The learning curve was different for everyone. It took me 20 to 30 years and still learning. My journey to America opened my eyes to life and the environment at a young age. As an adult, my past experience is a constant reminder for me to not take anything for granted. Believe me it was very easy to forget when I was going through my teenage years. After college, I learned to truly appreciate what I have instead of focusing on what I don’t have. There were many internal as well as external challenges within myself to make the right choices. The magical part was that I had choices. The subtle learned result of my special journey shaped me into a unique person.
Looking back at my life, I was so blessed for being surrounded by wonderful families and friends. During my adolescence teenage years, I was taking for granted that I was a Vietnamese. How, can one take advantage of being Vietnamese? I viewed that being a Vietnamese was a burden. I made it a curse and not a blessing. Growing up in a small Texas town, I didn’t want to be different. I just wanted to be similar to everyone else. Asians were the bottom of the totem pole as far as Caucasians, African Americans, and Hispanic nationalities. The bus rides home from school were not pleasant.
I took for granted and expected that my family and friends would always be there for me. My appreciation for families and friendships was just there. When I was little, I hardly gave anyone hugs or shared with them how much I loved and cherished them every day. It was too silly or too embarrassing. The only way I knew how to express my love or appreciation was to tickle people on their sides, a nudge on the butt, or a slight punch to the tummy. From life lessons over the years, I became more sentimental. I appreciated my families and friends more and more each day. I expressed my appreciation more through words and many big hugs in additions to a nudge, tickle and/or punch.
The irreplaceable and priceless unconditional love and bond within my families can not be found any where else. Thank you to all my love ones!!! Because of you, I became a better person today!!!