Thank you, Jesus!
I went to my parents’ hotel this morning to say goodbye. That over, I wanted to run out the doors of the hotel and down the street proclaiming my renewed freedom. But one does not run on cobblestones in heels – far too dangerous. Also, I am not that publicly demonstrative about personal emotions. The point is that I felt an immense sense of relief, which I know will grow even stronger once I know their plane has actually left Czech soil.
I do not feel guilty for being happy my parents are leaving. As I rode to work on the tram, I analysed why having them here makes me so uncomfortable, and whether or not I should try a bit harder – an exercise I have indulged in before.
My conclusions were, as usual, all in my own favour. But really, it would be silly and counter-productive to end with a judgment against myself.
The thing is that I have developed my own life around my own routines and around a few carefully chosen friends. I like my life, but there is a balance to be achieved everyday – a balance between being selfish and being there for my friends, looking after myself and taking care of my professional responsibilities, having enough fun and getting enough sleep. And it’s not always easy.
Visitors disrupt my balances. Whilst a visiting friend that more or less fits right into my life is easy to deal with, my parents simply do not fall into that category. And whilst I can send friends off to do some sightseeing or shopping on their own, or leave them to lie in when I go to the gym on Saturday morning, I can’t do that with my parents. They are here exclusively to spend time with me. My dad even went to the gym with me. Twice.
I guess the biggest thing with my parents is that they make me feel that I am not in control of my own life. I chose the bars and I chose the restaurants, but I never felt free to say, “I don’t feel like going out with you tonight.” I had mentioned a trip to Plzeň and the Pilsner Urquell brewery there as a possibility of something different to do. But when they picked up on that and ran with it, I couldn’t say, “Actually, that sounds too exhausting to me, and I would prefer to spend my Sunday doing something more relaxing.” And I wouldn’t send them on their own because they are old and monolingual and because they are my parents and I can’t.
I gave my parents about 6 to 7 days in total on this visit. I wasn’t consistently the most pleasant person to be with, but they seemed to accept my moodiness. I cannot help that I find spending so much time with them difficult, and I will not feel guilty that I am glad they are going.