My Lunch Box Moment

My Lunch Box Moment

A day in a life of an Asian American.

The Jubilee Project released a video called "Lunch Box Moment" that is centered around Asian Americans telling stories of how their fellow classmates would react to their lunch boxes. Watching it made me feel reminiscent about the times in elementary school where I wouldn’t eat my boxed lunches just so kids wouldn’t make fun of me. Looking back, it hurts to think about how much I must have hurt my mom by rejecting the food that she made with love. I remember one time where I cried and yelled at my mom for not giving me lunch like the other kids at my school. My mom sat with me and the next day gave me money that we didn’t really have to go buy a hot lunch from my school cafeteria. I realize now that I wasn’t only ashamed of my lunches but I was also slightly ashamed of my heritage. I wasn’t like the other kids, I wasn’t their skin tone, I didn’t have blonde hair or green eyes, and the food I ate was smelly and looked weird. Granted it’s not like their teasing came from a place of hate or racism—more like ignorance and misguidedness—but it hurt all the same.

Mother’s Day just shared this video and watching it made me realize just how much I miss having my mom cook for me and take care of me. My mom is one of the strongest people I know and one of the bravest for coming to a totally different country and picking up a new life for her kids. She works twice as hard as anyone and has willpower like none other. She is one my heroes and my example for when I have kids someday. She never hesitated to give something up for us and does her best to give us everything in the world. I also miss her deeply and I miss her cooking.

For many Asian parents, food and material things are the way that they showed love to their children. When I rejected her lunch boxes it was like I was not only rejecting her food, but also her love. Granted I was a child and didn’t understand. Looking at it now, I wish I could have proudly taken and eaten my strange, smelly food at school.

I wish I could have put up with the ignorance and understood that my mom just wanted to be like the moms that she had seen in her childhood. It was so close and yet so far. I’ve learned a lot from her in the past 20 years of my life and one of my favorite lessons is cooking. Korean food is the best cuisine, in my opinion, and I love to cook and eat our creations.

The last question that the Lunch Box Moment video asked was, “If your mom were here right now what would you say to her?” I would say thank you and "saranghae," which means "I love you" in Korean and hug her tightly and then ask her to make me some food. My mom means the world to me and I am super proud of my Korean food and pack my own lunches and eat them with a pride that my mom would be proud of. I love you mommy and Happy Late Mother’s Day!

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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