Hi friends! Welcome to Day 4 of the quarantine. How goes it with you all? I hope you guys are safe and healthy and making smart decisions regarding social distancing. If you find yourself violating this government-enforced act, please, please think about the implications of what you’re doing and how it’ll affect those around you. Be smart.
A case in point is Italy, where measures to contain the virus were enforced too late. The news there just keeps getting grimmer and grimmer. Today, Italy announced that 627 people died in a single day. One. Single. Day. My heart goes out to those affected by the virus. This is tragic and absolutely insane.
But, in order to get my mind off of this heartbreaking reality, I will selfishly steer the subject away from the topic of coronavirus and start talking about my day.
I woke up at 10am, right before my 30-minute phone appointment with an acting coach named Leah. I sought her out to give me some guidance on where to begin with my acting journey. Yes, friends, I am indeed giving acting a try, as a means to break out of my shell. I’ll keep you informed as to how it goes. After the phone call, I ate “brunch”, which was really just a late breakfast. Made myself some scrambled eggs served with guacamole and ketchup– the eclectic mix actually tastes very good! After my meal, I read some more of the book “Grit”. I aim to finish it by tomorrow. Took a break from reading by writing part of my latest feature article for my website. Stay tuned for that! Then I went to the levee and ran 4 miles. If you knew me, you’d know that I hate running, so I’m honestly super proud of myself for running as much as I did. After getting my muscles warm the run, I went home and did some stretching and conditioning in the living room. Afterwards, I took a shower, which by the way, is more important than ever, given the contagious and air-borne nature of the coronavirus. After showering and changing into clean clothes, I helped my mom vacuum and mop the house. Had dinner, then went up to my room to watch the movie “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. Just finished the movie, and now here I am, writing this blog.
My relationship with my parents has been quite rocky these past several months. It stemmed from a combination of them coercing me to leave LA to return to my Bay Area home, as well as my mother’s initial inability to give me my personal space and privacy. Now, the three of us have good days and bad days. I keep my distance from them (not just because of the social distancing rule), and they do the same with me. I’m not quite sure why we are so disconnected. I think all the drama and tumult that’s happened these past seven months of being back home has damaged our relationship significantly. I can’t seem to be in the same room as them for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time. The other day, I was walking on the levee, when I saw them walking in the opposite direction. Immediately, I was overcome with a feeling of dread and, strangely enough, anxiety. I felt awkward, kind of like the way you make eye contact with someone walking/running the opposite direction, and you don’t really know what to do. Smile? Look away and pretend you don’t notice the person? Nod your head in acknowledgement of their existence? When I spotted my parents, I immediately trained my eyes downward onto the rocky road ahead of me, quickened my stride, and eventually turned my brisk walk into a run. I waved to them from a distance, and they waved back at me. My mom was wearing her cute little sun hat that I adore. As I was passing by, I curtly acknowledged the two of them. My mother said something to me, but I couldn’t hear her over the sound of music blasting from the earbuds my brother bought me for my birthday. I replied with a loud, “Sorry, I can’t hear you right now”, and gestured to my ears. She nodded, and with that, we passed by each other, and our brief interaction concluded.
Today was one of the bad days with them. For some reason, I didn’t have an appetite, so I refused to eat a proper lunch or dinner, even though my mother painstakingly prepared a nice meal for us tonight. My mom, understandably hurt, yelled at me for not appreciating her efforts more. As I trudged up the stairs to my room after rudely rejecting her food, a feeling of guilt and regret filled my heart. Why did I act so cold and rude to my mom? She identifies so strongly with being a homemaker, and a large part of her day is devoted to cooking for me and my father. She cooks three meals a day since the two of us are home all the time. Her hands hurt from arthritis, yet she insists on doing the cooking and other household duties. She’s never asked much of me. And this is how I repay her?
I should have went back downstairs to apologize and let her know that I did indeed appreciate what she does for me. But perhaps it was pride, or more likely, discomfort, that hindered me from doing just that. In Chinese culture, it is uncommon for parents to verbally shower their children with the words “I love you”. Instead, their immense love for their children manifests through their actions. My dad spent most of his life providing for Austin, Chris and me by waking up every day at 6am to go to the hospital, where he works until nighttime performing high stress, demanding work. Not once did he falter or complain. My mother nurtured her triplets’ many talents and interests and pushed us to reach our potentials in everything we did, be it school, music, or sports. It takes a superwoman to raise triplets, and I like to think the three of us turned out alright.
I’m 22, now. My parents are not getting any younger. Pretty soon, it will be my job to care for them. Yet, I still feel so dependent on them in so many regards. They never asked for much of me, other than to perform well in school and be a kind person. Well, I’ve proven that I could do the former. The latter, well… as of right now, I don’t feel very kind. I want to express to my parents how grateful I am for their efforts and how much I love them. They most likely will not read this blog post, because I have no intention of sending them a link. Why? Because like I said, I feel uncomfortable expressing my love towards them, be it verbally or in writing. I hope that changes some day, but as of right now, my relationship with my parents is shaky.
Well, I must go now, for the effects of my medication are kicking in, making me drowsy. I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow. And, one more thing. Don’t be like me. Give your loved ones an extra hug tonight, before going to bed. As we have seen from the terrible, terrible reality of the past month, tomorrow is never a guarantee. What if, god forbid, your loved one contracts the virus and is not strong enough to survive it? Let them know how much you love them, before it’s too late.