I’ve had some time to think, or as much time as I have being a grad student.
I will be the first to say I know nobody is perfect. What I have to re-evaluate is whether the company I keep is holding me back, or setting a bad example for me, and whether my parents did set a bad example for me.
In some respects, my parents did it right. In others, they didn’t; all parents mess up somewhere. My mother has made it clear that she wants me to be “better than her.” It’s my firm belief though that if I do turn out the same as her career-wise, I’d be perfectly happy. I would not be as happy if I had a job like my dad. And I’m doing better than my cousins already, so why quibble? I understand part of growing up and having a positive relationship with parents is understanding that they did their best based off their beliefs and what they know, and you have to forgive them for what they messed up/didn’t know. I’m not at that point yet.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed since living on my own and such has been the company I’ve kept. There have been some who instantly get me and where I’m coming from when I say things. And some don’t get it/don’t want to get it no matter how much I explain and don’t want to let go of any preconceived notions they have of my racial background, which frustrates me to no end—-I really don’t feel like I should have to explain who we are over and over again when they keep on hanging on to stereotypes. Some are smart but don’t try and some stay stuck in their comfort zone forevermore, even if it’s not one they’re happy with. Some only come to me when they want something, some just are so stuck in their own self-destructive ways, etc. Thankfully, I do have a few friends who get me immediately on all counts, know their own
shortcomings, and strive to better themselves—-things that I’m trying to do right now, basically—because they are the people that serve as role models.
I’m just worried that I’ve got this all wrong though, that I’m being negative all the time, and that the people that I should probably just not talk to are really people that would benefit me, the feeling that I shouldn’t burn bridges, etc. Or even that I am using the word “I” too much instead of truly living a life of service.
But is it worth keeping company, near or far, with people that are not improving your own path to a better life, preferably one without SI in it? And more importantly, with people for whom the friendship is not mutually beneficial? When do both parties have to put forth the effort and when is it fair to call it quits? On a friendship, for God’s sake?