I don't even know what a state controller is

So, if I am to believe my mother in her frantic cellphone call tonight, my parent's divorce became final as of this afternoon.

Now, I love my mother; of course I love my mother. But I also get my gift of exaggeration from her, so she might be stretching the truth - something tells me she's not, however. Her previous warnings that mommy and daddy are getting a divorce - always pronounced in English, so I understand the gravity of the statement - were always in future tense. Tonight, the divorce was in past tense. Dee-vor-sse.

As for my father: he has requested me to not talk about him or his character on this weblog anymore. I will respect his wishes.

I don't need sympathy because it's been a long time coming, I suppose; they've fought since I was a little kid, screaming matches that as a kid would have me burst into tears, run to my bedroom, slam the door and cry into my pillow at age seven, arguments that inspire the awkward but polite "hey there, everything alright?" with the neighbors, fights where the police are called, most likely accompanied by at least one Mandarin speaking officer, furiously translating to all the he-said she-said bullshit. Arguments that have always made me a bit skittish in the course of any conflict at all, stuff that I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life, not to be overly dramatic or anything. But I'm an adult and I have to deal with it.

Nothing has changed from yesterday, really. My parents continue to live apart, I will still go to Mom's house every Tuesday, and I continue mending the relationship with my Dad.

And although nothing has changed, everything has changed. I guess that's why there's a mix of emotions that are difficult for me to decipher right now: relief because a fractured relationship with my parents needed closure, a bit of caution for the unknown, and a bit of shame.

Wait. No. Not shame. I'm not ashamed that my parents got divorced, far from it, thanks God that someone was finally able to do something proactive to derail that fucking train to Miseryville. If anything, I'm ashamed that our family had to break the notions of the typical Chinese family. The good Chinese family doesn't end in divorce.

Of course, the good Chinese family doesn't have a gay son or a mentally disabled daughter, either.

then and now

Coincidentally, my drivers license came today with a new photograph. The picture of my old drivers license was literally ten years old, a nineteen year old college student with a double-chin, a salad bowl haircut, and a manic, addictive personality, living on his own for the first time and was delighted at the sweet taste of independance and rebellion from strict parental control and feeling I was pretty fucking invincible.

And now I see myself ten years later at age 29, still with that manic, addictive personality, but now a little bit torn and tattered, a little less invincible. I'm learning that life continues no matter how many curveballs are thrown at you, but you deal with it and you have your friends to keep you sane and you begrudgingly wake up to live another day, because what else are you going to do? And of course, I still have that ridiculous haircut, just with a little bit of hair gel to hide the acres of bangs.

Nothing has changed, yet everything has, and will some more.