It is an uncomfortable truth that when friends or people ask me what my dad does for a living, I have often lied. More like always. For years, I’ve said he either owns or works at a shipping cargo company in Hong Kong where his position allows him to work online in Canada while occasionally going to Hong Kong. I would get asked if I were to take over his company in the future and I’d say he would never force to do such a thing if I was not interested, and that was usually the extent of others’ curiosity.
This lie does hold some truth to it. 18 years ago my dad did own a shipping company in Hong Kong and he visited my mom and I in Vancouver a few times every year. But since then, my dad sold his company, immigrated to Canada, and held many jobs over the years that were a lot less glamorous as operating one’s own business. Warehouse worker. Sales associate at a cell phone company. Fish packer. Baker. Selling health products. Here in Vancouver with my mom and I.
For the same reason that kids want to sit at the “cool kids” table, I wanted my classmates and friends to like me. “And how do I get people to like me?” I thought, when I was 11. “Lie.” And so one lie about my dad’s job, which I considered “not cool”, lasted 18 years.
I am not proud of the way I acted and I am deeply sorry. If Confucius is a god, I would have struck by one of his books from heaven by now. It is shameful that I chose to lie about my dad’s occupation because I wanted to save face or that I considered him to be less successful because of the jobs he had to take because he could not get better ones in Canada. I pretended that my dad was the same person he was 18 years ago.
In many ways, my dad is the same. Continue Reading