German Born Taiwanese American

What? Yes, I was born in Germany, but am Taiwanese, and I consider myself Taiwanese American since I’ve been in America for 20 years.

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My best friend next to me and some who knows who the creep that is boy next to me in kindergarten. Hamburg, Germany.

Since we are all talking about race here…I didn’t know I was that different until I came to America. I got made fun of for being “FOB- fresh off the boat” by Asian Americans and some whites. I was a little confused because I thought the term was used for Asians born in Asian countries, but I guess it didn’t really matter. Alas, now the term is a TV show, thanks to the Great America, wrought with “racial freedom”.

Anyhow, when I realized I was different….you see in Taiwan, I fit right in because we were young…and in Germany too, when you are young you don’t see people through racial differences, you see them as playmates, people. 

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Me being solemn in the back. Yes, I’m holding a rose. Taipei, Taiwan.

I started listening to music that talked about degrading women instead of the love songs of Japanese and Taiwanese culture….so like instead of “I love who you are” to “put it up her ass” kind of songs. So there you go, the transition.

I was confused.

I started rejecting a part of myself and assimilated quickly. 

All my best friends were Asian American, but deep down, I was an alien that somehow adopted the idea of being AA. Because I didn’t feel like them. I didn’t care about getting into a good college as much as they did, I was glad I didn’t go to after school, I didn’t want to settle down and live in the same city….I’m not saying all of them cared about the same things, but their parents sure did. 

My mom wanted a good future for me, but I think deep down she knew she was different too. So we moved after I graduated and I went to a fashion school.

Recently, I started realizing all the books I’m reading are by white people, mainly white women since I’m reading self help books. Also the TV shows, the films I watch have mainly white people as protagonists. I got really sick of it and started searching out foreign films. Yesterday I watched a Cantonese film, my heart felt a little warmer. 

You see, the guys I dated were white or mexican, mixed, or white, or ethnically mixed….confused too ethnically. Like me. With Asian Americans I felt different, in Taiwan, I was Americanized, too blunt, I felt comfy with Germans, Europeans, but still I was facially Asian. My ex used to make fun of me for saying a word wrong. But now, I don’t know anyone around me who writes as much as I do.

No one understands the feeling of having hot pot after months of European food like I do. It is pure bliss. My friends and I bring shin ramen on our backpacking trips. I searched out Asian restaurants in Paris. That’s how much my heart longs for Asian food. My blood consists of hot soup.

There is nothing wrong with trying to accommodate for the changes in your life ….but to neglect and ignore, and to push down a part of you means scarring your heart. 

I value family, I value honor and respect. But only to an extent….because what I learned from America is that you must love yourself too, not sacrifice your heart to serve everyone else (more Asian….the concept of Sacrifice). 

So I suppose I am one of a kind. And I don’t need to become more white, in fact, I’d like to stay the way I am, and own the FOB parts of me.

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Another Germany picture.

Stop Putting Millenials In A Box

We are not all hipsters who live in San Jose or have trust funds.

Of course, I hope people don’t think that. But I also feel like millenials are really misunderstood. First off, we are people, individuals with different backgrounds, families and upbringings, obviously.

I am a first generation immigrant who was born in Germany, lived in Taiwan for 4 years, then moved to LA. My parents divorced when I was 8. I grew up seeing financial hard times. Stress, lots of yelling, objects being thrown. I heard, even a knife one time. Financial aid helped me get through school and different things. I worked 40 hours a week one semester to pay for tuition. I became an entrepreneur in 3rd grade because I didn’t want my family to struggle. I basically grew up since 8 years old, making my own money. I actually didn’t know how to ask for help because I thought it was normal to be independent. Later I learned that it was okay to ask for help or to simply be someone’s child.

I didn’t have a relationship trajectory, I had lists, but I didn’t know my worth enough. I got into a long term relationship, I broke it off. It is taking years to heal. I quit my job and saw serious struggle. I remember not having money to buy toilet paper and I used cotton balls, my roommate used Trader Joe’s paper bag, thanks Trader Joe’s. During this time, God broke off any ideas of identity coming from achievement or works.

Identity, He says, comes from knowing you are my child. 

My business took a down turn, I took several turns, I found myself, what I really wanted. I gave everything up, I started over, I lost everything, I restored my relationship with my mom and dad. I dropped everything. Though sometimes I can hardly breathe thinking about everything I’ve been through in just the 28 years of my life, I thank God that I survived and found my authentic self.

So please, do not put us in a box. I have friends that in the last 5 years have struggled through immense pain, cancer, spiritual growth, finding their purpose beyond “just working and being a robot”, wanting to start a cafe but having both parents talk shit to her and discourage her, saying things like “how are you going to make money”.

And yes, even millenials with trust funds have parents that use money to control them. So no, I don’t think there is one life that is better or more privileged than the next. Everyone has shit going on in their lives. Everyone is looking for purpose. 

I’ve seen almost 5 people who are millenials go through difficult, heart wrenching divorces.

You can minimize pain, say that 1/4 of our nation is spoiled and don’t know what our lives are about, but please, try to get to know us. Yes, maybe the media has shown otherwise, but remember they are celebrities, but even celebrities are human beings, not a grouping of people, they’re people.

Here’s an advice, try to actually hear our stories, get to know us as individuals. 

Don’t try to separate us from the rest of humanity.