Why me? Why not?


Free! .. Not really crosscultural but whatever

As always, reading Danny Choo’s posts is a somewhat enlightening moment for me. His latest post was about living with illness, which you can read about at this post here, yet he still takes the opportunity to teach us a little about Japanese healthcare through his experience.

But it’s not living with illness that applies to my situation here. I’m a relatively healthy, young girl with relatively little to complain about from life - both parents are alive, seemingly healthy and working, I have a stable job with pretty regular hours, I have a university degree(s?) under my belt. World is your oyster, right?

Not quite.

Always as part of the ‘grass is greener’ phenomenon, you want a piece of that which you can’t have, which in this case for me is independence - the sort where you can go on holidays with your boyfriend without a parent tagging along as a chaperone (we don’t practice chaperoned courtship, why is this necessary?)… and the kind where I have control of my passport.

Frankly, despite how my parents try to push it onto different reasons, I feel that my parents simply don’t like gweilo (鬼佬). (My mother in particular, my dad seems okay overall, but we know who wears the pants..)

Looking at all the happy Caucasian guy/Asian girl couples around me and learning that an Asian high school classmate recently got married to a Caucasian guy (she’s younger than me by about a week)… Sometimes I ask to myself Why me?.

Why, oh why

Why do I have to deal with this kind of behaviour already almost 3 years into this relationship, when others have been in their relationships for less time and are already ‘part of the family’?

Why can these friends take vacations together to other places, and my parents sit and tell me that ‘people will get the wrong idea’, ‘they’ll think you’re on your honeymoon’, ‘we don’t think it’s appropriate’ and ‘we don’t want you to go’? Why do they care what anyone thinks when no one thinks that since everyone is apparently holidaying with their significant other. And what is so wrong with those perceptions anyway?

I haven’t been raped yet, or beaten around, or been cheated on, or dumped, or got pregnant.

Well anyway, Danny had an answer for me as usual.

I do from time to time think "why me" but then the answer "why not" comes back.

Why not me?

Life's trials?

As much as we’d like to go through life easy, life will ultimately throw you trials. Of the people I know, some have gone through more than others to get to where they are - to get into the relationship they have. For others still, I know nothing about their journey so how can I say? If it’s not me, it would definitely be someone else.

In a way, perhaps it’s a good thing these trials exist because if I hadn’t had to struggle my way through this relationship, would I really have decided bothered to go out there and get a job? Would I have decided to figure out how to become independent for myself? Would I have visited Singapore and had my eyes opened to new and wonderful things? Probably not, I would have been content to merely stay at home, learn about the ‘world’ through movies and books and that would have been that.

While Danny’s goal is to do what he can for as long as he can though, mine is something more along the lines of push through until you can be truly free to live your life, and has been for some time. I still don’t know if that’s right, but I suppose I will just have to wait and see and make some important changes along the way.

Still, I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish there was someone in the same boat that I could talk to - ask what they would have done? What they would do? What we could try next?