Finding my Voice
Growing up I never looked forward to marriage, marrying or romantic relationships. I remember one incident where I was admiring some of mom’s jewelry, in my parents’ room when they were both there. It was a pleasant gathering, no tension present at all. I always enjoyed hanging out there when Dad came back from work.
“One day you’ll have a fine man who can buy you jewelry!” Dad said lightly.
“I don’t need a man to buy me jewelry. I’ll work and buy it myself.” I replied in my teenager-rebelling-against-the-world tone.
“Why are you rebelling against men? Did we show you that women are helpless or inferior?” Dad asked.
I don’t recall much beyond this point. But this conversation stuck with me a long time. At the time I was confused: “Really… why do I feel that way?” On the face of it, my mother is a very smart educated woman. Dad never demanded that I marry or even mention it that much. He supported me throughout my education, higher education and job search. They never implied that I am going to need a man to support myself. So where was this rebellion against marriage and men coming from?
And here is the biggest irony, nowadays, 30 years old, in a long-term relationship, and a daughter, I long for that jewelry gift. It’s just I spent many years building the I-don’t-need-no-man-to-buy-me-jewelry case that there’s a tiny chance that a certain someone is not going to think I would like one. Ahem.
Having my little Lily did that to me. She shakes her little finger in anger at anyone who pisses her off. That’s a sight to behold. You own daughter emulating you. It’s the biggest wake-up call ever. I have to face my demons. I have to find where the hell I am coming from! I have to find a clear voice that comes from a knowing self. Not a loud rebelling voice that is out to tell the world how it is.
And I decided to start by looking at my first family, where I came from. Not to blame, because blaming, in my opinion, is the easy way out, dare I say it, the “loser” way. But to understand the world into which I came. It is the little seemingly insignificant day-to-day interactions and the silent ways our parents lead their lives that shape us. Not the big lectures, nor the big huge fights.