Do What Makes You Happy

Suggested Tracks: 
Freesol by Seven Lions ft. Skyler Stonestreet 
Worlds Apart by Seven Lions ft. Kerli

Life is too short to be listening to what other people tell you to do.

I finally realized the truth at age 28.

Honestly, being ethnically Chinese, growing up in a traditional Chinese family and then being surrounded by everything American, I never really did have it easy. I identify as Chinese American. American, key word.

While I possess American values, I am also governed by my Chinese values. I believe I have the right to say whatever is on my mind in whatever the situation. I believe in doing what you love to do and finding that passion is important. Yet, I also believe in filial piety, respect my elders and provide everything possible to my offsprings no matter how old they get.

One thing I could never fully suppress is the need to strongly consider my parent’s wishes, even when they conflict with mine. I rebelled strongly at first. During my teenage years, I would purposely do the opposite of what they asked.

“You can’t go out with this boy.”

I would go out and stay out until dawn.

“Do these SAT practice tests.”

I would play PC games instead.

“Go to sleep now, it’s 10PM.” “Wake up! It’s 8AM.”

I would stay up until 4AM watching movies. And not wake up until 1PM.

I sure showed them!

Or so I thought. In my adulthood…

That boy was a mistake.

I should have studied harder, I really had it so easy. Never a worry about money, I could focus ALL my time on skills that can benefit me so much later in life. Why did I not apply myself more?

My daily routine these days is sleep by 10:30PM and wake by 6:30AM.

So in my adulthood, I developed this this nagging feeling that maybe they were right, and that feeling is always there. And that feeling sometimes prevents me from doing what I know would make me happy. Call it a side effect of all my experiences.

“Don’t date this boy, you have no future together.”

I pushed him to the edge with my impatience and probably prematurely ended something that was making me happy.

“Come back to New York. Why are you still in LA?”

I loved California and I could see myself there for a long time. I came back after only 1.5 years.

“Why don’t you try dating other people? You don’t seem to even really like him.”

I made the man I love cry when I told him my parents had suggested it.

I also told him my parents were wrong of course and that I did stand my ground on this. I wasn’t going to give in on this one.

It’s funny though. It’s not through all these big decisions that made me come to a sudden realization of what I need to do from now on. It’s actually something as small as hair dying.

I keep telling my Mother I want to dye my hair again because I really thing I would look better with honey brown hair instead of the jet-black hair I was born with. My Mother then keeps telling me not to dye it because the chemicals in hair dye are bad for my health. She also adds the fact that when I get old, I would have no choice but to dye my hair so why not start when you no longer have a choice.

Hold up. First of all, I wouldn’t do it that often, maybe once every 6 months to a year, so it can’t damage my health that much. Second of all, if I’m really worried about not having a choice except to dye my hair every month in the future, who says that future wouldn’t have invented some technology that gave that choice back to me? Also, why worry about the world in 30 years when you can’t even predict the next second of your life?

Oh my goodness. Why do I keep letting her influence me so much?

Today, I’m making this realization.

Today, I vow to do the things that make me happy and within the confines of my principles. Because, honestly, life is too short to keep second-guessing myself.

Have peace in your thoughts. Have peace in your words. Have peace in your hearts. From my heart to yours. Namaste. 


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