I got this shirt for myself for my Gotcha Day (the bodybuddy/lifemate ordered it for me, cause I hate spending money these days), and this time of year always makes me very reflective.
re Gotcha Day
I was adopted at three years and ten months of age, so I typically tell people that, "I was four."
As the story goes (as relayed through a college-aged interpreter), as told to me in 2005 by my birth grandfather, my birth father was in a motorcycle accident that left him unable to hold down a job. My birth mother was subsequently kidnapped by her family, since—being the extreme patriarchy that Korea is—a man who cannot provide for his family is worthless, etc.
Thusly, in May of 1989, I was dropped off at an orphanage. My birth family took a picture of me on the stoop. If you need proof, go fuck yourself. If you're a friend, you'll probably see it someday.
By October 1989, I was living in the United States with a white couple, in a white town, in a white state, who had already adopted a Korean baby boy, who was, by this time, nearly six years old.
This was my new family, my adopted family.
It's a strange day to celebrate when considering my current estrangement from my adopted family, nevertheless, the day is as much about me as it is about my adopted parents and brother.
In short, I'm an orphan. And orphans are strange people. I've written about this more extensively, and so, I don't like rehashing that which has already been hashed. I know plenty of them as a childhood attendee of a thing called "Korean Heritage Camp" and through my young-adulthood participation as a counselor at the same aforementioned "Camp."
And yet, even among outliers (Korean adoptees), I am an outlier. I was adopted much older. I knew my family. I lived with my birth family for years. I suffered the trauma of my birth mother abandoning me. And then I suffered the trauma of being trans-racially adopted.
I knew that my adopted parents were not my parents.
I've known a handful of other adoptees who were also not babies when adopted, and across the board, we are strange people. I think we see the world for what it is. We cannot be convinced of things that simply are not true. Unfortunately, for me, I find myself getting stuck in the Truth that I was abandoned. The other Truth is that I was also given an opportunity.
And so, this year, I have really felt the weight of the opportunities being raised in the U.S.A. has given to me. Even though my life has always been a struggle, I am grateful, because so few things in life bother me. I've seen so much. I've experienced so much that the day-to-day is not something about which I feel overwhelmed.
I was, essentially, forced to grow, evolve and cope in a pressure cooker, alone.
I've also hashed out my issues with my adopted family, so I will not take the time here to re-hash that either.
Instead, I'ma leave it at these pics, cause this is the most current reflection of who I am, these days. Our move here to Honolulu has also been an opportunity for growth, evolution and coping. And this is me on the other side of that pressure.
I'm loving life in a way that I've never really loved before, and I am truly, truly hating life in a way that I've never really experienced before, also.
Growth is painful. Evolution means moving beyond what used to fulfill you. And the thing that keeps pressing on my soul more than anything is that I need some new friends.
I've also had to cope with the emotional/psychological/existential weight of the goals of which I am in total pursuit.
I've changed so much this year—A LOT—that I hardly even recognize myself.
And I sorta love it.
|Sun v.10.07.23 I|
|Sun v.10.07.23 II|
re The Shirt
My wish is for my final Act to be as a fashion designer. My adopted father's step-mother taught me how to sew when I was maybe six or seven years old. I know that I knew how to sew by the time I was eight, because I remember the first pillow I made. I've done a lot of sewing over the years, and I've even made some of my own clothes. I'm also filled with ideas for what sorta style I want (need) to embody. I've simply not given my time over to the pursuit of this dream, yet, because becoming a fashion designer requires a lot of physical tools, and I'm just too mobile right now to invest so much money into stuff that, essentially, doesn't pack up and move well. I've lived in seven cities in the past ten years.
I do, nevertheless, try to stay current with the larger fashion world, and as an obsessive viewer of Project Runway (or Projway as it's known in our condo), I was thrilled with Laurence Basse's return for the latest season of All Stars.
I loved her in her season, and my love only grew for her in this latest season.
She's a thinker.
And so, when she didn't win, I fell even deeper in love, because I want her to succeed beyond anyone's wildest dreams, and through her success, I can wear her designs.
I do not have the kind of budget for designer clothing, yet, but my entire life trajectory is spiraling me in that direction. And so, my dream, my wish is to not only be Laurence's client but also, her friend.
Thusly, as an aspiring friend, I did the only thing I could think to do... make her look good. The only way to do that for a fashion designer?, wear her clothes. And since her t-shirts are really the only thing I can responsibly afford at this time, I did a little photo shoot in &of her shirt.