For the few people who still read this blog, the three-year silence here was not without reason or incident. Some already knew what was happening and has happened, some are left to speculation. Here, we finally bring forth the missing chapters in the saga of the sojourner of the past few years of my absence.
In a post that is no longer relevant to the recent craze of the Crazy Rich Asians film, I’ve spent the past few weeks ruminating on the film and what has been stirring about in my mind after watching it. It doesn’t hurt that an old post I wrote years ago was referenced twice by two bloggers here and here. So before you click “read more”, understand that this is 100% about me reacting to the film rather than being about the film, which you can read about elsewhere and its relevant controversies all over the Internet.
I haven’t been writing here for years by choice, and I’ve had zero interest in saying anything here for the longest time, but I have been writing and posting in a private forum. Being the lazy bastard I am, I’m copying and pasting what I posted from that forum over here.
Oh yes: I’m back and blogging more soon.
Prologue: The End
Over a year and a half later, it’s time for me to look back and say that this is the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Since posting my last several entries, as with anyone else’s life, events have transpired, lessons have been learned, mistakes made, experiences accumulated, and wisdom and maturity both lead to insight.
In short, I recall the advice of Mr. Brett McKay of one of my favorite sites, The Art of Manliness: “Beware the too compelling narrative“. Alongside the heartfelt wisdom of Jack Kornfield in his podcast on heart wisdom, Episode 5, Trauma and Freedom, telling our story helps attend to the trauma we carry so that it eventually loses its hold over us. The synthesis of these two ideas I have spent much time reflecting on leads me to conclude that I have told my story finally instead of hiding it within, and it no longer holds power on me. At the same time, I have looked over how I have told this story, and found the problem of too compelling a narrative.
Yes, this blog has been characterized by its complete openness so that others may see me as I am. I do not hide myself, and I have been accused of being a victim, or complaining too much about my life when everyone has their own suffering, even dismissing my homelessness, my sexual assault, the loss of friends to terrorism, and trauma of life in 13 countries from loss to disillusion.
The problem with their view is that while I use this to share myself and be present to my emotions, they are criticizing me and trying to prevent me from healing. While I can appreciate their concern, it’s one thing to say, “Hey, you’re a victim, get over it, stop complaining”, it’s another thing to listen to someone, say, “I hear you, I’m here for you” and then when the time is right, help someone through their process when the time is right. Only an unawakened and insensitive individual believes that bullying and dismissing someone is helpful. Interestingly enough, I find that the least compassionate were the so-called “Titanium People”, those who recover and create a narrative of a rise and fall and rise again for themselves, and are impatient towards others who are not rising as fast as they have, which is detailed in all its nuances here: http://lifehacker.com/walking-in-someone-else-s-shoes-actually-makes-you-less-1738178741.
So when I say that this is the end, I mean that it’s the end of this narrative that has been created between the context and subtext of my words. I’ve gone from being slave to my emotions to being witness to my emotions as I have embraced a side of myself I’ve found to have been hiding, even when sharing this narrative of myself.
Before anyone else reads further, I implore you to read those two articles and spend time listening to the Jack Kornfield podcast episode for informed insight, especially before you make any judgments or comments.
Prologue: Friends Are Either God’s Way of Apologizing to You For Your Family, or Proof That There is No God
“Your friends are your family” a woman once told me in response to my situation. I suppose that a caveat there that many people miss is to consider what their definition and criteria for what makes someone a friend is, and it’s a life-long process of culling people until I find the right ones. Another view I’ve heard is that the definition of Hell is Other People.
Prologue: Standing in the Sunset Glow
I once read an interpretation of an old Japanese television series I watched about child soldiers, and one of the main themes was that you could subject children to extreme brutality and hardship, but for some reason, something in each individual’s inner nature causes them to become different people. Some were honorable warriors, others were bloodthirsty savages. A very big metaphor for the nature versus nurture argument. In my view, nurturing people is what brings out something within them and triggers who they naturally are, which is why the extremes of hardship and privilege will tell you enough about someone.
Another quote I heard best summarizes this:
Two things determine your character: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.
The one argument people in my family use to dismiss the complexities of my life is to point at my younger sister. What they do not realize is their assumptions tell me more about them and what lies my father told them about our life; that people truly did believe we were extremely privileged people. The problem is, they didn’t know my father, and my father didn’t want them to know either.
Introduction: This Boy’s Life
It’s hard to talk about my past and discover where the divergence in problems begins, for my family has historically been downright abusive, neglectful, and toxic. My childhood is full of moments of abandonment, lies, and scapegoating, and as a result of the disease of life, I was eventually made into a Third Culture Kid, dragged around the world with no end in sight and the belief I’d eventually return to the childhood friends and home I was taken from a delusion I held onto for sanity. Consequently, by becoming the Third Culture Kid I am, it created an even deeper divide between my family and I.