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You know that old saying, the one that goes something like, be careful for what you wish, you might just receive it or some such thing.  I have never been a big fan of that particular saying.  As life seems to enjoy a good laugh or two, at my expense (or so it seems), this week I have heard myself iterating this phrase and then I suppose reiterating the same saying.  Because I did make a wish and I am, indeed, receiving said wish.

In fact, I did more than send a wish into the Universe.  I crafted an invitation.  An invitation to a celebration, a party if you will in honor of myself.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  I, as in me, myself and I.  A celebration of MY LIFE to coincide with one of my favorita days of the year Summer Solstice (the other favorita days of the year, Winter Solstice).  I crafted this invitation and then sent it out into the Universe to invitees both local and to those who live in what we fondly refer to as the Lower 48, even though there are 49 other states in the Union.  Some folks may be wondering what are we even considering here?  What’s the big deal?  Where’s the problem?  What is this post even about?  Well, read further dear blogging friends and I will further bare my fragile vulnerable underbelly of neurosis.

In sending this invitation, I was telling myself Number One, that I am valuable enough and could possibly be important enough to someone(s)’ that they would/will take time out of their lives to journey North to celebrate my life.  For those invitees from Outside there would/will be the travel expense, which is no small ‘taters.  The moment I hit the send button on my email invitation the anxiety that had already built to about a 4 on a 1-10 scale, hit about an 8.  That old and tired but loud whiny voice of who do you think you are little Missy and you are a selfish self-centered little girl aren’t you today blah blah blah took over.  Thankfully, before this part of me could overtake me and tackle me into the mud, I began receiving responses to my invitation within a half hour of its flight.

Thus, this week has been a life lesson of opening my heart again and again to the love that is there for me to receive.  Although overwhelming, I remind myself that I am a growed up woman, as my adoptive mother used to say about herself.  And a little or even a lot of overwhelm over receiving a lot of love from family and friends is some thing a growed up woman can handle on any given day.

My heart is full.

My heart is full and expanding.

Somewhere and sometime along the way on this journey of mine on this particular circuitous path that I tread called my life, I let go of the hope of finding my first mother, my omma.  In the beginning as a child, I barely dared even think of her even when I was sleeping ~ dreaming about this most precious woman in the whole wide world.  And then in adulthood, I defied all that I had been taught and brainwashed to believe by my adoptive mother, and took the lid off the hole in my heart where this yearning for my birth mother lived.  This hope was faint but thrumming with the rhythm of my heartbeat and sprang fully alive with urgings from my thoughts, dreams and fantasies of this mystery woman’s face, touch and fragrance. 

So today the realization that the hope is reduced, once again, to barely a flutter now and again, is startling. 

Hope and hunger, however, are two separate states of being.  For I still long for this woman, my creator.  Longing that aches to my very soul.  Even with my dim hope that I will ever find her on this planet, in the form of my first omma, the yearning is still present.  She is somewhere.  Perhaps over the proverbial rainbow.  Maybe existing on another plane in a different form.  But, somewhere there exists is at least a remnant of this one whom I have gone without for ever so long. 

Happy Mother’s Day Omma from your daughter aka Korean adoptee, junemoon.

One of the wonders of modern living holds sway over me still and most likely always will.  The ability to turn on the tap and have potable water appear ~ instantly appear and then with a slight flick of the wrist make it hot or return it to an icy coldness.  Now that is life in the fast lane, baby.  And we haven’t even mentioned the luxury of the flush toilet.  Oh my!

I grew up in rural areas.  My childhood was a blend spent between the Pacific coast and the Atlantic Shoreboard.  The constant being the oceans and country living.  For most of those years we lived without plumbing or electricity.  Sometimes we had electricity and no plumbing.  My adoptive parents liked to say that they had running water, they’d just send me and my sister running to fetch it.  Yep, that was a real knee slapper, their little joke.  Explains though my life long awe of running water that does not require me walking for over a quarter of a mile or more and making like a pack mule hauling back 5-gallon bright red plastic jugs or multiple re-purposed white bleach bottles of the clear liquid. 

Although I have yet to taste a sweeter more pure cup of water than what ran in one of the springs on a homestead in a faraway place, I have to say that the trade off has proved worth the exchange over time. 

So earlier today while I was letting the hot water sluice through my hair I closed my eyes and said a little thank you to the Running Water Goddess and the Universe at large, for such a gift in my daily life.  This blessing of running water.  A blessing that millions of my species do not have access to, whose very lives revolve around the seeking and retrieving of this liquid manna. 

Life is about perspective.  At least my life today seems to be and just a little shift in my focus has helped me participate in my life in this moment.  Helped me send up a prayer of gratitude to the Running Water Goddess and loosen my hold on what was feeling a lot like the running water blues.

I find myself homesick for Berkeley. The feeling is followed quickly by doubt and judgment. Doubt that I would actually miss living far from loved ones and in a place where so much stress and anxiety took place. Judgment that I didn’t/don’t appreciate what I have until I don’t anymore.

In my own defense, it is not entirely true that I failed to appreciate and enjoy Berkeley while I lived within its’ city limits. I loved and appreciated the mild and wonderful weather, sun, warmth, the year-round greenery and blooming plants and trees. I enjoyed and appreciated the diversity of race and culture that were plentiful in the East Bay and outlying areas. All of this appreciation while I lived there.

What is true, however, is that I never felt at home during my Berkeley stint. The same is true in my current life. I feel as if I am waiting. Waiting to discover, to wake up to, to unearth what will come next. Where I will live, where I will work, where I will be whole. And I am not sure, am never sure that this is it ~ right here, right now ~ where I am at any given moment, month or year. I lived in the Berkeley Attic for five years; longer than I have lived anywhere in my adulthood. And yet the Attic felt like a transient abode. Never truly a home.

In fact, I wrote on my public blog and in my private journal of my life long active search for a home, where all the while I was living in my temporary home. See. Even here I label the Attic as temporary. I knew I would move and since the move was a given, I could somehow never accept it as my home.

I am now living in or occupying a 1970’s ranch style duplex rental while sometimes pining away for my former abode. While still yearning for my home that I will recognize as my home. Is this particular longing connected to my adoptee status? An attachment malfunction in babyhood? I do not know. Not today at least.

Today, I am simply sitting at my birch long table desk at the end of a long work day. Happy to be in the little place I will call home for the night.

I just gotta write a post today. Today is the first day of another month. One of the “J” months. The “J” month that only has one syllable. Yup that month. That makes this the first day of the June month, which also happens to be my appointed birth day month.

As a Korean adoptee adopted many a yesteryear ago, I do not know my real birth date. I have been told that one of the orphanages that I lived in assigned my birth date by guesstimation based on my physical size and/or the day I was brought in and/or found. Like other adoptees whom I have talked to and/or read about, not knowing my actual real birth date has caused me some angst. Even now, in my advanced years or as I like to think of them, in my age of wisdom, I would gladly welcome and rejoice in knowing my for real birth date.

There’s something special about our life story. Each and every one of us has one, both a life and a life’s narrative. Not knowing the beginning part seems to throw the story off kilter. Not enough to ruin the whole tale. Just enough to keep my story mysterious I suppose.

The title of this post, alone, says a lot about my week. I worked, a lot. Dealt both consciously and unconsciously with issues of racism, and other ‘isms ~ enough to have me sitting pretty on a merry-go-round of emotions. And you know what merry-go-rounds are infamous for, right? You got it. Plenty of ups and downs and go arounds. Hence, merry-go-up-and-downs. Well that pretty much sums up my emotional state this week, maybe without the merry that goes with this particular analogy.

This week of these experiences deserves a thought-full post, filled with sharing of the wisdom gleaned from the gnarly thing we call living in White America when one’s personal identity includes being a woman of color, queer, and a First Generation Korean Adoptee, Whew! That last sentence was a typed-finger full (as in mouth-full)! However, having just come off what feels like a long, long haul of an uphill climb where no moss was growing on this rolling stone, I am plain tuckered. Out. But not too tuckered to say that living a life with intention and awareness can be all consuming and fatiguing. And is equal to a life worth living.

Please don’t take me wrong or get me wrong or interpret something that I am not saying. I am not saying that I am high faluting. I am not saying that I deem myself the only woman on this Earth planet that is striving to be self aware and living a life with conscious intention. No. There are many, a multitude, I think and I hope of other like-minded individuals out there doing paddling their own canoes in our connected ocean of life.

What I am saying is that this week, I chose to live my life fully engaged in the living part of thinking, feeling, praying, connecting, saying truth to power, riding the waves of emotions, falling in and out of faith in humanity, falling to my knees in despair, reaching to the skies with rejoicing and passing out at the end of a very long day fully exhausted from the ride.

Racism is a tough nut to crack. Nobody wants it. But we all own it.

It’s now my weekend. Time to re-charge my batteries. Time to marinate on all that I have taken in throughout this week. In psychological terminology, time to metabolize the new life lessons.

A day in the calendar year that I think, intentionally, of my first mom. my birth mom. my family of origin mom. my most missed and longed for mom.

Happy Omma’s Day ~ to you ~ wherever you may be ~

My adoptive mother was a White Methodist American woman who trained me and my adopted sister to call her mama. Mama was born and raised in the American South and it seemed to this Korean adoptee that Southerners had a saying for just about everything imaginable and these sayings could be quite colorful and irreverant.

I have shared a few of these Mama’isms on this blog, such as there’s enough blue sky to make a cat a pair of britches and red skies in the morning sailor’s warning, red skies at night sailor’s delight.

Today’s Mama’ism is inspired by the fact that not only is there a lot of robin egg blue sky but the sun is shining. Coupled with the other fact that rain continues to fall in my heart, even with the sun and blue sky could mean that the devil is beating his wife. Mama would always say “well, don’t you know that the devil is beating his wife,” whenever these sunny blue sky moments with simultaneous rain showers would pass our way. Not a particularly pretty picture. But a true Mama’ism nonetheless.

So maybe if I repeat another childhood, non-Mama’ism, of rain, rain go away, come again another day, just maybe the rain will let up in my heart. That way, I could be happier and the devil’s wife could have a respite.

As a Korean adoptee, I have had occasions when I have wondered “what if” I had grown up in my Mother Land; how would my life have been different? Growing up in mostly White American neighborhoods I had plenty of people who generously shared their version of the “what if” game. These folks were certain that had I not been adopted by my Christian salt-of-the-Earth parents, that I would have continued to languish uncared for in a foreign (to them) orphanage, received no education, and grown up to be a prostitute (like my birth mother – which they were certain my mother had been). What’s more, their chronicle of the “what if” game always ended with a “you are such a lucky child” and with a command of, “you should be so grateful.” I used to sometimes believe that my hard times were brought upon by my ungratefulness for being bought and raised in an abusive and mean spirited home.

But I digress from today’s “what if” game.

Today, upon learning from reading another Korean adoptee’s Facebook post, that today marks the Korea’s lunar New Year, I flashed on the what if I did not have to be educated well into my adulthood of my Mother Land’s holidays and traditions. What if I was culturally, language and all, a native Korean woman? What if I didn’t feel a little ripped off by having to learn that not only is today the Chinese New Year but my birth country’s New Year too?

If I were to be honest, and let’s pretend that I am, I would admit that each time that I have paused and pondered the what if question, that anger springs up and I feel resentful instead of the requisite gratitude, I want to scream. I am not grateful. I was ripped off. I was ripped away from my birth culture. I missed out on knowing basic stuff about my heritage and now get to learn bits and pieces here and there of what was birth-fully mine. I want to scream. To shout.

There’s lots more to say on this topic but not today. Today, it has to be enough for me to simply share my little sliver of my what if narrative.

My sister turns 55 today. How can that be? I mean, come on, I can recall what she looked like and who she was when she was 12. My sister is a fine speciman of health and fitness and models to me and other 50-something folks, especially women folk, how to live an energetic and vibrant life style. She works out at the gym 6-7 days per week, while working a 6-day work week. My sister learned how to ride a bike later in life, just like me, but unlike me, she rides both on the numerous bike trails here in the Sometimes UnFrozen North Land and off road on mountain bikes. She has run several marathons, including the Bay to Breakers and the Mayor’s Midnight Marathon in the Land Where the Sun Seldom Sets in the Summer. My sister can drop and do countless push-ups – the old-fashioned real kind – she can do numerous chin-ups, and has starred in one of the original ab workout videos.

Growing up being the “adopted Korean girls,” in a sea of White faces, we were often asked, “are you two real sisters, like in blood sisters or are you adopted sisters?” In fact, if I had a quarter for every time we were asked a variation of that question, well, there would be quite a few folks missing their silver coins. As we grew older, we would answer something like this, “well, we grew up together like sisters so we feel like sisters.”

Truth is, my sister and I could not be more different if we tried. But that doesn’t matter when it comes to being sisters. We can, and do, aggravate the ever-living-bejesus out of each other – hey what are sisters for? We can also be there for each other in times of need. Mostly though, we are sisters. True and real sisters. To the bone. To the end.

For sure, we are one another’s childhood historians. Without my sister, my childhood, my life would not be mine. I love my sister. She is the for real deal in sisterhood terminology. Happy Birth Day Sister ~

November 2019
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