They say everything happens for a reason.
We’ve all heard it a million times before. But what if that’s really true? What if everything that happens has a specific purpose to lead us to the next chapter of our lives? Today, the craziest thought occurred to me for the very first time and I’m still trying to make sense of it. Part of me wants to believe it, but the rational side of me is insisting that I’m just crazy and foolish.
When I was ten years old, my parents divorced and our family lost our home. It was an extremely traumatic experience for me. I was too young to understand, but too old to forget. I didn’t understand why I had to have a broken family. For the longest time, I blamed my mother. I no longer blame her, but then again, its been 15+ years since they’ve divorced and at times, I STILL hurt. I guess the idealistic concept of having a complete family is what I still long for.
Well today, I was having a conversation with a friend whom I met recently at a singing competition. I’m going to call her China Doll. I’m allowed to because I’m Asian.
Well China Doll is pretty damn Asian. Not in a bad way, in the “you are so overprotected and you live your life by your family’s rules and not your own and that sucks” kinda way. She confided in me about how challenging it was to live her life with her insanely traditional overbearing mother breathing down her neck. Her mother wanted to know EVERYTHING and was involved in every aspect of her life. What she was doing, where she was going, who she was dating, etc. She was even FOLLOWED the other day, while she was on a date! Keep in mind, China Doll is a 23 year old woman!
Having been raised by a single mother, I had always longed for a mom who was more involved in my life. My mother was always too busy and too tired to get involved in my life on a deeper level. I always wanted that “best friend” for a mother who knew all my friends names, the men I dated, my biggest darkest secrets. I wanted a mom who I could talk to about anything and everything. My mom is NOT that kind of mom. Here’s a quick story for ya. One time, in the fifth grade, I came home from school crying. She asked me why I was crying and I said, “I fought with my best friend.” Her response? ”Well, what did you do wrong yesterday that made your friend mad today?”
I was in the FIFTH GRADE!!! This entry is NOT by any means an attempt to badmouth my mother. I love that quirky, overly logical stubborn woman to death. Seriously. She drives me absolutely CRAZY and at times, we are HORRIBLE for each other, but at the end of the day, I love her with all my heart. But hey, I was raised the way I was raised and I’m here to tell it like it was. You would think that the way I was raised would turn me into a hard ass. I wish. Instead, I turned into a blubbering, overly emotional wreckage who relied on her boyfriends for everything.
I’m getting better, really I am. But it’s taking fucking forever. But honestly speaking, this is the third time I’ve encountered an Asian female that was so overprotected by her parents that I was shocked. I knew traditional Asian parents were stifling (I had a bit of it in certain ways too, growing up), but not to that extent! My mother was too busy passed out on the couch, exhausted from trying to support her two daughters to give a rat’s ass about who my current love interest was. My friend who I’ve known since the fourth grade is still called, “that Jewish girl.”
Clearly, a happy medium is what anyone would wish for, but I definitely got the complete opposite end of the spectrum, which brings me to my point. I truly feel like I was created by God (or a higher being) to break barriers in music as an Asian-American. If my mom had been so overbearing and traditional, I probably wouldn’t have turned out the way I did. I probably wouldn’t have been able to do half the things I did or even be where I am today. Steve Jobs once said in his 2005 commencement speech to the graduating class at Stanford:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
As I look back on so much of what I’ve encountered throughout my life – the pain, the trauma, the turmoil, I wonder… Maybe this really DID happen for a reason. Maybe I did struggle through all these things for a bigger purpose. And maybe, just maybe that purpose is on its way to being fulfilled.