Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Seoul Searching in the Mirror

This summer my sister came home for a visit from Seoul, Korea, where she has been living for the past three years. It was so very good to see her again. During her stay she helped me take care of my Self and simultaneously forget my Self. With her and my other younger sister, we automatically, and perhaps systematically, fell into group self-nurturing behaviors and traditions, essentially what you could call The Unwinding Process. Because we all get wound up from Life, right?! My sister gets wound up in her Korean life, assimilating amazingly into their culture, and she likes to come home and binge on her comforts for a short time in order to go be her bad ass Self once again for an extended time. She came home for a whole month this time. This time her visit, as usual, was essential and timely, a real gift. She also gave me another gift that, I think, of course, is a metaphor. 

The Unwinding Process traditionally consists of consumption, including but not limited to varying and mostly excessive amounts of alcohol, food stuff, and multimedia intake, balanced with bouts of emotional release, via tears and laughter. Why? Serotonin. But more importantly, oxytocin. The bonding hormone unites and only heavily bonded and blended sisters can understand how essential this mutual process of The Unwind is. Individual Unwind is essential as well, but group Unwind...that's where it's at. It's mutual, a symbiosis. It's a take-a-load-off-Fanny, kind of necessary weighted shit. And, so, the Unwind began. The Twizzlers were bought. The boxed wine was drank, the movies were watched. Take out and take in; The Gilmore Girls and The Golden Girls. The nights were late and the days were sleepy; a haze settled. We had some healing times together; we had missed the rhythm of our mutual coping mechanisms and the comfort of each other's presence. The progeny patchwork quilt all blanketed back together. All together; three sisters. It completes the girl circuit. In a world full of every kind of girl but me, my sisters are the closest thing to me that there is, and the feeling is mutual. Nobody gets you like your See-Star! Together we are the feminine whole of our family's genes, the closest thing to ourselves out there, DNA-wise. There is strength in that, a bond like no other, unstoppable love and acceptance. 

Within the comfort of our sisterly union, there is also a tremendous chance for reflection, which is a blessing. A lot of families don't have siblings that get along as well as we do, and believe me, it hasn't been easy, but sibling love is more solid than rivalry. We are each so different and complete, our own distinct note alone...but we blend into one stellar organic triad when we play together. Connections like that are what life is all about...harmonizing. Resonating and harmonizing. 

My sister is what I would consider a feminist. She has, what I tell her, ovaries of solid rock. You would have to, wouldn't you? To move to the other end of the Earth from your family, to live in one of the largest cities in the world by herself, as a woman, to have done all of the world traveling she has done and to have received all of the accolades and achievements in academia that she has is truly impressive. She is one of the most applied and driven women I know. It takes balls...it takes something bigger than balls. Drive. My sister is in gear most of the time. But on the opposite side of the world from her Drive lies Neutral. You want to keep it in drive if you ever want to make it where you intend to go, but you also need to savor the stops; it's okay to sit still and take some time to get your bearings before you drive on. We taught each other a beautiful lesson. The Unwind is essential for The Gear Up. 

I reminded my sister that she can be gentle with herself and cherish neutral stops, and she reminded me that I can be driven, and courageous. My sister gave me a gift, a small mirror...made in Korea, of course. Isn't that a beautiful metaphor? Just when I needed it, my sister showed me another one of my faces, one from the other side of my world. I am in a stage of great neutral motion, I feel I am going farther inward than ahead, but I am also driven. In my own way, I am also a feminist. 

It was incredibly hard this time to let her go; another year will go by before we will see her again. It was a tearful farewell, we didn't want to let go or say goodbye. The truth is, my sister and I have codependent parts that tend to each other. I'm the 12 year old that cares for her and lets her be her zany self, slopping up my house as much as necessary to get to that state of comfort and care; she is the 6 year old joker, hiding under my bed, luring me out of my depression with her nonsense and goofing, reminding me of my responsibility and influence. These parts grew to be this way out of necessity, and these parts still miss each other desperately. However dysfunctional or trapped in the past these pieces are, they are a part of us. The truth is, though, that so are the feminist parts, the driven parts, the achievers in us. We are mighty achievers, we just need some recovery time. Your manager parts can do bad ass things if you don't forget to occasionally spend some time with the exiles. 

A sister is a mirror, and in her resides a reflection of our exiled inner child. Our parts find comfort in their self-nurturing rituals together. We also see our True Selves and our full potentials in the other's eyes through the malaise. I am grateful for the mirrors I have been given. I look to them when I have forgotten who I really am. Thank you for the mirror, Sister. Drive on. 

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