March 8, 2018

(Just a note: This blog is EXTREMELY personal and I just want everyone to know that it was TOO DIFFICULT to write this post. So I apologize for the delay.)

This comes from my own perspective as I was growing up:

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” a teacher asks my 6-year old self.

“I want to be famous,” my naive, little 6 year-old self says.

“You can be anything you want to be.”

Those are the words I barely remember as a child. I’m now an adult trying to figure out what the hell I want to do with my life.

A few months ago, I was sitting back, relaxing as I watch TV with my family when all of a sudden, my mom asks, “Soo A, you’re XX years old now. You should really think about changing your career.”

Now this, I’m not too surprised. My parents have always kept telling me to graduate from college, get a “real” job and financially support them as they’re getting older.

Not only that, my dad agrees with her and says I should start looking into becoming a car salesman, making six-figure salaries a year.

I should clarify that I’m Asian so knowing where they’re coming from, it’s quite understandable since they came to America to live the American Dream. But what frustrates me the MOST, is not the fact that they tried persuading me to change careers, it’s the fact that they don’t SUPPORT MY DREAMS. 

Even communicating with them is SOOOO hard. It’s like, for them, the words go in one ear and come out the other.

For example, I told my parents,

“I want to become an entrepreneur.”

“NO! Too risky. You’ll lose a lot of money.”

or

“I want to become a K-Pop star.”

“No! It’s too hard to become an idol. Just give up your dreams.”

or

“I just got accepted a job in China.”

“No! China is a horrible country and you’ll end up dead poor.”

or

“I want to be a guide.”

“Pay is too low. Find another job.”

And just recently, I told my parents I started my own blog. It was a very difficult and painful confession, but they seemed to support it until they started asking, “Are you making money from this? How many people read your blog?” 

I honestly cannot tell you how difficult it was for me to respond.

But when they look to my brother, they support him ALL THE WAY  even if he is flying to Washington D.C. for an unpaid internship. Honestly, I’m really proud of my brother since he can financially support himself throughout his college semesters, but I wish my parents would feel the same way towards me.

It’s been such a stressful week for me, sometimes I think about it everytime my parents constantly talk me into giving up my dreams of travelling or finding a job pertaining to my degree which is Recreation and Tourism Management.

For those growing up in an Asian household, you’ll understand that it’s not easy growing up. It’s easy for parents to dissuade you whether you’re artistic, curious, adventurous or a risk-taker.

When I watched the video from Asian Boss, I could totally relate to how most Asians aren’t as curious or able to take foot in trying something that they’re truly passionate about. It’s like we don’t really have a voice of reason rather we want to take the “safe” route, living what parents call a “normal” life: marriage, kids, and stable jobs & income. 

Another article that really fueled my desire to write this as a means for voicing myself out there is from an author, Mabel Kwong. Her blog really captivated me to writing this post as she explains her parents want her to make stable income and support them financially as opposed to following her dreams (which she is doing right now 😊).

I guess my point is this: It’s up to you whether or not it’s really worth taking a risk to pursue you’re dreams.

I still dream though. I dream that one day my parents can come to terms and accept who I am. Maybe to them, I can’t be a salesman, or a nurse, or a teacher, or even a lawyer. Maybe one day, I can figure out my career path and continue blogging so I can keep in touch with my readers. Maybe one day, I’ll realize that everyone who’s going through the same shit right now HAS a talent and they just need to craft it in order to get better whatever it may be: writing, drawing, cooking, sports, numbers, building things, etc.

And honestly, I can speak for all of the people who are probably going through the same shit that I’m going through.

And for those who are considering giving up your dreams, DON’T GIVE UP!

This is often said in redundancy, but

“Follow your dreams.”

It’s your life, your passion, and you can live the way you want.

If life knocks you down, then get back up. If you’re parents don’t approve, then it’s okay to be stressed out. Find the right time to talk to them more in detail about why they should support you. If they don’t approve, then it’s okay. Just be bold and take actions. We’re adults now and if they can’t seem to grasp anything, then it’s better safe to take off and be free. Eventually, they’ll understand once you realize how much farther you’ve accomplished your goals in life.

To end this post, I felt inspired by some of these quotes. It sort of brought a sense of light and I hope it helps those who doubt themselves or those going through tough times:

“You’re dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.”

-Kathy Witten-

“Build your own dreams or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”

-Farrah Gray-

“Dream: I will be there for your creation until the end of your life. Dream: Wherever you might be it will be lenient. Dream: You will fully bloom after all the hardships. Dream: You beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.”

-BTS Suga-

6 Comments

6 Replies to “Faced with a Dilemma: Parents vs. Your Dreams”

  1. Don’t forget, an internship is for the intern to acquire more skills and knowledge for the future. It’s like a college class but you are actually learning things kinesthetically. Internship should not be looked on as a job. It’s more of an avenue towards a future job or career.

  2. This is was such an interesting read. Thank you for the shout out and I really like the happy face you put there. Pursuing writing alongside a day job is hard, harder than what many people think. There are nights when I do not want to write because I am so tired or just want to be like any other person and just chill lol. But writing lifts me in so many ways and it is something that makes me a lot more positive, so I do it 😊

    Your conversations between your parents and you sound repetitive, humourous and must be frustrating. You bring up a great point: persuading someone to change their mind and supporting them are two different things. It is possible to do both – supporting what someone does often means to not tell them ‘no’ to thing they want to do. Dreams and desires change over time whether we like it or not. But at the end of the day hard work and self-belief often go a long way 🙂

    1. Yes! That’s what ignited my passion to write this! Thank you so much Mabel. You’ve been an inspiration for me to write this 🙂

  3. It’s crazy to me that you care so much what your parents think. I get it if you rely on them to support you through your adult years but I see this as the major difference in the asian household and the white household: you owe your parents something for raising you.
    I guess it’s not so much a race thing, but culturally defined, so really that’s the Privileged American perspective. If parents throw their adolescent child out on the streets in America they would probably be arrested but in lots of other countries it’s an everyday norm, which puts the adolescent and the whole society in an expectant mind-set- children are expected to have a comfortable lifestyle or their children might be taken from them by the DHS.
    Many young adults in America feel little pressure to care for their parents physically or financially and those that do feel responsibility are coming from a place of love and appreciation for their parents, often due to a very strong bond with them.
    But perhaps your situation is exactly what has created your dream. Every dream has a great hurdle to surpass-if not many- and for you this is your parents’ idea that your dream cannot support them financially. These hurdles are just the thing that make accomplishing the dream so miraculous that is unattainable in concept. But if you’re going to do it go big or go home. You could be extremely successful and make enough money to support them, but that’s not a good enough reason to do it; proving them wrong might be.
    I believe in you, Soo!

    1. Hey Kaylyn,

      Yeah this is definitely a cultural thing. As Asians, we grow up respecting our elders and if we disrespect them in any way, it’s a stigma. I get that they need financial support, I think every parent wants that. And they want what’s best for their child. But to me, it seems like they’re the ones in control of my life. And this is such a huge contribution to why I was self-doubting my dreams in the first place. Them not believing that I will be a successful blogger and whatnot. And you’re right. I just have to prove them wrong by fighting as hard as I can and go big! Thank you 🙂

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