This past year, I feel as if I’ve traveled through a circle of racial identity. I came into this year with a complacency created by the busyness of my life. I just didn’t have time to think about these things.
But this pandemic year dismantled everything I had built around me. It forced me to stop and digg into myself, carving out my assumptions about who I was and what I was doing. Then the summer came, and I leapt outwards learning to empathize and understand the oppressive effects of systemic racism and white supremacy. I wanted to understand and feel the pain of my fellow Americans whom I was told growing up to keep at a distance.
I’ve come back around to myself, examining my experience as an Asian American, the experience of other Asian Americans, and our collective experience.
It’s easy for me to point at the superstructure of whiteness and say that is the problem. I can clearly see what I am against, but that doesn’t mean I know what I am for.
I want a clear, specific, and wise vision I can live for even if I can’t see it fulfilled in my life time.
In our session last night, my therapist reminded me it starts with understanding my story, who I am, the pain and shame I’ve carried. If I can’t create space for that, then I can’t actually articulate what I am for.