Growing up in a western culture is particularly difficult when you are ethnic.
You are often stuck between who your parents want you to be and who you want to be – a construct of you that is a mix between your past, culture and traditions intertwined with the open mindedness and acceptance of modern western culture.
To my parents most things I do are wrong. If it wasn’t what they were used to, how they were brought up or what they saw around them, it was wrong. I get it, thats their frame of reference.
Because of this divide, I often struggled with acceptance. Feeling accepted by my parents is something I will never gain, a permanent hole in my life that I will always need to filled. Coming at their loss, they will never really know me. They will only know the part of me they want to know which is also the part of me I only show.
Throughout history humanity has worked hard to be accepted. Usually women, those of colour, different religions or races have fought with honour to feel accepted. Today we are still fighting.
I am sure each and every one of us has an acceptance battle of our own. Feeling accepted lets you belong. A sense of belonging is vital for emotional wellbeing.
Is there a way we can all feel accepted without receiving external confirmation of this in our everyday lives? If there is I would love to know.
I would love to live knowing that my parents love all of me for who I am, not just the part that turned out the way they wanted.
I think my children will have it easier. I will strive to make it easier for them. This mental struggle, being pushed and pulled between two worlds is exhausting and unnecessary. I want to cultivate an environment where my children can express their feelings, talk about their concerns and be treated like adults when they are and to feel accepted for whoever they turn out to be. Kids are a couple of years down the track for me but I am so ready to mesh two brilliant cultures that have enriched me, find the best parts and propel them into the future.
I hope that each and every one us teaches our kids to be better, to accept differences, to respect others and grow in a way to create a more peaceful future.
Make love not war.
5 things I am grateful for today:
- Letters – I used to write a lot of letters to a close friend of mine a few years back, I spent all of today re reading the letters she sent me, every word brought me back in time and comforted me.
- To be alive.
- This painting I have on my bed room wall – Ts a picture of autumn, mostly read, orange and yellow leaves with a dirt path. A single bicycle rider riding away. For some reason this picture relaxes me whenever I look at it. My sister bought it for my birthday, it is beautiful.
- Parents – Despite our differences, not a day goes by where I don’t think of the hardships and sacrifices they have been through so I could have this life.