YK’s 365 Release: Day 47

About 10 years ago friends used to say they believed I was a CIA agent. They said I was so mysterious, that no one ever met my family, that I lived all over the place.

It was in half-jocundity, but not really. These were close friends who said this. One friend would point and say, “HA!” because I used to put my lips into the collar of my shirt out of habit. He said, “See? You’re talking to them right now.”

At first this was funny. When I contemplated it further, I realized it was because I was so private, so elusive, so aloof.

Korea broke me, shut me down, spit me out (see Days 9 and 25). It hardened me emotionally and physically. Also, there was not even a word for “gay” in Korea, so I had to push that down and camouflage that part of me for a very long time.

All of this created a fortress around me. I became a professional protector of myself. No one really knew me well during these times, it took a long time for my partners to enter into my domain, let alone my friends.

Since I’ve been in Brooklyn, I have had a friend who, since the first day I met her, shared her poignant and profound life story. She told me about how she had survived some of the most somber tribulations I have ever heard. We became friends instantaneously over cigarettes, sitting outside on a bench, she sharing stories, I, listening. She talks through her thoughts, and I am one of the people she calls almost daily to do so to this day.

I truly appreciate this friend. She taught me about trust. Her openness showed me how much she trusted me. She entrusted me with her most intimate ponderings, and I listened. I learned when someone trusts you, you want to trust them too, and I started sharing my thoughts and emotions with her too.

She taught me that it’s okay to ask for help sometimes. Growing up, my mother instilled in us that we should never owe anyone anything so we should never ask for favors or help. I had to unlearn part of this, because I learned being able to ask for support is also letting someone you know you care about them.
Trust is a peculiar thing. I would not be able to describe it, yet I know when it is present and when it is not. I know what it feels like to trust people. It used to be scary, the thought of letting people in. But now I don’t even think about it like that. It’s not about letting people in, it’s about loving them. It’s about them loving you.

Now I have a whole community of friends who truly know me. This is part of the reason I have fallen in love with Brooklyn.

This friend, along with my mindfulness practice, are why I am where I am today. With an open heart.

So I am no longer a supposed CIA agent, running a furtive personal double life. I am exactly who you see, raw, unedited, uncensored. There are of course parts of my life that are private and personal (see Day 40), parts that are reserved for a partner, parts that are for friends in closer proximity, but nothing is ever hidden. Everything is always there for those who look and listen.

Today, on Day 47 of my 365 Release, I’m giving away a tool of magnification, binoculars. I held onto them because they are one of those random tools of fascination. And the fact is, I have two pairs so I really only need one for my covert secret missions. May we always examine life closely, may we always be willing and open to connecting with others, and may we not only give love, but be open to receiving it as well.


[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.]

One response to “YK’s 365 Release: Day 47”

  1. […] Day 47 (10/24/10): binoculars [pragmatism] […]

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