Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Making Choices

 It started with Dadu just constantly checking to see if I'm awake, which can get pretty annoying when you're lacking sleep anyway and you find the courage to get up and get out of bed. Obviously, that wasn't a big issue. Cleaning the bathroom and having it get dirty really quick, however, is frustrating. If anything is wet in the bathroom, I wipe it so that neither I nor the next person has to deal with that. My grandparents really don't. They really take up a lot of space. Wet clothes will be on the counter, bundled on top of the tap for bath, water will be all over counter and floor, toilet seat, and of course, the teeth container! I hate being so annoyed by really insignificant matters, but it's annoying. The space, for seven years, was mostly mine and my brother's. I adjusted to him growing up and becoming really disgusting, but I also had an authority over him. If he forgot to flush or something, I'd make him. If he made a mess or forgot to put his clothes away, I had the authority to tell him to do it. I can't do the same with my grandparents, and quite frankly, they are more messy (in some ways) than my brother. Considering what they have to say to me about remaining tidy because I am a girl, it just seems ironic and that itself ticks me off, as you may imagine.

Eventually, when it was time to change into clothing, I found that among my newly washed clothes, the one item I told my mom to specifically not wash otherwise it would get ruin... she washed. It's not unwearable, but the material looks worn out and I only bought the top in January and wore it merely 3 times. I bought it with my own money and right now, I'm really paranoid about what I spend my money on. Whenever I actually make a choice in purchasing a clothing piece, it somehow gets ruined. Most of my t-shirts became stained somehow when Dida washed them. Many of my clothes have really become unwearable because of stains from other clothes, but I still wear them. It's just frustrating that it always has to happen to my clothes. I'm not exaggerating. My clothes get stained and really badly too - pink or unidentified coloured blotches all over a shirt that is green, for example! In the past, such items that I really liked and cherished somehow disappeared in the laundry. I told my mom this time that I would do my laundry myself but you know something? Moms have this way of still wanting to obsessively do things themselves because they are control_freaks too! And the mold us just the same!

Then a series of other unlikely events happened, which I could have dealt with if I was in a better mood and well-slumbered. I carried (all in one go down the stairs) my school bag, an extra bag of library books in one hand, laptop somehow carried, all my essential items (socks, cell phone, ect), and two cups that were in my room from last night's coffee attempt in my other hand...!

I had to go downstairs to print my assignment, which I did somewhat successfully. "Somewhat" because the ink became discoloured halfway down the pages. Whatever. Then when I went to staple the assignment, I had to hunt down the stapler, only to find that no staples were in the damn thing! Then, I had to hunt down my own stapler that my dad often uses and misplaces. After a minute of running around the house 3 times, I found my stapler and stapled the stupid thing. I was a raging bull though. I was pretty pissed off because, in the meantime, I had 8 minutes until the bus came. The next bus at any stop close to my house would take another 20 minutes at minimum, at which rate I would be late for class on a day when something was due.

My complete downfall. When I packed my pasta, Dida offered to do it as I eat a deem. I loudly stated that I don't have time but I was pretty angry with everything so they took it offensively. Quite honestly though, they really don't look at context and take most things in offense. I know my mistake in this situation and I'm not saying that they merely perceived my mood differently than it was OR that what I said and how I said it was justifiable by any means. But if they do look at it in context, then perhaps it would make more sense to them than to simply be offended. And they definitely were offended because as I raced around for a way out of the house, Dadu let out a sigh. I am, by no means, my mama. I think that's the impression they get with my anger. The problem with me is that I have intense emotions and I don't know how to control it because I've not learned how to effectively channel them out. I was never allowed to so it's hard for me now, though I am aware that I must be my own agent of change.

In the end, I made it to class on time. I feel bad about what happened, but not totally upset because I am too sleep deprived to entirely care. They never seem to realize that it's their own carelessness about certain things that drive them into the position they always feel their in - invisible, disrespected, such and such... I don't, by any means, support my uncle in his actions or the way he deals with things but sometimes I can relate to his source of frustration. All of this prayer, and then all of this anger that comes out. Instability is everywhere between both of them, and yet, they like to suggest that they are spiritually close with higher power. I wonder what that makes people like my brother or you, who don't necessarily confide in any source of spiritual consolation - or the recent me. I certainly don't. What does it mean when we, too, are imbalanced, or perhaps when we feel totally balanced but we don't need all of that ritualistic endeavour / prayer in our lives?

They make me question authenticity even if they are my kin and I love them dearly. They make me wonder what it must be like if I continue in the path I've begun... Negligent of my duties primarily to my own self. They have lived their entire lives in this all consuming type of selfish love. There is no doubt in my mind that they do love each other, but appreciation? Respect? What about the mere respect for one self? Dadu might present himself as being humble now, and he might say things like "I am like a poor man" but I wonder how long that excuse has been engraved in his mind. I don't think he is a weak person, but I don't think he was ever aware (when he had the chance) to accept his own agency. Instead, my grandparents usually took the route of running away.

My grandmother speaks for herself right now. I don't have expectations for her. I don't think she will ever change. There are good things about her personality and then there are the overly ugly. Everyday that she overtakes the space that used to be only my own, I recognize how I, too, have been changing. I see why my uncle felt aggravated in the presence of such a woman. She isn't aware of how deeply she cuts through her own life and causes her own misery. Again, she isn't aware of her own agency; the mental ability to deviate from reality and remain strong during times of defeat.

I am not writing this to suggest that I am better. I love them and I always will, but I think my point is that I recognize these realities and when the thoughts build, I become confused and aggravated. I don't want to be like either of them. I don't even want to be like either of my parents - a generation that certainly progressed, but not entirely. I do want my mom's inner strength and faith, and my dad's ambition. I don't want my mother's subservience or my father's neurosis. I don't think I've ever "fit in" because I always thought I was supposed to embody someone else. I am my own person and as a new generation, as a leader of my own pact, all I can truly assume is my own mental space. The only thing I can truly learn to acquire are my own thoughts and how I perceive the reality that exists around me. Through that particularly, I can also acquire my agency.

I've been looking in the wrong directions. I was always moved and shaped by the perceptions of others but now I realize that it truly is an inner struggle. In order to take action in my own life and witness outcomes, I have to take action internally and choose one thing over the other. I have to make decisions, even when I can't imagine the causal effects of any choice I make. When I don't know the answer, or the questions feel like they're too much, I still have to come up with something. Sometimes, we'll bullshit. But every time, we will come out learning something if we allow our minds to work that way. So yeah. The big dilemma. Making choices.

From sleep deprivation, bad morning getting ready, angry grandparents and making choices. That's right.

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