Dinner Table Talks

I was sitting on my backyard porch with my parents, Aunt, and Uncle earlier this evening after we barbecued for dinner. I sat there talking with them for several hours just catching up on life and talking about random dinner table topics such as politics, religion, etc. Throughout the conversation, I kept thinking back on how I never really felt comfortable speaking openly about my beliefs, feelings, and thoughts on these kind of topics before. I guess I’ve always felt outnumbered or too immature or maybe that my opinion didn’t matter to them, but over time, I’m realizing that I’m able to speak more confidently about these things now – I guess this would be considered growing up.

As I voiced my opinion and listened to the opinions of my family members about the ever-changing ways of my generation in comparison to theirs, I noticed that I was beginning to agree a lot more with what they had to say.

When we’re young, we often refuse the advice of our elders. We’re too naive or too arrogant to want to believe that our parents could actually be right about the things they tell us when we’re young. We tend to learn things the hard way – through experience. As they say, experience is the best teacher. Until you experience something for yourself, you can never truly understand what someone else is talking about when they try to explain it to you.

I’ve found that as I’m growing older, I’m able to accept many more of the truths that my parents used to tell me when I was young, but refused to accept. The mental age gap is becoming much smaller than it used to be. When I look at my parents’ generation in comparison to mine, the most significant difference that I’ve noticed is how selfish my generation is. Apart from the fact that my parents are immigrants from a foreign country, my generation will be the last to really see what a simpler life looked like.

Talking to family today felt like one of the more eye-opening conversations that I’ve had in quite a while. It’s different than talking to your friends or other people your age because they have the same mentality as you.

The topics that my family and I touched upon had to do with current world issues; Things that actually mattered like natural disasters, disease, and civil rights. Meanwhile, the first thing that I do on a Monday morning is complain about my seemingly tragic problems such as, “He didn’t text me back last night. I hate my life.”

Talking to my family really made me step outside of my life and think about how differently their mindsets were when they were my age in comparison to my mindset on things right now. It seems like it was a much more simple life back when we didn’t have to create our own drama by checking social media and making up stories in our heads about the person we’re dating.

I wish I didn’t have to unnecessarily complicate my life that aren’t actually complicated.

I’m starting to think that my parents’ generation had it right; Their morals, manners, and respect (This may also be skewed because I’m Asian)

I wish I listened to my Mom before making some of the mistakes that I’ve made when it came to relationships, friendships, and reactions to situations.

Maybe if more of my generation would take the two cents from our elders, we’d be a little better off.

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Fight or Flight

Lately, I’ve been really questioning my effectiveness in dealing with my problems.

I’ve been continuing to do a great deal of self-evaluation ever since I’ve been back from my trip to Australia and I’m realizing that I’m, slowly but surely, returning to my normal state of reaction (in the form of panic) towards certain situations – specifically stressful situations

My prime method of problem-solving has typically been to remove myself from the harmful situation.

Easy enough, right? It’s a common solution that almost everyone uses.

If you’ve ever heard of the term “Fight or Flight”, then you’d know that we, as humans, share this common response mechanism with all other animal species.

In a perceived “dangerous” situation, we must protect our own safety and either stay and tough it out or leave and avoid the bumps and bruises.

I agree with the saying, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger?” but how much do we risk at the cost of causing ourselves pain and heartache?

I don’t want to call myself a wimp, but I’ve been leaning more towards the option of flight when it comes to my more recent problems.

I’ve dealt with a significant amount of obstacles this year which made me question my abilities to tolerate stressful situations.

I had to fly 20 hours from my home just to get away from the things that were causing me stress. Yes, it was a much-needed and uplifting trip, but to my disappointment, it’s now over and I’m right back to where I started and have to deal with the same exact problems that I left behind.

How do you decide what is worth fighting for or fleeing from? For example, do you fight for the one you love or do you let them go? Do you continue to work at a job that pays well, but you’re not passionate about?

Where is the threshold in which we need to remove ourselves from a given situation? How do we choose?

I suppose that’s up to the individual. After all, the decisions we make shape who we are.

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” – If I stay

Return from Melbourne

I returned home from Melbourne last Wednesday and have been gradually adjusting back to my version of normality ever since. It’s not easy going from one way of life to a completely different way, but what I’ve learned is that it is necessary to step outside of your boundaries.

Since I’ve been back, I’ve been re-evaluating my life much more than I did before. There is no doubt that I was in desperate need of this trip – If you’ve been keeping up with my past blog entries, you should have noticed that I’ve been anxious for quite some time. I’ve been anxious for something more than what I was settling for at home.

Before I left, I read an article on Thought Catalog called, “The Hardest Part of Traveling No One Talks About” and I was so excited to get away from it all – my job, my friends, my family, my problems. When I returned, I re-read this article and it took on a whole different meaning for me. One quote that struck me was this:

“They call it the travel bug, but really it’s the effort to return to a place where you are surrounded by people who speak the same language as you. Not English or Spanish or Mandarin or Portuguese, but that language where others know what it’s like to leave, change, grow, experience, learn, then go home again and feel more lost in your hometown then you did in the most foreign place you visited”

At first, I agreed with a majority of the article up until I read this quote. Yes, I left, changed, grew, experienced, and learned things, but I wouldn’t say that I am more lost. If anything, I see things much more clearly than I did before. I realized what I missed – my friends, my family. And that’s what pulled me back and helped me re-adjust a little easier.

I certainly loved being in a foreign place, seeing amazing views, and exploring, but if anything, the best part of traveling is coming back home.

It’s true what they say, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

(To get a deeper look into my trip, check out my Instagram)