What I Am Is Tired of You Asking What I Am

Mixed American Life

Once at work I was approached by a couple of older white men. I greeted them with the usual “Hello, how can I help you?” to which one of them paused before asking, “Where are you from?”

Tight-lipped but cheerily I answered, “I live in Sunnyvale not too far away from here.” The two men looked at each other and the bald one tried again, “But where are you really from?” to which I answered with “Well, I was born and raised in San Jose but I moved here for middle school. Now what can I get you today?” They were persistent and kept at it: “But what are you?” and so on as I smiled my customer service smile and completed their order so I could get to the next customer.

These experiences are not limited to strangers, but also by young children I come across, classmates, and coworkers…

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My wordpress turned two this week, incredibly.

It’s been a very rich year, albeit inconsistent in terms of my writing and posting. I wrote only 12 posts between today and my last anniversary post.

However, in light of the very dramatic events of 2013 and my transition period into 2014, I acknowledge how emotionally packed some of my posts were. I want to say that I have been growing as a writer, but to be honest I can’t tell. I am often told that the more I tap into the intense emotions I experience (“You sound so…angry! I love it!” is a comment on my writing I will never forget from a former friend), the better the results. And so I have been trying to do just that, trying to capture feelings of guilt, the rush of adrenaline in the midst of disorder, confusion, self-love, and hope.

This time around it seemed like I was doing less observing and elucidating on some flash of realization I had while walking to class, but rather being completely immersed in the events that were happening around me and reflecting every so often in my progress of rebuilding my life. With life being much harsher to deal with upon leaving the nest (toxic as it was), more unpredictable, and being forced to think critically I think my ideas are becoming more concrete and less abstract, more genuine and less melodramatic, and generally more focused.

That’s a really long way of saying I’ve been somewhat lax about exercising my writing ability if I can even call it that at this point. It’s another way of saying I’ve been too caught up in the whirlwind of all the terrifying and painful and exciting things that have been happening to read, to broaden my intellectual scope, or to pause and have my quiet time. Alone time has been something I have deprived myself of most notably this past summer and fall because, I think, I was so frightened of being alone when I was living someplace other than what used to be home. I wrote those 12 posts in 4 different houses and as kind and welcoming and accommodating my benefactors were I never felt I belonged and I felt unsure about myself all around.

I’m resolving to do better and be attentive to my streams of thinking. I feel like I am coming closer and closer to a feeling of security balanced out with my drive to push for self-improvement in multiple areas. With this comes more confidence in my grasp of the complexities of my personal growth and all the forces that influence it.

Four of my personal favorite posts of this March 2013-March 2014 period in terms of how emotionally invested I am in them, as opposed to general objective quality, are the following:

I cannot stress enough how much every comment on my posts, private or otherwise, means the world to me. This blog is a means of personal expression but it also very much a means of connecting with others. I have reconnected with a lovely handful of old high school friends because something I wrote rang true to them as well, and I have forged new connections with people I would have never thought I could relate to because something I wrote moved them in some way. These are the kinds of things I live for, and it’s a major part of why I love doing it.