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Choices

Choices. I know that I should be blessed to even be able to have choices but, truthfully, they can be difficult. My mom just came back from China (again) but now she came back with a question in mind for me, actually, she came back with choices: Next school year I can either A) move with my mom and possibly my brother to Korea and go to International School for my senior year, B) I can stay and live in Ventura with my aunt and my cousin, C) I can move in with my sister into her new apartment in LA, or D) I can stay here or move and then go to Korea for one year of college. All of these sides have pros and cons to them and this is definitely a hard decision to make but what I don’t understand is why she keeps asking me what I want to do. I am a fairly decisive person but my only response to her question is “I don’t know.” It’s really too overwhelming right now. I just took the SATs and now I have to decide my future. Right now, I wish I didn’t have a choice. I wish someone: God, my mom, a stranger, whoever, to tell me what to do because I feel I cannot make a decision. Last year, we had the same epidemic. I had to decide whether to move to China or stay here; I never made a decision, it was more like I couldn’t make up my mind so I stayed. I have asked people their opinions but they’re all somewhat unhelpful: my cousin said not to move because she doesn’t like Korea, my sister doesn’t give me an opinion: she just states the pros and cons of moving and not moving, and my brother… Well, he tries to help but it’s hard to say something comforting to an older sister. All this pent-up frustration has just led me to snap back at my mom and cry (a lot, oh! And break out. Just so you know, I’m a person who doesn’t cry a lot but this is just really stressful and difficult.) So, I believe that choices are great if it’s between deciding soup or salad from a restaurant but I just really wish I was just told “move” or “don’t move.”
My mom never had this problem when moving to the United States. Her parents just told her they’re all moving and they had no choice but to go. I am thankful towards my mom that she loves me enough to let me decide (even if it means being apart) but I don’t KNOW what I want. A little piece of me says “stay with family! You only have one more year to be with them” and another little piece of me says “so what? It’s only a year. You’re going to go onto college soon anyway.” I am torn in half and all the tears I shed or the frustration I feel is not going to mend me back together. What is going to mend me back together is an answer. I need an answer! But all these choices are making me oscillate between what I should do and what I want to do. I should stay because it’ll be easier on me with school – especially since it’s my last year of high school next year – and also my friends and other family are here, but I should go because my actual family is moving and it’ll definitely be an adventure if I go. Looking at it from an objective view, it is pretty obvious that I shouldn’t move because it’ll be really difficult with the new classes, the new school system, and possibly even making new friends. But looking at it through what seems “morally” right, I should go and be with my family for another year. Yes, choices are great. In fact, they’re amazing because you get to decide what YOU want to do. You can become a pastry chef, a singer, a pediatrician, a dancer, a food critic, a vet, a photographer, but the problem is that the choices can sometimes be so difficult, too difficult to decide that it tears you apart.

Hi Lene, Em here.

I'm probably not supposed to write on this, and you're probably not even going to see this anyways, but it's 1 AM and I'm feeling rebellious/a little crazy.

I'm sorry that you think we (your family) isn't any help in solidifying whatever your decision is going to be, but the truth is, we're not even sure. Yeah, I don't like Korea, but I know there are so many complexities and layers to this huge decision, and it's not as simple as that. You've heard me say this before, but I'll say it again, you shouldn't be making this kind of choice, especially not at this time in your life, and really, no one should. The entire situation is so unfair, and it just happened to be that you are the crux of all the decision-making that has happened in the past, and has to happen in the future. And it's tough, and it's not fair. After all, you're just supposed to be a junior, caught up in AP's, SATs, and every other soul-sucking acronym around. You should be worrying about your future as a high school senior, but no too concerned, because, oh look, another chapter packet.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the reason why no one seems to be helping you out is because none of us knows the right answer, if there even is one. We're scared that our decision is going to be the wrong decision, just like you are right now. This is pure speculation, but maybe your mom wants to offer you a choice, even if it's a hard, unfair one, because she wished she had a choice all those years ago. This is going to be your life, your future, and really, it's not our choice to make. It's truly yours, and I think you know that, too. And I think that's what's been keeping you awake.

Ailene, no matter where you go, you'll find the societal equivalent of a biological niche. That's just your gift, wherever you go, you can belong, whether it's with your parents, whether it's with my parents, or wherever else. But if I'm going to give you one real piece of advice, it's advice that I've been giving for years:

Between the choice of the head and the heart, or logic vs. intuition, go with the heart, go with intuition, because at the very least, even if you're wrong, you won't regret the choice you made.

-Em

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