I've been trying to blog now for a couple weeks, a lot on my mind but not a lot of time to put it into coherent sentences -- I love being busy, but after having sans-social life for so long I've forgotten what it's like to work all day and then go out every night with people (also my bank account isn't too happy either!!). So here it is, Friday night, and I'm chilling with a glass of wine and watching my alma mater Mount Union hopefully win their 11th NCAA DIII National Championship title on ESPN (Edit: the final score was 13-10 Whitewater :o().
Anyways, I guess I'm going to start by mentioning all that has happened this month related to DC...and then perhaps will try to talk about what's on my mind and/or bugging me.
Bill Cordray was in the city for two weeks and I spent several days visiting with him. We attended the Institute for American Values "State of the Unions" event - I have more to say about this...leads to me another frustration I need to vent off, maybe another day - last Thursday night (I was excited to finally meet Elizabeth Marquardt!), and had a wonderful dinner afterwards with several other donor-conceived adults who also live in the city. And last weekend Bill and I (and another DC adult, born/raised in NYC but lives in LA, who was back on a work trip for several days) met for brunch with a Japanese researcher who is currently doing a fellowship at Yale studying bioethics and donor conception. She interviewed Bill and I for an impressive 4 hours at my apartment, and I hope that she not only understood all that we were discussing/debating, but that she learned some things too!! Thank god for technology, she had 2 state-of-the-art tiny microphone recorders picking up all that we had to say (which was plenty!!).
I was on the subway the other night heading to the Upper East Side, and I'm on the 2 headed to Times Sq and this girl gets on the car and I did a complete double-take. I could have sworn my half-sister had just stepped on the 2 at 96th....which while possible (as she lives in the city) it seemed highly improbable considering her ventures in Manhattan typically are centered around the East Village so to see her train hopping on the Upper West Side....so after realizing that this girl was NOT my sister -- too long of hair, wrong clothing style -- I shook it off. Until I get onto the S to head cross-town to Grand Central. This girl not only gets onto my car but sits right next to me!!! So now I'm totally spastic and trying to visually analyze this girl without her realize that I'm staring at her. Luckily the S train is a short shuttle crosstown!
So there's a theory that everyone has a "twin" or doppelgänger somewhere in the world. These are individuals who are not actually twins, and theoretically not related, who resemble each other in an almost paranormal way. But what if these supposed "twins" are actually siblings, children/adults conceived from the same sperm donor. ASRM's guidelines recommend a limit of 25 live births for every 850,000 in the population (and by the way, this guideline was not in place when I was conceived and actually has gotten more stringent in the past couple years). In NYC, a city of 8.5 million, with this current recommendation, that means I could have 250 siblings in the metro-area alone!!! The idea that this random girl that I ran into on the subway that looked shockingly like my half-sister, could actually also be my sister....not so impossible. Especially considering my biological father donated for 7 years. 7 years, 3 times a week, 3-4 vials per sample.....that's A LOT of potential siblings!!!! And since so many New Yorkers are transplants, it could possibly be even higher since Xytex shipped sperm all over the country.
Living in New York has given me a strange opportunity to be so involved in donor conception...not only are there quite a few DC adults living in the city permanently, but there is a constant flow of visitors from across the country and the world. It's like when I was studying in Melbourne and so heavily involved in the community there. It's great, but with it comes a lot of emotions. I think right now I'm still adjusting to being here. IMHO, I've adapted quite well. I have the subways down pat, I now can come out of the subways to street-level and in most cases orient myself within 30 seconds and walk [almost always] the correct way -- except when I walk the correct way and then question my own rationale and change directions only to realize I was in fact going to right way the first time around!! I'm still hopeless in SoHo, but I'm sure all I need is some extra time down there and rote memorization of the streets. But at the same time, it's overwhelming. How you can feel alone in a city of 8 and a half million. How these random serendipitous occasions occur, like running into an old friend randomly on the street corner.....or coming out of a meeting and calling my mom (who was in town) and asking her what part of the city she was at, and it turns out she's on the opposite side of the street corner on CU main campus. And then there's all the amazing food that I can get at any time day or night, it's like culinary heaven --- craving falafel, you've got it!! Want thai, they deliver. I've eaten lamb more in the past month than I think I was treated to in a year previously.....mmmm, now I'm craving shish kebabs. Not to mention that my stomach isn't tolerating NYC water....or something :-/ But overall I love being here. I love my job, I love my apartment, and of course I love New York. :::cue Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind":::
.......anyways between the wine and my Raiders loss, I'm thinking I'm calling it a night. I will write more functionally (aka less drunk) this weekend.