I want to be a painter.
I wanted to be a race car driver.
I wanted to be a fashion designer.
The list of what I thought my potential was, was endless.. Being young and a dreamer I thought I could do it all just like the kids on Barney and all other juvenile programs at that time.
The most recent discussion in my life has been my Passion vs My Parents
Doing something I am passionate about that brings me joy vs. playing it safe to appease my parents desires.
Growing up in a
Caribbean household education was STRESSED. My parents ensured from a young age that my sister and I had a excellent educational foundation . From private school for pre school to middle school to reminding us of the importance of applying for college/ university, it was a non negotiable topic. I knew my responsibilities, I knew the expectations my parents had for me and I knew all that I had to do to make them happy.
Walt Disney teaches us to follow our heart and if we wish upon a star all our dreams will come true, but that is far from the truth. The sad reality is that even when we want to do our own thing the opinions of our family and friends way heavily on us and can sway us from following our dreams.
Initially when I was applying to university my hopes were to be a social worker and I was then “passionate” about it. In my mind that was the job for me, the job that I would excel at and change lives. Because of friends and my mixed emotions I didn’t follow my dreams and let something I really wanted to do pass me by. Juvenile of me but I was young and evidently confused.
My parents liked my educational choice, they were happy that their baby was going to University to make something of herself, a conversation starter for holiday dinners and outings amongst their friends. A plaque to add to the wall. A memorabilia.
There is just one issue with that…
TOO MANY MILLENNIALS ARE IGNORING THEIR DREAMS TO SHOW FACE/ MAKE OTHERS HAPPY
This never hit so close to home before than it has now. At 27 I find myself in this phase of passion vs parents.
Doing what I love and want VS. doing what will make my parents happy and stress free. I think I’ve done all they have asked me too, I consider myself to be a good child, having done all the requirements and expectations they have set out for me ( minus my occasional feisty nature) I think I’ve made them proud.. to an extent. Jobs I never wanted to do, I’ve done all in the name of independence and doing the “right thing”.
What if doing the right “thing” makes ME miserable?
What if striving to impress my parents makes them happy but leaves me confused?
What if being that educated, employed, entrepreneur child causes me to lose myself?
We often live to please others ignoring the calling on own lives. Sometimes it is due to fear of failure and other times it’s because we want to make others happy and do what they want us to do. One of the worst feelings humans can feel is regret, regret from not doing something that we had our heart set on or dreamed about.
There’s a big difference between a dreamer and a doer.
Dreamer: Someone who has an extensive imagination and often expresses their hopes and “dreams” on an ongoing basis verbally but never actually acts upon their thoughts.
Doer: Someone who has an extensive imagination and often expresses their hopes and “dreams” on an ongoing basis verbally YET actively takes steps to pursue their hearts desires.
I found myself becoming a dreamer more and more as the years passed. The goals I set for myself by a certain age I pushed off and the tangible accomplishments I knew I could have reached I left to the side. I just wanted to do the right thing, or at least what I assumed was the right thing for my life and my future.
Have you ever gone into work and immediately felt the biggest weight on your shoulder? Thats was literally the story of my existence. The pay was good, the people I worked with amusing YET I found myself wondering If all that I was doing was because I wanted to do it OR if it was to get my parents off my back.
I stayed in a job of discomfort for a year, waking up early to go to work, coming home after rush hour to be miserable, sad and incomplete. My dad got me the job and I didnt want to make him look bad, so I stayed. I put my pride aside and pretended to be happy all for his name sake.
2016 I became a Doer, I quit my job that allotted me the opportunities to travel, buy nice clothes and shoes and have a bit of freedom, to follow my heart and go back to school for PR.
My parents weren’t 100 % for it, they made it their mission to remind me that ANY other Educational journey that I decide to take other than my BA that they paid for was going to be at my OWN expense. Going back to school was top 10 one of the BEST decisions I’ve made and even though I had to pay for it I don’t regret it at all.
That movement sparked my desire to be a continual Doer, to be intentional about going after what I wanted and not letting others decisions sway my future.
The issue arises on the subject of
passion vs practicality. Because we are passionate about doing something doesn’t necessarily mean that it is something practical, and at times I do believe that the guidance that our parents give us concerning certain life decisions can be the better of the two. There have been days when I’ve wanted to do the most spontaneous things led by my passion for art and fashion and have had my mother or father QUICKLY remind me of the realities of this world and realities of my bills.
I’ve consciously told myself Im about to dive into that DM, make that life changing phone call, take that LEAP of faith and follow my heart from here on. I want to be able to look back on my life 20 years from now and say honestly I’ve done all that I could do to make my life the best life possible. I refuse to live with regrets and linger in the land of “what if’s”.
From now on I’m following my passion.
My Question to you:
At this point in your life are you passion or parent led?