Your Way vs. My Way

My poems thus far have told the story of my self discovery. I went from confronting my pain and hiding myself from others to questioning the morality that had been commanded of me. All this was an effort to find myself. I was a stranger to myself.

Maybe that’s a normal feeling for a teenager, but I certainly didn’t feel normal. Everyone around me seemed content with their involvement in sports and designer clothes (money and athletic ability: that’s what it took to be popular in my town).

The interests I had in books, video games and anime had opened my mind to a world beyond me. I used to go to the park on the edge of town and imagine what life was like beyond the cornfields. No one else was concerned. They were more than happy to make their way for school, marry and start a family, but I wanted more. It was becoming more and more clear to me that their path was not the right one for me, which is how the following poem came to be.

The following poem was written on August 15th, 2004 when I was 14-years-old. I was just about to start high school.

My Way

For long I’ve done what you say

whether it be the right or wrong way

but now I’ve decided

I’d rather risk dying

Then wast my life on your way

I don’t like where you’re going

I push away

But you pull me in

You have too much power

I fear I have given you all

But I will keep pushing

so as you keep pulling

I’ll grow stronger by the day

On the day you’re not looking

the day you believe you’ve won

I will run

and you will chase

but this time, I’ll get away

I’ll search in the dark

and I’ll find my own light

Then I can day

that my life is going my way

because I ran away

you are not here

This is my way


That basically says it all, doesn’t it? I was done blindly following the views of others. Now was the time to discover my own opinions.  ‘Reflection’ from the movie Mulan became my theme song.

I won’t pretend that I’m someone else for all time 

No, I would not pretend for all my life, but I still had to pretend in 2004. My path of self discovery was only open to my closest friends. Sometimes, I tried to let my parents in, but it always failed. My father is an extremely opinionated man. Even opinions that only slightly deviated from what he saw as right were confronted with vehement negativity.

For about a year during high school, my father and I would go through a spell where we barely talked to each other. It wasn’t that we were trying to be mean. For some reason, we just couldn’t communicate without offending the other. Neither of us could understand how we offended the other. Thank God for my mother, who understood both of us and acted as our filter.

My father and I are fantastic these days, but those memories keep me on my toes. They remind me that I may never be able to revel all the truths of myself to my parents. They just won’t understand and we’ll just end up unintentionally offending each other.

I didn’t realize it when I wrote this poem, but my way would have a price. If I were a little more mature, I may have realized it then. I understood that I’d never have the chance to purely myself for days on end until I left for college. For some reason, it didn’t hit me that that meant I would have to regress into hiding whenever I came back to my home town.

This all sounds so gloomy, but I truly do love my family. I am so lucky to be related to such great people. The fact that we don’t see eye to eye doesn’t change that. Just because I can’t share all of me with them doesn’t mean I can’t ease them in to the reality of who I am. That has been a process I have embarked on since leaving college. Little by little, I show them ‘my way.’ I don’t need their approval or blessing of ‘my way.’ All I want is for them to understand and, in their understanding of who I really am, still hold their love and pride for me.

It’s a delicate process.



25 thoughts on “Your Way vs. My Way”

  1. I found several persons that try to be different just to show to others that they’re “acting” like someone special, so they read and write or paint or sing just to say that they exists, not because they love to read, or to create something. That’s the reason I come to ur blog, I think you are authentic. I read your poems and it’s pretty clear that they were from a girl that has doubts and the need to build something for herself, if this building is a palace of hope (as your articles about your society) or an underworld (as a native there exists the idea of an underworld but it’s not a hell or a bad place) that explore in yourself as in your poems, I don’t know but it would be nice to discover.
    BTW: my English is a bit basic… after the line “and I’ll found my own light..” Then I can day is read as Then I can die?, I understand a poem has to be read without explanation because it’s not always an answer. Regards and sorry for the long reply.

    1. I’m happy you enjoy these little pieces of my past.

      The line is “and I’ll find my own light.” What I meant to convey is that the path people want me to go on is already illuminated for me. Another path, my own path, is something I have to illuminate myself. I am, in a sense, searching in the dark looking at all the different options before me until I find the one that possesses my own light. That is the path I would take,

  2. Keeping elements of yourself to yourself is okay. As a parent, I look at my kids and realize that while I have known them their whole lives, I don’t know them wholly. It’s one of life’s paradoxes. But it’s perfectly okay.

    1. I do get that. I think what bothers me is the thought of how they would feel about me if they knew everything. I can’t talk to them like they’re my best friends, but I should be able to discuss things with them. I guess it just bugs me that the list of things I can’t talk to my parents about is longer than the list of things I can talk to them about. It makes me feel like a different person around them.

  3. As someone who has also chosen ‘my way’ I have to say that I feel where your coming from with it being difficult. My biggest issue right now is that when I talk to people older than me about things, they take my opinions and words as meaningless. Like I clearly have no idea what I’m talking about because I’m a young girl (I’m also 4′ 11” really doesn’t help things…). Never mind I graduated from college and fact check everything 10 times over. Nope, still wrong 😦

    I got luck, if you can call it that, with my parents though. Dad’s a alcohol drug addict who lives in a motor home and mom’s on 5 different medications, crazy as all get out, and has also done nothing with her life. I am the only person from my family (1 older sister) to go to college and pursue my dream job of being a Web Designer 🙂

    I have to say I love talking to people around my age because for the most part we all have this desire to go out into the world and pursue life with a passion. We want to explore, discover, play, work hard, and make memories that we can say are ours that we built for ourselves. When I read in the news that the Millennials, Gen Y, 90’s Kids, or what have you are changing the way companies do business and handle marketing and how you can work with people from all over the world not just in your area, it really inspires me to set greater goals and challenge myself.

    1. I hate when people belittle my opinions just because of my age. Even when I present all the facts, half the time the discussion ends with them saying “well, when you’re older, you’ll change your mind.”

      I was talking to an older women about how I didn’t really care if I had kids or not. I always hear “you’ll think differently when you’re older” or, ,y favorite “you’ll regret it when you’re older if you don’t have kids.”

      1. OMG YES! My sister was like, “Don’t you want kids so your not lonely?” I was like, “That’s why I have J…” Ugh people pushing their personal opinions on others… Enough to make one’s head spin!

    1. Thanks. I just rearranged things a bit. I think some people were confused and thought my featured blogs were my latest blogs, so I thought this would make it easier.

  4. Although I believe all of us go navigate blindly through a path of self-discovery during our teenagehood, each of our individual experiences are unique and should be cherished. You’ve done a beautiful job of doing just that by recording your experiences in poetry.

    I can relate. I went to a very conformist school. Most of the students came from East Asian cultures (so am I, but I was one of the few Canadian-born) and only about two things were championed at our school: 1) academic excellence, and 2) conformity. The good thing was there were no “cliques” per se (except the English-speakers and the “fresh-off-the-boat”). Our school elevated the maths and sciences and no one was really interested in the creative arts. I felt very left out because, contrary to my “cultural expectations,” I hated math and science, and I’d rather stand out than conform to the other kids’ interests. I got really into Japanese underground rock music (the anime phase had passed by my high school years and the Kpop phase was beginning…no one was into Japan anymore really). I wore black skinny jeans, chains, dyed my hair red, all that great stuff 🙂

    Looking back, I must have been a dork. But at least I was a different dork, amirite? 😉

    1. I feel you. High school was when I really got into anime and manga. Kids used to ask me why I read those ‘weird backwards books.’ I’ve always been a bit of a dork. I can really excited about small things and I don’t have a complete set of social skills so I can be awkward sometimes. Still, at least I’m being true to myself. I see too many people try and be who society says they should be, but that never leads to happiness.

      1. Totally, but in a way by divulging into an obscure counterculture I admit I was simply conforming to something else as well…:/ I guess it’s human nature to want to identify with a group/culture.

    1. Thank you. It wasn’t until I started looking back on these poems that I realized how lucky I was to have the realizations I did at such a young age.

  5. I love your feisty hopefulness. Here’s a tip: Remember. Remember as hard as you can exactly what it felt like to be ten, thirteen, seventee, twenty.
    It will make you a brilliant parent.

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