We might like it or not, but the most valuable lessons about oneself are possible only in relation to the others.
Inside romantic relations, inside friendship relations, inside work relations, in relation to strangers, in relation to the exterior etc. This is the position where we get inputs about who we are. This is the wave length from which we broadcast our own vision. That is the reason why it is so important to have different, healthy people around you. They make you. You make them.
If you can choose your friends, your romantic partners, your work partners, you can’t choose your parents. This relationship is a permanent lifelong commitment. The other ones the same, only that the interface might change. You change jobs, romance fades away or transforms into something else, friendships develop, people change but the parents are always the same. If the relationship with the parents is not working, missing or is damaged it will be a hundred times more difficult to have interesting, deep, passionate, real relationships with all the rest.
So, I thought to my self, I better get good at understanding it, make it malleable, turn it inside out and upside down, keep it alive! This is a new commitment in my experiment of living authentically (if living at all).
Ever since I know me I felt deep respect for my parents but also there was this need to make them see, hear, feel me. It seems like at times they did not. We were all taken by the waves of life and the real connection between us at times was weakened.
I decided to have these series of conversations with my parents. Written conversations.
Here is the first one of the kind with my father. It might seem strange but keep in mind that this is the first one. We are just warming up. (Still working on the conversation with my mother. The logistics of it are a little bit more difficult).
1.How was your childhood?
I don’t know if I had a happy childhood. It depends on how you define happiness. But I was free and we had a peaceful family life. I usually got angry when I wasn’t understood correctly or believed. I also disliked verbal violence and shouting.
2.What did you want to become when you grow up?
Dreams are changing as life goes on. I wanted to become someone valuable at the beginning. Later I wanted to have my own business.
3.How were your parents? What values did they have?
My parents had a very difficult life. For example on my father’s side, out of 11 children, only 2 are alive now while the rest, parents and children, died very young.
Their values were the Christian values. Since they experienced a lot of hardship from an early age these values helped them survive relatively easy. They lived through the communist era so their faith, their religion is a hybrid between materialism and Christianity.
5.What did you discuss about with your parents?
We did not have any discussions about life and the meaning of it. Maybe only about God. I was telling them what we were told at school but they did not know how to defend their believes. All in all, my parents’ preoccupations and discussions were around daily problems ,how to survive.
6.How did the communist influence your parents’ life, your life?
The communism stepped aggressively in my parents’ life. The land inherited from their parents was taken away and they were obliged to work in colhoz. We, their children, were also indoctrinated. Everything was planned. At the beginning we were octombrei, then pioneers, comsomolists, communists. Any other alternative was not accepted or allowed.
7.What role did God have in your lives?
My mother was religious according to Orthodoxism. My father even less than that.
8.Did you ever ask yourself who is God?
We did not believe that there is a God. This is what the society taught us. My parents did not have the force to fight against it in any way. But I saw people who believed.There was God in them.
9.Did you ever ask yourself if your life could be different ?
Yes, we were dreaming. We wanted a materially better life and also more spiritual freedom. But there was no opportunity other than what was offered by the state. For example, at the university we were taught to fight against God, against believing in God. We did not have any access to the Bible. I chose to become an engineer because I loved physics.
10.What do you believe in, now, after having lived for a while on Earth?
Now I believe that the man was created with a supernatural power for a certain purpose. But because the first people did wrong now we are facing life and death, blessing and curse. We also have the ability to choose.
11.What would you want from us, your children?
We would like for our children to take into account the experience of their parents. We are more valuable as people as long as we act on God’s name and on behalf of the others.
We would like for our children not to lose themselves in this world. To perceive the sense of life as soon as possible. To learn to enjoy life. We would like to meet their souls there, in the never ending universe.
12.Do you have any regrets regarding your youth? Would you have done differently?
I don’t have regrets. I chose according to the possibilities and the knowledge we had.
13.Do you have any question for your parents or something to tell them?
I am happy that I have the chance to speak to them, to help them when they need help, and to thank them for everything they did.
14.Do you think that we, as a family, managed to learn the lesson of love, self-respect and respect for the others?
Maybe we did some mistakes, some things happened too slow but we managed to overcome the misunderstandings and difficult times.
15.Moldova, what does it mean now as culture and nation? Is there something that we are losing, something we should be proud of?
As a culture, Moldova, managed to preserve partially the traditions, the language, the faith. As a nation we are lost, divided. The thing we could be happy about is that until now we lived in peace and understanding with our neighbors. We never conducted wars against someone, we only defended ourselves. Most often without any success.