I always wanted to run away from home, from my abusive mother and her screaming fits and mood swings. In high school, I put my head down and worked hard so I could get into a good college and escape. I did run away from home once. I wrote a blog post about it, too. Then, I got into a great college and left at long last, only to run head first into a disturbing relationship and PTSD.
Fast forward five years and countless therapy sessions later. I write this in my close friend Bri’s apartment in Seattle, with a peanut butter milkshake from Five Guys and a bottle of Sprite by my side. Red hair covers my forehead, which my mom would hate. I have healed from my PTSD and anorexia. I do my best to help others through providing therapy, teaching, and mentoring
and oversharing about my life online. I have a few close friends who make me feel understood. I live in an apartment filled with books and Ariana Grande and BlackPink paraphernalia.
I guess I share all of this to show that for anyone struggling through a hard time, with time and effort and luck, things may get better. I hesitate to write that it will get better, because that at least in part depends on one’s privilege too, and I know I have a good amount of socioeconomic privilege. Still, I think back to 12-year-old self-starving just trying to survive Thomas, and I feel stunned at how much has changed in a decade. I feel way more confident in my voice. I use my emotions to help others instead of to hurt myself. I eat. I actually eat, and I enjoy almost every bite.
Things aren’t perfect, of course. There’s a whole lot more I have to learn about and do for social justice. I feel more desire to talk to my current crush than I’d like. I push myself a bit much at times so I can secure a tenure-track job later.
But right now, I have everything I’ve ever wanted, no man or prestigious job necessary. I’ll spend the rest of the weekend gallivanting around Seattle with Bri
and by gallivanting I mean going to different bookstores because that’s all I’m motivated to do lol. This upcoming Monday I will see Ariana live with Sorrah, and I know I will transcend when she transitions from my first love “Break Free” to my current favorite “No Tears Left To Cry.” In a little more than a week I will see A and we will exchange gossip and support over a fantastic meal. Throughout it all, I will have me, the queer red-haired Vietnamese book-loving nerd I’ve always wanted to be.
I’m on spring break now and trying to actually take a break from doing work so wanted to share this post! I’m about to go respond to comments on my two most recent posts now. Would love any feedback from longer-time readers (or new readers) and if there’s anything you want me to write about in the future please let me know. Hope you all are well.