Every time I return to NY after visiting my parents, I realize how much I miss my stuff while I’m gone. I guess it’s not my bed and books and photographs I miss, but my sense of self. I never felt free growing up to be who I was, or even to explore who I was. I’ve always lived by their definition of who I was, and it’s only been these past few years that I’ve lived in NY that I have felt like I’ve gained some independence. I know I am much too old to worry about the judgment of my parents, but I do. I won’t get the tattoo I want for fear of disownment, I still hide my Asian Erotica book and take down my photos when they come to visit. I endured endless mocking from my mom and sibling in the mall this past weekend because I was looking at purses, things with pink on them and shirts in colors and patterns other than black and flannel. Now I admit, I went through my various tomboy phases in high school. I spent the earlier parts of high school dressed like a burglar and the latter parts dressed like an extra in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The evolution to the purse carrying, skirt wearing, yet still anti-make-up wearing person I am now was a slow one, but I’m here and I’m ready to take on Sephora. They will never see the evolution, partly because they refuse to and partly because I hide pockets of my true self from them. I wish I didn’t fear the look of disappointment as much as I do.
I often wonder if I’m missing the “girly” gene. I can wield a paintbrush on canvas, yet when it comes to putting make-up on my face I always end up looking like Tammy Faye Baker. The two times I’ve attempted to use my kitchen for anything more complicated than a TV dinner, I have started a fire. I don’t get the overwhelming urge to host holidays. Love Story didn’t make me cry.
I wonder sometimes if I will be able to be a good wife or mother. My kids would beg to eat at “Johnny’s house” because his mom doesn’t set the smoke alarm off making a meal. Care packages to camp would never get mailed because the post office scares me. Thanksgiving will entail reservations at AppleBees. I wonder sometimes if being adopted somehow made me miss out on instinctual parenting skills. I am fascinated by reading “mommy blogs” these days. This time of year is hard in that regard for me, especially the days surrounding Mother’s Day. I’m drawn to reading about Mothers and their children and seeing how their stories play out and wondering how my own story would have played out. They told me I would get over it, but I haven’t and I know in my heart I never will.
A sense of “home” is a very foreign concept to me. It isn’t New York, it isn’t where my parents life, it isn’t where I spent my youth….none of those places give me the sense of comfort and acceptance I feel is the essence of what “home” is. I worry that if I can’t create it for my self, I won’t be able to create it for my own family. If only I could stitch one of those “Home is where you heart is” pillows, but alas my sewing skills are worse than my cooking skills and they usually involve massive blood loss.