My mum told me that when I was growing up as a baby, she would hardly talk to me. She was afraid that I would learn poor English as she was not at all fluent in the language at that time. I think that is why I was slow and dumb as a kid. Not that I am blaming my parents or anything, although, I am still quite slow and dumb at times. It’s just the way I observe parenting and children. Sad to say, I am at a weird age now where I constantly dream of having my own family.
I have to say, growing up as a kid, I can hardly remember a genuine interest in talking or conversations. Maybe there were some past experiences that I cannot recall, but I felt more inclined towards arts and crafts. When I started learning piano at the age of eight, I fell in love with it too.
I do wonder if my life will be more satisfying if I was never pushed to excel in science or math. As I look back, I realize it was very much what my father wanted me to be good at. Perhaps, he wanted me to be like him. The mindset that being in the science stream at school was a far safer choice in terms of pursuing professional career options. Hence, a better life they say.
I never had much of a social life growing up as a teenager. My mum would skew my believes about friendship that I think it could be part of the reason why I don’t function well around with people. She would not allow me to hang out with friends after school for fear that I would be influenced in doing unhealthy activities. Parties were never a part of my life. Sports, maybe … but in an Asian society … nobody cares … girls just want to show off their colourful bras in their white sport shirts. In general, I don’t think I ever understood how to deal with people.
I became a sensitive person because of the traditional values and rules that I grew up with. I am not surprised if many people in school thought of me as a weird fifteen-year-old. I am not a funny person. I have little compatibility with humour.
My mum did loosen up the rules when I reached 16 and 17 … but I think that’s a little too late to develop those interpersonal skills. Moreover, the way society drives Malaysian children to scream those A’s after examinations, I don’t think there was a chance for someone like me with a weak personality to learn how to socialize.
Coming to Canada did benefit in some ways and I became more aware of the importance of this skill. I guess I improved a whole lot. But I’m still not quite there yet. You would expect a 23-year-old woman to not have silly worries over stuff like this. But it’s true … I do all the time.
I do believe that I am not a good engineer. I am not passionate about it at all. It’s a great job to support my living and what not, but I find that I do not gain any satisfaction around it. I never want to talk about it after work. I cannot comprehend how jokes around engineering would be funny at work.
I get so drained just dealing with people 8 hours a day at work, every single week. I try to catch my breath to find my inner peace but I am lost. Is it wrong to be this way? This is just who I am. I am just like a battery, and one day I will reach a limit where I can no longer recharge my energy just to fulfill other people’s expectations. I will wither away like a fallen leaf, self-forgotten, lost in crumpled pieces. People say that I will become a good leader. Apparently, I have the potential. I don’t think so. It’s just a facade that I’ve skillfully learned to stage over the years. Often, I feel that I just want to be alone. I become more energized this way actually. Maybe I’m not so much of a team player. I seriously don’t know why they hired me into this job.
What if this job isn’t really suitable for me? What if I was never forced to excel at things that I was never interested at all? What if I was guided in the right direction to pursue what I love doing? Would I still be here … dreading how things are going to turn out the next day at work … not motivated to drive to work in the morning … wishing I was somewhere else perhaps doing journaling, photography, playing in an orchestra or even just being a stay-home-mum to nurture my children?
I do believe that I will be a good mother. And maybe that’s just what I want to be. I feel like I’ve been trapped in a maze of people’s expectations that I have totally forgotten what it feels like to be happy; what it feels like to be truly excited from the bottom of my heart.
I still don’t know where I am. Who knows how long it’ll take me to understand this and find the courage to walk a different path?