MONDAYYYY. Let’s get this week started YO.
F*cking hate Mondays #onthereal.
I got an interesting comment on one of my recent posts.
Let me preface this with saying that we welcome ALL comments– if you don’t like what we have to say, we want to hear it… and if you DO like what we have to say, then we LOVE hearing it. But at the end of the day…
Anyway, the commentator mentioned that I “must be very insecure” — because obviously when it comes to dating: where I went to school/what job I have plays a huge role. And they’re right…
Our society and my upbringing played an integral role in my insecurities.
Unfortunately, we live in a competitive world where there is a LOT of emphasis on our “stats.” When I meet a guy, here is how the conversation goes:
Him: “What do you do?”
Him: “Where are you from?”
Him: “Where did you go to school?”
Alway in that exact order. And it’s depressing that our image of people is based on their credentials.
But as Persians, this competitive nature comes naturally to us. From the second we are born, it is instilled in us that we have to be the best. And our parents do everything to ensure that it happens. We’ve talked about this before- about the pressure our parents put on us to get into the best schools, get the best jobs, and just be the best at everything (click here).
My parents wasted no time in teaching me how to be competitive… cut-throat… go after what I want and not because they wanted happiness for me- but because they wanted me to be the FIRST to succeed. It’s for the sake of their bragging rights- they need to be able to show the other Irooni families that their daughter was above all the other kids.
When I was a kid, our closest Iranian family friends had a son who was only a year older than me and he really was the golden boy in our community. He worked hard (played harder– click here), and was the dream child of any Persian family– aspiring doctor, intelligent, attractive. I mean, he really has it all (too bad he likes the white girls).
Whenever we would go to his house for a mehmooni, his parents always had his latest report card posted up on the refrigerator. You know how you get those progress reports? Yup, even those were up. His shiny record of straight A’s and zero absences were there for all the Persian parents to see and salivate with envy.
And at every single party, my mother would make me go to the fridge with her and ask me why he had an A+ in English when I only had an A-. Or why he had no absences in PE, but I had 15 unexcused? Or why he was in a higher math class than I was in.
Sometimes all that pressure to be competitive and to excel, only leads to anger and frustration.
Competition can be a catalyst to self destruction.
I’ve been on both ends of the competitive backlash our parents enforce. I’ve been the little girl who’s had to compete to be better than someone… and I’ve been the girl who others have been taught to compete with.
It’s a redundant cycle and if we’re not careful, it can ruin us.
My cousin was considered to be the “bad seed” of the family. She’s never finished high school and can’t hold on to a job for the life of her. My mother always told her, “Why aren’t you more motivated like Farrah?” All the pressure that she had to endure from other family members inevitably resulted in her self-loathing and she blamed me for it.
She was always striving to have the upper hand with me. She needed proof that I wasn’t perfect, but not just for her own sanity– she needed that proof to use against me.
As if outing me to my family in Iran when I lost my virginity wasn’t bad enough, she stole a memory card from my camera that had photos of me hanging out with some Iranian boys in the pool– just so she could show my grandmother to prove, “Look Farrah hangs around boys all the time, she’s a slut like that.”
I know that her actions are sadly caused by competition— she can’t compete professionally so she plays dirty. And that’s HER insecurities coming out to play… not mine.
So here’s what I have to say about that: we’re all insecure and for Persians- a lot of that insecurity comes from our parents and the pressure they put on us to get into an amazing university or to be a doctor. It’s really frustrating because in addition to having to deal with finals, term papers, finding a job after college, we have to deal with our parents calling us everyday and asking us why we aren’t BETTER.
We justify our success by our parent’s standards. If they don’t approve, then it’s not good enough therefore, we compete for their approval.
That frustration plays a huge role in our future relationships.
I like to think that I was able to channel that competitive nature and constant pressure my parents enforced every damn day to motivate me. But in reality, it was fucking hard. And deep down, there’s a part of me that is satisfied knowing that they didn’t think I could do it… but I did it.
Let me set the record straight:
In person, I HATE talking about where I went to school or what I do for a living because it makes me feel like a douchebag. I feel like when I talk about it, I’m being just like my parents– like I’m bragging. And I hate that.
But when someone tries to throw THEIR stats in my face and attempts to bring me down to better themselves, you can bet your ass I’m going to defend myself.
Now I want to know what YOU think- aren’t all Middle Eastern kids a little insecure as a result of the pressure their parents put on them? Or am I just that lucky?
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Follow me on Twitter if you’re suffocating from the pressure too: @Farrah_Joon
Your biggest competition,