Library Trip

Today, I dressed up in a preppy nerdy girl outfit in my blue light glasses, brown leather skirt, white button-down and an oversized plaid coat. I also wore boot heels, which were a bit of a mistake.

I headed out and walked to market street, then to O’Farrell, circled around Geary, then walked past the UN building and finally to the library.

I walked up the stairs to the 3rd floor, where the international books are, and to the Korean section. I browsed through the novel ones, ignoring all the self-help and non- fiction books on diet, travel, finance, and strictly skimmed over all the fiction book section.

I checked out 7 books, and then stopped by the restroom to pee..only to find a man in the bathroom stall crying with security guards talking to him. He was crying and said that he hates his name, life, feels helpless..

There was a movie on amazon prime that I watched yesterday, called Words on Bathroom Walls, on a boy named Adam struggling with schizophrenia. There are a lot of people who talk to the voices inside their head in San Francisco. There are people sleeping on the streets. The two things in common with the movie, the man, and myself is the voice inside the head that keeps you from opening up to the happiness that can be found.

I always tell myself I am not good enough, that I need to improve and do things, but cannot keep up because I let myself down and fear failure. It’s a rut of being stuck, not being able to move along and a grave I dig for my own.

Still, after some sunlight and a walk dressed nicely, I felt much better about my environment and outlook. I didn’t want all the things shown in display, because the books in my hand offered more value and happiness than the sandwich or the clothes others were eating. I was the only one holding a pile of books, and it made me happy. I didn’t feel lost.

Carrying the books from the library, I felt thankful for the clothes, my shelter, the time I still have to work on myself and the books I was holding on to. With my outfit and books in hand, I was making a statement to the world. My character and voice was being heard. These are my values and happiness.

I would like to go back to the library next time, in more comfortable shoes and improve my reading and writing skills. After walking down one road, you come up with new tasks to improve and challenge. I like that about exploring.

I went to the Metreon, and I had never been out at this time. 2'O clock on a Monday. There were a bunch of people with their badges, on their lunch break. I want to be one of them, but I also enjoy my freedom. I seclude myself from the scene and tell myself I like being alone, but the best part of the day was getting compliments and a helpful woman who told me where I dropped my straw for milk tea. I tried to read, but I don’t really know what I was reading. There was a lesson on reading well, which involved getting rid of the habit of reading silently inside your head and trying to read multiple lines at once while also understanding the deeper context. This is a goal I want to achieve, and this will take time. More library trips.

Next time, I will wear more sunscreen and get closer to the people. It’s a choice to be part of the group. It’s my own voice that is the biggest hurdle from becoming part of the picture. On the outside, I am already in. I have to know it myself.

I realize that I don’t have to be in tech to be part of SF. It’s part of the conversation, but what I enjoy most about this diverse city is the community. There is everything and everyone here. I can be a writer, photographer, student, anything I want to be. I can make friends with anyone, as long as I don’t stop myself from feeling inferior because I am not working in the same job that they have. I am my biggest enemy from enjoying my life, which has the potential to be the greatest it can be.

Today was a very sunny day in SF. I felt warm not just from the sun, but the people and joy. Here’s to a happy 23rd year of life.

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Ahyeon Cho

Ahyeon Cho

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