They basically came to this country with no English language skills, and a couple dollars in their pockets. They started with so little, and because of their hard work and determination to succeed did they manage to build a life for themselves.
Then I fast forwarded to the day they told me they were getting a divorce. It was a very messy one. Since they didn't want to communicate with each other, I was the middle man, relaying message from one to the other, a very unpleasant experience for anyone, especially a 13 year old, to be doing. It made me feel like I was torn in half. How am I, a product of these two people, supposed to feel whole, when they themselves can't stand each other? Do I have two opposing sides within me, that will continuously be battling, like my parents? I've recently been asking myself these questions, and needed some answers.
Take a look at my mom. She's a nurse, and makes a LOT of money. She likes to treat herself and go shopping, more often than the usual person. She is a hard worker, and lives her life around her job. I'm afraid that when she retires she might have a slight identity crisis, because her identity lives within her occupation. She's always been in the "helping" field, offering her services as a nurse for the last 30-40 years of her life. "Help! I need somebody" She's a no bullshit kind of Eastern European lady, and tells the truth as it is. She can be harsh if you're not used to her kind of humor. She also came from a family where her father was an abusive alcoholic, which is why I think she has no faith in men, and has learned to rely on nobody but herself. She can also be very charming and pleasant, and she definitely knows how to get what she wants. She's a great example to show what a completely independent woman looks like. She's also very beautiful and has always been in great shape. She is a role model for life-long exercise and living proof that living "healthy" can help keep you looking young. "Healthy is the new sexy"
And then there's my dad. He works for a publishing company, and doesn't make very much money, like almost at all. But he is "happy" with his life. "Don't worry, be happy" After he split with my mom, he moved back to the Czech Republic and remarried to a lady I am pretty sure is his perfect match. He doesn't work a lot, he just works to get by, and the rest of the time likes to travel, go skiing, have a beer with his friends, watch hockey games. He always put his family first. His parents were married until my grandpa died, and he and his mother (my Babicka) remain very close. A big core value for him has always been "honesty", and learning that from him has been a great life lesson. He always kept me accountable when nobody else did, because he wanted to make sure I become a good person. Because while many people won't like your honesty, you are only being your truest self. And if people don't like who you are, then you have no business with with them. or trying to change yourself to accommodate them. "Those that matter don't mind, and those that mind don't matter"
So, in light of what my parents taught me, I am taking the two best lessons that each parent has taught me, and am putting it into my own structure for living my life. I have needed to come up with some guidelines to live my life by, since splitting with my boyfriend of 3 years recently threw me off my ship. Now, instead of trying to make a complete person with someone else, I am focusing on making my own self "whole".
I like to think of it as the 4H Club.
In my notebook, I have a circle with four quadrants drawn within that circle. Then, each quadrant has one of the four words, and things associated with them that I like to do. For example, in happy, I have things like "yoga" and "ceramics". In healthy I have "going to the gym" and "cooking for myself". In "honest" I have past lessons I've learned by being honest with myself , and in "helpful" I have things down that I do to help others.
Religions stem from the place of needing purpose, or an answer. Well, in short, I feel that I can live a successful life by completing each other the four quadrants.
Being Helpful keeps one humble and takes focus away from ego and onto others
Being Honest keeps you true and keeps you on your path
Being Healthy keeps one youthful and full of energy
Being Happy keeps one positive and makes life worth living
Everyone has their own life experiences that shape them, but everyone also has something to write down in each of the four quadrants. Your circle may not look exactly like mine, but by putting emphasis on these core values, I believe will make for one really well rounded human being.
Now, instead of seeing myself as two opposing halves battling against each other, I like to think that I took the best parts of my dad and the best parts of my mom, to make the best of what I know as me :)