5 years ago, everyone in my family1, thought that I would get a scholarship to study abroad. I didn’t blame them for having such a high hope; I was enrolled in one of the best high schools in the country so expecting that of me was an acceptable thing. But what they didn’t know is that I was never happy to be the person who has to carry everyone’s hopes and expectations. They didn’t know that I wasn’t particularly a bright student and the I suspect the reason why I got into the high school in the first place was because of sheer dumb luck2.
So as I said, I was not happy with how my relatives expected of me. At one time, my cousin-in-law even boasted to his friends that once I got the scholarship and flew off to somewhere3, I’d settle down and marry an ‘orang putih’4. I was horrified when I heard that because it revealed that they did not value me and my efforts as what they are, but they saw me as a trophy that they could parade around. Not only that, some of my aunt and cousins were already making a list of what they wanted me to buy for them.
When the result came out and I didn’t get the scholarship I was partly disappointed (who wouldn’t?) but at the same time, I felt relieved because my relatives would finally stop bugging me with their empty praises, which exactly, what they did (unsurprisingly).
It makes me sad that I cannot hope for sincere support from my own family, and because of that, I turn elsewhere for consolation5.
1 Family, in this context, extends down to first cousin once removed.
2 My mom thought so, too.
3 This ‘somewhere’ usually refers to United Kingdom.
4 ‘Orang putih’ literally means white man. This is the word Malays use to refer to Caucasians.
5 The Internet. /love