I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. For those of you who don’t know, Indonesia is a country that basically created by collecting some big islands and thousands of tiny islands into one. We’re located in between the Philippines and Australia. Here’s a map!
My parents are of Chinese descent. My grandparents from both side immigrated to Indonesia, I believe in search for a better life. Although some of the Chinese traditions are passed down onto me, unfortunately speaking and writing Chinese aren’t one of them.
My dad and my mom met in Jakarta; they were seven years apart! They started to date when my mom was in her senior year of high school. Right off the bat, she was a steal (and still is!) and my dad wanted to marry her right after she graduated high school. Their relationship was on and off for about seven years. I remembered my mom told me that my grandpa told her that my dad was a great guy! And if she married him, she would live happily.. My grandpa was right! They got married in 1988 and had me in 1990. A month after that, my mom found out that she was pregnant with my younger sister. Six years after, my mom didn’t plan to have another child, but got pregnant with my youngest sister in 1995; she was born in 1996.. We were a pack as a family. Although my sisters and I don’t get along, even until this day, I love them a lot and would do anything to keep them safe.
This is pretty much how my sisters and I are..
There was a big riot in 1998 in Jakarta. All people who are of Chinese descent were affected. We had this secret cold war going on between the indigenous Indonesian and the Chinese Indonesian. I have no idea why, but like most nations, I’m sure it was a battle for power. The Chinese came over and had successful lives in Indonesia. I mean it doesn’t matter who you are, as long as you work for what you want, you will be successful. That riot, also the passing of my grandpa, was the reason why my aunt (mom’s little sister) immigrated to America. I think there was something about a guy too, but I was too little to know.
So in 2005, my parents and my aunt decided to send me to America to study; and also to accompany my aunt who was single back then. High school was an okay experience to me. I made a few friends, learned English well, graduated with Honors and moved on with going to college. The first few months of moving to America though, was tough. I had to learn how to take the bus home, how to do my own laundry, how to cook, how to vacuum, and how to do other chores around the house. It was very frustrated for me and my aunt because we were the opposites. Although we share the same birthday, I was messy and she was a neat freak. Eventually, we worked things out and live together just fine.
I’m just thankful with God’s plan for me. Although my parents had to do with me moving to America, I’m sure God put the idea in their heart. If I didn’t move half way across the world, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
What’s your story? How did you get .. here?