Ok, this is going to be a long post, which will provide you with insight into me and my life. Here we go.
My parents moved to Canada when I was 6 from another country. Now, my growing up in the western world and their having grown up elsewhere is beginning to cause conflicts. That is a familiar story for so many Canadians, and most of the kids in my school.
Sometimes it feels like they want me to be exactly like them, which isn’t possible. It wouldn’t be even if I grew up where they did. Because I am not a clone. While I share their genes, I have different interests and opinions.
Up until now, or a few years before now, my parents controlled all aspects of my life since I was a young child. My beliefs and thoughts formed depending on what I was exposed to, and the most prominent was my parents influence. I didn’t care much about making my own choices, and I never thought I might grow up and we wouldn’t get along.
But now I am beginning to grow up into an adult. I am beginning to solidify my views on the world, and it seems my views and my parents’ views clash. They clash on so many things.
- Roles of men and women in the world
- Love and relationships
- Suitable careers
Honestly, I could write an entire book of the specific things we disagree on. Not that they know the multitude of things I disagree with them on. Partially because I am only beginning to understand where I stand on these issues and partially because I haven’t bothered to share my views with them since it would only cause more conflict.
There are a lot of things I don’t share with them. My reading material (their views on relationships in general are very conservative). My fears (I am “too young” to be thinking about certain things, and others they believe are ridiculous). My aspirations (writing is not a suitable or reasonable career; law is unsuitable and lengthy). Honestly, they do not even know about this blog for a few reasons.
- It would take too long to explain what a blog is
- It would take too long to explain why I want one
- They will feel it is a waste of time
- I wouldn’t be able to get things like this out of my system, and they do not know about my writing (poems and short stories)
I don’t have to have a conversation with them to know their opinions since they are ever-present within their comments. I’m sad I can’t share all of this with them because this is who I am. And sometimes not sharing my opinions feels like lying. But I have no choice.
Conflict arises every time I do share one of these things about myself. I understand why my parents are strict. To make sure my brother and me grow up as responsible and hard-working people. But these are a few beliefs that I agree with. They are some of my core values as well. I do not need to be lectured at to know I should work hard in school, to know I shouldn’t make bad decisions (particularly about boys and/or drugs) and to know I should be respectful. I appreciate that my parents challenged me to be my best when I was younger and raised me to be who I am today.
But I feel like they need to take a step back now. I don’t need to be lectured to know any of these things and more. They don’t need to doubt me. I know there is still a lot I don’t know about the world and they can teach me a lot. These pearls of wisdom would be better shared if they talked to me, because then I would actually be listening. By now, I either tune out the lecturing or respond to it in my head. In my head because if I respond out loud, I am seen as a disrespectful and ungrateful child. If I just stare at them, I am “glaring”. If I just say “OK,” I am being disrespectful.
I don’t know how to respond. Actually that is a lie. I do know because I asked in the middle of a verbal battle. Here, an argumentative teen is seen as a part of their development and journey into adulthood. It is seen as a phase they will grow out of upon adulthood. They are not afraid to tell people what is on their minds, most of the time. In my native country, they are supposed to be growing up, dutiful and respectful. As such, I am expected to simply listen and respond dutifully and respectfully. No snapping, no sarcasm, no “glaring”. Do as they say.
I am probably an ungrateful brat, which has been evident to many of you throughout this entire rant, but I can’t do that anymore. I can’t be respectful when I feel disrespected. So I suppose I will continue to either stay silent or engage in the battle. I feel guilty for being so irritable. Being irritable is not a part of my personality, or who I am although debating is. I hate disappointing my parents and arguing with them this way. I want them to be proud of me. But I am not willing to be change who I am for that. And therein lies the problem. *Sigh*
It isn’t even entirely their fault that I am growing apart from them. I love to read and I did it any spare moment I had. Instead of getting to know them and the (boring) world I live in, I escaped to more interesting worlds through books. I finally began waking up to my world in the 9th grade, when I didn’t allow myself to read obsessively so I could do well in school. I’m not sure if regret my obsessive reading, since it is one of my favourite things to do. But I do regret growing apart from my parents.
It seems I’ve painted a disappointing picture of my parents. So far in this post, I’ve made them out to be the monsters. But that is not how I see them, not really. I love them and I admire them. I admire their strength, their resilience, and their intelligence. My parents are amazing people who left a country and a comfortable life behind to come here for me and my brother. Another familiar story to the students at my school.
They work hard at jobs that they are actually overqualified for. But the money, time and effort they spent obtaining their degrees in my native country are all worthless now. When we arrived here, we didn’t have the money for my parents to become more qualified in Canada, so they took what jobs they could get. They won’t be able to retire. They will work until they can’t anymore and then the job of supporting them will fall to my brother and me. Hopefully I can make them proud in that aspect at least, and obtain a job where I am able to support them and myself.
But I might not get to attend university, and if I do I will end up with a large student debt. Its unlikely I will get a scholarship since there are so many people who are more intelligent, and an academic scholarship is all I can hope for. I am not artistic. I am not athletic. But I am pretty good at school. So I guess I’ll see where life takes me.
My problems are not life-threatening. Honestly, I live a perfect life considering I have a home, I have food, clothes, an education, a family and friends who do care. But sometimes, my family doesn’t understand me. There are people out there with actual problems. And I should be grateful for all that I have. But this struggle with my parents is the biggest problem in my life, I suppose. It seems I can’t do much about it. They are different from me, or I am different from them. And hopefully we will soon find a comfortable rhythm.
Well thanks for reading my rant. If you got this far, you are amazing and have far more patience then I do. If you just skipped it, I don’t blame you. This post sums up the dark parts of me that I keep hidden from most of the world. But I think there are enough bright parts to cancel these out. It is definitely a defining part of my odyssey. And I have no choice but to see it through. Until next time. *Takes a bow, while the curtains close*