Thoughts

Big Changes and Opportunities are Happening

It’s March Madness, that’s for sure. On February 28th, I learned that a short story I had submitted was going to get published, and today, March 2nd, I just learned that I was accepted for a paid Summer Research Internship. I honestly don’t know how to take this all in, especially since it happened within a few days of each other. I find it so exhilarating, scary, and crazy that all of this is happening to me at this moment in my life. I always thought I would do nothing productive in college and just pass the years by, but I am now accomplishing so much. When I think about it, I am accomplishing more than any of my siblings combined, and it makes me proud of myself because I always felt that I had no way of showing my commitment to my major and my passion; now I have something to show for my hard work of ambitiously defying the norms in my family.

Although I won’t be the typical medical doctor, lawyer, nurse, accountant, pharmacist, etc that is expected of my siblings and cousins, I do plan to work towards a PhD someday. Becoming a scholar is still such a new career within the Hmong community, therefore my parents are not very supportive. However, I am sure and hopeful that they are coming around – slowly but surely. Along with working towards a PhD, I am determined to write some books someday, ranging from nonfiction, to creative nonfiction, and to children’s book. I want to educate the world and my own Hmong community more on the Hmong people and current struggles and culture clashes that First and maybe even Second Generation Hmong people are facing. Also, I want to write children’s stories on challenging gender norms, but also stories on the LGBTQ community within the Hmong culture. I want to help normalize, instead of vilify, the existence of being at the intersection of being Hmong and LGBTQ. In this way, hopefully more Hmongs will find strength in their identity and not be tied down by gender norms and roles. I just have so many aspirations…

Being a First Generation Hmong American myself, I definitely identify with a lot of culture clash and challenges towards my own identity formation. As I am still navigating the formation and definition of my identity today, I am hoping to write about my experiences and sharing it to the world some day. In some ways, I want to help other Hmong people who are struggling with finding that balance between the Hmong culture and the Western culture; not only that, I hope my experiences can help any person some day, regardless of race or ethnicity. Hopefully someday I’ll accomplish many of my ambitions.

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