Eye-Opening Moments Podcast

Exits Taken (and more)

June 18, 2024 Emily Kay Tan Episode 125
Exits Taken (and more)
Eye-Opening Moments Podcast
More Info
Eye-Opening Moments Podcast
Exits Taken (and more)
Jun 18, 2024 Episode 125
Emily Kay Tan

Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about Exits Taken  and She Calls Every Day.


Website: https://inspiremereads.com
Books: https://amazon.com/author/emily-kay-tan.2021_

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about Exits Taken  and She Calls Every Day.


Website: https://inspiremereads.com
Books: https://amazon.com/author/emily-kay-tan.2021_

Support the Show.



Comments or questions welcomed:
Twitter @emilykaytan OR https://inspiremereads.com.
Subscriptions appreciated: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1919670/support

Hello and welcome to episode #125 of Eye-Opening Moments where you’ll hear stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. They are moments that can lift your spirits, give you some food for thought, or move you. For the introspective mind that likes to reflect, discover, and find solutions or meaning in a complex life, this is for you. I’m your host Emily Kay Tan. In this episode, you will hear about Exits Taken and She Calls Every Day. 

Exits Taken
I left home at age five to never return to my biological family, where they hardly considered me part of the family. I escaped living with relatives who cared for me, but some said I didn’t belong. I left my utopian world to move out west. Upon graduating from college, I moved on. After nine years of living in my first apartment, I moved out. When my husband had a horrifying dream, we moved out of our house. When I filed for a divorce, I moved out. As I hit rock bottom with no money, home, or boyfriend, I moved out of the country. Many moves are natural as we go through different stages of life, but some are voluntary, and some are forced. However, they are all exits from one place to another. As playwright, Tom Stoppard said, “Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” 

My exit from my biological family led me to my grandparents’ family, where Grandma taught me to work hard, save money, and learn the language and culture of my ancestors. My uncles told me I was not a part of their family, and I was left feeling like I never belonged anywhere. Despite the effects on my self-esteem, I had love from Grandma and her teaching me by example. The entrance to her family gave me values I treasure and an identity I value. Looking at my siblings who grew up with Mom, I am glad I was tossed to a better place. Despite negative comments from my uncles that hurt my self-worth, this exit was for the better. 

When I finally left my grandparents’ family to move into a dormitory for college, I was ecstatic. Freedom was in sight. I was free from the negative comments from my uncles. I was free from hearing that I didn’t belong in their family. My insides danced joyfully, celebrating no longer being in the place that belittled me. The joyful celebrations jumping inside of me continued as I tasted the sweetness of freedom and smelled the refreshing air it brought. Becoming an independent adult was challenging, but the struggles were worth it. 

Basking for two years in a utopian life in college, I was pulled away from it by my long-distance boyfriend. This transition was unnatural, but I voluntarily left to be closer to my boyfriend, whom I was madly in love with. Of course, I was crazy in love to move across the country from the East Coast to the West Coast at age nineteen.

After graduation, it was a natural exit from dormitory life to apartment life. After living in an apartment for nine years, I moved out because I got married and moved into a house. Unexpectedly, a divorce led me to make another exit. The exit led me to buy a home of my own and the freedom to buy whatever I wanted in the house. For ten years, I happily lived in the house. I did whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted.

Unexpectedly, I moved abroad, but I did because I lost my house, boyfriend, and business all at once. Moving abroad led me to some years of living in paradise, where I was more carefree and worry-free than ever. 

You could say the first time I left home was not my choice because I was only five, but all the other departures from one place to another were my choice or a natural transition from one stage of life to another. Though most were my choosing, my entrance to another area was sometimes scary and many times unknown. It was like jumping into a black hole because I didn’t know what I was sending myself into.

I moved to Connecticut, not knowing what it would be like there, and it turned out to be what I called a utopia. I was free to be me, and I had no one belittling me and telling me I didn’t belong. I enjoyed a learning environment, and I had no one judging me. If I did, I did not know them well or didn’t care for their opinions. The same was true when I moved to California during my junior year of college. Each year of college, I moved from one dormitory to another. It didn’t matter; being far from relatives and surviving on my own was the best result of the move to college.

Moving to San Francisco to start my career and be with my boyfriend was exciting, even though I wasn’t clear about what I was entering. Leaving one place to go to an unknown area can be exciting because you know things will be new or undull. After nine years, I itched to move elsewhere for a change of scenery, but I didn’t move until I got married and lived in a house in the burbs. Living in a brand-new house added to the excitement of moving. Living in one place too long can get boring, so the change in scenery was a welcome change.

Living in a beautiful, large house, I thought I would grow old there, but life would not have me stay in one place too long. After a couple of years, I got a divorce and moved out. You might think this exit would lead to a smaller home. It did, but nothing could compare to the joy and freedom I experienced after moving out. There was an adjustment to singlehood, but it was worth the leap. The freedom to choose whatever I wanted to do and whenever I wanted was sheer joy.

Buying a house myself was more satisfying than buying a home with my husband. Having the ability to afford it was additional satisfaction. I enjoyed it for ten years and was ready for a change, but I did not expect to be forced out of my home.

Having gone into a business that flopped, I needed to sell my house because I could no longer afford it. Unable to find a job, I ventured to move abroad, where the cost of living would be lower. It sounded like a good idea in my research, but how it would turn out was unknown. I seemed to face a black hole again. From where I was standing, I was already near homelessness. Jumping into the black hole of the unknown was scary, but to me, there was a fifty-fifty chance of a good or bad result. If I didn’t take the opportunity, I would be doomed.

I jumped and landed in paradise. I never imagined being more carefree and worry-free in a heaven-like place than I had ever been.

You may be happy to make some exits and unhappy to make other departures. Whichever entry you take, you will enter some other place. Will it be better or worse? The only way to find out is by leaping. Each time I chose a leap, I ended up in a better place. Daring to take a risk is scary and exciting; it is living and discovering new things. Mustering up the courage brings new beginnings to learn and grow. Even if things don’t happen as expected or hoped, you still see new things. And if you don’t like what you see, you can always move again. Every exit will lead to an unfamiliar entrance. Be curious; step forward and take a look!

She Calls Every Day
I was driving my cousin Eason and his mom to go sightseeing in my town. The two were engaged in an unpleasant conversation with each other. My participation was silent as I faced forward with my eyes on the road. My insides began to tremble a bit, and I controlled myself from shedding any tears. Who could have known their disagreement would be a lesson for my cousin and me?

We never spent much time together, but I loved these two people, and the feelings were mutual. Whenever Auntie Zelda came to my house, Grandma’s house, with my baby Cousin Eason, I would hold him and plop him on a bed to admire his adorable face. He was the cutest baby I had ever seen, and I couldn’t be happier having this first cousin.

When Cousin Eason was one year old and could walk, Auntie Zelda wanted me to babysit Cousin Eason because she knew how I loved to play with him. I was twelve, but Grandma thought I was too young to babysit him, so it never happened. The years passed, and I was off to college. I didn’t see Cousin Eason for over twenty years until he was in town briefly. I was surprised he remembered me and gave me a call. We began keeping in touch, and then, over ten years later, he decided to move to the same city where I lived. 

His mom, Aunt Zelda, came to town to check on him because it was the first time he moved out of state. By this time, Cousin Eason was over thirty years old. While in the car with me, Cousin Eason told his mom that she didn’t need to check on him or call him every day. He was frustrated with the amount of interference in his life and did not see any necessity for it. After all, he was a healthy adult making an income. Cousin Eason was straightforward in expressing himself and his feelings about the situation. Aunt Zelda was not so clear in expressing herself and did not make Cousin Eason understand her position as a mother or her love for her son.

I parked and stopped the car when we arrived at a sightseeing place. Then I turned to Cousin Eason and said, “You may not like your mom calling you all the time or coming to check on you, but I think it is because she loves and cares about you.” Cousin Eason agreed but said it was just too much invasion for him. I said, “You are so lucky to have a mother who cares for you and shows it. I am lucky if my mom even calls me once a year. And when she does, it is not asking about me but would have something to do with Grandma. I wish I were as lucky as you.” I wanted to cry. I didn’t let the tears come out, but I am sure he heard it in my trembling voice. I didn’t have a mother who cared about me. Even when I was five, when she gave me to Grandma, she rarely, no, never, called to ask about me.

The three of us sat in silence for a couple of minutes. My tears came out, and I quietly wiped them away. I continued, “The next time you are annoyed with your mom calling, remember it is your mom saying she loves you and cares about you. If you had an uncaring mom like me, maybe you would appreciate your mom.”

I don’t know if Cousin Eason internalized what I said, but I am sure his mom appreciated it as she hugged me when we got out of the car. Years later, Aunt Zelda passed away. I wonder if Cousin Eason misses her pesky phone calls or remembers that conversation he had in the car with his mom. I can only hope he learned something. I certainly did.

I wish I had a mom who called me daily to check on me because I never had such a mom. We often want what we don’t have. And for what we do have, we don’t appreciate it or take it for granted. I learned that I must treasure what I do have. I could also help others see what they have and not take them for granted. I hope Cousin Eason realized those phone calls were not pesky but loving ones before Aunt Zelda died.

Key Takeaways: Though we make many exits, and some end up being good or bad, whichever one it is, we learn and grow. 

Though one mom called every day and was annoying, would you want a mom who hardly called?

Next week, you will hear about two real-life stories called No Compassion and Penny-Pinching Fun. If you enjoyed this episode of Eye-Opening Moments, please share it with others, support the show by clicking on the link in the description, or go to www.inspiremereads.com and leave a message. Thank you for listening!

Introduction
Exits Taken
She Calls Every Day
Key Takeaways