So sometimes I look at myself and sometimes I like what I see.
I like that I'm sitting in a barren aeroport at 3:35AM drinking English Breakfast tea from my own tea flask. I like that I dangle my tea flask from my shoulder bag. I like that it is suspended with green string, to replace its original broken loop. I like that the green string came from a bundle of letters related to the annual May iaido seminar in Guelph. I like that I bought that bundle of letters at an auction at the seminar. I like that the string was too long, but to add extra support, I looped it around 4 times and bundled the loops with red electrical tape. I enjoy that the colours clash, the red, the green, and the tea flask vest's bleu. Blue. Oops.
I like that I have a tea routine, starting with a fresh flask in the morning, followed by one or two flasks at work. I like that while water is boiling at work, I take the time to stretch. I like that I stretch, and that almost every time I do, I think "I should re-start yoga." I like that my mind changed on yoga. I like who I'm becoming.
The shoulder bag that my tea flask dangles from, I like that it's made of recycled carpet and that I acquired it from a Farmers' Market. I like that its zippers are cheap and snap, while the body remains tight and strong. I like that irony. I like that the bag just barely fits everything I need it to. I like that my laptop just fits, and that with a little stretching, I can fit a few other things into the main compartment, like my camera and the AC adapter. I like that my camera rides around in a crocheted camera bag from a friend. I like that the smaller back pocket of my shoulder bag has gone on to hold so much more. I like that I carry around in that back pocket things like a needle and string, loose leaf tea, my passport. I like that my passport is protected by a self-made passport holder made from the waxy carton of a Silk vanilla soy milk box, and kept closed by a fat elastic band. I like the other things in my rear pocket. My Swiss army knife, my Korean Hello Kitty utensil kit (tiny Hello Kitty spoon and fork, and cute blue-with-white-stars mini plastic Korean chopsticks), my Korean pencil case, which holds a Redhat pen, a Google pen, a recycled pen, a mini fountain pen (new as of this year), a sawed-off mini toothbrush, the last remnants of a toothpaste tube, and USB keys. I like that the USB keys aren't a big deal in my possession. I like my little ear buds which I use more for Duolingo and learning German than I use for music. I like my tiny iaido seminar notebooks, which only half the pages get used for iaido/jodo/kendo/niten/budo notes. I like my other tiny secrets and their colourful nature.
I like that I carry the shoulder bag with a straighter back than ever before. I like that my form has improved, motivated through iaido et al. I like that I enjoy exercise and am motivated to do it. I enjoy that my routine sees me rolling onto the floor every morning. I enjoy that I just saw a guy pushing a friend of his around on a luggage trolley here at the aeroport. I like that I can bike and run relatively effortlessly, and for such functional reasons. I like that I bike. I like that I haven't used a bus all summer, that I cared about the Guelph bus lockout for reasons other than personal inconvenience. I like that my helmet joins my tea flask as they dangle off my shoulder bag. I like that I carry two bike lights in my bag at almost all times (I used to leave them on the bike, until some mysterious freedom fighter liberated one from its indentured servitude). I like that my bike has a bell, and that having a bell is the law, at least in Guelph. I enjoy that I wanted to cycle from the GO station to my friend's place yesterday so badly, it was only 8km, and I take a sad personal pleasure that my friend balked at the idea. I like that I can take my bike on almost all city and GO buses, and go hundreds of kilometres and still be riding my bike. I like every realisation of recklessness, even if it's as mundane as day-dreaming while cycling in a bike lane.
I didn't bring my bike with to Pearson. I wonder whether I could bring a bike as my checked-luggage, though. I will need to do that for BC, if I don't take the Greyhound, if Greyhound doesn't allow bikes. I would like a folding bike at some point, so I can take it with overseas when I go. I like being compact.
I really like being compact. I am not traveling with checked luggage, and I didn't when I went to the Czech Republic last year. I do regret not going to Strasbourg this year, but it wouldn't have made sense technically. I should have done so anyway. :) Anyway, compression. I literally just have my usual shoulder bag of stuff (minus the Swiss army knife and minus the utensils because, you know, aeroports) and a carry-on backpack with one change of clothes and a book (An Abundance of Katherines). It's only for 3 nights, but I wouldn't bring much more if it were a week. I could do with less. I could happily survive without my laptop. I like that I'm not dependent on it anymore. I like that when I'm away from work, I spend 90% of time not at a computer, and a good amount of that time is spent outside, with friends, outdoors, cooking, creating, reading. I shudder when I recall ways in which I used to occupy myself.
I like myself right now. I also like that I'm hiding in my hoodie, my SDK hoodie, which wraps my SDK t-shirt, and is itself wrapped with my SDK wind breaker. I regret not bringing gloves. I don't have SDK gloves. I have awesome Legend of Zelda fingerless gloves. They have an increasing number of holes in them, though, so I did not bring them. I still wear them, but I feel less lost in life, and consequently, I feel less need for these gloves. I can get by quite well by tucking my hands in my pocket.
So here I am, at Pearson, typing away on my Fedora Linux tablet PC, between reading a tiny book on evolution (A Very Short Introduction series) and wandering around with my light shoulder bag and back-pack, sipping from my tea that dangles and bumps against my knee, wearing my worn out shoes with the doodles on their rubber. The doodles T. applauded at work. I catch my reflection and see my face. I like my face. I like my smile. I like my asymmetric smile, in the lips and in the eyes. I like the zits and the one scab I can see. I like my hair. I like the haircut I gave myself. I like that I cut my own hair, and that it keeps getting easier, though it's always daunting. I like that I don't fuss about things going wrong anymore, I like that I laugh when I mess up my own hair. I like my dynamic beard. It grows so thick, and then it gets trimmed so short. Some days it spontaneously disappears to the surprise of all (including myself), and then just as quickly it returns.
I like me. And I don't mind that I described most of what I like materially.
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