So where am I from? Or where am I from … from?!
I was born in Anaheim, California, not far from Disneyland. I grew up about 15 minutes from Anaheim, in a small beach town called Seal Beach.
It’s an interesting place. With a population of about 30,000; it’s exactly evenly divided between the seniors that reside in America’s first retirement community, Leisure World, and your typical semi-ethnically diverse suburban population. Leisure World in Seal Beach once unknowingly housed a Nazi war criminal but typically life in this self-contained community is less scandalous.
image from Card Cow
The two divergent communities do make for some tense politics when it comes to issues like raising taxes for education. My mom would always urge me to vote absentee when I was in college because often issues on the ballot would come down to a handful of votes!
Seal Beach is a cute beach town that used to have seals before the people arrived. Now the seals moved to Monterey, California. Smart seals!
Seals are now in Monterey, California; my husband’s hometown. Weird coincidence?
This is Main Street, Seal Beach with some local color (because Seal Beach is wacky like that!).
This is the front yard of my childhood house with my mom and my now-husband circa 2003.
As to where I am from from, my mother’s side of the family is from Hiroshima, Japan. She was born in San Francisco but her parents emmigrated from Japan. Here’s our family’s ancestral home in Japan. I’m with my mom and sister during the summer of 2002.
And my father’s side of the family is from China. I visited China with my family when I was in high school.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.