That Cultural Thang

A couple of weeks ago my Mom informed me that she wants me to go to the MotherLand with them to visit my Grandfather because of his deteriorating health. And up until yesterday, it seemed that it may be difficult for me to make this trip. Even though my advisor secured all the documents that I need to travel, my schedule was still pretty hectic to accommodate the trip. However, as if the universe really wanted this to happen, my scheduled 5 day trip to Texas was cancelled last minute. Neere confirmed yesterday that we will not be attending their family reunion anymore. As a result, it seems that what was once an almost unattainable trip is now definitely possible. I spoke to my Mom earlier tonight and she confirmed it. I will be going to visit the MotherLand.

Normally, I would be excited at this point. Who wouldn’t want to visit a tropical country, see family, and surround themselves with their culture? Sadly, I am feeling conflicting emotions. A part of me is excited and happy that I have the chance to see my grandparents and relatives again after so many years yet another part of me is feeling anxious about how I will be perceived when I am there.

I am concerned about not being able to communicate properly to my family. I have full comprehension of my parents’ dialect; however, I am the farthest thing from fluent in their dialect. It also won’t be a surprise if questions about my education will surface. In their world, I am supposed to done school and be a working adult by now or worse already be a doctor, engineer, nurse, teacher, dentist, architect, lawyer, judge, or accountant by now (since other careers don’t really exist for them). I dread having to explain myself.

Then there’s my appearance. I mentioned in a previous post about how my family is weight-centric and now I am heading towards the core of the cultural obsession with weight. Yes, this is creating some anxiety inside me. Unfortunately, I have not been able to shed the weight I gained late last year which only means one thing….I will not just be fat in their eyes…I will be REALLY fat. It bothers me that I care about what they think. It also saddens me that this is even an issue. Ever since I was young, I never fit the tiny Asian mold. Apparently, my parents grabbed a mold from the wrong cabinet, but they kept me and loved my shape as much as they could muster. I can’t really blame my family as it is the culture that shaped their views. Just my luck that being an Asian female equates to a very narrow range of acceptable weights.

So there I will be…Foreign and Fat.

*sigh* I really need to prepare myself for this.

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