“Aliens”- the first word that came to mind when I thought of my parents. They were never mom and dad; they were always my “legal guardians”. I thought of them as people who only thought about my future and nothing else until I came across the one piece of paper that changed my mind.
It was homework for health class and we were supposed to have our parents fill out a survey about us. I did not think much of it because they were asked to write about their expectations of me, and those had been clear to me since my first day of school at the age of 2. I thought I was supposed to study, work hard, plan for the future, and nothing more. But I was wrong.
I never thought of my parents as heartless, but I always thought of them as people so focused on the future that they are unable to see the present. They always worried about my grades, asked about SAT scores, and attended every single parent teacher conference any of my schools ever had. They were more involved in my school life than my personal life.
My parents took longer on the survey than I thought they would so I was really curious to read it. On that piece of paper were the most beautiful words ever written. “Whatever she does, I want her to be happy,” my mom said. I was honestly shocked to read these words because it showed me that they did care about the personal aspects of my life, and it instantly took a lot of the pressure off.
Since I am growing up in an entirely different continent than them, I didn’t think they would understand any of my issues. It suddenly occurred to me that my parents were also teenagers once and were probably just as stressed as I am. They were also pressured by parents, teachers, and society. This was a brand new idea to me because we come from a different country with extremely contrasted culture; I always thought they wanted me to detach from the world and focus on the future. It took me almost 16 years to realize that my parents would have been happy with me no matter what I did and how my life turns out.
Knowing that I am not forced to accomplish really lifted a big weight off my shoulders. I am now able to learn, just because it is something I appreciate and can really enjoy, not because I have to.
Knowing this, I began to investigate. My parents led quite an adventurous life before I was born. They traveled the world, ate all kinds of food, and had all kinds of hairstyles. They were no longer a part of another planet, they were normal. I really appreciated this because now I could talk to them about a topic other than academics.