Last night I had a dream that I was nine again. I woke up to intense residual feelings of trying to navigate school and friendships… and shame around my culture and heritage. I couldn’t get back to sleep so started journalling and as I wrote, the more that came back to me about my childhood.
There’s so much that I’d forgotten about. I used to do everything I could to make people believe I was white. I rejected everything that was Chinese, and mimicked the mannerisms, the habits of my white friends so that I could paint this version of myself that I liked better. Who did I think I was fooling?
It’s so sad, to confront this rejection of my identity. I just wanted to be like the other kids. I wanted to be normal. And that meant being white.