Saturday, November 12, 2011

Explaining Myself to Family

One of the hardest parts about moving to another country is leaving behind family. In my situation I really only had two choices. 1. Stay in America and remain homeless (which is actually very expensive surprisingly) and struggling to find a job or 2. Move to India, build up my writing career and save money until I could afford to start over. My family knew about my choices and yet did very little to help me out. Some of them made it harder as if it was going to teach me a lesson but I'm not going to bring all that up because it's too sad.

In a recent phone conversation with some of my family it was mentioned to me that I didn't have to move to India. One of my family members is struggling with the concept of me being here away from them. I was very close to this family member and so I understand the resentment they are harboring. We had to steer part of our conversation towards the reality of why I left. It's always hard to talk to family about me being here away from them. This time was harder. I don't want this person to resent me for leaving, but I also can't reveal all the reasons why I left to them because sometimes the truth is harder to deal with than the omissions.

I really think this family member just misses me too much and is a little worried about how much of everyone's lives I'm missing out on. I understand their concern because I have some of these same thoughts myself. I sometimes wonder if coming here was the right thing or if there was some other way I could have worked things out but every time I go over it in my head there just wasn't any other way. I had used up every possible resource I had trying to make things work for 2 years but in the end there were just too many forces against me.

I don't know what plan God, fate or destiny have for me but I know I was destined to be here. Something brought me here (and it wasn't just Air India) for a reason and it's obviously not done with me yet. I also don't yet see the bigger picture but I know there is a reason. I just wish I had a better way to explain it to my family.

So many people leave home for studies or work but they don't go this far. I wonder how they deal with family resentment? I don't see this element in Indian families because when their children (most of the time) go abroad it's always with the full support of the family. They want the best for them and want to see them succeed in life and they know that can't always be done from the home. They encourage them to advance themselves and do whatever they can to help out. American families don't want you to go. They want you to come back home when you're done and stay close forever.


  1. Thanks! I need the encouragement. I still have some days (though few and far between) where I think I could actually continue living here. I keep trying to think with my brain and my intelligence rather than my emotions but that is very difficult to master.

  2. Not knowing the bigger picture can be hard. I know for me, it took more than 2 years in India before it all fell into place. That's two years of wondering where the heck my life was going and what my purpose was. Hang in there, and it will fall into place.

  3. In some cases in the west parents don't push their kids out of the house, they are heavily involved in their lives. There are also people in the west that never leave home or when they do they move in next door or extremely close by. Independence is often promoted more, but that doesn't mean the families don't bond and stick close together. There are joint families in the US, among whites, hispanics and other cultures. They are just not as prevalent as in India.

    I'll take your word on the NRI thing. I can imagine they would not be very in demand due to the stories and rumors that I hear about women being taken to other countries and the marriages not going well or them becoming too westernized. I have no personal experience in this area except to say the NRI's that I know are not like the ones I hear about in stories.

  4. I beg to differ bhabi ji.

    I see that in the west, parents prepare thier children to fly from thier nest. They make them feel independent and take control of their future choice.

    Parents from east, do not let them go from thier nest that easily. They make thier children fulfil their unrealized dreams. That I think is the reason for high involvement, as they approve the early life path of thier children.

    If a son or daughter lives with parents in the west, he or she is rediculed. But in the east, especially in India, they expect their son or daughter to be near them...with them.

    The NRI's are not in demand anymore, back in India as grooms, becuase the empowered working girl wants be in the vicinity of her parents. One of my MBA classmate had choosen a childhood boyfriend carefully, so that she could stay in the same city as her parents, as she had no brothers.

  5. It's not really different from any move it's just that my family never seemed to care how far away I was until now. I haven't lived at home with family for 18 years now and they never fussed about me being too far. I think maybe the time difference bothers them and i can admit it makes it a challenge to talk but they rarely called me or visited when I lived in the states and was in the same time zone. I do miss some of my family a lot though because we did spend together (me and the ones I miss lol).

  6. I know it's nowhere near the same, but having moved to the other side of the US I feel this way sometimes too. I miss all the niece and nephew birthday parties, Thanksgiving, last year I missed is hard to hear about everything over the phone and see the pictures on Facebook. Just missing out on all the traditions and daily interactions. It must be so hard to be all the way over there in India away from everyone back home.