After reading Marsha’s post for this week’s Wednesday Quotes (WQ) on her blog, Always Write, I feel inspired to come up with my own 2023 word of the year.
If you remember last week’s post (wow, was it really last week?), I chose the word ACCEPTANCE as my 2022 Word of the year as I seem to have finally accepted the things I cannot change. I like to call it, “No take-backs”, whatever is done can’t be undone.
2022 was a difficult year for me in many ways, especially in mental health. Looking back at my “thoughts” posts, I was struggling almost on a daily basis. It was like I’m happy one day but sad, angry, and/or anxious the next three. I think one of the things that was feeding my unhappiness was my struggle to feel accepted by the family. The thing is, I never felt accepted by the family because I’m a girl and I have a different last name.
Yes, there is such a thing as gender discrimination within family.
This mostly has to do with culture. In China, sons are treated like king and daughters are treated like servants. I don’t know if it still applies in general but obviously, it applies among my aunts and uncles. My aunts and uncles only wanted me and treated me with respect when they wanted something. Meanwhile, their sons are treated like kings, allowing them to drink and buy expensive cars without ever even a punishment.
It makes me angry yet envious and sad because my cousins were given the kind of freedom I was and am never given. Major exploration was never an option for me in college yet, when my cousins got the U.S., they got to pick whatever major they desired. Their parents supported their dreams while my mom struck me down every time I dared to dream like dream of being a writer or a photographer – calling my dreams unrealistic.
I was also overwhelmed at time because when they wanted something, they can go from treating me like a nobody to a superstar in a matter of seconds. That overwhelmingness fed into my sadness and anxiety as I often strived to please and not disappoint even though they were the last people on Earth I should be pleasing.
For 2023, I believe my word should be HEAL.
I’ve spent too many years and too much energy trying to get the family to accept me for who I am as well as spending too much of time trying to please people who can never be pleased. I think it’s time to heal from all that past trauma that they have inflicted on me when I was young and move on. They are not worth it.
I want to try to focus on myself this year instead of focus on others as I have done my whole life. I feel I should be selfish instead of always thinking of others.
I’m sure it won’t be easy and there’s a chance I’ll revert to my habit. Hopefully, with time, I’ll learn to heal.