An Open Letter To Immigrant Parents

Dear Foreign Parents Living In America,

With all due respect to our homeland, I promise straying a little bit from our culture won't corrupt me as a person. I promise that embracing the differences in the people around us won't stunt my morals or values (in a negative way at least). I promise being a little more openminded than the people that brought us into this world isn't as bad as it sounds. You brought me to the world's greatest melting pot yet you expect me to stay in this perfect mold that our ancestors constructed. Im sorry but, this isn't how it works.

Your goal, like any parent's, is for me to grow up and become successful. You want me to live comfortably without the struggles you had to go through. So the question still lingers, you brought me here for change but why aren't you letting me adapt? This country is filled with opportunities and in order to cease them, I need to take risks and go out of my comfort zone. How do I do that if I feel the need to lie about where I'm going and if I need to be home by 11 o'clock every night? How do I experience everything this land has to offer if my phone is constantly blowing up with "where are you?" "who are you with?" and my favorite, "when are you going to be home?" Im safe, you don't know who I'm with because you tend to judge and disrespect everyone that doesn't look like us, and I promise if I'm home at 11:01 instead of 11, the world isn't going to combust.

You push me to my limits in school, to the point of tears and distress and anxiety over an 89 instead of a 90. Yet, instead of acknowledging my accomplishments, you point out my flaws. You expect me to go above and beyond in every subject but you don't realize that maybe calculus isn't my forte and chemistry isn't what I'm supposed to be doing for the rest of my life. You say missing a school day is going to stunt my academic growth but what about my mental growth and stability. I may not be struggling in school but I'm struggling to maintain my mental health. I'm allowed to be passionate about something other than what you had in mind. After all, isn't it passion that brought you over the borders? If you didn't feel that burning desire in your gut to change the way you lived, would you have pushed so hard to come here? Maybe I don't feel that burning desire about becoming a doctor and maybe I'm better with my words than I am with numbers. What's so bad about that?

What caused you to have this idea engraved in your head that different equals bad? Differences are diversity and colors and races and languages coming together, why do you think that this harms me more than it benefits me? The most beautiful thing about living here is the ability to learn new ideas and view things from new perspectives. This is embracing the new life you gave me, not staying home cooking, cleaning, studying, and praying.

I'll thank you everyday from the bottom of my heart for risking everything you knew to bring me to a better place. I appreciate it more than I could put into words. I'll do everything to make you proud, even if it's not what you imagined. I'm trying to find my own way and path but that doesn't mean I'm cutting my roots. I will always know and cherish where I came from but I need to blossom into my own person. All I'm asking is for you to accept me as the person I am.

With love always,

Your child, just trying to do their best

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