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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. 

 

If you identify with the title of this post, please go F*CK yourself. No. If you identify with the title of this post, go F*CK yourself, without the please.

Oh my Gawd! The White Coated One (as in medical doctor) turned out to be the epitome of the title of this post. To be even more precise or to flesh out the visual more fully, I will add old. Old, and not in the good way of older and wiser or mature or seasoned with age. Just yucky old. Old with a scraggly ponytail, old. Old, with big beefy hairy hands old.

Yuck.
And yuck, again.

This White Lecherous Oriental Lover (WLOL) White Coated One, proudly told me that his wife was “an Oriental,” who like me was “an Oriental adoptee.” And guess what else? Lo and behold, his “Oriental wife” is two years older than me. Hallelujah. And strike up the band!

The White Coated WLOL shared all of this scintillating information after learning from my medical history that I am a Korean adoptee. When I said that I identify as Korean American or Asian, WLOL proudly reported that “my wife knows she’s a [sic] Oriental and she doesn’t mind being called one.” Well butter my bread on both sides, I was sure glad to get that 411.

As a woman of color and more specifically as an international adoptee, I have heard many a racist, backward, uneducated, biased, stereotyped remark in my day. Some of these oldies but never goodies have been directed at me and sometimes as descriptors or comments about others.

My outward response varies. Depending on the situation, time, place, previous relationship with speaker as well as the social and/or professional context. Oh, and then there’s always the factor of my overall mood in the moment ~ zen like or prickly or somewhere inbetween.

Sometimes I address the remark directly. Sometimes I attempt to provide social education. Sometimes I react before I think, attempting to construct a new orifice for the speaker. Sometimes I do not react or comment. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I exit the room.

What is consistent is the internal reaction that instantly occurs ~ the injury to my spirit or as some have described, as one of a hundred thousand small paper cuts.

Then, I get to dress the wound and go about figuring out, again and again, how to flourish in a world where ignorance thrives.

Ignorance and lechery. Never a good combination.

Climb right up and sit right down on the pretty painted pony on the merry-go-round of emotion-filled and charged topics. Hold on tight to the shiny post that keeps the painted pony and you sitting upright and pretty. Hold on tight and sit up straight and smile bright and if you are lucky today, no one will notice the bulging vein right at your jaw line or the tightness of your knuckles as you will yourself to keep still and keep smiling.

Be still. Be pretty. Smile bright. Please know that I will know, and understand, the rage that burbles up inside of you ~ the rage that keeps time with the loud not really melodic tinny sounding music as the painted pony on which you sit goes up and down, up and down. I will know, and empathize, with the rage that could flip with the ease of a dime, allowing the knuckles to fist up and punch out and the bulge at the jaw line, to unleash and join in the screams pumped up from your core.

Oh yeah. I know. I understand.

Today we are sittin’ pretty on that painted pony merry-go-round of life’s powder keg of emotion charged circumstances.

Cannot think about tomorrow cuz today is all the go-round that I can endure and still sit pretty.

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.

That’s what my brain is, T-I-R-E-D, right this very moment after spending the bulk of the day dialoging about racism. With a White person who “just wasn’t raised around racism,” and as a result “cannot understand why people put so much emphasis on their ethnicity and race – after all, I am a blend of Caucasian and Spaniard lineage and have never had anyone treat me poorly based on my race.”

I feel tired each time I hear these kind of statements and I hear them whenever the topic of race and racism is broached.

With this particular individual, I have an investment in getting along with her and building a relationship as she will be my right-hand assistant in my new job. Plus, there are many things I really like about her. I hope my efforts to balance the education about racism and being colleagues is worth the required bucket-fulls of energy and effort and patience and acceptance.

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!

it would be to go to a movie, sit down, recline in the fancy reclinable seat, pop food into my mouth, slurp a soda, watch a movie (or boovie as my grandkiddos used to call them) and relax, as in suspend my disbelief, judgments and most importantly, my hidden message or what does this mean in the bigger social context antennae. 

Has anyone seen Kung Fu Panda?  Did you like it?  Did it entertain you?  make you laugh?  I watched it with my daughter and three grandkiddos this week.  I liked it.  I was entertained.  I laughed.  and I have been thinking about snippets from the movie on and off since the viewing.  There was something about my liking the movie, the effort it took to relax and sink into my seat to simply enjoy the show that has me pondering.  Pondering the ever present issues of culture, race, media, racism, stereotypes, mainstream America, our weird relationships with animals – both domesticated and wild, size-ism, and adoption. 

I haven’t come to any conclusions, yet.  I am, however, wishing that I could either locate or create an on/off switch for my social issues musings because sometimes it seems that a movie is just a movie.  or is that just a convenient excuse for not being socially aware.  I keep returning to the saying ~ either you/I are part of the solution or I/you are part of the problem.  A head scratcher, indeed, for a woman still on her two week vacation.

Seriously though, I am wondering what the meanings were for Po being a panda and his dad and his ancestors (based on photos on the kitchen wall) being geese.  Oh what the curious, dissertation-less unfettered mind conjures up to marinate on…

in between what i know and the

knowing in my heart,

a universe

unknown.

resides.

@junemoon  2008

Ping’ing

back and forth

between two worlds   two cultures.

Bouncing one from another and back again

cuz I cannot get past the hard out-her

shell of the brown or white ~

how can skin be so taut   so hard.

So I bounce   one  from another.

Yes, I bounce back   Resilient

I am.

lonely too.

@junemoon   2008

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. 

June 2019
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