Dear Mom and Dad,
I am sorry I could never be your definition of a perfect daughter. I know rooted in our Chinese culture you have certain expectations of me from being the top pianist to becoming a lawyer or a doctor. I understand you came to America to give me better opportunities that will prevent me from living the hardships that you had to face. You gave up everything, and for that, I am grateful.
We constantly argue about my lifestyle and career choices while ignoring the fact that we have a huge cultural and language barrier. While you use discipline to display love, I treat it as distance. Within the past decade we created so much distance between us to the point where we accepted that we just came from entirely two different worlds that will forever never be blended. I understand you hold tightly to a certain reality that I am unable to fulfill, and I just want to start off by saying I am sorry. I am sorry I never got straight A’s in school. I am sorry I am an open target to criticism by your circle of Mah Jong friends. I am sorry that I am dark and covered with tattoos. I am sorry that I want to chase after an “unstable” dream far away from home. I am sorry that I stray so far from Chinese norms that sometimes you can barely look at me. I understand why you are disappointed with me.
In response to that, I want you to understand that you came here and gave me the greatest opportunity of all and that is privilege. You gave me the privilege to live in a society where I can find the opportunity to discover internal happiness. You brought me to a country where I can speak my mind and have my voice heard as a woman. You brought me to a country where I do not have to be forced into a marriage for some sort of down payment. You brought me to a country where I have the space to dream and love all those around me. You bringing me here taught me how to be kind. It taught me that no matter how different we are as a society, love and human connection is what conquers all. It taught me how to empathize with others and understand why our differences make us so beautiful. I know I am not the daughter you were expecting, but just know you came to America to give me better opportunities for growth and you succeeded.
Dear Mom and Dad,