My mother in-law, Carole, recently sent me a link to a Ted Talk video. And I was so inspired by it that I thought I’d share it with you as well. This 6 minute presentation from Candy Chang got me thinking more in-depth about the things that really matter to me…big or small, funny or serious. Watching this video opened up something big in me that I did not expect to share – watch the video first and then please read on.
My answer to the question “Before I die I want to…” is: I’d very much like to see my biological mother again. She lives in Thailand and I last saw her about 15 years ago during my honeymoon. She doesn’t speak English (we both speak a little Chinese so this helped us to get by) and we never connected online so I’m unsure how I’ll be able to find her. Prior to my honeymoon, I had only seen her once since I was adopted and moved to the U.S. when I was 4 years old. My mother had given me up for adoption because our family had fallen apart (my biological father had an affair and went off to start a new family). And she felt that it was better for me to move to America to live with a missionary family, where there would be more opportunities for everyday necessities like food and shelter as well as a decent education.
Back then (and probably still today), girls in Thailand did not have much to look forward to in regards to their futures. Basically, you would start work at a young age (school life was not a priority) and then simply be married off…and very frequently you would not be the only wife. In Thailand, men often marry more than one wife (it’s technically illegal but a widely accepted norm), and the most you could hope for would be to be the first one to marry your husband (then you’d be considered the “head wife”)…which is not very much to hope for if you ask me. Anyway, my mother didn’t want this life for me, so she made the most difficult decision…she let me go, hoping that I would have better opportunities in America. It’s important to me to find my mother so that I can thank her for making this ultimate sacrifice. I know it wasn’t easy because she loved me very much (I know this because when I first met her at the age of 16, she held on to me for what seemed like hours and deeply cried…I think they were happy tears). I want my mother to know that I’m doing very well these days, and that her sacrifice was not for nothing. I want her to be at peace. And I want to let her know that her little girl is at peace.
Originally, I didn’t mean to get so involved with this post but as I wrote I felt I should…to better explain my answer to the question from the video. I think I’m at a stage with my blog that I’m ready to open up more – I know this will (and has already) trickled into my artwork. I’m not sure where any of this will lead me, and this uncertainty makes me feel scared. However, maybe facing these fears head on is exactly what I need. Who knew that answering one question could lead to something so raw? I guess you never know where the heart will lead you.
And you, how would you answer the question “Before I die I want to…”. Please, do feel free to tell me something about yourself…big or small, funny or serious.