Most of us know how it feels to have the weight of parental expectations heaped upon us.
And so far as we know that feeling, we usually also know the I-don’t-want-to-disappoint-you-but-I’m-not-sure-this-is-for-me feeling too.
You don’t want to disappoint them, but you want to do what is right for you. It can be a hard line to walk.
The truth is, sometimes those expectations aren’t what we think they are. We might think that our parents expect us to do a certain degree, get a particular job, live the life they envisioned for us. But that isn’t necessarily right.
I’d even go as far as saying most of our parents just want us to be happy.
These expectations aren’t because they want you to do certain things in life, mostly they are because they want you to achieve happiness, so they impose their ideas on what it takes to be happy, on to you.
Most of our parents grew up in an era where happiness was defined by the ‘American Dream’ ideal. And maybe you don’t live in America (I am actually based in Australia), but for the Western world, this idea of the white picket fence, 2 kids and a nice car, was the driver (excuse the pun!) for previous generations.
But, things change.
We live in a time where there are countless options, opportunities and ideas.
There is no right or wrong ‘life path’ generally, only the right or wrong path for you.
For our parents, travelling overseas meant copious amounts of money and was mostly unattainable for the average family. They didn’t have the wanderlust of our generation, because they didn’t have the means. But now, living a life that incorporates travel is so much more attainable. You don’t have to be limited geographically anymore, and because of this, our dreams don’t have to be limited to ones of generations’ past.
So what we are saying is that you don’t have to make all of your decisions based on parental expectations. But don’t discount them entirely either. Chances are, one day you will want to settle down and have a family. So you have to balance your thirst for travel, with practical long-term plans.
But, in the meantime, don’t discount your parents’ opinions. For they are usually based on what they believe will bring you happiness in the future (even if you disagree). Take the best parts of what they think and incorporate those bits into your own plan and have the best of both worlds.
If they found a way to follow their dreams, you can surely find a way to follow yours.