Well, i figured, i should at least introduce myself.
My name Jean-Marc Ly, born and raised in France and moved to the US in 1997. I live in San Jose, California and in part, trying to find myself in this big world. I grew up learning the culture of France as well as my Chinese ancestry but how to adopt a whole new set of social skills including English when i arrived in the US. It was a challenged but as a kid, you get used to the environment very quickly.
Alot of people I meet, often ask,” Which do you like better? France or US?” Often the case, I cannot decide on this answer because I love both countries. You cant picture anything bad about the place you GREW up in often remembering the fun times you had as a kid and the friends and family you left behind. Paris will and always will be a city that my heart first loved. However California has repeatably shown me her beauty with its vastness, amazing weather, charming individuals everywhere, its a place where everything is accessible and easy to navigate. My dad’s side lives in France, my mom’s side lives here. Which to choose, where to stay? Whom to side with?
I went back in the summer of 2007, the pressure from my family to return for a visit, and my need to see what changed in the city I so fondly remembered, couldn’t be ignored anymore. Once I re-embraced the country i left behind, tears fell down my face wondering, what would have happened to me if i stayed? Would i have been better or worse person? The little cousins were not so little anymore, the aunts and uncles getting really old. This new life i made, was it better than the life I could have had?
Find my way to visit my family who still lived in the apartment city of the days i lived there gave me both joy and fear. My family whom i have not seen for 10 years, will they be able to recognize me? Have they changed? What do i say to them? But all in all, i quickly realized that heck, lets just go see them and make the best of the situation and always keeping something to talk about to avoid boredom and the awkward feeling you get.
Tears were shed when we saw one another, hugs, kisses, and gifts were exchanged. That moment on, i knew this trip would be unforgettable and one i would never regret. And so on the day i had to fly back, everyone including myself (probably me the most) were all in tears not wanting to part. I promised them i would revisit in several years time, however my appetite for traveling was then on sparked and i began my journey to other countries, including Mexico (with the family), Tokyo on my own (a last minute on a whim) and Hong Kong (a trip both as myself and few friends here and there).
One thing i came to realize even though my goal to visit the 7 wonders of the world and do a dance move in front of them, I have never been anywhere in the US but been to European Countries, Asia and Mexico. Yet in the back of my mind, a strong feeling of independence arises fro0m the excitement of going somewhere totally unknown and feeling proud after finding your way being lost not speaking the language (often the case in Tokyo). What few people can actually said that had the courage to find themselves across the world? And so with 2 Paris trip planned (one I’m best man for my cousin’s wedding), i continue the voyage throughout the world to fuel my need to explore.
I gave myself a solution a while back, I love both places and in the future when im about to take over the world, will purchase a small apartment in Paris and live there 3-4 months a year and the rest spent in Cali or who knows, maybe China or Hong Kong (another place i fell in love with).
As i become older…well still a kid since im just 24 years old, i struggle with myself as to what i should be doing in my life. The desire to explore and experiment still lingers but i came into realization that a foundation is needed in your permanent residency, the need for a steady income, a place you can actually call home and the feeling that you are actually accomplishing something with your career has began to take root. The feelings are often dueling each other trying to overtake the other which renders me even more confused, more then ever. Time will tell. For now, as my friend had posted on his Facebook “Stop living in the past, not necessary live for the future but to contently live in the present.”
This is the me of today: