We all have agency over our decisions. I am not arguing that.
But how many of our aspirations, attitudes, faults, and talents are a direct result of our upbringing?
We often want what our parents hoped for us to become (or thought we couldn’t become).
But sometimes it’s more complicated than that…
We seek from others what our parents never gave us. Attention. Love. Affirmation. Etc.
Understand: Parenting is hard.
This is the second part of this post.
I was alone with him in the bedroom; his mind was alert but his body was failing. He said, almost buoyantly, “I’m ready now.” I sat on the edge of the bed, and another silence fell over us. Then he said, “I wish I could cry, I wish I could cry.” At first I took this as a comment on his condition but am forever thankful that I pushed on. “What do you want to cry about?” I said. “For all the love I received and couldn’t return.” I felt a chill of familiarity. There was another lengthy silence as we looked into each other’s eyes. At last he said, “You did everything I wanted to do.” “I did it for you,” I said. Then we wept for the lost years. I was glad I didn’t say the more complicated truth: “I did it because of you.”
-Steve Martin, Born Standing Up (Amazon)