Marsha Ungchusri (she/her) is a Chinese Thai Texan American residing in the DC metro area. In her adventures in therapy, she realizes now that joy and sorrow (and everything in between) are two sides of the same coin. Her choice is not to feel one emotion or the other, but to cultivate the ability to feel everything because the alternative is to feel nothing at all. She plans to pivot and relaunch her newsletter Have You Eaten Yet? in the spring of 2021.
I wrote this piece to give myself permission to suspend the beliefs I’ve internalized over the years, to freely imagine myself being a mother — something that both terrifies and delights me. What would it look like to raise my child from a place of thriving and abundance compared to the scarcity mindset of my immigrant parents? What would it feel like to tend to my child’s emotional needs as well as their physical needs?
One stormy afternoon, Auntie sat with me at our kitchen table. I was in third grade and wildly enthusiastic about everything origami, eager to show off my crane-folding skills. Relieved at a low-key activity to partake in, my bookish Auntie started to fold a paper boat for my cranes to ride in.