Had a long day at work, so I'm pulling from a back-up stash of entries for when I just don't have the time.

I mentioned before that I have a very complex self identity.  Part of that was all the moving around while growing up, but another part was that initial move.  Since I was only three and a half when I immigrated from China, I could be first or second generation American, depending on how you want to look at it.  That is probably why I always called myself the 1.5 generation (not knowing that it is actually a recognized term!).

I could be first generation if you feel that anyone who personally immigrated is the first generation, or the children of those immigrants are the first generation.  I could be second generation if you feel that the children of the immigrants are the second generation.  However, children of immigrants are typically assumed to be born in the US rather than brought over at a young age.  So, I don't fit very neatly into any of the more traditional ways of viewing immigrant generations.  It's all very confusing.

I always grew up thinking that first generation meant that you were the first to enter the country.  However, that would put my parents and I on an even field, which didn't make sense.  Hence, the one and a half generation - because I was born abroad, but grew up here.  There are plenty of others who did the same and they may be equally confused as to what generation they are considered.

So I never knew if I was an immigrant because I had an alien card or if I was American because I became a naturalized citizen?  Well, as it turns out, these things never have easy answers and I just accept being a little of both.  Neither one really, yet both at the same time.  This is how I imagine it would be to be a biracial or multiracial person.  You are at once all of your parts, but none of them individually, and the sum of your parts does not equal an even whole, but more than that, with the interaction of the parts.

Rather than be confused or upset by this, I find it rather amusing and fun.  It certainly makes for a lively conversation if the topic comes up.  Self identity is such a complex issue; it can't really be simple for anyone.  So, I like to think of its nuances from time to time, but I never really worry myself about it.  We've all got to find our way in life and this is only part of the discovery.  Then there's figuring out what we to define our lives by, in terms of our hobbies, abilities, lifestyle, and occupation.

This issue is only the tip of the iceberg!  There's a lot we can identify ourselves with, which changes over time too.  So you know what, I'm not about to have an identity crisis.  It's cool.  Who am I?  Well, you'll just have to see.

 
 

I’ve gotten the feeling that Millenials are jaded by the idea of marriage.  Or, at least, have such high standards and low expectations that they're rather pessimistic about the whole idea.  Call it realism if you want.  Or it may just be cynicism.

This issue seems to stem from our generation growing up hearing the sad statistics of high divorce rates.  Of course, many also grew up in such households, having to live a life in single-parent homes, bouncing between parents, and dealing with step-parents and siblings.  Perhaps that is why this generation seems so much more against marrying (especially at a young age).

Too many of our parents rushed into marriage and it either failed or they are unhappy together.  Now, I used to be deathly afraid of commitment despite no family history of bad relationships (only one relative has gotten divorced and it didn't seem nasty), but when I found Panda, it worked.  This whole relationship thing wasn't as terrible as I imagined it to be.  Likewise, for marriage, I think that it comes down to the right feeling.

If it feels right, why avoid it?  Sometimes you're just ready to make that leap of faith.  And that is what any relationship is - faith in yourself, faith in your partner, and faith in your union.  You need to trust yourself and your significant other to make it work.  Sure, you may be too young and inexperienced for that judgment call, but if you've thought long and hard, if you've both talked about it, and you both feel comfortable, it can be a beautiful thing.

You can never be fully prepared for marriage and all the complications that it entails.  I don't judge people based on what age they choose to get married.  For some, it works.  Statistically, younger couples are more likely to separate, but that tends to be an issue of maturity.  If you don't know yourself well enough and you don't understand your partner, it's not going to work no matter what other factors there are.

Sadly, there are a lot of practical reasons that drive couples to the altar: finances, convenience, right of kin, etc.  Some marriages are carried out due to necessity or pressure, but you shouldn't get hitched for such mundane reasons.  After all, marriage should be a celebration of love and devotion.

So why does it seem that getting married actually tears many couples apart?  Stability.  Though it's great to have in our lives, if that's all you have in a relationship, it stagnates.  So many couples feel their relationship diminish over the years, if only because they know they have each other to depend on, through thick and thin.  So they stop trying.

It shouldn't be so easy though.  Relationships should constantly be evolving and changing as the individuals do.  The moment you stop working on it, you have doomed it.  Think of it as a process rather than a goal to be reached.

Marriage as an institution needs a major makeover if it is to survive.  Though, perhaps it doesn't need to be saved and Gen Z can come to age in a society where couples get legal civil unions.  I wouldn't mind a secular institution that allows gay unions as well.