A Blog By Tam

Freitag, 16. Dezember 2016

INDIA. Oh my, somebody pinch me, please. I was seriously in India! I cannot believe, it has already been a month since we got back. I start missing the time, the people, the crazy mood swings...all of it. At least, I can announce happily that nobody can take away my experienes. I have talked to friends about my insights and experieces I made in India already and everytime I think back to the time...I get super emotional because I do miss it. Being away from my usual life, be different, explore new and undiscovered places. That's travel to me, those are the moments I feel absolutely free and vibrant. One of the best moments in India - apart from the wedding (ceremonies) - was my birhtday. I turned freaking 21 in India! Indeed crazy, huh?! I mean, it was not a spectacular birthday but I dont like spectacular birthdays anyway. It was a cozy evening with amazing people, a little bit of alcohol and warmth. That's all I need on my birthday.
My two weeks in India were undeniably crazy...and I have learned so much! And the most important thing that I leanred was: My mentality, my values, just simply my life...that is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. I aprecciate it even more after coming back.

This culture shock was indeed a topic for me: Tradition/family vs. freedom/independance. My thoughts revolved around these values so much during my time there and even after that. During dinner, I was asked by an Indian woman, what things are most valuable for me...and actually, it was not hard for me to respond to the that question: Freedom and independance for sure. And I could tell just by looking at her that she was shocked or maybe surprised about my answer, I could feel she was admiring and envying it as well...because she said, she feels like she is "trapped in [her] golden cage". First, I was surprised about the statement but I rather felt sad for her after all. For her, knowing THIS but not knowing what can be done in order to escape ...it just made me think so much. As she said, Indian people are emotional and they are bounded to family so she cannot just leave her parents, move to another country (although she could have serveral times) and live the life she was desiring. And somehow I saw myself in her like I was staring inside mirror, looking back to the old me. 
Being raised by Asian parents, I know the mentality pretty well and I know how it feels like to be kind of lost and helpless. Who am I, who can I be and wanna be in this family constellation, culture and society? What can I do to approach ME? Can something be done about it at all? What does it take? Those questions revolved in my head like crazy...and after knowing that I just responded "It takes courage to live your (desired) values". I seriously dont know what she thought about my answer but that was just the only answer that made sense to me. Yes, COURAGE! It takes courage to see things that don't correspond to your values (tradition/family vs. freedom/independance), it takes courage to see the open window inside your golden cage (bcs there is always one unless you lock it urself) AND finally, it takes courage to fly away. For me it is maybe easier to say that and to act accordingly (since I grew up in Germany) but I get the difficulties in India: pressure from every corner. One the one hand, Indian people act the way it's expected but on the other hand, they are struggling with themselves too, well as far as I could notice. They want to have the time of their lives ( I mean who doesnt?), drink, party, do whatever they want to. But they know they can't in public so the consequence is, they do it subliminally...thus they have to maintain two lives: being a good kid vs.being a curious/rebellious kid. Actually, I cannot blame them for that at all...even tho it was hard for me to understand at first, now I do and that makes me appreciate my life way more. 

I took courage already when I turned 18. I was so fed up with all of it: My culture, the narrow-minded people, the mentality (it's ok for me if they like it their way)...especially this good-girl behaviour...do what ever is expected from me, surpressing my desires and needs. Why should I do this for the rest of my life and lock myself up in this so-called "golden cage"? Yeah and then from one day to another, I felt like I was living this rebellious life ( it sounds extreme now but I just mean that I was trying out lots of new things I was scared of), do what I felt like doing, be selfish from time to time, ignore other people's opinion...and just finding out the limits. I slowly become more me, I guess...in other people's opinion I changed (negatively) but what if I just simply become more I myself? I know, I was not always nice to my family and I am also aware of the fact that I took 10 steps back from them and from the people that dont support me (it's not like I dont care for them anymore, it's just that I moved on)...because I just didnt want to listen to all this contra. For me, my decisions and behaviour gernerally felt right so I sticked to it. Making my own decisions, listen to myself, being responsible for the consequences is also something that I have learned...and I'm not saying that every decision was good but it doesnt have to be. Still, life goes on. Every experience will change me and I will move on.
Slowly, I'm approaching back to my family again but with this new attitude. I say what I think and I dont keep quiet anymore like I used to. That is a character trait I absolutely will maintain because honesty has a BIG meaning to me by now, Honesty or saying things out loud is definitely not common in Asian cultures...that's why I want to  internalise that so bad. Actually, I believe, my development is a win-win for both parties: I moved on, grew up and got stronger and my family has to develop new strategies to cope with my behaviour...so they learn too. I'm not sure if they like the way I am right now...but that's ok. As long as I am happy with who I am...that counts! And the people that dont like the way I am...it's ok, let them, nobody has to love me and my thinking...it's just me who has to. So, people come and go, people like and dislike you..and the ones who care and tolerate (we're talking about maybe a hand-full of people in my entire life, I guess) will stay...wait for those people, they will come. I am sure of that.
After all, I see, taking courage has advantages and downsides and for the future, I'm more willing to hazard the conseuquences...well, simply in order to become more me!

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