Last weekend, I had a conversation with two friends over prata and hot milo. I shared with them that each time I visit my parents in Malaysia (which I just did over CNY), I return with a somewhat heavy heart. I carried the same heaviness back in November last year after a trip to Cameron Highlands with my family.
I am incomplete about something. I am incomplete that my mother seemed so unhappy during the Cameron Highlands trip. I am incomplete that my Dad did not come with us on the trip. Mum said he chose to sit it out; I really would have liked him to go too. I am incomplete that my Dad, being relatively immobile, sits in this one chair in the porch everyday from morning to night, pondering in silence mostly. I wonder what he thinks about? Is he really going senile as my mother told me? I am incomplete that I don’t talk to my father as much as I would like to. What is stopping me from doing so? I am incomplete that something is wrong with the above picture.
My friends said: Jo, I hear that you seek perfection. Perfection in the way your parents are, the way you are. This is it. This is not it. And it is perfect.
It was my blindspot. I have been telling everyone who bothers to listen the same thing. Life is what it is, and what it is not. You are who you are, and who you are not. Don’t make life or yourself wrong. It just is. Resisting what is breeds resentment, frustration and potentially resignation.
And I didn’t listen to myself. I am still compensating from the past. I still have an innate want to be the perfect daughter. To see my parents happy by my definition of happiness. I am living from an incomplete past in my present.
Imperfections show up when I keep feeding the sense that “something is wrong”. I was focusing on fixing what I thought was wrong (my mum sighing too much, my Dad not conversing with us in a way that suggests he’s happy), focused on the doing and forgot about being the possibilities I have created in my life.
I should listen to myself for a change. My life is perfect. Enjoy it for what it is and everyone and everything that is in it. Life just is.