I had one of the worst nights of my life with my parents yesterday; I was yet again, backed into a corner and forced into justifying my own existence. The way I chose to live my life and the decision making capacity that had become attune with my very being was being brought into the spotlight and picked apart one piece at a time. I kept being met with the questions of ‘who do you think you are?’, ‘do you think you are better than everyone else?’, ‘that you know better than us, people who have walked this earth for 60+ years’?. The entire time that these lines were being uttered, the only thing I could think is that ‘you can’t hear me’, nor do you actually see me, for me.
My entire life, I’ve felt utterly misunderstood being trapped in a world between two cultures, and never feeling fully comfortable in either one. I’ve grown up, as an only child with parents who must have thought they’d brought an alien into this world. I have always maintained that I am brave enough to walk my own path in life and pave the way for something that was right for me. But as I sat in the room I spent my childhood in, in the house I’d grown up in, I found myself questioning every decision I’d ever made in life. Maybe it would just be easier to mould my life into what was expected of me, maybe I should have followed that profession, or married that guy and had a mortgage, a white picket fence, 2.5 children and a dog by now. As I sat in that bedroom last night with my chest constricting, I wondered if it would be all the more easier to do what was expected of me….
Until I woke up this morning, looked into the mirror and saw my reflection staring back at me. In even the passing thought of giving in, I’d seen a part of myself disappear. As I stood there, I looked into a set of sad eyes that I didn’t even recognise. The person staring back at me was one who was defeated, who had given in, who had lived someone else’s version of her life. I suddenly realised, that I was looking into the future, into a version of reality where I hadn’t been brave. In this existence, I’d let go of my courage, given up on the person I had once believed in and thrown the towel in because being different and unique had gotten all too hard.
The truth is, people aren’t going to believe in your dreams for you. The validation we all search for isn’t going to be found during the arduous journey of paving our own way in life. No one is going to buy into something without seeing the results in the end, and it’s at that point that belief isn’t truly needed anymore. In a world of expectations, conformity and oneness – society will judge you for being different. But the truth is, they aren’t going to live your life for you, that is your burden or blessing to bear – depending on what you choose. Don’t make decisions based on someone else’s idea of your life, because at the end of the day – you are living it. Be strong, be brave, be courageous enough to say to the people that doubt you, or in turn love you but just don’t understand you; that this is your journey and you want to live it to its truest and most sobering potential.