May 21, 2003

Life Unfiled

Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Richland College--Dallas, TX

A lot of my friends are graduating from UT Austin this week. I think of the choices that I have made and revisit the reasons why I have chose a different path. I left UT Austin two years ago, well, hehe..actually UT kicked me in the rear and said "you can leave now." Whichever, it doesn't matter to me. I reflect now where I stand.

My uncle asked me once why I do not go back and finish where I left off with school. I replied that I did not see the urgency nor the necessity. He told me that he understood, and that he had "once been where [I] was 20 years ago." I just feel that everyone has their own journey to make, no which way is better than the other.

I know that I am taking a similar path that my older brother took, a path a bit different from what is expected from a 23 year old asian: neither am I graduating with a bachelor's degree from a major university, nor the other extreme, gangbanging and selling narcotics. I am simply a guy trying to find out the answers to his life, and taking a detour in order to do it. Well...wish me luck, and I hope to see you further down the road. :)

May 02, 2003

Break The Cycle

Dallas, TX

I recently spoke to a friend online and she was counseling me on my non-existent relationship with my dad. You know, the ever-familiar problems we have with our stoic-every-so-ready-to-force-feed-you-his-opinion-when-he-wants-to-asian father. Yes. It frustrates me.

So I run into a complete stranger on at the rail station on my way to meet up with a friend. The stranger is a white man in his forties. He seems a nice man so I approach him with, "Pardon me, sir, may I ask you a question? Perhaps you could help answer a question I've been puzzling over today." I share with him the above and he first replies, "Well, first, I am sorry to hear that. It's quite a shame." And proceeds to dissect the way the last generation of fathers was raised.

It's quite possible that one of us will pass before we make the effort to know and forgive each other. Needless to say, it would be a shame. Despite the discord, we're both fundamentally good people. I can't imagine what that would be like, I have experienced missing somebody;but not like that. Not a permanent longing.

"Father. Hello. Who are you?" We don't talk. We don't call one another. There's so much to talk about, but it seems almost impossible to start that conversation. You celebrated your 47th Birthday last week. How do I wish someone a happy birthday I don't talk to. I have learned to shut you out; to make your words... your opinion of me... not matter. I am safe behind these walls. Or am I? Explain to me why we always cry when we talk? Can't it get better? When tears come for apparently no reason, I know the reason. It is that I wish things were different. That things did not play out as they did between us. Many of us long for things from our parents that they, frankly, don't know how to give.

There was a boy. There was his Father. The two did not speak to one another and did their best to avoid one another. What foolish games. One of the hardest things to do is to meet up with the source of our pain. Life seems easier when we can fill things up to act as a bandaid. I know because that's what I do.

I feel no shame here. There's no need to hide this. Sure, it has somewhat stained me. I hurt and still do. Not so much from the physical violence of my childhood experiences but moreso from the emotional instability that affects a person long after the quarrels, broken dishes, and sleepless school nights have passed.

I'm grown now and live apart from my folks. It is difficult each time I visit them. It becomes a revisitation of emotional places that both anger and sadden me. I think that domestic violence is a terrible, terrible thing. It stays with a person long after. You sometimes feel "weird". I wish I had some good advice I could share about all this. Here's a photo of my mom and dad in happier times.