calling

I think I’m spiraling

I think I’m having a crisis in identity.

Maybe even my calling.

Frankly, I sit here typing because I need words to express how I feel. I just don’t have it. I don’t have the mental reach.

At least not for now.

Increasingly and more frequently, I have been growing frustrated and angry with myself and with others.

I feel my temper flaring and my mood becomes aggressive at the drop of a dime.

I could eviscerate the next poor soul to trigger me because it feels like my anger is now out for blood.

And that’s why all the more I feel so conflicted about my calling.

More specifically, I’m growing tired of the expectations that come with my calling.

I HAVE to be nice.

I HAVE to be patient.

I HAVE to be understanding.

Why?

Even when it feels like I’m just encouraging and reinforcing terrible behavior?

I HAVE to?

Really?

For me, it comes down to a matter of what compels me.

My conditioned spiritual disposition lends itself to encourage me that love compels me to surrender everything for the sake of love. (Christianity 101: God is Love)

But lately, I don’t really feel compelled.

I feel selfish.

I feel tired.

I feel restless.

But I’ll keep trying.

That has to count for something..

..right?

cheers

spinning

It feels like I’m yelling into the dark

I didn’t even check the time. 

I’m assuming that it’s night because the darkness won’t end.

Dramatic right?

But this is the category by which I think and process.

Because sometimes, it feels like things just won’t end.

And therein lies the core of my issues.

I have a sick and cyclical desire to either please myself or please others.

I am not, or rather, it feels like I am rarely ever satisfied with one end or the other.

Maybe some people can relate to this sentiment.

If there was a time in my life when I used to identify the cycles of life as moving on from one problem to the other, there was a part of me that really identified in this way because I could never feel satisfied with the success of overcoming an issue or a problem because deep down inside, I knew another problem in the shape of big fucking elephant was headed my way. What a fantastic run-on sentence amirite?

How do you move out of the way of gigantic problem barreling towards you at break-neck speed?

You don’t 

You just sit there in awe and get overrun and overwhelmed.

And that’s why sometimes I feel like I’m left to my own devices and just spinning out of control. Always having to be mindful, always having to be respectful, always having to put on this smile 

Maybe I can smile more when I’m done spinning?

Sad.

Oh Well.

cheers

blood sugar

so I have diabetes

it always lingered in the back of my mind but fuck

it’s very real now

found out back in December right before Christmas and it’s been this lingering dark cloud. I’m just thinking to myself – how am I going to live with this? What if this actually shortens my life?

so many questions.

to my 9 followers. why is life a series of curve balls?

cheers

plain sight

37 years

how many more will speak up?

I stand with them

hoping that more will stand united

hoping that no more have been impacted

I hate how disgusted I feel about this

but I hope they will not stay silent

just because your abuse was hidden in plain sight,

it doesn’t mean that your hurt and pain should stay the same way

you’re all survivors

we stand with you

we stand behind you

so stand and speak

praying for God to reveal everything in His time…

cruel

It was January 2014

I just finished unpacking my bags from an epic west-coast sojourn through the national parks.

The food, the conversations, the sights and the drive – being guided by the stars and motivated by the hidden food spots brought a sense of wonder in me that drove me to pursue travel more and more. And this wonder lingered at the tip of my tongue – a lasting flavor that I was trying to savor with each passing minute on the long flight back from LAX to EWR.

I land in-between snowstorms during a raging North-East winter season when we hear of another large storm system on it’s way.

Turns out it wouldn’t be the last bit of bad news that was also barreling towards us.

Two days into my return from a glorious winter west coast trip, we got the call from the motherland.

Grandfather’s cancer relapsed. He won’t make it one more week.

Come home now.

We had to wait out the coming storm to find Newark airport thawing itself out.

The plane had to traverse a barely melted runway to take off toward Detroit where there was a slightly larger aircraft that was waiting to take us all the way to Korea.

That whole travel ordeal was a blur. 18 hours from airport to airport. Waiting two hours at the terminal for a bus and then a four hour bus ride to find our half-sleeping uncle waiting at the bus terminal to pick up my mother and I.

We declined a warm meal and a bed – usually a welcomed reprieve from a long day of travel but we weren’t worried about rest.

Let’s go straight to the hospital.

beep…. beep…. beep….

It was nearly 2 in the morning and the hospital ward was only half-occupied but dead quiet.

We entered the moonlit ward to still hear the familiar faint whispers that I’ve come to know and trust.

It’s comforting.

My grandmother hasn’t slept in days. She catches naps here and there but stays awake to keep her post. Her eyes betray her sheer mental will to stay awake – her body is screaming for sleep. But she’s been through longer nights – she knows that the time is near and this moment will come to pass.

She doesn’t notice her oldest daughter and her oldest grandson standing behind her as she finishes her prayer.

Who knows. We all lost count. How many prayers can one lift up in desperation?

God knows.. right?

The human body is truly fragile. My grandfather was no exception. He laid there on the bed as three different lines pumped medicine and IV into his veins as a ventilator pumped the muscle in his chest that used to be his heart. He eyes were open but they showed no life. He was wheezing between every other painstaking breath as he only responded when his wife of 50 plus years spoke softly into his ears.

It would be years later that for the week and a half he was hospitalized because of his relapse, my grandmother would only speak to her husband in prayer and stories. Praying for a peaceful end and remembering their years together and all the blessings they’ve had.

I still remember that night.

It was a surreal scene. Seeing the body wasted away by cancer. A body already ravaged by radiation from years past – and six years later I still remember how I felt.

cruel

The end of life – what we can modestly look forward to at the end of it all?

The afterlife.

Such a culturally appropriately term. We can’t bear to fucking call it for what it really is.

The end.

The end is so cruel. Like the fall of a razor sharp knife.

So sudden. No emotions. Swift. Quick. End.

blink.

I still can’t reckon it. I can’t make sense of it.

No one can.

Even in the movies or Korean dramas when you see a person ripe with age and filled with wisdom, you see them welcome the end with grace as they move on from this world to the next.

I can’t make sense of it for the life of me.

Maybe death is but an experience. The final experience of life.

Inevitable.

Maybe that’s why grieving is for those left behind. The lingering emotions that come with being bereft is the aftermath of having to deal with loss. The dead cannot share in this sentiment.

This is how I embraced by grief.

This is how I choose to remember my grandfather.

Not as the wasted shell of a cancer-ridden body – but the man who led his family faithfully for over 50 years. I deal with his loss by cherishing his memory.

because the other option is so damn cruel.

8년전 사촌 누나 결혼식에 가려고 준비를 하고 있었습니다. 그 때 할아버지께서 축의금을 쥐어주셨습니다.  그 봉투 겉면에는 한자가 너무나도 아름답게 쓰여있었습니다. 경주에 도착해서, 큰 고모께 그것을 전해드렸습니다. 큰고모께서 글씨를 보시고 “아따~ 할배 글씨도 잘 쓴다.” 하시며, 다른 고모님들께 봉투를 보여드리기 시작했습니다. 그때 글씨체가 당신의 성품, 인간됨을 나타낸다는 것이 어떤 의미인지 깨달았습니다. 그 글씨가 할아버지의 평소 모습과 너무나도 닮아있기에 놀랐습니다.  가족 한 명 한명을 섬세하게 돌보시던 할아버지의 성품을 가슴 깊이 느꼈습니다. 무뚝뚝하시지만, 언제나 말씀보다는 행동으로써 사랑을 표현해 주신 가정적인 분이라 기억하고 싶습니다.

Grandfather’s Eulogy; Feb 2014

cheers

forever

We all want forever.

We all wish to live, to be, to endure, to thrive, to love and to be happy…

…forever

The picture attached to this post had to have been the second or third camping trip with my old church in Yonkers.

.. at least 20 years old.

This picture is a sophomore in college. LOL

So actually – this post and this picture was sitting in my draft folder just waiting for a post but during my morning conversations with my team, my coworkers and my girlfriend, I thought of the term, the idea and the concept of sentimentality. So here’s my question:

What is the value of “sentimental value”?

Like this picture for example. What value does this picture hold for me?

I talk to absolutely no one in this picture. Even my brother with the thumbs up. He’s married and living happily out-of-state. We talk but only sparingly.

And that’s not to say that anything is wrong. Nothing is wrong and my relationship with everyone here has simply faded away.

So therein lies the question – as for objects that have existed alongside our life for a very long time, what is the intrinsic value of these things?

How much does personal sentiment weigh into factoring the value that any one things “holds” in the real and material world?

This question begs me to consider who I am at the core of my being. I am very much a materialistic person. I don’t feel value from the things I own – I’ve actually owned up to the fact that I simply enjoy things and owning things. But what do these things mean to me? Do these things add value to me? Do these things add value to my life? What is the worth of these things?

And forget the question of material things for a second – what about people in my life?

I’ve moved around so much in my life that I’ve actually found most relationships to be very pointless – eventually people will leave me, so why do I care? Why should I care?

I know, I sound cold and heartless.

But what can I do? How many times do I have to be left holding the bags?

How many times do I have to be left out in the cold to clean up other people’s messes?

How many times do I have to be left to finish things up while other leaves early to enjoy their lives?

Yeah, I sound dramatic – and to a point I am.

My heart can only express things in these terms. I live in the realm of value and efficiency. Everything around me challenges this that resides in me.

You know I’ve been reading a book of short stories about mildly interesting things. (thank you for the book Yeji) It’s fodder for future party or small-gathering anecdotes – interesting stories that prove to be useful when I have absolutely nothing of use to add to the conversations.

God I hate small talk.

This book made me think – what if I value efficiency because this is my twisted way to getting to my “forever” just a little bit quicker?

What if I’m decrying forever because I know how difficult it’s going to be to get there for myself?

What a interesting topic..

..kinda

cheers