Author Bio

I have this “About Me” page HERE that I wrote when I first started this blog. I am positive most people don’t read that page since a lot of people have said some pretty humorous things from seeing my photos or when I share a personal fact. I don’t feel a need to spill about myself in a profile when I write myself daily here (I am not important)… but I can see the need to clarify sometimes to ensure people understand the person behind the words. It isn’t a need for accolades or fame, but rather for clarity as to why you think or say a certain thing.

My name is Jason Chandler Cushman and I live close to Denver, Colorado. That means I am American, obviously. I was born Ahn Soo Jin from Pusan South Korea, at least that is what the paper says. The photo too, but photos and papers lie don’t they? As far as I know that is my name, but I have come to learn that Soo Jin is a woman’s name so either there was a mistake (because there is no mistake bodily… trust me…) or it may be an old form of the name in Chinese. The Korean woman who told me that last part said it almost sympathetically and with little optimism.

By day I work IT and by night I write. I am a father and have two kids with my wife that keep us busy… we love it! Life is pretty routine for me and my main mental escape is through my fingers and from my words. I am a real time blogger that is lazy with the edits, quick with the publish button, and a pretty horrible photographer. Pictures are a must though so I set my featured photos from my cell phone and move on.

I began blogging in 2013 because I was beginning a nightshift and needed something to occupy my time. I didn’t know what I was doing having only owned a blog on Blogger once. My mother and 3 bots were my only followers. My mom is a writer, you can find her blog HERE, and she is also an author.

I write under the pen name Opinionated Man and kept my real name off the books for around a year. One day I said… well I didn’t say anything, I just started giving my name. I even added a photo at some point so people could see I was indeed Asian. There was some speculation I wasn’t apparently. I go by Opinionated Man because it amuses me and because it is true. People call me OM for short and it makes me smile that some bloggers now refer to me as Jason. My friends in real life rarely called me that. I use the logo

which I made all fancy like in Microsoft paint. I like it… but my wife thinks I should change it. I tried to explain to her that this is MY logo at this point. I might even put it on a shirt one day.

They say “you need a platform” before you write a book. But what if you have never written a book and you build that platform first. What if you do all that work and the book sucks? Would that make all the doing worth it? The funny part is had there been WordPress ads in 2013 or had I owned a self hosted site at the time… I could have made thousands off the views I gained from my main site and never needed to write a book. It was a lot of networking and I thought it was a pretty sure thing… unfortunately not all things work out. You move on, you rework, or you give up. I’ve given up on tons of things in my life. I didn’t feel like giving up on this blog.

This website was never meant to be anything more than a sounding board for my thoughts. A place where I could scream. People have judged it and what I do. What I say and what my opinions are. I am sure if I could read over a layout of their morals, ethics, and opinions I’d find a few I hated as well and that is life. That is the beauty of humanity really… we are all different. Blogging is a place where we get to show how different we are in whatever form we want to. Some share photography, amazing photos of places I will never visit. Others are baking up treats and making food I want to bite off the screen. It is WordPress and it is blogging. It is why I have a site and why I share the sites of others.

I am 36 years old and I feel I have seen a lot. I know everyone says that and I know that many have a right to say it. I work a daily job, but I love to write. I don’t care what I am writing and my goal is normally to make people smile. I am human and this hasn’t always been the case. Like my growth in blogging, I’ve grown as a person over the past four years. When I started on this platform I saw lots of posts and lots of separate groups, no community, and everyone wanted to be this “Freshly Pressed” thing. Now when I look out across the world of WordPress I see a lot more connection. I see friends of friends of friends sharing their work and it makes me smile. I don’t claim any hand in those connections being made, but I can’t help but appreciate the shared value in what I have always worked to create. It will be something I miss if I ever move on to another hobby.

Jason Chandler Cushman

-Opinionated Man

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@smokendust

I Think My Daughter Is Planning A Great Escape…

They are definitely ALL plotting something! -OM
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Mr Mum: The 'joy' of a stay-at-home dad

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My daughter is going through a phase. It’s just the age, people tell me. She’ll grow out of it. Thing is, I’m not so sure it is just a phase. I think it’s all part of a much grander, devious scheme. You’d think I’m talking about some evil, megalomaniac genius here with what I’m about to say. And too that I’d say ‘Oh, so you’ve met my daughter then?’.

So what’s the phase: collecting small-to-medium sized stones, filling her pockets with them and then ‘redistributing’ them in useful areas such as car seats, cups, your pockets and in bed (s). What I think her actual plan is: to dig a tunnel with her fellow nursery pupils so that they can escape from nursery when they want.

This occurred to me the other day, after I’d collected her from her maternelle (the French name for nursery) and had picked up her…

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Cooking

Today we sacrificed a pig, killed some potatoes with a knife, and guillotined some corn for a nice oven steam pot broil!

By “we” I mean I did…


Company coming over… I need help cleaning. Volunteers?

Sorry for the missed comments this week. I’ll catch up. It’s been a long one and this next week will be even longer. But at least we have today. And I got beer.

Throwing up some decorations for a party we are having.


None of you are invited…

this is awkward now…

-OM

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@smokendust

Adopting Yourself – By: Jason C. Cushman

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The ironic part about being an adoptee is that the first and final steps of our lives are the same. Just as we must accept being adopted in the first place, we must also accept ourselves for who we are in the end. That acceptance, that journey, can take a lifetime to occur and not all adoptees ever fully accept who they are. Those people caught between the want of “what ifs” and the “hard place of reality” never fully live life as they should because they are stuck living half their life with regret. I have known that place myself and can recount times in my childhood when I wished for anything but what was real. I wished to be someone else.

Adopting yourself is a lot easier when you know where you came from. You have a starting point and regardless whether that position in life is a good one or not you still have something to build off of. Life is hard enough without feeling like you must add additions to a question mark. That is what it feels like for many of us that are missing years of our past as we are forced daily to build upon that emptiness that we often feel. The old saying goes to not build your house upon the sand and mentally I can relate to this analogy. When you pile memories upon clouds of hope sometimes those clouds explode and your hope comes tumbling down. That shouldn’t stop you from hoping, but as humans we learn to become wary of things that can potentially cause pain. Hope is a good thing, but it can also become the bearer of the worst pain imaginable.

Many adoptees encounter struggles with depression as they struggle with images of themselves. When you walk for too long in the land of depression you become numb to feeling and your daily life flashes like a fading memory. Only strong and personal moments are fully captured and those glimpses into our lives are often garbled by the mental struggle that we are enduring. Sometimes the memories are pictures without sound and other times they are words or phrases that stand out in the night. I have held depression’s hand many times and my head is full of glimpses of our encounters.

I remember one day when I was fully under depression’s influence and I was taking klonopin daily to fight the shadows of doubt over whether or not I wished to live. I was standing in the kitchen of my parent’s home staring out the window while it rained. I watched as before my eyes the rain suddenly stopped falling and hung midair as if nature had rebelled against its natural course. My father walked up behind me and saw me looking out the window.

What are you looking at son?” he said with concern in his voice.

I hadn’t realized that I had begun to cry. I looked at him and said in a near whisper, “the rain has just stopped midair Pop. It won’t fall to the ground. It is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.” A week later I tried to kill myself.

It is easy to consider things in retrospect and to wish you had done things differently. I have many regrets in my life, but some of the hardest actions to accept from my past have been in relationship to my adoption. Actions I did or did not take when the opportunity presented itself, those are the memories that are on constant replay in my mind. It is a hard thing to live life by tracing the lines of regret from our past, but often in our depression we do this. We do this because the saddest times often outshine the happiest from our lives. It is far easier to focus on what we don’t have than what we do. That is very human.

When I was two years old my mother left me on a street in front of a police station. In the Korean culture this was translated into the mother no longer wanting the child. I was not alone though, I later found out she left me a hand to hold onto. A five year old sister I have since searched for was also left on that street to hold my hand and wait for a mother that would never return for us. She must have had half a heart though because she did come back for my older sister later on… but left me behind. Sometimes in the night I imagine I can still feel her hand. I often wonder if she remembers me.

I was adopted and sent by plane to a black and white world. At 3 years old it did not take long for me to realize I was in a world I did not fully belong. Growing up as an Asian American in the deep south of the Unites States is a challenge for anyone. That challenge is increased astronomically when you are unsure of who you are and what you are supposed to be. The only thing I remember being sure of was that I was different. My eyes were small, I was small as well, and my family wasn’t created from the cookie cutter mold of southern society. We were multi-cultural and at the time that was still visually a strange thing to see in everyday life. I found it hard to accept myself in a society that obviously did not accept me.

I found for most of my life I was forced to continuously adopt the image that I was. Growing up in a black and white world with almost no Asian friends was tough. I had no point of reference for what an Asian should look like, act like, or even just “be.” I can recall many days where I would return home from grade school and I would slam my door shut on society as a whole. A society that chased me in my dreams, a society that made me ashamed of my skin color. I would look to the sky and pray to any god that would listen to please make me a different race. Black… white… it didn’t matter at that point. What mattered was being accepted and I simply knew that I would never be accepted clothed in the skin I wore at the time. I remember praying for this many times through tears of confusion because I still could not comprehend why I was so different. I simply knew I was and I hated it.

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Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

@smokendust

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