YK’s 365 Release: Day 39

Holidays have always been a strange time for me. As a young child, my immigrant parents tried to offer us what they thought was the ideal of each holiday in the States. As a teenager all of the holidays were different while I lived in Korea. In college, I was the student that had nowhere to go because my family lived abroad. I would often find myself going home with friends to spend the holidays with their families, as an honorary guest. This was always a bit awkward in my collegiate days; I was the rebel with bleach blonde spiky hair who was always fighting the world.

(costumes hand made by mom)

My sisters and I have never lived in the same city after Korea, so we were always separate during the holidays.

My family never really celebrated U.S. holidays with rigor in the first place so the history behind the traditions themselves never carried any significance for me. If anything, as a political being, I note that most of the holidays here are entrenched in oppression. For me it was the fact that stores and restaurants closed, all of my friends left to be with their families and I was reminded that I was different and alone.

So I found myself painting a lot on holidays. I created my own tradition of basking in the quietude that remains when everyone leaves. I grew to love it and looked forward to it.

And as I grow older, I notice there are more like me, holiday stragglers. There are particularly many of us in communities that are non-traditional, and politically the major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, are not usually aligned with my communities in the first place. So from time to time, I find myself invited to the holiday gatherings of those of us who are different. I still paint on those days, but also appreciate my community. So after painting, I join my found family.

One day, I’d like to offer the stragglers a holiday feast at my home. But I think I would need help. And I think I would make Korean food, because that is what I make for those I love (see yesterday‘s entry). And I have to say I don’t like preparing birds.

When you find a home you love, you want to share it with people. My home is now in Brooklyn. I love Brooklyn, it is the longest I have lived anywhere outside of Korea. I have created and found a community that is so incredible and vast I cannot even articulate here its significance in my life. I have an entire community behind me, supporting me, loving me, looking out for me, defending me, protecting me. When I have been in difficult and dark times, an army of people have come to scoop me up and nurture me, to advise me and eliminate the negatives. I have a whole found family here, in addition to my blood family around the world, and I never feel like I’m wandering alone.

I love my home, I love my neighborhood, my neighbors. I love the businesses, the restaurants, cafés, lounges, parks, events, culture, everything. Brooklyn has my heart.

Today on day 39 of my 365 Release, to two friends who also love Brooklyn, I will be releasing two subscriptions to New York Magazine and TimeOut New York. They are friends with whom I have experienced different parts and aspects of Brooklyn. They have become part of my community, have made Brooklyn their home and love this place as much as I do. As a renewal incentive for these magazines I am able to give a free year subscription to a friend for each. So this is what I am giving away today to my found family.


[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]

3 responses to “YK’s 365 Release: Day 39”

  1. julia says:

    Hey YK!

    Thank you for sharing your reflections – it resonated with me! Also, wow – what an inspirational thing you’re doing re: 365 days. It definitely has given me a lot of food for thought.

    Julia 🙂 xoxoxoxo

  2. […] Day 39 (10/16/10): NY Magazine and TimeOut NY magazine subscriptions […]

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