People are always talking about “remember where you came from” on the one hand. On the other hand people are always reprimanding “don’t live in the past, but stay present.”
Now, these two phrases seem contradictory don’t they? They could become combative at some point in time, as well. For example, as one gets older one begins to lose family to old age and death. Soon, the family history starts to fade. If that history reveals a different culture than that which the one lives in now, it becomes sad memories, so one chooses to either stay in the past or remain in the present.
The present starts to feel foreign because it does not incorporate the past cultural difference. This can be a time of traumatic displacement. Don’t even mention the fact that being older is a displacement of its own. Along with age, joint pain, limitations and loss, one is tempted to lose oneself in native roots.
But truly, is it good for you? Betty White might agree with me, it’s better to let go of the past, whether culturally different or not, and embrace where you are now–albeit a newer conglomerate of a culture. Yes, incorporate the two; make something new, but live now. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a slew of limitations, don’t let them bog you down.
I learned this the hard way. I tried to hold on to the past instructions in a marriage, but it only served to make me gradually insane. I let go of the old Latin moniker “housewife” and began to see me more as a single independent thinking woman. Yes, I’m still married legally, but I’m not married emotionally in the way I was taught: a woman who belongs to a man, waits for her man, has no identity unless her man gives her the one he wants her to have.
Let me make a point here. It isn’t the man that does this to a woman, it’s the old voices and the cultural past that keeps a woman [miserably] obedient to it. It huts at first, but soon, if she works at it, she can become a single woman in her mind, and a happy woman with a single man–still together, but separate. After all, when we die, we can’t take all our loved ones with us, can we.