Thursday, October 16, 2008

Turning over Leaves and Unearthing Dilemmas

Thanks to the gale force winds that swept though the GTA last week, much of the trees were "persuaded" to let go of their beautiful fall foliage. While raking the yard some days ago, I utilized the time to indulge in a little introspection. Many things were thought about - mostly involving work and relationship - and many little (and big) discoveries were made.

For starters, the realization that my job is getting better every day. Although at first this may seem like a something that would cause joy - not worry and introspection, the situation is a little more complicated. There are several projects poised for take off in early 2009 and I had a close hand in planning/proposing some of them. A few days ago, my VP mentioned to me that if we get the go ahead on a certain project, she will be looking to me to head it up. Normally, I would be jumping at the opportunity which would mean an expansion of my role, heading an internal team and interacting and liaising with some very interesting external partners. All good things, except that it's the worst possible timing!

The thing is, that I don't really want to tie myself to any long-term assignments right now because of the situation with the Irishman. Things have been progressing well since I got back after the wedding. He's decided to come over for a visit in February and I guess that will be the time when we decide just what we want from this relationship. I DO know that I cannot (and will not) do this long distance thing for any longer than absolutely necessary. Call me old school, but I feel that a relationship is not going to grow and thrive and mature if the two persons are on opposite sides of an ocean. And let's face it, I don't relish the thought of the possibility of sex with my boyfriend just twice a year, or thrice if Air Canada has a seat sale!

I had been thinking of moving to the UK for sometime now, even before recent developments involving matters of the heart. Very Best Friend had been trying to get me to come live in Glasgow for a while, and another close friend who lives in London had also been bribing me with ideas of how we could "explore the continent" together etc. etc. My initial idea was to move to London for a year (at first) and evaluate my long term needs based on my experiences and opportunities there. The fact that the Irishman lives in Glasgow has now of course pushed that city as the front runner in my "Live in Europe" plan.

The advent of the Irishman has forced me to think about my short and long term housing arrangements

For those not in the know, I bought a house with my parents in late 2006. The deal at the time was that I stay with them for at least 2 years before making a decision whether I wanted to continue living with them or get my own place. The deadline will be up next month.

I'll have to admit that living with my parents has enabled me to save up loads over the years and indulge in my # 1 passion - travel. The down side of living with one's parents is that one continues to get treated like a child no matter how old said "child" actually is. This is compounded by the fact that my family is traditionally Indian in the sense that it is expected that children will move away only when they get married, and not for any other reason. The notion of Adulthood is tied in quite strongly with Marriage and trying to be a "Single Adult" is almost a revolutionary idea. It matters not that I contribute a hefty amount towards the maintenance and running of the household, my parents still refuse to consult with me before making decisions regarding the house such as refurnishing the basement, doing up the backyard or repaving the driveway. My half of the mortgage and monthly payments pays for these changes - is it then so absurd that I would like to know about these things in advance? Heck, even be able to venture an opinion every now and then?

So, move out then, would be the response of many.

There's just one catch. But it's a big one!

All Indian parents are experts in Laying on the Guilt. Mine are doubly adept as not only do they have the benefit of years of Indian Guilt Laying techniques, my family is also Catholic. It is a vicious combination, not one for the faint of heart.

Every time I have complained about anything at home - and I submit the above examples of house renovations - I have gotten THE LITANY. (see, there's the Catholic tie-in)

THE LITANY consists of my mum and dad taking turns to remind me about all (and I do mean ALL) the things - material, professional, emotional - that my parents gave up to get us to Canada.

Dad: We gave up our jobs, good jobs,
Together: To bring you here

Mum: We gave up our family, my mother and father,
Together: To bring you here.

Dad: We gave up early retirement and our pension,
Together: To bring you here.

And it goes on.

Trying to fight that flood of emotional blackmail is like trying to drain a post Katrina New Orleans with a teaspoon. They're simply too good at it, and I'm simply too Indian and too Catholic to be able to withstand that tempest. Which is why I am dreading the thought of having to explain to them that a mere 7 years after we picked up and left India, I want to pick up again and move away - thereby "abandoning" them.

Fortunately, I don't have to have this discussion until February and who knows, it may not even end up being a hot topic.....

So, I'll just go back to raking leaves and this time think about something less volatile - the War on Terror, the current state of the Economy and Global Warming are all happy thoughts in comparison.


Timorous Beastie said...

Sorry, I just found this post. Surely your parents have kind of done what they set out to do y moving to Canada? Got you Canadian citizenship, got you set up with all the stuff like education, career and all that. Now, if you want to "abandon" them, couldn't they move back to India if they want to? That way everyone could be happy, no?

Anonymous said...

Every time I forget how amazing you are, you surprise me all over again. The one thing I know from my years of experience is there are no easy answers and honesty to ones self and reflection on genuine feelings are always good compasses to use.

Penguin Pal

The Pixy Princess said...

Beastie - moving back to India is simply not an option. We had liquidated all assets when we moved here, and to return now (as non citizens) and try to build back a life would be 10 times more difficult. Nope - here to stay.
Then again, its not that my parents are unhappy here; far from it in fact. They both have good jobs, we own a home (a nice one) and we have friends and family around.
It is a complicated situation where my parents want their kids to be happy. But only if it is their idea of happiness (marriage,home,kids). They want to know that me and my brother will be around for them as they grow older, and they are upset with me because I am refusing to make that commitment.
I on the other hand, just want to break away. I have lived with them for 27 years and I just want to be on my own now. They see it as abandonment; I just see it as being allowed to grow up.

PP - WHY are all parents not as sensible as you??????

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...