Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My true form

I'm enrolled in a leadership course called Omega and I've been forced to journal about various subjects including my priorities, my time spent during the day, and even things like what I think I hear God saying most loudly lately. Lately, I think I'm beginning to see that I'm an ethereal ghost who's been considering all things and all people as transient and not lasting. I've known this fact for a bit, but the new part is that this is more costly than I thought. It's true in a sense that none of us will live forever and the things of this earth will parish one day, but I've always lived in my head in never never land and rarely do I really see the place I'm at and the people I'm with. I'm not fully present in the moment. I think it's because I move from place to place every four years and I didn't know that aspect of my life would take a toll on my adulthood like this. I considered moving from place to place a history, a part of my background and up bringing, but not something that would have a huge consequence in my thinking and general state of being. I've met so many different people and have adapted to so many different places in such a short amount of time, there's no learning how to adjust and put down roots in the community you are put in. My brother and I merely learned how to fit in where we were, make a good time out of the short stint and move on. I think both of us knew that one day, that place, that face, that conversation will be forgotten soon, and we would be in another place all together with different faces.

This gave me the tool to become winsome to whoever I encounter, an ability to be a personality chameleon and change who I am and who I appear to be. Sometimes, most times, I can't tell if some qualities of myself truly belongs to me or if it was colored in by the person that I'm relating to. If a group needed a leader, I would become the leader, the fun one? I would become that fun one. I would rarely compete with another for the same role, but always adapt so that I would be just the thing people needed me to be. I feel that I'm colored in with their crayons, my lines erased, redrawn and changed so that I'm more palatable to them. I feel schizophrenic sometimes because I completely empathizing with people and I know exactly how they feel when they tell me what they feel. I don't know if it's my experience or it's their experience, everything just blurs together.

I'd like to think I'm confident in who I am in Christ and when I'm with my parents or my brother, but I don't know how I come off to the general public because rarely do I stick around for anyone to really get passed the coloring pages and know my true form. Consequently, because no one has seen me, I have not seen myself. This is not so much a cry for the lost "self" but because I'm so undefined and wavering about my own personality and character, that I can't really feel secure enough to really love anyone else. They say that "Love Mes" have the greatest sin because they are given an extraordinary capacity to love and experience love, but they only limit that to the small group of people they choose. It makes sense I think, because those who know you the best give you the security of yourself and that allows you to love them freely and with wholeness. Since I was in college, I constant and earnest prayer was that I would really love people, but that prayer it seems has not come to manifest in my life and now,I think I know why. Does anyone want to write a 2 page essay on "My Friend Susie" for my birthday?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Drops of Jupiter in her hair

Secondary Title: "Earth to Space Cadet"

Often times Hans will ascribe various songs to me says that it's "us" or it's "you". He tells me he sees me in certain lights through songs he hears. But this one, I think might be what describes us and I always request this song to be played. "Hansy, can you play that Jupiter song?" because I feel, whoever wrote this song must've know a girl just like me and understood her, then rebuked her. He appreciates who she is, but says to her, after that trip to the moon, didn't you miss your friends, fried chicken, soy latte, and me? The things that really matter, instead of the imaginary life you live in inside your head? "come back down to earth" he says, this is where you're really brave, where you really have your adventures, and not on "Jupiter" or on the "Moon."

Now that she's back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there's a time to change, hey
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey

But tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way
To see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?

But tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance
To dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way?

And tell me, did Venus blow your mind?
Was it everything you wanted to find?
And then you missed me
While you were looking for yourself out there

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you
Even when I know you're wrong?

Can you imagine no first dance, freeze-dried romance
Five-hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had, and me? -Train

Friday, January 22, 2010

Short and sweet

It's been brought to my attention that there are several people who think my blogs are hard to read? Really? ok, too long and involved I know. It takes as much effort to write it was it is to read it, trust me. Not time wise, but at least emotionally and thoughtfully it does. So, I'll post some things here and there, that are just for fun and what I've been into lately.

There's an artist called Casey and she's a painter that pretty much puts down on canvas with paint what I would on virtual paper with words. She paints about her life and her feelings. Check her out here. I really like how thoughtful the pieces are, but breaks up the seriousness with whimsy. This one is called Deep Down.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wolf Pack

I've been hearing a lot about the term "wolf pack" and I'm assuming it's from the movie Hang over. The term"wolf pack" refers to your people, your family, your crew. At the risk of sounding totally pathetic, sad, and feeling sorry for myself, I sometimes scroll through my friends' pictures on facebook and also through my friend's friend's pictures and I totally envy the fact that they all have a wolf pack. You can tell who their people are from lurking through just handful of pictures from each of their albums because you'll see the repeating faces from the Christmas Party, that bachelorette party and the ski trip in Vail, oh and also that group picture with a caption that simply states "us." I'm not saying that I don't have groups of people I hang out with and that my friends are just not enough, but I'm saying that I've never really had the group of girls that I would always be associated with. I have individual girls who are just the cat's meow when it comes to being a friend and I have to say that all of my friends are completely loyal to me! That they have my back and I have theirs, and no matter what stupid thing you do, like the time I vomited all over the steps of an upscale hotel after getting us kicked out because I looked so drunk, that those people would still love me without judgment. That I would still be the Susie that they knew prior to the hysteria brought on by drunken stupor.

In one episode of Gossip Girl (the source in which I receive all wisdom and lessons about what friendship and community is suppose to be), Serena is about to confess her deepest, darkest, most hideous secret and Blair, Chuck and Nate all remind Blair of their own deepest, darkest, most hideous secret (except Chuck Bass, he just remind her that he's Chuck Bass, enough said). Not only is this kind of security and confirmation so alluring to me, but they will take these secrets to the grave and love one another through the thickest and the thinnest parts of the over privileged lives. I notice that my girlfriends all have their crew and that the tightest groups are forged when they are in high school and their group only gets tighter as they experience more of life together. Last chance to find such a group is when you're in College, and some groups forged in college could end up being co-ed, but none the less, it becomes increasingly difficult as you grow into adulthood to find your wolf pack. Am I so weird that I couldn't find a crew that would accept me into their group? Moving around and not belonging to any state, country or city would have me become a nomad even between groups of people? Do I expect too much of the friends I meet? Do I demand their souls and they just don't want to give it up? Is it too much to ask for it anyway?!! Several girl groups (no, not the Wondergirls or the Destiny's Child kind of girl group) have tried to include me in their ever so exclusive bunch, but it didn't quite work. You see, it's not because there were girls who didn't like me or girls I didn't like, but it's because only a certain girls out of the group really had a connection with me. The other girls were just putting up with it because I was invited by one of their own. I also didn't want to belong there either, I didn't choose them, they didn't get me.

Away at a retreat, I thumbed through a journal that the owners of the rented house had left for guests to write about the wonderful time they had in their get away cottage. While leafing through the pages, I came across a journal entry titled "20 years and counting." These "girls" had a girls weekend there and this particular girl had written about how this same group of friends have had an annual get away every year since they were in their twenties. She wrote how marriage, babies, deaths and other life happenings caused absences of a few girls from the weekend getaways in some of the years, but they always make it an attempt to find themselves back with their wolf pack. It made me think of how much they've shared since the tender age of 20, where the weekend get a ways have consisted of drinking, gossiping about boys, going out to bars and maybe having too much booze, then slowly transitioning in to more of a restful retreat where they find refuge in each other's company. I imagined them sharing about their families, their kids, their husbands, confessing things they would never utter even to their husbands. They would still be the same though, there would be the sweet one, the wise one, the mother hen and the party girl. This is what I envy about the wolf packs I see in pictures. I wonder if I'm just imagining and fantasizing about what really isn't or what I already have but don't know it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nostalgia through Nivea

There's something to be said about smells. Even when something is completely rank, every time you smell this "scent", it brings you right back to a good time in your life. One of my girlfriends and I agree that whenever we smell the aroma of sewage in a city, it reminds us of Seoul, Korea. Typically, one would cringe and wrinkle their nose and say, that is a "bad" smell, but it's not. It reminds me of a time when I had a lot fun and there was potential, family, culture and heritage. You also remember exactly how people smelled, you remember the kid that always smelled like canned chicken noodle soup, or that girl that smelled of Dove soap in the morning and faded as the day grew old. I remember how every time I went into my grandmother's room it smelled of mothballs and her Lancome facial lotion, or how every time I walked into my grandfather's room, it smelled of ginseng and old books that had yellow pages and bound by string.

When I smell essentially the "farts" of a skunk, it takes me back to the late summer nights I had as a high school student. To me it smells like sesame oil and it inevitably leads me to thinking about beaches, car rides with all four windows open and the boys I had crushes on for the duration of the summer. It's like how people love the smell of the sea, salty, fishy and not at all sweet, but the sand even smells different, not like the sand you play in at the park.

Another one of my favorite smells is the smell of the lawn when it's freshly mowed. The smell of grass smells sweet to me, and when I was in High School, Gap started coming out with various scents like Dream and Heaven, those were the most popular, but I wore Grass. It smelled exactly as it would in the summer time, when I would swing on the hammock and the lawn mower was going off next store in the neighbor's yard. It's the same with Library books, the smell of it is not a "good" sent and it may vaguely remind you of someone's feet, but it was the smell of summer and it belonged with the smell of grass.

The smell of Nivea lotion is especially special to me. The smell of this lotion and the slight metallic smell from the container has a great impact on my mood because I instantly flash back to bath time as a little girl. My mom would wash us up, perch us both in front of her and our skin still glowing from the warm water, then open that flat blue metal container then apply the thick cream on our nose, forehead, and cheeks, in that order. As she rubbed the lotion into our damp skin, with our hair still dripping water and with PJ's on, we would shut our eyes and wrinkle our nose. It's amazing how "bad" smells can smell sweet and even "good" smells which were intended to cover up the bad smells evoke a gag reflex in some of us. It makes me think that I should be wearing perfume all the time or make my home smell in such a way that the good times we have would forever be evoked when you get a good whiff of gardina candles or Windex. What are some of your nostalgia smells?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Uh...you got something on your nose there....

I'm not sure what deters people from telling others that they have something in their teeth, or their face, or that their zipper is open. The last one I think might stem from the shame of revealing the fact that your eyes were in their loins while they weren't looking, but what about everything else? Is it because, if you're a girl, you want to sabotage other girls and allow them to look ridiculous with chocolate smeared at the corner of their lips, or is it because you're partly embarrassed for them and it's difficult to point out such sloppiness to the victim? Personally, I don't like to point those things out to people I'm not very close to because it steps beyond a boundary I'm unconformable crossing. I also don't want to deal with the hue of embarrassment they will show across their face and that would make me feel bad, and we wouldn't want that, do we? Be it as it may, it's best to tell your friend, if you really are friends and not frenemies, that they have spinach in between their teeth or at least instruct that curmudgeon to go find a mirror and discover their shameful state all on their own. But even that gentle guidance would do.

Have you ever done this for someone? The reaction is a mix between a muted bashfulness and a gratefulness that she didn't go half across the hall way with toilet paper sticking out her pants like a train of a wedding dress.

As friends who are deeper in the sanctuary of your life and mind, I say that this practice of pointing out disgraces in their personal lives and character should be expected. When you are you, you are with you at all times, there's no escaping it. Some days you're clear on who you are and what you are in Christ, but most days, you have been slipping and don't even realize it. You rationalize and with mental exercise, you conjure up what you think you are putting out to the viewing world, but it's a far cry from what you think. I once had a friend tell me that when he first met me, I came off really shy and really quiet and another friend agreed to that first impression. I had no idea! Not that it's a bad thing or a good thing to be quiet person, or a loud person for that matter, but you just don't know what you look like to people.

I think it's your friends' duty to say, "hey, your lights are dimming," and without the fear that you might retaliate by pointing out the spaghetti sauce in your eye! If you ever have done this, you notice it's the same kind of reaction you get when you point out that toilet paper sticking out their pants. The same elixir of muted bashfulness and a gratefulness that's more difficult to spot, but it's there...but make sure you don't have toilet paper coming out of your pants too.

Edit: The day I wrote this, I went to my gym and used the restroom, and to my utter dismay, I found a long trail of toilet paper train coming out of my workout pants. Good thing I was just in the locker room.

3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" Matthew 7:3

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Night

Night is ascribed as the back veil that gives the thieves and the sinister their license to tip toe, steal, and plot. At night, it's the darkness that gives us normal, even the up right citizens the leniency to act in our licentious ways, but when day breaks, all is exposed and like cockroach, all the sinister and the up right alike scatter to our once hiding place. However defamed the name of Night, I believe night is more selfless and sees God more than Day. When earth is Day, I see her as the blond girl with sun kissed skin, slightly freckled and her hair golden. She gives of warmth and a sense of safety that can veil someone's eyes into thinking she's kind. She is kind, but selfish and inwardly. Day receives day light, sunshine, the earth benefits from the rain and the flowers bloom. However good those things are, Day is confined in the toiling of planet earth and rarely can it see outside of itself. There's too much light focused on earth. Have you seen the stars in the day light?


Night, given the mysterious name and the place menace of society come take their stage so that their ways are not glaringly evil. When earth is Night, I see it as the girl who has dark hair and blue eyes, pale skin and always intimate. On the outside, she is quiet and seems as though she is the black hole of sadness you are afraid to fall into in fear that you may never be able to climb out of her. But she is kind and she asks you how you are, what you are, in her quiet curiosity your guard is let down and you can trust her. When earth is Night, you can see the stars, the moon, the universe and how infinite God is beyond herself. When you see God, and study Him without always the benefit of blessings, in the light as well as in the dark you will never be shaken. When earth is night and when it is darkest, you can see the stars, the planets, the moon, and how infinite the universe, how infinite the creator.


"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple." Isaiah 6:1

Monday, January 11, 2010

It takes a village...

...to know someone. When raising a child, we need our community of friends to tell us what we're doing right and what we shouldn't be doing. They need to be the eyes when the four eyes of her parents are just not enough to see them through every growth pain, to see perspectives we've never even dreamed and to bring out in the child something different from what mom and dad are capable of. Just like when we raise a child, it takes a village to really know someone. According to C.S. Lewis in his book The Four Loves, he had a famous group of friend, including J.R.R. Tolkien, and one of the four died, it was a big loss. It was a big loss because he lost a friend, but he will also lose the parts of the remaining three (including himself) that this particular friend brought out in them. I completely understand what that means. Different friends bring out different parts of myself that makes up my whole self. My friend J.W. brings out the slightly sarcastic, witty side of me that's different from when I hang out with my best guy friend D.C. who brings out the completely sarcastic, but slightly dirty, potty humor in me. These different nuances of humor is just the tip of the iceberg what qualities are burried under someone.

This is exactly why when you meet a new friend and you like them enough, you want him or her to meet your other friends, brothers, mothers and fathers. Yes, you partly want them to know the details of your life and make them a permanent inclusion into the community of people you belong to, but I think it's largely because we want this new person to see you interact with the most important people in your life and show them parts that will emerge when you do so. I noticed last night, as I was having dinner with my parents and my brother for my mom's birthday, I am completely present and my mind never wanders to another place. I laugh often, I feel confident and generally happy, making jokes and peanut gallery comments, and I even become that pestering older sister, fake punching my brother in the face during dessert complete with sound effects, "pow! pow!"

My brother and I have this song, it's "our song" (I know you're totally grossed out), but it's I see your true colors, by Cyndi Lauper because we essentially see the real parts of one another. But I'm wrong, we're wrong in a way, I've not seen him with his girlfriend's parents and how nervous he's behaving, I have never seen him with in class or at work, although I can almost picture how he would be. I often felt like a chameleon transforming my colors as I land from green leaf to purple leaf, making myself more palatable to whoever I'm relating to, but I'm not a personality schizophrenic and neither are you. We're made up of an array of experiences that bring out emotions, reactions, jokes, tears, laughter or anger, all provoked by the people you're with. C.S. Lewis says that he misses his dead friend, but he also misses his living friends, the parts that only that one particular friend brought out in them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Father's Prayer....


Father, God,
Thank you for this day.
Thank you for the blessings I understand and the ones I don't.
Thank you for the miracles I see and the ones I don't.
Thank you for your sprit who always abides in me.
Thank you for your love that you always give me, the love I recognize and the ones I don't.
Let me be O.K with this day no matter what it brings.
Thank you for everything that's in my life and everything that's not.
Pray to God with the name of Jesus Christ.

~Dad Kong

My dad has always been a prayerful person. Growing up, I remember running to a neighbors house terrified by a whispering in the house when I came home from school. My dad would often be in his closet, praying for us with such earnest. He still does to this day...and hopefully, I will inherit his earnest. However, I don't think trying to muster up the need for prayer or the desire to pray, but I feel it should be a natural knee jerk reaction to our utter need for Christ. I've been reading the One year Bible since January one, and I've been pretty consistent with it for the last 6 days, and this comes from a true desire to be joyful despite the doom and gloom of the last months of 2009. I will see progress yet...day by day.


Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 January One. I wanna be free.

It's a new year and I've been contemplating what I wanted for this year...for myself, for other people, but mostly what I wanted to become for other people, and I'm pissed! (I almost in this parenthesis, which acts like a disclaimer, apologized for using that word, but I'm not going to). I'm mad because I no longer want to be perfect or try to be. I done striving for perfection and containment in this pursuit to want to be loved, want to earn it, want to do the things to be the things I'm supposed to be in the eyes of others. I want to explain here that I believe in responsibility for other people, but I wont. 2009 year in the end was a breaking point and I'm not going to explain myself or be this strong person with perspective in tact because I want to be loved for the things I need to feel. I tried my best to be some thing good, something desirable for everyone, but I lost myself in that. I am tired of worrying about the things others will think about me, but just be me. This anger is at myself that I hid my anger toward God because I thought I would be loved less or fall from his grace, but I wont.

I miscarried and it's a damn tragedy and I haven't been angry or worried or sad about it, at least not in public. I didn't want to burden the people around me with it. In part, I wanted to rise from those ashes stronger and better, wanting to obey God and earn his love from that experience. But HE is done and I am done. I am loved already. completely and wholely. Period. There's nothing I can do more or less for him to love me and accept me as I am. Although, there are a lot of people who think I am resolute and secure, I, Susie Kong Shin am deathly afraid to be not loved. And in that process, I've been a slave to pleasing others, being the cushion pin, the door mat, and the comfort food so that I don't fail in the eyes of man.

I've been joyless and caged in my fear of not receiving acceptance, that I have lost myself. I am not losing my joy because of the heartbreaks that I have seen these past few years, but its because in those heartbreaks, I've died to myself so that I am not a burden. I want to be wildly free, dance, sing, laugh, and creative, like I was, but I can't muster up one joke without becoming fearful that the reaction I will get is not pleasing. To my displeasure, I am a pleaser. And though I would like to think myself my own person, not caring about what others see, but I am not. This takes more effort and more toll on my soul than to be rejected or fail. I'm don't want to do this any more. I am done trying so hard to make connections and cater to people because I want to be loved, but I just want to do the loving without any expectations for return.

Adults are not adults because we've matured. We stop riding roller coasters, stop having snowball fights and make snow angels, stop having swim parties and dancing because we are mature responsible adults, but I don't think it's because we matured. I think that we stop doing all that because we have seen too much and suffered much to enjoy fun. In the year 2010, I'll cry if I feel sad and heartbroken without thinking I'm burdening someone or that I'm making them uncomfortable, I will meet people without trying to win them over. I will express my anger without feeling like it's sin, I will be make jokes even if no one laughs and continue to express my thoughts on life without the worry of making people angry or protecting their imagine of my sanity, intellect or savvy.

In the year 2010, my resolution is to have fun again and enjoy myself. I will cut my hair, perm it, curl it, dye and pin it up because I like it. I will wear fur, short skirts and neon pink shoes because I think it's fun to. I want to sing for the praise of God and not worry about ushering a congregation into worship, I will stop having agendas for every meeting with people, but just to hang out and shoot the breeze. I will drink my favorite coffee every morning without worrying that people might think I'm a junkie. I'll do it because I'm not being judged on every single act, because God loves me and I'm done being loved. Everyone else is just dessert.