It’s normal to feel lost. Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling lost my whole life. You would think that at age 25, you would have experienced enough to have the answers to everything. Truth is, 25 is still an extremely young age. This whole time I kept thinking that by age 25, I should have my bachelors. I should have my dream career. I should have my own place. I should have my own car. I should have a serious relationship by now. I should have my life together because time was “running out.” I’m not sure where I got all of these thoughts from, but I now understand that I was basing my life off of society and others’ opinions.
I have to remind myself that although I don’t have my bachelors yet, I have a year left before I graduate. Even though I’m no where close to where I want to be when it comes to my dream career, I am at least a step closer than I was yesterday. Even though I still live with my parents at home and drive my mom’s car, at least I have supportive parents that would do anything in their power to help me succeed. Even though I’m still single, at least I can take this time now to really focus on myself and to become the woman that I’ve always dreamed of.
After going through series of unhealthy relationships, I found that the main reason for them failing was because I didn’t know who I was. I only knew myself as their girlfriend, as their lover, as their caretaker, and as their provider. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself “who am I” during those times and all I could say was my significant other’s name. Truth is, having a strong sense of identity plays a role in everything whether it’s a relationship, career, and anything else that you can imagine. Without it, it is hard to nurture what you love and care for.
This reminds me of back in August when I attended a Hmong Women Empowerment retreat. We did an exercise where we partnered up with someone random. One person would ask the other person “who are you” while the other person would state everything that they are. It could be anything from where you’re from, what you define yourself as, what you like to eat, what hobbies/interests you’re into, so on. If the person answering couldn’t answer anymore, the person asking the question will repeatedly ask the same question until the time ran out.
Today I decided to take the time to re-do this exercise and I’ve come up with more things. If you ask who I am, my answers are:
I am a Hmong-American woman that wants to make a change in how our Hmong women and girls are viewed in society.
I am a Hmong-American woman that wants to uplift all of my Hmong women and girls by helping them succeed and reach their fullest potential.
I am a daughter who isn’t perfect and I don’t always make the best decisions, but I am a daughter that my parents trust wholeheartedly. Someday, I’ll be the one to take care of them.
I am the sister that will fight alongside my siblings and protect them with everything I have even if they don’t do it for me.
I am the loyal friend that will stick by your side through everything that you do — good or bad — because I will always believe and see the best in you.
I am a lover that loves too hard and too deep, but with the purest intentions.
I am a student at UW-River Falls majoring in Marketing Communications and minoring in International Studies. I hope to further my education and get my masters.
I am a survivor of depression, suicide, and domestic violence.
I am loved by many, and I love every single one of them because I have SO MUCH LOVE TO GIVE. Love is limitless.
I am strong because I always find a way to turn my life back around… even if it takes me a little more time.
I am beautiful even with the scars that I carry on my body. Every scar tells a powerful story that I want to someday share with the rest of the world.
I am the unspoken truth.
I am me….. Gloria Yang.