But that’s not really the reason for this post. He wrote something in his personal blog that hit some very raw nerves inside of me. Small Potato is Asian, born in Vietnam and lived there for the first 11 years of his life. Then, his family moved to the U.S. but his home life continued to be very Asian. He is 21 years old today. Truth is, after reading his personal blog, the other half of me can’t feel bad about his decision to sell his domain and do what he needs to do which basically is to live for himself.
What is it about Small Potato that is worth a blog entry from my end? It is this:
I’m Asian and was raised up in a typical Asian family, which meant ideals like meeting my parents’ expectations and repaying them for raising me were already woven into my life before I was even conceived…
Your parents are responsible for raising you. You are not responsible for them. Although it’s honorable to make sure your parents have a good life, don’t do it out of guilt.
Remember, realizing that you don’t owe your parents isn’t enough. You have to accept it and get over the guilt. That’s the most important point you have to remember. You have to practice snapping yourself out of that guilt or you’ll end up shaping your life the way they see fit. To me, living a fake life or one that you’re not happy with is worse than suicide.
I can only applaud. I snapped out of that mentality a long time ago but it still haunts me. Speedy comes from a family that is very Asian in perspective, complete with all the expectations and repayment kind of thinking. I cannot ask him to be something he’s not and we’ve reached a compromise that we can be happy with. You know, respect each other’s perspective without feeling short-changed.
But that compromise may have profound effects on our daughters that will probably not become apparent until many years in the future. I have always been vocal about it — I don’t expect them to spend their adult lives taking care of us. I don’t want them to. I don’t want them to take on high-paying jobs that they cannot be happy with, thinking they have to because it is their responsibility to take care of us in our old age. I want them to be able to live their lives fully and freely. That’s partly why Speedy and I work so damn hard — to be able to feather our nests comfortably so that Sam and Alex won’t have to worry about us when we’re old.
All of that will sound screwed to many. It will sound disrespectful to some and stupid to others. But I did not decide that I wanted to become a mother because of some deep-rooted need for some kind of insurance in my old age.