What Asian parents forget to teach you

I'm not sure if it was because of my Tiger upbringing or if it was just an innate trait, but I was always an awkward kid. The kind of quiet person that didn't know really know how to talk to people. Of course, I was pretty talented: I took martial arts, piano, art, and of course, I did pretty well in school.

On top of that, my dad was a pretty successful person himself. He was well known in Saigon as being one of the best street fighters (he had a portion of his skull cut off when some sore loser smashed a spear on the back of his head after he lost a fight), was Mr. Popular, (to this DAY, he knows just about every Vietnamese person in town), was basically an Asian Casanova before the concept of "Asian playboy" ever existed, if it wasn't for the war, he'd have finished medical school, and even founded a successful computer company (but after a certain bubble popped when I was a toddler, we lost most of our money so I never knew exactly HOW well off we were, which in my opinion, would be a good thing because I think I would have been a spoiled bitch if we still had the money). So I had some big shoes to fill.

One time my father and I passed by a Rolls and I was like OMG! Dad it's a Rolls! He looked at it unimpressed and said "Oh, that's just one of the cheaper ones" and laughed it off.

But of course, as a concerned parent, my dad tried his best to try to help his son out with his awkwardness. He always told me that as long as I kept practicing, and was good at something, it would be easier to talk to people. Unfortunately, there's a huge generational + cultural gap between the two of us and every time he said that, it was followed by drill of any combination of things mentioned above- drill, being the key word and when he didn't see any progress in my social skills he'd demeanor me and ask "Why can't you make friends!?" I'm just a kid! I don't fucking know! As time passed, I got pretty damn good at what I did, or at least better than most people, and if not by quality, quantity, but I was still socially awkward. Even worse, because I was constantly practicing one thing or another and eventually I got sick of playing classical music, drawing seemed like a giant chore, and I was taking out all my frustrations on my sparring partners. I was constantly practicing one thing or the other so I never had the time to appreciate what I was learning. People used to praise me all the time, but because I was so disillusioned, I just scowled back. Not sexy at all.

Flash forward to about a month ago. I just gave an awesome speech about how Bruce Lee broke stereotypes. I weaved and did combos and I put in so much energy that a few guys started copying my peek-a-boo stance. I cracked a few jokes and I killed! So what was it that I learned these past few years?

Don't be afraid to show off what you care about! As long as you don't shove it down people's throats, it's totally acceptable. The more comfortable you become, confidence is sure to follow. Once you're comfortable and confident, your magnificent charisma will follow and once you've gained enough charisma, you will become fucking A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I may not be able to follow my father's footsteps, (why so many alliterations?) but I'm sure to make my own path that I can be proud of. I had a talk with my dad about what charisma was the other day and he joyously shouted "You finally figured it out!" and I was like "Why didn't you fucking tell from the get go, damn it!" He never answered. If there's any readers out there that haven't figured this out yet, I hope I saved you years of trouble, because I seriously wished someone would have told me that when I was a kid.

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