So often we take our family for granted – that they would always be by our side, that they would be supportive. Until we step into school, into society, into the various workplaces, then we realize how pure the love from family can be.
Or at least, that’s how I felt.
I’m unlike many other people – I don’t consider going to uni (unless I can afford the school fee by myself 100%), I don’t like to dress up and I don’t ever consider marriage.
In this modern day and age, I kinda took my parents’ support and respect of my decisions for granted. Well, that is, until my brothers’ weddings.
Yeah, when more relatives get into the picture, or think that they have the right to tell us what to do, especially me.
I’ve always believed in mutual respect, not to force anything down anyone’s throats. That’s why I once said, I support LGBT, but I don’t think it’s right to expect everyone to accept LGBT. Live, and let live.
So I was okay, and I already expected, with relatives coming up to me, telling me it’s my turn next. In casual conversations, sure, I’d let them say what they want because it’s just talk, isn’t it? 🙂 It’s not like they would be coming after me after that one meeting.
But then there are people who will hear the truth from me, for two reasons –
- The good – Because I regard you as family and I don’t wanna bullshit you; and
- The bad – You’re crossing the line and I’m drawing the boundary. Back off.
On one occasion, I had to tell two elders that truth – I have no intention of finding a boyfriend, settling down and forming my own family. EVER.
They had spent an hour or two talking to me about it (not discussing, but talking TO me) and it was turning into preaching. And I have respect for them, so I wanted to tell them my true feelings, also to put a stop to it. To break the tension.
Then the disappointing thing happened – They just shut me out totally.
For the sake of things going harmoniously for my brothers’ weddings (trust me, I bear with a lot of shit), I didn’t say a word. And it has been what? Four years?
This lunar new year, we went to one of that relative’s house to exchange greetings.
Mind you, I’ve always respected her and loved her despite what she said and how she shut me out for the past few years. Like ignoring me or giving me the cold shoulder. I mean, she’s an elder after all.
For the past few years when my brothers were busy, I still went to her house with my parents during lunar new year. Still, cold shoulder.
I wondered if it was because she didn’t know how to communicate with my generation. So it’s cool, I didn’t take it personally. Until this year, when my brother and sis-in-law went with me.
I mean, how childish does one elder have to be, to hear hello and goodbye from 3 youths, and only say goodbye to two?
Maybe I was soft, maybe I was too sensitive, I thought.
Until tonight. We were enjoying food in the neighbourhood when we saw her. I was still delighted to see her because I saw her as part of the family. A close relative.
But here’s the most disappointing thing – my parents and the 5 of us youths greeted her. She said hi to my parents, then went PAST me, to pat the backs of my two brothers and two sisters-in-law. And talked to them. Like I didn’t exist AT ALL.
If it was the past, I would have simply walked off because of how insulting it was. But nope, I just took out my phone to resolve the awkwardness.
“Oh, so both of you married ah?”
Dude. Three kids, man. How rude do you have to be? -_-
I’ve kept my silence and the unfairness I’ve endured from her for FOUR years. So as soon as she left, I told my family, just think about what just happened. Great, I don’t ever have a reason to visit her during CNY again, do I?
The saddest part was when nobody is on my side, or bothered to empathize with how I feel.
Do you guys even know the shit I had to hear and bear for the past few years?
Maybe I’ve taken your support in the past few years for granted, but 6 people and no one spared a thought for how I was ignored?
Just goes to show why I have no faith in human relations sometimes. People can be so cold.
Am I angry? Not anymore. Upset? Not anymore. Disappointed? Yeah, kind of.
For one, you have no control over my decision, even if I tell you I’m gay (but I’m not la, just saying). You cannot talk me into marriage, as much as you cannot get me to wear a skirt.
Aside from all these, I was hoping you know what an adult should do and should be like, be respectable, at the very least. Time and time again though…
At least I am accountable for my actions. I have shown you respect and grace as much as I think you deserved. Five years, including this year, and you still step all over me.
It’s okay, I’m moving on! There are so many things in life worth my time, respect and love. Hold on tight to your traditional thinking and ignore me all you want from this point on. Tonight hurt me deep, but that’s as bad as it can be. You can’t hurt me anymore. :))
Writing this entry to remind myself never to take love and support from anyone for granted – take it with a lot of gratitude and appreciation. And when things don’t go my way, let it go. I’m going to be what I wished my elders would have been – it’s the only way to make things better for the future generations, not to let the hatred and hurt continue.
Dear future me,
Please be the kind of aunt you wish you had. Puberty was tough, so don’t ever ridicule the youths. Help them out, be kind, be supportive, albeit from a distance unless they approach you first. Respect their ideals and most importantly, don’t compare, criticize or judge them prematurely, especially in conversations to their parents. Learn to draw the line – don’t make them anymore insecure, awkward or uncomfortable, by prying into their private matters or schoolwork.
They are going to drive you mad at some point, maybe even saying things that piss you off. You’d be an old lady by then, so learn to laugh it off, be a bigger person and continue to love them for who they are. Be the bridge between them and their parents, not the barrier in-between. Teach them kindness and gratitude, not what to do, how many prizes to win or how many number ones to get.
The Huiying today, would be very grateful and proud if you can make these promises count. If things ever get too tough, walk away. Come back when you’ve cooled down and restart to conversation with love, yeah?
You’d always be your own strongest supporter, unconditionally. 🙂 And that’s all you really ever need.