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whatever happened to…

December 29, 2010 2 comments

from the past:

Remember when you could just be friends with someone great/cool and that was enough? When you didn’t feel like you needed to plan your moves to hook up with them. I’m talking about women. I met this girl a week ago, and I don’t even know if I like her. Yes, I do find her attractive, but rather than just appreciating the fact that she’s cool and fun, and someone new that I have an opportunity to get to know, my thoughts tend to the physical—how am I going to hook up with her? I do not like this, not one bit.

I feel like I’ve lost a bit of my humanity. Perhaps, not my humanity, but I’ve lost my fervor for romance. I feel as though I’m jaded and fewer thoughts of a perfect someone or romantic ideals of the future cross my mind. Whereas, they used to do so all the time. Before, I was almost hopelessly a romantic, waiting on my star-crossed lover to fall into my arms. I used to hold out. Nowadays, I’m just trying to keep my head above water, stay out of harm’s way and hold onto some peace of mind knowing that I am better off straightjacketing myself in my apartment, instead of chasing vain conquests. Why? Not because I don’t want to whore myself out or because I feel bad for engaging in such ephemeral pleasures of the flesh—by flesh, I mean, giving into my carnal desires—but because such activities (i.e. pursuing women, playing the game of “let me charm you so I can see just how charming I am”) cultivate infections of the mind. They start as harmless seeds of self-validation or a lust for gratification, but they sprout into troubles far worse, laying on your conscience, stemming into regrets and growing into a world of confusion.

What happened to the good ole days when you really liked a girl, and you pursued her and just her? What happened to those days when you wrote about her in your journal, recounting the many firsts—the first time you talked to her, the first time she touched your hand, the first time you had this inkling there could be a chance that she could like you back? What happened to saving the first kiss for a time when you knew both parties were committed, and that she’d still like you the next day? What happened to making the wait worthwhile?

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a crazy little thing called love

December 2, 2010 1 comment

Coming down to Suncheon (순천) today to visit grandma and see my aunt (이모) and uncle (삼촌) (who are brother and sister), I felt a heavy load of sadness when listening to how hard life seems to be for them and some people. Unfortunately, my aunt was not blessed with such great health; she and her sons immigrated to the US and now, they are attempting all they can to make a life for themselves. She comes back and forth between Korea and Virginia because she feels much more at home in Korea than in the states. I don’t blame her. She doesn’t speak much English, it is a completely unknown land, and it’s hard for her to take care of her health in a country where she has no health insurance. My cousins, her kids, have it harder than a lot, living in the US and growing up most of their life without their dad around. Now, they are doing what they can to make a life.

I also got to hear about my uncle, who I remember lived with us in the States when I was a lot younger. I hadn’t seen him in probably over 15 years. He and my mom never really saw eye to eye about things, and she always thought of him as a lazy deadbeat; her saying this about him didn’t make my grandma happy, who though I think she understood this to be true couldn’t stop caring about her eldest son. After all, no one loves a man like his mom. When my aunt and grandma mentioned him today, it was like hearing a familiar name from the distant path because we never talked about him at home, and my mom didn’t like that my grandma continued to support him financially with what little money she had. Sitting at the table with them, I heard about my uncle’s health problems, and I inquired about his daughter. I had known he had a daughter, who I felt like was probably around ten years old now. I also knew that he was no longer married to the woman that had had his daughter and having not really heard much about the little girl in recent years, I assumed that she was no longer a part of his life. When I brought her up in the conversation, they asked me how I knew. And though, I wasn’t sure how I knew, I felt like my younger cousin told me when we were younger than our uncle had a little girl for a daughter. Long story short: her mom took her when they got divorced and he doesn’t see her at all. He’s 51 years old in poor health and doesn’t work. When he came to pick us up today to take us to Suncheon’s Eco Park, he still had the same scent that I remember him having as a child, one that vaguely reminded me of a smoker and I associate with a certain hounds tooth-like patterned sweater I remember him always wearing around our house.  Sitting at the table this afternoon, I wondered if this was his life: a father without a child, a working man without a job and a place to live, but no home. I don’t know if I was judging him, maybe I was, but more than anything I felt sadness for him. He dropped us off after we went to the park, and I asked my grandma where he goes or what he does with his time, and she told me that she doesn’t know and chooses not to ask because she doesn’t want to be upset or disappointed.

Hearing and seeing all this today, I am torn. I feel so fortunate because I have been able to have a place I can call home. I have parents who have been able to supply more than enough; and if I were to be real honest with myself, I would be able to see how much of a brat I am. I have a future that I can start building up based on a solid foundation of the work my parents have put in for me. I don’t have to put in the long hours and painstaking work that many people have to put in to just even begin to break the threshold for a brighter future. My cousins in the states who came late, they have so much pressure on their shoulders because what they make of themselves is what generations of their family will build upon.

I also feel torn because of the cold reality of health and medical issues. Why do people have to be sick? I understand it, but it’s such a sad reality that people have to fight to stay alive, physically and often mentally. You know what I mean? We have to fight off illnesses, doing whatever we can to maintain our health. People who get sick have to battle through it; and it’s never easy. Moreover, we have to fight to find peace in this world a lot of times. In some cases, we fight to be at peace with the broken relationships in our lives. In other cases, we fight to be at peace with the life we’re living, keeping hopelessness and purposelessness at bay. Don’t we all want to feel like we’re living for something more than just filling our days and making time pass? I would think we live for some sort of fulfillment, something exciting, that we can fill with the wonders of our lives. I don’t know much about what life is supposed to be like; I’m trying to figure it out. I hope to be empowered with the tools to make good decisions so that I can live a fruitful life.

 

Categories: Uncategorized