Wednesday, November 12, 2008
A Perpetual Metamorphosis
I have not been writing as much recently.
Even the recent entries, “The Giving Away” and “Finding” are old drafts from early October that I simply had not published yet.
More specifically, I have not been actively thinking much about my birth mother or my adoption.
This is usually the way it goes, though. It’s a kind of binge-purge process, I suppose.
For a while I binge on all things adoption. I feel almost obsessively driven, excessively compelled to mine the world around me along with my own thoughts and emotions for all the buffets and morsels that I can find, for any chunks of food—sweet or bitter—that I can consume.
(Some, perhaps, would more accurately describe such behavior as “neurotic.”)
Then at no certain time for no particular reason, it all seems to come to a soft and gentle halt. I shift into starvation mode quietly and somewhat subconsciously, seemingly as a way to purge myself of all the saturated seeking and wandering.
I hit a wall. And it knocks something loose in my mind—it’s still in there, rattling around, but I can no longer seem to connect with it.
More simply and less poetically, I think it is simply the result of exhaustion.
I get tired of thinking about it all. I grow weary of my own emotions. I begin to feel apathetic and indifferent. Burn out sets in.
I just want to feel whole. I want to feel resolved. Free. Unburdened. I begin to despise that I cannot escape from certain parts of who I am.
I have previously expressed (in an entry entitled, “Beyond the Box”) that I hope to be able to define and experience who I am beyond just being an adoptee. I want my identity to include being an adoptee without my identity being defined by this aspect alone.
Assimilation. Integration. That is what I seek within my identity. And that is what I seek as I identify with others.
I want to be able to understand individuals with all their unique complexities. I want to perceive and interpret the world and the incredible people who inhabit it as whole yet intricate human beings who bring more to humanity than solely a skin color or a gender or an occupation and so forth. We consist of a plexus of qualities and characteristics. We are synergy. Truly, the old adage states it best, we are more than the sum of our parts.
I proclaim all of this, and yet, still I find myself in conflict with such utopian notions and lofty ideals.
I still catch myself entertaining old labels or stereotypes, and even still, at times, these old labels and assumptions find reaffirmation. But just as equally do they find disaffirmation.
Similarly, I cannot escape that I am an adoptee, and that being such affects my experience of life more poignantly and more pervasively than I prefer.
I am realizing that my desire to develop an identity beyond the adoption box reflects an inherent longing to forget that I am an adoptee all together.
I simply want to be a person. A human. Not a Korean or an American or a woman or a wife or a daughter or an adoptee, but a whole, integrated entity formed from all these diverse and elaborate elements.
But it seems on a daily basis, I encounter the world in a way that consistently reminds me that I am a disjointed transplant, that I am incomplete. That something is missing.
I cannot elude the feelings of disconnection, of wandering, of feeling lost or without root. I seem to feel as though I am floating, hovering, lingering, more than I feel a sense of stability or connection.
(At times, I euphemistically like to refer to these qualities that I emanate as being the result of possessing a so-called “free spirit.”)
And who knows, maybe it is just a part of my personality that being adopted only aggravates or cultivates, depending on what connotation this part of me holds in that moment of realization.
Perhaps even without being adopted, I would still feel this gnawing sense of alienation, of not belonging, of being out of place. Of being a “free spirit.”
To a certain degree, it seems that most people experience such sentiments at one point or another in their lives.
I just happen to have a hyper awareness of such internal experiences.
And then I wonder, is it as simple as controlling my thoughts, my mind? If I choose not to think about such things, if I choose to ignore, neglect, set aside these thoughts and emotions that fester and boil over, would my experience of life unfold with less turmoil and more peace?
Am I simply too dramatic and too curious for my own good? Would I be smarter to simply let these inquiries, these curiosities, these questions remain unattended?
Basically, am I just asking for it? Am I getting what I deserve?
I suppose, however, another perspective could be not to simply ignore these experiences, but rather to acknowledge them as well as to further process them in a different light.
To process them in such a way as to bring about a metamorphosis.
Perhaps my thoughts and emotions have only entered upon their “caterpillar phase” as of yet.
Perhaps they need more time to explore, more time to munch on the leaves and buds upon which they stumble. Perhaps I need to submit to the notion that they may need more time in the chrysalis to thrive and transform, that they will need the hard work of slowly and painstakingly breaking through the cocoon.
Maybe it is not too naïve or childish to await that they will find their way to warmth and flight. But just that patience and perseverance are essential.
Yet, even once metamorphosis has transpired, butterflies live on to float, to wander, to remain without root. It is their nature.
After all, they are not plants.
They are creatures that emerge to gracefully yet whimsically fly and flutter from one adventure to the next.