Today on a walk after church, all of my memories from childhood all of a sudden come back, probably because tomorrow is my birthday. I am always proud to say that I had a really great time in my childhood.
My mom said when I was just born, my body looked darkly purple and I had not cried right away so they thought I was dead, until the middle wife beat me and I cry, hello world!
I was an active kid, the kid who enjoyed riding my little bicycle with a group of classmates and friends to go to school and extra classes. After classes, we hid ourselves in cherry trees or behind mango tree to enjoy some fruits. I even invited my friends to come picking fruits of my neighbor without fear of being caught.
I was also the kid who loves to come over and stay overnight at my friends’ house, which I still do now. Those are always adventures to me, plus my parents were busy and easy so that was not a problem. I did not mind to hang out with kids who are two to four years older than me though my parents did not like this. We played everything we could think of around my house, from cooking simulation, chess, and doll.
That kid was very competitive at school. I wanted to just do the best and be the best. My dad is the one who usually encourages me that “girl, you never know how tall you are until you reach, show them”. That spirit of being courageous and unstoppable was embedded in me since then. Even as a kid, I knew which class was good for me and in my first grade, I asked my parents to take me to a teacher’s house to ask her to transfer me to her class because she was the best. That kid did not want to miss any competition and did not dare to do something different such as writing about a monkey instead of about more common animals such as cat or dog.
That kid wanted so badly to be in the dance group although I could never quite get in. In elementary school, I also wanted to blend in but I want to stay away from dramas at the same time so I ended up not having any close friends until middle school. That kid just kept everything for herself and shut up rather than speak up. That kid would not cry if a guy accidentally kicks a ball over her head.
That kid was sitting with her cousin at the front door of her grandma’s house to wait for her mom giving birth to her sister. That kid was shy away and a little scared of being a sister though she did not have a choice. That kid would cry when her aunt spoke something wrong about her. That kid was doing terribly at Physical Education, she ran very slow and could not even jump far.
That kid was staying with her grandma most of her time in elementary school although her grandma cared more for her cousin rather than for her. That kid was always curious and tried out her mom’s high heels so that today she does not want to touch them any more. That kid has been a nerd, studied anywhere even in front of a TV or inside a toilet.
That kid had to witness her little baby brother missing his life, her grandma, her grandpa, and her aunts passing away out of cancers, her uncle suddenly left his life out of electric shocks. Those painted to her not a bright picture and took away some of her peace.
That kid was sexually harassed by one of her cousin whom she can never ever talk to again. That was a big trauma and sorrow for her. That kid left her house when she was fifteen for high school, which left her a big hole on love, from her family. That kid was closer to her dad than to her mom. That kid could hide from her parents for a year the fact that she lost her calculator just because she was afraid she would be punished and not loved anymore.
BUT, that kid has grown up now, already. I am now a little woman who is more capable of learning from my mistakes, of loving, of taking care of myself, of sharing, of speaking up, of being responsible for my own choices, and of being comfortable with who I am as well as of expressing myself. That kid now is an adult who is blessed to have received so much education, to see the world, to get help when she needed, to have families and friends across the globe, to pursue what she aspires to, to widen her perspectives and knowledge, to immerse into diversity, and to be loved and cared in the States. Despite all of the challenges I have been through, I have more privilege than many people who I have met. I can’t help living in appreciation for what I have and looking forward to serving others. I am yet becoming and still continue on with my journey, let see how life is unfold to me. Love, Hong.