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living on the periphery
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Jan 30th, 2010 04:30 pm - A Life Ennui
John Lennon was the one who sang, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." But what if life doesn't happen to you when you're following your plans? What if, instead of delaying your life like you believe you are doing, you're actually molding your life into what it's going to be?

As more and more time goes on, the more and more I seclude myself from those around me. I have ignored the complaints that I never go out, ignored the little jabs at my preferred method of interaction. I give the responses that I feel are true: I don't like bars, I don't like strangers, I like small dinners and conversations with close friends. Maybe the explanations are true, or maybe just a pattern that I fell into as a defense mechanism.

I never learned how to keep friends. I guess there never really was a need to before now. The constant geographic relocating throughout my life allowed me to make friends fast, but never lasting. I only keep in touch with a handful of people that have known me for more than a decade; even then, I only see them sporadically. This is all not to say that length of relationship is directly correlated to the closeness of a relationship. But, if you grow up knowing that friendships are temporary, you never really learn how to open yourself up.

So, what does this all have to do with the beginning part of this psyche deconstruction?

I have many friends. Friends who I've let see the best and worst sides of me. Friends that have made me a better person, day by day. I wouldn't trade them for anything. But, most of them are just names on the computer screen, voices on the other end of the phone. I don't see them everyday.

And my fear is that I somehow trapped myself into a life pattern of secluding myself from the world literally past my doorstep for one, though more vast and fulfilling, that for the majority of the time is intangible. Because the truth is, I spend the majority of my time on my computer, alone in my room. I rarely go out because I rather stay in. I don't invite people over. Some call it a rut, I call it my life. It's been like this since I was 14.

This is more than just not having time in my life to do the fun things because I am in law school. Yes, law school does require sacrifice. But for some reason, I am beginning to think that I sacrificed too much. Rather than life happening to me, I just let it not happen.

& - - - || - - -

These thoughts may just be fleeting, resulting from a ghost of a previous psyche. It may just be stress, or the uncertainty I'm facing after I'm finished with my plans. It should be easy to shrug this off, to just keep in mind that I don't know what's going to happen in six months time. Maybe life will just happen to me and I just can't see what's coming.

But I had to admit that I am afraid. Mostly to myself. I spent a lifetime building up walls around me to keep the pain out. I just hope that those walls aren't also designed to keep me in.

Originally published at tabin.net.
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Aug 11th, 2009 01:23 am - A Fault
Somehow, two decades have passed since I moved to the United States (for good). Twenty years. How did that happen? That's first grade through high school, four years of college, two years of hanging around, and two years of law school. And in all that time, I have not been able to become fluent in Korean.

Yes, that bothers me.

My earliest childhood memories are ones of growing up in Korea. Memories of how my cousins tormented me. Picking strawberries in the fields behind school. Catching dragonflies. Learning piano. Playing GI Joes with my best friend. Bits of memories that don't all flow together, but somehow seem whole.

When I was six, my father was sent to the United States, and my mother and I obligatorily followed. I left my family and came to live in a place where I had to learn most of the (new) language and forget the old one. And I can't seem to get back the fluency of Korean now that I am older.

My mother's sister (yes, my aunt, I'm aware of how that works) is in town. And by "in town," I mean the same ZIP code. My first reaction to my mother's suggestion that I meet her while she's still here was, "NO!" Not because I don't WANT to see her, or anyone from my mother's side of the family. It's because I am ashamed that I can't talk to her.

I can understand well enough (probably the vocabulary equivalent to that known by a 10 year old), but I just get a mental block when I want to reply. I can't parse together a sentence. I blanked on how to say how old I was now. I get intimidated in Korean restaurants, for somethings sake.

My parents have told me not to worry about it. But I do worry about it. And it doesn't help much that Korea is one of those "shame-based" countries. It reflects poorly on me that I can't speak my native tongue.

It feels like a part of me is missing because I can't re-connect with the family that dominate my early life memories. I can't joke about how I used to tattle on my cousin for sucking his thumb. Or how my uncles used to play card games on my blanket. Or how I thought my aunt was the prettiest woman in the world. Or how much they mean to me, even after twenty years away from them.

Originally published at tabin.net.
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Aug 5th, 2009 12:37 am - Teh Awesome
summer_01It's hard being awesome. I don't mean to say that in a pretentious, snobby way as in, "I know that I am awesome, it's tough being me." But more in the way of: I forget that I am awesome and forget to BE awesome.

How many of us berate ourselves for our shortcomings on a daily basis? I used to look in the mirror and pinpoint (to myself) all the flaws I saw. When I screw up, even if it is something small and completely fixed, I still think about it months afterwards. I repeat those mistakes in my mind constantly, and it's easy to get caught in the trap of self-degredation. I forget that I am awesome.

So, when I saw it's hard being awesome, it is more that I start to believe that I am not awesome ...

Yes, I will stop using the word "awesome" now.

I was hit by a very big metaphorical truck a couple weeks ago. The core of the issue was the fact that I am always trying to please my friends, always trying to give them something in order to keep them as friends. I've done this since I was a child. I saw friendship as "What can I give this person so they will like me?" Growing up as a military brat and moving every four years, I had to "learn" how to make friends fast, and the fastest way of doing so is exchanging something of value.

I remember trying to bribe the neighborhood kids with bubblegum when I was in first grade. As if bubblegum was treasure ...

It never really occurred to me that my true friends don't NEED anything from me, other than just being a good friend in return. When I got hit by that truck, I finally got it. My friends are my friends because of me (and my awesomeness*). It was the wake-up call I needed.

After this experience, I just started to affirm how good of a person I actually am. It's easy to complain, and it's easy to hate myself. What's really hard, the actual challenge worth pursuing, is being nice to myself and to be confident about my abilities.


&------ // ---------

I used to hate pictures of myself. I missed chronicling a good chunk of my time in high school because I could not stand looking at me. I was fine with being always behind the camera.

But now, I'm beginning to see that it's all just my perception. The way I look to myself is totally dependent on how I am feeling about myself. When I feel ugly, I will not like what I see in pictures, or even in the mirror.

If I feel great, well ... then it gives me enough bravery to include two photos of myself in one blog posts.

This is me, and I'm awesome**.

&------ // ---------

*I had to.
** I really had to then, too.

Originally published at tabin.net.
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Jul 10th, 2009 07:03 pm - Kismet - 10 Years
It's fitting that I end this less-than-stellar week with a Stars Align concert. In the ten years I have been following all the different permutations of this band, I have changed so much. All the ups and downs, it seems that this band has been the background soundtrack to it all.

I wouldn't find myself here if it wasn't for this music, this band. They were the glimmer of hope I had when things were really bad. And my touchstone, even now.

So, I'm off for some good music with some good friends. And maybe I'll find my happiness along the way.

Stars Align

Neve Genius

Originally published at tabin.net.

May 20th, 2009 07:09 pm - A Question
Would twitter folks appreciate being notified that I have a new blog entry?

Strangely, I've always kept tabin.net on the down-low, which has both negative and positive consequences (depending on how much of an exhibitionist I feel like at the moment).

Any thoughts?

Originally published at tabin.net.

Apr 3rd, 2009 11:46 pm - There Are Some Things I Shouldn't Do
For example: I should not cut my own bangs. I can explain Constitutional Law, but I cannot cut hair; I must accept this. Unfortunately, I come to this realization one decision too late. Hopefully my hair stylist doesn't give me too much grief over this.

.... Yes, definitely not a good idea.

& - - // - -

Three today. I made it until 6pm without one. That's better than most days. Tomorrow, will be better.

Originally published at tabin.net.

It's hard to break a habit. I'll be the first to admit that. Most of my life has been about habits and my inability to change. Today (well, yesterday), I had a plan to break a habit. I'll admit that I wasn't very successful in quitting cold turkey, but I cut back more than half. It'll be better tomorrow. And the day after that. Just one step at a time, I guess.

I decided the best way to focus my energy was to develop a new habit - writing down my thoughts at least once a day. I used to be such a prolific writer when I was younger; I just somehow lost that along the way. Maybe I became to busy. Or just distracted. Whatever it was, I lost that part of my routine.

So, everyday, I'll write. I will not promise anything interesting so for those of you who care - have fun reading.

& ---//--- &


For those of you who do not know: I am fostering a cat. It's much like fostering a kid... well, in the sense that you don't adopt, just support for awhile. Today, I had to take her in so a family could interact with her before making a decision on adoption. Sadly(?), she was not adopted; it may have been because she wasn't as playful as usual since she really does not like her carrier.

Since part of the day revolved around Tuscany (the cat), I figured today's picture should feature her. ... Please don't LOLcat her.

Originally published at tabin.net.

Apr 24th, 2008 07:41 pm - Gibbons v. Ogden in LOLcat Speak
Because I'm going crazy studying for finals...

Gibbons v. Ogden

Ogden: NY seys I can has francheyez.
Gibbons: *THWACK* I can has francheyez - YOU-ESS-AY government seyz!

NY STATE: NO! YOU-ESS-AY gots no Pwer! I has pwer!
FED GOVT: NoES! I has pwr - see Art I, Sec. 8, cl 3!

Supreme Court: "Among the States" = interstate and intrastate, BEO-YATCH!"


Feb 27th, 2008 11:16 pm - Five By Five: Prompt Table (Stickied)

Five by Five Prompt Table
effectiveness pint handbook hesitate supervised
waves undone merge rain diagram
scuttle icebreaker soothsaying sadomasochist bestial
haywire tutor restless devil venture
equivalent raw kamikaze semi-professional crossfire

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