Navigating Two Different Lives
The recent trip back to my birthplace has given me a different perspective of my life. I am caught in between two different worlds. The life I had lived over 30 years in the U.S. has shaped who I am. My mother, wife, and kids are what keeping me grounded. I belong to that world, but then the first 11 years of my life has not faded. I am still connected to it. You can take a kid out of his upbringing, but you can never take his heart out of it, especially when his family is still there.
It is still a culture shock to me to experience two completely different lives, and yet I belong to both. In retrospect, I don’t know what I had become if I had never left Mỹ Tho. Then again, I am happy with the life that I had lived. Without a doubt, I had lived a very difficulty life facing bullying and discriminating for being one of the few Asian kids who spoke no English in school. But I made it. I made through four years of college and received a master degree. On the other hand, I might had dropped out of school if I was still in Vietnam. I don’t know. I can’t turn back the time and I don’t think I want to.
If I have no other option but to return to Vietnam, will I survive? I would think so. I will find something to do with the knowledge that I have. Then again, I already have a strong foundation here. My wife and I had built it together. We are far from rich, but we live a comfortable life with our kids. It’s all good. I am not even sure where I am going with this.