actuality.log


All entries tagged 'parents'

Wednesday, June the 30th, 2010

These past few days have been quite chaotic. Shortly before I landed, my favourite grandma had a nasty fall and ended up breaking her hip in numerous places. She’s not in pain anymore, but the doctor that performed her reconstructive surgery yesterday said she’d take a few months to recover completely. In all this activity surrounding my grandma—trips to the hospital, handholding old relatives (and coddling their grand-children!) who keep popping up to visit her, sorting out food for some of the longer-term stays, disseminating information about her progress, …—I haven’t had much time really to talk to my parents about my life; about Stacey.

A couple of months ago, I was lost. There were voids in my life I knew not how to fill. The wide array of choices I had laid out before me for when my contract in Scandinavia completed made it quite obvious: I was OK with doing whatever, wherever, in my search for something more. All this began to change as I got closer to Stacey. After spending nearly every moment with her since I first met her, it became clear to me that I was happy right where I was with her. I liked my job and my friends and my home and my city (fucking cold and dark as it can be!). Unfortunately, this realisation came just a few weeks before my current contract expired, taking down with it my intimately-linked European work/residence permit. We tried quite valiantly the last ten days or so to sort something out in terms of employment, but my months of telling people I was leaving (to teach kids) and turning down offers to extend my stay was hard to undo. Not wanting to take any chances, I decided to book a ticket back to India, and sort out how to return from there. Since we were confident things would work out on that front, I left much of my stuff back in Oslo with my friends and Stacey suggested she’d join me, transforming this hasty trip into a month-long vacation in India.

She’ll be arriving soon. We’ll be leaving soon to find somewhere relaxing that’s neither too hot nor too wet in July.

I wanted to sit down and explain all this to my folks. Talk about how I feel toward her. Talk about my life, the choices I’ve made and the ones I’m still yet to. That they needn’t worry for me. That I’m still their responsible boy. That no matter how unsure I am about the future, I’m nearly thirty years old and I’m brave enough to do the things I want to. And happy for it.

But I can’t. They’ve been distracted by another phone-call requesting them back at the hospital.

Sunday, February the 22nd, 2009

It’s not too complicated to explain really, at the heart of things it’s just that I’m a lazy bum. Almost anything of significance, be it work-related or personal, requires a fair amount of effort on one’s part to create and sustain. Effort that I am not willing to put in—hence the lovely state of my life. But that’s old news, except that it isn’t.

Of late, I’ve seriously been contemplating one grand scheme after the next to stop working within a year (or so). I’ve “been working” now for what—six months?—since I completed my schooling and I’ve come to the conclusion that another year or so ought to do it for me. Really, I’m done with the whole “being a professional” scene and it’s about time I got back to what’s important: Lounging on a hammock somewhere sipping something.

It’s within this context that I wrote to my father hoping to rope him into my plans (or at least, inform my parents of my intentions).

Appa,

I have a basic question: Realistically, how much money should I save if I want to live (let’s assume in India, since it is cheaper to do so) for the rest of my life without working?

I don’t care about living fancily, I just want to live without responsibility. I want to be able to spend all my time doing whatever I want.

Me

Usually, my parents always get back to me instantly—like they’re perpetually waiting to talk to me. But it’s been a couple of weeks since I sent this, and I haven’t heard back from them. I’m sure my folks are sitting somewhere aghast, unable to fathom why their son is “throwing his life away on a whim.”

The truth is, I’ve been drifting away from them ever since I left home to pursue my studies. Even though I talk to them once every ten days or so, I almost do it perfunctorily. And it’s always they who initiate the conversation, never I. It’s like the more independent I’ve become over the years, the less I’ve deemed their utility. I know it’s a mean thing to say, but I’ve been self-reliant for so long, I don’t see the point in talking to them any more. I do respect and appreciate what they’ve done for me (while lamenting about how ineffectual their contributions often are); it’s just that over time, our lives have diverged.

In fact, I don’t even know why I wrote to my dad about my plans. I didn’t write to him for his advice on what I needed to do to achieve a life of doing nothing, I wrote to him for approval. Come to think of it, do I even care anymore?

Friday, December the 21st, 2007

Spending time with the family doesn’t just mean lengthy conversations about life, the universe and everything; it also means cooing over ancient pictures of tots!

A picture of me when I was little

Tuesday, December the 4th, 2007

Stepping out after a long, hot shower all wrinkley and pink, I hope I can finally pen some of the thoughts that have frequented my mind over this past week. The main thing I’ve been wrestling with is this: Is changing my life really just my own fight?

Let me explain.

Talk to anyone, and more often than not, they’ll be quick to suggest that you ought to take control of your own life, take responsibility for your actions and fight your own battles. They’ll probably use different words, but this will be the general sentiment they express. They’ll say that you shouldn’t sit there blaming the world for your misfortunes, and shouldn’t expect a magical fairy to come floating down from the clouds—or wherever it is fairies call home—and solve your problems for you.

OK, I admit waiting for a magical fairy is a pretty bogus way of dealing with your life’s situations, but is your life really just your own fight to fight? Quite certainly, other people must’ve played some part in your life’s path. Haven’t they?

Take, for example, the case of these parents who raised their already socially-awkward child in three very different parts of the world. Is it any surprise that the kid has difficulty grasping where he fits in? Why is it that others can be a part of the problem but when it comes to fixing it, you ought to single-handedly arrive at a solution?

One obvious answer to that question is more of the same drivel: “It’s your life; it’s your problem, not theirs.” And this is something that leaves me unconvinced.

Monday, November the 26th, 2007

Against the advice of most people, including my aghast parents, I resorted to Plan B. And you know what? It’s been great! These past few days have witnessed a substantial change in my outlook, and I’ve actually started to do things again. Like a couple of days ago, a friend and I drove out to a national park at the outskirts of the city and spent most of our morn hiking and talking. When was the last time you heard me do something like that? Never.

I’m not certain if the chemicals have anything to do with it, or it’s some sort of placebo effect, but I’m too busy being glad to care.

Of course, things have not been all rosy. There have been some side-effects, like the occasional twitch of the odd muscle (the kinds you get after marathon video-gaming sessions) and mental restlessness that makes it a little harder for me to go to sleep at night. Nevertheless, I feel they’re worth it right now, and these are relatively minor things I can easily contend with for what I feel I’m receiving in return.

What I guess I am saying is: It’s OK if you can’t calm down and focus, even enough to write a decent journal entry, when your mind is in fact racing with heartening thoughts—such as where you want to travel to and what genuinely needy groups you want to aid.

Clue in: Since everyone around feels entitled to harangue me about my life choices, all I have to say is this: People who don’t, won’t or can’t do anything to help my circumstance have little say in the matter.


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