Typecasting the Black Sheep

I feel like I’ve written this blog post before.  If I have, I apologize… or perhaps it’s a recurring circumstance in which I cannot escape. 

I’ve lived in Orlando for 15 years, born and raised in Seattle.  A long way from home.  What brought me here?  Well, I usually give 1 of 2 answers: To most, I give the generic “we had an awesome Disney World vacation and decided to stay” and for the chosen few (and you, my dear readers) I explain how I was a young mom who married her drug-dealing, illegal-alien, teenage-crush and needed a fresh new start.  In a nutshell.

Both stories are versions of the truth. The fact that I’ve moved across the county, away from family, a full support system, and stable life has defined me in ways I’d never dreamed of as an antsy teenager.  Never mind the daddy issues.  I will never deny that I am ‘one of them’.  But, there’s something to be said of the 15 years I’ve worked, sweated, strained, cried, and fought to get to where I am – a normal suburban mom.

Still.

Whenever, I visit home – Every time I visit Seattle.  I can’t escape my typecast: The Black Sheep

I try to see my family once a year, at first, it was OK.  I gave into my label.  I knew I made mistakes and work had to be done.  Of course, I was in my early twenties, so I was also very naive and yielding.

As years passed, I made steps in my career, got married, bought and built a stable home.  And today, 15 years later, my visit is still plagued with comments such as “your sister tells her sons not to end up like you” and “you’ve made so many bad choices, it’s impressive your boys are so good.”  To all of these remarks, I smile and nod.  I politely agree, “yes I don’t want them to end up like me.” Because, of course, that is how a good Asian daughter responds, right?

But, I just want to be normal – like I feel when I’m home – in Orlando.  I want my parents to hug and smile at me the way they do my sisters.  I don’t want them to have to question my decisions.  I want so badly for them to trust that I’m normal.  Despite the hard work, I’m here… Now.  I’m a normal suburban chic.  Just like my sisters.  Just like they intended to raise me.

Advertisements

Holiday Blahs

It’s been a while since I’ve posted…. I’ve truly neglected my blog.  But a lot has happened over the past year – some I just can’t begin to writhe about…. yes, I meant “writhe“…. others I would love to share (and I will make sure to update my Empty Nester’s Bucket List).

So, as far as the good stuff:

Over the summer we took a road trip to New Orleans. It was awesome, fun & exhausting… I MUST write about it before the year ends!

I got promoted in my job! Something I’ve wanted, but didn’t know how to do…

Started a Mary Kay business. Phew, owning a business is Hard Work but surely has it’s rewards!

As far as the writhing, here’s a brief synopsis:

No buns in the oven yet.

Lot’s of difficulties in our marriage – can I call it the Terrible Two’s?

And, ’tis the season for the Holiday Blahs…..

I know for sure I’m not the only one who experiences holiday blues.  And everyone has their own reason why…. this is my reason.  Not sure if I’ve written before that I moved across the country at the age of 19.  With my (ex)-husband, and 2 babies.  But, let me just go back in some history – after all, this is my blog, and I’ve committed to be entirely transparent in my writing. When I was about 6 or 7, I was in love with my Dad.  As any youngest daughter, I was completely fascinated with my dad, I wanted to be an engineer like him, “we” had a song (“It Might Be You” from Tootsie), “we” had a favorite restaurant (Arby’s)..the list goes on.  I was truly a Daddy’s Girl.  And to this day I can still remember as vividly as it was yesterday, my dad bringing me to the Seattle Center to walk around and pick up fall leaves… we put the leaves in a photo album (the kind where you peel off the top layer of plastic, then place the photos on the sticky side of the page).. that dreaded day.. my Daddy told me he was moving away and I was not going with him.  My parents were not getting divorced. And looking back, I’ve wondered if it was just the times that kept them together. The word “divorce” was still taboo. But, all I knew was that my Daddy was moving away. I recall the night my dad left, I ran under the kitchen table and cried my eyes out and my mom yelled at me to stop crying. It was the hardest time of my life. Months passed and the times my dad came home were for maybe an evening and I didn’t get to see him.  He spent the time with my mom..then left early the next morning. Not sure how long my dad was gone (2, 3, 4, 5 years??) Not sure… but it seemed like an eternity but he came back… and then he left again… and then he came back. My mom tried her best to take care of my sisters and me.  But I didn’t know any better, she wasn’t very affectionate, so I looked to my friends to “get away” from the home I loathed so much.  By then – my teenage years – I grew to push people away. Especially my dad.  And especially the people I loved the most.

A couple years after I graduated high school, my (ex) husband and I decided to move across the country. At that time, I was done with Seattle.  My family back home meant nothing to me… as I thought I meant nothing to them.  But, now, 15 years later, they mean everything to me… and I still mean nothing to them. I call, text, email, connect on Facebook.  But get little response. I try to send gifts, but get little response.  What I have done and said to push my family away …worked.  So, the holidays are the hardest for me.  It starts with my mom, nephew, & sisters’ birthdays all wrapped up into the fall season.  Then as the holidays roll around, I get to see pictures of their get-togethers and family events posted online.

While I get to enjoy my own family of 4, it is most difficult to get into the holiday spirit… Outwardly, I decorate the house, cook the big meals, take lots of pictures.. but inwardly, I want to sleep the winter away…  I pray to God who mends all broken people to heal me and my relationship with my family.

If you, too, have the holiday blues.. I pray that you find those who love you and hold them close.. and if you find no one – seek them.  Seek a church, a network of people, a meetup group, get connected.. WE will get through this..

Coupon-mania!

I’m a closet stock-piler.  For those non-couponers out there, a stock pile is a collection of supplies, so to speak, things you might need for later use.  I have other stockpiles around the house: health/beauty stockpile is in my closet, kitchen/foods in the kitchen, laundry items in the laundry room.. etc.  Portions of my stockpile are carefully placed throughout  the house.  Perhaps to put ease to the eyesore it would be if it were all in one room.

I am a couponer.  But, I don’t consider myself an Extreme Couponer.. I think I’ll call myself a Need-Based Moderately-Conrolled Couponer (the longer the name, the more guilty I sound?).. After all, who knows when I (the only female in the house) will need a new ladies razor?  But when I do, I will have about 30 to choose from along with assorted shaving foam.  And how awesome is it that while I’m dreadfully receiving my monthly visit from Aunt Flo that I can just reach into my closet for ‘napkins’ of all shapes and sizes that I have gotten for FREE?!

It all started when my cousin started couponing.. She was super-excited about the amount of free or nearly free stuff she was getting.  At that time, my family was a single-income household of four and, and being a mom of 2 football players, groceries were at least $400 a month!  So I started learning and, boy, did I get a rush!  Can I seriously pay 50 to 75% less on my groceries and household items?

My first trip took me a good 3 hours to sift through my coupons, searching for deals.  My boys with me horsing around in the background, fellow shoppers passing me in the aisle, I must have looked like I was up to no good – Totally Unprepared.  But when it came to check out, I had to blink twice when I saw my first receipt!  Now, being a couple years into it, I have a healthy stockpile consisting of no more than 6 of the necessities at a time. I’ve learned quickly that our little 2-bedroom condo would not hold 80 rolls of paper towels!

That being said, my focus this Labor Day Weekend has been on cleaning and de-cluttering.  And though I might someday need 8 rolls of fly-trap paper in the future for whatever reason, I think it’s time to start making some donations!