Where Are You From?
As an Asian, I get asked this question pretty regularly. It generally annoys me, but not enough to make a big deal about it. Most of the time, it’s harmless. I mean, aren’t people just curious and showing interest? Perhaps. Why have issue with that? Maybe because it feels invasive and mildly uncomfortable. To get asked this repeatedly reminds you that you are from somewhere else – somewhere that is not here. It is belittling.
Aside from the country where I was born (Vietnam), raised (France) and live (US), I come from formidable people. My mom, as you may recall, was brave and resourceful. This enabled my dad to shoot for the stars. He organized for independence from colonialists, led troops into battle, agitated government officials, staged a coup d'etat. He also loved to read, think, entertain, debate. A bon vivant of action and principle, he liked to remind us about his general philosophy on life: how will the world know you were here when you're gone? He advocated for living large, not just being alive.
So, that’s where I come from.
Here’s to the dads. Listen to them – they know stuff.