A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.”Stephan A. Hoeller
As someone perpetually caught in a vortex of mixed races, cultures, and religions, there’s a lot about my past that I’m working to unpack and heal from. Writing has helped me to process some of the painful experiences I had growing up including forced religious conversions, sexism, racism, and gaslighting among others. My hope is that someone out there can gain something positive out of my story, even if that is just to know that you’re not alone in trying to take care of your mental health and move forward.
I’m incredibly humbled and excited to share that my first short story, Lechón, was published today in the The Margins, the digital magazine run by the Asian American Writer’s Workshop (AAWW)!
One of my poems was accepted by Ephemeral Elegies back in February and published yesterday!
As the eldest, I’ve tried to protect my younger brothers when we were growing up, but it was hard taking on adult responsibilities when I was just a child myself.
TW: Abuse, Premature Birth, Bullying, Violence
In free verse, I try to put to words reoccurring memories that have been in my dreams lately and a regret that life was not easier for my younger brother.
In American culture, I feel there’s more of an openness over the past decade to addressing mental health, but it’s still an ongoing struggle for it to be taken seriously in Asian cultures. In my case, being mixed and first generation, I tend to be ping-ponged between the two. In an effort to take some of the weight off my chest, I’m writing to share a bit about my background and struggles on this self-care journey. Hopefully, there’s someone out there can gain something positive out of my story, even if that is just to know that you’re not alone.
If split pinky toes are a common characteristic among other nations and races, then why do some Han Chinese feel strongly possessive about it?
There’s a mistaken belief that America remains the “gold mountain” it once was for many immigrants. Being the token American in the family, there’s this expectation that I would give back and possibly sponsor others to gain a foothold in this land of plenty. My lack of money/inability to fulfill dreams comes off as improbable and disrespectful when it’s a known fact that I’m given so many opportunities and freedoms others wish they had.
I have depression. It’s taken years of counseling and treatment to make it highly functioning, but it’s there nonetheless. It’s not something that I would ever talk about with my Chinese coworkers or even to a doctor in China. There’s a huge stigma against taking antidepressants here. I’ve heard that those who are able to…
“Ay, you! What province you from, again?” “Are you sure you’re American?” “But your face looks Chinese…eh, maybe you could be from Xinjiang, but no, not American.” These are the types of greetings I get every day in China from curious taxi-drivers, to cashiers, to grandmas who want to tell me that I should know…