I jotted the list down, tapping into a self I hadn’t seen in a while. Actually, I greeted my different selves, parts of me that were buried under time and responsibility – life changes.
The journal activity was to write about the roads in our life, the passions we once nurtured and explored – the roads we had not taken. It released something in me – and I waved “Hello” to teenage me.
Life is short. It seems like a cliche’ idiom until you are faced with the reality of it. I’m trying to do things for love instead of accomplishment – which is hard for me. I considered doing a second master’s degree in English to be a professor, but it would induce more stress than fulfillment.
I used to paint and draw – and wished I could do it in college – but it doesn’t make money. In the 12th grade, I painted floating pumpkins in acrylic but received a B because I didn’t make it a “Thanksgiving” themed portrait – but I loved it! My friend Kerry sent me a whole kit of drawing and watercolor pallets to remind myself how much I love it.
Watching Korean Dramas is a part of my life. I have a Drama Fever Premium account so there are no commercials, but I would love to be proficient in reading Korean novels and history – that half of me that I often neglect. It keeps me grounded in an American dominant culture. I don’t want to lose that part of myself or fail to pass it down to Shiloh.
In the second grade, I begged my mother to play piano – and in the 3rd grade I begged her to stop playing especially after I smashed my finger in the door with a friend playing hide-n-go-seek when I supposed to be practicing. I’ve dabbled in it – but never fully played. The same is for the two dust covered guitars in our apartment. There was always something “more-important” to do – but I firmly believe that we make time for the things that are important to us.
I have no clue where my Taekwondo black belt is – I know it’s somewhere wasting away. I cannot even remember the black belt form. I tried again in college but did not have the time or money to continue. It’s been over 10 years, and I’m not strong enough today – but I want to go back. I imagine myself training along side Shiloh when he’s a toddler. My black belt swinging along side kicks to his white belt.
There are a lot of other paths I did not take – and I’m sad it took cancer threatening my life to remind myself of what I love and who I am. In high school, I was not very popular. In fact, I was the student who read manga under the table and wanted to wear black daily. In college, I tried to reinvent myself. I left my hair grow out without hair dye and tried to look different – the “model”. I tried to impress my parents, in-laws, employers, and new friends – but something was lost in this new me.
Two months ago I pierced my nose, like I’ve always wanted – I dyed my hair deep purple two days ago for a change, and I’m exploring all these other selves I left behind in the dust.
They are still me – and I am still them – and we must resolve to live in one body.
I don’t know if this is a self-exploration phase post cancer-life-scare – or if I’m simply – finally – doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do with the realization that I need to start living my own life free of expectations – free of cancer – or just free.