[ 4 min read ]
Diary of an artist, Wednesday, July 10, 2019
5:30 am (badly needed more sleep)
What I wrote the day before yesterday about tolerance inspired me to write this piece. Turns out being tolerant, respectful of different points of view, beliefs and life philosophies doesn’t come easy (natural) to most of us.
I’m still astonished how painful (maybe ‘unbearable’ would be a better word here) it is for my mom to listen to how I view the world and what my life philosophy is.
Not that she is the only person for whom it is unbearable — it’s just that I see her reactions, her opposition as most violent. Maybe because she is my mother. Or maybe because she just has this special way of showing her disbelief. Other family members who also think (are certain) that one can’t live the way I am living don’t have her reactions. They would try to laugh you off in front of everybody else or tell you, or scream right in your face “You’re wrong!”, but they don’t seem to go through such pain.
Maybe that’s the difference between your parents (those who raised you) and other people. It’s like those who raised you have more to lose. Maybe the fact that they put in so much work and energy in raising you causes them to be invested. They feel that more is at stake for them. They raised you, so they care way more about their shit being validated by you. Knowing that your own child questioned your life philosophy and your beliefs is something most parents don’t know how to deal with. They don’t know what to make of it. They desperately want to know, believe that they are in the right. That what they passed down to their children was the right thing.
The rebellion against my way in her is so evident. I get this feeling that if she didn’t switch off at the right time (how good she is at it!) she would, I don’t know, start crying, become extremely sad or even depressed, throw a tantrum (lay on the table and start kicking it with her feet and yell). That’s precisely what one can imagine her doing when one sees how incredibly pissed she is (impatient, certain that she is right and I am wrong, that my life philosophy is wrong, and hers isn’t). She simply can’t listen to it. She can’t take it.
Perhaps because she is my mother and as all parents she wants to believe that everything she told me when I was younger, and that the way she and her husband (my father) lived their lives, and how she still lives hers, was legit (proper). Plus, for sure, she doesn’t want to find out that there was a different way. Something which was viable.
I never said to her that my life philosophy is better than hers, because I don’t want anybody to tell me that his or her life philosophy is better than mine. And still, she can’t stand it. It’s like listening to my life philosophy, my definition of success in life, my view on happiness, my approach to life choices, mistakes and regrets, is a torture for her. Real torture. This is not an exaggeration. I get this feeling that she is going through some serious pain whenever she is listening to me.
That’s perhaps because she is so certain of her rightness — that her life philosophy and beliefs are the right life philosophy and beliefs and mine aren’t. As if she knows it for a fact. She knows it for a fact in advance. Without giving my life philosophy and beliefs a chance. She dismissed it all as flawed just because it is not how she views the world and not how she lived and still is living her life.
I bet this is very common in parents. One of parents most favourite phrases is the phrase “Just wait until you are my age. You will know I was right.” or (another version) “One day you will come to me crying and say that you wish you had listened to me. But it will be too late”. That’s how badly parents wish their children validated their life philosophy and beliefs. That’s most parents’ biggest hope. It’s as if their dream is to live long enough to hear from their children that they (their parents) were right.
Music for this writing session: Max Richter (on spotify)