Wrecking Their American Dream

Gratitude, shame, duty, love, obligation, guilt. You feel a knife twist of contradictory emotions when your parents crossed borders in midlife, giving up the comforts of familiarity to come to a strange land so that you might have a shot at success. Here's the big, pressure-filled question: what if the American dream morphs into a nightmare when it comes to your life? What if you fail academically, relationally, financially? The prospect is daunting, because you can't help feeling that your failures invalidate their sacrifices. But do they? What have they gained, if anything, that doesn't have anything to do with you?

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