Thursday, August 6, 2009

I went swimming last Sunday evening for the first time in almost two years.

It was only when I slipped into the water did I realize how much I'd missed the sensation. As a young girl, I used to swim every week until I was hit with a serious bout of eczema. The water was torturous on my raw, weeping skin so I had to give it up. It was never the same after that. Even when my eczema went away, I found it hard to get back in the water. Somehow you develop a block to things you've stopped doing for a long time.

No doubt my swimming skills have become rusty, but I still enjoy the calming effect that water has on me. I love to float on my back and close my eyes. That swim allowed me to release all the stress I've been feeling lately and the coolness was delightful in the hot weather. I found myself thinking, "I should do this again sometime." The subsequent soak in the jacuzzi was great as I'd never been in one before. As I rested my head on the edge of the jacuzzi, I could see the newly-risen moon through the bushes. I thought about my life.

It's strange that there's stress in my life now. When I was schooling, stress was of a different nature, and somehow good. Stress came from rushing to obtain good grades and meet deadlines, and that was fulfilling in a way as it prompted me to work hard and produce results. Now, stress comes from the anxieties I feel about going to college, which are often caused by what others say. I'm constantly overwhelmed by the negativity of my mother, who doesn't seem to have a single positive thing to say about me going to college. The problem in our relationship is a lack of balance. She doles out critiscism but doesn't give praise. I often think to myself, "You're hardly even home to talk to us and this is what you choose to say?" This is invariably something negative.

This situation is nothing compared to what has happened between me and my aunt. I'm shocked at the extent to which prejudice can blind people. It's not as if I'm a total stranger to her. Honestly, I'm not so much angry as hurt at her judgement of my character. I can forgive, but I don't think I can ever forget her words. I don't think I can ever talk to her again, knowing what she has said behind my back.

You know what they say about not letting yourself be surrounded by people who make you feel inferior? But what happens if those people are your family or relatives?


Kaya said...

I felt compelled to say something somehow even though I was rushing my way downstairs...

Let me tell you something; life is never fair and life doesn't hand you answers as to why you got what has been handed to you.

There is always one positive outcome of the worst situations: wisdom and awareness. I know exactly how it is to look at someone and say "Why them why not me?"..

Sometimes the answers to the most complex questions lie in your most natural instincts and simple answers...

Family is a word, an expression used to give identity to a set of people who are genetically related to you. A word remains a word unless you feel there is something significant there.

It's all about perception.

My advice... Know yourself. Be sure of what you feel. That will then reflect on how you react in a any situation.

Here's an example; there can be twenty people in a room surrounding you, yet you may feel at peace with yourself because your very sure of what you stand for... No one can evoke a reaction from you; that is your prerogative. It is irrelevant whether the reaction is screaming in frustration in front of someone or going away to a closed room and crying silently.

I've learnt this in the past few months, and I think college will help you in exactly this; thinking for yourself, being confident about how you feel about anyone or anything, what you stand for. Most importantly a reason to be confident of who you are, a direction and standing in life.

When efforts begin to materialise in front of you it gives you indescribable confidence. People back off.

I would say if you are sure of what you're doing and have thought this through. Go for it. It's always good to get a second and third opinion and that could be of your sisters or a close friend. Find this clarity of direction within you and then don't question or backtrack.

Have a singular focus. Follow your instinct and keep someone close by. Believe me at the age and place your at your perspective will shift dramatically, make sure you put yourself in situations which are outside your comfort zone; situations which will keep you from being stagnant.

This is not the time to evaluate and wonder. This is the time to go for what you believe in. Once you have a standing in your eyes, more than anything you will have more confidence and respect for your own evaluations and thoughts... needless to say others will too.

One thing I've to say before I go downstairs to get some cereal (haha) is... Your mother is your mother no one can change that, that is a relationship that is one of the most important, unique and beautiful relationships there can be... what ever you think about her, do so logically, put yourself in her position... if you still strongly disagree, that's fine. Remember, she is an individual before your mother, she may have faults and weaknesses but she is your mother. That fact will remain. Try and handle this particular situation as well as you can; with as much as courage and warmth as you can muster. You will thank yourself later.


Jomae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jomae said...

sorry, i made a terrible spelling error in my previous comment...

I experience the same sort of thing with my own mother and although, i can't write as much as the girl above me...i can say that you must stay strong and do things your way. sort of like what you said in your post, people who are only out to bring you down must be left out of your life. you are pretty independent, i assume, but she is your mother and you may still need her from time to time, but keep your head up and enjoy life.

your blog is great. i look forward to hearing more. :)

thesydneygirl said...

hey beautiful! =)

i added your link last night!

I like a lot of what kaya said.

different experiences will give you confidence in yourself, and if someone says something negative to you, you will be happy and confident enough to ignore it and just see the positives in that person.

i'm reading a book at the moment - it's fantastic. it's called the power of attraction. it's about how our thoughts create our experiences. definitely recommend it. i think it will put a lot of things in perspective for you.

anyways, thank you for sharing. i know you will be okay! :) college will be fantastic, and do what you want to do in life. it's your life! =D


Yi Lin said...

thanks for the advice!

S. Mimi C. said...

guess what?

asian mom.

haha, kidding.

i don't want to be biased, but... asian moms are like that. screw the "Speak Gently by David Bates" tradition-esque poem of the standard white family.

when it comes to asians, family is our worst enemy.

when it comes to having a "loving, stable, content family relationship", don't go to your family.

let me ask you, do you have friends?

really really good friends? who'll stand by you no matter what? and if you had one leg amputated, and grew thirteen eyes and four arms overnight, basically making you a mutant, will they stand by you then?

i think i need some friends like that, haha :)

i think you need some friends like that too.

feel better! ):

and keep writing.
(on the walls.
on mirrors and
the bathroom stalls.)