Opening into my life.

 “This is the house Papa talked about when he held up a lottery ticket” (My dad used to do the same thing and would even sit us around the table and draw pictures of how he would change our house… he never did)– House On Mango Street

Natural Selection

 I can’t believe another product of my mom and dad could be so similar to me in many aspects not even to our features, eye color, hair color, etc. but internally it’s like remembering the younger version of me again. Whom I am referring to is one of my two younger  brothers, Kenny and Larry.

They are each a year apart from each other, Larry on the other hand I would describe our sibling relationship polar opposites in which we have always been petty to each other. I soon learned how I was born the year of the dog and Larry was born the year of the dragon on the Chinese animal calendar for our spirit animal. It is said how the two are not compatible and do not get along, ending with arguments and incorporations. I know he has a good heart and all but sometimes he is just so immature and will realize at some point the things he says are just not respectful to the subjects he doesn’t even know what he is talking about.

Kenny I would describe to be strong headed to how with evidence or when everyone knows including himself saying false information he still tries to find a way to rephrase his words to say that’s what I said. Even though it was not. But to my point, it’s like he is the little boy version of me, Kenny, on the weekends he sleeps in till 10-12, just like me when I was his and still today. Kenny and I are in fact the only two in our family that sleep in that late; the rest are early birds. He is an artist already just like how I was at that age, a drawing phase I would say.

A serious, curious, and very toned hilarious humor beyond his age. Witty in elementary standards, and we have the same water drop dimple near the curve of our mouth when we grin. Same skin tone and naturally athletic to all sports except for riding a bike without training wheels.

The Flaw of Adolescence

 Tis the holiday season approaches, stores ringing of sales and purchases, family reuniting for the holidays, it’s nice to have it all am I right? The background playing the classic tunes such as Mariah Carey or Johnny Mathis we feel the warmth inside going to do our holiday shopping. “Spend more money, Spend more money”. (In a melodic tone of holiday ads)

We head to little to little girl named Rachel, all she wanted this Christmas was the limited edition American Girl doll of “Little Miss Snow ”, she had seen on a commercial featuring the infamous doll in snow gear ready to ski! Her Dad next to her, as they were watching the commercial in between watching television, knew how with all the expenses of keeping the household running he could barely put food on the table as is. “Dad can I get that for Christmas”, his outside exterior was calm, however inside he felt absolutely like a failure of a parent who cannot get his daughter a Christmas gift this year.

His response, “You know sweetie work has been slow these days and I’m just not sure I can afford such a frivolous toy, we can just hope Santa is listening”. Rachel expressed sadness with a sigh, “Okay I understand”, with her head nodding down. The next morning the Dad was determined to put a smile on his little girl’s face no matter what, he headed out to get extra shifts in the Diner nearby to be working as the cook, he worked 12 hour shifts for every day of the two weeks leading up to Christmas day. But he finally got to spare  the hundred dollars plus tax, to go to the American Girl Doll store to pick up the doll.

The morning of Christmas day, everything was worth it for him to get to see his daughter happy opening up her gift. He can only hope one day she knows he bent backwards for her to get the doll and that’s why she didn’t get to see him much. Now as an adult looking back she would’ve traded 100 dolls for more time with her dad.

Pamela Lane

A year ago my parents bought their first home in Westminster off of Springdale in a secluded cul-de-sac neighborhood street called Pamela Lane. A lane with twenty-nine houses where every neighbor knows your name, occupation and how many kids you got. A classic American neighborhood, one of a kind neighborhood I would say valuing neighborly and holiday tradition.

Quiet, peaceful, friendly. I am so grateful I got a chance to live here, my parents worked so tirelessly day and night to move us from a mobile-home to a house with a garage and everything! I do sometimes miss the mobile home because I grew up there, all my childhood memories were there, it was comforting with warm energy. Despite it being just a mobile home, it provided everything we needed from bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, small patio space etc. The mobile home was located down Magnolia St. where we were used to having Vietnamese neighbors, so I could sense my parents unsureness when moving to a predominantly white neighborhood with maybe some stares or something racial related, but all the worries were gone with how neighbors generously wave to us everytime we pass by, again with the tradition this neighborhood is friendly and always been.

Accepting diversity, we belong my parents would say, the American dream lives on. This breaks stereotypes of nice white neighborhoods being pushy of non-white races coming and living here.

My Great-Great-Great-Great Grandparents

Learning family heritage fascinates me on both sides of my family. I ask so many questions when I can come up with them to my parents while they’re still here with me so I just ask the most random questions of them and both sides of my grandparents. The contradicting similarity amazes me actually, both of my grandmas each have 4 siblings and they both are the oldest patriarchy of their family taking care of others before them. To both of my grandpas’ sides, one of them had 10 siblings and another had 10 siblings and 5 step-siblings, crazy right?

Growing up in my grandparents’ generations their parents were war refugees and having so many siblings of their own they had to fend for themselves. Both of my grandpas came from very rural parts of Vietnam, counties of Hue. Both of my grandmas are from Da Nang, one of them is originally from Hue with a Hue accent however she moved to the city from a young age and grew up there. To keep the similarities going, one of my grandparents have two sons which is my dad’s side, my other grandparents have two daughters which is my mom’s side.

My parents are the same age except they have a one year age gap back in school. Their siblings, my aunt and uncle are millennials having a ten year gap from each other from my mom and dad. The family tree has settled down as we get into the 2000s, I technically only have one cousin who is 3 years old in Vietnam. It is just me and my two younger brothers. 

Capitalist or Communism?

The wealth divide; a huge problem to society and earth or not? To think about it, the United States of America is thought to be a wealth divided nation with a huge difference between corporate  America, the working class and the lower classes. Let me see the huge gap between wealth in South Africa. Every country has the amount of money in the reserve or the money circulating the economy going in and out of businesses and companies. Typically in the big corporations the big bosses will get a huge chunk of the dough leaving very minimum wage going down the chain for the employees. South Africa is an example of the wealthy referred to as the 1% gets 20% of the country’s GDP already. To further emphasize this concern the top 10 percent circulate and hold 65 percent of the money translating to the rest of the country’s 90 percent get the 35 percent of money, not alot to flow around the main population. A country with mostly underdeveloped wages differs from your race, and women get paid less than their male counterparts. So this inequality continues to experience the domino effect, the vast majority forever making that amount of money not being able to get more money. The wealthy continue to have significant wealth.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

From Student to Employee

I believe hard work values is what society and what some of us try to instill in us from our adolescents into being adults. School, we all have to enroll a child in some form of education from pre-k to highschool.

What I take from being in school is not learning and remembering given lessons but I am just used putting in the hard work to pay attention when information is given, speaking and raising my hand to give an answer or opinion, putting in the work along with time management skills to complete homework, turning in everything on time before the deadline, because at the end of the day it is the only thing that motivates us to do the work given.

School taught us to be on time and have structure to what time we should wake up, we need to be punctual or else we receive a tardy.  This teaches you to not be late!  School emphasizes the ability to work well with others through projects and group tables. If you think about it, we are getting trained in school to be good employees one day, always on time, turning in work on time, etc.

Most parents that have it together will show their work ethic to their children of working towards a goal, able to provide and give back, and honesty is the best policy. Coming from an adult to a child is meaningful and impactful to keep society a happy place to be.

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