I have always been baffled by people who hate their families. People
who openly discuss their hatred towards relatives, siblings and parents
were categorized (in my mind) as poor souls in need of a warm hug
while discreetly being handed a pamphlet on “How To Love Your
Family: Even If You Don’t.” In Asian culture, you sorta have to tuck
that underneath your crying pillow while you vacuum those angry
tears right back up your slanted eyes. So why, for the life of god,
Buddha, or spaghetti monster, do we grow apart from our family?
For most of us growing up, our family is a collection of personalities
that we carry with us. Our nagging mother, our neglectful father, the
teasing brother, and the distant sister. This all-day breakfast club of
humans, linked only through DNA and a rooftop, are forced to endure
each others bullshittery as you fight and clash your silly little lives
together.When you think about it, it’s quite an astounding miracle to
see so many families close together despite their crater-sized differences.
But what happens when we grow up?
As we get older, the lines become thinner, and the personalities replace
the titles. In other words, our annoying mother slowing becomes the
annoying woman, and the neglectful father transforms into the neglectful
asshole. We start to see them not as blood related family members, but as
people. Our minds start to separate the two and we start telling ourselves
“wow… I actually dislike this person for who they really are.” Before, you
had no choice. You lived with all of them your entire life but now that you
have a piece of independence, you can choose who surround yourself
with – not them.
In case you’re wondering, this isn’t really happening to me – not really.
Yes, the lines are getting smaller and smaller each day, and the
personalities have resurfaced like a washed up corpse upon the beach, but
it’s not as bad as I depicted. However, I do feel a shift in my emotions.
Before, I always told myself that I could never move away from California,
let alone the bay area. But now? Now I see myself living freely and happily
in the bustle and haze of New York, or even in a cozy apartment in Japan
as I eat warm Ramen and drink hot tea with my lovely girlfriend (hopefully
fiancee by then.)
Maybe this is just a trait of age, or perhaps I’m becoming a bigger and
bigger asshole. Either way, the concrete pavement that I’m jogging over
is slowing starting to erode, and I’m in dire need of some change. Perhaps
I’ll take that trip to New York, or possibly (and more realistically) my
lovely San Francisco. Whether it happens now or it happens later, I feel
the inevitable steam rolling its way and I can hear that train a’ comin’.
The only thing left to do is cherish the time I have in this city, hug it out,
and open up that little pamphlet of mine.