'I love my parents to bits and pieces, but I always knew that I had to move to New York to live a bigger life,' says the woman.
Being a second-generation immigrant comes with a perpetually nagging feeling of guilt for some. On one hand, the person gets the privilege of enjoying a bigger and better life but on the other, they also see what their parents go through to afford that life for them. A TikTok user named Sandy Sattar, a 22-year-old Pakistani American woman, spoke in a video about the guilt she feels whenever she meets her immigrant parents.
She is originally from San Francisco but now lives in New York City. Sattar says in the video: “I feel so guilty when I go home and visit my immigrant parents. I love my parents to bits and pieces, but I always knew that I had to move to New York to live a bigger life, and it breaks my heart to visit home and see my parents stuck in the same loops and the same cycle of emotions and struggles on a daily basis.”
She goes on to say that the "world is too big and life is too short" to be stuck in the same arguments. “Like it must be exhausting. And that’s a privileged perspective that requires going out and living a life of your own and adventuring the world," Sattar concludes. "And I feel so guilty because they didn’t get to do that. Because their life is their kids."
The video is captioned, "Does the immigrant child guilt ever go away real question." It has about 251k views on social media. Many immigrant second-generation children could completely resonate with what Sattar shared. @freenster commented, "1000% this. Or when I spend money on myself for vacations or things that they never did/could or would do." @lilhiavert wrote, "I feel this too, it breaks my heart seeing them never take a break and live the same cycle. I hope to get wealthy to change that for them."
@bagelwithacaper shared, "Exactly how I feel and that no matter what we will always be their center, I feel so guilty even enjoying my life because I think of my parents’ boring [lives]." @eshtalks expressed, "Girl, I feel the same and I’m constantly blaming myself and feeling like I am not giving back to them." @fizzinus said, "Couldn’t agree more!!! I feel the same way and the hard part is parents won't move here because that land is their home."
Immigrant children, however, sure know how to show gratitude to their parents who have sacrificed so much. After her graduation ceremony, Debbie Ly dressed her parents in her graduation cap, gown and stash. She tells her parents in the video posted on Instagram, "I wanted to thank you for putting me through school and this is for you." She makes her father wear her stash and her mom the gown. "I know you put me through school and it was really hard thank you for all the sacrifices you made."
View this post on Instagram
The video is captioned, "My mom and dad are both immigrants who fled their homes for a better future. They’ve worked their entire lives and didn’t get the opportunity to attend college. They sacrificed everything to give me a life they never had. I chose to wear this traditional áo dài in commemoration of my parent’s hard work and perseverance. As a first-generation college student, I'm proud to say I've made their dreams a reality."