After our last class, I have a much clearer picture of what I need to do and where I am headed. Dr. Zamora said to just work on my memoir vignettes and see what themes emerge, and from these themes, the research will flow. No need to worry about a research question. I think the lack of a precise question was what was bothering me all along and now knowing that I shouldn’t even think about that at this time is really letting my ideas flow. I feel as though a massive weight has been lifted from me.
I am my own worst enemy at times. My all or nothing attitude is hindering my creativity and causing all kinds of anxiety. I just need to let go and not get stuck on technical matters or worry about what I think Dr. Zamora is looking for or how much more creative and sophisticated everyone else’s projects are compared to mine. And boy are they awesome! I tell my kids not to compare themselves to others, but I find myself doing that all the time. I’ve really got to practice what I preach.
I don’t need to have this thesis completely planned out before I start. Over-planning and micromanaging are the story of my life. I can’t help it though. I have a finance background, 3 kids, and a house that constantly needs repairs. I don’t want to treat this thesis as another obligation or just something I just have to get through. I want this endeavor to be meaningful. I understand now that it is a process that will unfold slowly, and I will try my best to allow it to take me to new and interesting places. I’m hoping for a serendipitous experience as well as a creative and academic one.
A few days ago, I read a NYTimes article about how Chinese male immigrants were treated during the gold rush out west. It was very sad but interesting. I want my research to shed light on how different immigrant groups were received in this country. Of course, there is a wealth of information and research out there for anyone interested in really knowing about the immigrant experience, but most of those stories and articles tell a sad tale. My research will spotlight many of the struggles Chinese immigrants faced when they first arrived in America, and our ongoing struggles as well, but in my memoirs, I would like to show the changing times and slow acceptance of a vibrant culture.