Archive for October, 2009

The Stigma is Still Strong

I just wanted to share this article that was in the New York Times about the stigma against unwed mothers in Korea. The little bit of information I have about my natural mom, was that she was a single woman involved in an affair with coworker. Here in America, I think a lot of women might choose to keep and raise their baby. But in Korea, even in 2009, the stigma against unwed mothers persists. This makes it difficult for them to obtain and keep jobs or find places to live. These women face discrimination and ostracization from their friends and families.

This article highlights the difficult times that force 70 percent of unwed Korean moms to relinquish their children for adoption.

Check it out and tell me what you think.

October 24, 2009 at 7:38 pm 1 comment

How Will I Look When I Get Old?

No one ever really talks about how adoption screws with your future. I mostly talk about how my past was affected by being surrendered. Or if I do talk about the future, it’s to wonder about medical history and genetic stuff. But lately, as I’ve thought a lot about aging, I realized there are a lot of things I’m missing from my view of the future such as something as simple as knowing more than one generation of your DNA. And that is something I think far too many people take for granted.

You see a lot of yourself in your family. Where you came from, where you are, and where you will be. I know where I am, and a good chunk of where I came from, but there are no clues laid out for me as to where I might be headed in the future. Most people look at their parents, their grandparents, and can see patterns of aging. It’s not an exact science. It’s kind of a look into the future. It may not be exact, but it’s a glimpse, a preview.

As of today I’m twenty two years and some odd months old. I’m still young, still in my prime years. I don’t have wrinkles and my energy levels are high and my hips still slimmed by a fast metabolism. I don’t know what the future of my body, my face, my skin, bring. I watch my adoptive parents as they are getting older and wonder a lot about my natural family. I wonder if they’re young still or if they are getting closer to being senior citizens. I wonder if my mom has wrinkles or if her skin is still taut. If she is still healthy or if she has developed a disease. The kind of things I really need to know about my future, I can only get from her. She is really the missing link I need to chain my past and future to the present.

Will I earn a set of family hips after childbearing? Does my family go gray early? Do we wrinkle easily or age gracefully? A picture or two might help me figure some of things out, and of course time will tell how things play out for me. But a part of me just yearns to be able to have that tiny little glimpse of the future through my mother and grandmother’s eyes.

October 22, 2009 at 1:15 pm 6 comments

Making Friends

Today I went out for a spa date with a good friend of mine. She’s been my friend for a couple years now. We ‘re former coworkers. Like most of my friends, she didn’t like me when we first met. It took a while for us to get to know each other before we were able to be friends. K’s husband is in the military. They’re probably going to be moving back to their hometown soon, about three thousand miles away. I’m already missing her and our friendship.

This morning at the spa we got to talking about another mutual friend. She moved away earlier this year. Went back to her hometown to finish her education and get away from her estranged husband for a while. S was a good friend to me. We were good enough friends that I could really be honest with her about my adoption and my sadness. She was really a great support to me in a time of deep depression. I miss her almost every day.

It’s always been hard for me to make friends, especially with women. I don’t trust people very easily, and I always feel awkward when I meet new people. But my friendship with S is one I was proud of because I was able to break of my shell to initiate a true, solid relationship.

After the appointment I got to thinking about how all of the people I get close to end up leaving. I wonder if there’s a subconcious thing going on in my mind attracting me to people who will leave, almost enticing me to befriend people who will eventually have to walk away. It doesn’t seem to be just coincidence that I have very few lasting relationships. Over time, most people I connect with, drift away from me. This subconscious attraction is opposite of what I would hope for. I desire permanent, loyal relationships, yet I bring myself good, but fleeting friendships.

Could it be that I’m setting myself up to replay abandonments? It seems that I end up in the position of the one who gets left rather than the place of the leaver. I know I’m a good person, worthy of love and friendship, but at times I worry that I’m subconsciously setting myself up for failure.

October 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm 1 comment

Eyes

It’s kind of hard for me to post about this here. But I pour out my heart about everything else, so why not, right?

A few days ago, pretty much by chance, I found a blog on makeup design. It got me thinking about the way I do my makeup and how it’s difficult to know exactly how to make my Asian eyes look their best. I googled Asian eye makeup and found a site of a plastic surgeon who performs eyelid surgery for Asians.

These stupid eyes of mine. They don’t have a crease. The eyelids are broad and cover a lot of my eyes, making them look small. My eyelashes point down instead of up like those of my parents and my friends. I’ve always hated my eyes. Always.

Yeah, it would hurt to have the surgery. It would be painful for weeks, maybe months. But how much is a little physical pain in comparison to twenty two years of emotional pain? How much is that when you compare it to twenty two years of self loathing?

And I’m sick of the people who make comments like “Oh but you’re trying to make yourself look white” if I want to get highlights in my hair, go to the tanning bed, or get a nose ring. Why is it that anytime a minority wants to look different, we hate our race? Why can’t I like my race and want to straighten my hair or get a tattoo? Maybe I just want to look a way that will make ME happy.

In Asian culture, this is a huge surgery. Probably on the same level that boob jobs and botox are in America. Most Asian celebrities (including Jackie Chan, who people like to compare Koreans to even though he’s Chinese) have had the surgery. Young women often have the surgery as a graduation present or a coming of age type gift. It’s arguably the number one surgery in Asia. Do all of those REAL Asians really just want to look white? I doubt it.

I’m on the fence about it myself. I think I would like to be able to wear eyeshadow on my eyelids like everyone else, and have eyelashes that point towards the ceiling instead of the ground. I would like to look at myself and be a little happier with myself. But will I see someone impowered, or am I just going to see someone broken who hated herself so much she paid someone to cut open her eye and sew a crease in it?

I’m so utterly fucked up.

October 9, 2009 at 11:15 am 6 comments


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