Poverty – it is an ugly word. One never really considers it till it strikes full on. Life is surprising that way. All of a sudden money goes from starring in dreams to becoming the freaky villain in nightmares. While money is what makes the world go round,(whoever said it is the sun’s gravity clearly had not met electronics!) it stands to say that richest men aren’t the happiest. or that’s what everyone says anyway.
My parents are paying though their teeth to pay for my education. Seeing the fake smile on my mothers face while she tells me that they can manage, when I can see very obviously that we cannot, is heart wrenching. Is it fair for them to suffer because my dreams are too big? I do not know the answer. I never considered us poor and I still don’t. We do live comfortably back home and I never lack for funds here at uni. But I worry. My parents have tons of responsibilities and duties they have to discharge. Are my ambitions a barrier?
Listening to them go on about their amazing family rags to riches tale, I feel worse. Am I taking their hard earned money far too lightly. I try to selectively spend money but it doesn’t stop me from feeling intensely guilty every time I buy a chocolate bar or a box of cookies I want, but don’t essentially need. The guilt worsens when I spend money for entertainment, joyful parties I spend 5 quid on. Not a fortune but I can get loads of food for that amount. Maybe.
This cycle of rationing and being stingy has made me appreciate how lucky I am. My lovely family supported my decision to move to a foreign country to study and funded me for it, in spite of it cutting into our savings. I cannot regret my decision but try to do my best to help them. Focusing on what is important and why I’m here. Parties can be attended later, but now I need to do what I came here to do. It might be difficult to make friends and fit in because I don’t go out or party every weekend, but what matters is that I don’t break the trust that my parents have in me and stay true to myself.