Seeing My Future in Them

If you could go travel time to when you were younger, what advice would you give yourself?

Hindsight is 20/20, so it is definitely more convincing to listen to your “future” self to be most efficient or happy with life.

When my friend asked me the question, I gave him a mundane response. An answer I anticipate many would say: “Read more, don’t find easier ways, but learn through challenges, and just have more fun”.

I honestly do regret a lot for not reading when I was younger, and what upsets me more is that my parents always told me to read, but I just didn’t want to.

I know this sounds obvious, but it just never came to my realization that the things my parents’ told me to do when I was younger, are exactly the same advices I would give my younger self. My parents were my “future” beings who knew what I would regret later in life. Sadly, I have come to an age when my parents do not really tell me what I need/should do, because they trust that I will make the best decision for myself.

Seriously… my parents used to tell me that it is a lot harder to study when you get old, because materials don’t stick around your memory too long. Back then, I thought they were just saying that because they wanted to scare me so I could study then, but I feel like I am slowly reaching that point.

My point is that your parents will never tell you something that will harm or deter you. You just have to understand that their life experiences are the same as the ones you will experience, except they have experienced them ahead of time to tell you the best way to maneuver about it.

Becoming More of Humans

This week, I would like to talk about how my perception has changed about my parents as I grew older. Next week, I will talk about how my self-reflection has had an impact on my life, so please tune in!

When we were young, before we hit our double-digit or maybe even up to high school, we saw our parents as super heroes. Not just our role models, but people who could do anything at their will. Our parents were people who knew no suffering, pain, or sadness-nothing could bring them down to earth. I don’t know about where you guys grew up, but from where I come from, we used to go around telling one another (this applies to boys – I think) that our dad is the greatest, strongest, and the best! I remember hearing, “my dad can beat your dad up!” To think, how silly were we… because we now know that violence isn’t the answer.

To conjure the saddest moment of my life, I would definitely have to say the day I learned my parents were more of humans than what I believed them to be has to be it. How wrong I was. How immature I was. How naive I was.

I was born and raised in South Korea, and immigrated to America when I was 8. My parents knew nothing about the foreign country, except for 2 things: 1.) It wasn’t going to be easy to become alienated, and 2.) Going all in on me and my sister. I will save the details of the sacrifices that they had to make, but I would like to point out that anyone can say that about his or her parents if he or she, too, immigrated from another country. The only difference is how sincere his or her understanding is of the parents’ sacrifice. I can proudly say that I fully understand their sacrifice and I promise to the whole world that I will be the best person I can be.

When I saw them cry, when I saw them struggle with their work, I still had no idea. I was selfish; sure, I didn’t want my parents to cry or to show their weakness, but I didn’t bother to help search for their solution. It was only when I had come to a certain age that I realized those tears that they shed were for me. That is when I began to realize that they CAN’T do everything on their own. They need someone to hold their hand, they need someone to tell them that their effort will blossom into abundance, they need a super hero of their own who can take down their problems.

Had someone told me 10 years ago that my parents were just like the rest of us, I would have laughed in disbelief. Now, I find myself doing my best to become their super hero. It is my turn to become that person who they can rely on. The solution was simple: it was ME. I had to become the person to hold their hand; I had to become the person who can whisper to them that everything will be okay. It is as if they had inherited their plausible super powers to me throughout their tough times. It is my dream, it is THEIR dream, to be in their shoes years from now to show them that their sacrifices were worth it. To correct them that it wasn’t a sacrifice, but an investment. How pissed off would you be if you invested your whole life on something and receive nothing in return? Because I would be. It would bother me more if I can’t do anything to show my gratitude. Think about it, your parents had their own dream, a passion, before they had you guys. They gave up their dreams and shifted their goal onto you.

After enduring tough times, you will learn that those times were blessings in disguise. Through those times, my feet have grown bigger. I may not be ready now to step in their shoes, but I promise I will be.

I understand this was written poorly and that I left out many profound details. But believe it or not, that was my intention. To share every detail would be too long and take away your precious time. I wanted to write out the general idea to reflect on, so that you can have a chance to fill out your own story.

Year 2013 is coming to an end, and let’s just remind our parents how thankful we are and let’s promise them that we will walk tenaciously in year 2014.

I apologize for the confusion in advance, but my parents are still my super heroes. Enduring through many hardships and never asking for anything in return from me and my sister take some mighty strength to fight through all that. Now, I will work harder to lift their burdens off of their shoulders. After all, I am getting older every second; I have no time to waste.