Chapter 1 Page 2 RD/Trash

I had family out there. Real people. Not the family of your imagination or the family you would stubbornly conceive mentally because every adoptee has done that. I had proof that two people existed that were physically related to me and I finally had an answer to why I was adopted, but it only brought more questions. It brought another feeling, a feeling I was fighting to be fair. Why did I suddenly feel so angry? Maybe she couldn’t have taken care of two children and my sister was older. Did that matter to me? I wasn’t sure exactly how I felt, but I couldn’t deny the growing feeling inside.

My thoughts were interrupted by a gentle hand on my shoulder. A reminder once again that I was sitting in the office at the orphanage I had been adopted from when I was three years old. The starting place of my journey in life until this revelation which now showed that path to the past was much longer for me than I had previously known.

The director of the orphanage placed a second book in front of the eyes I only wished to shut. As he flipped through the pages I could tell, even though it was written in hangul, that it was some type of guest log from the numbers and what looked like addresses with them. He finally arrived at the page he was seeking and dragged his finger until he reached a box near the middle of the page.

“This your mother’s entry when she signed out for your sister. Her name is Kim Ie Soo and she listed her address as well which is procedure for signing out a child.”

The words “she listed her address as well” instantly stood out to me and I starred at her name. I said her name to myself, not daring to speak, and I instantly wondered if she was still living there with my sister. Was it really that simple? Could I find the answer to my personal mystery within a few moments of discovering it existed? The hope must have shown on my face because the director paused before hurriedly speaking again in broken English.

I can take you there.”

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

44.1

@smokendust

Changing Blogging Habits

I started this blog in 2013 and began my quest to connect with as many bloggers as I could. I reconnected with people, but that was never my main focus. Sure I push dialogue and communication through my posts and forum like atmosphere that I host here on HarsH ReaLiTy, the old forum mod in me loves it.

Actually it craves it.

People often ask “what good is connecting with all those people?” I have always given the staple response that I like having a “WordPress Reader” that is a mixture of posts like a magazine or newspaper. That is the easy answer to give and I give it often. It isn’t the full truth though, but you can’t explain “networking” to people that don’t want to listen or understand.

So this post is to all the networkers out there, the grinders that follow this blog because they love the feel of the grind. The people that like numbers, that like to push their platforms and to expand their reach. This post is for you.

I view networking like fishing, particularly since the “net” analogy is easy for simple minds to grasp. I’ve also explained many times on this blog that I have never gone viral, all my posts got viewed because I worked for each view, I was never Freshly Pressed or had help, and I CARE about views and numbers.

I do NOT need to hear why you don’t care about numbers.

Don’t care… over there.

I connected with tons of blogs my first three years here and I now have two sources for connecting and reconnecting with bloggers. I have the active reader and the personal reader, I utilize both today. You have to to broaden the net. The thing about my personal reader is that not all those are active connections, but the work to find them has been done in the past. I did that work for three years and have a head start. For me it is never a question of “where are all the bloggers?” Instead I focus on what group I want to connect with that day.

Social Networking is an active engagement with the community around you.

But what community are you a part of?

There are thousands here on WordPress, if not millions. I don’t prescribe myself to a singular community, I have my own, and I enjoy spreading my posts across the tag board. This enables my site to be seen by a poet that only posts poetry, but might like my Daily Denver Photo. By not focusing on one group at all, I am in essence focusing my blog… just in a general way.

I’ve changed my blogging habits this month and this is a big deal for me. For 4 years I’ve had a set procedure and blogging method daily. Those methods allowed me to mass network and I enjoyed it, I love networking and getting my posts out there. The change in process for me is utilizing my personal reader more and engaging those actively posting “on my side of the fence.” I will admit I’ve been guilty of overlooking those I’ve already connected with. That is the bane to always looking forward. I hope that attitude and outlook changes as this year continues and I already see a difference in the engagement I am receiving daily.

To all the grinders I send you encouragement. No one knows the work you are doing. I do.

-Opinionated Man

@smokendust

Chapter 1 Page 1

I look down through my tears at a trail of tears leading to a photo. My sorrow draws a line from the photo towards the one taped above it. I hear the words again that have impacted me so, that have made me want to flee.

He says that this photo above yours is a picture of your biological sister. Apparently your mother left both of you on a street in front of a police station. After the officers brought you here your mother had a change of heart and came to retrieve only your sister. I am sorry you had to find out this way.”

They are words that will replay over and over in my mind as long as I have a mind to play memories in. My Korean translator was as kind as you can be while shattering the only world a person has ever known. I was eighteen years old and about to go off to college after the summer was over, and what was supposed to be a fun vacation touring my motherland had just transformed into a horrible nightmare I couldn’t wake from. I felt like everything I had known about myself had suddenly been erased as these strangers began to tell me about myself.

As an adoptee you often find your life is held between the sleeves of a manila folder. As long as you know what that folder contains your life is less of a mystery and is instead simply difficult… as life is for everyone. It is when missing pieces of a puzzle you never knew were missing pieces begin to show up that you find your course in life is altered. I thought I knew everything there was to know about myself and my life because I had read that folder and knew what it said. I never imagined how much a single sentence could mean to me.

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

44.1

@smokendust

Prologue

It feels like I have been in this room before. It feels like I am stuck in this room in my dreams. A room full of sadness where crying children are brought to cry some more. Shelves line the walls full of their memories, their recorded logs of displacement and attempted replacement of what has been lost for them. The room is furnished with a large desk of authority against the far wall, with a couple wooden chairs that were never built for comfort facing it.

I hate this room. My eyes wander in sadness and search for an escape from what I have just heard.

The last time I was here I was crying my heart out as I struggled to know what was going on. I know this to be true even if I don’t have the memory still. Something inside me tells me there are cries still leftover inside from that experience, from that day. Those screams seek now to join the rest of the surrounding depression this room has known, a feeling I can feel like painted sadness on a wall. It is an overwhelming pressure that squeezes my heavy heart and makes me want to erupt from my chair and run, never looking back. I knew I shouldn’t have come here.

I see a window and look out onto a busy Pusan street, a street I can’t remember walking as a child. Cars whisk by and a Korea from my dreams becomes a moving reality before my eyes…

Page 1

Blogger Review #6 – Rich

I’d like to introduce you all to Rich who blogs at Level Up Stud! The gamer in me is delighted every time I say that blog name…

I am a sucker for a great about page. Rich gives us the run down from High School to his everyday, current life in his About Page here! He even has his own Advice Column!

How cool is that?

I am now tempted to write my own advice column… but I can’t think of a single person that would be dumb enough to solicit advice from me…

Rich is the first blogger to click the link to my review page and sign up! He won the prize of being reviewed next!

See… it pays to click on links sometimes…

Looking for a new blogger to add to your reader? Want to find a new connection? Visit Rich at his blog http://levelupstud.com today!

-Opinionated Man

@smokendust

Interested in being reviewed? Check out the sign up page!

https://aopinionatedman.com/blogger-review-sign-up/

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

Jason C. Cushman

@smokendust

44.1