I feel like I’ve written this blog post before. If I have, I apologize… or perhaps it’s a recurring circumstance in which I cannot escape.
I’ve lived in Orlando for 15 years, born and raised in Seattle. A long way from home. What brought me here? Well, I usually give 1 of 2 answers: To most, I give the generic “we had an awesome Disney World vacation and decided to stay” and for the chosen few (and you, my dear readers) I explain how I was a young mom who married her drug-dealing, illegal-alien, teenage-crush and needed a fresh new start. In a nutshell.
Both stories are versions of the truth. The fact that I’ve moved across the county, away from family, a full support system, and stable life has defined me in ways I’d never dreamed of as an antsy teenager. Never mind the daddy issues. I will never deny that I am ‘one of them’. But, there’s something to be said of the 15 years I’ve worked, sweated, strained, cried, and fought to get to where I am – a normal suburban mom.
Whenever, I visit home – Every time I visit Seattle. I can’t escape my typecast: The Black Sheep
I try to see my family once a year, at first, it was OK. I gave into my label. I knew I made mistakes and work had to be done. Of course, I was in my early twenties, so I was also very naive and yielding.
As years passed, I made steps in my career, got married, bought and built a stable home. And today, 15 years later, my visit is still plagued with comments such as “your sister tells her sons not to end up like you” and “you’ve made so many bad choices, it’s impressive your boys are so good.” To all of these remarks, I smile and nod. I politely agree, “yes I don’t want them to end up like me.” Because, of course, that is how a good Asian daughter responds, right?
But, I just want to be normal – like I feel when I’m home – in Orlando. I want my parents to hug and smile at me the way they do my sisters. I don’t want them to have to question my decisions. I want so badly for them to trust that I’m normal. Despite the hard work, I’m here… Now. I’m a normal suburban chic. Just like my sisters. Just like they intended to raise me.