It was lovely seeing the news about the marriage of Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan marriage. Congratulations to them!
But the news also brought back a painful memory from my high school years. What, all these years later, a high school wound can still hurt? Well, yes. In fact, things that wound us in high school may be the very injuries that last the longest, because those are the years when you are most vulnerable, most unsure of yourself.
Here’s what happened. I was told that I was “unworthy” of ever being my boyfriend’s wife.
I had dated him through my junior and senior year. And in a true moment of honesty, he told me why he could never marry me:
“My dad says that if I marry an Asian girl, it will destroy my business prospects.”
That’s when I learned that no matter what I achieved, or who I was beneath my Asian exterior, I would never be good enough. I would never be worthy of that boy, or his family, or those who believed the way he did.
Decades later, I still think about it. And in a strange way, I’m grateful for that snub. It’s made me work harder than most people. It’s taught me that I will forever have to prove myself.
Now I look at the Zuckerberg and Chan marriage and I wonder if, somewhere in this country, fathers are still telling their sons that marrying an Asian/Black/Hispanic/Martian girl will destroy their business prospects.
Girls, here’s my advice: make your own fortunes. Toss those boys to the curb. And never forget the old wounds. They may be the fuel that drives you to the top.
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