Prompt: The Lin Angst fic with extra doses of pain
Warnings: The regular warnings fam. Cursing and a lot of SAD. So much SAD.
Note: Chapter One: As Easy as Breathing
It’s hilarious how quickly I’m coming up with these chapters. This is such a departure from how I usually am, as you all know because it’s the reason why I’m so flaky with the writing anyway. Something to note, I guess: Chapter one occurs maybe three or four days before the prologue, which I’m guessing should explain a few things. Maybe. I don’t know.
By the way, shout out to @butlinislin because they’ve been an absolute joy throughout my writing of this. I hope this meets your expectations, darling. :)
To counteract all this sad, the last part of Perks will be coming up soon.
[EDIT: I REALIZED QUITE BELATEDLY THAT THE LOVE INTEREST READER HAS IN THIS FIC ALSO SHARES A NAME WITH ROBIN DE JESUS, WHO PLAYS SONNY. FIC!ROBIN IS NOT THE SAME AS ACTUAL!ROBIN, AND I JUST MIGHT CHANGE HIS NAME. SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION.]
“So my vacation is in two weeks,”
“And you still haven’t pulled your shit together.”
Lin groaned, but agreed nonetheless. “Yes, okay, your
Karen only raised an eyebrow, expression caught between
amusement and pity. Lin kind of hated it. “The moon-eyed look might work onstage,
sweetheart, but keep it up offstage and you’ll be wearing a sign that says ‘I
am desperately in love with this woman right here. Nobody else, just her’
around your neck in no time.”
He buried his head in his hands, rubbed at his eyes. A beep
of a horn caught Lin’s attention and he watched as a taxi rolled perilously by,
much to the aggravation of everyone else behind it. He wanted to take a
photograph of this scene in front of him, apart from the renegade taxi; when
the light hit Manhattan just right, the people are suffused with a honeyed glow
and the streets breathe in the heat and noise. His view from the outdoor seat
of a coffee shop wasn’t so bad, but they had a show in two hours. He told Karen so,
and she rolled her eyes at his inelegant change of subject.
“All right, you mopey bastard, let’s get this shit running.”
They left a few bills as tips and Lin downed the last of his
coffee, turned cold by the autumn winds. They barely dawdled for a few more
moments before standing up to leave.
He didn’t know how many people knew—Karen knew because she
was Karen and she got her way with things like this—and he could only hope that
no-one else would find out. (Although at this point, it was kind of futile; he
didn’t miss the sly looks and the carefully raised eyebrows that came his way
whenever he so much as stood next to
Y/N. From Chris especially.)
“How have rehearsals been?” Karen asked as they walked down
157th street, the words slightly muffled behind the heavy scarf she’d
wrapped around her neck.
Lin shrugged. “They’ve been okay.” A bit of a lie, that one.
They’ve been great, amazing really. And he knew he didn’t
have to censor himself in front of Karen but anything concerning Y/N was territory
he’d rather not share. And lately, a lot of things became related to Y/N.
Karen rolled her eyes once more. “Don’t bullshit me,
Miranda. I know rehearsals have been bomb; you’re not the only friend I have in
the company, you know.”
Lin laughed in spite of himself. “Why’d you ask me then?”
One edge of Karen’s lip quirked upwards, smug. “I wanted to
hear it from you, dumbass.” She hit him over the head, Lin yelping at the brunt
of it. God, Olivo could swing an arm. “Although, I am still of the opinion that
you need to stop wrapping that large brain of yours around that girl; as if she
isn’t already wearing your heart on her sleeve like some fancy cufflink.”
Lin already knew that. He’s heard this speech approximately
more than fifty-three times.
He only shrugged, something of a smile lilting at his mouth.
Karen shook her head, strands of her ebony hair whipping in the breeze.
When he arrived at vocal practice the next day, you were
It wasn’t that strange, for you were often late, but the
fact that not even a wisp of you could be seen or heard was slightly unnerving.
Lin, for the most part, managed to hide the fact that he was preoccupied with
your absence, but he could not hide from Chris (and to be fair, he couldn’t
hide much from Chris anyway), who cornered him thirty minutes in and questioned
him not with words but with a look.
“I’m fine,” he said hastily. He was not having this
conversation with Chris, because heaven knew he’d already done so enough times.
“I just didn’t get any sleep—“
“Sorry, sorry!” A crash cut him off, followed by hurried,
thundering footsteps and the slamming shut of a heavy door. “I know I’m super
late, I’m really sorry.”
“Nice of you to join us, Y/N,” Karen said slyly, and Lin turned
to the girl in question, who was panting and sheepishly running a hand through
her hair. “Who were you fucking before you came down here?”
The cast and crew laughed, Y/N reddened, and Lin’s heart
“Shut up, Olivo.” Y/N said, still pink in the face, which
only added to the amusement.
Lin laughed along with the others, but he could feel his
heart slipping down to rest somewhere near his ankles.
Things carried on as usual, with only a few more casual
japes concerning Y/N’s admittedly disheveled state being made in between
breaks. You handled them with a swift punch to the shoulder and a flustered
“So,” Lin said as he slid into the seat next to you, something
clenching in his stomach, “who’s the lucky one?”
You rolled your eyes, but the smile that decorated your lips
told him that it was safe to ask. That might have made everything worse. “I
thought you would be the one kind soul who wouldn’t ask,” you said teasingly,
tongue bit between your teeth as you grinned. Lin’s heart almost couldn’t bear
the tug of war; it was being wrenched up with elation and weighed down with
despondency all at once and he was surprised his soul hadn’t fallen through the
void it created. “I’m disappointed in you, Miranda.”
He could love you forever, he knew. If there was anything he
was capable of, in that he was sure
Lin shrugged, the smile coming easily, because even when it
was killing him, you could conjure happiness out of him as easily as breathing.
You fiddled with the phone in your hands now, your grin
tempering into something smaller but no less powerful. In fact, your smile grew
tender. The soft look that beheld your face both robbed him of breath and
breathed life back into him.
(There were times when he was sure that he hated you,
because it would be easier if he did, it would be much easier than doing
whatever this was, standing aside as
you took on lovers, as you looked elsewhere, because he wouldn’t push you if
you didn’t want him. And you didn’t. But then he’d see you the next day, eyes
bright and smile wide and his heart would yearn,
and he couldn’t hate. He’d never hate you, he wasn’t capable of—)
“Robin,” you breathed, the name a sigh on your lips, and he
took notice of how it sounded so sweet coming from you.
Lin smiled at you then, and his chest was going to burst, he
just knew it, and then there’d be a mess on the wall because of it and god,
Karen was right, you had his heart in your hands, and you didn’t even know—
idea of this fanfic belongs to Metronomeihear, hope you like it ;-)
has been five years since the wedding.
day had been the most joyful day for her, for it had been the day she finally
married the man she loved so much.
been five years… and no child has come
she, scared that something must be wrong with her, did something that was
forbidden by the laws of the village… she went into the woods when her husband
was away at work and looked for the old warlock that lived there. She needed
answers, but if she went with the village healer along side her husband and her
fears turned to be real then… then her husband… her beloved… would leave her
for sure… no man wanted a barren woman after all.
into the woods, where the light was dim and the trees centuries old, there was
a small shack, the wildness surrounding it making it look like a part of the
woods instead of the small speck of civilization that it was.
took a deep breath and gathered all the courage she could, her delicate hands
where shaking while she clasped them together, her long chestnut hair waving
with the cold wind that smelled of moss and humidity. Her big, doe eyes filled
with determination, she walked to the small shack’s door and before she even
knocked a voice, clear yet raspy… ancient… called from the other side.
- It is open, dearie. I do not lock my
halted for a second, her conscience questioning her choices.
this really a good idea? Is she willing to risk her name and her husband’s
trust just for this answer?
“I cannot back down
now. I need this. I must do this.”
clarify herself while hugging her abdomen with longing.
opened the door.
she found was an old man, small and hunched, his hair limited to a wild red
mohawk, his eyes covered by a black blindfold, his clothes just a dirty
greenish cloak that he kept in place with the help of collars made out of
bird’s bones, some claws and suspicios beads, and even tho his eyes were
covered and he must certainly be blind, she could feel his eyes on her.
- You poor child… – he said in a tone
that could belong only to a grandparent – Please, have a seat. -
pointed to a chair infront of his own seat, just across the table, she was
pretty sure that chair was not there a blink before, she took the seat anyways.
- My name is Talbot. – he presented
himself – How may I call you, child? –
- Nana. – she responded with out
- Nana… You already know the answer to
your fears, child. –
eyes filled with tears at the words of the ancient man, but she did not shed
- If you know that then you must already
know my request too. – she said, her voice trembling, her eyes stinging, her
- Are you really willing to go that far? –
he asked with concern.
- Yes. – she said, one painful tear
finding its way out of the corner of Nana’s left eye, her voice gaining
- You are letting the pain take over. –
- Please… - Nana closed her eyes, her strength
leaving her, the tears falling, her voice breaking, but the hope still
clutching to her heart – Please… I don’t want to lose him too… please tell me…
old warlock sighed in defeat.
- You have to go deeper into the woods,
where the trees are milleniums old, and the light fears to shine. – instructed Talbot
– The night must reign and the moon must be full, you have to go alone. –
- What will I find there? – Nana asked
with decision, her tears stopping.
- The ruler of this forest. – Talbot answered.
did as Talbot instructed.
put some sleeping herbs in her husband’s dinner and assuring that the man would
stay in bed all night, Nana took off from her home and roamed deep into the
woods. The light of the full moon becoming thinner and thinner with every step
she took until it became a traslucent curtain of grey and fog.
“Deeper… I must go
chanted within her mind.
walked and walked, even after the moon passed its highest point, even when she
felt her feet start to bleed, even when her eyelids started to fall from
tiredness… she kept walking, her burning wish keeping her from relinquishing.
then she heard it.
- Human. -
voice was low and with contained disgust, the tone more like a growl. Nana
turned her body to the direction the voice came from and she saw it.
- *Gasp* - Nana almost screamed in terror, her pupils
shrinking with fear.
her stood a giant wolf, bigger than a two storage house, it’s wild, messy fur
as gold as the sun rays, it’s eyes (sharp, cold and wise) were an orange ambar
as brilliant as liquid gold.
- Why have you come here, to the realm of
the gods? – it
spoke, voice low and accompanied by growls. It ears moved back and orange eyes
woman grimaced, fear flashing in her brown eyes. But she looked determined and
lowered her head.
- Please… - Nana started, her fear making
her voice hoarse – Great God of the wolves, ruler of the forest, hear my plea.
I have… found myself barren, but I wish to have a child with my husband… I am
desperate… Please, great spirit…
woman laid both her hands over her stomach, her shoulders hunched, curling
inwards upon herself. She was in pain, but not physical kind, no, this was the
kind of pain that made the soul break and the heart bleed.
wolf god laughed, tossing its head back.
- You would come to the realm of the Gods
just to ask for an offspring? - It grinned.
smile all fangs and morbid amusement.
shaking woman nodded.
- Please… - she pleaded in a whisper.
wolf watched the female human, judging her for her worth, looking inside of her
heart… her soul.
- Go back to your man. – the grand Wolf God told her, Nana rose
her head and looked into blazing eyes – Seduce him, make him lay down with you, make
him love you… - tears of happiness started to clouded Nana’s eyes with
every word the grand God spoke to her – I shall grant your wish. –
her knees gave up due to relief making her kneel in all four, her happy tears
falling like waterfalls from her eyes.
- Thank you… thank you… thank you…
- But be warned… - the God continued it’s speech – The
child shall be yours but a part of it shall always belong to me… to the forest
and all its inhabitants… -
did not care about the God’s words in that instant. Her happiness and relief
filling her, clouding her better judgement.
is Iemitsu’s biggest pride, Nana’s biggest joy… their baby boy.
big bright gold-brown eyes full of innocence, his fluffy and messy chestnut
hair a wild explocion of vitality, his laughter a beautiful melody that lighted
a cloudy day and made those near him feel at peace.
was born exactly ten months after Nana’s encounter with the ruler of the
forest, but it wasn’t until her baby boy reached four years old that the woman
remembered the warning of the Wolf God.
first one that appeared was a fox, it’s fur a lovely silver shade with white
tips over the tail and paws, it’s eyes a breath taking green. The fox could
only be seen when little Tsuna was outside playing near the woods, the fox
jumping around him, as if dancing with the child.
second one appeared when Tsuna was five. It was a young wolf, thin and playful,
it’s fur short, dark brown colored, it’s light brown eyes were full
curiousness. Apparently the brown wolf liked to annoy the silver fox, Tsuna
says is just a game that Takeshi (the brown wolf) likes to play with Hayato
(the silver fox).
they kept coming, a black young wolf with steel grey eyes that usually had a
fluffy, yellow skylark on it’s head, a large crow with one eye blue and the
other red, the newest member was a kinda chubby fawn that follows Tsuna (now
ten years old) around like a lost puppy.
also has human friends, the lively Sasagawa siblings, that Kurokawa girl with
her head well put over her shoulders and there’s also the Miura’s girl always
holding Tsuna’s arm. But Nana would never take Tsuna away from the woods, the
child played there as much as a bird has to fly, it was his second home and the
safest place the boy would ever be, he is after all part of the forest and the
forest is part of him, the blazing orange ambar that claimed her child eyes in
the full moon nights a prove of his heritage, and Nana would never change any
Yes, I got you, sadly, I needed to write an “inviting” title to get your attention. Forgive me but I need to address this issue. Jazakallahu Khayran. _____
Assalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
I pray everyone is doing well and are in good health and imaan. This post is basically dedicated to those who send over questions regarding Polygamy and Marriage.
Firstly, I want to clarify that I am not (yet) a co-wife nor am I (yet) married. I appreciate you all sending over all these questions regarding all these issues, but to be honest and Allah Azza Wa Jall is my witness I do not hold any ijaza or diploma which says I am a marriage counsellor or any qualified ‘alimaah that could give you the best of all the answers or most appropriate answers.
Rest assured, I answer accordingly to what Allah Azza Wa Jall have bestowed upon me in regards of ‘ilm and that I advise with the fear of and within the words of Allah Azza Wa Jall kept in mind. I do my best to incorporate and reflect upon your stories with those that are similar or same with how the Sahabah Radiyallahu Anhum dealt with such issues.
Secondly, Yes, I take polygamy as a sunnah as how marriage is a sunnah. I may not share the same view as most of the sisters in this deen, but please do not use this view of mine to clutter me with such accusations nor do clutter me with how low of a woman I am that I am willing to “share” my (future) husband with another woman.
• She isn’t any other woman but she is a sister in deen. There is such a huge difference on this. • The concept of polygamy is widely misunderstood so I ask you all to please read more about it and how the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam together with some of the Sahabah Radiyallahu Anhum had dealt with this way of life before you come over me and bombard me with hatred and anger.
Thirdly, I am not desperate nor am I insane that to be a co-wife is the last option for me. To those who know me personally would definitely agree that I am not a woman who is in desperate need of a man in my life right now, but I am a woman who is in desperate need of the forgiveness and guidance of Allah Azza Wa Jall.
More than looking for a man to be with me in this dunya, I am on an endless journey of meeting Allah Azza Wa Jall, and I believe every student of ‘ilm and every sister should put this as a priority. in sha Allah.
Fourthly, marriage is a sunnah not fardh. So do not think low of sisters who haven’t been married until now nor do you (sisters) need to think low of yourselves because of this.
Remind yourselves of Umm Waqarah Radiyallahu Anha who was called by the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam “The Living Martyr”, she did not have a child nor did she had a husband but she had a wonderful life in full obedience upon Allah Azza Wa Jall. She became a hafidah (a woman who memorized the Qur’an), she made half of her house a place for halaqah and gathering for the remembrance of Allah Azza Wa Jall. She would recite the Qur’an every night and every day. She lived a wonderful life and Allah Azza Wa Jall blessed and rewarded her of martyrdom.
Fifthly, I am not bitter nor am I a man hater.
It is just that my happiness do not lie on the “i love you” of haram relationships but with the pleasure of Allah Azza Wa Jall.
Indeed, I have enough family members to actually tell me that they love me everyday which is halal for me than crave for the i love you of someone that is haram for me. So please stop accusing me that I am a man hater or that I have a bitter life just because I never felt being loved by another man. _____
Alhamdulillah, I thank you for having time of reading this post, I am very sorry as I do not really post things like these, but I wanted to clarify this one as early as possible. in sha Allah.
I appreciate hearing all your views and I definitely respect all of your opinions, may Allah Azza Wa Jall bless you all, but please if we do not agree on some certain points then at least let us do our best to seek the good out of that opinion and reflect from it. _____ May Allah Azza Wa Jall keep you all happy.
This morning, I’m angry. Well, I’ve been angry most of these past 19 months of TTC. But this morning I’m not angry at infertility or the universe or God or my chatty, pregnant coworker with the adorable bump. I’m angry at myself.
Before this fertility obsession began, I was a fairly happy, well-adjusted, compassionate person. Partner. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Employee. Citizen of the World.
Sure, I wasn’t happy all day every day, but I was emotionally present. I laughed a lot. I made plans. I wrote poems. I took long walks. I journaled. I enjoyed lazy Saturday mornings. I liked the quiet. The vacations. And the work, too. I loved my job. I loved working out. House projects. I was ambitious. I had my whole life in front of me. I could be anything I wanted. I could make anything I felt like.
I had time.
But this infertility label I’ve stitched onto my forehead has made me feel so impotent. So stuck. Like my life has been frozen in amber these past 19 months. Endlessly buffering. I’ve been embarrassed by my body. Embarrassed by my hopes. I’ve punished myself for this ‘failure,’ essentially putting myself in time-out for the last 19 months. Wearing the dunce hat in all social situations. Depriving my soul of who it is.
And WHY. WHY AM I DOING THAT?
I have done nothing wrong. Sure, my body isn’t making and releasing eggs properly. WHATEVER. That is not a crime. That is not something to be ashamed of and it’s certainly not worth collapsing into myself. At least not yet. Depriving and punishing myself is ridiculously counterproductive. If anything, I need the opposite. I need the joy, the frivolity, the distractions, the warmth.
I resent infertility for casting this giant shadow on my life. And I resent myself for letting it color every single aspect of my life. For LETTING this poison coarse through me. This is not my identity. This does not define me. I refuse to be a faulty, broken folding table that can’t hold any weight. I will not fold up into myself.
I am a dynamic, interesting, creative, compassionate human. I do not deserve to suffer from this. I refuse to let infertility change my outlook. My attitude. My emotional DNA.
No. No. NO.
It has taken fucking enough. And whose fault is that? My own. I am done being the victim in this dysfunctional relationship with my body. Because I am so much more than a woman desperate to get pregnant. I am not some pathetic trope. I refuse to let this alter my interests. To stifle my creative instincts. To traumatize me. To make me just as creatively and emotionally infertile as I am physically. I will not sulk in the corner of life.
Because I tried doing that, and this extended pity party? It’s not fun anymore. Everyone went home except for me, the floors are sticky and I’m left with an emotional hangover. This is ridiculous, immature, melodramatic and exhausting. I’m tired of suffering. I’m tired of feeling sorry for myself.
This is not me. I refuse to let this be me for one second longer.
So instead, I will use this as fuel. I will use this time. I will run on its fumes. I will rise and stare this in the face and refuse to curl up into a ball. I am bigger than infertility. I am more than an empty uterus. I am a funny, talented, smart, ambitious woman with an open heart and a will of steel with an army of supportive friends at my back.
I am driving the car. Not the fear. So let’s buckle the fuck up.
Hello! I have an issue that I'm ashamed to chat about because I feel it makes me a bad person and could be considered controversial. I am dfab and I grew up in a very misogynistic family. I deeply (I cry over this) worry that my aversion to being labeled a woman stems not from a "true gender orientation"- but from my own internalized misogyny (Which is a very BAD thing.). Am I really non-binary? or am I just a woman who is desperately fighting societal expectations on how I *should* act/look?
firstly, i want to reassure you that you’re not a bad person. this is a really tough thing, and it’s something that is rarely talked about in a compassionate, affirming way. but i genuinely understand where you’re coming from, and you’re not alone.
part of why this is such a tough thing to talk about is that there are many self-described feminists who use the concept of internalized misogyny to promote their transphobia and transmisogyny, by telling people that they aren’t really trans, they’re just responding to their internalized misogyny i want to be clear: those beliefs are wrong, and they are violent and harmful. we have got to figure out a way to talk about the ways in which our misogynistic culture affects us without policing each other’s gender identities and expressions.
you might want to read this post. in particular the last few lines offer a really clear response to your question - which is a question that many people have:
“Society wants you to not question the gender that’s been assigned to you, because once gender becomes uncertain then gender roles can’t be enforced. There’s no pressure on you to stop identifying as a woman, but there’s a ton of pressure on you to keep identifying as your assigned gender.
If you don’t feel like you’re a woman, or don’t feel like it describes you well, then that’s all you need to not be a woman.”
and you might also want to read this essay, in which the author unpacks the connection between their own internalized misogyny and their genderqueer identity, drawing important connections that may resonate with you, such as:
“I have a confession to make. I used to have the worst case of ‘I’m not like other girls’. And the funny thing is, it took me realizing that I’m not exactly a girl at all to be able to see the internalized misogyny that contributed to that sort of thinking.”
i sometimes wonder if we lived in a world where there was true gender equality, would i still describe myself as nonbinary? if there had never been misogyny, if there had never been biological gender essentialism, how would i identify? would i still feel uncomfortable being gendered in certain ways? is the way i feel about my body and my gender a reaction to our culture, or something innate, or somehow both at the same time? and those questions can make me feel anxious or uncertain, because i often just don’t have an answer.
but, here’s the thing: we don’t live in that world. we live in this world, and we are shaped by this reality. it’s entirely possible that my sense of self and my relationship to gender has been informed by misogyny - internalized and otherwise. in fact, i kind of assume that it has been, simply because i believe that i am the sum of my many experiences. but i don’t think that acknowledging this renders my existence, or my identity, invalid. i don’t think it means i’m “defecting” from womanhood, and i don’t think it means that i’m secretly self-hating, and i don’t think it means that i’ve somehow internalized the patriarchy. i also don’t think that just because i understand my gender this way, that everyone does (or should) as well.
when it comes down to it, it doesn’t feel true to call myself a woman, and so i don’t. there’s also a lot about my gender that has nothing to do with either affinity for or an aversion to womanhood. gender is complicated, and it’s rarely a response to one particular thing or experience.
internalized misogyny is bad. it’s something that many of us have to stay conscious of, even if we don’t identify as women/girls. and i don’t have a surefire way for you to know, without a doubt, what your gender is. i can tell you that you should listen to yourself, and pay attention to the way you think about gender. we get tons of messages from people who are worried that they’re “faking it,” or that they’re not really nonbinary. but honestly, i have never met someone who had ever “pretended” to be nonbinary. i have met people who spent time wondering if they might be trans or nonbinary, only to ultimately realize that they were cisgender. but that’s not “pretending,” that’s not “making it up.” that’s just exploration, and that’s totally normal. and if that’s the case for you, that’s okay! it’s completely okay to identify as nonbinary for a while - for months, for years, for decades! - and then realize that hey, maybe that doesn’t feel right or true anymore. change doesn’t have to invalidate what came before, and it’s normal to evolve.
i would encourage you to give yourself permission to just be. you might want to take some time away from trying to “figure out” your gender, or from trying to define your identity. dress however you want to dress, use whatever pronouns feel right, and engage in whatever activities you enjoy. try to remove some of the pressure to figure this stuff out right now. try to give yourself permission to contradict yourself, or to change your mind. keep a journal, and focus on describing how you feel, and not how you think you should feel. give yourself time.
remember that your gender is not a word, and it’s not an outfit, and it’s not a box on a form. your gender is yours, and yours alone. it doesn’t have to be clearcut and well-defined. it can be messy and uncertain, and it can change.
this is all just one person on the internet’s opinion, and i hope that some of it helps. my best advice is to be patient with yourself, and to take care of yourself. it’s hard work, but you can do it.
my hands are shaky, tinged with a dash of melanin, enough to proclaim my title as a child of the sun
i am rooted in purple orchids that have been grounded in the west aching towards the east, my spine contorted between two different sets of stars
my skin longs for better days, clearer skies and my ancestors, they don’t recognize me anymore they see me as a ghost, with my tongue burnt out of my mouth all i can do is spit out ash and decay, and figure out what to do with this grey matter that accentuates my scattered blue veins
I have always found comfort in the meaning behind words, in the form of books, poetry, or advice from my mother. The potential for one word to mean so many different things, fascinates me. I find myself up late at night, spellbound over the way a comma in a poem can mean three different things because of its placement, and two others if it wasn’t there. But sometimes, I get caught in the in-betweens. I stumble over binary arguments, whether something is this or that, and half way through my essay, I have disproved my thesis statement and I have contradicted myself. The place I find myself stuck at the most is in between Asian and American.
To be honest I don’t get the typical “Where are you from?” or “Your English is so good!” as often, but I still feel the discomfort of being one of the few Asian American English majors. I feel obligated to try harder than everyone else just to prove that I belong there, that I have a voice. I recall one instance in class when I made a comment and it went unheard, and the girl sitting next to me told me not to worry, I’m just “quiet”. Somehow, I felt offended, and I could feel my eyebrows knitting together under my skin, drawing blood to my face. Part of me scoffed at her assumption, but another part of me was angry at myself for not being loud enough and succumbing to being that docile Asian girl. Every day, I subconsciously try to disprove stereotypes and that has strengthened and weakened me in countless ways that make my head spin.
The problems I face as an Asian American woman don’t just come from non-Asians. A lot of tension exists in our community among ourselves that make my bones ache and lungs burn. For example, there is still this passive aggressive warfare between Asians and Americans, F.O.B.’s (Fresh off the Boat) and (in Chinese culture) A.B.C.’s (American Born Chinese). Entitlement is assigned to where you were born and it is a wicked thing that changes to whoever holds it, and has stolen my mother tongue away from me. I used to be ashamed of my heritage and refused to learn how to read and write Chinese because I thought it would make me more “fobby”, uncool according to Asian Americans. With more hindsight and maturity, I now feel the sting at my fingertips, ashamed and disappointed in myself that I can’t write poetry in Chinese. I can’t share my craft with my mother and I can’t fully comprehend how intelligent she is. I can barely write my own name.
I battle with myself a lot more than others do with each other and I have internalized my identity in a way that has altered my bone structure, the shape of my hips and the way I hold my pen. I used to be a quiet, bookish little Asian girl who never participated in classes but now, I am a woman who is desperately apologetic to the little girl I once was, convinced by the world that she could not have a voice, that she was not allowed to take up any type of space. Today, I am a woman who juggles metaphors with shaky hands, an ocean churning in her chest, trying to bring her mother back to the motherland, and earn back the right to call it home. I am trying to make ends meet, to untangle these in-betweens and to chase after sunrises. To have a voice and take up space that provides more for those who cannot.
Maybe you've mentioned this before, or maybe you don't care to share this information, but what do you do for work? Your hours always seem crazy.
ey!! i have mentioned it but it’s always pretty off-hand–for the last 7 years i’ve worked as a short-order cook at a local place. unfortunately, where we used to have an upwards of 10 people who were available to work the kitchen, there are now 3. our location is super busy, so i work nights solo and have to pull double shifts
recently i’ve been absolutely miserable where i work, and i am desperate for something else. i don’t get treated well, either, which makes it a huge bummer. i don’t talk about it often on here because it’s a big downer for me
Hey Scout! You don’t have to answer this, but do you have an artistic job? Or do you just do art in your free time?
i don’t! right now it’s a hobby, but i’d love to take up an actual art career so i could quit the job i have now. i got an idea where to start, but it’s tough to find jobs that’re in my wheelhouse that can sustain me the way a regularly paying job would.
so as of right now an art job would make me supremely happy, but at the moment it’s just my free time practice!