I’m conflicted between my typically-American love of rugged individualism (think Marlboro Man without the lung cancer) and a deep, pestering belief that it doesn’t make sense.
Aging allows us to witness the long-term impacts of various lifestyles; one of my conclusions is that the Western way of life isn’t that effective – for individuals, for families or for society. Yet, here I am, fully embracing it.
I like to go my own way. I don’t have children and my life’s partner was an easy-going nice guy who wanted only to make me happy. Consequently, I’ve been free to cater to my every whim. I’d set off for some adventure at the drop of a hat, sometimes with someone, sometimes not. I’ve amassed a grand collection of treasured experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Yet, I think I’m a better person when I focus on somebody else’s happiness. In the larger scheme, I think mankind is better under those circumstances. But, I haven’t finished my degree, walked the Great Wall, or been to Morocco yet . . . See the conflict?
The culture of India is intriguing. It makes sense to me to have the daily influence and guidance of your grandparents and parents, regardless how old you are. One of the happiest people I’ve met was an Indian lady who lived with her in-laws in an arranged marriage.
Yes, my life and and my interpretations of what life should be are in conflict. . . But now I’ve been given the perfect opportunity to align my intellectual ideals with my real life: Mom is moving in with me!