let me hear your balalaikas ringing out, come and keep your comrade warm

A little less than a year ago, I gloomily posted about being 25, unemployed, living with my father, and in a relationship that I feared my family would never be able to wrap their heads around.

Cut to July 2013. I am 26, employed, living with my father, and still in a relationship that my family is completely unable to come to terms with.

The good news is better than usual: I do love my job, which only took me about 4 years to say; my relationship is rock-solid and candy-happy and one of the best things I’ve done in my life; I finally summoned up the courage to have the most uncomfortable conversation possible with my father, and lived to tell the tale.

The negatives are that I’m still in limbo, and as frustrated as ever.

My family (read: my father) is difficult to navigate on a normal day, when I want to spend the night out, go out and meet friends, sleep in late, or simply sit in bed at the end of a very long work day. It’s even worse now that there’s a big Malayali elephant in the room that we are discussing only via email.

My relationship with my father is a difficult one to explain, and not something that I explain well anyway. On a surface level, we are very close. We speak constantly (by telephone or email even if we’re simply at our respective offices), and we spend a lot of time together since he likes having me at home. Living in proximity doesn’t imply closeness though and that’s something we’ve never had. We’re completely different people on entirely different pages, and while we may talk about breakfast, the news, and idle gossip, we are unable to commit to a level of personal conversation that is far more important. I understand him but he will never be able to understand me.

I was going to say something melodramatic about it being a difficult day when you realise that even though you love your father, you think he is wrong in many ways. But that’s a pretty useless point since I’ve known it for years and it doesn’t change anything. I love my father even though I know he is wrong and I am right, and even though I know this is something he will never be able to understand and acknowledge.

As my very wise mother said, you can’t change people. You can only change your responses to them. Living with that on a day-to-day basis isn’t the most idyllic of situations, but if it takes me toward something that is so completely worth it, I’ll suck it up and bide my time.

title source: back in the ussr by the beatles

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2 thoughts on “let me hear your balalaikas ringing out, come and keep your comrade warm

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