Monday, September 1, 2014

Realization

I've had a very fortunate life. A life that others wish they could have...I've had it. I understand there is suffering in the world and I understand that this post, these thoughts that I have, and these feelings that I harbor, will be seen by others as silly, narcissistic, and petty. So I don't pretend that this is the despair that many others face, but this is the realization that I have come to bare tonight. And it is a realization that a parent's love can be conditional...or at least, that the idolization of a parent is just that, a false idol. I have respected my mother, through our differences and arguments, I have always held a level of respect for my parents that I was taught to have. Maybe it's the tradition, maybe it's the heritage, or maybe it was just beaten into me. Treat your elders with respect. Well, I have learned and I have seen the example that you have set. Be it with your own mother or be with your mother-in-law...both my grandparents...both people who I respect and love. You set the example, with your disdain and resentfulness. I have seen it, I know the reality and the truth. You can pretend all you want, but I know you resent your position as the daughter-in-law you must be, to put up with someone who is suffering from a disease that has robbed the mind of memories, of perception, of reality. Yet, you lecture me, you berate me on how I should treat you. You, who loathe to spend a moment with your elders because it is difficult, it's not the life you want, but the responsibilities that you have inherited. This is the life I have been given, and I have learned from you. For better or worse, I am what who I am because of you. And you dare question my respect when all I've seen from you is that you begrudgingly give yours...if at all. You have taught me that respect is earned. In fact, you have lectured me and questioned whether or not I ever understood this fact. Yes, you are my mother. Yes, you are my elder. Yes, you nurtured me and cared for me throughout my life. Yes, I respect you. Yes, I love you. Yes, you are my mother. But yes, you are right, respect is a two way street. I'm an adult now, yet you will always be my mother and you will always see me as a child. I don't disrespect the position you are in, nor the love and adoration you have given me throughout my years; but I do despise the way you see me. I know I'm your baby boy...the spoiled child that you raised...the one who will never understand. But what you fail to realize is that understand all too well. I've grown up and now understand and see through the lies and misperceptions you have blinded me with all my life. And the fact that I realize all this frightens you. But instead of accepting that I've grown up, that I understand the world, and I understand you...you resent me for it. You resent me for speaking truth to you. You resent me for questioning an authority that you once had over me. And you resent the fact that I may not need you anymore. But while you fail to realize the hypocrisy that you exist in, you are still my mother. I will always love you. But never, not once, until tonight have I ever thought less of you. You speak ill of our family, you speak out of both sides of your mouth, you pretend to understand. You don't realize that your words, they have consequences and often times they are not pleasant. They are not appreciated. And they are not loved. I suffer it...I endure it...I take it because you are my mother. You are the person who is supposed to love me unconditionally. And I always thought that was the case. Until tonight, when you said the words you said. When you threatened me...when you belittled me...when you forced me to lie. You...you were the one who always told me not to lie. Not the little while lies that never made much difference, but never to lie when it matter. And as I've grown up, I've taken that lesson to heart. There is no reason for me to lie...to hurt you. When all I've ever wanted is for you to be proud, to see me as who I am and not for what you think I am. Yet I had to lie to you tonight. And it is a lie more hurtful than one that I have told you in the past. Hurtful to you, because your ignorance will not see through your own ego; but hurtful to me because I have to speak it. I had to lie...I had to tell you what you wanted to hear...I had to put aside my reality and my feelings because it was what would make you happy. And as a son, I will always strive to ensure my parents'...especially my mother's...feelings are put ahead of mine. You question my respect, you question my love...fine, but you have no idea what it is to be your son. To live under the pressure and to live under the falsehood. I'm not a child, I know how you are and I've seen it with my own two eyes. I am not blind...as much as you wish I was...I understand all too well. I've never thought that I would feel this way. I've never thought that my own mother would not understand her own son...or not even give him the chance to speak, to explain, to converse as adults do. But I've suffered through this for too many years. I've swallowed my pride and my understanding of what is right and what is wrong for too many years. You speak as if you're above reproach, above judgement. Maybe you don't care what others think or say about you...maybe you don't even care what I (your son) thinks about you...but I know what I feel. And I've never had to think this, but from now on, you are my mother by title only. Yes, you carried me for nine months; yes, you've raised me for 30 years; yes, your blood courses through my veins; and yes, I am more like you than I would like to admit. But you are done to me. And from now on, I will have to live a lie. A lie that you won't see through because you are blinded by your own ego and your own pride. You will see me as loving, respectful, and caring. But underneath that facade, you will never see the truth. That I have lost respect for my mother. That I have learned the lesson of respect you taught me all too well. "You earn respect, it is not given." I thought I had earned you respect. I thought that I have succeeded in what you wanted out of me. I thought you could see me as an adult. It's not a lack of appreciation for all that you have given me. Nor is it a spoiled expectation that you would give me what I want. I only ask for the respect that you would give to an adult, a grown man, your son. But since I don't receive any of it from you, you have not earned mine...in fact, it is with deep sorrow in my heart, that you have actually lost it. Children put their parents on these pedestals, as idols and heroes. And it never hurts a child more than to see one of them fall. I will love you. You're my mother. But I know this much, I've never felt like I've never had one more than I do tonight. You feel disrespected by me? Fine, I accept and acknowledge that I was wrong in getting frustrated. But what's worst than that, is that a mother would purposefully wish ill on her son, knowingly and willfully direct spite, and expect remorse for a wrong that only existed in your mind. I will swallow it. For you are my mother. For you deserve to feel as if you are always right, that you are the wise and knowing. And I will indulge you. I will pander. I will lie. And I will do all those things at the expense of my own understanding as an adult...I will do those things because you are my mother. And I would rather you be happy under false pretenses than live your live thinking that you son doesn't respect you. You can live in that lie, but I will know the truth. The truth that I had a mother once, and we were happy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Political Influence

dude...if all political activists looked like gigi ibrahim, i'd follow her revolution.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Strangers

wow...it's been a while since i've done anything with this site. suffice it to say that the lone reader that still subjects themselves to reading this lowly medium into my random thoughts has moved onto newer and shinier objects in the webosphere. but whatever, my corner of the blogosphere remains to simply allow me to throw junk into onto the internet, and i will continue to do so.

i don't really have anything insightful or truly thoughtful to post this morning, just thought i'd post this wong fu productions video that i found hit particularly close to home.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cabin Fever

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needing a good weekend outside the confines of the district, a bunch of friends and i rented out a cabin in the shenandoah for a few days of hot tub relaxation. it allowed for friends to gather...play a few games...drink you libation of pleasure...taste the local wines...and rest the dc weary minds for a couple of days.

night one...a surprisingly fun drive through a blustery winter evening ended with patrons of my car being fearful of driving into the woods with a classic horror film beat down pickup truck following us down winding mountain roads. though it did eventually veer away, what started out as a cheap scary movie allusion quickly turned into a muted, but genuine fear felt among all riders. but alas, we ended up at our assigned cabin in hot tub heaven and proceeded to hot tub and play drinking games until the wee hours of the morning.

day one...a day of wine tasting and vineyard frolicking. our caravan of two cars hopped from winery to winery. making stops at fox meadows winery, to linden vineyards, to narmada winery where we finished off our day reliving our childhood days on a playground as we watched our friend's dog chase down sticks and tennis balls.

night two...we finished that day with burgers and shrimp, our poor man's surf and turf. with everyone exhausted from a day of wine-ing, the night seemed to end earlier than most nights i've spent in dc. but surprisingly, that was a very welcome night's sleep.

day two...pack up and clean up. check out at 10...and we were back on the road. no sooner had we left our diamond shaped urban prison for the rolling hills of the blue ridge mountains were we back, ready for another week on the grind.

but for a few days, a quick drive westward, and in the company of good friends, one can escape and just have fun the way it's supposed to be had.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Prom

another year...another february...another excuse to don the tuxedo and head out to tysons for the winston health policy ball.

ever since my first visit in 2008, as a naive and wide-eyed young staffer, i've looked forward to this event each year. this year was particularly rewarding as i had to wrangle my way into the ball as a guest of a friend so as to not rankle the unusually strict reading of the ethics rules my boss had. but i wiggled my way around the rules and was able to bring out my tux from the corner of my closet and pull out my shining black dancing shoes (though no dancing was to be had).

but what i really took away from this year's event was the growth i've had since 2008. i remember that first year, not knowing anyone besides the few coworkers and staffers in a ballroom of hundreds. so new that no one really wanted or needed to talk to us...with only a few lobbyists making their a work-demanding effort to reach out to us junior staffers only because we were of the finance committee.

then moving onto that second year, with the entire health world reeling from the uncertainty of a post-scott brown era. with the bill languishing in the freezing nights of snowpocalypse, we gathered in the ballroom all a bit more somber and what a party should have been.

but this year, full of energy and with a new and some more respectable role as a true health care staffer, i realized that i knew a lot more people and was able to walk down the hallways and not feel as if i was that freshman in high school who didn't know anyone as the seniors and popular kids mingled and ignored you. instead, this year i was able to inject myself in conversations as opposed to having be introduced.

by no means do i feel like i've made it, but there are minor moments in my day-to-day where i do feel that i've done something. that i haven't just been a prop in the ever changing moments of life. and those days aren't too bad.