Category Archives: Personal

The Night of the Big Game


It is a Friday night and I am just now getting ready for the school football game. It is my sophomore year of high school and things have changed somewhat. My friends and I are able to drive, life is a little bit more fun, but the bullying still exists on a frequent occasion. I yell that I am leaving to my mom and rush out the door to my waiting friends and the feeling of freedom and the lack of adult supervision for a few hours. It would be a long few hours.

I don’t remember much of the game, which is odd because I rarely went to football games or large school events as it only invited more opportunities of conflict. I recall it was a nice humid evening, in Memphis, Tennessee, as we pulled into my parents’ house. I remember the familiar double beep of the alarm as I opened the door. In front of me was the door leading to the pool area of our home and to my right was my mother crying. Wait, why was my mother crying?

“Mary is dead,” she says as she rushes to hug me. Shock… I didn’t even cry when I heard the news, possibly because I did not want to believe it. I stored that sadness for later.

Mary had been living with us for the better part of the year of 1998 while she “reorganized” her life. She was smart, witty, had a great sense of humor, and a smile that could slay a room of men. She was from Jackson, Mississippi, where I had grown up and my mother’s hometown. Mary’s mother was my mother’s good longstanding friend. The other connection was through our particular sect of church which had a close knit group of friends from both cities, many of whose parents had gone to college together. Mary was important.

For a kid that had few things going for him, the attention she showed me was amazing considering she was in college already. To a sixteen year old boy, who’s every friend both in school and church was murderously jealous of him for being able to see her every day, this was a huge deal. And now all that was gone. I have a couple special memories with her, oddly enough both involved smoking cigarettes. My always “good for bad habits at the time” brother had introduced me to the joys of nicotine, so I would sneak out and have one on the occasion. When Mary arrived the first week she offered to drive me home from church one night, she had a white Pontiac Grand AM. I will always remember that car. We drove off and as soon as she hit the corner she had one lit. I laughed, and when she glanced at me in question I made a gesture for one to which she gave me with another surprised look.

“Yea, I thought I had caught a smell of smoke the other night, but your perfume does a good job of masking it,” I said with a grin.

“Just don’t tell your mom,” she replied with her memorable laugh.

The second memory is stronger, Mary had been dating my best friend Tim’s brother for a few weeks, but one night she rushes in my room. “I need a cigarette so bad!” she cried with a dramatized sigh. “Quitting for Michael not going so well?” I say with a chuckle as I fish mine out. “No it is not, but I don’t want to leave the house your mom might wonder.” It quickly becomes apparent that with the help of my sister our best option was to climb out one of our second story windows and smoke on the roof. It is one of my best memories of her, maybe of my past, I have. I remember feeling free from my troubles that very minute as we smoked our Marlboro Lights, and for a boy with multiple internal and external struggles going on, this was a blessing.

“They are saying they think she was hit by a drunk driver on the way to visit her mom,” my mother says with a sob. Mary had left that morning. My sister and I had come home to a handwritten note left in our shared upstairs living room telling us to be good and for me to be nice to my sister. It was the type of thoughtless gesture that still touched your heart that Mary was known for and I don’t mean that in a frivolous sense. Her smile could have brightened your day.

We are in Jackson, Mississippi at our old church, Mary’s church. It is a strange thing to know everyone at two separate churches from different cities, but my family does. My father is a Priest, an assistant pastor as he is a full-time physician, so we are forced in a sense to know everyone. I walk to the church doors and I see her coffin. I have never seen a dead body before, is her body ruined? It is my first real encounter with death and I have still not cried. This is possibly one of the two sources from which I learned the lesson of “delayed pain.”

I take a deep breath and walk in. As I approach her body I can feel eyes on me. Everyone knows that she was staying at our home, everyone knows who I am, but most don’t know how this girl, this woman, made an uncomfortable, depressive Korean kid feel like the world might be ok to live in. No one knew that her friendship was like a physical hand on my soul, comforting. As I approach her coffin and I see her face, so pale and still, I am suddenly angry. Nothing good lasts, is my thought as I turn abruptly away and stride quickly down the center aisle and out the door.

It is even more humid and hot in Jackson, than it is in Memphis. I am sitting on the steps of the church as my Godfather, my best friend Tim’s dad actually, comes out to see if I am ok.

“You really cared for her, I know son, it is ok to grieve, ” he says while laying a comforting hand on my shoulder. I tense, for I do not normally like to be touched, but from him it is ok. From him it was a trigger.

I begin to cry.

For Mary, Memory Eternal 1998.

-OM

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A Struggle to Feel Accepted


Sometimes it feels like life is an endless road of wanting to be accepted. After your family it begins when you comprehend the concept of friendship and with it the pain and harsh reality that not everyone has the same amount of friends in the world. For some who find it hard to form bonds on this planet, this realization comes much quicker than for others. I think regardless of how popular we are there are times at night, when we are alone, that we feel an alienation from everyone else in the world. This includes the ones we love, no matter how strong those bonds might be, for we are human and have those moments. With the severing of the umbilical cord comes a very real release into a world that will often times distrust or hate us. And so we spend the rest of our lives searching for another connection back to what we had at birth, a struggle to feel accepted.

Why do people love the Harry Potter series so much? What could you possibly hate about a story of an orphan child that lives the life of an underdog and goes on to be the hero? His very struggles did not even have to mirror our own for us to accept his life as an image of “struggle” itself, an image we all deal with at some point in our lives. It reminds me of my own obstacles in trying to fit in through life. That feeling of struggle came to a stop on January 3rd, 2013 when I began my blog HarsH ReaLiTy on WordPress.com. It has been an eye opening experience and a period of personal growth to say the least. I have found I can express my opinions without feeling bridled by contempt or disdain and at the same time people can throw back their controversy literally right in my face, since I read their comments daily on a computer screen. This has provided, interestingly enough, an opportunity for this stubborn Korean to open himself to new ideas. I have even evolved some of my own values and outlooks on life, or at the very least provided the seeds for future thought on the topics.

It is amazing to me that I write daily to an audience, but in my daily life I am just another figure. Another number, a body in a chair. My current manager, who is an awesome person make no mistake, barely sees me because I work the graveyard shift. Yes, like a ghost I come in the backdoor of the building, past the working janitors and tired, oblivious late-night workers and I come watch servers to make sure they don’t go red. The only thing that keeps me from going insane is the sound of my keyboard floating into the empty office air, it is music to my ears and provides a promise of something more. Call it what you will but I earnestly seek whatever it is that inspires that feeling inside of me to press on when most would sit back and bask in accomplishment. You are allowed to feel satisfied in life, but too much satisfaction quickly becomes the recipe for a stagnant nature.

My blog has become an outlet for me. At first I created it as an online journal, but quickly it became my fingerprint on the literary world. There is a world out there of writers, readers, editors, publishers, curious minds, and growing minds wanting to keep the written arts alive and an audience can be easily found. We strive to keep this dying art form from going extent against the easily ingested television and accessible online media commonly found on at this moment in most of the world’s living rooms. I understand and I will confess to being a lover of the television myself, everyone needs their methods of falling asleep and mine just happens to be my mistress the TV. That was another motivator for me to create an inspiration that would force me to write on a regular basis, I see this often said on new blogs as their initial posts. The constant interaction and feedback I receive from my viewers has given me the backbone I needed to write this book now, one that might still never see the light of day. But I have to hope that at least by gracing this white screen they are given a life, even one as brief as the time it takes me to delete this word document.

I have often wondered if anyone on the staff at WordPress.com has been or is a manic depressive. There should never be an easily accessible delete button on anything as important as our blogs, and this is not a rib at WordPress who is gracious enough to offer a free platform for aspiring writers such as myself. I must confess that sometimes a depressive like me looks at that delete button with disgust. They make us jump through hoops of fire to cancel a credit card, but a precious blog I have spent countless hours on I can delete at the push of a couple buttons. I don’t stay on that page that long and I hope that the demons from my past don’t come back to force me to ever press that button. It would be a mistake I know.

An outlet to the world and to those beyond our room. That is what blogging has provided for me and has allowed me to achieve right from my rather mundane life in Denver, Colorado. I do love my life, my family, and the relatively safe environment we live in is one less distraction that pulls me away from writing. As a father of a four and three year old, plus working forty hours a week graveyard shifts, I have to find the time to write when I can. This past year has been my first year of addiction to blogging, but it is not at a level I consider dangerous and the potential for success through it is enormous. This provides the needed leverage on the table when trying to convince my loving and understanding wife of the need for the time I a lot to my “passion.” She is an artist and walks the same road I do, but while carrying a paint brush, so she understands in her own way. Besides, she is my number one fan and understands that my family is my inspiration for success and they are also why I hope to create a working profession from writing and not just a continuation of a hobby. That is yet to be seen, but I see a full deck and the game has not been played yet.

When I started HarsH ReaLiTy under the pen name Opinionated Man I had no idea that it would grow to the size it has now. Sure I had a business model and an idea, but I must confess I have been successful at very few things in life. Always the type that thought he was smarter than the teacher, knew better than everyone else, it is amazing I even listen to comments from a second opinion when I consider how closed minded I have been my whole life. I would like to think I have been open to opinions, but in truth I am simply well read. Reading opinions and even learning about other ideals does not necessarily constitute a growth in personal morals. We can read anything with a closed mind and it is just words. The interaction found through blogging, however, has changed the face of words and we are unhindered by a character limitation restraint. We know that the people speaking to us are real people, well at least the ones not categorized as spam by the people at AKISMET, and normally the views being expressed back are heart felt. This has at least been the experience thus far on my website and I hope it continues on.

As the number of people and countries grew that were regularly viewing my posts, I began to evolve the way I viewed the potential for the platform I was writing on. This was not just a few “wannabe” writers and struggling authors pandering out their materiel for free in hopes of book deals, what I found were real people that had real issues and lives that they were relating at real-time speed for the viewing pleasure of whoever cared. I think the concept of blogging is growing even today and is still gaining popularity and the result is that it is easy to connect with individuals from across the planet. I recently ran a project on my blog called “Project O” in which I featured articles that consisted of templates participants filled out and submitted to me by email. One hundred and twenty-eight bloggers from around the world took part in the project and the feedback and conversation that came from it was invaluable not only to my own personal growth in knowledge about the world and the people in it, but I think it also helped to correct some stereotypes we have when we consider other people as so different from ourselves.

The project also offered the opportunity for the creation of new connections and that is what the “social” in social media is all about. If writers wanted to simply write we would do so on a word document or journal, we blog our writing to get it out there to an audience so we can get feedback and free critiques and we use that newfound knowledge to improve our writing. That would be my goal at least, but added to that is the new community feeling that is received when you encounter others that are also trying to complete the same journey you are. I have dreamed of becoming a published author since I read my first fantasy book and thought to myself “I could have wrote that.” It is only now, after writing on a daily basis and receiving positive feedback that I think I have what it takes to put out at least one novel and see how it floats.

Inspiration is an unpredictable emotion because it can come at any moment. I find that it comes far more frequently when we surround ourselves with things that might contribute to that occurrence happening. That is why writers congregate in corners and artists socialize with other artists, we seek out people that understand and relate to us. HarsH ReaLity, yes I can be very Korean sometimes and that is how I choose to spell it, has become an almost forum like webpage of writers and people with many other talents that congregate to discuss topics of similar interest. Since I am pretty much a dabbler in any topic, my interest range from the obvious to the curious, I provide articles frequently that people find interesting. That accounts for the high number of views my website gets in comparison to perhaps a far more skilled writer in a specific genre that only garners viewers from that similar interest. I suppose this book will fall under a genre, we are forever labeled as human beings that cannot be helped, but at least my blog is still free of any such label. That is how I intended it.

I am not a very malleable person nor does my personality lend me to accept differing opinions very often or very well for that matter. I force myself to read CNN.com, even though I am a Republican, because CNN has better reporters than FOX News and I like to see what the other side thinks as well. I have frequently opened up topics on my website that have caused open debate, even some heated discussion and argument. Luckily the members of my more frequent audience show a lot of restraint, but it can be shaky ground when you are dealing with human emotion and ideals. People tend to fire first and ask questions later and that is why I have been rather surprised at how open the bloggers have been when interacting with one another. There has even been a cordial nature between nationalities I did not think really liked each other, to put it bluntly, put Project O showed me that not all individuals within a nation think alike. A concept that should be easy for an American to understand, but is surprisingly difficult for many to realize when we consider nationalities across the oceans. We like to believe stereotype because often times stereotypes are accurate or based on fact and are also the only things being fed to society through the media.

From small to large can basically sum up the concept of the expansion of my mind and views on the world through my personal growth found from my blogging experience. This is not to say that I am some reformed man that has fully changed the ways in which he lives or observes the world, no on the contrary it actually has reinforced some of the views I have conceived but it has also introduced me to some new opinions which I respect and love to hear about. That is the beauty of creating a website that has a “forum like atmosphere” and welcomes the sharing of openly expressed opinion. I appreciate allowing people to say what they want even if it is against the grain and I highly encourage anyone that has the backbone to stand up for their own ideals. That is what is great about blogging and the uncensored content that is floating out on the internet. While some of it might be obscene, others might make you want to scream, yell or curse, but what you really have is a freedom of expression. That is a freedom people will not give up lightly and Project O clearly showed the value that everyone in the world has placed in having an opinion and further being able to express that opinion.

We hate to be labeled and yet we gladly place these labels on people to make them easier to categorize. For instance, it might be assumed about me that since I am Korean, have a successful blog, consistently post a lot, and have a family as well that I must not have any other life. People also assume I am technically savvy, which actually if you ask my brother in law I am not very technical at all. Oh sure I know the basics about many things, which places me at about average in today’s computerized world, but I just bought my first iPhone this October and I will admit it makes me feel dumb. I think there are really only a few things that make me a successful blogger. I type between 85 – 100 wpm, I process information quickly (this has been widely debated), I speed read, and I enjoy the interaction only found through an online setting and creating an atmosphere and writing in a way that welcomes conversation. That is the goal of any blog I think is to seek out comments and the fastest way to shut down conversation is to start labeling people.

I have used my blog as a window into parts of my life, but as one blogger mentioned it is very hard to pry out very many “exact” details about me. That is of course on purpose, as the safety of my family is first in my mind, but I have taken the opportunity on my blog to write some on my adoption and my feelings towards my birth mom and the sister I have not met since we were separated as children. The internet has actually provided a very nice avenue for therapy for me through allowing me to express my feelings about the past openly and accepting the unchecked criticism or encouragement sent back my way. It has been an interesting experience connecting with both adoptees and parents with adopted children and I think we can all agree that each story is different. There can be similarities, but it does an injustice to the lives of those individuals when people try to label and categorize things too much.

My adoption story received a lot of views and was a create way for me to finally pour out how I saw and felt during the course of those events in my life. It was a trying period and no one can really say they understand what I went through because there was only one Korean kid walking in those shoes. I am thankful for such support during those times, my family and mother in particular helped me to see there are reasons for living even in the darkest of hours. It is just very hard to know that when you are living those moments. I was adopted when I was 3 years old, left on the street with my sister by our mother in front of a police station in Busan, South Korea. I did not find out about the part of the story involving my sister and birth mother till I was eighteen years old and was on a trip to Korea with a group of adoptees that were also adopted through Holt International. It took me 9 years and one suicide attempt to get over it all and I can’t actually say I honestly have moved fully forward. Do you ever? I may still write more on my adoption other than the few articles I wrote on it. It would make a good novel, but sometimes you just don’t feel like reopening a door over and over.

I think in many ways blogs are windows into our hearts. We allow people to see our feelings, emotions, and sometimes our personal stories because we feel the need to share without actually physically sharing. We press that publish button and that post is sent out into the web and we half fear, half hope that someone will read it and care enough to respond. That the response back will somehow matter. That is what I hope when I publish any article on my blog and I also seek out other bloggers that feel the same way. Simply because we are unsocial in the real world, and I really wouldn’t fully label myself as unsociable but more on that later, doesn’t mean we cannot still find connections that broaden our world. Who has the time to listen to a whole conversation anymore when instead we can have thousands of conversations at once and more importantly the control to interact with that conversation at our own convience. The power of writing on a website like WordPress is the ability to control your own speed, no one should say you have to post every hour or even every day, what readers look for is content with meaning.

I also find I like to pick on political issues even though I know a very large number of my readers are not of similar political party or mind on many “hot topics” in current news. I still speak strongly on my stance on these issues whenever I feel like and that is something I will never change. Surprisingly this has actually caused many to support me in my stance of at least sharing and standing by my opinions, even if they strongly disagree with them and it causes them occasional flashes of anger. These topics have ranged from abortion, Korean’s having eye surgery, the Russian Orthodox stance on homosexuality, opinion and the importance of having the right to an opinion, and any current news topic that floats my fancy. I also include frequent posts of what I like to refer to as poetry, but I believe might be accessed by a professional as utter garbage. I once submitted my poetry through a computerized website that grades them and it almost shutdown from computerized laughter at how low my score was. I didn’t even know computers had such a sense of humor.

I have labeled people my whole life and even harbored a racist view or two. It is a common practice these days to take on a shocked look of appall at the word racism and anyone that even admits to ever having had a racist thought in their life. Luckily I am not planning on running for any political office and I can safely assume I cannot run for President of the United States of America since I was born in Korea. That leaves me liberated to at least express my opinions and views with those that will listen and I have found an audience that actually accepted my admission of past views and appreciated my progression. Dare I even admit I have found people that have walked a similar path? That is encouraging to me, a person who often thinks not many others consider subjects in a radically different way. To find those that consider it ok to admit that you have had a racist or improper thought and that the world will not forever label you as a hooded demon or extremist is a good thing in a current society that loves to ostracize those that dare to speak against the current “trending view” even if that view is still far in the minority of what everyone feels. The irony of this is actually remarkably bottomless, but it takes a certain type of cynical humor to appreciate it.

The daily interaction I have had with people from countries I have never visited is remarkable because it has broadened my mind and understanding of the different cultures out there. I am forced to recognize preconceived notions as ignorant and the resulting strengthening in character can only serve me in the future. I actually had a feeling the other day that even though I watch and read the news far less than I did, I still feel more connected to the world the individuals within it. I of course do not converse with every human on the planet, but I am speaking to far more people on a regular basis than I ever have in my life. That definitely expands your mind especially when you are not privy to topics that are perhaps not widely known about or discussed internationally. Someone once asked me why should we care so much, “why do you care so much?” I replied that the day we stop caring about a story, about a person, is the day that something dies. That is a sad thing to me.

Blogging has opened my eyes to the fact that it is a good thing for us to have a social fingerprint to be known by and perhaps even to be followed by. It allows me a little comfort to know that there are people that care if I am still alive and kicking, even if those people have never met me in their lives. I once blogged about a Saudi Blogger who received a grossly unjust sentence for simply creating a blog and forum to openly talk about religion. One commenter asked me what good it did to simply write about someone and I responded that by writing about someone we spread notice of their existence and in this case their trials or tribulations. I went on to say that I hope if I were in a similar situation that my readers and friends would also take to social media and campaign for my cause. People easily forget that we have a voice and that voice is as powerful as the engine you put behind it. I went from speaking to three hundred followers to twenty-five thousand in ten months and it is all due to one thing. I cared to get my voice out there.

[END]

Note: I stopped writing this. It won’t be completed

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Pebbles


I look down at my feet to understand that I stand in the moment. Thoughts that feel as heavy as pillars turn out to be pebbles of my mind. Could I still the voice of my desire that thrives to hear my keyboard click. Could I stop being me.

-OM

Hoping to Die


There was a time in my life when the land was covered in darkness. It did not matter what time of the day it was, there was simply no light. I walked the world a ghost and prayed to any god that would listen that he or she would simply end it for me. I wanted to die. I wrote the below poem in remembrance of that time of weakness.

And there they lay. The tools of the day. A razor, a pile of pills, and a bottle of Tanqueray.

I have stared in the mirror for hours. All have gone to bed. With each tear has come resolve. We may as well end it all. I hate you. With a hand I gulp the pills, the bottle is already near. I gulp death’s companion. And to the left are the backup dancers.

A letter to someone… I hope… anyone?

Never there is a reply. I say this aloud now as the razor cuts once, twice, thrice… and as the ice cold water washes away my sight. I feel life fleeing from my nearing empty vessel. And suddenly a wrongness, a surrender of an opportunity? I do not know.

And as the light flees the coming darkness, all I can do is embrace the growing warmth.

People fail to realize that there is depression and there is suicidal. To me suicidal is the point you reach when you just don’t care. You could give a shit less about heaven or hell, they are one and the same because your life has become a living hell. It doesn’t matter how many “do gooders” speak soft words in your direction, you only see darkness.

I remember well that time still to this day. The feeling of that night, sitting online and telling a few “close online friends” that I just didn’t care. That it was time to see what the next page brought. I remember a feeling of finality when I shut down my mother’s computer. My steps were almost light as I walked slowly upstairs. Neither asleep, nor really awake… I walked like a man in a daze to my bathroom. I starred at myself in the mirror for what seems like hours and in those precious minutes I decided I was ready to die. I made that choice. I took those pills and I drank that bottle to the head and I remember smiling. Because finally I didn’t feel so cold anymore. The warmth of death was my friend that night and I was ready to receive him.

It changes you… that type of experience. It is nothing to brag about and many might feel ashamed of that type of weakness. To feel ashamed of being human is a shame in itself. I was human that night, but I am lucky my humanity failed to die.

-Opinionated Man

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For Men Only – “Decorative Towels”


Men I thought it might be nice to give you all a quick guide to the anomaly called “the decorative item.” If you have a steady woman, live-in girlfriend, or wife you may have encountered these strange objects around the house and thought to yourself much like me “what the fuck are these for???” Make no mistakes, these items are not to be used . Ever. EVER! They are merely for the… what again? Because not even guest are supposed to use them.

I give you item A men, the decorative towel.

  
These specimens have been seen throughout the world and are invading bathrooms daily. What are they for? Don’t touch it! …god are you crazy? That was close. Just look. Now consider this, even if for some reason some intruder came in and I saved the day like the Korean Superman I am I still better not use that towel to clean my blood. That towel right there gentlemen… yes, it looks normal doesn’t it? We are all in agreement this is a normal towel? I don’t get it either… next they’ll invent decorative beers…

-OM

  

Dying Light


Where does the light go when a candle stands without his flame. Helping others to matter when I don’t matter at all. A shadow on the wall and a whisper in the night is the life I lead… have led. What course could have been taken that was not taken by circumstance. I ponder the thought sometimes. Using flowery language to hide veiled meaning, I hide from myself behind my own words. There is no story of sacrificial lambs and people that die on crosses for the greater good found here, no that is one blog over. I live pages that surpass a genre that have by chance become a blog. I blog.

-OM

  

Memorable Moments


The door shuts.

“So Airman you are here for tests? Can you go ahead and take off your pants for me?”

I slowly began unbuttoning my pants and reconsidered for the hundredth time what I was about to do. But I had to know.

“Ok Airman Cushman are you ready?”

“Yes.” “No.” “No waaaaaaaaiiiiit!!! Ahhhhhh!!!”

“…I haven’t started yet Airman. That was my hand.”

“Oh good God,” I said while breathing heavily. “Ok, ok we are good. Go for it now!”

“Ok you will feel some pressure now…”

“Holy shit! Oh sweet Jesus!”

“Now I need to twirl it some…”

“Fuck me! Ahhhhh it is so deep! Are you taking a poop sample?!? Holy hell!!!”

“Almost done…”

“Ffff Ffff Ffff Fucking monkeys!”

“And we are done!”

I fall to my knees thankful it is over and wondering if sex was worth all of that.

-OM

Adopt Me


Adopt me into your home and allow me to grow into who I was meant to be. Adopt me, but don’t “take me” so that you can change me. Altering me into the very image you see, the image you wish me to be. That is not me and that is not adoption. That is creation. I have been created already just not wanted. Do not mistake your adoption of me as permission of ownership. You do not own me. I am neither owned nor apparently wanted. But I am here. Alive and waiting for someone to finally care. Someone to finally want me for me and not for what I could be. Adopt me into your life and allow me to add you to my own. Adopt me truly and I will adopt you back.

-Opinionated Man

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“Jason is a white person’s name… you can’t be Asian!”


I have heard it all. I had a recruiter look at me hard for a full three minutes and say “are you sure you are Jason Cushman?” I of course looked down at my hand like I was reading something and then looked up and said “yep, it is still Jason Cushman.” Honestly I like my name. It really doesn’t get much whiter than Jason Chandler Cushman though, but recently I did have cause to celebrate. I have worked hard at my Google SEO and finally gotten my website linked to the top search for the name “Jason Cushman.” Now considering there is Cushman and Wakefield, Cushman golf carts, and apparently a Jason Cushman that is a drug dealer in prison… it took some time to gain that top spot. I did a happy dance.

I’ve had liquor store clerks take their thumb and rub the corner of my license to see if it is fake. Because obviously an Asian running around with the name Jason Cushman has to be the stupidest fake ID holder in the world right? I sure hope no one is counting how many times I name drop… because I am going to do that a ton in this post on purpose.

I have my father to thank for my name. My father is Dr. William Cushman and he is one of the top research physicians in the study of hypertension in the world. He is also a priest, a loving husband, and a caring father who has given everything to his family. I am not ashamed of my family or my name and you can feel free to google us. We have nothing to hide and are an “average” family that likes to drink together, laugh together, and live. My mother is Susan Cushman and she is an author, iconographer, and writer. She inspires me to want to be better.

I have begun to share more of who I am. I do this partially because I want to, but also because this blog needs to always be connected to the author. It has to be. I hope by showing a little of my life people realize a real guy writes the crap they read each day. A person with feelings, emotions, good and bad days, and obviously opinions on every little thing he encounters on a daily basis. It is easy to forget that a “human” is on the other side of the screen. I hope that people that choose to read this blog always keep that in mind.

I have become attached to the name Opinionated Man. It started as a joke… I mean “opinionated man” isn’t exactly original. And yet being opinionated is what “we” all are as people right? I do find a small sense of satisfaction that some here have begun to call me by my real name. I don’t normally get called “Jason” by friends though, so that is a bit strange. But we will roll with it and you may all call me whatever you wish. I don’t know about “OP” though… that one feels strange, but at least you aren’t looking at me and questioning if I am “sure I am that guy” or not. Small victories people… small victories.

-Opinionated Man

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Death of a Salesman


He sells dreams and glory, all the while living in mediocrity. Does he believe the words he spits into the wind or is he really trying to convince himself? I see them each day… their personas shine through my screen. I hit the dimmer and tone down the brightness of the world, too much light reflects off my weak constitution.

He writes images of strength and presents a brave face. Hiding who he truly is because that is not what is important. The big picture, the lights on the screen, that is the goal of the day. Picking free daisies from a never ending field… I love it. He smiles at the labor because it is what he enjoys. A habit or an obligation, it rolls into the routine he has come to know. What a tragedy to slay that dream and yet the pyre is built. Who has a match?

He sees failure where people view success. And in the lonely hours of the night he finds little solace in empty words of comfort. They neither feed, nor cloth, nor comfort against the stack of bills on his desk. His wife mumbles, she does not audibly complain, but sometimes the faintest noise can sound like our own failure. Where is it coming from? From within, I am the harshest critic of myself. No one will ever take that throne.

They said it couldn’t be done. When I did it, they said “what have you gained?” Christ… I can only perform one miracle at a time people. Shit.

-OM

Mixing Races? How I knew I would marry my Color


If you have read any of my previous work you have no doubt begun to garner some idea of who I am, or who you think I might be. You may have been able to piece together, detective that you are, that I am Asian (South Korean actually, we generally HATE to be called Asian), I was adopted and grew up with white parents, had white and black friends growing up, and really did not realize I was Asian Asian till I went to Korea in that long Summer of 2000. That being said, I really didn’t touch on the topic yet, but during this time period I also came to the realization that I would marry someone of similar color. This decision was based solely on race period, so we can go ahead and bypass the suspicion of racism, because that is what made the decision so easy.

Let me explain, I grew up “dating” girls that were mainly black and white growing up, though we use the term “date” loosely here because my father was both a Priest and a Doctor and the iron grip of communism might find a competitor in what I went through as a child. I laugh here, it really was not so bad, because who can really tell how suffocating a bubble truly is when a person has never known the freedoms of the “outside world?” That is why I was perfectly happy in my soft, protected, and comfortable world. A world of structure and organization, of coming home from high school and immediately cooking a whole DiGiorno Pizza and scarfing it all by myself because guess what… I could. The enviable bubble, enviable now that I look back at it and can compare to the hardships that might or might not have been going on beyond the boundaries of my own domain, that had clean and freshly laid sheets by a maid every Wednesday afternoon when I came home from school, which I would uncaringly threw my backpack onto. You never realize what you have had in the past until reflection.

This is the world that exploded in 2000 for me. It was not the Y2K bug, sorry to disappoint, if that was the inevitable word you were waiting for you can do a U-turn at the next stoplight. My world exploded due to internal torment and a new self-awareness that was more powerful than any terrorist attack or global catastrophe. My new ethnic and worldly identity left me broken and hoping to be mended at the same time. And in that moment I knew, I pieced together my past and my past hardships and I knew, I could never marry anyone that was not Asian.

When I journeyed to Korea, wide-eyed and excited, I went with the love and support of my girlfriend, who was black, whom I had been with for my whole senior year of high school. I left thinking that was perfectly normal and I was content with her at the time. She did nothing to change that outlook, far from it; she was not the cause of my ultimate reverse in personal preference. For some odd reasons when I learned of the existence of my birth sister and my birth mother it bred hope with the hate and anger. Something also “clicked,” I realized I was Asian. Perhaps some cheesy self-epiphany occurred here, if so I will spare you the audacity of trying to put it into words, but let us just say at this point I knew I was Asian and not white or black.

Growing up I dealt with so many trials and tribulations of being Asian, with no Asian friends, and being picked on by any and every race that it built a complex inside of me. I did not know who to relate to. I remember some days praying to God to change me, stop the suffering, I would rather be ANY race but Asian. Black, white, even Mexican it did not matter, I just did not want to be yellow with small eyes. Surely God has a sense of humor right? I saw the joke every day. I had the smallest eyes at my school and yet I saw the most pain. The humor only works if the joke saturates for a few… twelve years or so, so don’t be fooled if you just don’t see it.

I made a decision way back then; I would NOT allow my kids to have both the hardships of being Asian and also of being another race at the same time. It was hard enough being Asian, how could I ever want my kids to ALSO have the discomfort and shame of dealing with the mocking and jabs of being two races, not even fully one or the other. Some may look down on this, I am sure someone will even comment about “moving on and the end of racism and how this type of attitude empowers racist,” I don’t care, I simply know what I think, what I have been through, and what I want to save my kids from.

So to conclude, in a less lengthy fashion, yes I knew around that point I would always marry someone of like color. I would not mix races or mix hardships. If you are of mixed races and you dealt with any challenges you may have had and were stronger for it, kudos to you I salute you, I obviously would not have been strong enough for that additional obstacle, and perhaps God knew that.

-OM

“You speak English son?”


In a country as diverse as America you may randomly get asked this question. I suppose that is to be expected, however, there are a few instances where I find it ridiculous. The main instance is when you and I have already had a conversation and THEN you ask me if I can speak English. “No Sir I can’t, I was really just nodding my head to the rhythm of your words…

It was a Saturday night and the wife and I had decided to go to Blackhawk, CO to play at the Indian casinos. We had an amazing time, namely because my wife was extremely lucky that day and hit two large jackpots on slot machines. We of course had a shot of patron for each win, but because I was driving I withheld the urge to have more beverages to celebrate. We stayed a few hours at the casino, more than enough time for me to process twice as much alcohol as I had, but we still made our way carefully down the mountain back towards Denver. The road can be remarkably dangerous and I knew this first hand having hit a deer in my brand new Eclipse a couple years earlier. Apparently deer have no regard for their own personal safety or the image of my baby car which I still mourn to this day.

As we made our way towards the one gas station located a few miles outside of Blackhawk I began to see red and blue lights ahead. I immediately thought it was either an accident or a DUI checkpoint, and sure enough the police were standing in the middle of the road conducting DUI “interviews” on passing cars. I say “interviews” here because the cops were actively talking to each driver and sending the ones they “suspected” of being under the influence to the dirt parking lot nearby. It was my lucky night.

Sir have you had anything to drink tonight?” the cop asked me.

I had a couple drinks three hours ago,” I answered honestly. I could actually feel the nervousness from my wife.

A second cop approached from the passenger side and shined his flashlight at me. The first officer placed his hand on his gun and said “I am going to need you to pull over so we can do a quick sobriety test.” He made it apparent this was not a request. “Please pull over slowly to the right and don’t allow your car to break contact from my hand” he said with what I imagine he thought was a stern demeanor.

I pulled slowly over, very slowly, and ensured his grip of authority never lost contact with my vehicle. I was a little nervous, not because of the possibility of blowing over the limit, but because both the cops were white and I have a large suspicion about law enforcement in general. Namely that I think police are worthless for the most part, at least in many of the cities I have lived in, and they seem more gauged at causing trouble for the law abiding citizens than the criminals. Once I had parked my car the cops motioned for me to get out of the vehicle.

The police explained to me that they had pulled me out because they smelled alcohol on my breath. I thought “bullshit” because I had only had two shots and after those I had eaten and drank non-alcoholic drinks. There is absolutely no way he smelled anything but my Febreze air freshener. I was very confident because I knew I was fine to drive and that these cops were just looking for a criminal if they could find one. We spoke for a few minutes in which I explained why we were in the mountains, because apparently Asians don’t travel into the mountains at night because they melt from the high altitude, and then he dropped the question on me.

Before we begin I need to ask if you speak good enough English to talk to me. Do you need a personal translator?

I had a hard time biting back my retort which would have thrown me in jail. The deciding factor was his partner who still had not taken his hand off his gun. Overaggressive policemen are not hard to find and they frequent Youtube these days on viral video after video. I wasn’t about to be the next “when police attack video” that got a million hits, it wasn’t worth sacrificing the beauty of my face just for a viral video. But seriously where does a guy get off asking me if I speak fucking English when we just spoke for several minutes and my vocabulary obviously exceeds your own?

We began the test and let me point out that giving ANYONE a DUI test on a gravel parking lot is complete bullshit. I have trouble enough walking a straight line in the street, add some rocks and I definitely wasn’t looking very coordinated. I am a part-time ninja, but I can’t do shit without my ninja outfit. The issue arose when we began the ABC test which consisted of me saying the alphabet backwards. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, maybe I am just a dumbass, but I have never practiced saying the ABCs backwards. Why would anyone learn to do that? I was about two vowels away from getting tackled before I made it through finally. It wasn’t pretty, but I suppose I could have simply said “I guess I really don’t know English…”

So what ends up happening? After all five tests, YES FIVE TESTS, were done the idiot ends up giving me a Breathalyzer test and guess what this non-English speaking Korean blew? 0.00, that is what. I refrained from giving the cops any sign language as we drove off and I am surprised they didn’t chase after me for “accelerating too fast.” What can I say? Cops love me.

-OM

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Part 1 – The Nice Guy


I honestly think I am a nice guy. My wife says that people either love me or hate me and she also calls me an asshole. But I know she is kidding… …

Growing up I was incredibly naïve. I never could understand why I didn’t really fit in other than my race being different. I didn’t understand that my family actually was fairly well off compared to the rest of my friend’s families. It never dawned on me that asking them over to swim might have been rubbing it in their face a little that I had a swimming pool, to me it was just where I lived. My parents did a fair job of keeping us “grounded” in that they did not overly spoil us. I can say that with some amount of confidence, but there were of course other areas that we did get what we wanted. I still was never allowed to own a pocket knife as a child and that was actually one of the most argued topics in my childhood.

At some point in high school I got fed up with being picked on. I hit a “white friend/church mate” in the face… in church. I then got board suspended for getting in a fight with a larger black kid my senior year of high school. This suspension caused me to lose all my scholarships to every school except one… UT Knoxville. Seeing as how I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and Knoxville, Tennessee is still in Tennessee… I was thrilled. I want to be clear here for the sake of being clear. I have nothing against black people or white people… other races are a different story. I wouldn’t call myself a racist because to be a racist you must hate a race solely for being that race. I simply don’t care for groups of people and I am sure it is all on me.

Leaving high school with a chip on my shoulder I went to the whitest town I had ever lived in. Knoxville, TN was a redneck heaven and it was not the greatest place for minorities. When I arrived there weren’t any groups of Asians running around that I saw. Instead there were singular Asian birds fluttering to the library or the International center. I am not very Asian. In fact when I arrived in Knoxville I was probably the whitest Asian with a southern accent you would ever meet. But I arrived at college right after the whole “birth mom and motherland tour trip” so I was in my uber Asian phase. I was basically a walking trademark of Korean pride.

To be continued…

-Opinionated Man

 

 

Dear Adoptee


Dear Adoptee, you do not know me and I do not know you. Our stories are as different as genres placed on opposite ends of a book store, and yet we strive to relate. Why is that? Do we yearn for the companionship only found from those that share the knowledge of loss? I do not know the answer.

Never allow someone to force you to consider the alternative to your life as being the path to abortion. Those are sad, desperate people that attempt to make that connection. Do we not deserve the same life as others? Must we forever carry the burden of “what if” and have stones added by strangers at a glance? When did it become right to tell an adoptee that they should be happy they weren’t “aborted?” Is that the argument one should use to force a heart away from hate?

I marvel at the things that commenters can say. If you will say it to “Opinionated Man” what will you say to the random blogger who does not have a heart of steel? Will you attempt to stab at their soul as well simply to prove a point, a point that does not even mean that much to you in the first place? How low must a person be to beat at the will of one already beaten?

So I say to you fellow adoptee to be strong. Know you aren’t alone, even if you are alone in the particular path you walk. There are footsteps to your right and left that echo your hardships. We may not walk the same stones, but I can see and understand your journey more than others can.

-OM

Left hand


You are my hand of freedom and I cherish the moments I hide behind borrowed innocence. So foreign to moments of action that you do not hold back in inaction when it is your time to shine. We love the cool caress of newly quenched steel, as it is pulled from the fire of desire and still burns bright for more. Kindred of spirit, we do not sheath the blade that is our cross to bear… or could it possibly be intended for someone else? That is where the left hand is for… in creation of such scenes of tragic realization. Would we guiltlessly thrust our higher code into the gut of another man in hopes to spill his faith, and smile the whole time saying “it will be ok… there will be another day.” How strong must the demeanor be of the man who stands with his back to the spreading darkness and only preaches of the light. Even as those before him widen their eyes in anticipation, still he preaches on. Would that not be the perfect time for the left hand to strike and silence those words, as darkness and light finally meet.

-OM

A Writer’s Contemplation


I am the last person that should preach on self-doubt. I have enough of it to share with the world and then some. Perhaps that is why I should speak on self-doubt because of my own experiences with it. I have finished very few things of meaning in my life. Some of that is due to motivation and attention disorders, but mainly I chalk it up to the fact that I haven’t really involved myself in anything worthy of note. I have experiences as does anyone, but that isn’t necessarily what I am speaking of. How many of you are currently working on something that you will consider an “accomplishment” upon completion?

I don’t struggle with writer’s block, but I do have the same battle as many writers in deciding what to work on. Sometimes I don’t even know what I will type until I press the first key and that to me is the beauty of writing on a blog. The freedom. It is also why I have struggled with just the idea of writing a book. The consistency of hashing out the same topic is really boring to me to be honest. I find even the tedious nature of book writing to be frustrating, annoying, and often times boring. It is not frustrating because I struggle with writing (although it could be debated upon whether I write well or not) because I write every day. I probably type 10,000 words a day just in posts, comments, emails, work emails, personal emails, work projects, coding, and everything else you can think of that I can use as an excuse to hear the tap, tap, tap I so love to listen to. It beats hearing the sound of a human voice on any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

As I pen each word of my current project I have felt great, until yesterday. I ran out of meds and because of that I stopped writing. That is going to be an issue. Without “trees” I can’t see a word three dimensionally. It stays in a boring two dimensional state and no amount of mental concentration will make that fucking word turn. Turn dammit. I refilled today so I will be good for a few days. I will try to press on and take my time with it all.

Sometimes I sit on my ledge of solitude and I observe the chaos that is the world below. Above the atmosphere of stress and human concern I am able to breath. Gone is the demand of response, gone is the doubt of a loving wife, gone is the self-doubt of writing a book, gone is the constant chatter that I love and yet need to separate from, it is all gone up here. Up here there are only words and they are fucking turning.

-Opinionated Man

The Story of Two Rings


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I have been asked only three times the story behind my two rings. Most males, obviously, wear only one ring. The second ring is not an engagement ring; it is actually a second wedding ring. I have lost 2 wedding rings in my life. One was due to… circumstance. The other fell off my finger at my old job. I spent 4 months looking for it and I had given up hope I would ever get it back. I got an unexpected text from a co-worker letting me know someone, a girl at work, had found the ring and was intending on keeping it. A 15 dollar ring is worth stealing these days apparently.

None of my current rings are expensive, my first one that I “lost” was, but the importance of my rings is not in value. I know some people value stones and precious metals, instead my second ring (that I have recovered) was special because it was a promise to my wife that we would never go through what we had gone through early in our marriage again. That promise would not have been lost if the ring had never been recovered, but it still would have bothered me. Sometimes we take a promise or words of value and place them onto and into an object. This is not the creation of idols, but is instead a creation of hope and peace. That is what my two wedding rings represent to me and I love that my wife finds it amusing that I wear them both… and I always will.

Hard to imagine those small fingers can type over 100 words per minute huh?

-OM

A Lesson in Fashion & Star Trek


I received a recent lesson in fashion. Now I don’t consider myself the most fashionable person, but I think I normally do dress “decently.” I learned though that a person really shouldn’t wear t-shirts displaying cultish logos unless they are prepared to be “accepted” by other “fans” in random situations. No, I wasn’t wearing my Jesus shirt because I don’t own one. I actually had on my Star Trek t-shirt my wife bought me and I wasn’t prepared to be grilled on my knowledge base of everything that is Star Trek while waiting for my groceries to be bagged. In the middle of the conversation I almost considered admitting I have never seen a single “classic” Star Trek movie and that the only ones I have seen were the recent releases. I was pretty sure I might have gotten stabbed though if I had verbally stated that because this guy was such a huge fan so I did what any human would do. I lied.

Call me an awful being, I don’t care world. I had better things to do than to come up with a reason why I was wearing the shirt and was not a true Star Trek fan. I even tried to press the symbol and have someone… anyone… beam me up. But apparently that only happens in the show which I would like to point out is kind of false advertising. You can’t present an escape path over and over, episode after episode, and not have it really exist! That is just wrong… about as wrong as an Asian guy wearing a Star Trek shirt and not being a Trekky apparently.

So now you know world. I am both a liar and a fake fan of Star Trek. Fashion lesson received.

-OM

Memories 1… 2… 3…


{I do these often and think they are fun. If you want to accept this as a writing prompt and send me yours I’ll reblog if I like it.}

Streets with no sidewalks – Every time I see a street with no sidewalk it reminds me of Jackson, Mississippi. I grew up there as a kid and there were older neighborhoods with no sidewalks and when I moved to Memphis, Tennessee there were sidewalks. Jackson thus became associated with no sidewalks and it always takes me back to my childhood days of racing bikes and trips to the 7-11 to get candy.

Captain Morgan Rum – I am not a big rum drinker and for good reason. I think I honest to God turn into a pirate when I drink rum. This one time in college my best friend Rallee and I decided it was a good idea to play Chess for shots. He liked Vodka and I liked Captain so we made it a shot a piece and three shots for the loser. I four moved him on the first game and he was quickly a little drunk. The second game got played out and my friends that were watching left to get beers. When they returned all they told us was that we were trying to kill each other… literally. I am sure I had a good reason. The Captain didn’t make too many mistakes.

Eating – Some girl in college said she liked the way I ate… as if I “enjoyed my food.” Whatever that means… but forever I wondered whether I looked like I was enjoying my food… damn her!

Cell phones – When I was a kid I found a cell phone. This thing was old, like the cell phone Zack Morris used in “Saved by the Bell.” If you don’t know what that is I can’t help you in life. Anyways, I couldn’t crack the four digit pin so I gave it to my sister… who did it in twenty minutes. I think I tried calling China… to order Chinese food. Kids right… hehehe….

That was immature – What I just wrote.

-OM

We Love


We met upon electric wire. Two users using what everyone else does for fun. Instead we found an addiction in each other and a constant want. I want now. I kill day dreams to concentrate during work. Dreams of you and me, things that may come to be. I fantasize about you still. The thought of your touch, touches we have had. We met and two users found love. An Asian story of course.

-OM

Shattered Glass


Written in the clouds.

Shards of a broken heart create stepping stones from Eastern coast. They create a path that leads back home, but where is home to those that were abandoned? As I tenderly step across the white tipped waves I see myself reflected in cacophonous imagery. I am overwhelmed by each step as I live a lifetime in each moment. What could have been dominates my thoughts and steers me listlessly into the abyss. It matters not my destination when all I care about is my past, and yet life does not stop until the sand ceases to fall. I wonder how many grains are left as my fingers swipe lazily through the white shower.

What higher power must I entreat to help right my course? Does it matter in the end how we reach our destination? It does when our wake affects those that trail behind. The pitter patter of four small feet and the steady hand beside me, they are what would suffer in the end. They do not know the shadow that walks before and beside them, only that he has a familiar voice. What sweet sorrow it must be to look with love towards one that does not truly live, but instead walks within a dream. He awakens only momentarily when forced from depression’s eye. And on those mornings he sheds a tear in realization of all he has missed… all that he is missing as he plods along with head held low and sight to the ground.

My eyes stare back from a myriad of directions and gawk through pools of bleeding soul from my cut feet. They blink, stare, glare, and close their eyes to the one that should be their lord. “What a god he is at night, but so very human in the morning” is what they murmur as I pass. He drinks a cup to renew his resolve, before beating heart pushes humanity coursing through his veins. What blessed liquid is this that I drink before the coming of the sun? The same as I drink with sunlight’s companionship upon my shoulder. At least I toast throughout the day and do not hide my shame beneath the blanket of the oblivious.

How much of a father can you be when you feel control slip from your grasp each day? Frustration makes a fine mistress and she is willing to return each morn. Is it fair to those who know not of such struggles, as waves of anger wash over the innocent and guilty alike? It is not and the sin that comes from such an act mounts high beneath the closed door in the sky. I can only hope that forgiveness may come with the dawn, but not from the mouths of society’s spawn. I could care less about their thoughts or ideals upon the topic. It is not their words that my heart listens for.

One day I will stand beneath the spotlight of judgment and hands may very well applaud my demise. I imagine even then I will stare straight ahead and refuse to acknowledge the presence of my fellow man. But what if a small hand were to reach up and pull upon my shackles to gain my attention. Would my stoic nature dissolve when encountered by such innocent eyes, eyes that are partially of my own? Could I remain strong beneath the condemnation of those in power while reminded of that which I love so dear… that which is soon to be forgotten? I believe the steady clink of the cuffs around my wrist would pull forth from me a sigh… a sigh that would melt the stone within and break the dams behind my eyes.

We create our anchors in life and the hardest ones to ignore are those that carry pieces of our heart. They wear those trophies like shattered glass around their neck and reflect our stories back into our faces. It is a constant reminder that we matter to someone other than ourselves and it can be a curse or a blessing. It is in itself life, but who warned us what would happen when the rain began to fall? Who was there to tell us that when the showers did come and we have finally found something of worth, that we will sacrifice our body willingly to shelter that flower if only for a second.

And as we lay dying from the elements, we that never loved will finally know what love truly is.

-Opinionated Man

Addiction – I was never on Breaking Bad


It is a hard thing to struggle with addiction. I have most of my life. Right now I see so clearly and I hate it. It makes me want to rip my eyeballs out and flush them down the toilet. I hear all toilets flush to China… so maybe I would get to see that country!

I am a walking tornado clothed in a hoody and pajama pants. Most of the time I look like I just rolled out of bed. My blog, if you actually view it as a whole, shows a clear cycle of my moods and emotions. It shows my anxiety issues and also my bouts with addiction. Before you get an idea of a meth head, manic depressive Korean in your brain kill it. I am not that type of guy. You can be an addict and not be on Breaking Bad.

Anxiety is a physical weight that many deal with. Where that anxiety rests depends a lot on a person’s body, mine sits on my neck and weighs down my soul. I hate it. I know it. It will never go away.

As I struggle with writing what I don’t want to write in this book I have found many old doorways opening. These doorways lead to a hall of depression that I thought I had left a long time ago. Depression is not a single road… there are many and they all have their own bumps. Relating to another person’s struggles is fine, but we should be careful to not try and project our definitions on others. I never attempt to do that. I am my own devil, no one needs me adding to their pot.

And so I sit here for a couple hours while my daughter are at school and I close my eyes. I allow the waves of pressure, anxiety, frustration, ….want, and need to roll through my body. It hurts, it sucks, and at the same time the struggle amuses the shit out of me. How weak must my body be to react in such a way? I would say pretty weak, but I already knew that. I am a bad person.

-OM

Daughter of Mine


I could watch you swing for hours. You are so carefree, I almost envy the spirit so untarnished. With each smile you share with me more than your love of flight. You tell me I am doing something right, I am doing things right. In the end that is all that really matters, the smiles that we remember. And the moments that brought them.

-OM

Chasing Hope


Hope is a funny thing. Such a blessing at times and a poisonous curse at others, it can cause you to do the craziest things. One day you are content with your life and then Hope knocks at your door. She tells you that your life is not complete and that you must travel across an ocean to seek something you don’t know if you will find. But you hope… and apparently that is enough fuel to pull a prodigal son and ask your father for your last year’s college tuition to find someone that doesn’t want to be found. But you hope… you hope that perhaps she will change her mind in the end and want to hug you. You see all the signs telling you that what you are about to attempt is foolish, but instead of ackowledging them you merely write them off as a façade. Because Hope is there holding your hand. She whispers sweet nothings in your ear and you go on that fool’s errand, only to look like a fool in the end.

When you turn around and throw your hands in the air and say “what the fuck Hope? I thought you said things would turn out different?” She only smiles and offers you the other hand, another Hope. That is life really, chasing dreams or tails we still seek that which sometimes never existed. That faceless phantom that is always a step ahead, that is not your mother. It is Hope and she is a fickle bitch.

I still hope one day that I might meet my sister. Her name is Ahn Jong He and she last lived in Busan, South Korea when we were seperated at the orphange. She is probably around 35 years old and I miss her even though I don’t remember her face. She is Hope to me and she is still a dream.

-Opinionated Man

I am a bit strange


My wife calls me an introvert. I think I am the popular guy. Somewhere in the middle is Jason. But that is ok, but that is life right? People love to say trendy things like “I am bi-polar” woohhooo for you! I have so many “polars” I couldn’t even count them. Much of that has to do with stress level, anger issues, some addictions, and an obvious need to examine why I am feeling a certain way. To understand yourself is the most important thing. Yep, I said that.

I am a bit strange. But it helps if you understand that. I am not ugly, nor am I Korean actor hot, although on a funny note my wife’s cousins sometimes call me that because I am tall and Korean. And hot. So yea, I think I am a normal person. But I suppose if you were a normal person yourself… I am a bit strange.

I did get some meds, which would explain the change in attitude…

Note: To other depressives out there. Depressives shouldn’t congregate. I wish you the best should you stop reading and I fully understand.

-OM

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