Dear Sisi,

I wish you were here so I wouldn’t feel as alone. Of course, I’m not alone. I’m here in Cleveland with Jenny, cozy in her dorm at Case Western. Her roommate, Sissi (pronounced like your name), is at her desk right next to me, and we’re all waiting to hear from Jackie and her Case Western results.

Can you believe it’s been 6 years since we applied to college? I like keeping things in perspective and referencing the past when it’s useful. I walk around the CWRU campus as if I blend in, swipe Jenny’s meal’s pass as if I could “pass,” but of course I stick out like a sore thumb with my long black pea coat and purse-not-bookbag.

I’m not jealous of Jenny’s youth, I’m jealous of her parents’ youth. For the past few days, all she and I have talked about are the same handful of topics: her interest in Poli Sci and China relations, her achievements at Case (4.0 GPA!), her transfer applications out of here, NHP church and its collegebound members, and our futures.

Our futures, for me and Jenny, orbit around two centers of gravity: our spouses and our kids.

Our futures should in fact revolve around Jesus. *cue “Center”-Charlie Hall*

Let me be clear: I am not confessing to you my sin of idolizing a man I have not met and children I have not conceived. I pray faithfully with my mother for a husband who loves God and loves me, and healthy & happy children as well…but I definitely don’t pray or speculate for this every day or every hour.

These items are on the top of my mind now only because Jenny has very opinionated and personally biased views on the matter which make me feel inferior and extremely fearful and insecure about myself.
Let me also state for the record that I do not think she’s done or said anything wrong; I am simply sharing with you my reactions to her words and my reflections on how they make me feel and what I can learn from them.

I texted you a few nights ago asking for prayer because I had felt slighted by Jenny’s denunciation of my parents’ decisions. Among other judgments cast, she said 1) if my parents do not have fellowship (which is difficult for them for various reasons, not least because of my ailing grandparents), that is wrong by Christian standards, 2) she bets my dad regrets his decision to leave NHP (an opinion formed by stuff I told her. darn me and my big mouth.) and tonight she asked if my parents were older than 60, I promptly replied yes, and she said in a surprised tone with a smirk I thought I could hear that even her grandparents aren’t 60. It makes me upset, Sisi 😦 This is not the first time I’ve felt “butthurt” because of something said about my parents (last time was when Jess Chen said it wasn’t my fault my parents raised me to have no palate), but the recurrence of the feeling makes me wonder if I can overcome it.

We interrupt this rant with a chorus of *YAYYY* as Jackie finds out she was accepted to Case with a $15,500 scholarship ($5,000 more than Jenny, with Federal Work Study)

Listening to Christian songs definitely helps me calm down and, moral of the day: put things in perspective. I know I probably haven’t completely let go of Jenny’s scathing words, but right now, I don’t feel like continuing the rant.

I can’t change the facts. But I never, ever have to be apologetic for my parents–who they are and what they’ve done. Unless they break the law or turn away from God, I have no reason to judge them either except from my loving position as their kid. Maybe I’m being way too doe-eyed right now and will be able to articulate a different POV in the future…but right now, here, tonight…I am happy for Jackie, proud of my parents, and content with the life God has blessed me with.

I just want to make my parents proud, Sisi. I hope you understand that.

Prayer request: that I stand on firmer foundations so I don’t crumble every time what-I-place-my-identity-in is scrutinized