As the story has it, one day I headed to the opposite side of the globe – the Flipside. I arrived in Korea on February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d do a year, then leave. I went from being some random foreign girl to taking on labels I never imagined – university professor, film extra, professional boxer, reality TV star, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company (Flipside Fitness), CEO of my own boxing club (Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing), and now I'm launching my 3rd business -- Empowered Clubhouse.

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I then picked up one day and returned to Toronto, Canada. But then I left again. This time it was for the Philippines. That's where I am now, living in the land of the happy people. The struggles are real and the struggles are many but I'm living life on my terms, I'm calling the shots, and I'm doing what I love. Life is an amazing adventure and this is my story of yesterday.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Keepsake of My Mom... Tuesday, December 20

I was always believed to be my father's princess and always considered him to be more of a fan of mine than my mom.  But when my mom passed away and I was going through her stuff, cleaning out her closet and whatnot, I found out that perhaps I was wrong.  

My mom was such a fan of mine, she just didn't show it or voice it like my father.

I had created this homepage for my family but a year into my father noted to me that he felt weird reading it and so he had stopped.  I don't even think he realizes it's still up and running.  But my mom, I knew she read it but I thought it was every once in a blue moon.  When I cleaned out her closet of the boxes of stuff, in one box I found a massive binder and it's pages were printouts of my homepage entries.  She had printed out every single day.  She had even gone so far as to double print some pages, cut them up and post them on the cork board on the back of her door, like a list I once wrote of stuff I missed in Canada.  

I had asked my dad tonight if I could go through my mom's jewelry.  I wanted to take back home with me a necklace of my mom's.  Just recently the necklace a couple of my boxers in Korea had given me got all tangled and I took it off.  The chain has three knots in it I can't seem to get out but I refuse to buy another necklace.  I haven't bought a necklace for myself since my mom said a necklace is something you should only wear if someone else buys it for you because it lays by your heart.  "Something worn close to your heart should be from someone who lives in your heart".  Before the necklace my boxers in Korea had given me, I used to wear a pair of silver boxing gloves that a friend of mine had made and given to me when I first started on Hulk's.  That necklace broke and my other one is tangled; I wanted a new necklace.

Tonight I found a necklace in my mom's dresser.

It was a necklace I had given her when I first moved to Korea.  I had returned to visit and given it to her.  It was a silver chain with something written in Korean on it.  My mom asked her what it meant and I told her it was something that meant strong but I didn't go into the details of it.  

This past week someone at my gym said "sometimes you're a bit too much... surely for Korea".  I didn't know if it was a compliment but I definitely took it as an insult and snapped back "I rather be too much than too little".  The person who had said it to me was a Korean -- born and raised in Korea but now living in Canada.  If anyone else had said that particular comment to me I wouldn't have snapped back but knowing that he's Korean to the core was the trigger point.  

No, I'm not too much but yes I am too much for Korea.

I'm happily too much for Korea because Korea was too little for me.  It was too much for me in that I couldn't grow there any more.  I had reached my potential and it was almost as if me, standing at 5ft 2", was hitting my head and busting at the seems in the box that Korea tried so earnestly to continually jam me into.  Korea's restrictions were too much for me but it's allowance and room for me to grow was too little.  Definitely too little.

Yes, I am too much but I was raised by a strong woman and she raised me to be a strong woman.  I may be too much for Korea and too much for others but for my mother I wasn't enough.  She wanted me to grow even bigger than I was and I felt that the day I opened up that box and saw all my homepage entries printed out.

Tonight I felt it again. 

Tonight I felt just how big of a supporter she was of me. 

My mom has a lot of jewelry.  She has a lot of necklaces that she's been given and even ones that she too has bought -- just costume jewelry that she picked up here and there for random outfits she felt she wanted something more elaborate than a keepsake necklace. I looked through her necklaces tonight and there, among all her necklaces was the silver Korean necklace I had got custom made for her so long ago.  She was one of the few that didn't call me crazy for just picking up and moving to Korea but I had always questioned whether or not she still supported me being there after staying for so long.  Every year she asked me if I was coming "home" but I didn't know what home was to me anymore so I surely didn't know if that was Korea or Canada.  

I honestly didn't think she had kept that necklace.

My mom was a strong woman and that word that was written in Korean on that necklace meant strong to me.  I never did get to tell my mom what that word really meant though but tonight I decided to take that necklace and put it around my neck. The word on it is my mom's name in Korean.

1 comment:

Jacky said...

love this. I wish I could give you a big hug!!! I miss you.