Today I am in Toronto. It’s been a relaxing weekend so far, and by that, I mean I literally stayed at “home” all weekend. That is, of course, minus the Juno Awards tonight!! (I’ll touch on that later).
As mentioned in my previous post, I am spoiled. (Or so people like to think.) Just because I am an only child, does not make me spoiled. I did, after all, have a Tiger Mom. And mum and dad, Happy Anniversary!
I grew up on a strict schedule: healthy breakfast, school, different extracurricular activities depending on the day of the week, piano practice, sleep. At some point of my life, I remember doing “chores”. It was my job to: wipe the counters in every bedroom, clean the bathtub/toilet bowl, start the laundry machine/hang dry them, fold clothes, peel 5lbs of carrots, and pound on raw meat for my mother so it would be tender and she could later marinate it. Over the years, I did less and less. My contribution to my family seemed to come from other ways and I think I justified it with my new extracurricular activities and always being away from home.
“I have homework. I need to study. I’m busy.”
Those were the frequent excuses. Nowadays, it’s all about learning to be independent. Youth go to post-secondary, move away from home, learn to cook, make new friends, start doing their own chores, make new networks, graduate, move out, get a mortgage, buy a car, etc. In essence, we Grow Up! (Scary thought.) One of my teammates actually just bought a condo! In all of that, where does family actually come in?
I have a lot of respect for those who are able to keep very close relationships with their family members and also build a life of their own. It’s a balanced life, to the next degree! On one hand, one realizes that he/she must focus on themselves and build up. On the other, knowing the responsibility to his/her family. My decision to come to Waterloo, was actually a way for me to force myself to become more independent. (I’ve done this throughout my life. Be it attending summer camps in a different province to attending conferences/flying on my own and volunteering overseas on my own). Slowly, I’ve been training myself. And I thank my parents for their guidance, all these years, for preparing me to face unforeseeable challenges. Learning to adapt to different environments is a crucial asset to have. Another, is learning to quickly build up a support network wherever you. Nothing beats have friends, physically there for you.
So this weekend, I explored a whole new side of myself and revisited those long forgotten days of doing chores. I was significantly reminded of how fortunate I usually am to be “spoiled” at home and I agree it’s a little ridiculous, but I know that many of you (secretly) get spoiled too! I’m not necessarily saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s important to be self-sustaining and be able to execute when needed – but practice makes perfect, right? Nonetheless, on top of all that, I decided to challenged myself to cook meat for the first time. (HUGE STEP for me). I regret not learning before coming here or never watching the maid when I worked in Hong Kong (2009). Two friends came over and “supervised”. As “calm” as this weekend seemed to be, it was actually pretty hectic, now that I look back. I even ironed for the 1st time in my life, since grade 8 sewing class! (This is embarrassing…or not?!) Why does this feel like Tammy Wong – EXPOSED! Core competencies, right?? (hehe…)
And yet, it’s another weekend. Here’s the Chart you’ve been waiting for. Enjoy!