Lulu Chen on How Family Relationships Change With Age

In Chapter 2 of 16 in her 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, art director Lulu Chen answers "How Are Your Family Relationships Changing as You Get Older?  Chen learns to appreciate her parents as she gets older.  Now in her 30s, Chen is reminded of her mother's advice to take a moment before making big decisions. 

Lulu Chen is a photo art director working in retail e-commerce in New York City.  Previously, Chen worked as a freelance stylist for leading fashion catalogs and magazines.  She earned a BFA in design and art history from the University of Michigan.


Erik Michielsen: How are your family relationships changing as you get older?

Lulu Chen: I accept them more and I realize all of the little things that they’ve done as parents growing up, they might not have been the perfect parents or the best parents, but they definitely tried. And it took me to become an adult to realize that they did certain things right. Maybe not everything but they did a lot—They tried. You know? And the only thing you can do is be—try your best, you know?

Erik Michielsen: Do you go back and have those conversations with them about “Okay, so thinking back when I was a teenager, when you did this, and I was always fighting you about it, you actually were doing the right thing.”

Lulu Chen: Well, no, it’s more that my tolerance for them has grown and my appreciation for them has grown. And my struggle with my parents were actually more when I was older, you know, not—well, not in the teenager so much because they worked so much, they weren’t even really around. We didn’t really fight. But growing up, just remembering the little nuggets of advice that they used to try and shove down your throat, you know, you didn’t understand it then, you kind of had to make your own mistakes and then now I realize, “Oh, that’s what she meant. Okay.”

Erik Michielsen: What was their advice?

Lulu Chen: I think my mom always tried to tell me to take a moment, you know, I was very headstrong and I would just leap into things, or I would say things, I was very outspoken when I was younger. I guess I still am now but I definitely try and take a moment and think about it before I leap, you know, just to—Yeah, just to be more observant. So, that was a very good one, I think, in general.