If you are multicultural, you might feel as though you lead a double life. At home, you are immersed in the language, foods, traditions, expectations, even the posturing, of your heritage, while at work or school, you instead follow the individualistic, success-driven norms of our American culture. You might have had to sacrifice your free time for the sake of your family growing up, and now in your adulthood, you are left with a sense of confusion: how can I pursue what I want to do now that I finally have the chance, and also make my family and community happy? You may encounter prejudice and racism within your day-to-day. You may feel the grief in not having a role model who could supply all the answers in living up to American values, and within the experience of being a “minority,” have internalized many messages of not being good enough. All of these cumbersome realities add up. Know that you don’t have to carry them on your own.
Giving yourself the space to process through generations of pain and sacrifice can help free you to make the best decisions for yourself, while keeping those you value in mind, too.