Too Young to Know Better, But Maybe I Should

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The worst part of being young is you learn that the world isn’t sunshine and rainbows that if you were privileged to have amazing parents like I do, made it seem. When you were young, you never fully understood death because it seemed like a “see you later” instead of a goodbye, like how I never fully understood races and classes prior to looking in the mirror and realizing “I don’t look like my classmates”, “I’m not from America like everyone else” given I was the only Asian in my elementary, middle, and high school career; and only having made that up probably because in the realm of elementary school I had full access to the candy kingdom of my family’s store to distribute across the land that is the third grade of Mrs. Sturdivant’s class. Yes, the legacy lived on for some years but diminished as soon as the wishes for me to access them alcohol was quickly denied in trade of candy when we got into high school. (Yes, and sorry, not sorry for being a goody two shoes).

I didn’t understand that because we all look different, or if we come from different places in society, why must we be treated differently? The world and its regions, cultures, values all are different, but different to me didn’t mean division, rather than more to learn and more to love. I didn’t get a lot of things and I still don’t. I don’t understand because my feet are too small, at the moment to realize what it means to be a mother and feel the fear to lose my children to foster cares making allegations due to my social class.  I don’t understand why ethnicities bring about stereotypes to either undermine or overestimate the ability of what I am capable to give to the world. And I don’t believe it should. It shouldn’t.

(Before you’re thinking, okay this girl must be dumb because she clearly doesn’t understand a thing), I do understand classes stem from more than just a social or economic stand point. Before opening Pandora’s box, I didn’t believe classes were a problem because every individual face hardship no matter if you’re wealthy, poor, or somewhere in the middle such as being embarrassed by the home of being too big or too small. This world is messed up and it could be perfect if we just could put aside our differences and work together. Some percentage in me, because I’m still young believes that its possible to start out poor, work hard, and become rich because my parents are living proof of the American dream. I cant dismiss the fact that im not capable because I’m a product of them, and I need to repay them back and make them proud with the same if not more. Yet, I should probably know better and think realistically, that today isn’t like yesterday where the average Americans arent making the same hourly wages as they did in the 1980s and the economy wasn’t near close to the great depression again; I need to stop imagining of the rainbows and sunshine when I’m actually living in the rain of the divided, oppressed world that is class and racism due to the pedagogy that is our loved ones, institutions and everyday living; I’m young, give me a break, but maybe I shouldn’t get one.

I have a tendency to do the wrong things accidentally, like burn cookies in the oven. But! I also have a tendency to turn things into a positive, like burnt cookies make great pucks for indoor hockey! (sorry mom for being the son you already have). The first time I ever experienced classism was on an intellectual standpoint and I honestly still do this to present day: If I’m not the smartest in the room, I’m essentially the dumbest one. While I have this immediate thinking that I’m the dumbest girl in the room, it also strives me to be better and work harder to become smarter than the average. My family has high standards that if we weren’t top of the class, if we didn’t associate ourselves with people who seek the same ambitions of a college degree – we would be taken out of the will and be thrown stones. I thought it was to ingrain the idea of education is the key to success, but rather it’s a class of associating with individuals who are deemed hardworking and “above” others, yet, would you really consider a bunch of cheaters who received their degrees as hardworking and above others? In addition, even if the cheaters who luckily made it through to receive their degree, who’s to say that guarantees them a stable well-paying job in the real world? Fun fact, you can’t cheat in the real world or you’ll end up fire or dead. My parents set this rule that I can’t marry anyone who has a higher degree than me, but then I have aspirations of achieving my M.d. Ph.D., so, I’m not really sure what beats that unless I were to get that twice, and by the time I would get it twice I’d probably be dead. Anyway! Sorry not sorry mom, if I marry a guy who has only their college degree or high school degree, no matter the class or race, as long as he’s hardworking, stable, and supportive of my future puppy, and I, to me nothing else matters.

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At the end of the day, we’re all intelligent in different fields like biology, history, car autonomy, and as long as we’re working hard to be where we want to be or what we want to have, whether that have the house of our dreams, the burger that our stomach craves, or the adorable floppy eared puppy that I’ve always been dreaming of; what is the point of dividing when all it does is slow our progression to get where we want to be? A human is a human no matter the differences we share, it’s just different characteristics to learn and love to expand the mind and expand the growth of being a harmonious community and eventual world; so what if we’re different, it doesn’t make us weird. And so, what if we’re weird? Weird is what made society and the diverse cultural present in America. There’s no shame, no running to scape goats, no blame games, we’re all at fault for this pedagogy of classism and racism and we all face hardships throughout life. Life is hell but it doesn’t last forever. While moving beyond the realm of the oppression, the journey to believe we’ll all view each other the same, regardless of gender and class still exists on the bucket list of this young and naïve teenage girl.

 

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