Sunday, January 27, 2013

2013: A year of Discipline

This might come a little too late, with February coming around the corner and all, but I am finally ready to say it out loud. I want to live a life of discipline. There I said it and although I was afraid of saying it out loud because I didn't want anyone trying to keep me in line or anything horrible like that, so I kept it to myself. I think I was a little bit afraid also because I am such a perfectionist with some things and with goals I set, I need to accomplish them perfectly.

So here's the thing, I'm attempting several disciplines this year for discipline sake, so that when it comes to resisting spiritual and carnal temptations, I am discipline enough to resist and overcome.

1. Meal Plan: I signed up with a well known bikini pro to custom plan my meals. She has me eating 5 meals a day, all including some kind of protein and a whole bunch of vegetables. There are no carbs, sugar, gluten, fruit, or cheat days. It's a painful commitment to the end and the end comes in July when my brother gets married.

2. Nixing the booze: So if all that wasn't enough to cut out of my consumption, I cut out alcohol for the whole entire year. That means, even at my birthday and my brother's wedding, I am going to resist the all-consuming temptation to down a few glasses. I really wanted this year to be a year of spiritual growth and I want to be fully awake and aware of all the changes that will occur spiritually, physically and mentally. Not that if I wasn't abstaining from alcohol, I would be looking at my life through a drunken haze most of my days, but its the posture of focus and attention I want to evoke.

3. Word: Reading and meditating daily hasn't been any where near what I want or need, but I want to read the Bible and pray as much as I can this year. I have this eery suspicion that I'm gonna need it. (biting my nails)

4. Reflection and Remembering: I'm part of a 15 month group that reflects on various parts of my past and how I think about the world. Then a part of that 15 month is a 40 days of Love, which I am a little afraid to know what it entails, but that's where the discipline comes in (along with all this blogging and thinking I made to do :p)

Rolling away the Stone: Part Womanhood

I think I am the product of my ancestor, Confucius; Women are secondary to men and we only serve as the support for them. My parents are pretty contemporary in their thinking and they are different from most first generation Korean parents. However, they love tradition and keeping what is culturally traditional gives my father a sense of pride, a connection to his roots and a foundation at his feet. This bleeds into his child rearing and he had double standards for his daughter and son. When I was coming home at 10 pm my senior year in high school, my brother, who was 2 years younger than me exited the home just to begin his night. I was never allowed to sleep over any one's house but my brothers spent a lot of time sleeping, eating, living and playing at the neighbors on most weekends.

On the flip side, my father loves his wife and when he discovered his first child was a daughter, he was elated. He wanted me to be educated, independent and use my gifts to be happy and not depend on others and especially not a husband. Unlike many Korean parents who are known to push the field of medicine, law or accounting, he pushed me to pursue art because he genuinely thought I was gifted. He thought me precious and innocent, called me his Audrey Hepburn growing up, I was the apple of his eye.

Just like this, I had so many different dueling messages as a child, it was difficult to balance what they were telling me (which seemed like mixed messages at the time, but makes more sense now) and the message I was getting from the girls and boys at school (and we all know what kinds of messages we got from school).

What they taught me:

Dad: That was precious and loved, I could do anything through education and experience. I am talented, funny and beautiful. My father gave me a lot of confidence in who I am...

Mom: I wish my mom was more vocal with who I was. She would say "aren't you the princess of our family?" once in a while, but she didn't tell me what I looked like specifically. What strengths I had and what I can grow up to be as a woman. She loved me through actions and she definitely treated me like her princess.

Brother:  My brother taught me a lot about how I should be treated even though he's two years younger than me. He and I grew up best friends and by the time we were both in college, we would stay up till 5 am talking about "life." He made me laugh and he always told me things like "I was thinking about this the other day, and I think I have the best sister..." He had no reason to flatter me and all of his wonderful and lovely thoughts about me made me have a lot of confidence.

Boys: I was oblivious when boys liked me...I would always hear things and I was often the object for grand gestures, but it never really registered to me that I had this power over them until I was already married. I was completely naive and didn't much care for boys, but the boys I really did care about broke my heart. There were only a handful (maybe just two) but they really dismantaled the delicate structure of how I viewed myself along with all the worth and value my family invested into me.

Hans: I don't require much, but Hans definitely has gone as far as the eye can see with spoiling his wife. It's been ten years and he still calls me "kitty" and still thinks I'm the prettiest girl in school :) He has taught me that nothing is that bad when I'm with him or when I'm outside my head...that I'm too hard on myself. That I am truly a white swan and not the black swan I claim to be.....and although I've rebelled, I've squandered some years, some relationships and money, I am a fool at times and fooled many a times, I am still innocent.

Jude: He is teaching me another part of being a woman...that side that is tender, but harder still, the part about being patient and long suffering. He is teaching me what it is to love someone without condition, without earning, merit or even reason....just because he's my child and that's all the reason I need.