One afternoon in August my husband arrived at the gym after me (he had to drop his clothes at the dry cleaners first), the woman at the front desk said to him, “I’m always seeing your wife working out. She has lost a lot of weight.”
I’ve been going to the gym 4 to 6 days a week for the past four months and just when I start to get discouraged with my progress, I get reminded that I may be slow but I at least am going to the right direction.
Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction. Translation: Love does not consist in looking at each other, but rather in, together, looking in the same direction. (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
Dawen and I will be celebrating 8 years of marriage this Friday. On our wedding day, we had a rather casual and intimate ceremony in Key West. Dawen’s younger brother and mother were our only guests. We said our vows in a rather small, cute church (for my mother-in-law). It was the least I can do for her. We both decided we wanted to spend our money on travelling, anyway.
How did we meet? Dawen and I met online out of all places; he typed me a genuine message on a social networking website we all have forgotten. I responded back not realizing I was typing to my future husband. Life is funny like that. Well, there are parts in our life that wasn’t so…funny.
When we first started dating, a certain person in my family called my husband accusing him of using me to get a green card, which there is all kinds of wrong with this. For starters, just because he is Asian – it doesn’t mean he couldn’t possibly be an American. It’s racist thinking. He has been in the States for the past 15 years before he met me – talk about a long pause in trying to use somebody for a green card. I have almost forgotten about this, but my husband reminded me of that incident. He was at work and he almost got fired for the harassment he didn’t deserve. At all.
The reason why I decided to mention this it’s because while I tend to be really positive about what I share on my blog – it doesn’t mean everything is peaches and cream. I also should be honest with the barriers that my husband I go through when it comes to interracial marriage, as well. Who knows, maybe somebody who is reading this is also in an interracial marriage has gone through something similar what we went through.
We had some judgmental people try to tell us that what we have is wrong. I can’t count how many ugly, death stares I have gotten from white men. There was an incident where the waitress refused to serve us at a restaurant in the Keys. The people around us looked at us as if we were clowns in their circus.
Sometimes Dawen and I even sit through the most awkward conversations. I remember a Taiwanese man asked me if I had a thing for Asian men. I simply said, “I like….men.” He quickly said, “So, it doesn’t matter whether he is Asian or not …” I interrupted, “Exactly. I like…men.” My husband could have easily been with a Taiwanese woman. It just didn’t happen. Honestly though, I refuse to be with a man who has mommy issues. Anybody who puts down his own people has some issues I don’t want to be mine. Those issues….has to stay out of my life. Period.
I have a father and a brother who are Western men. It would be silly to go crazy and talk ill of them. The common sense would be….lacking. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. So yes, we do have the craziest things thrown at us, but in the end – it’s their mess and not ours.
The thing is, I wouldn’t change our marriage for the world. The longer Dawen and I are together, the more it becomes the honeymoon stage. Our marriage is like in reverse. It was tougher in the beginning but the more we learn from each other’s background, the more understanding we become. Mutual respect is so important.
Now I have a second home in Taiwan, an amazing mother-in-law who is supportive of me – anybody who ever said to me that I would have a tough life by being in an interracial marriage can take a shit on that! Life may be tough, but I have so many great memories with my husband I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Now excuse me, I’m packing. Dawen and I will be celebrating our marriage in Taipei. I will be making sure to eat my stinky tofu.
I have met people who didn’t stay for long but left an imprint in my heart. I learn more of myself through that person. What I want, who I am as a person.
Over two years ago I arrived in Shanghai from Taipei. At first I stayed at the Hostel near the Bund before I moved to my studio apartment where I stayed for over a year. I’ve bumped into interesting characters. When I went to the computer room for the free WiFi, I saw an aspiring musician strumming his guitar to practice singing his songs. I kind of liked his beat. I thought about exchanging emails to discuss writing lyrics together, but my shyness (scratch that, anxiety overshadowed my opportunity – I even shared how I deal with my anxiety: Dealing with Anxiety Abroad). Who knows, he’d probably stare back at me as if I have multiple heads. Continue reading “My Shanghai State of Mind”
I took this picture the first week I moved back to Shanghai from New Taipei. I was heading to the old neighborhood I lived in 2013, and I decided to take a picture on my way there. It was one of those rare days where I didn’t have a single panic attack – I felt like I was smiling with the whole world.
I’m not the first in my family to live abroad. I recently found out that my Great Aunt almost went to Taiwan. Who knew? She almost went to the beautiful island I now call my second home. Not only that, my dad lived in Germany when it was East/West and he talks about how he misses his life there to do this day. The last time I talked to my brother on the phone, he told me our dad was watching the Bourne Trilogy to see Germany in the background.
It got me thinking, you know? This will one day be me. I can imagine myself watching movies simply for the scenes that were shot either in Shanghai or Taiwan. I don’t mean to be melancholy (or a better word for it would be sentimental).
Explore the neighborhood
For starters, I went to my local park to see the beautiful flowers. It honestly felt kind of nice to be able to see what’s around my neighborhood. I at least can explore at my own pace. I really needed to get out for a while, honestly. Continue reading “Alone Doesn’t Have to Mean Lonely”