Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center

Recognition of AAPI Heritage Month & Mental Health Awareness Month

May 22, 2020

This personal submission is a part of the “No Longer Invisible: In Their Own Words” project, a means of expression for UW students, staff, faculty, and alumni alike of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities to use their own words in voicing their stories and lived experiences.

cup depicting a Japanese ceramic technique, Kintsugi

“It’s a picture depicting a Japanese ceramic technique, Kintsugi, in which broken pieces of pottery are joined back together and sealed with golden resin. It’s meant to show even our flaws are beautiful and appreciated.” – Vince

Name: Vince

Preferred Pronouns: he/him

Identity: Chinese-American

“I want people to know that I am dynamic, inventive, and tenacious.”

Getting to Know Me

I feel strong when I feel validated by the things I do. I value my ability to see the good in everything, even from difficult experiences. I believe we went through our hardships for a reason – so we can learn from it and help others who are struggling from the same misfortunes. I want to imprint in people around me to stay strong, be firm, and to have resolved in the face of uncertainty. 

I value my motivation and positivity. With these two traits, I can smoothly bounce back from downfalls, continuing to strive for my dreams. I hope for more affirmations in my life because it’s important to feel like I belong here and I’m not alone so I have the confidence to accomplish anything.

Identity

I’m the type of person that finds sparks of joy in every small thing in life. I want people to simply see me for who I am. I don’t need people to see me in a rose-tinted lens. I just need them to be honest and speak to me with an open mind. I don’t need for everything I said to be agreed on or supported upon. I don’t need to feel like I’m always right and perfect – it feels dishonest. I think it’s important to have someone who just listens, and sometimes that’s the most I can ask for. It’s always important to feel that you’re not alone. Sometimes, I want advice and support, and that’s much appreciated. But if there’s no advice to give, a simple and caring act of listening does the job to make me feel like I’m not alone.

My Dreams & Hopes

I ask others to best support me as a person by really listening to all aspirations, concerns, doubts, achievements, and to be honest with what’s on your mind. Sometimes it isn’t just about blind support; it feels more real with critiques and encouragements. 

Challenges & Courage

Every positive affirmation in my life inspires me to keep fighting for what I want. Every challenge I’ve faced made me stronger and smarter. It feels so devastating after experiencing a challenge. But I’ve learned to think of all of the accomplishments I had and it totally outweighs the negatives. 

In face of difficult situations, stay true to yourself, be polite, and be firm because all you can do is be the bigger person and put your best self forward. It may feel like you’re experiencing your own personal circle of hell – you’re not alone! It’s important to look toward the horizon. Focus on the important people in your lives and how much they care and believe in you. Your future is unlimited.

Culture of Care

I don’t want to pressure the whole Asian American & Pacific Islander community to do anything they’re not comfortable with. I feel like my generation (children of immigrants) understand the expectations our parents want, the stereotypes of society, and the nuances in our struggles. So, I think first generation AAPI college students understand each other well and so they can establish a camaraderie among the AAPI community. Individually, I urge each person in the AAPI community to find support- it could be your super nice & caring friend to speak out your troubles with them and release negative feelings.

Impacts & Contributions

Success is when I feel untethered from doing the things I enjoy. My goal is to continue experiencing new things that sparks my interest. I envision my future self to have more time for self-care. I’d like to assume everything would be perfect in the future. But I know I’ll have to start working on it from now so that my future self would thank my present self. 

 

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