So we were just chilling with one of my friends reminiscing about old times. We were particularly dwelling on our folks and the stories told to us when we were kids. Make believe stories which were meant to motivate us or put a hellish fear of failure or position themselves as victims in our innocent minds, stories such as; ‘Be grateful you got shoes, i didn’t have any’ or ‘ i had to walk twenty something kilometers to and from school in my day’ and when we were slightly older, the script took a sudden shift *parental rant* ‘i could easily drive a *insert most trendy car* or * i could live in a leafy suburb like so and so, but i put it aside for you to get through campus’ the list goes on. Am sure there are still more rants in store for me, talk of being trapped. My folks credit themselves for my life – i’d have stuff to say about that – in another blog perhaps. i don’t see this changing. My friend and I had a good laugh at our folks’s stark similarities.
After our last drop of coffee, we parted ways and as i sat in the bus, i begun re-living the parental rant conversation we just had. My bus ride home lasts some 20 minutes, of which i either plug my headphones or allow my mind to just drift away. Today, my thoughts were drowned by this topic. I begun wondering if i’ll be any different, i mean, haven’t i forgone a great deal of indulgence in order to secure a stable future for myself? Yes, myself. Truth is however, it will probably have nothing to do with me. More like for the kids, their needs and wants. So this got me thinking, are these thoughts influenced by the stories told to me by my folks, will my life follows the same exact or almost exact path?
Someone once said that ‘The problem with us now – is not who we are. It’s what we define ourselves by. And we define ourselves by stories’ so can these stories lead me to becoming a ranting, story telling parent? To answer this, my mind created a story. I started out with a statement and transformed it into a chapter, i realized that line after line i end up with the same conclusion.
The decision to be independent had(s) nothing to do with my folks, when i set out to achieve the highest literacy level possible, financial stability, emotional and social stability among others, the image of my parents was nowhere in the horizon. I was inspired by, how/what i would not want my life to end up as. I certainly don’t remember thinking that my this or that degree is to be achieved for my son or daughter, or my last paycheck in honor of my unborn offspring. No, i was driven by among others an innate ambition to excel, this ambition still keeps me awake some nights and on my toes all day because am still miles from where i envision myself.
At this point in my life (must be an age thing) suddenly, i marry my ambitions to my offspring. I feel as if i owe it to them to be successful. I think, this is the genesis of parental ranting or stories. When you begin to feel indebted to someone else, own child or other you are likely to at some point expect some form of payback. In my local tongue gúcokia guoko. The question remains, are we resigned to this, generation after generation? The answer is yes. I will most likely expect the same from my children, i just wonder what shape my stories will take.
I find that i want my stories to remain mine and hope that they will be granted a just interpretation. Easy to say this now hah! bet a real life cast would play out differently.