Last fall I was published in the anthology Because I Was A Girl. It’s a collection of stories from different women, from different stages in their lives and careers, pondering a moment in time they faced adversity because of their gender.

I brainstormed on three different prompts before ultimately writing an essay about wanting to be a rapper growing up. When I was recently asked to write a short piece for the Barnes & Noble blog YA Open Mic, I returned to those initial prompts and decided to dust off of them off. Here’s my considering what it meant to grow up hearing that I was treated differently and had different expectations set upon me because I was “the girl of the house.”

Excerpt: “My mother was the one who used the stricture most often, and she unintentionally taught me a very important lesson with her famous phrase: my mother carried and often voiced traditions that she did not herself embody. I think when someone is an immigrant in a new country they hold their cultural heritage like a bouquet of wilting flowers in a too tight fist; they try to gift these blooms to their children, not knowing that not every tradition was meant to survive here.”

Read the full essay here.