Frustration boiled up in me again just now when, after expressing a desire to do something and L saying he wouldn’t join me, I immediately started saying that I wouldn’t either. I started to “change” my opinion to match his as soon as I found out what he wanted.
From the moment we started dating, L has encouraged me to be my own person, state my own views, make my own choices and to be more assertive about who I am and what I do or don’t need and want. Just this evening he said, “No, it’s fine! You can do that if you want. It’s ok!”
Still there is always this struggle. A struggle to become myself at 29, after 22 years of trying to cram myself into the image my parents wanted to see. The struggle to be ok with my own choices at 29, after 22 years of meticulously feeling out my father’s preference before announcing it as my own “independantly made” decision.
I am trapped in this should-be-surreal scenario where in trying to live a normal life, I am being rebellious in the eyes of my parents, whose beliefs demanded conformity to a lifestyle that fought against the pressure to be just like everyone else.
I remember more than one occasion when my father told us about this song which compared the school system (although this might just have been his interpretation?) to a sausage factory, where all that happened was the mindless churning of children through the system, so they would all pop out at the end of the process as matching sausages. We didn’t want to be sausages, did we?
No, we didn’t want to be sausages. We were being homeschooled so we weren’t just churned through the school system. We didn’t have to bend to any expectations to be just like everyone else.
At what point will my parents realise that they turned into their very own sausage factory, churning out sausages that, although admittedly a very different shape from the mass-made sausages they so feared, were still sausages?
When I struggle to take a decision that isn’t influenced in some way by either what I know my father would want or taken purely because it’s the opposite of what he would want, I find it hard to laugh at the stupid irony of the whole thing.
Here I am, at 29, after all this hard work to break away from my parent’s demands, doing exactly what they claimed to want for me in the first place!
I broke free from my society’s pressure to be just like them and to live my life a certain way just because that was what everyone else was doing. I went against the trend and made my own choices, enduring the disapproval of my peers for the sake of my convictions.
Only the society I bucked was my parent’s and the choices I made for the sake of my own convictions? They had me heading away from my parent’s demands to be just like ‘one of them’.
Here I am, at 29, still learning to make my own decisions.