a little dizzy.
I guess I've always thought very impersonally of my family, the way I see them in a broader social sense. Immigrants, working-class, escaping from a country fractured by larger global powers. The temptation is always there to want to turn my family's story into something for other people to see and read, and part of that comes from how little I actually feel like what's happened in my life with regard to my family, with just enough for me to observe it — it just doesn't feel like it really happened to me. Feeling distant from the events of my childhood, which sounds like the most obvious thing that could be said as an adult. But I mean for how the connection between the events of my childhood seem so detached from the person I am now, how I would have expected a life in later years of a person more staid than I am now. It would have meant being more in touch at an earlier age with the devastation my grandparents went through, I suppose, for me to have turned out that way. But I was shielded from all of that.
The subject of my family would come up in conversation, and I would always use the words 'case study' to describe them. My parents the way they are, with relation to how my aunts and uncles seem to be (from what I hear through my cousins). Then there's me and my siblings. I don't want to get too into it here, and it's not because I'm worried about divulging too much personal information. But to talk about each of the people in my immediate family by describing them feels ineffective. Would just be better to paint a specific scenario and provide context, then describe them as how they would react. Always pictured my father as having a certain idea of the country his father ran away from as being the locus from which everything is decided. As well, can't picture my brother without him first reacting to a minor inconvenience with extreme inner turmoil that speaks of an entitlement that's very particular to American-born Asian children of immigrants.
But going a little farther back to where I guess I was exposed to seeming contradictions in what was to be expected of our allotment in life. I can't pull myself firstly from imagining a scenario where my grandfather, escaping a country that was dealing with the aftermath of an occupation, wouldn't have made it overseas with his family without the help of people who were native to that former occupying country. I think about that a lot as the reason why I've always had this fascination since a young age with people being loyal to an overall sense of moral duty, the mutual aid that comes with first-hand experience, and not to notions of race, country, familial lineage. I'm hoping to write about all of these things, hopefully not distilling too much some of my tendency to moralize.