A couple of Sundays back, there was a small meeting with the young people of the church. I think the aim was to inspire each other, to celebrate each other’s achievement in order inspire those “following our footsteps”. It was a great idea simply because it brought together a small community of Fijian youths who live in the UK, so, you know, SOLIDARITY.
With it being in the setting of a church, there were certain tones that attached success to obedience, to God and parents obviously. You couldn’t be where you are, or who you are, if it weren’t for your obedience to your parents and God; and I agreed with this statement to an extent. I did have to give credit to myself for my own choices in this journey. It was bizarre for me to think that I have no part in being the person I am today, actually, I refused to have someone else take credit for my efforts.
I respect my parents to the fullest, with me being raised in a religious environment, I too also respect religion. I sometimes question religion, I mean, who doesn’t right? But I can’t disregard it’s positive influences on some people’s lives. So with that, I will accept that my parents and religion has had a massive impact on my life, from the way you treat people to the way you see life, and I am grateful for that.
However, my life has consisted of some battles with both religion and my parents. Growing up my brothers, in my opinion, were considered the favourites, left me with middle-child syndrome. Because of this, I spent a lot of time alone thinking about how I want to get out of this place, both metaphorically and literally. It’s never a great head-space to be in to think that you were the least favourite. Hopefully this could be argued otherwise. This feeling partly contributed to who I am today. Since I felt like I wasn’t having fun during that time of my life, I thought to find things to enjoy.
I liked art, but a distort type of art that my mother use to refer to as “the devil”. It wasn’t flowers and pacific related art like my older brother did, but who wouldn’t wanna amp up Egyptian gods? This was the first push to my “do what makes you happy” motto.
I took up drama because my grandmother asked me in hope that I become a famous actor. My parents thought maths and business would’ve been a more employable option. But now, my presentation skills are off the hook and I fake-pretend to be a director of a play, coming up with set designs and costumes and stuff; unfortunately my acting didn’t match up.
I wanted to dance, but due to my parents commitment to their religion, there was no way I was going to be shaking my goods to non-christian music, however they did let me try out for dancing auditions and dance in the church, all PG of course. Anyways, as soon as I got to uni, I applied to all the dance societies. Ended up dancing 4 competitions in big places like Sadlers Well and O2 indigo, where even I got to choreograph something (twerking might have also be included but cannot be confirmed). On the topic of uni, in our mindset, it was a safe option to join the army, so my parents advocated for that instead of me going to uni, but it’s me so you know which option I opted for.
I know it may seem that my parents were ‘awful’ for not letting me “follow my dreams”, but you see, the thing is, we came from nothing, my parents just didn’t want me to jump in too deep into something and drown. I could not hold their attitudes and thoughts against them simply because, survival was more important than ‘having fun’. If anything, even with me ‘rebelling’ against their wishes, they were still there every step of the way. My mother who, if I were to say was my rock would be an understatement, she was more like my Jupiter (so like, a really BIG rock). They did teach me how to be respectful, they taught my how to be humble, they taught me how to love others and even to be a strong independent brown boy who is domesticated enough to live in a house with 3 housemates and be able to clean the whole house without their help.
My parents still have issues with my “lifestyle” but I think they are confident in me enough to know that any decisions I’ll make would be good ones. So to whoever is reading this, yes, taking ‘orders’ is good to an extent, just don’t end up selling yourself to a life that you didn’t want. Now, my new motto is “Do what makes you happy, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else“. (I’m pretty sure there’s a movie out there somewhere that has quoted this, but since I’m blanking, I’m going to pretend like I came up with this myself).