I am a very happy person. I am happy with my life and I don’t often feel like I am missing out on anything. However, a few weeks ago I let out a rant that made me wonder if I was truly happy.
My sister sparked the rant. She asked my parents for a new laptop because she is always sending hers for repair. I started to complain about my no-brand laptop and my old phone. Then I began to rant about the size of my room and desk, how everything is too small for all my “stuff”. I think I went off on a tangent from there, talking about how I received a fabric steamer for my birthday. What my ramblings really boiled down to was: “You (i.e. my parents) never buy me nice expensive things!”
I don’t know why I did that to my parents. As the older child, I have always disciplined myself to not be so spoiled. I think I must have been very stressed these past few weeks because it is midterm season and I’m juggling 3 jobs. What bothered me was that I work so hard… how come it feels like I get nothing in return?
But I knew deep inside that if my parents came home one day and said, “Surprise! We bought you a macbook!”
I would say, “I don’t need it. Please return it.”
Even if my inner child screams, “But I want it!”
My logic says, “Okay, you don’t want your parents to buy something expensive for you. Why don’t you buy it for yourself with money you earned?”
But again, deep down I knew I would not buy it for myself. That was when I realized that I don’t treat myself to nice things. I can spend a lot on my friends and family, but for some reason I am not be able to justify spending a lot on something for myself. I began to wonder why that is. I work hard; I have some money, so why can’t I splurge on myself?
These questions were swirling inside my head the next day when I had lunch with my mother. All of a sudden, she said to me, “You should go on exchange! You always wanted to go on exchange, right? You get so envious when you see your friends go.”
It is true. I do want to go on exchange. My mother says she has money to send me on exchange, but she herself hasn’t been back to Hong Kong in 5 years and for my father, it’s been longer than that. That was when I realized my rant yesterday must have impacted my parents. It must have made them sad because I wasn’t satisfied with the life they have provided.
I mentally slapped myself. Why did I say all those things? I know it’s not my parents’ fault. They work hard just like me and they never complain about it.
I tried sorting out this mess in my head and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not unsatisfied because I don’t have nice and expensive “stuff”. I am unsatisfied because I believe my parents should be living better. My mother should not have to clean other peoples’ homes for a living. I’m not saying it is a shameful occupation, but it’s physical labor and I don’t want my mother to be doing manual labor jobs. My parents should be going on vacations like all my other friends’ parents. My parents are the best people on this planet. They should be living like a king and queen.
That’s why I can’t spend money on myself. I dream about sending my parents on a cruise, to buy my mother a massage chair, to buy my father a new car. I want so badly to shower them with luxuries that they deserve. They give me everything they have to offer. I feel like I can devote my life to them and I won’t ever regret it.
I am happy with the life my parents have given me. I am very, very happy. And I want to make them even happier.