@_gypsy_eyez, acceptance, African American women, black women, Call of the Universe, child abuse survivor, dealing with emotions, facing fear, Fear, healing, honesty, Ju Ju, June Lejoi, know thyself, let go and let God, loneliness, memoirs, mixed black and white, mixed race, multi-racial, multiracial, negative bias against black women, negative portrayal of black women in media, overcoming fear, poem, poetry, Self acceptance, self esteem, self hate, Self-love, shame, spiritual awakening, spiritual journey, transformation, Universe, use your talent, use your voice, voice, vulnerability

Perfection

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2/24/17

As I sit and feel the sadness
That I’ve been so desperately trying to escape
I know it comes from deep within
My muscles
My joints
They hold this heartache.
It tells me lies that feel so true
You are not enough
They don’t want you,
Your body
Your mind
Your personality
Your brown skin.
At 42 with two young children,
Prepare to be alone forever.
That’s the message I see when I look out
That’s the message I hear when I look within.
Storms
I’ve been warned that they are coming
I’ve been encouraged that I’m strong enough to face them.
Fear, sadness and guilt have kept me frozen.
But you deserve more than that,
And I want more too.

abandonment, Consciousness, higher power, isolation, loneliness, mixed race, Self care, Tribe, Universe

Love You’re Not Alone

1/31/17
When I said I would stand by you,
I was talking to you.
My tribe,
You don’t belong to me 
And I don’t belong to you,
Yet you have touched my life and changed me.
Our collective loving energy
Is a life line for the drowning,
(That was me)
And a spark in even the darkest places.
Some of you I know intimately 
Others I will never meet 
You are not alone
You are loved
My little loves,
You may feel as if you’re walking through hell right now, 
But you are not alone, and this too will pass
I will always be with you, and we will be okay 
You also have your own Higher Power
Lovingly caring for you every day
You are not alone 
You are loved 
Myself,
One day, I will learn to put you first, instead of last
I’m committed to loving you
To caring for you
I will not abandon you anymore 
You are not alone 
You are loved
abandonment, cabin, memoirs, memories, mixed black and white, mixed race, parent with mental illness, raised by grandparents

The Cabin

12/29/16
The youngest memory I have with my grandma is at our vacation cabin at a local mountain ski area.  I remember sitting on the stairs, using the nutcracker to open nuts and eat them while she cooked in the kitchen.    I think I was about 3 years old.  At that age, the squirrel-shaped nutcracker was the funnest part of the whole trip.  I also remember climbing the snow banks, making snow angels, and eating the snow.  I loved sitting on the comfy couches in the warm sun and just looking out at the white snow everywhere.
Over the years, we went to the cabin almost every winter and lots of new memories were made as I grew older.  The cabin was always teaming with people: my grandma and grandpa, mom, uncle, aunt and even friends as I got older.  Building snowmen and digging snow forts, going sledding and learning to ski were activities I cherished.  I loved special time with my grandpa teaching me to ski and reading bedtime stories to me by the fireplace.
For some reason, coloring with my crayons and coloring book (in my younger years) was always a big part of the cabin experience.  I guess I enjoyed the alone time, or the one-on-one time with my mom or a friend in my room.  And, I was proud of my coloring skills.  Every visit, the diagonally slanted walls of my bedroom would start out bare.  By the end of our time there, my bedroom was filled with colorful pictures.  I still remember my technique of outlining each section dark, and then coloring the inside really light.
My grandparents sold the cabin as we all grew older and grandpa retired.  I think the main reason for selling it was the upkeep.  Whenever there was a big snow, he and my uncle would have to drive up to the mountain and shovel the snow off of the roof and away from the cabin, so that the weight wouldn’t collapse it.  I was sad to see it go after being part of our family story for so many years, but I’m so grateful for the memories.
choices, Christmas, Family of origin, holiday joy, holiday pain, meditation, memories, mixed black and white, mixed race, program tools, vulnerability

Holiday Joys 12/24/16

12/24/16
Little packages wrapped up just for me
Honesty and vulnerability 
Cut through the looming fears
What will they think of me
What will they say to me
Comfort and wisdom the gift (sigh).
The choice to walk away 
One I never knew I had
I can listen to that feeling inside of me
And change the course of my night.
Asking for what I need
Seeing the opportunity 
For a moment of solitude and meditation 
While grandma and grandpa entertain. 
Love
Family 
Joy

ancestors, Christmas, generational gap, grandparents, holiday pain, loss, memories, mixed black and white, mixed race, raised by grandparents, Sisters White Christmas, Sitting with the pain

Sitting With The Pain 12/23/16

12/23/16
The holiday pain
I know I’m not alone in it
Looking through pictures 
Lost loves
Lost moments
Lost opportunities 
The warm comforting smells and sounds
The smiles and laughter 
Cookies with grandma
Sitting with the pain means feeling it all
All of the good
All of loss
All of the pain
acceptance, black, black lives matter, Mildred and Richard Loving, mixed race, one human family, police, racial bias, racial profiling, racism

I’m Mixed, I’m Black 7/10/16

7/10/16
Interracial marriage became legal across the United States in 1967.  My parents, a black man and a white women were married in 1974.  I was born soon after. Their marriage was short lived, and they were divorced when I was a one-year old.  I don’t have memories of them together.  They both remarried people from their own race. 
In a time of intense racial divides between black and white, somehow, neither my mom’s side of the family or my dad’s side of the family held any animosity or racism towards the other side.  I never once heard a negative word said about my mom or my dad by either of them or by their families.  Instead, it was the opposite.  My grandfather on my white side always talked about the respect he had for my dad.  Even with the divorce, there was never hatred or criticism stated or implied.  I didn’t realize growing up how unusual that was.  I did, however, experience racism and prejudice from some of my step parents and their families throughout the years.  At times, it has been difficult for them and for their families to accept me and my other race.   I’ve also experienced racism, prejudice and discrimination from white teachers and students in school.  As an adult, I’ve been racially profiled and followed by police, followed by security members in stores, and given the cold shoulder in business establishments in areas that were mostly white.  This racism and discrimination scares me, especially when it comes to the police, our legal system and the political climate.  
I identify myself as a woman of mixed race black/white, a choice I made a couple decades ago because I wanted to challenge white people’s tendency to use the one drop rule when it comes classifying non-whites.  It felt like some of the white people that I encountered were overlooking the fact that I’m half white, something that black people never seemed to overlook.  But, even though I use this mixed race classification now, in my heart I feel black because of my experiences.  What else could I be??  Since as far back as I can remember, I’ve been black.  My parents and my family told me I was black.  I was black on the playground at my all white grade school, when white kids circled around me and got my only friend (a boy) to punch me in the stomach while the ring leader girl yelled “Punch her, punch her!”  My friend later apologized while he and I sat in timeout for “fighting”.  All of the other kids involved had no consequences.  I was black in my 4th grade class when one girl would stand behind me in line ever day and sneer the n-word in my ear.  She’d tell me I was so ugly and ask me why my braided ponytails looked like poop.  When I told the teacher, she did nothing.  When I got my white grandmother (who I was living with at the time) involved, she reached out to the girls parents and we went together to their house.  With my grandma sitting next to me, and the girls parents sitting next to her, I directly confronted her for what she was saying to me.  Her parents seemed shocked and verbally scolded their daughter in front of me.  However, within the school faculty, there was no support for me.  I don’t remember my teacher even asking me about it at all.  When my grandmother questioned the school on what they would do about it, the school’s solution was to move me to another classroom mid-year.  Even now, when a police officer or a security guard follows or watches me, I don’t get the vibe that he sees me and thinks, “Ohhh, she’s mixed race.”  I think he sees me and thinks, “black” and all of the negative stereotypes and stories playing in his head at that moment apply to me. 
I was black when I had two police officers walk up on me in my own garage in my own car.   At the time, I was inside the gated parking garage of my apartment building.  It was early in the morning and I was dressed for work wearing a skirt and blouse.  I was standing outside my car with the driver’s door open bending into my car looking for something.  I was parked at the far end of the garage, furthest from the entrance, and it was very quiet in the area by my car.  All of the sudden I heard a footstep behind me and felt someone’s presence.  I jumped and turned around to see two men less than 10 feet away walking silently towards me.  I thought they were going to attack me and I must have turned pale; I was so startled.  They froze too when I jumped and both of them put their hands inches away from their guns on their sides.  By this time I realized that they weren’t thieves or rapists;  they were cops.  I just stood there frozen in silence.  When I think about the incident now, I’m not scared, I’m pissed!!   I think how dare you sneak up behind in me in MY garage and not identify yourself.  It’s like they already had an assumption that I was stealing.  But of course, I stayed silent.  They said they got a call about a disturbance and asked if I’d seen anything.  I hated them so much in that moment for making me feel like crap in my own garage when I was doing absolutely nothing wrong. 
Oh yeah, and I’m definitely black to my Asian in-laws.  
(Sigh) All that being said, I know that being black isn’t just about being discriminated against, it’s also not about how you speak, how you act, what music you like, or who you marry.  I’m not saying that I don’t have very real privileges by being half white, that my full black sisters (I’m talking about my step sister and my half sister) do not have.   I do agree that it is very different to experience the world as a mixed race person versus a person with parents of the same race. There is no question about that!  But, I don’t understand all of the hatred and pushing people away when we share so much of the same struggles, passions and dreams.   My son may be mixed with black, white and Korean, but when he walks into a classroom, store or park he is seen as a black kid by most non-black people.  
My very real experiences of racism have fed my heightened sensitivity to even the smallest slights.   When I’m out in public with my husband or kids, I get a lot of ice from all sides, Asian, white and black.  Instead of acceptance, there is often rejection, and it hurts to receive judgment from all angles.  My husband grew up in the United States as a second generation Korean American.  Growing up, my husband and his family lived in a white neighborhood.  They all moved back to Korea when he was in middle school and high school.  He and his family returned to the United States after high school.  Prior to meeting me, my husband built many significant friendships with African American men during his college years and after.  
Even though my family has experienced racism from many angles, I would love to be able to say that we feel welcomed and supported by the black community at large.  Unfortunately, I can’t say that.  Recently, we needed to find a new barber for our 5-year old son.  One of our African American friends gave us a reference to the barber shop where he takes his own son.  When my husband and son entered the shop, instead of feeling welcomed as customers they were met with confused and questioning looks, as if they were aliens.  My son, who is very comfortable with his black family and our black friend, felt so uncomfortable by the way they were being treated that he asked his dad if they could leave.  I love my black community and my black culture, but how can I show solidarity and support when I and my family are pushed away?
I’ve been hurt by the way I’ve been sidelined by some black people in my life.  I’ve been treated like I’m a threat, like I’m a disgrace, like I’m a joke, and like I’m an outsider.  But in the end, I will never turn my back on my own blackness or on black people.  We have been through too much, and we continue to suffer racism, discrimination and prejudice on a daily basis.  
I know that there are some that are against race mixing.  I believe that anti-race mixing sentiments stem from hate, not love.  I strive for love, to grow in love for myself and for others.  Let’s face it, people fall in love with who they love, regardless of race or societal pressure.  So, there will always be mixed race people.  Look at Romeo and Juliet or Richard and Mildred Loving.   Why do we let our fears and prejudice keep us from loving and accepting others?  I guess what I’m hoping for is a world where we can love and accept all people regardless of their race — where we can make judgments about people based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

I also realize that I need to be more willing to give love and acceptance even when I feel it may not be deserved.  That doesn’t mean I’ll accept injustice.  No, in fact I will fight against it!  But, it does mean I choose to accept the person as a human being who is just as in need of love and forgiveness as I am.  That is my goal.

Ali Wong: Baby Cobra, black, black Asian family, blasian, blogging, courage, eracism, Fear, isolation, mixed race, multi-racial, one human family, one human race, one humanity, racism, terminal uniqueness

Terrified

6/9/16
I felt terrified of putting myself out there in this blog after watching a comedy show, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra.  I thought her show was really funny and I agreed with a lot of her perspectives. But, I was again left thinking, “Maybe there just aren’t other people that can relate to me.”  Those familiar feelings of isolation came flooding back in, like I’m the only one who can understand, or even have compassion for my situation.  I’ve heard it referred to as terminal uniqueness.  The fear started to stifle me again.

I kept writing and rewriting, but not posting.  I asked myself, “Why was I so bothered by this comedian’s words, when I really liked her?”….  Maybe that’s why I was bothered.  I liked her, I agreed with her perspectives on feminism and on how Asian men can be underrated.  But, I was really bothered by her comments about racism.  She made a joke about how her mother doesn’t have any black friends, and that “life is not Rush Hour the movie.”  She also said that she thinks people should marry within their own race so they can “go home and be racist together.”  I am married to an amazing Korean man 😘.  We feel the sting of racism from all sides, whether it’s being excluded from family functions or the general ice that we sometimes get when we’re out in public.  I think that Ali Wong’s words struck a nerve because my in-laws’ racism has sometimes been downplayed and tolerated among our family and friends because it’s “cultural.”  When did cultural racism become okay?  I wish that someone Asian would stand up and say, “You know what, it’s not okay!”  

I am half white and half black.  Growing up, I verbally identified myself as black.  That’s how I saw myself, and that’s what society and my family told me that I was.   Back then, being overtly racist against black people was not something acceptable in main stream media or society.  But it seems like something has changed.  Now, it almost feels like being racist against black and brown (Latino) people is seen as acceptable.  That really scares me.  I now identify myself as mixed race black and white.  In college, I began to challenge the label of black, because I am, in fact, half white.  I immediately got a lot of resistance from my black friends.  They couldn’t understand why I would not want to be called black.  In fact, one took offense and said I was trying to be white.  Being white was not what I wanted, I just wanted to be recognized for who and what I truly am, and not be made to fit into someone else’s label of me.

It’s been getting even more complicated for me as I’m filling out forms for my son’s school.  I’m forced to choose one primary race for him and then allowed to add multiple secondary races.   My husband and I decided to go with Korean, since our son is 1/2 Korean, 1/4 black and 1/4 white.  But, Korean is not what he identifies with.  My children almost never hear Korean spoken, I don’t cook Korean food, and my husband’s parents disowned us when we got married.  In fact, The first time I ever spoke to my mother-in-law was after my son was born and we’d been married almost 3 years.  Even after that, neither my son or I were allowed to speak with or meet his grandfather until my son was 3 years-old.    My husband and I continued to send cards and money $$$ to them every Birthday and holiday during the time we were cut off.  Even now, the relationship that we have with his family is rocky at best.

My son also doesn’t look very Korean.  He looks like a handsome African American young man with Asian eyes.  He calls himself brown skinned and part Korean, but I don’t think he would identify himself as Korean, nor would he identify himself as black or white.  This makes perfect sense to me, because none of those labels are what he is.  I am confused by our societies obsession with separating races.  I don’t see the need to choose a race to identify as in the first place.  It seems like an idea that a mono-raced person came up with.  To me, as a multi-raced person, it seems completely nonsensical.  It’s like asking me whether I identify myself as a mother, or a daughter, or a wife.  The answer would be all of the above.  It would be silly for me to have to choose one primary relationship and then list the rest as secondary.😔  Why is our society so race obsessed?