My dad’s side of the family has always had this slightly oriental look about them, and when my sister and I asked him about this when we were children, he told us it was because his mother, who I had never met or seen any photos of, was Chinese.
About 25 years later, I was chatting to my mum about her and was curious as to how my grandfather had met a Chinese lady, in Slough, in the 1930s.
My mother looked very confused, and it was only after she stopped laughing that I realised that on that day, all those years ago, a small, off the cuff comment to tease my sister and I stuck with me my entire life and I honestly believed it was true!
I never questioned it. How could I have been so gullible?
Simple, because I was six years old and six-year-olds believe anything you tell them!
But you know what, most of what we learn in our first 7 years of life sticks with us until the day we die and a huge amount of it is completely untrue. Why? Because our parents try and paint an ideal picture of the world for us to make us feel secure, happy and safe in life.
Remember the fairy tales they read to us before we went to bed? How justice was always done? How the bad guy always suffered in the end? And what about the Prince and Princess who lived happily ever after?
Do they mention the financial difficulties the Prince and Princess ran into after the Prince suffered from alcoholism? The Princess’s post-natal depression? Or the affair the prince had with the housekeeper?
Just reflect on some of the things we are led to believe at that age; we should behave well at school, obey the teacher, get to the top of the class, not answer back, do as you’re told, be number one at everything, pass all your exams, go to university, get a good job, make lots of money, buy a big house, work hard, get rich, retire at 65 and of course the classic; get married, have children and live happily ever after.
We are never taught the most important thing EVER, and that is to ask the question WHY? As a result, most of us grow up trying struggling fit into this “ideal” life and feel a failure if we don’t achieve it. OR we do achieve it and discover that it doesn’t bring us the happiness and peace of mind that we were led to believe would come with it.
Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with having all or some of the above! What I am saying is question your motives for doing these things, because everyone is different and not everyone wants the same things in life.
“Be number one”. Why? It’s hard work, is a waste of time and of no importance in life whatsoever! “Go to university” Why? If you’re not interested in any subject, why get into debt just for a piece of paper that won’t secure a job anyway.
“Get married”. Why? Wouldn’t it be better to spend £20,000 on buying a house rather than blow it in one day on a wedding?
“Have another child”. We are not in a financial position to do so and we are struggling with one!
Stand firm, be strong and questions everything that you do. Live life on your terms, because only you know what is best for you.