Two days ago I did something that's been on my bucket list for many many years. I honestly never dreamed I would ever have the confidence to actually do it. Even on game day I didn't feel confident but I had people in my life encouraging me and supporting me from beginning to end. I also had all of YOU cheering me on. Thanks for believing in me.
So happy Eunice & Andii were able to film and capture the day so I could bring all of you guys with me! I feel like this video completely captures the day and I know my parents and loved ones wanted to be there so I'm thrilled to share this video with all of you!
Right before soundcheck, getting all the tips and breakdown of the night. I kind of love how ridiculous I look in these shots, this is how I was feeling all day.
There's a huge delay with sound on baseball fields because of the size of the stadium so they gave me in ear monitors to help with sound and feedback. It was my first time singing on an open field so I was pretty nervous about how the feedback would affect me. I sang the Korean anthem first and it was a little harder not to be affected by the feedback because I was singing a cappella.
Oh man. This was right before I had to sing. I couldn't stop shaking, for two reasons. One because I was deathly nervous and two because I was freezing cold!
Being able to sing both anthems made me feel really proud, not only to be American but also to be Korean.
You may not believe this but when I'm here in America, there are still instances that people make me feel like I don't belong in this country because I don't look American. But what does it mean to be American? I was born in Texas, I am a citizen of the United States, I relate to this Country and I speak the English language. But most of my life I have been looked at as a foreigner because of the color of my skin. Wow you're really good at English. No, I mean where are you REALLY from? These are common phrases I've heard my entire life. This lead me to really grasp onto my Korean roots during my college years. So I also relate with South Korea, the Korean culture and I speak the language. But when I go to Korea, they still say I'm not Korean because I was born in America. There is so much division and judgement in this world and I hope there is a day we can all just look at each other as people, as a family. End of the day we're all just doing our best to survive in this world.
This month is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and I've been having a lot of conversations about what it means to be Asian American. APAHM celebrates the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. I love celebrating all the different Asian cultures and learning about new traditions every year. But there is still a lot of division amongst the Asian community due to history and pain. But I hope this community continues to grow and truly unites. Asians and Asian Americans need to work together to have a stronger presence in America. We have to all be on the same page to be seen as more than the silent minority or the model minority. I've been told to keep my head down, work hard, never complain and never rock the boat. Culturally it was what my family believed, if you complain and cause problems it only causes more problems for others. But it excites me to see people speaking out and really starting to give us a voice. I hope more people in the world realize that being American comes in all different colors, shapes and sizes.
I'm proud to be an American and I'm also proud to be Korean.
Photos by Park