On a Date for One

It’s been a bit of a long week, and my mind is feeling rather pressed with a lack of ideas because my brain and body have otherwise been occupied with adjusting to a more work-schedule-oriented life than a school-semester-arranged life.

On that note, I suppose this blog post really ought to be dedicated to Miss Irene Kim, who recently nominated me for the “Creative Blogger Award.” It wasn’t simply flattering, but it also provided me an idea to write about this week – the five facts that accompany my nomination acceptance.

Creative Blogger

I tried to come up with five interesting facts about myself while I was waiting for my laundry to finish drying the other morning, but really – when someone is doing something as mundane as that, it’s near impossible to come up with facts more interesting than “I like collecting mementos from everyday life.”

I may have just outdone myself. Never before in my 21 years have I ever been able to come up with something wittier than “I play violin.”

Anyhow, the comforting four walls of my room weren’t as creatively intriguing as I’d liked, so I decided to change my weekly writing spot to somewhere cute, quaint, and different.

CDs on CDs on CDs | Photo by Courtney Cheng
CDs on CDs on CDs | Photo by Courtney Cheng

Okay, what else would you have expected from me, really? Where else would I have gone but one of the sweetest little cafes by campus – located conveniently near my apartment — to find myself a new creative corner?


1. I like taking myself on dates.

I like people watching, and it was only last week that I realized I hadn’t people watched in almost two years. Being by myself gives me that time to just kind of unwind and see what other people are up to in their lives. It’s interesting to see just a slice of someone’s life and then attempt to devise a little story of them and their day, just from that one moment. The summertime studiers are the most interesting, in my opinion.

I wasn't the only single dater there that day. | Photo by Courtney Cheng
I wasn’t the only single dater there that day. | Photo by Courtney Cheng

2. I don’t actually think about a lot when I’m alone. My mind is, shockingly, really quiet in the average moment.

People watching and wall staring to my heart's content. | Photo by Courtney Cheng
People watching and wall staring to my heart’s content. | Photo by Courtney Cheng

I realized this as I was sitting in Musical Offering. Once I stopped people watching, I would then glance over all the decorations and the aisles of CDs near the back of the store. But because I’d already been to this café before, there really wasn’t much new to look at, and so I found myself occasionally just staring at a wall.

And when I say “staring at a wall,” I do genuinely mean staring at a wall. My mind was empty, I didn’t notice that I was looking at something utterly uninteresting, and I was perfectly content to do that for another 10 minutes even after I made my slightly sheepish realization.

3. I enjoy being physically active.

I got myself started on a health kick at the beginning of this summer, which has thus far involved a cleaner diet and a lot more time spent working out or simply being active. It wasn’t really fun to be sore all the time at first, but I’ve now somehow brought myself to the point where I actually enjoy being sore after a good workout and I even look forward to working out — even when I’m sore.

4. I can, and do, spend hours staring at food

Truly, I was meant to be a part of Spoon University. Do you really know any other person who regularly browses Yelp to find places to try, peruses restaurant menus for her food selection days in advance, or opens 25 tabs for different recipes on food blogs to bookmark for future reference? If you do, please tell me. I’m sure him/her and I would get along splendidly.

5. I like photography, but I hate going out to take photos because I feel like everyone low-key judges me for looking slightly suspicious or extremely millennial.

I know this is probably all in my head, and that I should just ignore this sensation and take all the photos that I want, but it’s hard for me to get over the nagging feeling that the customer behind me in the aisle of Berkeley Bowl is side-eyeing me for squatting down in the middle of the cereal aisle, posing with a can of oatmeal in my hand.

Behold, the photography of a millennial. Other single dater was eyeing me too much for me to attempt the topdown shot. | Photo by Courtney Cheng
Behold, the photography of a millennial. Other single dater was eyeing me too much for me to attempt the topdown shot. | Photo by Courtney Cheng

Yes, that is a true story. That was me last week, taking photos for an upcoming Spoon article; that is me, snapping a shot of my delicious brunch; and that will be me, documenting every single good meal I have for the rest of my life.

For all my readers who dislike #foodie photos — I’m sorry, I just appreciate beautiful food with my eyes and my mouth.

For all my readers who like #foodie photos — I like you. Let’s get a meal together (and undoubtedly share it on Instagram at the same time #foodielife).

And to all my photographing friends out there, any suggestions for how to feel less sheepish about taking photos of food all the time?


For my nominees, I choose Miss Eva Chen and her upcoming travel blog alongside Miss Annie Pinto and her thoughtful musings on being an introvert.

 

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