Monday, March 1, 2010

My Imperfect Parents

Growing up, I was under a lot of pressure. Let me give you a brief family background.

My mother's late father was in the army, so her late parents had to move a lot. My mother was taken care by her grandmother who had limited money. When my mother was old enough, as the oldest child she had to take care her 6 siblings. Long story short, it was difficult for my mother to do her hobbies and explore her creativity and potential when she grew up.

My father is one of the brightest guy in his extended family. He also happens to be one of the most successful one, career wise. I think this is one of the reason why he thinks education is more important than breathing. Seriously. There was a period where the only topic he's interested in discussing is how we're doing in school.

My older sister inherits most of my father's gene. She was only 4 years old when she entered elementary school. She was a bright student in her school years, there was even her picture in her junior high yearbook, in which the caption underneath it says "Big Five Highest Score".

Since as long as I can remember, my school days were busy with all kinds of lessons. I was learning from sunrise to sunset, Monday to Saturday, sometimes Sunday. I used to envy my classmates because they were able to sleep in the afternoon and watch cartoon in the evening.

Mojacko, the cartoon I can't watch.

I was sick and tired with all my lessons. I cried a lot to my parents, asking their permission to let me quit. I did quit some of the lessons, but they never let me quit my English and piano lessons. I enjoyed none of it, my lessons became a burden.

Moreover, I was doing bad in high school. I had to do remedials in every test I take. My parents compared my grades to my sister's. It was really depressing at that time. I was also told by my conservative father that I have to be accepted at a public university, which is highly competitive and seems to be impossible for me considering my grades was going down the drain. The ultimatum I got is public university or not going to college at all. I studied really hard not because I wanted to learn, but because I was terrified I won't go to college.

This or That. Other Public Universities are too far from Jakarta.

My mother once explained the reason why my sisters and I were given many lessons is because she wants her children to experience things she couldn't when she was young. Furthermore, my father just want his children to succeed. As simple as that.

My parents' reasons are classic, I guess every parents has a similar reason. Nothing special.
I only understood just recently, as I grow older. Right now, I have nothing to regret at the choices they made for me. I'm happy that I can play the piano, I'm happy with my almamater, I'm happy with what I am. I would never blame my parents for my pressured childhood nor change anything in my past.

It took me my whole life to really understand the way I was raised. However, I guess understanding my parents imperfection is a lifetime process. They're human afterall, they sure make mistakes every once in a while. There will always be a time where I question their decision and argue about it.
People who truly love you may depress you in some ways, but they just want what they think is best and never mean any harm. They just have strange ways to express their love.
This is one thing I learned from my imperfect parents.

My Dearly Beloved Imperfect Bunda