Parental Control

The 20s are all about coming into your own. As college students, and young adults the big point of this whole experience is (other than to get your education aka diploma and gain to access to higher levels of social capital) to grow up. There's a reason the age group is 18-25 for young adults, because we won't be fully developed and truly independent (in general) until then. Even more so, who will we become, especially if mom and dad have any say in it? Under parental control.

The other day I heard this not-so far fetched theory that children either become two things, exactly like their parents, or completely opposite of who their parents are. You can probably easily guess which one I am. Then this theory mentioned siblings and how they're all just different combinations of your parents (genetically that's definitely true), but the personality, mannerisms, looks, etc. that make us who we are though. I sat and thought about my mom and dad (judge me or not but I have, still, and will always refer to my parents as mommy and daddy) and my three brothers and sister and realized that there may very well be some truth to it. Which brought me to the question, am I nothing more than a reflection of my parents. To a certain degree yes, but all the experiences I've had and will have, plus the fact that I'm a mixture of both of them, among other things makes me unique. My dad is so very reserved, subtle in his humor, diligent to a fault, process-abiding, wise and has phenomenal foresight. My mother is quite different. She's social, bold, hilarious, streamlined, pensive, opinionated and passionate like no one I've ever known. Together they complete themselves. Both of them are generous, kind, and selfless unlike anyone else. Their unconditional love truly knows no limits or boundaries. It's exemplified in just the way they treat us all with respect, admiration, and love. They're firm but fair and just. In that same vein when I look at myself, it's no surprise that I'm a pretty even mix of them. I would describe myself as both reserved and outgoing, thoughtful but goal-oriented, charismatic but serious and almost excessively compassionate. There's a certain point when you can't care, carry, or help any more lest you break under the weight of the world. I take responsibility, ownership, and moral obligation like my life depends on it - thanks mom and dad for making me both the best and the most annoyingly begrudgingly purposed college student who ever lived. Subliminally under parental control.
The word no almost doesn't exist in my vocabulary, hence why I end up doing the utmost almost every single day. I appreciate my parents because they always were reasonable. They gave me what I needed to be able to properly engage with people and even with them. They taught me to challenge the preconceived ideas of entitlements (cough - privilege cough) and were real in letting me know the truth in what would happen based on the identities I hold. For that, and the fact that they work relentlessly to make my life unbelievably comfortable I will be forever grateful. To my parents I say thank you and I realize now more than even how truly blessed I am to have you. The reality is not first and foremost that not everyone has parents (everyone's situation is different) and also parents who do the things mine do for me. Above and beyond, to the ends of the Earth, and so many sacrifices just for me to be okay - it's overwhelming when I try to comprehend the magnitude of what they've done/been through (#immigrantparentprobz - story for another blog post) just for me. It's because of my parents that I know what's it like to be loved wholeheartedly and to love people. I rarely drop the l-word and it's reserved for those that I cannot live without. It's not some fleeting thing to be toyed with or be tossed around willy-nilly. Love is a lifelong unbreakable bond, and that comes from my parental control.

Yesterday, was one of those randomly interesting days that just makes sense. I spent my morning doing homework (but actually though, I knocked that stuff out like it was NBD) and then went to play flag football. Yeah, so that hadn't happened since like 8th grade and to say I was rusty would be an understatement. I was creekier than the cathedral doors at Notre Dame. I played with the guys from my RHA, Brendan, Sam, Connor, Kace and my fraternity brother, Andreas. Our first game was a mess and a half, but we rallied for the second game to make some moves, have some fun, and played our hearts out. We may have lost both games, but it was actually fun nonetheless. We went up against the rest of my fraternity brothers which was like a literal representation of my college life #ironic. A couple of tumbles, fumbles, and flagrant fouls later (people play rough for a non-contact sport) and I was more than ready to head home. More homework and a well deserved shower complete with belting out of my favorite tunes with the good reverbing echo of the tiles. Night fell and that meant dinner with Mac and Connor with a special guest appearance by momma Higgins aka McNeil's mother (prompting this post). Dinner was really good, and I thoroughly enjoyed both the meal and company. I always feel like I understand why people are the way they are after encountering their parents. Not only do I see the resemblance but the similarities in values, ideals, behaviors, and even style. Sometimes it's uncanny and I'm like well you as a person make so much more sense to me now. I bet the exact same things happen when people meet my parents. When a parent with that look of endearment it hits you right in the feels. One of the coolest things, in my opinion, about people's parents is when they talk to you, not like in that parental-kind of life goals, basic info mumbo-jumbo but like how you talk to someone you're comfortable with. When I'm comfortable enough to engage, not just on best behavior mode (ooph ... pretty much my life), and converse genuinely that's when I get to know people more than just the superficial routine things we say when we meet someone new. In this way Mac's mom, just like him was unbelievably personable and light hearted, kind of a foil to my understated style of charisma. It's always funny to corroborate and validate to parents that their child is definitely living up or even surpassing their expectations. When you're great, you're just that great. Parental control officially disengaged.
Dr. and Mrs. Huxtable :-)
The 20s are all about doing your own things. Most people's parents just want what's best for you - that is to be happy, healthy, and self-sufficient functioning members of society. My parents always told me I was destined for extraordinary things, and that's something I hold deep within me to keep me going. I'm going to make them proud. I'm going to prove them right. I'm going to change the world because they gave me the power to do so. We grow up and set off on our own but we'll never truly be disconnected from parental control - it makes us who we are, for better or worse.

My blog post question for the day is ... what's the best thing you've learned from your parents? My parents gave me the gift of compassion - that above all else I will cherish forever and makes me precisely who I am today. Thanks mom and dad.


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