Chris and I got into a small spat today about our families, and during it, he told me that whenever I am home in San Francisco or come back from there, I am always exponentially more tense. I smile very little, and I’m not really myself, or the self that he knows and loves. It’s really annoying when someone points out something obvious about yourself that you know is true, but you don’t want to admit out loud.
It’s like how I hate thinking about how pretty much all of the happiest moments of my life have been without my parents there. Other than the day of my high school graduation, which I loved and still look back fondly on, every other time has been a time when they were not there: my Olympic National Park trip as an eighth grader with my classmates, including some of my best friends today; the Seattle trip I took in the summer of 2004 with Ed and our cousin, the first semester of Wellesley; studying abroad in Shanghai; pretty much all of my travels that did not include them; the day during my college years when Ed and I spent the whole day alone together celebrating his birthday, exploring a museum, and eating Thai together; the day we got engaged.
When they are around, things are made more complicated and tense, everything that is good has to be looked at under a microscope to identify what is wrong, and even the best situations become bad because they dwell on the worst aspects of everything, even if they are minuscule. It’s like it will forever be my life struggle — trying to be happy amidst all of their drama and self-induced pain.