وزارد او دا وستساد
VIZITOR TO THE VESTSIDE
an
American blog of Iranian dissent

Life in Bruins

It's commencement season all across the country, and for the next few weeks we'll be sending off the Class of 2009 into the proverbial 'real world'.

Extra pressure comes in for bicultural kids whose parents weren't educated in America (if at all). So the transition from full-time student to full-throttle employee can be extra tough. Most kids I knew, including myself, had to live a Dool Identity of sorts: Saying one thing (to our families) and doing another thing (everywhere else).

To come out of the closet, skeletons and all, and into the jungle is a bold task. There was a point somewhere around my mid-20s where I realized that I could no longer have such a duality on my conscience. It all happened de facto: true financial independence made the world around me look....different. For no matter how little I owned, it was exciting to feel that what I owned was mine and mine alone.

Now, some might say that some of are "still living off our parents" in some way or another.

That may be true, but our parents continue to live off us too. For bicultural kids it's a two-way street into the jungle.

While typing this I hear in the background viewer feedback being read on CNN after their live coverage of Michella Obama's talk at UC-Merced, one of the most diverse schools around. The viewer remarked that "first generation students have so much expectations to deal with."


Word. I think that because we're working with little precedent, that the window for making it all happen is tight. That if you don't have your shit together by 30, if you're not married with a family by a certain stage, you're considered a wholesale failure. "Nah, heechi nashod" ("No, he/she didn't become anything") is a phrase I've heard quite a bit.

The Butterfly theory is the better way to look at how it should be, as far as I'm concerned. That when we leave our cucKoon, we stop talking out of our ass -- ie, the Dool Identity -- and begin crawling as a caterpillar on the harsh concrete of the real world, then GRADually grow wings and flutter away.

You probably didn't hear that tip at a forum last week entitled "Passing the Torch of Success", where a capacity crowd crammed Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA to see a bunch of motivational speakers talk to Rudi Bakhtiar about how you, too, can be special and make both yourself and your parents happy at the same time. Or something like that. Either way read this well-written essay at HuffPo by Angella Nazarian about the impact that it's making.

Just hope one of your relatives, their friends, or community members didn't attend the event. It'll just give 'em more ameh-unition to compare you with the success of So-and-so, making you feel belittled and unworthy of being talked about at the next mehmooni.

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