rosesNot surprisingly, the new year came with a barrage of “Oh, when are you getting married? Time flies you know, you’ll get old before you realize it.” Of course I recognize the good intention behind; no one wants to see me turn into a spinster and my parents worried to death. My indifference exasperates them.

Because of my parents I moved home. Because of them i don’t entertain the thought of packing up and moving infinitely to South America in any foreseeable future. But I’ve also decided to live my own life, to be responsible for my own happiness. I won’t let anyone dictate what kind of job i should get, how much i should earn, who i should fall in love with, at what age i should get married. Not my parents, let alone the so-called society. Is this mere conceit/ego/pride of a 25 years old? To me it is simply a matter of being accountable for who i am; and if i misstep i’ll work hard to find the right track again.

I don’t doubt some of my stubbornness is passed down from my mom. She left home at 18, against her parents’ wishes. In her own words, what her parents knew and believed in were not true for her; she wanted a better life, a very different life from what they’d planned for her and she had to go at it herself. And yet, it’s been so difficult to make her understand that what she knows and believes in might not be true for me either. It’s been difficult to convince her to let me fly on my own wings and fall down if i need to. That I reject her guidance does not mean I do not appreciate her love and sacrifices.

I already told her: Mom, my life will not be what you’ve imagined. Sooner or later you will have to accept it.

My responsibility to my parents is to stay by them if and when they need me. My responsibility to society is to do no harm to others. My responsibility to myself is to be good and happy.

Between the life that’s happening around me with all the expectations and the life where i want to be is an undefined, uncharted gap. It can be so so unnerving when no one tells you what to do. Back in high school, my biggest dream was a full-ride scholarship to a US college. I worked my ass off and i got it. But there were so many helping hands, people who had been through the exact same process. They showed me by example: take this test, write that essay. It was an ocean of information, but at the core was a structure. Now I look around and see people grappling between the impulses of their heart and the oh-you’re-supposed-to. Neither the structure nor the role model is there. At the same time, there’s a thrilling sense of exploration, of adventure, taking my little steps, marking my little trail. So I’ll be brave. It’s all about calculated risks anyway. Hopefully one day my parents will understand and be proud of me. And one day when I have kids I’ll have this post to remind me to let them fly their way.

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