Flipping Through Chapters of the Past

It’s Not His Job

My mom always told me stories from her childhood. Stories about her many siblings and what life was like in a traditional Asian household. The gender expectations. The gender roles. Because there was only one boy in her family, my grandmother cherished him while my mom and her sisters watched on the side. Oh he could go out late, but make sure the girls aren’t out for too long. Oh he could go to parties, but make sure the girls stay home with the kids. It’s not like he has kids either…

The Beautifully Decorated Houses

It was always a struggle seeing those who had it all. A nice, big house, a loving family, money. As Christmas time rolled around it just got worse. Looking at all the beautifully decorated house, it was something she knew she would never have. Sure it used to be fun seeing all the festive decorations for the snowy season but as she started getting older, she began feeling less excited seeing them. She wished her house could be as visually pleasing and big as the ones she saw. She wished her family had enough money to even have a nice house. One where everyone had their own room. One that she wouldn’t feel self conscious about when people came over. These worries only sprouted when she got older, when she knew nothing was going to change. Her family wasn’t going to magically be rich. Her family wasn’t going to somehow win the lottery one day. But that’s what she’s been told all her life. “It’s going to get better.”

The Reality of the World We “Know”

My parents did their best hiding what the world around them was like. They wanted me to be their little girl forever. At first I didn’t understand them. Why don’t they want me to grow up? If I grew up and matured, I would be able to take care of myself so they don’t have to. But I found myself dreading the future. A future where I was all grown up. One where I had to be independent and face the harsh realities of the world. In my mind I’m still a little girl. One that plays tag on the playground, one who just goes to school for fun, not because I wanted to be successful later on. As I started seeing glimpses of what it’s going to be like when I’m older I can’t help but feel this weight on my chest. This isn’t what I imagined. This isn’t a future where I would have my life all planned out. This isn’t a future where the world was this amazing place free of problems that I didn’t have to come to terms with. Starting to steadily let go of my childhood and being exposed to the world around me is something I’ll have to come to terms with but for now I’ll use my knowledge and what I know to protect those around me from it.

Take Me Back

Being younger was so freeing. Back when food didn’t have calories, back when I didn’t care how I looked to other people, back when I didn’t have to worry about boys. I was always a free spirit who didn’t care what other people thought of me. I am my own person, why should other people tell me otherwise. However, growing up was inevitable and it was inevitable that my emotions and perspective would change as the environment and people around me changed as well. The girls I knew since I was little were so different now. Their personality changed into what I imagined a teenage girl would be like. I didn’t want to think like them but I couldn’t help it. As I was being surrounded by people telling me how I should look, how I should eat, who I should like, I couldn’t help but give into what they were saying. Like it or not, the way I looked at life changed from when I was younger. I went from having a free mind, to caring about how people looked at me. Did they like me? Was I enough?

Don’t Let Them See

Everyone has their own struggles, but not everyone chooses to display them. Sometimes people try to conceal their struggling life, fearing that somehow people could find out. What would those people think of them now? What would they think knowing how broken their life was behind doors. What they don’t know is why someone chooses to keep their battles secret. They don’t want people to worry. They try to appear normal and happy to everyone around them because they don’t want to upset others. They don’t want to be a burden on the ones they love. Why would you want your loved ones to be worried about you anyway? But as time keeps going on and concealed problems are brushed off, we begin to break. It starts to destroy us. We want to make everyone happy, but how would we do that knowing we aren’t making ourselves happy?

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