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Are you a Bad Asian Daughter?

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”
– Mary Oliver, from the poem “Wild Geese”

“You do not have to be good.”

Creative Chinese Character Art

Image by sinosplice via Flickr

Ever hear that one from your parents? HA! Ever hear that from a teacher, or a boss, or a mentor?

If the answer is yes, count yourself lucky (and cherish that relationship). If you actually believe that you don’t have to be good, then consider yourself enlightened.

But if you’re like me, and still wake up sometimes to face parts of yourself you’ve been conditioned to believe are “bad”, welcome. Come and sit for awhile. Read. Cry. Share. Smile. Learn.

I’m inspired to start this blog because I’m tired of believing I’m actually B.A.D. I’m tired of living with shame, guilt, and a nagging sense of dishonoring ancestors (a vague term for the ashes of dead people whose names are inscribed on a family shrine in a mountaintop cemetery somewhere in Asia). Read the rest of this entry