It’s been over eight months since I’ve seen my parents. For a lot of other Desis I know, that concept can be a difficult one to picture.
As you may know, I live in Colorado and left home in Texas about 6 years ago for university. I frequently came back home, as most students did, on school breaks while I was in college, and was able to see my parents about every 3 or 4 months.
When I graduated and got my first professional, full-time job at the same university, my parents warned me that I could only take this job if I came home once a month. So last year, every month, I flew home on my own dime and visited for 3 – 4 days. They were short trips, but so frequent that it felt like I wasn’t really away.
This year, I haven’t been home since March. I bailed on my Thanksgiving plans to go home, (much to my parents dismay) and now I’m heading home for 2 days for New Year’s Eve. Though I don’t always get along with my parents, and love living away from home, I dealt with a lot of guilt that I was away from home.
I never even realized that moving back home was what was expected of me after college. The only expectation that I was aware of was to get a good job, which I did.
For so many South Asians, and especially South Asian women, our role is often defined by what we can provide for our families. It’s always great to be of service, to be there for others, and to cultivate healthy relationships with our loved ones.
However, we are entering a new world in which we can begin to redefine our roles, our families, and how we allow ourselves to cultivate our own sense of self.
We are CREATING culture as we live and breathe. We define and redefine our culture as Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Canadians, Americans, British in every waking moment.
It’s okay to change the rules.
More importantly, it’s okay to disconnect from people when you grow.
This past year has encapsulated the most personal growth and healing that I’ve ever experienced. Not only did I launch this blog and my youtube channel, but I also discovered the powers of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and am studying Neuro-Linguistic Programming as a result. I’ve finally reestablished my yoga practice, and I’ve finally been able to bring myself to meditate.
None of this would have been possible without me taking these months to myself.
We all need some time away from the “energy-suckers,” as Oprah calls them.
My biggest point here is that not every ‘energy-sucker’ has to be a completely, all-around, horrible person. Our seasons of life can also factor into who we should be spending time with, and how much that time can vary.
It’s probably not great to be out at the club 4+ nights a week, every week. But if you’re on vacation, it might make perfect sense to spend a few days that week partying it up. These seasons of life are natural.
It’s okay to take a break from all your family members, or to take a hiatus from seeing your friends for a couple of weeks. Especially if this means that you will grow and be a better person because of it.
When you take time to nurture who you are, and you allow yourself to truly care for yourself, you begin to reap the benefits. When you finally reconnect with your loved ones, you have more positivity, more energy, and more presence to bring into the relationships.
Disconnect to reconnect.