I still remember how you would wake up early to make sure I have milk beside my breakfast plate during my grade school years. You never knew about this but it took me a while to get used to drinking milk prepared by myself because I’ve always wanted it to taste like how it would taste coming from you. I remember all the little things you made time for even if you were single-handedly providing for our family. I remember all the sacrifices you had to make to get us to where we are. I remember and never will I forget.
I tried to be the perfect daughter for you. I swear I tried. But I was losing myself in the process of living up to your standards. You don’t know how hard I fight the urge to runaway whenever I see in your eyes or hear in your words what a big failure I am. Decades of hard work to make you proud were all wiped out overnight simply because I decided to live as I am. Home is where you should feel safest but for me, right now, home is where I feel most insecure.
I am sorry if my decisions have caused you pain or made you feel neglected. I am sorry if I have added burden to your life. But please understand that I am not rebelling against you. I am rebelling against the society that tells you I am rebelling against you. I am rebelling against stereotyping success as the amount of our paycheck and the number of titles we earn. I am rebelling against measuring self-worth by how others see us and not by how we perceive ourselves. I am rebelling against living our life satisfying everyone else but neglecting the cravings of our own soul.
You’re my mother. I recognize the fact that you only want the best for me. You want me to be content with what I have because you never had this when you were my age. You want me to follow what you did because you led us to a far better life than what you had to live with. But please if you have to trust me with one thing trust me in this: the best thing for me is to be given a chance to try, to fail if I must and to learn as I should. The best thing for me is to be allowed a space to grow. I appreciate all the help that you still give despite your refusal to accept my situation now. I know how you always want to make it easier of us in ways you know. But I beg you, for now, let me be. Let me chase after limitless learning not constrained by the thought of how much I’ll make doing so. Learning, in whatever form, is priceless in itself. Let me seek creativity, passion and fulfillment like they’re the air I needed to breath and not some mindless, worthless activities devoid of value because I can’t put price tags on them. Let me pursue something far greater than myself. I am not only striving for adventure and a happy, comfortable life. I am searching for meaning and purpose. I am searching for something that will outlive this life.
I was only 12 years old when I first left home. You might think that I grew up a lot different from you because of my early independence. But all that I am now is strongly influenced by you. Having a superwoman for a mother, it’s a lot easier for me to believe I can be one too. But you have to let me find my own strengths and you have to let me be great in my own realities. Please do not chain me into your version of perfect. I am far from being one. I’d rather be scarred and soiled with broken bones from running free than groomed inside a cage, flawless on the outside but hollow within.
I cannot give you the immediate results that you demand. I cannot guarantee you that this will end as how I hope it will be. I cannot give you the clarity that you need. I cannot provide justification for every single action I do. But this I assure you, I am not wasting my life away. I am living it as best as I can.
Let me go Ma. Let me live.