Florals & Kimonos
Just before I turned 13, my parents sat my sisters and I down to tell us we were moving to a small island in Asia. OK, so take this in for a minute... I am a towheaded, soccer playing 7th grader living in Lafayette, Louisiana. Before Lafayette, we lived in New Orleans, Venezuela, Houston, Australia, and Dallas.
Moving wasn't foreign to me, Asia was foreign to me.
"You're moving me to an island in Asia?!" I gasped with tears flooding my face.
"Yes, Singapore." My dad said all too confidently (aka this was not up for debate).
Fast forward, 3 months – we are living in the tropical city-country of Singapore. Not quite the "island" I was picturing, but paradise for us nonetheless. It usually took me 6 months to a year to settle in and make one good friend in a new city. But Singapore was different. For the first time in our lives, we were surrounded by transient families and kids from all over the world who were JUST LIKE US. We related because we were different. I was able to be ME without inhibition and without apologizing for not being able to answer the question "where are you from?". We spent nearly 4 years "growing up" in Singapore. We made lifelong friends and traveled to countless countries and cities.
I fell in love with Asia. I assimilated and immersed myself in the culture, food, traditions, and studied the people and history. You can imagine my frustration when I returned to the states and people didn’t automatically know about my Asian identity… I suppose the blonde hair and blue eyes didn’t help.
Now over 10 years later, I’ve learned that - like most of us - despite the way that I look, I am a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, and experiences. I am simply human.
However.... to play up my Asian sense of self and eliminate some confusion, you will find me rocking this Fall's hottest fashion trend: Asian-inspired kimonos, silk embroidered pants, and floral heels. ;)