some family trees bear an enormous crop of nuts

From my travels to and interactions within different countries, I am reminded that the outside world doesn’t necessarily picture a short (sassy, loud-mouthed) Asian girl woman when they think of a “typical American.” What I’ve also discovered is that this “typical American” is a dying minority as the criteria now is relatively fluid. For the vast majority of us, the picture is much more complicated to paint these days.

I was raised in three different families, at three different periods in my life. They make up my blood, my heart and my soul: the Luus, the Leonards, and the Ts (Todd and Tonya). I am very much a product of each, in ways distinguished by both nature and nurture. Collectively, my Asian-African-Caucasian-Hispanic family houses 5 siblings, 6 parents, 5 living grandparents, about 20+ aunts and uncles, and a multitude of extended relatives by lineage and marriage, to infinity and beyond. As I get older, visiting family has become both a coordinating nightmare and wonderfully exciting occasion. Though, I figure coming from, belonging to, and representing such a wide network of people is a better problem to have rather than the alternative. As I depart for a stint abroad, I can’t help but feel a great sense of pride and a deeper appreciation for what is possible, that this is possible, in America. The freedom and opportunities of this country have provided me with multiple families of people who inspired me to think big, travel far and love so very many.

luu3 (2)