once when i was five, living in korea, i had a small argument with a friend. i distinctly recall talking about what we wanted to be when we grew up. naturally i said, “artist”. or did i say, “a fly”? oh, right; that was another story. sorry; childhood memories… they’re a like an acid trip, am i right?
anyway, we were talking about what good career options there were out there (yes, we were.) and someone brought up the idea of becoming president one day. being that we were both girls, my friend laughed and said that there are no female presidents and there couldn’t ever be one. though at an early age, i believed there were definitely differences among men and women, career options didn’t seem to be one of them. i emphatically disagreed and turned to my mom to seek support for my noble protest. she smiled to herself and nodded, partly proud of my audacity and partly amused by my naivete, no doubt. afterall, it WAS korea. and… that’s all i’m going to say about that part.
fast forward to college and actually pursuing a career. i learned quickly that i should be thankful that my zen master father and buddhist mother never tried to impose any popular ideals of success or purpose on me. becoming an artist was never a question. it was what i was meant to be and that was that. and come to think of it, whatever i wanted to be or do, aside from a murderer or a missionary, was completely fine to them (uh, and let’s keep the worms inside that can for now, yes?). needless to say, i’d been brought up in a super bubble: one of freedom from the pressures of status, one detached from the discrimination and restrictions, which, for much of the world, is the human condition, and one in which creativity and dreaming was encouraged and celebrated.
ew, is that enough hippy-dippy nonsense for you?
anyway, korea has a female president. i could indulge the sappy gods of obvious commentary by writing about the country’s progress, open-mindedness, and hope for the future, but i’m not gonna. i don’t know much about this broad. i plan to find out, but for now, we’ll see how things go.
what i know is that there were probably many little girls about 30 years ago in korea who were told they couldn’t do this or couldn’t do that who decided to gnaw on the bars anyway, and either bleed to death or finally break free. thank God for those little girls and i wonder sometimes, if i’d stayed in korea, would i have been one of them? my surroundings here in the states and the convictions of my parents were what primarily influenced my determination and decisions… or were they? who knows.
whether girls or boys, men or women, white or yellow, poor or rich, i’m always for pushing boundaries and seeing what happens.