I Am No Hippie

He has a very intense job where he controls the power center for all telecommunication networks for a big name company. He also has his own business that he’s been building up for the past 4 years. This is his second business after his first attempt that left him with no money but a lot of lessons to apply for his current company. He once drove Porsche. Then Audi. Now he just drives his black Volkswagen casually and he’s a happy driver. He used to go to Versace every weekend for a nice suit, and some sexy outfits for his nights at the clubs. But today, he’s happy to wear his polo shirt with faded blue jeans. Between highly demanding work and his somewhat obsessive mountain biking, he barely has time for anything else. But somehow he makes time for me; And I don’t know what to make of our time together.

There was no mention of love, of course. We have only began seeing each other. We were supposed to be mountain bike buddies, but I know I am more than just a friend to him, and he is more than just a friend to me. I have very deep feelings for him.

When did this happen?

Maybe it was when we found out that we are both Catholics. Maybe it was when he told me that he went to the mass on the second or the third Sunday since we met. He told me that he is a Catholic, but ‘not really’. I can never fully understand what that ‘not really’ means when people say that, but I figured, it probably means that he grew up as a Catholic but currently not attending the mass. So when he told me that he went to the mass with his sister one Sunday, I was surprised. Then I was surprised even more when he went back to the mass the following Sunday. And you can imagine my shock when he told me that he was going to the mass on Wednesday night for special mass celebrating the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary. I think my fate was sealed on that Wednesday.

You can’t control your heart like you control your power system. You can’t control your heart like you control your network server. The waves of feelings and emotions arise and flow through your heart. Heart has a mind of its own.

Hungry for kindness and peace, lost in the chaotic world of fear, I was always seeking and searching for meanings. I have married young, and then led a somewhat long married life-by the modern standard, I think almost 8 years was a pretty long one-, I went through a painful divorce, and many episodes of both ends of bipolar spectrum. I changed country of residence, I changed my circles of friends many times, I changed the continents, and I changed my jobs several times. The only thing I didn’t change was my status as a solo, and my sex as a female. As a matter of fact, throughout those confused years, I was learning to appreciate my femininity inside and out.

The problem with me was that I felt too much like a kid inside. In my heart lived a very young soul, a very little child with a world view as naive as a child born just the day before. I didn’t understand many things, and I did not know how to go get what I needed. I was afraid of many things, especially, the invisible things that surround me directly; the energy, the vibe, the emotions, and the tension. They were all around me, and all around them, but people went about their business and daily lives as if they don’t exist. It was well into my late 20’s that I finally understood that not many people feel, or see things that I see.

I finally learned to see the truth, and to discern what feared me, but by that point, I was already an adult. On the inside, I never grew up, but on the outside, I was already almost 30, and the society was expecting certain aspects from me: A nice professional job, or a happily married life with a loving husband and a sweet child. A monthly mortgage payment for a good sized house in the suburb, or a modern high rise apartment in a busy, upbeat city. Clubbing on some nights with single friends, or a weekend trip with a husband for some romantic getaway. But I had nothing like those going for me. My life was a whole lot of solitude, loneliness, and my solo fight against the bipolar disorder.

Until I found my refuge in God, I always, always wished that I were a boy. I wished that I were a boy that my parents always dreamed of but never got to have. I always wished that I came out of mom’s womb as their long-sought-after son to carry on my father’s family name. I wanted to be the beacon of hope and security for my parents in their old age. But none of that happened. Instead, I was a girl unmistakably, a typical asian girl with black hair, black eyes, and a little nose, and a big cry.

But now, the more I learn to see myself as God sees me, the more excited and hopeful I get as I wait for the providence of God making me a female. He had obvious reasons when He willed me to be born a girl, in the far away country named Korea,ย The Land of the Morning Calm. Looking at my crazy history, I am nothing but the embodiment of the calm. I am the embodiment of the destruction. But I have a feeling that God is planning to restore the calm in my turbulent heart and mind. The restoration process has been well on the way, and I have no doubt he will complete the plan according to His design. He’a master builder.

Learning to embrace myself today as the way I have become despite the social standards and the expectations of the society is not easy. I have to put my hard effort into it, and wear a very thick skin most days.

He told me that he thinks I am like a hippie. That surprised me because I never thought of myself that way. Some of my close friends and spiritual directors have called me an enigma, or an elusive butterfly because I come and go as I will swiftly and unexpectedly. I even surprise myself with my unexpected behaviors. But hippie? Me?

It was a couple of weeks later that I have understood where his hippie notion was coming from.

It’s because I don’t follow rules.

It’s because I have no home.

It’s because I move around a lot, and I am not attached.

It’s because I have a very casual temporary job and a very indefinable business out in the countryside.

It’s because I defy to the best of my ability to be who I am, not what the society expects me to be.

It’s because I am not afraid of being who I am deep inside.

For now, he may call me hippie for the lack of word,

but soon enough he will come to realize that I am no hippie.

I am just a child of God who is no more afraid of being who I truly am according to His design.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. reinkat says:

    Great post, lots of insight.
    As for being a hippie, well, there are worse things. I have come to admire my hippie brothers and sisters, the Buddhist ones, the new age ones, and the pagan ones. They are countercultural, as are we, and many of our ideals are the same as far as peace&justice go. They really strive to live those ideals, of treating each individual as as a person of worth and dignity, with loving kindness and acceptance. It may not be an exact parallel of core beliefs, but the acting out of them looks similar. Perhaps your friend is merely recognizing these qualities in you, based on your Catholicism, and identifying them according to what he himself is most familiar with.

    1. lilyboat says:

      I think you are right.. loving kindness is the key I think when it comes to the hippie culture. Though I do not agree with everything that are associated with hippies, I do see many good qualities that we can all adopt!

  2. An absolutely beautiful testimony of faith. It makes me wonder – have you read Thomas Merton?

    1. lilyboat says:

      Oh Yes, I have read Thomas Merton and I am a huge fan of his works.. They transformed me, and led me to the path of Catholicism.. He was one of my crucial mentor! I am wondering now, why you have asked me if I read his works?? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. You have never written with such a sense of peace as in this post. I’m happy for you. As for the word “hippie”, maybe he really thinks you’re an enigma, like you said, but couldn’t find the words. Funny, from following your blog, I’ve come to think of you as an enigma.

    1. lilyboat says:

      This surprised me.. I did not realize that I was writing from such a peaceful place.. but I guess I was!! Thank you for helping me realize that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great vacation Terry!

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