I had a fling this summer.
It wasn't exactly a fling. Technically I didn't cheat on you. Nothing happened. But yes, I would be lying if I didn't admit that I emotionally cheated on you. But, I'm over it and now I'm more committed to you than ever!
It's hard to know where to start. When we started seeing each other it was so fun and light! I was young and optimistic about the way you made me feel. I was born here - I could be the first Chinese American, female president. Yes, there were problems (racism, classism, poor people), but we were the country of opportunities. A country with flaws but one that was earnestly striving to change all that.
But then maybe the magic wore off and I found some things about us I didn't like. I realized how we Americans were often self-centered. Even worse, it wasn't a thing of the past. We trampled over the concerns of others just to improve our own comforts and lifestyles. We even sacrificed our fellow citizens to get ahead. Especially if they were poor. Especially if they weren't white. Especially if they were weird. And many didn't seem remorseful. Some even felt entitled to behave in that way.
And then the reality of long-term relationships sunk in. There were struggles. I got hurt. Deeply hurt. You told me I was wrong for caring about what I thought were our shortcomings. You told me I was weird, oversensitive, and militant. I felt uncomfortable expressing myself fully because I feared I would be ostracized the way I had been in the past. You sent me emails telling me to "tell someone who cared." I watched other people of color get shot out and wondered how quickly I might become the new target. I listened to you condemn my "lifestyle" and invalidate my personal relationships. I watched you listen to my white friends instead of me.
You want to know who it was. It doesn't matter. Fine. It was Taiwan. I got there and suddenly all those feelings of alienation disappeared, I could belong if I wanted to. I was swept away... No. I'm not in love with Taiwan. I don't want to switch citizenships. Eventually I remembered that every country has its problems. Taiwan is extremely homogenous. They have their own class issues, race issues. Chinese culture can be very suffocating. And for the first time I truly understand why my mom likes living in the States more. I want to be with you. But things need to change and I need to change.
So. Yea. What now? I don't know. Sometimes I'm still really hurt. I have baggage. Sometimes being in a place where even my own community harbors prejudiced feelings towards me is still really aggravating and unsettling for me. But sometimes I feel renewed. Rededicated. Like we can fix it. Together.