the much anticipated yet much dreaded trip “home” for the holidays. the mixture of excitement to love on my sister and her kids and the fear of a[nother] lecture from my parents. every time I get together with them it becomes an inquisition into my life plans. no matter how content with life I may be, I have a deep seated worry that my choices are a never ending source of displeasure for my parents. a displeasure that is rarely veiled, often proclaimed, and seldom apologized for. not being a parent myself, I struggle to grasp the complicated nuances of taking pride in one’s child, of respecting them as an adult, and supporting them in their pursuits. but recently I came to the conclusion that I have not always been fair in my demands for acceptance. it is true that I would appreciate more encouragement and less skepticism, but just as I have been learning and growing in self-awareness, they too might be wrestling with personal development. brain elasticity certainly slows as one ages so I can’t expect them to adjust to my somewhat radical transformation at the same rate as me. of course it doesn’t seem fast-paced to me as I have spent about a decade now intentionally trying to find my true passion and place in the world. the layers seem to be peeling back at a faster rate only lately. and I’ve been really working at it. my parents didn’t choose to participate in my path to self-discovery, it was forced upon them when I took my big faith leap almost three years ago. so I was already years ahead of them in the process of undoing everything they/we thought I wanted or had been working towards up to that point. in my naiveté I did my best to share my plans (and lack thereof) with them but I was too busy sorting through my own emotions to make any attempt at coaching them through theirs. I made huge demands for their love and acceptance with very little thought for how my actions might really hurt them. it was selfish and I don’t apologize for that, it needed to be done, but acknowledging the unfair position I put them in is a big source of my current peace. I have to stop expecting them to deal with the situation the way I wish they would. I can still hope that they learn to love me the way I want to be loved, but I have to accept that they’re doing the best they can in the meantime. letting go of the struggle to convince them of my good intentions frees me to pursue my passions even more fervently.
the more I strip away the things I used to want, the more I un-become the person I tried to be, the more I listen to what makes my heart sing, the more I expose the real me, the more I connect with others on this path, the more my soul shines.
maybe then they’ll see ME and understand.
but if they don’t, that’s okay too.