Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Summer.  §

Another night in the tent. The kids are totally uninterested at this point in any return to an actual bed. I’m not nearly as enamored with it as they are, but I can manage in the interest of a good time.

Tonight it’t hot and muggy, the opposite of the way things were last week.

— § —

I’ve been thinking back to past summers. Adult past and pre-adult past. And what I’ve realized is that it’s been a very, very long time since I had an unencumbered summer—or indeed an unencumbered any season at all.

© Someone in the family / 1980

I thought I’d gain some sense of life back when I finished school, but I didn’t. Because though the problem has long been external demands placed upon me, it wasn’t school or work making those demands after all.

For many, many years, loyalty and integrity have dictated that I essentially live my life for others. I have spent decades patiently managing myself so as to help others to achieve and pursue the particular lives and lifestyles that they wanted to lead. My own dreams and preferences have largely not counted for much, to myself or to them.

I think back to the early 2000s and even to the late ’90s and I see this state of affairs clearly.

This is bad. I don’t want to reach the end of my adult life having largely lived it for other people, and in ways that I didn’t generally agree with. It’s not that I’m against putting other people first—far from it—but the degree to which any and every facet of my being was compromised, by so many different people, over so long a period of time, is troubling.

It’s not all about oneself, certainly, but one’s life shouldn’t necessarily be “not about oneself at all,” at least not when the point of such sacrifices isn’t the greater good but is just one or two other people who, frankly, didn’t actually need the help.

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