Monday, September 19, 2011


I know I'm supposed to be writing about young me, but I had to write this down while it was still fresh in my mind. 

I was tucking Charles into bed when he mentioned that he sometimes is afraid of the dark. Charles is a smart kid and understands that there is no such thing as monsters, but he's also young and the world is still magical to him at times. I gave him some encouragement and talked about how he was strong and he didn't have to be afraid. He seemed ok with this explanation and I kissed him goodnight and walked into the kitchen to finish up some dishes.

While I was putting a bowl away, it dawned on me that I had handled that situation all wrong. So I went back into his room and I started to explain the definition of bravery.

I told him that being brave isn't the absence of fear. Fear is normal and everyone experiences it. Bravery is continuing on with our lives despite that fear. Bravery is not letting that fear rule your life. I told him I had many fears, but I wouldn't let those fears stop me from doing what needs to be done. I could see the light bulb come on in his eyes and I realized he understood a little better.

 Personal choices are what determine our lives, not the circumstances around them. I hope he learned the lesson well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Early Years; Been There, Done That,

I'm pretty sure I've written about my early childhood at least a dozen times. Quite possibly I've even written about it on this blog but I couldn't find the post. I suppose the practice is good, but even I get tired of hearing me say the same story over and over again. This is the problem with keeping journals, blogs, myspace and facebook, no central thread.

I was born in Seoul, South Korea in the late seventies. I won't say when, but it was late and during the seventies. The story goes that a woman dropped me off at the orphanage never to be seen again. I don't know if there was a basket involved, but I always imagine there was one just like in the movies.

Because of my age, a kind worker took me home from the orphanage and kept me as her own while they tried to find someone to adopt me. A nice American couple, who had adopted a baby girl from the same adoption agency 4 years earlier, was called and asked if they would be interested in adopting a baby boy. They agreed and I at the age of 6 months was adopted.

Author's note: I really had a different concept of time growing up and my brain does not keep dates like this. Even now after being told repeatedly by my dad how old I was when I was adopted I am not certain due to some sort of mental block. So the times and ages are all approximate.

My new family and I flew together from Seoul to the US with a layover in Hawaii. I apparently cried the entire flight and most of the time on the beach.

I was very lucky to be adopted by such a kind and caring family. My new family lived in Montana on a ranch with horses and dogs and everything. One of my earliest memories is steering a tricycle while my sister pushed me and we ran over grasshoppers in the circular driveway. Most of my memories from this time are just simple kid memories like watching my parents or learning how to do things like swing on the swing set.

One day, I was probably about 4, I remember my mom getting a phone call and when she hung up she went into the bathroom and started crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said someone had called about buying the boat (we had a sailboat, yeah life was tough). Being a kid, I thought she was upset because the boat was going away, so I tried to console her saying that we could get another boat. What I didn't realize was that we were selling the boat because we were moving.

My father had a successful CPA firm, hence the sailboat, but he was working 70 hours a week and wasn't very fulfilled. We only saw him occasionally and he was constantly stressed out. I'm not sure what triggered the decision, but one day my parent's decided that the best course of action was for my dad to pursue a career that would give him more family time and meaning. Looking back through his career, teaching entry level accounting courses was something he really enjoyed and so they decided to sell the firm, house and boat and join a PhD program.

And this is why my mom was crying. Because we were leaving family, friends and a way of life. Adventures are always grand, but it doesn't make the goodbyes any easier. I don't think she was crying because she didn't want to move, I think she was crying because she had to say goodbye.

Looking back, it's weird how life times things and I think if she had been able to see what the future held, she would have probably never sold the boat.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What's Up, Super Sized

Ok, so it's been a while since I've blogged. Lately I've been thinking a lot about blogging, Facebook, Twitter and all of the other different types of social media and trying to figure out where they all fit in.

The blog started out as a way to update my friends and family and every now and then release a common sense laden rant on the intertubes. However, the truth is now that my Dad and the rest of my immediate family have joined Facebook, they are more updated on my life than I often am.

So that leaves opinionated rants. And we all know I have opinions, deep seeded, dark, brilliant opinions. Twitter has moved into the role of mouthpiece for said rants since it's so convenient and far reaching. The problem is that it restricts my rants to 140 characters. This is good, because you learn to be concise when summing up a global issue, but for someone like me it definitely leaves a lot to be desired.

Which is where blogging comes in. I can post full size rants which will be preserved for all eternity on Google. The problem with a blog is that it's public, and I have to show some restraint in honor of the positions I hold as an employee, soldier and small business owner.

The military is particularly worried about what I write in public, we call it OPSEC (operation security). Updates on my life aren't top secret, but seemingly harmless information can be easily pieced together and used for military purposes. The internet makes the collection of that information way too easy. Paranoid, sure, but why even risk it, considering my life and other's lives are potentially at stake.

So I have been censoring myself, which makes me not want to write. Because I hate censorship and I like to sort of spout off whatever crazy shit I want. I love freedom of speech, this is one of the reasons I joined an organization that fights for it, but doesn't necessarily afford it to its members. You have no idea how many rights I've temporarily sacrificed so I can fight for our rights.

So what do I blog about? I figured I'd save all of the historians some work and start on my memoirs. You're welcome.

The plan is that over the course of the next few months I'm going to talk about the historical me. Please, please don't thank me, it's the least I could do for you, my only reader. Seriously though I am going to write about my life and probably throw in a random rant. Sorry I've been gone for so long.