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While perusing Facebook (FB) this morning, I read an entry titled Things I Was Convinced Would Change My Whole Life — But Didn’t. Curiosity. Mine. Hooked. Immediately. The FB author’s list also included things that did change their life. Thoughts. Mine. Whirring.
My list is relatively short, for now, but in the excitement of the moment I have no patience for delayed gratification to achieve a perfect selection. So here goes (in no specific order)…
Did Not Change
- psychic readings ~ not one step closer to discovering my birth family origins or a myriad of other important-to-me stuff; a big step closer to being financially poorer
- tea leaf reading ~ no second child has yet appeared
- cabbage soup diet ~ just say ‘no thank you’ or just plain ‘no’
- running as a sport ~ been there, done that & cannot remember why exactly
- black leather jacket ~ maybe the leather wasn’t ‘buttery’ enough
- years long search for birth family ~ nada
- solo art exhibit ~ momentary rush, only
- down comforter ~ warmth as light as a feather (pun intended)
- stopping smoking cigarettes ~ huge positive change
- my daughter ~ no need to say more
- writing memoir ~ although unpublished (yet), process clarified & aided healing
- Annie Rosa Lee Dog ~ life changing, for sure; taught me joy
- primary relationships ~ at least two, maybe three, truly altered my life’s course; okay maybe four
- earning doctoral degree ~ better late than never
So, there you have it, my lists. At least for now. Something tells me that I will be pondering & adding for a while.
You’re It. Lists, please.
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.
Where I work there is a department called the Transitional Services Unit (TSU) that helps incarcerated youth return to their communities. I understand that it was not that many years ago that this unit did not exist and that youth who had aged out of the juvenile justice system were simply released. Set out on the curb so to speak. Now each departing youth has a team who works with them and on their behalf to help them navigate the numerous changes and challenges.
This morning, I realized that I need one of these TSUs of my very own. Now whether or not I would make good use of their offered services, I do nots know for sure. But I cannot help but think that there might be some comfort in just knowing I had this team of humans who were looking out and ahead for me, even for a little while.
Because where I am today is a familiar place. Familiar but full of danger and darkness. This place where I end up after the ground opens underneath me and I experience the free fall into depression, a cavern of great depth. This time, I did what I used to do many years ago, I pretended I was not falling ~ for a while. That is until either the invisible tether securing me to the landscape of life, separated or the growing velocity of the plunge forced me to admit I was in this place, once again.
I must snap out of my funk. Create toe and finger holds to climb, pull and grunt my way to the surface. Pronto. Today is my middle grandson’s 14th birth day family celebration. I love this boy, dearly. I am to bring the cheese bread. Cheese bread ~ his Grammie’s cheese bread ~ is one of his most favorite foods. To not show up, cheese bread in tow, is not acceptable. I love this boy.
So I must figure my way out of this quagmire of self indulgent angst once again in order to leave my home, get in Buster Blue, drive to the grocery, purchase the ingredients, return home, make the cheese spread, drive to my daughter’s home, participate in the family birth day celebration and be part of my life ~ part of my middle grandson’s life.
Where are the TSU personnel? Hello? Can you hear me?
With or without other human help, I must assist mine own self. I have been in this place before, many times in fact. Surely I must know the way up and out. I will look for some markers and familiar signs pointing ahead.
Many times it is the small things in life that can make the whole difference in a day. My granddaughter reminded me of this elementary fact earlier today. During our lunch, she had spied a green balloon amongst the bright-colored balloon bouquet festooning the hostess station. Being the smart little girl who she is as well as a planner, she had informed me and her mommy that she hoped the one lone green ballon could be hers before we left the dining establishment. My daughter, being the straighforward caretaker who she is, responded by telling her daughter to ask for what she wanted.
Sure enough, after we had finished eating and paying our check, my granddaughter asked the hostess if she could please have the green balloon. And guess who left the restaurant with a bright green helium balloon attached to her small wrist? My daughter’s daughter. Yes, she did.
As I walked beside my daughter and her daughter to our respective cars, I couldn’t help smiling and wishing that life could always remain so simple. Wishing that a bright green balloon could put a smile on each of our faces for the rest of the afteroon. Or barring that, until it accidentally popped or was released to the heavens. By then, another easily found joy would have taken its place.
Maybe life is still that simple. If so, make mine a purple one, please. Balloon, that is.
Life in the moment is good. Very good. Too good. At least too good to wait until November to formally give our honor and thanks~giving for this abundant life.
So my family and I are gathering this evening for a spring Thanksgiving Feast. There will be the American dinner icons ~ turkey, mashed taters, gravy all served up with loads of yummy side dishes. My daughter sparked the idea last week and the rest of her clan quickly climbed onboard.
Life is good. And when it is this good, one must eat. Eat delicious homecooked food and sip a bubbly beverage, or two. And you know me, who am I to swim against the tide ~ at least when it comes to celebrations.
Take two ibuprofens. Drink them down with big gulps of water. Do it quickly lest you be oxygen deprived due to inabilty to breathe through your nose and only your mouth. Keep a goodly supply of Puffs with lotion tissues nearby. Apply Neosporin to painfully irritated raw nose.
Do all of the above throughout your day and night. Allow the common cold to run its natural course.
Oh I almost forgot to mention, give in to food cravings and allow yourself to be comforted by a steaming hot cup of tomato soup. Sodium milligrams be damned. One’s spirits must be buoyed and nurtured during times of physical illness in order to quickly return to health. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
As you may have guessed by now, I am being visited by a headcold. I realized that this is the first cold I have succumbed to in over a year. My memory timeline includes such mileposts as my daugher’s birth year and her age at any given point in my adulthood. An example being, when did I date the woman with the long flowing blond hair with those deep blue eyes? Well let’s see, my daughter was about 7 years old so I would have been 26. Another memory milepost is when was the last time I was able to sleep lying down? Well let’s see that would have been toward then end of January 2011 so about 13 months ago. And I haven’t had a head cold since then. Oh the meandering places my mind does travel when my head is all stuffed up…
Life is good even with the raw nose and achy muscles. One cold in over a year just isn’t that bad. Right? Nothing that taking two ibuprofens won’t help.
It appears that a simple function termed threading of film onto a projector eludes me. Baffles me even after some time and effort spent cleaning the very old equipment and online searching for helpful how-to instructions. Not surprising I suppose ~ this road block of sorts. After all, this is no ordinary antique projector. This is my adoptive parent’s projector and the 8mm and super 8mm film reels housed in their bright yellow Kodak cardboard boxes hold family history family secrets family surprises. This film plays silently with only the loud thrum of the machinery accompanying the grainy color images.
At least that is how I remember the viewings as a child and young adult when after much pleading, my mother would finally acquiesce, giving my father permission to haul out the projector and the film. As adopted daughters, my sister and I, yearned even more than the average kid to see again and again the evidence of our belonging, of our history. A history that only went back to when we arrived in America, bought by these White American parents. I was a Korean adoptee and so was my sister, arriving from different backgrounds and first families to form our very own little tribe of two in a land where no one looked like us ~ to a land where for all of our childhoods we were known as The Adopted Korean Girls.
Fast forward many years and here you will find me. Finally pushing through my myriad of fears, resistance and ambivalence to allow myself to figure out another piece of my foundation. Sounds heavy for such a simple task of figuring out an old projector and watching a few canisters of film. Simple or not, these actions have been many years in the making.
It seems that the gathering of our lives lived through memories, yearnings, wishes and dreams is a life long journey. A journey which offers experiences of joy, sadness, grief, longing, laughter, anger, tears, breath taking ah-ha’s, rage and acceptance. I figure that I am somewhere a little past mid-way of this journey of this life time and it is looking more possible than naught that there will be future viewings of these little films. Where those particular pieces of the puzzle will fit is not quite clear, yet. Thankfully there is a focusing mechanism on this antiquated projector.
I seem to be thriving of late with last minute decisions to do things. Last minute as in spontaneous choice making. A little out of character one might say except for the times when looking at a calendar of planned events makes me feel weighed down and suffocated. Even when the spoken for time is meant for fun and recreation.
I blame this schedule phobia or heightened anxiety to the many years of single parenthood, raising my daughter, alone. All the while, working 2-3 jobs and attending college part-time and sometimes with a full credit load. Woah Nelly. Overload to the max. I don’t think I ever quite recovered from the stress strain and demands of my time and efforts. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that any of that whole scenario was unworthy of my attentions, particularly the raising of my daughter part. She was, and is and will always be, worth every single bit of care and consideration that I ever have or ever will proffer.
I am just saying that I got worn out and used up in a sort of whole person, mind, body, emotions, psyche and spirit kind of way. That even though I have re-charged and many years have passed since that totally uber time, there have been other demanding times (e.g., running businesses and grad school spring to mind) that have collared a lot of my focus.
So today I am going with the flow and have decided to run out and meet the day in a retail sort of way this morning. Wish me luck! I’ll be with friends and family, which has it’s very own share of the upside and the potential downside ~ if you receive my meaning.
Ahhh, life in the times of me. I’ve said it before but it bears saying again, simple folks living simple yet extraordinary lives. Yep. That’d be me included in with that bunch, for sure. Hope your day is a good one.
Patti LaBelle’s Over the Rainbow Mac and Cheese recipe has been a go to favorita recipe in my family for a few years. Although I have dubbed it Somewhere Over the Rainbow Mac n Cheese, the ingredients are the same. My grandkiddos and my daughter love this casserole and request it from time to time. And what’s not to love? This dish is all about kinship and comfort and the riches that come from being at home with loved ones.
The cast of characters include four kinds of cheese, one of which is Velveeta (and yes, Velveeta belongs to the cheese family ~ ask any kid), lots of half and half, and eggs. Last night’s version contained smoky bits of bacon and was topped with crushed Ritz crackers and more shredded cheese.
The side dishes were comprised of green beans slow cooked with bacon and cold juicy watermelon chunks. A southern meal for sure that was topped off with bite size red velvet cupcakes with a cream chese filling and frosting. Can you spell L-O-V-E?
So, once again Patti and I pulled off another scrumptious meal. And with all of that fancy cooking going on up in my small kitchen, we didn’t say one cross word to one another. I’d say that me and Patti did a right fine job of rustlin’ up the ole grub tonight.
Reflecting back to a year ago as I read through previous posts, private journal entries and summoned memories, I concluded that I am better off in my current moments than in the past already lived times. Better. More. Good progress.
And then the devil’s advocate side of me chimes in, challenging the notion of words such as better and more. Judgment calls, really. Getting my attention, this wily provocateur continues with growing insistence stating that all experiences are just that ~ experiences. Life lessons if you will. Or maybe even simpler yet, life in any given moment. Why, this slightly miffed one asks, do we mere mortals insist upon grading life’s happenings as if only happy contentment is the holy grail. Life is not meant to be a jazzed up cabaret, my dear, this ruffian extols.
Growing weary of my now ranting inner nemesis I say, not so kindly, Shut Up. Shut the F up and get out of my inner sanctuary ~ at least for this moment. Because in this moment Mister Insister of Multifaceted Existence, you are bringing me down. Muddying the waters. You see, I agree with what I believe to be your basic premise ~ all experiences hold value. I further agree with your assertion that…
Yada yada yada.
Blah Blah Blah.
You see this morning, Mister Advocate, I am not into deep philosophical preponderances. I was going another route of simple reflection and simpler yet gratitude. So back to the beginning of my thoughts I go where I was saying that every aspect of my life is better than 12 months ago.
- The vertigo condition, although still with me, is more manageable and being treated;
- I am working in my chosen professional field and making a financial living;
- My living space is 200% improved;
- There’s major progress made in sorting out an “it’s complicated” relationship;
- An easing and deepening of familial ties;
- Closer and more meaningful friendships with local friends;
- New friendships that enhance my life;
- A renewed spiritual awakening and daily practice;
- A change in diet, while difficult, is much healthier and life sustaining;
~ more ~ better ~
~ much progress ~