Dreams are always great… when they are dream: those that you don’t have to work/pay for. Those that you enjoy from afar.
The American dream wasn’t my dream. I was never serious about studying abroad. 10th grade, I was still fixated on a small victory of getting into High School for the Gifted, a dream school of many. I was so consumed in it that when people were studying for the SAT and ACT, I didn’t even bother looking up to see what it really was. I didn’t want to care about IELTS because everyone was taking it and I wanted to stand out, yet TOEFL was an absolute nightmare.
But I ended up in America anyway. With a lot of support from my family. Until today, I still don’t know what the reason behind my leaving Saigon was – for a better education, for the American dream, or for an eye-opening experience – but I know that this place has been overestimated when my own upbringing was neglected.
That’s a whole lot of rambling, so here’s what going on about waste. I was taught to not waste food, yet that was when my family was hecking poor. When my sister came along, it became normal if she wanted to throw away food. If she didn’t eat enough for herself, my parents would give a slight nudge to finish the meat in her bowl, but rice could get thrown to the trash bin. It seemed that we weren’t poor anymore. It seemed that it was ok to let the food go waste.
America also taught me the same lesson, that it was ok to rid what you don’t finish instead of getting small portion until you are full. My roommate Ariel and my friend Ben would always offer to eat what I didn’t want anymore because they didn’t want to waste the food, and it became clear to me that I had buy into a system that just wasn’t for the better, at all. People talked about individual freedom in America and about how you can do whatever you want. People never talked about how that individuality affects the society.
When I watched Down to Earth on Netflix, I learned that the cultural theme of Iceland was to never waste even just a grain. I know I cannot trust everything I see, but isn’t that so incredible that we all should take a moment and appreciate it instead of criticizing? With that, I felt guilty to not finish my own food because I abandoned the value of my poor raised childhood. With that, I want to change.
✅ Went to the beach and kayak for the first time
✅ Be a little more talkative that yesterday