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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.

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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.

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.

Should I stay or should I go?  This question has me off kilter, off balance, out of sync.  Centered I am not. 

It seems this question of where I will live or more specifically, where will I grow roots has been a long asked question.  One that hovers over me sort of like a lazy man’s lasso ~ too loopity-looped to really ensnare anything.  For all the years that I lived in California attending grad school, I was unsettled.  This condition was due, in large part, in knowing that upon graduation, I would be called upon to make a decision ~ to choose between a warmer clime and those whom I call my family.  The choice though is never that simple or at least it feels laden with much more. 

I chose to return to the Land of Almost Always Winter to be close to my clan.  And now here I am again at the crossroad of choice.  Do I apply for a position in a much warmer climate near the ocean or do I take a pass and continue on here?  If I take my familia out of the equation, I have to admit there would still be considerations.  Things like a regular paycheck at a job that I will have held for a year next week, a rented living space that I like (even with the leaky roof) and a few local friends whom I enjoy their company.  And then, of course, there is the little or actually big fact of not having to pack up and move, again. 

Now, some might say that I am putting the cart before the horse.  I mean really, why don’t I just go ahead and apply for the position and then consider all of this other stuff.  Well because in order to apply, I must request letters of recommendation and only want to ask this favor of colleagues if I am truly interested in the job.  Plus, I realized that it’s go time as in let’s get it together and figure out where I am going to commit to living for a while.  If I am going to stay put then I could and should (beware of the should says a little voice) begin taking the steps to open a small private practice in addition to my 4-day work week. 

Come on self.  What’s the hold up?  The hang up?  What exactly is the sticky wicket?  The answers are here within my heart and mind.  Right?  Allowing myself to know what I know is easier said than done in the moment.

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.

The other day I read the headline or byline or small snippet of an article based on the theory that humans are incapable of simultaneously loving someone and worrying about that same someone.  In other words, worry is not tantamount to love.  This byline, this fragment of what appeared to be a lengthy piece of writing, has now been popcorning around in my head. 

My knee jerk reaction was to exclaim, “You sir or madam, are wrong!”  That urge most likely comes from the fact that I am a notorious worrier over the safety of those I hold dear.  And I suppose I must be equating worry to the strength of my caring and out-and-out affection for these folks.  Pious, perhaps?  Martyr, maybe?  I mean, really, does any “good” parent not worry about their children’s safety, futures, happiness and health?  And does not their worry make their “love” even stronger? 

If I were a predictor of the future, one gifted with psychic abilities if you will, I might foresee my search for this particular catalyst of thought and emotion provoking article in order to read beyond the byline.  I mean, after all, one must have some understanding of what one vehemently disagrees with, correct?  Plus, beyond my initial uncensored reaction there lies a curiosity and openness to this new idea.  For when the day is all said and done, worry does not seem to enrich the lives of either the lover or the object of their affection. 

So sign me up for new ideas and careful considerations of a new way of approaching the sacred experience of love.  My knee seems to be healing nicely from its recent acute reaction.

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.

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