Arabelle Sicardi


A Financial Balancing Act

How I reconciled my American dream with my responsibility to my immigrant parents

I was offered my first full-time position straight out of college. It was everything my family and I had hoped it would be: I would get insurance, benefits, a retirement fund, branded clothing for my parents to show off. I expected my parents to be happy because this job proved I could succeed at doing what I loved. Instead, our relationship deteriorated to the point where we stopped speaking—and I hastily moved out into my own apartment.

Four years before I got the job, when I was just entering college,my parents and I were standing in the living room, yelling at each other about my coming out. My Taiwanese mother hadn’t taken it well and tried to disown me on the spot, making me swear I’d never tell my 80-something grandmother. But my Irish-Italian father refused to kick me out.

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