Hello! A warm welcome to Mi Ae Story, a memoir blog more than 50 years in the making.
My name is Mi Ae Lipe, and I was born in South Korea, adopted by brilliant American parents as an infant, and raised to be a childhood art prodigy in the San Francisco Bay Area. That’s where my story begins, and what a strange, traumatic, and wondrous story it is—a testament to the human experience in all its cruelty, resilience, and hope.
Why am I creating this memoir? First, I’d like to write it down before I forget too many more details. Second, it’s a journey for me as much as for you—I have no idea where it’ll end up, but I do know its travels will be quite remarkable.
And third, although my story is uniquely my own, the experiences of my family are all ours to know. Chances are you’ll recognize many bits of what I relate and explore. In sharing my story, I hope that it offers glimpses into what it means to not just survive but to emerge with grace and compassion, scars and all, and that we are not alone in our reluctant reconciliations with family and ourselves.
Finally, this blog’s not all heavy stuff. Although much of it will be my memoirs of childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, it’s also a place to share lots of fun things—my poems, artwork, observations about the odd and esoteric, random thoughts on modern life, and morsels of pure silliness.
A few administrative bits:
- Feel free to subscribe if you want to be notified when I put up new posts.
- I encourage you to comment on the posts if you’d like; it gives others the courage to do the same. If your message is truly personal or you don’t want the rest of the world to see it, you can contact me privately.
- Lively debate and an exchange of ideas are always welcome, but trolling or obviously mean-spirited comments are never allowed and will be taken down promptly. Please be respectful.
- Some posts will tackle difficult subjects, like abuse, violence, and mental illness. Such posts will have a content warning at the top.
- If you want to suggest a topic for a post, please contact me. I’d really love to hear from you.
Thank you for coming on this journey—I’m so glad to have you along.
PS: In case you’re wondering where the title of this memoir comes from, hedgehogs were common in my childhood drawings, one of many in a cast of critters ranging from frogs to shrews. As for hope—well, who couldn’t use that these days? Including hedgehogs…
Feature photo: Anna Crowley Photography
Greater Kudu, by Mi Ae Lipe
Hedgehogs, by Mi Ae Lipe