It was October 2022. All damn week, I waited in anticipation. Baseball playoffs are here, and as a massive Blue Jays fan, I was excited.
Clearly, baseball is just some dumb, socially constructed thing that we have placed meaning on. And yes, a hugely patriarchal thing (what isn’t, goddamn). But…amidst all of that, each of us individuals create meaning around it.
Here’s some historical context for when we immigrated to Toronto in 1993. That was the year the Blue Jays won their second World Series in a row. Needless to say, the Blue Jays was a HUGE deal.
For my dad, baseball wasn’t just a sport. It wasn’t just some silly fandom. Baseball was part of his survival as an immigrant. By learning about the game, and being a Blue Jays fan, it helped him fit in at his job.
It helped him find common ground with those around him. It helped him connect in this new, alienating land. It helped him feel and seem “normal” to others.
Then, he taught me baseball. He taught me to love the Blue Jays. And it was one of the few things we truly can connect through. Yes, this is a very typical “men only connect through sports” kind of relationship. But it was what we had. And I am thankful for it.
As immigrants, the small things in life can hold meaning that spans generations of struggles and triumph. Perhaps your love of bao may be deeply rooted not just in your culture, but also deep personal significance of care, tradition, and belonging. And maybe also encapsulates the pain of racism, alienation, and family discord.
In my last newsletter, I talked about internalized racism. Heady topic, no doubt.
This time around, I want to remind us all (and myself), that the things we love and cherish may have much deeper significance, as we reflect deeper.
And for just a short moment, let’s take time to reflect on these significances…to hold these moments in our hearts…both the joys and the pains…reconnect our present with our past. And as we continue onwards, to connect that past and present with our future.
We still have lots of things we want to do. That road is made more meaningful, if we do it as whole individuals, with our past, present, and future fully reconciled.
As always, thanks for tuning in. If you found this helpful, share with your peeps. You can also get my free Asian Survival Guide.
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Therapy for Asians
MSW, RSW | he/him
I help Asians go from feeling trapped to becoming self-liberated.