For my senior year of college, instead of a boring thesis about the economy or financial fraud in the auditing industry, I chose to write a create thesis about what it was like growing up ABC (American Born Chinese). I haven't looked at the thesis since I got my "A" grade back - woo woo!! but just this morning, as I was printing it out to get copyrighted (you never know... just in case...) I skimmed through and realized how much I've grown in the last five years.
I was writing about independence and fearful of whether or not I could acquire it as I got ready for the real world. Five years later, I'm quite confident I've gotten there.. but lil did I know at the time that true independence wasn't just providing for yourself and living on your own.. but understanding yourself and knowing what is right or necessary for yourself regardless of the difficulties which lie therein.
"Independence has always been a difficult issue for me. It’s comforting to rely on someone else for help, advice, and financial support. My parents did exactly that for the past twenty years of my life. Whenever I found myself going through a difficult situation, my mother was always there to tell me what was right and how I should react. So why would I ever look elsewhere for a solution? Why would I ever feel the need to find my own answers?
My parents raised me with their values on life, which instilled in me important lessons on how I should live life. They have taught me so much, and these cherished lessons are the building blocks of who I am. However, I am still an individual, and luckily a self-reflective one who treasures my independence. For this reason, I must find my own way in life. My parents have given me the basic structure and value in life, which allows me to make the right decisions, but I must find my own path because ultimately, we are not the same people. This acceptance liberated me to scrutinize their beliefs and determine the best course for myself.
Armed with the financial support of my parents, I had before never understood the pain of paying for one’s bills. I had worked each summer, earned money, but that money had simply added to the banking account that my mother and father directly re-filled when I needed more money for school books, clothes, food, or entertainment needs.
I’m sure everyone goes through it, but for me, it was a very challenging experience. I was so privileged with money, so sheltered from reality, that I was not ready to face the real world. I didn’t know what it meant to have no money. I didn’t know what it meant to have to work for a living. I never needed to know.
But now all of a sudden, I am bombarded with more than I can handle. All of my time in college up until this winter break has been spent preparing myself for the future."
Perhaps I'm the only one who can sense the growth I've had since then and because I don't feel like explaining in detail what that means.. I'll leave you with this... What I learned was how important it is to always journal your feelings for yourself and maybe even others. I am guilty of ignoring my journal but remembering to make time for it is my lesson for today.
Cuz looking back is fun .. give yourself an opportunity to do so by writing in your journal more. I will start tonight!