Wednesday, May 12, 2004 · posted at 8:58 PM
Warning: The following blog is extremely me, me, me (even more so than usual... think egocentric communication during the preoperational period). Proceed only if you have the capacity and tolerance.

Whatever the hell you want. Bow down. I have accomplished a feat seldom known to man. I have learned how to swim (read: float and flounder in the water) at the ripe age of 23. For those of you who attended Gene’s concert last week, this is a repetition of a fact that Gene already proclaimed in a much more entertaining manner.

“You just learned how to swim?” you ask in a shocked voice? Yes, prior to last week, I was the grown ass woman in the 3 feet deep end of the pool donned in a bright life jacket and clinging to an inflatable raft like a girl on her boyfriend’s arm at Hooters. I held fast to the notion that you could indeed drown in 5 inches of water. Women and children first? Even if not for the rule, I would be making a George beeline for the lifeboats on a sinking ship.

The inability to swim never really got in the way of my day to day life before. I had few surfer friends, most of whom had already deemed me a lost cause, and I pretty much avoided anything that would require me to wear a bathing suit anyway.

I’m actually not sure what inspired the sudden surge in motivation. Maybe I grew tired of being one of those girls who laid out by the pool with the sole purpose of turning their pasty white into a golden brown. Perhaps it was the upcoming cruise and the prospect of “pool games” that hastened my education. It could possibly be the fact that I just read “Life of Pi” (in which a boy is adrift in the ocean for months with a Bengal tiger) and came to the sad realization that, if inexplicably in that situation, the tiger would be #2 on the list of things endangering life.

So thanks to Vi, my water acclimation coach, and May, my swim instructor, I no longer fear water... just what’s in the water (namely waste products, harsh chemicals, and the occasional pink body shedding hairs of all sorts).

Now that I have conquered (this may be too strong a word) one of those pesky “I should learn how to do that” tasks, I feel elated, enabled, and other “e” words. I’m the King of the World! But seriously, I feel like I want to bust out my “26 things I want to do in my life” list I wrote in Mrs. Meadows’ ninth grade English class, in which I had previously only accomplished one goal – to learn how to do a crossover on rollerblades.

Metrosexual Paul said that I had acquired a skill that would open up the world and that he was envious that I got to feel that excitement. I think he’s right on the two counts. Aside from now being able to participate in water sports and activities, I’m now able to hypothetically explore two-thirds more of the world (which will help in meeting #6 on my list – to travel).

Children accomplish huge feats easily in short periods of time. Speaking, reading, writing, riding a bike... What is that saying? A child’s brain is a sponge until the age 12? (That would explain the progressive decline seen in my GPA.) I’m increasingly learning how hard it is to teach an old dog tricks. I’m getting to be the age where even memorizing a phone number is cause for celebration. Sadly, I can’t remember the last time I learned something meaningful as an adult a 23 year-old. Possibly the last great landmark event was getting my driver’s license (which, for some people, was an affair to tackle as a 23 year-old).

Maybe I should continue to ride my “learning is grand” wave and attempt to grasp some of those trademark Asian-American skills I should have learned as a spry youngster, such as chess, piano, kung fu, karaoke, math, and chopsticks.

Hello San Diego. I think I’ll like it here.

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