Monday, November 18, 2013

Tell us about a time when you felt out of place.

There was a time in my life that I always felt out of place. Being Asian and living in the Midwest, it is easy to be the only Asian in the room most places you go. As an adult it is something that I always notice, and it is hard not to in a profession of predominantly white females. When I was in my graduate school program, how to get more people of color into the profession was a topic of conversation and still to this day, there are not many more than there were before.

I remember when I lived in California, I had an Asian friend who had lived in the LA area since she came to the United States. Her boyfriend was also Asian. One day, she was telling me a story about her weekend. She said that she was with her boyfriend and they went into a restaurant and had to leave because they were the only Asians in the whole restaurant. I told her that it is that way in most places outside of LA. I don't think that she really believed me, but, in my experience, it is true.

Nowadays, I can feel out of place even among people who look like me. Just looking like someone does not provide a sense of belonging with those people. I have found my own way and my own sense of who I am outside of what I look like. Those that are my real friends and family can see beyond the color of my skin. 

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