I will weirdo-baby and have to return to the drawing board on Monday.


  1. That was one of the cutest things I have read in a while :)

  2. Also, while I'm flattered...am I really the best choice for a universal representation of 'normal'? (She who cannot get out of her apartment at a reasonable hour of the morning.Ever.)

  3. It was an umbrella term.

    Let it be known that I just separated M&Ms into colors and ate them in order.

  4. Hahahaha - you're totally Kimchi!