Live and let live.
Sitting at the noisy food court, we were so engaged in the conversation that we became blind to our surroundings. The background blurred into an abstract painting as I fixed my eyes on her pale face…
She: I want to go to yoga classes, massage therapy sessions and travel. That’s what I’d like to do if I stop binge watching Netflix series on the weekends. *embarrassed*
Me: And the reason you are not doing those things is…? *prompted*
She: I just feel bad… you know… I want to save it for my mom. I want her to enjoy life. *looking down at her knees*
Me: And what does your mom think?
She: Actually, she’s told me numerous times on the phone that she doesn’t want me to end up like her, wasting her youth away… but I’d rather be cheap to myself and let her have the best of everything, or else I feel guilty. *looking away*
Me: But this guilt… do you think your mom wouldn’t feel the same if she knew? How could she spend the money freely if she knew you spent weekends over weekends watching Netflix instead of doing what you love?
It turns out she had never seen things from her mom’s perspective.
She chose to do what she thought was best for everyone.
The guilt-driven self-sacrificing daughter concerned only with the benefit of her family.
She had forgotten the burden of this kind of love on those who are on the receiving end.
Me: Do you feel guilty for the desire to live the life you want?
She: I guess…? I’ve lived for my dad and now I’m living for my mom. I think I’d be lost if I had no one to live for. *playing with her coffee lid*
Me: What about your boyfriend? With the way you care for you, I wonder if part of you are also living for him? *sipped my coffee slowly*
Moments of silence passed.
Me: Is that also why you are often disappointed? After all your effort, he still hasn’t met your expectations?