In my yonder years, I can remember being surrounded by my family, in particular my grandfather in which I would refer to as “Ong Ngoai” which was grand daddy in Vietnamese. Being that my grandfather was originally from Vietnam and was only in the states for less than two years when I was born, we only spoke in our native language at home. I assumed everyone spoke Vietnamese, from what I knew that was the official language. Can you imagine how much of a rude awakening this was for a four year old. In Pre- K was when I was introduced to the English language. I was so different compared to everyone else; from what I ate, to how I dress and importantly I did not know any English. My first fondest and excruciating memories was always getting in trouble for wetting myself, I would remember desperately trying to communicate with Ms. Brown to please allow me to use the restroom but she would just smile and nod, not knowing how to respond; nevertheless, she could not understand what I was saying.
That alone, although I was at such a tender age, gave me this hunger to master the English language. In grade school, I was given the opportunity to take “ESL” classes, which was a class for students whom English was a second language. It’s actually pretty hilarious but my first English word that was added onto my vocabulary were obscene. I always look back on it and chuckle.
I realized how simple my peers would sound when they would “roast” one another, by using nothing but profanity, I felt as though there was a better way of making a point, I wanted to be more advanced than the next person. I used my words as a way to express all the built up frustration and aggression over the years of not being able to say what I wanted because the fear and intimidation of not making sense. My sole purpose in reading the dictionary was to at this point outsmart my peers by using my tongue as a weapon. I loved the reaction I would get because I can see that I have won. The confidence I grew over the years gave me something new to obsess over, now that I realized I had long won the battle.
My new obsession, newfound love…