The Moment We Realize We’re Becoming Like Our Parents
We have to create our own path for ourselves, while also recognizing how far we’ve come
If you’ve watched the movie, The Breakfast Club, you might remember one of the iconic scenes where the characters all come together and talk about their home lives. In that scene, the conversation goes a little something like this —
Andrew: My God, are we gonna be like our parents?
Claire: (teary) Not me…ever
Allison: It’s unavoidable, it just happens.
When I was a teenager, I used to say the same exact thing — I used to think that I could never become like my parents; that I would never become like them. I used to think that I broke the mold; that I’d be a game changer. Now that I’m older, I’m starting to realize that it really is unavoidable. In some way, shape, or form, there are pieces of us that we inevitably take away from them.
My parents grew up in a completely different time period, in a completely different country than me. They grew up in a completely different culture. These things alone convinced me that I’d turn out completely different from them when I grew up. And I did…to an extent.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve began to notice that the similarities have started to catch up to the differences (and possibly even outweigh them). And it’s not because of something that I necessarily did on purpose. It sort of just happened — just like Allison, the character in The Breakfast Club, said to Andrew and Claire.
When we’re young, we often took for granted the things that our parents told us, taught us, and showed us how to do. We took for granted the morals and values they tried to instill within us. Then, when we finally come around to recognizing and appreciating them, it might be too late for some of us.
I recognize that the traits I’ve adopted from my parents are a mix of both good and bad — For example, I got my short temper from my Dad, but I also got his hard work ethic and outgoing personality. I got my timidity from my Mom, but I also got her kindness and caring personality. I got many aspects of my personality from both of them, mixed in with my own unique traits.
But, the most important things that I got from them were their words of wisdom, their life lessons, and their relentless love and support. I got to be raised by two parents who did nothing, but try to make sure that I turned out to be a good person. And knowing that I got that, it’s hard to believe that there was ever a point in my life where I didn’t want to be like them.
I now realize that it would be an honor to become half as good of parents as they’ve been to me — And I truly hope I do.
There’s a turning point in each of our lives where we may or may not come to terms with who our parents are and how they’ve raised us. It’s a point where we should just try to accept them for who they are and all that they’ve done (or didn’t do) for us.
When this point comes, we have to realize that we can’t choose our family. We can’t choose how they raise us. And we can’t go back in time or change the past. We have to play the hand that we were dealt and hopefully make something out of it.
We have to create our own path for ourselves, while also recognizing how far we’ve come.
And despite the good or bad parts that we got from our parents, we still have to make a life of our own regardless. And whatever that life looks like, try to make sure that it’s the best version of it as possible.