I hate it when essays sneak up on you and you suddenly realise you haven’t done anything at all and the stress blanket starts descending…
I feel the generation/ cultural gap between my mum and me widen into a chasm whenever we talk about relationships. The way she dated when she was my age is so different from the way I date now and I think we’re both aware of that. I feel her self-consciousness when she tries to relate to me and my love life. What begins as an awkward navigation through questions about me and O, becomes underhanded insults towards me.
Why does he like you?
Maybe he’s just trying you out for the time being?
I know the undercurrent too well. When I was little, my mum would warn me of my friendships with people who weren’t Chinese – they don’t understand us, soon enough they’ll reject you, best to stick with people like us. Now that I’m older, I know that this is her projecting her fears onto me. She did this then and twenty years later, she’s still doing it now. I know that this is an expression of love (in a way), her trying to protect me. She’s worried that O will eventually reject me but all I get out of conversations like this is that I’ll never be enough.
The other day I saw this meme that said immigrant parents were tasked with survival but immigrant children get the privilege of seeking self actualisation. I really love my mum, she is the strongest woman I know and I will never know the extent of the sacrifices and resilience it took to forge a new life in a foreign land. Maybe the way to bridge the gap is to remind myself of this – that my parents are fearful because of their experiences and the fact that I’m carefree is a privilege that’s come from a sheltered upbringing, which my parents gave me.
Wish I could dance like they do on Step Up.
Today has been so so great. Some walking, some coffee, some vineyards, lots of good food.
I really love going away with friends and having chill fun times together.
Two things are on my mind tonight.
- G told me she saw J in town today, with a girl. When she told me, I felt a jolt run through me. It wasn’t pain, but it definitely stirred up some old uneasy emotions. I’m glad she told me though. Initially, I found myself wanting to know all the details – where they were, what they were doing, how they were with each other. But I didn’t ask G to elaborate because probably a part of me knew that none of this mattered anymore. And sure enough, the more I thought about it, the more I found myself becoming indifferent. I have fondness for the time we had together, and I’m realising now that it is possible to have good memories with someone who was bad for you. Knowing that he’s still around here though, makes me anxious about running into him. Just hearing about him through G, I felt myself react, I can only imagine how jarring it will be if I come face to face.
- O text me today to make plans for next week when he’s back 🙂 I think that means he heard and understood me yesterday and I’m so so appreciative of that. He listens and cares about my needs! He changes! It makes my heart so happy. He makes my heart so happy. I am extremely glad for him in my life. Extremely glad.
Today I had lunch with O and as I saw him walking towards me down the street, I knew that nothing was wrong at all. He was his same happy self and definitely not feeling any of the anxiety I was feeling.
We went rollerblading and while we were waiting for our rollerblades, I asked him if we were okay. He said ‘yeah, I think so?’ with a bit of surprise in his voice. I said that recently I’d been feeling like I was the only one wanting to hang out and again a little surprised, he said ‘really? I suggest things.. don’t I?’ I shook my head. Then our rollerblades came and that was the end of our conversation.
I get the feeling that he’s not the type to be forthcoming with words or feelings and probably feels a bit uncomfortable in conversations like that one, so I’m content with how this chat went. I communicated how I felt and he knows this now, so I guess the future will tell if he’s taken that on board?
Anyway, turns out my anxiety was for nothing and I’m glad for that 🙂