Zengzeng Yang - Define American

Zengzeng Yang

Mountain View, CA

I come from a single family in China, a sloppy kid who got accepted at School attached to Tsinghua university and Beihang Middle school. It is not my choice to choose to go with my mom to America. The value of America for me at that time is just that: I can be with my mom.

At that time, I knew nothing. Except I will not see my father and friends for at least a year, but that is normal for me.

I move to the US in my first teenage year. As the only Asian in my school, I start my confidence to teach classes about China, learning language.

But every immigrant who move in this society must face their difficulties. My self identity to be American has strong connection with relationship with my family.However, they usually cover with sweet results. Where they put so much energy to get for a lifetime.

At first, Where my mom can not accept me to make friends or go out because she think I need to study and stay at home for less trouble. The huge gaps between generation and cultures give me a lot of hardship in my first year of school.

I often don’t understand why we have to give up the life we had to suffer something called loneliness. But in my mind, I rather choose loneliness to face life than follow others doing. It’s a pain in the head, but that is how I chose that time.

Since I am the closest person to her ( I hope so…) ,she yells to express life pressure she had every couple days. And I am tired to show perfectionism, eventually her abnormal behavior influence my heart and my hormones in my body. Why she never listens to my advice and play in that cycle over and over and I have to hear such things that destroy my self esteem?and that is my mom?”

“Don’t make excuse of your ignorance and laziness. Shut up!“I said angrily to her one time.

“You just selfish like your father!”My mom reply.

And I was thinking about why she uses the same kind of intonation as she praises me before when I did a good job.”you are just smart like your father”.

“Be respect and go back to your room, That is a really wise sentence.”


“But you can never expect someone to change. My daughter, do you listen?”My father said in telephone.”

To be in the first generation, my mom works every single holidays. There are pro and cons, What ever I cook, she never eats it. What ever I run in track (Always the last one), she never knows it…Otherwise she will think I ruined her pride.

She gives me an apple and some nuts every time when she back to home. The prize for me is that I have massaged her tired feet and hear endless talk about work. Try to encourage her to make more progress.

Later on, I feel much more complete feeling in the deep of my heart. We do not just exchange actions, we exchange feelings.

Her investment of love is something I need. Now is my problem to accept her way of love in a different way like before.

……. umm.. about my father?

Long story short, I got a very good relationship with my father after his stroke, I forgive and have more mature way to handle my brother’s difficulties. That is how life goes, naturally but accidentally.

Like a normal teenager, I feel quite anxiety in my life, the society value, my high school life , family expectations. This spend a lot of my energy. Can’t go to sleep and focus well until I find out what I want.

Decadence in my heart happens when I look outside of my window in my history class.Being a immigrants I try to cover it with the confidence of good grade, socialize and daydream about my writing. I will keep doing what I love, It is the way I express my feeling and something of my value in this world, it is negligible but I will do it no matter what.

I clearly knows that I will become a US citizenship before I attend to college.However my doubt of identity has growing and change .Its somethings that we do not usually think but when we think we think deeply.

Thanks mom and dad, they give me my identity. but my identity of nationality will always in a unclear mood. To be American, it means paradox in my age. It just happens, despite the little pride of legally be in this world and little happy of college money, I don’t as much as my mom about immigration.

Maybe there are too much feelings that later just becomes no feeling.

PS: Help people who are illegal immigrants in this country.The power of americian history is the majority of diligent immigrants that brings their value and hope from other culture to build a new way of life.

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