Two weeks ago we were eating dinner at Lil’ Baci and they played “The Low End Theory” album by A Tribe Called Quest from start to end. Delicious Italian food and awesome throwback jams = a great night for me. Plus, Brian got to see me rap, so I’m sure he had a fantastic time as well.
The number one thing I tried to be as a kid was anything but my mom. I love my mom, and I am grateful that she is in my life, but we are very different people. I forget where I got the epiphany that thinking in another language completely changes your mindset, but for me, thinking in English did not translate well to understanding my mother’s Chinese thinking, and it really set up a barrier between the two of us while I grew up. There was also that pesky puberty thing for me (According to my dad I was an incredibly sullen teen), but let’s just say for the sake of expediency that the language thing was the root cause of our disagreements. She also had an incredibly shitty childhood, while I was fortunate enough to enjoy the spoils of a first world life, so you would have thought our paths would be vastly different. Nonetheless, Tribe was right: things go in cycles, and I’m embarking on the same excursion my mother also took in her mid-life.
My mother started her own business when she was in her forties. She worked hard every day of her life, and still managed to come home and take care of her ungrateful family. My dad, my brother, and myself are very sarcastic people, and it did not bode well for my mother to have three people constantly gang up on her. But she persevered and now, retired, is a whole other thorn in my side (thanks for all the soup).
Now, here I am, still unbearably sarcastic, and trying to prove myself the same way my mother did. I can’t say I know exactly what she was thinking, or that we even have the same intentions, but looking back at what she did, I am humbled by the amount of courage she possessed to take the leap, and I hope that I can be just as brave.
Luckily, my parents gave me a fighting chance. Instead of having a father that put their kid to work because he kept gambling away all of their money, my parents made damned sure I had a wealth of opportunities to experience different things and broaden my horizons. Most importantly, they provided me with an excellent education which, in turn, led me to a career path where I accomplished a lot of things that I am proud of.
So now that I am throwing it all away, I just want to tell my parents:
Thanks, and don’t worry, I got this.
Also, I’m probably going to need to borrow some money in the next few months. Who are we kidding? GIVE. I’m going to need you to GIVE me some money.