So I skyped with my parents yesterday. I have not been talking to them for two weeks, I have been rather busy and enough things in my head. Yes, talking to my parents makes me sometimes more stressful, despite how ungrateful this sounds, it is an ugly truth.
I used to talk to them a lot when I first got to Finland. It made sense since I had just left my home I lived in for 18 years. People always hold onto the most familiar things; it is always easier. It was steady as such until after I moved to London. I spent the first three months being dazzled with the glamour of the city, then the next three months going through problems any young reckless people would go through. I got into a fight with my parents, got angry at them for not willing to help me. Since then, the communication got less, and since then, there has been a distance built. I mean, if you ask me, there were more reasons leading to this. I lived in more different places, took chances to try doing more new things, things I thought I would never do back when I was still 18 or still in my home country. My life took a turn, and I was excitedly going along with it. Many changes to make that turn, I am not comfortable to share with my parents. I know them enough to predict their shock and disappointment. The more and more things got hidden away, all we had left to talk about was limited: financial stuff, study, friends and partly my plans. All these issues were actually everything which can make one student being stressed.
My parents are not modern parents, but they are not really traditional either. They allow me to do things, they let me go abroad to achieve my dreams whereas some other parents in my country might not. However, ever since I was a kid, I never felt I was good enough as a kid to them. Before junior high school, my life was simpler. I did not get much high expectations from them. I studied well and dreamed of going to good school, like my brilliant cousins used to. I was good at English as a subject, and I got that to be always proud of. The second month of grade six in Junior High School, I luckily managed to be at the first top of the class. The feeling was amazing, I had never thought I would make it to such high position and I could not be prouder to run to my parents the moment I saw them, sharing the good news.
It was obviously surprising to my parents as well, they were also excited; excited enough to start establishing high expectations for me since then. Everything took a new turn. I kept trying my best, and mostly, I managed to deliver the best; with the thought my parents told me :“This is not for us. This is for your bright future”. I never stopped once to wonder what I wanted or what I actually dreamed for my future. Everything was placed in order in front of me: getting good grades, going to good school, getting a high paid job and having a family.
There was nothing more to doubt, wasn’t it?
The good side of being away from my parents is I do not need to fight with them again about these stuffs. I grew up a little bit more, enough to understand what ground they are standing on. The hard part is to get them understand my ground, even a small part. But when you live abroad, you and your parents learn to spend less time arguing and they are also aware they cannot be in charge of your life completely anymore; they can only choose to hope for the best.
That is the issue: they hope for the best.
Being parents must be really hard. I look at mine, being pissed at them sometimes and then I wonder whether I would do the same thing in their positions.
You always like to think you would do differently with your kids once you have a family, every time your parents are unfair to you. However, the more years you gather in life , your perspectives change a little bit more, maybe not disappear completely but it does change. Then you might see more sides to the whole story. And it cannot make more sense you will always be young reckless kids to your parents’ eyes.
I have a younger brother, younger than 12 years. I left when he was a kid running around the airport, not understanding why I was in full of tears hugging him. The last time I said goodbye to him again, he cried on the way home and said to my parents he missed me. But, to me, he is always a little kid, who would always run around not knowing anything in the world but fun and joy. So I am also the same little girl to my parents. They saw me growing, they heard me trying to live independent, working hard, living alone and travelling alone around Europe and it helps them acknowledge the fact that I have been an adult. However, I think it is hard for them to completely believe so.
The whole February I came back home, I was back to being treated as a little girl. It was fun for a while only; but I get it. And as long as I am still that little girl, no matter how hard I try to fix, I somehow still appeared to be that reckless daughter who acted without thinking, who would always depend on them. And so they hope for the best.
It causes the fights between us and parents. Getting the understanding flowing through from one to another is not so successful in many families, especially in Asia. The parents are usually protective. They are known as intelligent grown-ups who have been through things like we are now, who knows which turn we choose would be bad and which would be good. Of course, they would try the best they can to lead us to the good one.
On the other hand, speaking from the inexperienced side of people, how can we know it is good side and bad side, for us?
I would say, the only way to know is letting your kids falling and bringing themselves back up, on their own. Don’t just hope for the best. Do trust that they could make the right ones. And even if they don’t, let them fall for what they decided and just be there supporting them building themselves again. That is what I have learnt. They were there, always there helping me when I needed them. But they were also far far away. And at the end of the day, I had no one helping me to stand back up, but me, with my friends’ help.
I made mistakes, and probably still do. But those mistakes which cannot be fixed anymore, leave me marks that I need to wrap precaution around for the next time. I mean, there will be a time, being young reckless people is just not fun anymore.
The talk between me and my parents yesterday was in fact, about another story. I told them about my new flat-mate, who decided to come to Finland to start another degree in Nursing at the age of 30. I think it is such a brave decision and because of those people like that, I know “it is never too late”. Apparently, my mom thinks differently. We did not go into a fight but we both saw how each other saw things differently.
I am afraid again, for the day I took a new turn in my life, how more shocking they would be. And now it is my turn to hope for the best, hope that no matter what, they would still be my parents, be the people always there whenever I need.