I used to wish I could be the perfect daughter.
A girl who spoke softly, always remembering her p’s and her q’s, and always happy and smiling. The girl who does what she’s told, plays by the rules, and doesn’t create a scene. And that’s who I was for a while. But she wasn’t me. Because I was a girl who was often met by rage, and wanted nothing more than to roar.
I wished I could be the perfect daughter. That I could be a straight A student, and always top of the class in everything I did. But no matter how hard I tried, I was always just above average. Better than good, sometimes great, but never the best. Now I realise, there’s worlds and oceans more to life than grades, and school. And I’ve finally discovered my gifts.
I wished I could be the perfect daughter. A girl who followed in the footsteps of her parents, and made them proud. When I was 8, I wanted to be an accountant when I grew up, just like my dad. When I was 12, I wanted to study psychology, just like my mum. Then at 16, I realised I didn’t want be who they wanted me to be.
I wanted to be me.
I wanted to go to fashion school and learn how to design, cut, and sew pretty dresses together with my bare hands. But that came with the price of feeling like I was disappointing them. Always letting them down. Always the black sheep.
I used to wish I could grow up quickly and make a small fortune, so I could retire them early, and stop them fighting over money. But now I’ve realised, that all the money in the world wouldn’t solve their problems.
I wished I didn’t want to dress in the clothes I did. Short skirts, crop tops, lace tights, and short shorts. I wished that maxi dresses and shapeless trousers and baggy shirts were my thing, but they weren’t. And every time I slipped into an outfit I loved, I was made to feel shame. To feel like a slut. An easy, cheap girl, who would attract users and abusers.
But I tried my best not to believe them. I carried on wearing whatever made me feel good. Because the freedom to express myself and be who I was, mattered more to me than they did.
I used to wish I could be the perfect daughter. Get a good job, climb the career ladder, find a millionaire man, get married, have kids, live in a big house, and live happily ever after.
But that wasn’t my happily ever after.
Because who cares if you have everything they tell you you should want, but you’re still not happy?
Buying a house and having a fancy title next to my name didn’t matter to me. I wanted to go and see the world, and start my own business. To wait to find my soulmate – no matter how long it took for us to find our way to each other. To not rush to settle down and have kids like my mum did, because I want to be selfish. I want to enjoy myself and experience things and grow, and not rush into one of the biggest decisions of my life.
I used to wish I could be the perfect daughter, until I realised my happiness, and my soul desires came first. Above my parents wants and needs for me.
I’ve learned that being your authentic self, and prioritising your own wants and needs will sometimes come at a cost. At the cost of your parents admiration, respect, and sometimes even their love.
And that’s why I used to try my best to fit their idea of perfect. To be a daughter who doesn’t talk back or raise her voice or get angry. A daughter who helps her mother in the kitchen with the cooking and washing and cleaning, while her brothers sit on the sofa watching TV. A daughter who says yes and please and thank you, because she’s taught to make others happy at the expense of herself.
I tried my best to do all of those things, because I wanted to make them proud of me. To make sure they loved me.
But that’s not who I am.
I’m the kind of daughter who wants to carve out her own path in this world, and journey down the less travelled road. I’m the kind of daughter who cannot hide her emotions, or her truth. The kind of woman who must say how she feels, and write what she thinks. A woman who will wear what she wants with pride, do what she wants with love, and not give a fuck about what the neighbours might say. A woman who will never apologise for being who she is, and daring to be all that she came here in this lifetime to be.
I was never able to be the perfect daughter. And I’m okay with that.
Because this is the woman I’ve grown into.
And this is the woman I was always meant to be.