They’re in America Now

Shu Mei, Billy, and Tyley have now been in America for a week. I speak to them daily via Skype video chat. They are very happy there, doing several activities that they couldn’t while here in Taiwan. They went to a racing event at the high school I attended and played various games at the concessions there. Billy was excited that he had “gone fishing” and caught some toy army men. Tyley plays busily with the multiple toys at my parents’ house. Shu Mei is busy looking for a job for me there; even though I have told her numerous times that I don’t want to move back to the U.S. right now.

I love talking to Billy and Tyley via Skype, but speaking to Shu Mei upsets me. All I hear from her are orders as to what I should do. Most of it is repetitive and is out-and-out nagging. For instance, Shu Mei reminded me to call Fenster, a friend of ours, to see if he can substitute for me during August when I am due to be in America. Now, this is something that I knew to do several weeks ago. I had meant to do this at Church, as I don’t have Fenster’s phone number. The problem is that I haven’t seen him at Church. The day before Shu Mei left for America; she told me she had Fenster’s number. (I wish she had told me this sooner.) She said I should call him, which I already knew to do. Since reaching America, Shu Mei has included a reminder about calling Fenster in every conversation we have had. There has also been a reminder to call President Li each time, who will help me see a dentist. That was also something I knew about before Shu Mei left. Then there have been the usual warnings of not spending too much money, all of this as if I am a child. Shu Mei doesn’t treat me as her equal. She belittles me, which only serves to make me want to do the opposite of what she intends me to do. We are in pressing need of counseling!

Because I have changed a lot since moving here to Taiwan, I am not the typical Mormon socialite anymore. I don’t project the façade that most LDS members do. (They call it “putting your best foot forward.”) I don’t go to Church and masquerade as someone who I am not. Yes, I have secrets, too. However, my secrets are viewed by me as heavy burdens, not things that are accepted or even expected. I wish I had the integrity and fortitude to divest myself of them, and hopefully, I will on a future day. I believe that all actions emanate from three basic emotions: love, hate, and fear. Many people will say that they lie out of love, calling it “tact” in most circumstances. However, fear is the real emotion that drives us to lie. We are afraid that we will not be accepted if the truth is known. Because everyone lives in fear, everyone lies. What a great world it would be if we could truly be motivated by love and replace the deception with honesty.

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