At 15 years old, all I could think about was how great it would be if I lived alone, because that would mean I was an adult, right? I could sing my lungs out without being judged, leave the house whenever I wanted and eat at whatever time I desired. The thought of having complete independence was enticing, but I didn’t quite think about the responsibilities that came with being an adult. When the day finally came — or more accurately, the days leading up to it — I was terrified, to say the least.
I’m sitting in my first-year marketing class. The term ‘sitting in’ is a bit of a stretch, given that it’s 2020 and all of my classes have been shifted to this peculiar platform called Zoom. We’re learning about the premise of cost/sacrifice value and I’m half paying attention, thinking about whether or not I need to remember this information for this week’s Moodle quiz. Yet, fast forward to two years later and now every day I live the eternal struggle of evaluating the cost/sacrifice value of my silly little $6.50 almond latte.
If I were given a dollar for every time I was told to ‘stay positive’ and to ‘keep my chin up’ in all kinds of negative situations growing up, I’d probably be a millionaire by now. I heard it from everyone — teachers, friends, family, Disney movies, and even fictional characters in books. It helped me through some tough times, I’ll admit, but somehow I always managed to find peace in preparing for the worst. I guess you could say I’m a glass-half-empty kind of girl, and whilst some may believe this mindset is to my detriment, I dare all the optimists to practise what they preach: look on the bright side.
The taxi fills with sunlight. I’ve never been to this city before, but as I look out the window, I instinctively know I’m in LA. The car pulls up in front of a bright white hotel with large circular pillars and gleaming windows.
“Ms Davis is waiting for you in the foyer,” says a suited employee while ushering me inside. My chest tightens in anticipation. Hollywood, Davis — this can only mean one thing.
My mother thought she had her whole life ahead of her at 25. She had just married her high-school sweetheart of nearly ten years and was beginning to climb the ranks in the fashion industry while working for Nautica. Moving from a small town in Canada to the big city of Toronto, her life was playing out like a rom-com. But by the time she turned 26, her dream life was crumbling around her.
The sweat. The rush. The crowd. The bounce. The game. It’s full throttle: no protective gear, played in the dead of winter, and known for being a petri dish for vulgarity and violence in its crowd. Aussie Rules is the sport for Australians. It’s as tough as its namesake nation — the soul of a home with over 60,000 years of history. It’s a game for all Australians…
Well, up until only six years ago, it was actually a game just for men.
Innocent wishes and boundless imagination, with a touch of hopefulness — that is what childhood dreams are made of. Funny how we don’t remember most things from the past (let alone last Monday’s dinner), yet a childhood dream will always have its place in a precious storage box, tucked inside the mind.
To all my fellow hopeless romantics, love is full of expectations and disappointments. It can be a dream come true, but just remember that all fairytales come with constant ups and downs and plot twists. Are we really ready to experience realistic love?
This pair of words, no matter what background you are from, may have elicited some sort of image or reaction from you; perhaps it’s a ‘helicopter mum’, or a pair of harsh and strict parents who disdain the arts and force their poor second-gen immigrant children to become doctors, lawyers or engineers. Maybe it’s the generational trauma passed down each line on the pedigree chart, a theme we have been seeing a lot in our media, depicting the stories of Asian immigrant families and the dynamic between traumatised parents and cultural freedom-seeking children.