There were a couple things that severed my relationships with my family. Communication problems, lack of affection, physical distance, cultural differences… the list goes on.
Intimacy is not there. My family is not a safe haven, but there is no question that my home is where my roots lie. I return to “catch up” with my beginnings, and leave to live out what I choose for myself instead of my family’s dreams and expectations of me.
It was hard to make that decision. An immigrant carries a lot of weight on their shoulders. When I first went through the process of making that decision, I felt guilty. I felt like I betrayed my family. I let them down. I became too “American”.
But when I realized the level of fulfillment I can get by mapping out my own destinations and creating my own dreams and expectations, I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to turn back. The path I chose led to an ultimate sacrifice: my family. It’s not that I will never see them again. But in order to do the things I’m able to do now and want to do, I had to give up on the romantic and nostalgic idea of ultimately returning home and finding peace and intimacy with people who sacrificed for me and people who don’t say they love me but do.
Is this selfish? Is this wrong? I’ve gone through this process before. And I’m not turning back. Maybe it is. Maybe I’ve become too individualistic. But I will always be that kid running through those rural streets, knowing deep down that I was bigger than my town. I know where I am from, but I’ve decided that I need to go somewhere else. I need to find intimacy elsewhere, and I want that intimacy to take me to places I need to be.
I still am connected to the family. But feelings of attachment are not mutual. I’m creating a better life for myself. I am forever grateful for the sacrifices they made. I am not taking them for granted. I will always remember the things they did for me. How they pushed me to become better, bigger. One of my goals in life is to reach a point of reconciliation. I want to prove my gratitude by showing them the life I’ve created for myself. Hopefully they will be proud of me. If not… I don’t know. I know I will figure something out though. I always have. I made up my mind that I will.