May 30, 2017
I had the opportunity to teach a Creative Writing class this past semester. I am proud of my students and would like to share some of their personal essays over the next four days. I begin with a personal essay written by Jingxuan (Lucy) Hu, an international student from China:
Our Hearts Are Always Together
I left them behind without turning around. I knew they were crying silently. I was too.
Stepping on to the ground again, I was overwhelmed. Twenty hours, another side of the world. That was my first time in the United States, being away from home and my parents who I had promised I would never leave alone.
I went through some tough times with my broken English and Asian accent, shocked by the diversity of cultures. But that was not the worst part. For the first time ever, I felt lonely.
Friday nights became a blessing to me. It was the only time I was allowed to communicate (Skype) with my parents. I told them how much I liked my new school and family, how much fun I was having and how much I enjoyed my life in United States. They were relieved and their familiar smiles were the most encouraging thing in my life. I did not want them to know the truth – that I felt so lonely, and I had never missed them more. They sometimes came into my dreams, talking to me, hugging me, comforting me. I often woke up with tears.
However, sophomore year, things changed. I started to get involved in school activities, sports, and services. I started to make more friends and had my own little group. I felt like a new door just opened in front of me, welcoming me. I stepped in with joy and hope fulfilled my heart. I tried my best to balance everything. Every change seemed incredibly positive, and I felt like I was getting on the right track.
On track with almost everything. Friday nights were not as exciting as before. I still loved my parents the same, but I could definitely tell something went wrong. More and more, I was confused about our relationship. We still talked the same way, but the feeling of distance really hit me hard and gave me chills.
Finally, I came to the conclusion that I had changed, but they had not. It was not anyone’s fault. I was forming my own little world, nothing they had experienced. I could not figure out how to close the gap. The sense that we did not belong to each other anymore upset me.
At Chinese New Year’s Eve, I got an email from them, one of the best gifts ever in my life.
They told me how much they loved me, how upset but proud they were to witness their Little Princess grow up on her own without their protection. They realized that they should leave me more space to grow, treating me more like an adult.
No matter how far I go, there will always be a bond between us, never changing. They wanted me to grasp the life I truly wanted and respected all the choices I had made in my life. They will stand firmly behind me, offering me hugs and applause as needed.
I cried, realizing that our hearts are always together and will be forever.