Today I received an email from my father that has me sitting here confused and conflicted and acutely wishing my life was simpler. Of course, if my life was simpler right now, I’d just end up finding a new way to complicate it, because that’s the kind of person I am and strive to be.
This year, I am writing to all of you separately, personally.
It is my hope that everything to do with med school is progressing positively. You’d realise that I did not say much about your decision to choose psychiatry. For me, our responsibility as parents is to give you opportunity. Interestingly enough, at some point, I wanted to be a psychologist, then psychoanalyst! Once you graduate from med school, you are free to do whatever you choose with your life. We will always be there to guide, protect and advise.
Where are you going to live after med school? Where will you go?
Your mom and I are now in a position to relax some more, travel and enjoy the rest of our lives. Part of it is also making sure that our children’s future is secured. You should let us know what your debts are from school – I hope to pay them all off when you graduate in May. So you can start from there debt free.
And what is happening between you and Ember? I have stayed away from that topic because for me, it was med school first. Now that May is approaching, I would like to know what your plans are. What responsibility is he taking? You cannot just “be together” like that.
In the end, I just want you to be secure, independently happy and for you to know that there is opportunity for you to be all you want to be.
Overall, this is actually a very happy and pleasant email, or at least, it should be. My father and I were never close, though we’d like to be. We’re very similar people, in that we’re very reserved, quiet, and stubborn; along with being of different generations and genders, it’s not been easy for us to connect, and it’s really only lately since I’ve been an adult that he’s tried to make occasional gestures at building a relationship between the two of us. Before then it was more just occasional lectures (like when my parents told me I needed to switch my major, and I did. From Theater and Psychology to Economics and Psychology, until I dropped Econ so I had room for pre-med) and admonishments (“you really should spend less time on the internet”).
But I am still highly uncomfortable with how little my parents know about me, and I really don’t know how to respond to his question about Ember. I don’t want to lie and say we’re planning to get engaged soon, but I want them to be warm toward him during my brother’s wedding in April, and my graduation in May. Ember and I will be talking (hopefully tonight) about how I should approach this.
I’m quite tempted to at least come out as bisexual, just to begin preparing my parents for exactly how unconventional their daughter is (at least, in their eyes. My life is actually rather tame beyond the bisexual and poly thing). Earlier today, before this email, I was already thinking about coming out as bisexual after a conversation I had in the comments of this blog post. So maybe it’s time?
Right now though, I wish I had either of my partners here to sit with for a little bit to help smooth my currently frazzled edges. Thankfully, I’m fairly good at self-soothing (I have to be; I spend so much time alone!), and I’ll get a chance to talk to them later today.