On Influences & Gravitational Pull || A Reflective Post

Something I've been thinking about recently is the concept of what it really means when people say 'opposites attract'. Do they mean it at a superficial level, or do people instantly gravitate towards people unlike themselves? Is it even true, or does it only apply to certain types of people?
And, if it is true - do those people influence the person you become?
I've talked a lot about my internalised battles associated with whether I want to be settled and somewhere stable, or be rootless enough to be able to jet off in an instant. (Full Disclosure: I want both of those things.) I wonder why sometimes I'm so curious to learn about the world, and others - I literally just want to do enough to pass the course and shed that knowledge the second it's over. I feel like I am my own miniature version of contradictions, that it's impossible to even fathom the idea that I even have an 'opposite' or 'similar' person to gravitate towards.
But, in the last few years - the biggest opposite (and similar) version of me has been my mum. At first, I thought it was just a simple reality that our fundamental differences in values defines our relationship.
She sees everything from a purely functional point of view. Unless something is going to get her from Point A to Point B, it doesn't need to happen.
Why hasn't she travelled much? Why does she give me lectures about talking too much and filling silences with opportunities for conversation? I shut down on her for several years; we fought endlessly about a multitude of issues that I just shut up because fighting was the most tiring experience. I've made an active effort in the last year to tell her things, still censoring myself because I don't want to hear words of disapproval, but we're talking. We went to a Christmas party last night, organised by one of her friends - and I was out of my element. My Cantonese isn't that great and conducting an entire conversation with strangers isn't something I'm good at, even in English. So when there was an ABC at the table, I chatted to him. I chatted to him because I wanted to make the most of the night, not just free food, but because I wanted to hear about others. My mum ended up totally questioning my motivations that night, and I can't say I didn't see it coming.
But that's not really the point. Well, I'm not 100% sure what the point is tonight. Firstly, I wonder - despite, our fundamental differences in belief - how much impact she has on who I am today. As a parent, she obviously would've had a significant influence. And even when I think about it now, I can see characteristics which we definitely share. However, those similarities aren't enough for me to view her as someone similar to me. I fight against her, almost instinctively, sometimes. I shut her down when she talks about the future, or her views on dating (especially when it's in the context of dissing If You Are The One - which, while I would never select as a dating avenue - I'm certainly not gonna be the person judging the people who choose it, because I'm literally getting amusement from their dating successes and failures) - because I'm not capable of forming a cohesive argument to why I disagree with her so much. And, that disappoints me so much. When it comes to analysis of fictional media, I am more than happy to dive in. When it's a hypothetical existential question, I'll write blog posts dedicated to the topic - but the second it becomes personal, I can't separate myself long enough to listen. I want to thrive in conversation, but I would also like to bury my head in the sand. Which kinda brings me back to the whole question of opposites.
Do I disagree with her at heart, or do I fight against her simply because that's not who I wanna be and not what I wanna believe in? Sometimes, when I'm having a discussion with someone - I can't tell if I genuinely don't believe in something, or if I just don't want to admit that there's a flaw in my logic.
When it comes to people who influence you, it becomes an even more challenging question. The question of: are you fighting with the external person by proxy (fighting your internalised characteristics through external means)?
Is it easier to just stay around people who you see yourself in? Or is it better to actively look for opposites?
Most likely, the conclusion I'm thinking is that - the people we gravitate towards are the ones we aspire to be in some way. Whether it's temporary or permanent, there is an imprint of that impact. I've got 20 years of at least one major impact on me, coupled with a bunch of lesser ones surrounding it. But I guess that doesn't fully answer the questions I have yet to articulate...
Till next time?
Emily
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