our subculture is rooted so heavily in this notion of the “American Dream”, where if you work really hard and get a good education you can get a stable, nice life. With a picket fence and a dog, a silver Lexus and a Fendi purse and your MD or your JD or your PhD. You have to work hard to “earn” your place in society because you don’t belongIt forgets (and Hollywood and the mainstream media don’t help at all because, surprise, they reinforce these horrible stereotypes) that Asian Americans are also, surprise surprise, individual people.
that is why this “model minority” notion and Hollywood and mainstream media pisses me off so much. growing up, I had no mentors who had been both creative and successful to look up to because we lived in the fucking Connecticut suburbs where all the Chinese folks went to church on Fridays and sported all the expected jobs: dentist, doctor, lawyer, engineer, chemical researcher. All I had were cautionary tales of failed “creative types” who ended up working as clerks or some other “low-income, dead end job” who were just UNHAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES. The only Asian girl in my high school who went to an arts college ended up moving back home and then out to LA, still “jobless and fooling around.” Needless to say this was horribly discouraging and for a time in the beginning of college I started to think that going the art way was just another stupid childhood dream that you had to give up someday, until I started meeting people who had, in fact, “made it.”
not to say that my parents didn’t want the best for me. After all, they did let me come to New York and supported me throughout school, and are still supporting me as I look for Real Employment.
I honestly feel that people who say “eh, just do what you love, who cares about the money” have never had to worry about money in their lives before. Are you kidding me? “CREATIVE TYPES” HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MONEY TOO. They’re not just some ethereal floating butterfly-like creature, flitting from couch to couch and living this romanticized fantasy life just “doing what they love”. THEY STILL HAVE TO PAY BILLS AND BE FUNCTIONAL MEMBERS OF SOCIETY ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME NOT WORRY ABOUT MONEY.
I’m worried about everything right now. I want to do what I love, too. I’ve been a “good Asian,” too. To the best of my ability. Getting good grades in high school, my high SAT scores, my fucking National Honor Society membership.
Ugh gross I hate feeling like I’ve done absolutely nothing of value with my life and the fear that all of this comic writing and scripting and drawing and love I’ve put into it is never going to pay off or go anywhere and I’ll just be another cautionary tale the Cheshire Asian parents love to spit at their children when their children haven’t done their homework in advance and they’re all really mad at each other. That nothing I make will ever be good, and I’ll never be good enough.