Growing up in a traditional Asian household, life was very different from what I had read in American novels. With a strict Taiwanese father who graduated from Harvard, was the minister for Sino-America relations, and a Marine for 15 years, expectations were always set high. And my mother on the other hand, looked at me as no more than a show pony that she could steal accomplishments from. From an early age, achievement was measured in medals, and love in trophies. Whether or not I would get beaten depended on how fast my times in the latest swim meets were, how I placed in the latest musical competitions. And I learnt to get used to this.
But what I didn’t get used to is the feeling of never being good enough. I am not allowed to play music that I like. I am not allowed to eat things my parents think will make me fat. If I want to listen to music while doing homework, I need to write a thirty page long paper full of experiments proving to my parents why it won’t decrease my productivity. From a young age, my future was decided for me. But now I’ve had enough.
There is no point in living a life like this anymore. Through these years of torture, I’ve learnt to let go of this fear of death. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how high I ranked in National standings, there will always be a cousin somewhere in the family better than me at something. My first cousin is taller than me. I failed at growing tall. My second cousin is better at make-up than me. I failed at being beautiful. My brother is better at boxing than I am. I failed at being strong enough.
Now, I’m stuck between knowing that there’s nothing good for me in the future, and afraid to let go because I keep hoping something will show up. All I want to do before I leave this world is help somebody. Help somebody so that 40 years from now, they’ll remember that some random girl helped them when they needed it. I think it’s a selfish thought because, really, I just want some part of this world to remember me.