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It wasn’t until recently, after a handful of identity crises, that I had a serious talk with myself and allowed myself to rediscover the Asianness that I wanted to reject so I’d be considered American.

After spending seven years in the Bay Area, I got the opportunity to move to New York City for work.

Being thrust into a city where everyone’s looking to be an individual, I had the chance to evaluate what was actually important to me, who I truly was, and who I wanted to be.

Now that I was even farther away from home, I yearned for the familiar — the recipes my grandmother used to type out on index cards with her typewriter, the samurai TV shows that my grandfather used to watch, the language we rarely exchanged (but pretended like we knew, because we’re too proud to admit that we can’t fluently speak Japanese because it wasn’t passed down to us #AmericanAssimilation).

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