There’s like a million different ways to say “I love you”
“put your seat belt on”
“watch your step”
“get some rest”
..you just gotta listen
Pop culture, ramblings about life, insight on Hodgy and other jargon
When I was younger I was afraid of who I was. I was afraid of my background, of my very roots and blood, of the very trivial—my eyes, my hair, my wondrous absorption of all things Kimchi. I was afraid of my middle name: Park. Park. Park. Park. Say it three times and it doesn’t change. I was afraid of being different than all of my other friends. I was afraid of stereotypes. But most importantly, I was afraid of the voices all around that maligned and mingled, that struck and swatted, that penetrated the very thin reaches of my young healthy skin.
Because of this, I denied all things culturally related to me. In certain circumstances I lied about my culture in general. And even in the most dire, I lied about my middle name. Instead of Park I told people it stood for “Philip,” my father’s name.
When I got older—it was around the start of middle school—things started to change. I felt empty, and when the time finally came, I finally “accepted” who I was, where I was from and what I had in front of me. The thing is, saying “accepted” fully defeats the purpose of this entire entry. “Accepted” means that I have finally come to terms, whether I wanted to or not, with me. “Accepted” means that I have regrets. “Accepted” means that I am not happy. That folks, is certainly not the case, but in 6th grade it was.
It wasn’t until I finally started engaging myself with not only my community, but other Korean-Americans and Korean-American adoptees where I truly found myself, all-loving of who I was, all-loving of those like me, all-loving of my friends and family, and all-loving of the similarities we shared, the differences we had and everyone who didn’t quite understand.
Today I proudly pronounce that my middle name is “Park,” my Korean family name that my parents wanted to use as my middle name to keep that part of my culture with me forever. I’m proud to represent not only the “Hodgman” name, but the Korean name, the very culture that I wish to live and breathe everyday. I am proud to look at myself back in elementary school and middle school and say that I overcame such stupidity and ignorance coming from my very head. I am proud to be Korean. Always will be.
See, the reason I bring this up is because a blog called Angry Asian Man came out with a very intriguing post. Entitled, “Ignorant Shit You Shouldn’t Say to an Adopted Child (http://blog.angryasianman.com/2014/02/ignorant-sht-you-shouldnt-say-to.html),” it shows adoptees holding up signs with phrases people have said to them or about them. Some of them were as follows:
"Where are your REAL parents?"
"How much did she cost?"
"She speaks really good English!"
And my personal favorites:
"Why would you bring more immigrants into OUR country?"
"You must feel so lucky!" (this is a separate topic, but FUCK THIS. Adoption shouldn’t be something along the lines of "white saviors helping the greater good." Adoption should be about a couple that wants a family. I’m sick of people hinting or even talking about adoption as this tool for white people to look good. I’m not a fucking charity case. I never was.)
I’ve heard them all. And I firmly believe that most adoptees, from all areas, have heard them as well.
This got me thinking: maybe the reason I was so dissuaded from my own culture as a kid didn’t have to do with me at all. Maybe, and now I can say, yes this is why, is because outside forces—parents and children alike—were supplementing their own influences on my very being.
See, it all comes down to this: America is known as a “melting pot.” And whether or not you live by that, or want to believe it at all, I have to say that the term “melting pot” is a completely fucked up way of describing a country that’s supposed to be accepting of everyone. “Melting pot,” at least in my mind, is something where different things come together, simmer, and then all turn into this brown insipid liquid that’s completely stagnant. America should be known as a “bowl of salad,” where every ingredient comes out and plays its part, while at the same time remaining completely identifiable. Anyway, I digress.
If we can call America this bowl of salad, then why the hell do we have these ongoing problems? If we want to strictly tackle what I’m talking about now, I think the one thing is that some Americans feel like if it’s not their way, or more aptly, what they’re comfortable, then it just doesn’t work. And in my mind I see this as “The Grand Ol’ Way.” Hasn’t America always been like this?
When someone says to me, “so your original parents couldn’t afford you,” that simply means THEY’RE not comfortable with reality. THEY’RE not comfortable with things being different and diverse. THEY’RE not comfortable with themselves. With this, people along these lines make their targets feel like THEY did something wrong. Their sole intent is to not only express their dissatisfaction with everything, but also to bring the target down with their own reckless ignorance.
The same can be applied to a lot of things. You don’t like people who aren’t blue-eyed and blonde? Well, you’re not comfortable with it. You don’t like the fact that my friend has two moms? Well, you’re not comfortable with it. Discomfort is the FIRST thing that leads to bigger issues (i.e. hate, racism, sexism, rage). It’s with discomfort where people start to narrow their views on life, and where the hateful pick their targets on a daily basis.
What can we do? Well, I’ve said it a lot before, and I’ll keep on saying it: love.
We need to love who we are. We need to be proud of our background, our culture, our family and the peers we surround ourselves with. Whether you’re from a rural town in Indiana or a foreign city such as Seoul, Korea, you need to love who you are. This is the most vital step, because if you don’t love who you are, then how do you expect others to love you in return? Always love yourself. Talking bad or lesser about yourself isn’t modesty folks, it’s self-destruction (quoted from Tumblr. I forgot the author, but it fits. Fuck you Tumblr).
The second thing we need to do is love each other. Why the fuck are we as a species so afraid to say “I love you” or to love? Love doesn’t always have to be in a romantic context. I love my friends. I love my family. I can even say I love all of those who have influenced me as a human being. With this love we can celebrate our differences, smile at our similarities and welcome everyone with open arms.
The third thing we need to do is remember that: 1) the good always outnumber the bad, always. And 2) someone who is targeting you and trying to pull you down, is already below you. Don’t beat YOURSELF up at someone else’s expense. Don’t fault yourself for ANYTHING because someone makes something apparent. Be proud of you and shove ignorance aside.
When I was just a child, my family took a trip up to Mackinac Island for a weekend. The first night we stopped at a restaurant in St. Ignace. When we walked inside, everyone literally stopped what they were doing and turned to watch us sit down. It was remarkable really. It was like they hadn’t seen two white parents with two Asian children. At the time, I slumped and put my head down, rushing to my seat as fast as possible, but if I had the mindset that I have now I would have stopped, stood on a table and shouted this: “MY NAME IS DANIEL. I’M A KOREAN-AMERICAN ADOPTEE. MY SISTER IS NAMED ANNA. SHE IS A CHINESE-AMERICAN ADOPTEE. MY MOTHER WAS BORN IN QUEENS, NEW YORK AND IS OF IRISH DECENT. MY DAD WAS BORN IN WASHINGTON D.C. AND IS OF GERMAN DECENT. MY LAST NAME IS HODGMAN. MY MIDDLE NAME IS PARK. AND YALL CAN ENJOY YOUR DINNERS NOW THAT YOU KNOW EVERYTHING. HAVE A NICE DAY.”
Be proud of who you are. Be proud of what you do. Be proud to be alive, kicking and making something happen. Be proud of loving your family. Be proud of loving your friends. Be proud. Be.
I’m fine with this. If it means said place is complying with the ACA instead of trying to get around it by kicking their employees on to the exchanges via cutting hours to part-time, great. Here’s two dimes.
Twenty cents for a bill of over $20. So that employees get health insurance. This is a fucking ADVERTISEMENT for Obamacare.
Can someone please give me advice regarding phone interviews? I don’t usually do this, but I scored the most important interview of my life and it’s going to be an hour-long phone interview. I am ignorant when it comes to phones, phone interviews and what have you. Tips? Please?