My mom wanted me to be a doctor.
My dad wanted me to go to law school.
I wanted to write.
We were a family who came from sweat and dirt. I still remember living in our small hut, playing outside in the mud with rows of coconut trees just behind our home. I was too young to notice that it wasn’t what you call a “conventional” lifestyle but my parents did. They really did. That is why they did everything to provide a better life for us.
They kept striving and climbing because we really had nowhere to go but up—we have always been living in the bottom.
Their hard work paid off and I owe everything to them. I was able to finish my studies, gain a reputable educational background, traveled to places, and gain experiences that others would only dream of. I promised that I would do everything for them; whatever I do will be for them.
However, I broke that promise when I followed a career path different from what they wanted for me.
Since I was a child ‘til early high school, I wanted to become a doctor because that’s what my parents dreamt of me becoming. I was the eldest and they were ready to see me grow into someone successful. Even most of our family members were full-on supporting me and my parents as I would be the “first doctor” in the family.
That “dream” was engraved in my mind for so long that I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
But then, I learned how to write. I joined writing contests and won. I wrote short stories, novels, and poems. I learned how to express my raw emotions through written words as opposed to my tongue tied tendencies when I try talking to people. I loved writing. I felt free when I write. I saw myself writing for years and not get tired.
That’s when I knew what I wanted to do.
But would others want that for me, too?
There was a time when I was in the car with my parents. I don’t exactly recall the whole conversation but I felt their disappointment and doubt when I said I still don’t know what I want to be and what to do, but I know I won’t be taking a medical degree. I just said that I want to write.
Write what? Write for whom? I didn’t know yet.
I cried in the car that day and locked myself in my room. I don’t know if it was because it’s the first time that I showed my frustration about them planning my career path, but my dad entered my room, hugged me, and said that they will support whatever path I take.
I know he meant what he said but I am not exactly sure if he said that because he needed to.
By the time I was choosing universities and what degree to take, being a doctor was the last thing in my mind.
I ended up taking a degree in communications. When I was almost about to graduate, my parents suggested I should go to law school after I’m done.
Just so you all know, I have social anxiety and my voice shakes whenever I speak in front of other people.
I know having a degree in communications clashes with everything that I am and I should have just taken journalism instead. However, I chose my major at a time when I still wanted to prove myself to my parents. I thought that having a communications degree will give me more opportunities that will not be only limited to writing.
I wish I just chose journalism instead.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I took that big step which challenged me to improve myself but it was also then that I realized I was studying so many things and subjects that I really have no interest in. I think I only had, like, 3 writing classes in my 4 years in university. But hey, that’s better than nothing, right?
With all that said, I know that taking up law will just make me miserable.
And so, the process started all over again. I was transported back to when I was in the car, feeling lost and pressured to meet expectations.
The scenario was the same but my feelings aren’t.
It’s different now because I have a goal.
I want to inspire and motivate people with my words—whatever form or topic it may be.
Hence, once I graduated from university, I collected and gained experiences. I interned in a magazine company, had my first job at a marketing company, and now working at a luxury specialist company—all as a content writer.
I am planning to dip my toes on freelance writing, and at the same time, I’m gonna make sure this blog will thrive. Check out the reasons why I started blogging.
My parents still give me those little hints and nudges that maybe I should try this and that, but I just smile and calmly shake my head.
I am not lost anymore. I am still pressured to meet their expectations, yes, but I know that I will meet them in the end. I might even exceed them.
I love writing and I believe in the impact of my words. I believe in my advocacy and I know that the future ahead of me will be bright—I just need to take a few more steps and I’m there.
I am ready to prove that the career path I chose is the career path perfect for me.
I am ready to break stereotypes and doubts that writing isn’t an ideal “career” or “you can only reach so far with writing”.
I am ready to succeed.
Most importantly, I am ready to say thank you and give back to my parents.
Because even if they already paved a path they wished for me, I know they just wanted to give me a future wherein I don’t have to face extreme difficulties like the ones they’ve been through.
That is why I am paving this path for myself and for my parents.
I am paving this path for those who were scared and didn’t get a chance to pave their own.
Lastly, I am paving this path big enough for people who want to join me throughout this journey.