Today is Father’s Day and to be honest, I did not expect to have shed tears by noon. I probably haven’t cried on a Father’s Day since I was a small child, but I’ve been finally addressing the emotional issues throughout my life and for a moment, I felt like I was that kid crying because his father didn’t enough attention. Oh, I forgot to mention that he didn’t want to do anything with me and my siblings today. Anyway, I’m not blaming him for anything. These issues have driven me to become the person that I am today and I am proud of how far I’ve come. However, there are some drawbacks. I’ve realized that I’m a perfectionist. My dad always had very high expectations of me when I was younger. I used to have the best handwriting in my class, but I was constantly erasing and rewriting words because it wasn’t perfect. Eventually, I decided that I valued my time a lot more and settled with slightly messy handwriting. However, this pressure of being the best probably resulted in me being so involved in high school. (I’ve talked about some of the things I’ve accomplished in another post.) I’m aware that there was this fixed mindset, but I’ve learned to change that into a growth mindset. It shifts the focus from the goal to yourself and if you focus on yourself, the goal becomes much easier to accomplish. Crying is okay, it’s very cathartic. I feel pretty great now. I processed it and now I’m moving on.
My mom left everything behind when she was 16 to escape communism during the Vietnam War. She was one of the so called,”boat people,” and lived in Malaysia for a year before immigrating to the United States in the 1970’s. I was born in the mid-1990’s and didn’t really understand life as an immigrant in the U.S. until I learned about how immigrants are actually treated today. In retrospect, I was kind of a little brat because I would question why my mom would always push me to do well in school when she didn’t go to college herself. (She was an immigrant woman in the 70’s, the odds were against her.) Not only was she raised in the countryside, she was also a woman in a very traditional culture. (i.e., It was expected of her to do things like cook and clean.) I’ve come to truly appreciate being able to call a place home and being an educated male in today’s society. Growing up, my mom would ask me if I’d take care of her when I got older and I said I would. I used to view it as this huge responsibility and was stressed out by it. I now view this as the greatest gift I can give her because not only is she a frickin’ war survivor, but she also was able to give me more than enough love to make up for the lack of a father-figure.