Happy Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Celebrating this month always seemed a little strange to me as an adoptee who grew up with very limited connections to my birth culture. I’ve finally become more comfortable with my Korean American identity and learned to celebrate it, even. But it’s been hard these last few months. Since the Atlanta massacre, I’ve been doing interviews, panels, history presentations, writing op-eds while still trying to process the grief and trauma of it all.
I’ve been driven by urgency and negative emotions like pain and anger. An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. Somewhere along the way, I lost the spark. So this month, I’m going to hold space for joy and hope. Because my heritage as an Asian American is more than the racial trauma we face. It’s also the things I love that make me me.
Dinner at my favorite all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant. Learning a new K-pop cover on the ukulele. Dressing up and putting on new jewelry for an impromptu self-portrait session to remember how strong and beautiful I am. A reminder not to let fear and bigotry dull my shine. Cherish moments of lightness. We deserve them.