In the Asian culture, being yourself isn't something that is advocated. If anything, Asian parents want their children to fill some sort of picture perfect checklist of academic accomplishments so they can someday go to an excellent college and get an excellent paying job. Anything less is failure, and things like affection and self esteem are useless. The book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, written by Amy Chua is a perfect example of an Asian mother attempting this very thing.
To be fair, not all Asian parents are like this. But my family were.
For a long time growing up, I tried to fulfill this image of a smart Asian kid. To say I had mixed results is putting it kindly. School was something that I just didn't appreciate, though I loved learning. Still do. School didn't teach the stuff that I really liked. Nor did it nor my family really encourage me to find what I liked. I joined the varsity volleyball team in my sophomore year of high school. That was an accomplishment. To say I was the shortest member was putting it kindly. But my grades were slipping, so my brother tried to get me kicked off the team. I loved it too much to quit.
As I started my college career, I declared to be a business major, which I hated, but being a doctor or a lawyer was not in the cards. I wanted to do something creative, so I began to study acting and delved into martial arts. I wrote stories, did pencil drawings, and lived in my imagination. All were deemed a waste of time by my family. Still...I continued my double life of a dutiful college student while exploring my artistic side, rebelling against this stereotypical Asian image.
What I've learned is that I'm not that image, but then, nor am I a rebel. In swinging from one aspect to the other, I've found who I am, which is a person who tends to be introspective with a lot to say, having found a vehicle through this site, but more importantly, through my novel.
There are times when I'm very loud and lewd. Other times I'm very quiet and shy.
So my girlfriend wants to hang out with her conservative friends this weekend. And I asked why am I not included. Basically, she's afraid that my loud lewd side will come out, as it always does in groups, and will offend her conservative friends. She's asked me before to be less Jimmy and more "normal".
What the fuck does that mean?
Here's what my ego said, "She cares more about what other people think, and is ashamed of who I am." Even though who I am is not that loud lewd person.
She deeply cares about what other people think. She doesn't understand that she has no control over other peoples' opinions, nor do they affect her in reality.
In other words, if someone thinks she's stupid, they thinking that won't make her stupid. Just like when comedians joke that Asian guys have small dicks, I don't go around showing people my dick. Plus, it'd be flaccid, and that's not impressive.
She didn't like my Superman wallet. She doesn't like my loud lewd side. She wants to hang out with her conservative friends. So why the fuck is she with me?