My mother just came back from her vacation in California and there is a tension in the house that is so palpable. It's like I'm in a totally different house than the one that I slept in this morning. This one is hostile, more noisy, full of shouting and shutting doors.

Then you say to yourself, why do I have to put up with this? Others surely have it easier. But the truth is, what does it matter? This is the house you got, the family you were born into, and to hold them up to outside standards of what a perfect mom/family should be is preposterous. You can only change yourself.

To tell you the truth, as much as I hate the negative qualities about us, I do love my family very much. We are the most contradictory bunch you could ever meet.

My parents are traditional Asian parents, yet my mother took me to get my first tattoo at 16. The idea had never crossed my mind until then. My parents had always let us run amuck to do as we please and never pried to much into what we did. We sort of went off into the world on our own and made our own mistakes. Once in a whiles, when things got really bad and we found ourselves in a mess which we couldn't get out of, we'd call them for help and they never ceased to be the unconditional supporters that they were.

We grew up surrounded by literature and art, coffee shops, my dad's art, endless stack of books and my mother would make me recited poetry into the deep hours of the night. I went to a private Catholic school when I was young, but my family are Buddhist. I was taught everything from Taoism to the teachings of Jehovah Witnesses. My parents had their own strict way of thinking, but they encouraged us to find our own way, too. Sometimes we would clash, other times, I felt a tremendous amount of freedom that made me feel so very blessed.

I really can't complain. Though I may be mad right now, I am so very lucky to be given the life I was given.