How You Will Know Me

First handshake, first smile, first “hello its nice to meet you.”

First impressions are the worst, I feel like I should always be wearing a dress, a suit, khakis, anything that says I’m not as much of a mess as you might think I am.

Something that says I know what I’m doing, something that spells out confidence in the cuffs and intelligent in the elbows of my sleeves because sometimes I feel like neither of them.

You might give me the up-down, mentally scanning me like a robot for information to process and analyze, for anything that might tell you more about me.

I’m just the tip of my iceberg.

You will see my Asian-ness, my black hair straight as a 2X4. My friends say I have Mulan’s hair, but she doesn’t have to deal with static, or grease and oil.

My hazel-shaped eyes will also give me away.

Make a joke, I don’t care how bad it is, and you might get to see the eye-smile that I’m never aware of, the eye-smile that I hope tells you a lot about me.

You’ll definitely notice my child’s height of 5 even (it might be the first thing that strikes you!), unless it’s a good day and I’m 5'1", especially if you tower over me at anything higher than 5'5" and you might wonder if my neck hurts as much as you think it does.

It doesn’t, thank god.

People have told me I drink from the Fountain of Youth, the ages people think I am have gone from 16 all the way down to 12.

I have no disagreements with that.

If you dip your head beneath the water, you’ll find my love-of-life personality, which my playlists will emphasize if you need any more proof.

Talk to me for awhile and you’ll hear the music I listen to, that dance-until-my-bones-are-sore-in-their-joints music, a kind of music you have probably never encountered.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, but talk to me long enough and you’ll see that it’s velcroed to my back where it is more accessible and people rip it off before cutting their mark on it and crudely sewing it together before smacking it back on.

Stick around long enough and you’ll see my Mother Hen who arises for those I care about, you’ll see I want to protect and defend, why I don’t want to be a cop? I need creativity in my work.

My creativity you might see if I’m not too shy to show you the writings I create when I write across a page. With flowing words and shades of form, I am a writer, but also a painter, and a musician all in one. My only tool is the pen in my veins.

I might even surprise you with the words that I let slip, I’ve been told I’m very emotionally intelligent, and I apologize if I dig too deep and need your hand getting out.

Put on an oxygen tank and sink far far farther down into the waters and then you’ll hit the X; you’ll find my issues, my every insecurity, fears, anxiety, and my scars. Oh, you’ll hear my scars, red and rubbed raw when I tell you horror stories of past roommates witch care thrown out over their shoulders into the ocean that I don’t want to swim through.

You’ll see the set of my facial expressions when I talk about someone I hate, someone who deserves a grudge, someone I will never forgive. You’ll experience my anger, or even a rant or three, that I internalize, the reflecting that I’ve done on my history even though I may hate what I see.

Hang around me long enough, and you’ll see my awkward side , the part of me that is the American in my existence, the part of me I secretly am confused by. My social anxiety, you see, the judging eyes I feel and fear, the interactions I would rather avoid, my eagerness to just stay home. You might think I am irrational, but trust me, it all makes sense to me. If you have social anxiety too, then give me your hand because you are not alone.

But after one handshake, one smile, one up-down, you’ll know nothing about me.