What’s in a name?
Hated it, berated it, resented it, never consented to it, and yet they presented her as it. Her name.
It wasn’t normal, it was weird. And it came from them. It reflected them. She was so ashamed. And so, if she hated her name, the blame went straight to them. Her parents.
They were from Viet Nam. A faraway country, out of sight, out of her mind. Due to war, Nam’s floor full of mines, they fled for a better sign. For a new community, to a new country for new opportunities. Both full of hope and dreams, for a new beginning for their future offspring.
They gave her a beautiful name that connected to their names. As if blood wasn’t enough, they shared the first letter in all their names, reiterating the familial bond and an acknowledgement of hopeful change.
And yet, she thought they were strange. Her parents. Their hopes and dreams for her, lost, the line cut short, disconnected. Because they were rejected. By her. Differing countries of origin, their Vietnamese to her American. By their own offspring, by their own progeny, ironically, she refused to manifest their legacy.
Because she wasn’t them, she was herself. A conflict between heart and mind, a conflict between nature and nurture, she couldn’t escape the opposing pressures. Never identified as Asian, but she couldn’t escape her face and name. Always identified as American, but society wouldn’t let her escape her face and name.
And then she grew up and realize her parents and her were all the same.