(part1) . My mum calls me very often but …(she sighs) I can’t even bring myself to answer her calls. We have a complex relationship, to say the least. When I look back at my childhood, from my youngest years until the moment I was 18 and left home, I think of it as one big blur of anger, sadness, and utter turbulence. My mum didn’t deal with her divorce from my dad very well, if at all. Thereafter, she would tell us about how extremely sad she felt and put that anguish onto us, which can be quite difficult to process when you’re 11 or 12. This had a bitter impact on us growing up… I used to cook and clean at times while my mum was at work or trying to deal with everything crashing around her. Whilst also trying to deal with my own pain, as well as hers, I ended up more distant and troublesome in those years. This made me grow up way faster than other kids my age. Moving away had been something I had been yearning for, for many, many years.
Leaving was my escape.
(part2). I have spent most of my adult life in pursuit of happiness. Have I found it? I am in the process of. I try to find things that give me joy on a daily basis. I read more, I’ve traveled solo, I have been focusing on myself and what I actually want to do. I also started this practice: each morning I write down a few things for which I am truly blessed and grateful for and this puts me in a really positive mood. Before I go to sleep, I think about what brought me joy throughout the day. It makes me reflect upon these little things that bring me happiness. Sometimes we tend to forget about them.
Why, since I am in this mindset of pursuing happiness, I have the feeling that speaking to my mum brings my mood crashing down. She is not focusing on her health or on her joy and she cannot understand my pursuit. If I talked to her everyday I wouldn’t be able to feel the way I do. Maybe I’m being selfish in trying to protect my own happiness, from her. But I’ve come a long, long way: I am pretty chill now .
(Jaskiran is from the U.K. and works as a parliamentary assistant at the European Parliament in Brussels)