I was changing in the locker room when a Korean gramma approached her locker and then, me. She had round laughing eyes that also looked like she wouldn’t take shit from anyone.
She asked me in Korean what my age was, something that pretty much all Koreans do. I responded in Korean – 27. She exclaimed, Oh I couldn’t tell – you seem really young. Side note – I think that’s why a lot of Korean grammas and grampas approach me – I look younger than they think. And no, I don’t mean it in a creepy way. I think younger people are just more approachable. Anyway. Back to the story.
She then dropped a comment about her own daughter, which I think the daughter would have rolled her eyes at: My daughter is 32 and she doesn’t have a boyfriend.
I laughed and said, Yeah, I think a lot of people are getting married late – it’s not a bad thing.
She replied, But I still worry… I had my first child at 24, and then when that kid went to elementary, I had another. Then when that one when to elementary, I had another… Maybe that wasn’t the best way to do it actually.
I laughed and let her speak.
Having my kids spread out over time, I couldn’t do what I really wanted.
I asked, What would you have done, what was it you really wanted to do?
I laughed again and she continued, Money is power – I could tell she was going to drop some wisdom on me – Men are not the smartest sometimes. I mean, sometimes you get the ones that are clear-headed and straight, but a lot of men are wishy washy and foolish with their money. And you don’t want to be asking them for money all the time. You are at their mercy and can’t do the things you want because you don’t have that ability to provide for yourself. Know what I mean?
I agreed. She continued, You need to keep your money separate from your man’s. That way you can do what you want without having to ask anyone.
I nodded my head, hoping she’d get that I understood and I’m on the same page as her.
She finished putting on her clothes, drying her hair, and abruptly declared, Okay, I’m going! Bye bye!
I laughed and returned the farewell. She was too cute. And I loved the quick encounter of someone who had lived and and learned and wanted to share it with another human being.
And on a more practical note, our conversation resonated with me because my idea of being self-sufficient is integral to my happiness. I realize how important it is to put in the time and energy to work toward what I really want, what I believe in – and never stop til I get there. Because no one else is going to do it for me. And I don’t believe in depending on people for anything other than what they willingly and freely give based on what. I’ve never really been that kind of person, although I have tried it. It made me feel really uncomfortable and unsatisfied. I am becoming clearer and clearer to myself haha. One day at a time.
And this is not to give guys a bad rap either. I think this is true for everyone. When we can become economically secure, we can focus on and invest in other things in a healthy way. Ties with something I read by Scott Adams in How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big:
If you don’t get your personal financial engine working right you place a burden on everyone from your family to the country.
Makes sense. And this is the anti-climactic ending to today’s entry! Haha!
Thanks for reading.