When I was a kid, one of my cousins said she wanted to be a journalist. It sounded so appealing. So fancy. I wanted to be a journalist too. Then I wanted to be a doctor, an actress, a singer, an F1 racer, an astronaut, a movie producer, an advertising creative head.. A full circle that ended in “I want to be a Journalist.” It was my first dream as a kid. It is my dream as an adult. I also want to write a book but that’s more a desire than an ambition.
Many of you would know, writers don’t get paid much. I knew that at some point I was going to have to give up my ideas of living like the Kardashians (You can call them my guilty pleasure) . No private jets, no Bora Bora vacations and definitely no million dollar wedding. My luck was that I always told myself, If you’re content, consider it enough because, sometimes, even billionaires don’t get there. So it was not THAT difficult for me to accept it and I always thought that was enough.
Turns out, I was wrong. You accepting your life choices is the easy part. Getting everyone else to where you are, now that’s a challenge. I remember reading somewhere : When I picked up my kid, I realized my father would have felt the same way I feel now and it makes me wish I had been a better child to him.
I didn’t have to pick up a kid to know that my father had big dreams for me. I was the smart one. I would go places. The world would look at me and say “Your parents must be so proud” and my father would stand beside me nodding his head yes. Instead, I defied him every chance I got. I chose an industry he didn’t particularly approve of. I chose a lifestyle he didn’t enjoy. I now chose a dream he knows would never get me to where he hoped I would be. I became someone he didn’t understand and in all things short, I will openly say : That dream that he had when he first picked me up at the hospital and looked at my face – I crashed it. Hard. And someday, I might regret this. But today, I choose to be that rebellious kid that says “But Dad, I’m happy !”
I came across this picture recently.. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m someone who believes one must always do what they love, not what they’re forced into. So it’s not a surprise that I automatically took to this picture.
I’m doing what I love and what I believe I’m good at. Yes, I’m terribly broke but when I get up every morning, the only thing I don’t want to do that day is take a time consuming shower. I’m always so excited to go to my internship because going there means writing and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I realize that the #WIN is something that I might not get to. It is a space that only a few people actually make it to and maybe I will, but the chances are slim and I can accept that. But how do you convince the people who have raised you and loved you and dreamt big things for you that you’re going to be a normal working class person and you don’t mind and neither should they ?!
With great expectation comes great disappointment. It really is true isn’t it? I wish it could be different. As a kid, I enjoyed studying. As a teenager I hated school with every cell in my body. As a university student, I loved it again. And now, I just want to move forward. I want to find a job that allows me to do what I love. All through my years as a student, I never succumbed to expectations. Until now..
I want to say something to you.. Something that I am now repeating to myself, every single day of my life. People will always have their expectations. There are the ones who expect you to be better at what you do and there are the ones who expect you to be doing something better than what you do. Mute those voices. Some call them motivating but I think if those voices didn’t exist, you’d be more happy doing things your way. They always pressurize you with their great expectations of who you should be. And I believe in taking a stand for who you are. Who you are might change the world, might cure cancer and might even make penguins fly. But you won’t get there if you let others manipulate the way you think, constantly. Sure, you might still get to your destination with those voices. But the journey without them might have been a more peaceful one and it’s always the journey that defines how you feel about the destination.
Every time I send a resume somewhere, I remember my father’s face. I realize how he deserves much more than this. He deserves to be by my side as the world looks to me the way he wanted it to. I think of what the future might hold. The expectations the people in my life will have. The example I set for my siblings. How I wish I could mute them and do what I love like I always did..
As I write this, I can still hear people telling me this isn’t enough. This isn’t success. But I’m going to try and not care about it. Because this.. this makes me content. And that’s more success than I could ever ask for..
11 thoughts on “Great Expectations”
Absolutely! You only get one life and death or illness can snatch your choices away at any moment. (I learned this the hard way.) So do what makes YOU happy and keep muting the voices of naysayers, even if you love them. They have their lives, now go live yours. 🙂
True.. and that is exactly what I’m trying to do.. It’s a little difficult when you realize how much they’ve given up for you and you almost think “maybe I should do something for them now..” But I have to stop myself and find alternatives to keep them happy. I’m working on it 🙂
I know it’s incredibly when you think about how much they love you and much they must have sacrificed to give you a good life.
But I worry about young people such as yourself… See, I come from a large, poor, working class family. I’m the youngest and the only girl. Despite my parents best efforts, misogny runs deep in our family. My mother was disabled all her life and from the time I was about 6 I helped my Dad caregiving for here right up until she died in ’09, then for nearly 4 years had my dad living with us.
I don’t regret the caregiving, even though I’ve been ill most of my life too. My husband and I helped them and they helped us.
The problem I ran into was that they made some very bad choices where the eldest was concerned and did not kick his junkie ass to the. They continually enabled him, putting my parents in constant physical and and financial danger, right up ’til the day she died. Guess who always went to their rescue, physically and financially? Thanks to their bad choices and ours for always bailing them out, all our resources, just as with my health, are nowcompletely gone!
See for years, I kept telling myself my day would come. Well, it did and now I’m too broke and too sick to enjoy life, nevermind follow my dreams.
So yes, I’m strongly reccomend going for your dream. Health and life can be snatched away in an instant!
Thank you for choosing to share your story with me..
I’m so terribly sorry for your loss and whatever illness you have, I really really hope you fight through it and get to do the things you want to do.
I am definitely not giving up on what I want.. I’ve always been a dream chaser. I just never felt quite so bad about it, that’s all. But I have no intention of quitting. Thank you so so so so very much for the encouraging words.. They really meant a lot to me 🙂
Oops, my intended-to-be-short-reply didn’t go according to plan. At least now you can fully understand my choice of a Username! 😉
(Seriously, hope you don’t mind… )
You’re most welcome!
Please don’t feel bad for me. I shared because I wanted to be one more voice in your corner cheering you on. Whenever you are feeling pressured and low, remember that I one of what I’m quite sure is a very large number of folks wanting to lift you back up and get back to chasing your dreams.
I know, probably better than a lot of people, how powerful guilt can be when it comes to derailing your plans. I’m only now, ever so slowly, that one should never let guilt play a role in decisions. Any decision.
Empathy, compassion and wanting to please, and look after, your loved ones, are wonderful traits I hope you never lose. I just want you and other young people to know it’s okay to set boundaries and stick to them. Sure, help others when you can, that’s one of the most loving things you can do in life. But always, always keep you eyes on the prize…your goals and dreams.
A lot of what I went through was out of my control, but looking back now, there are steps I could’ve taken to minimize the permanent fall-out I’m stuck with now. But hindsight’s always 20/20 right?! 😉
Sounds like you’re quite a bit quicker on the ball than I was when it comes to not putting your future on a shelf. Please stay that way!
Oh, and to answer your almost asked question…my chief health issue is Multiple Sclerosis (MS). An incurable, often disabling, progressive auto-immune disease. Basically, my immune system run in overdrive and attacks my body from the inside out. It is NOT, however, fatal.
If you’re interested – and let me be *very clear* – there is *zero* pressure intended – then feel free to check out a post of mine from March 21, 2014, called “Other Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Resources.” I can’t give you a direct link to it as I’m on my cell and it won’t let me. But below is a link to the category I have it filed under, just scroll down until you find it.
The post also contains links to several links to MS resources.
Hope you have a great week! 🙂
Haha, I don’t mind at all..
Seriously though, thank you 🙂 When I wrote this post I really just needed to get it out and I didn’t expect such kind words from so many people.. If anything, I expected someone out there to tell me to stop complaining..
So, thank you very much 🙂 I will definitely try and keep my head focused on whatever plan I make for my future and not get swayed by guilt..
I will check out the post right now 🙂
Thanks again 🙂 You have a good week 🙂
🙂 You too.
You are the only one who has to live your life, so live it the way you want. 😉
Thank you for the kind words 🙂
This is probably the most relatable post I’ve ever read! The diagram is very accurate. Finding something you enjoy, that pays enough (let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to live a luxurious lifestyle?) is hard. Medical school had always been my chosen path because it was safe, but I made the decision to alter my path and follow my passion for writing and film. I always say, it’s better to live a life of oh wells than what ifs. It’s always a hard decision to make, it’s nice to know that other people can relate to the career crisis haha. Great post and best of luck on everything!
Hey, thank you 🙂 Yeah, I would never want to put myself in a “what if” situation..
Thanks again and good luck to you too 🙂