Monday, May 9, 2011

Thinking of my parents

   I know my parents wouldn't understand what I'm about to write. And, I don't know why I'm writing this in English anyway, but I really wanted to write about how I think of them. My second thought, because they don't understand, I can write it without censorship. I don't know if it's appropriate or not.

   Perhaps, I'm shy to express my heart in Korean. I grew up in an environment where we're supposed to seal our feelings in front of people. But, I've been adapting to express myself freely since I start traveling overseas. And I really enjoyed talking about how I think, how I feel. The individual's opinion actually could be conveyed without a harsh judgment or a criticism. The life where I was based on was quite an opposite; we were told not to show our feelings to others either we're happy, sad, angry, or lonely. We had to censor ourselves before the words coming out. In that matter, I have to give a good credit for this cultural custom, because the words from our mouth are supposed to be spoken like a rock, not a feather.

   In Korea, we celebrate a big Parents' day on May, 8th, every year. Coincidently, here in USA we've got Mother's day on same date this year. To me, these two events can't be separated. Also, I can't let them go without scribbling down my thoughts.

   Our Korean society is established on Confucian philosophy, which sets priority in worshiping to family elders. 효, 孝, [pronounced Hyo] is what we called. Hyo is based on the idea of filial piety, which is the concept of remaining loyal to parents as their child. 

   My father used to hang a big sign of this Chinese character ,孝, in a simple designed wooden frame in our living room, and it was still hung in the middle of the room when I visited Korea 2 years ago. I've always wondered why. What does it mean to him? Among so many words, why this simple and single character?

   There were so many mysterious in his life and I wanted to know so badly. However, he wasn't the kind of man who speaks about himself openly. Of all my memory, he's been a listener, thinker and strong believer. I don't have many memories of him, because he was always busy on his life.
   Many people say, it's about his generation. All dads had to work to support their family, they had to go out and meet people although they might not enjoy doing it. Some say these baby-boomer's didn't learn how to spend times with their kids, they were just driven by the society, they believed men's job was making money away from family, all they did was work, work, and work.
   I'm still figuring out what was the main reason that made my dad away from our family when I was little. I don't think it will be simple. And somehow, I know what had haunted him so badly that he had to run all his life as if he was chased by a ghost. I've been avoiding this part of my life for a long time. Because I had a good reason ; his life isn't mine. But I can't deny anymore. He is part of me, in fact, he's very crucial part of my life either I like it or not, and I can't write my whole story without him in it. After all, he is my father.

   Deep sigh came out from my chest, thinking about my mom. I am truly blessed to have a mom like my mom. And, I'm very glad she's been an opposite character from my dad. The older I get, I see more of my mom's character in me. She has been always an eye-catcher. She illuminated around the people. Her champion level of makeup and well matched seasonal clothing fashion, from A to Z, she was vibrant.
   But there's also a down side of her story. When I was young, I didn't like her time division. She used to spend good 2 hours of putting her makeup. Whenever we were planning to go out, I had to tell her, "Mom, could you please get ready fast this time?" However, this sentence didn't go through her ears, and I've learned a lesson throughout my childhood, which is " the old habit never dies "

   Now, I became a mom of "soon-to-be-4-year-old", feisty girl. My journey of marriage and motherhood is still in present continuous pattern, in easy way saying, "-ing" form. I don't know if I'm doing right or wrong, but one thing I know is I am doing my best. It would be really a weird scenario if anybody comes to me and say, " you shouldn't raise your child like that, or a good wife doesn't say or do like that." And they wouldn't get any good response from me, either.

   My mom used to tell me, " you don't have to get married as long as you've got a capacity to sustain your life." And, I believed I didn't need a man to make my life easier. I was an educated, young, self-reliant woman who wanted know more, see more, understand better of life. I had a clear vision of my life and my future wasn't necessarily a married woman. Yet, after many years I became a wife of a passionate artist, a mom of a bold child. Life is full of surprises and mysteries, indeed.
   Seriously, who would've thought I could write a story in English? It took me good 10 years to speak a sentence in a form of present perfect, such as "I have been to New Zealand, or I have decided to do such a thing, etc." If you ever studied English grammar, you would probably heard a lot about Present Perfect tense; Have + P.P. My Language learning experience might be very interesting story, and I know it because it's just a miracle me writing a story continuously in English. And no one pushed me doing this, which is my favorite fact. I like to continue because it makes me happy. :)

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