Ajumma Spotlight: Meet Kyung
Updated: Jan 22, 2019
Ajumma EXP is excited to launch a new series spotlighting Ajummas who enlighten and inspire us through their bad-assery. This week, meet Kyung - she's a mother and wife, an attorney, and yoga instructor who prides herself in rocking the squat. In addition to making a stiff bourbon drink, she also makes kimchi from scratch. 아싸!
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea and moved to San Diego in 1999. I am mother, a practicing attorney, and a yoga instructor. My husband, Jon, is Chilean-Korean-American (his first language is Spanish) while our 18-year-old son, Sean, is a native Californian. With our two dogs, Stimpy and Chavo, our family is diverse and dynamic. We live each day to its fullest, and I strive to show up each and every moment.
What does being an Ajumma mean to you?
Being an Ajumma means being tenacious and never giving up on life. Looking back, I think I used my inner Ajumma strength - during my years as a single mother. My mother tells me I was so resilient as a skinny, 25-year-old single mom with a baby in one arm and a stroller in the other, hopping on and off buses to get to the doctor three times a week because of my son’s medical condition. Funny, I don’t ever remember feeling “this is so hard,” but I do remember thinking that no matter how hard life becomes, giving up was not an option for this Ajumma!
Ajummas are known to have super-human strength and abilities. What is your Ajumma power?
My power lies within the wisdom that comes with becoming an Ajumma. I am able to now let go of certain things— how I look, how others perceive me, for example. I recognize the real priorities that make me truly happy. Happy Ajumma = happy family = happy community. Indeed, when Ajummas are unhappy, the world suffers.
What is one of the biggest challenges you've overcome?
Finding a sense of belonging. This has been a constant struggle since when I was little. After I moved to the US, being a fresh-off-the-boat immigrant, a young Ajumma learning a new language, a mother of a child with special needs, an older law school student, and now an attorney with a Korean accent, I always felt different. I often asked myself, “Do I belong here?” and then I realized that all these factors are connectors, not barriers, to people and communities. I also realized my sense of belonging can only be cultivated when I accept myself as who I am and who I am not.
Please share some sage Ajumma advice
Never go to bed hungry. For me, it equates to never going to bed unhappy. Also, do something big or small that makes you happy before wrapping up your day. (This is illustrated in the next answer)
Finally, what is your guilty pleasure?
Having two white fudge covered Oreo cookies right before going to bed. White fudge Oreos are seasonal so I only get to enjoy them during the holiday season. When they are available, I stock up and keep one box on my side of the bed. While I don’t feel guilty for eating these cookies (because they’re so darn good), I am guilty of sometimes eating these cookies after brushing my teeth for bed. But can you imagine falling asleep while still enjoying the lingering flavor of white fudge and Oreos in your mouth? I know, it is so awesome.
If you’d like to contact Kyung, you can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org