I am a Bad Asian Daughter (B.A.D.).
I am 34 years old. I went to Harvard. I went to medical school. (Those were good things.) I graduated from medical school and decided not to do a residency. (First B.A.D. thing.) I found my way into a venture capital job. Worked hard, made partner. (That was good.) Bought a house. (Another good thing.) Got restless watching my future stable, suburban life in middle America unfold before me. (B.A.D.) Left my job and moved to California to follow a dream. (Good and very B.A.D.) House was still on the market. (B.A.D. but eventually worked itself out.) Started a business from scratch in Silicon Valley, teaching violin to 3-year-olds. (Good thing it worked out, or it would have been B.A.D.) Grew the business, reached my milestones, made a lot of other people happy. (Good G.A.D.)
Looked around at my life and started wondering when I could take the time to learn what makes ME feel good. Realized that avoiding everything I was taught to be “B.A.D.” behavior was not enough to feel good about myself. Started tiptoeing into areas I once believed were “bad” because I made them mean I was a Bad Asian Daughter and Bad Person.
Like what? Playing non-classical music. (B.A.D.) Actually going out and claiming to be a musician. (VERY B.A.D.) Shutting down my own business. (B.A.D.) “Disappointing” clients and families. (B.A.D.) Changing my mind. (B.A.D.) Starting a new business. (Fun and a little crazy, and oh so B.A.D.) Forming a rock band. (B.A.D.) Performing for parents’ friends in public. (B.A.D., until parents’ friends say they actually LIKE the music! Good!) Taking responsibility for my own life. (So good and oh so B.A.D.) Speaking my truth. (So B.A.D. at family gatherings.)
I am not married. (B.A.D.) I have no children. (B.A.D. So inconsiderate to parents and ancestors!) I do not own my own home. (B.A.D.) I have a white boyfriend. (Very good for me and B.A.D. at the same time.)
Taking the risk of finding my own way to live, doing the work to define what I value in life, being willing to trust my own experience. (So good for the soul, yet so very, very B.A.D.)
I was destined to discover my own source of self-acceptance, self-approval, self-trust, self-care, and self-love. In other words, the ingredients of a good life. So first, I had to learn everything about what it means to be B.A.D. Here, I’m opening a space by sharing how it feels to be B.A.D., and to embrace everything B.A.D. about me.
Do you feel like a Bad Asian Daughter? Join me on this journey into the depths of B.A.D.ness, and maybe even learn to embrace it all, while letting go of what’s bad about being B.A.D.
Leave a comment, or send me an email at badasiandaughter (at) gmail (dot) com.