Courtney Poon

Lazy

Mentor: Beth Saur

Lazy is a collection of vignettes and short stories surrounding my upbringing in suburban Yorba Linda, California, and my transition to university as a second-generation Chinese American. These are fragments of memory, shedding light on the pressures of the model minority myth, touching upon food as a cultural love language, and commenting on the absurdities of coming of age as a Gen Z member. Throughout my life, I’ve struggled to understand my parents’ unique way of showing affection: loads of criticism followed by bowls of sliced fruit. Amid SAT prep classes, piano lessons, Chinese school, and swimming practice, I was chided for being “lazy”—a word that has manifested in my inner critic. This, coupled with an extreme attachment to the Internet, has culminated in a journey of self-discovery online. Lazy chronicles my struggles to reject others’ expectations and learn to fulfill my own, while desperately wanting to please everyone at the same time. With a sardonic, biting tone, I look introspectively into my shape-shifting identities and insecurities, poking fun at all the melodramatic meltdowns and cringeworthy moments that have made me who I am today. In this self-indulgent writing process, I hope to find humor in my teenage angst and acceptance of my shortcomings. Simultaneously, I invite readers to reexamine what we take for granted in a culture full of contradictions.