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The Distance 1/22/2019

On days when I’m busy, I find myself staring off into the distance. My office is on the second floor and nearby are large glass windows going from floor to ceiling. I consider it one of the best views available in the office. I don’t think my co-workers carry the same opinion, however. It’s even better when everyone upstairs is gone and I have the entire floor to myself with the mix of jazz music I have playing. It’s calming, serene, and very zen.

Naturally, a few thoughts come to mind, many of which stem from when I was younger — fears mainly. Education was never my strong suits as a kid. The motivation was not there. Coupled with a less than stellar home life, I felt I was doomed to life of mediocrity and would likely fall through the cracks. Come to think of it, I not once studied for an exam when I was in primary school. It’s easier to say I didn’t care or gave school much thought — which is true.

I think when you’re a kid, everything is essentially handed to you. It’s a bubble, free of outside forces that would otherwise leave you fending yourself against the elements. It’s one thing to get bad grades, yet another to hear your family say you’ll never amount to anything. I could give them a pass for all the years of criticism and negative vibes seeing as how they didn’t know any better.

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I’ve felt my family was never in a good position to properly raise children. My parents and I were born on the rural countryside — away from the luxuries of what city life had. I remember visiting as a kid and being in complete shock to the lack of anything around us. Homes were made of bricks, floors were laid with dirt, and it was natural to fetch water from a well. Somehow, in my parents eye’s, I was suppose to feel a strong connection to this foreign land upon returning. How blind-sighted there were. It was a jarring experience and I did not enjoy our months stay. Why would I, as someone raised in the US with all the conveniences I’ve grown to love and hold dear to.

This, however, was the benchmark my parents put me against. As a kid, I was overwhelmed and confused. It made me realize much of the criticism thrown in my direction was unwarranted. It’s impossible I’d would grow up to be a farmer or go out to raise livestock here in the States. I spoke and wrote English with absolute fluency, had all my education here, and had my entire life to get it all down to a T. My little epiphany moment wasn’t Earth shattering by any means. I gradually learned to ignore them more as I got older. A few uncles offered similar words of support when I was a teenager — much to my relief.

In a nutshell, some people aren’t keen on perspective taking. You can say they have such tunnel vision and prolonged feelings of hostility, they don’t know any better. I understand where they’re coming from, however, I can’t excuse them for the negativity imposed on to me. I think every kid, teenager, or person needs less criticism and more positive support. Worst they can do is inevitably make them fearful of the world. You may not get the full support of your family no matter what you do for a living, how much you make, or what you own — so be it.

Always do you. Everyone’s priority is themselves. It’s your life and don’t ever think you’re not in control.

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