Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Malay Male Family Values: Lord Shaper

I was in Kuantan these past few days. I ended a four hour journey back to KL today, with a birthday celebration of one of my closest friends.

The time back in Kuantan was a rewarding one. It used to be that Kuantan was a place for hellish confrontations and destructive actions. Imagine a few decades of The Bold and the Beautiful, combined with Wrestlemania, all rolled into three days.

My family's defining emotion, was anger. We all embody a wrath that could bend steel. We harboured revenge for decades, like any Sicilian family, of which we are not.

Fortunately, those were the old days and I hope to put all that behind us.

I no longer try to change my parents, or wish for them to be different. They were and are not the best parents in the world, but they did their very best. It was a long and arduous journey to get to this, as I have inherited my parents' difficulty in letting go.

For years, I tried to fix them, as for years, they tried to fix me. We were locked in a dance that could have pushed us over the edge.

I understand now how your relathionship with your family could define all your other relationships. I had trouble because to me, not 'fixing' anyone meant that I would just wash my hands of their affairs and let them rot in hell. It was either one or the other.

For years, what I was trying to do, was to live my parents' lives for them. I wanted to fix my father's neurons and the capilaries in his brain so he won't have a stroke again. So that he could walk without wobbling, and have his encyclopaedic mind again. I wanted to cure his pancreas so it would produce insulin and he could eat all the things he wanted. So that he won't get frustrated when we wouldn't buy him cookies.

I wanted to allay my mother's fears and to show her that the world is much, much more than an acre of land in Kuantan. To convince her that she does not need approval from anyone to approve of herself, and that it was, is, and forever will be okay to love yourself.

I wanted so much to reach into the souls of these imperfect beings, and tell them that it's okay, really.

That it's okay to live, and it's okay to die. That you make of your world, what you want of it. And that no one can take it away from you, forever and always.


I realised that it's not up to me. The realisation, awareness, revelations - all the lessons - are not for me to teach. They will understand it on their own terms, in their own time, in their own fashion. Whatever it is they decide to understand.

I can't 'save' them as much as they can't 'save' me. I'm afraid our jobs are not to save each other, and it was very difficult for all of us, this family of superheroes.

This is why, this dance from SYTYCD made me cry like a bitch. And it still does.