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My Moosewood Cookbook is all dogeared and stained up. The binding is all gnarly and when tossed onto the table, the pages fall open to favored recipes ~ it spills its secrets so to speak. And what deelisio secrets they are.

This morning I am fixing to make up two quiche. One with my grandkiddos’ favorita medium bright orange cheddar cheese, sauteed broccoli (we recently picked together) and yellow onions and sliced black olives. The other quiche delight will be swiss cheese, chicken apple sausage and sauteed yellow onion. Yum.

My duplex rental will soon be smelling like a home.

This cookbook was a seventh anniversary gift many a moon ago to my then-partner from a couple who celebrated their 33rd anniversary earlier this year. Although I shed the relationship a long time ago I have held tight to the gift and shared many a tasty edible gift to family and friends from recipes that sprang from the well-used pages.

Oh and later this morning, I’m cooking up a pot of white bean soup. The beans have already had their overnight soak. I wish you could sit with me and enjoy a steaming bowl of this savory comfort for dinner ~

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.

This little blog has now been in existence for a calendar year.  So this one year anniversary seems an appropriate time to reflect on my blogging experience and the what and where-for’s of the future of the little darling (my blog, not me ~ but I guess both).  And come to think of it, maybe this is a good time to change up the scenery, the front page so to speak, the face of the blog ~ to go fresh and new.  

A year ago I made a different big change.  I moved from a very private blog that was only open to a few family members and friends to another blog provider/server and a more open forum.  The change was brought on by my growing desire to write about broader topics that might not be as interesting or appealing to the limited readership.  The topics included my experiences, curiousities, and continuing identity as a Korean adoptee, issues of race and racism, social class, and the meaning of belonging and mutliple identities that included my membership in the Queer community.  I did not envision, nor have I created, a blog that explores these topics in an academic and/or research style of discourse.  Instead at the time, I wanted to grow a connection with other Korean adoptees with the ultimate goal in that area to grow in my own personal insights and awareness of what being an adoptee meant/means in my life as well as share my experiences with others whose experiences were similar. 

Overall, I made the change to a more open public blog to see what might happen, what would come of the bold move.  Thus far, I have enjoyed the process, mostly.  There have been days when I felt varying degrees of guilt from not posting daily or regularly enough and/or not having scintilating or even close to interesting to a broader audience posts; blog envy of those other  bloggers whom I perceived to be much more dedicated, electronically knowledgeable and interesting; and, occasional why bother to post/who cares anyway thoughts. 

Other than the new look to my blog page, I am not planning on altering the course any time soon of content or style.  I have some ideas, on the back burner for now, of what I might want to do in the future with either this blog or a different one altogether, but enough awareness to understand that presently I do not have the available time nor the free’ed up mind space or energy to endeavor a more challenging blog.  So for now, my little blog and I will continue to post on a semi-regular basis about the everyday life of me and my small universe of curiousities. 

I have appreciated, most, the opportunity to meet other bloggers and have benefited greatly from their/your blogs, comments left on mine, and their/your camraderie.  I have been comforted, cheered on, and challenged to expand my ways of thinking and I appreciate the readership, the entertainment, and the opportunities to meet and connect with other folks who are consciously living their/your lives. 

I am excited to see where the next calendar year will lead us, individually and collectively, and what I/you will bring to the table to discuss, rejoice and commiserate over.  Happy New Blogging Year!

kickin’ it here in the Greener-than-Green-North-Land.  Yesterday, I had numerous moments during the day when I realized that I was relaxed, as in not tensed up, as in not dreading some appointment or deadline later in the day or week, as in not filled up with anxiety (hopefully hidden from most of those around me), not knotted up   Relaxed.  I shared this realization with my family members throughout the day and I don’t know that they really got the total impact of my mini-epiphanies but that’s okay, I did and I do.  I am doing what more current day folk call just kickin’ it, hanging with my homies, and…  Alright, already, so maybe I’m not the hippest, coolest, most down with it all Queer Asian Wise Woman.  I am okay with that fact.  You know why?  Cuz Girlfriends and Boyfriends, I am in a state of unfolding Relaxation.

Hotdiggity Dogdiggity Hip Hip Hooraaaay!!

Well the good-byes have been said to the Attic and the keys left on the kitchen counter.  I am chillin’ at the airport while I wait to begin my first leg of the journey home to the North Land.  Ahhhhh.  Summer in Alaska.  We don’t call it the Land of the Midnight Sun for nothin’.  The sun is setting around 11 pm’ish and rising oh probably around 4:30 am’ish and even when it has set there is no total darkness, more like duskiness.  Having grown up with these long summer days, I do not need darkness to sleep and do not keep curtains on my windows.  I absolutely love the sun and the light.  By summer’s end, many Alaskans are nuttier than fruitcakes from lack of sleep cuz we all want to soak up as much light as we can to help us endure the dark winters.  But I am at the front end of summer solstice and am pretty jazzed to be heading North.

In fact, I am pretty happy and contented right about now.  I reached my educational goal and am now a bonafide Doctor of Psychology!  Yup.  as of Wednesday.  Hallelujiah!!  Jubliee!  and before I even begin studying for the big national exam, I plan on taking two weeks off to play and just be.  I feel so grateful to live in a country where I, a Queer woman of Color, can earn a graduate degree in the study of my choosing.  I also feel grateful ~ very ~ for the support, help, and encouragement of my familia and friends, including those friends who have cheered me on right here on my little blog.  I am proud of myself for enduring this journey and reaching my goal ~ the end of this particular venture. 

There are many more ventures and goals, both professionally and personally on my horizon.  But for today, I am outta here and onto There.  I will be sharing (regularly, I hope) my Last Frontier adventures and I’ll be sure and soak up the long long hours of daylight for all of you.

One realizes the length of absence from blogging when one’s password has to be pondered for more than a minute or two.  So what exactly has been occupying my energies, focus, and life of late?  Wow.  Okay, that may be too big a bite to chew on so let me break it down into a more managable soundbite.  While my blog has fallen silent, my life has been full to overflowing.  Some of the events and happenings have been filled with fun and laughter.  Some other experiences far from fun.  A few tears have been shed and tempers have flared.  Overall, a life ~ my life, has been brimming with vim and vigor, grief and depression, negotiations and transitions, accomplishments and new beginnings. 

This morning, my thoughts have been filled with the words and written history of Asian Americans as I am engrossed in Helen Zia’s Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People published in 2000.  Once again, I find the need to downsize my reading bouts, in order to manage the flood of emotions that surge through my psyche as I take in new information or am reminded of what I already know but have forgotten by choice or by accident. 

As a bisexual woman, I was happy to read in Zia’s Acknowledgements her thank you to her female life partner.  I am hoping that she will write about her relationship in this book.  I do not personally know many Asian American Queer women and want to meet more of my kind.  I am also hoping that she speaks to, or at the very least, gives a nod to my Other Kind, Korean adoptees as we are, indeed, part of the Asian American peoples. 

As to the return to my blog, I think I am back onboard and am looking forward to the ride.  Now, whether the seas prove to be choppy or smooth as glass is yet to be seen. 

Imposter.  How many variations of this role do I embody?  Korean Imposter.  American Fake.  City Dweller Pretender.  Almost Earned Doctorate Degree Counterfeit.  Mother Without Her Own Mother Phony.  Bisexual Woman in Committed Relationship with a Man Masquerader.  Bisexual Woman of Color in Committed Relationship with a White Man Double Trickster.  Creative Writer and Artist ConWoman.

These are the titles that trip through my thoughts on a regular basis in my search for my identity.  My life is filled with this search for personal identity.  Belonging.  Connections.  In between the lapses of faith ~ the faith that says firmly without flinching that I am who I am, nothing more  nothing less ~ that is when the voices of judgment and comparison grow the loudest.  Those times and times like this, when I grow close to achieving a hard-worked-for-goal or impulsively accept a sincere compliment, the accusations grow loud.  Clamor.  fight for the mic.

I have spent a life time of staving off the voice that chants imposter  fake   fraud    pretender  trickster    deceiver.  I am more than those nouns.  I am me.  I am my own Real Deal. 

What does not get written about.  Not even a mention.  oh the topics that are absent from a public blog, are many.   When the silence is comprised of the detritus of our daily lives, the literal grind of it all, that silence can be golden.  However, it could be argued that today’s important thought or conundrum is tomorrow’s daily minutia.  But those are not the omissions of which I write. 

I am talking about the important to myself stuff that I turn around and around and then back around in my head or in my hand but choose to stifle.  to keep shut up.  shut down.  mute. 

What is appropriate public fodder?  Thus far on this blog I have shared ~

  • some of my experiences of racism, including my rage
  • my longing for my first mother even when I do not know the Korean word, much less the spelling, for the category of mother for whom I search
  • my love for my familia
  • loneliness, acute at times
  • my impulse to jump in front of oncoming trains
  • Korean adoptee identity stuff
  • my spiritual practice
  • my identity as a bisexual woman of color
Other stuff, I share without even knowing.  We are not as contained as we think, we mere mortals.  We reveal stuff, big and small, about our insides, our beliefs, our thoughts, even when we strive to be a closed book.  What makes some things okay to reveal and others not.  taboo.  too much.  inappropriate.  OMG stuff. 
   
Privacy.  Private.  Self protection.  Secret.  Toxic shame. 

C, over at all the elbows tagged me to come out and join in this meme game.  Thank you C!  I must say this game turned out to have a little bit of a learning curve about how to link to a previous post.  But I am proud to report that I think I mastered the task and now have another tool in my how-to-blog tool chest. 

Here are the rules of the game ~

  1. Choose five favorite archived posts so people can go back and find out why they should love your page or fall in love with it all over again.
  2. The posts must fit into five categories ~ family, friends, about yourself, something you love, and anything you choose.
  3. Remind folks to read and comment on the chosen posts 🙂
  4. Tag five others, of which two should be newer acquaintances.

Since I have only been blogging at this site since September of last year, I do not have a huge archival base to choose from but I dove into the play anyway.  Here’s what I came up with ~

Link 1 ~ about family ~ /2007/12/11/warming-the-cockles-of-my-heart/

Link 2 ~ about friends ~ /2007/09/10/is-closeness-worth-it/

Link 3 ~ about myself ~ /2007/09/15/where-pigs-and-angels-fly/

Link 4 ~ something I love ~  /2007/10/05/a-fiddles-not-always-a-fiddle/

Link 5 ~ anything I choose ~ /2007/09/09/roots/

As to who to tag, that’s a little harder seeings that I just tagged folks yesterday for another meme and my blog buddy list isn’t that long…  So I will extend an open invitation to anyone reading this blog who would like to play to simply jump in!  If you do, I hope you’ll let me know so I can hop over to your blog site and check out your fave posts. 

The dictionary declares that membership is a state of being a member.  Wow.  That’s profound.  Not really.  Not always.  But sometimes.  The sometimes encompasses those memberships that we claim which in turn become identifiers of sorts of our personhood.  For example, I consciously and with intent affirm being a member of the following groups ~ First Generation Korean Adoptee, Korean American, Queer community, and feminist women.  

These individual states of membership play integral parts in who I am, how I view myself, how others perceive me, and my position in society.  For some memberships it matters little whether or not I claim membership or disavow my belonging ~ as far as others (society) are concerned, I am a member.  This applies to some extent to my racial identity.  I look non-White.  I could claim I was White all day and all night and few, if any, would buy into my pronouncement.  However, the same is true when I am around traditional, native language speaking Koreans.  I am denied membership to the Korean Club.  Mostly, I am lumped into that huge and overflowing group Asian American ~ that’s usually enough of a racial ethnic identifier for White folks ~ I visually fit into that category.  It is true that I receive my fair (or I could say unfair) share of What are you? demands.  But I receive this question almost equally from other brown skinned folks.  Being female is another group that it matters little whether or not I claim my place or not; society sees me and treats me not as a man. 

Wow.  This is a long way to come to discuss what I was initially thinking about this morning.  Here it is.  I am a First Generation College Student.  I am also a Student of Color which makes me eligible to be a member of the First Generation College Student of Color.  Generally, students are considered First Gen (FG) if they are the first ones in the immediate family to attend college although one can still be considered a FG even if a parent(s) attended college, if they did not earn a degree.  My adoptive father didn’t make it past elementary school and my a-mother earned her GED through a correspondence course when she was in her 50’s. 

I have to come to realize that going onto college, particularly graduate school, becomes a career onto itself.  When students hail from homes where college is synonymous with growing up, an expectation, a given ~ there are huge advantages.  In these households, parents know the ropes and rules of academia, high school advisors are enlisted early on in guiding the college bound student to the best preparatory classes, and sources for financial aid when needed are identified and accessed earlier in the process. 

For FG’s, not having this base of knowledge and usually not having the encouragement by high school counselors presents big disadvantages and even bigger challenges.  For example, what’s got me going on this topic is my difficulty in understanding my school’s graduation requirements.  Starting with not even knowing that I needed to request a copy of the Graduation Procedures and after doing so and receiving a copy of the 13 page document, having the damnedest time in deciphering its meaning.  It’s one of those kinds of things where I understand each individual word by itself but not when strung together and not when understanding them means that I am moving further and further outside my family’s life experiences.  In summary, my brain goes on strike when I try to comprehend the steps I need to take to graduate. 

A sentence as simple as –

  • You must file a Notice of Intent to Graduate with the Registrar by the end of the trimester preceding the trimester in which you wish to graduate.

is a head scratcher.  I keep forgetting what preceding means.  I look it up in the dictionary.  I ask friends.  I get it.  and then I forget it.  which leads to me to freak out because I can’t figure out whether or not I have already missed the deadline to graduate in June.  then I look up the word preceding, again. 

In my head I get it.  I cognitively understand this seemingly stupid and crazy cycle.  I am simply working through the angst of moving beyond my parents, even though they are dead, that doesn’t seem to matter.  I am processing the negative self talk of being an imposter in graduate school, the fears of not being smart enough or capable enough.  But my emotional self is screaming out Enough.  Enough already.  Just tell me WTF does the ‘trimester preceding the trimester’ mean?

OMG. 

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