Do What You Are

My parents do care. That is why I asked. They seem disappointed of my work in school, and never seem to appreciate what I can do outside of the margins of school. I know I won’t have time to do both. Either school or what I love.

Sarah Bowman

Sarah Bowman, tried my parents’ way; switched to my preference in midlife

Is it possible to earn a living and support yourself with “what you love”? If not, what plan have you presented to your parents for doing what you love and also supporting yourself as an adult, as well as the children and home you may one day have? Have you and your parents gone over this plan in detail to make sure it’s realistic and workable?

Your parents do not want to see their kid and grandkids destitute and on the street. That’s a pretty sure bet. They and/or their parents have probably worked pretty hard to give you the life you’ve got and it pains them to see all their efforts “go down the drain,” so to speak. Or maybe they do have unrealistic goals for you. Unrealistic goals for a child’s career choices, in my opinion, is when parents will not be happy unless the child fulfills their own dream career. It is my belief that a person should not throw away his or her life simply to please parents.

We all do better and are more successful if we work in something we enjoy, where our natural interests and talents lie. It is unfortunate that some parents do not accept this, that they think their child must be a lawyer or doctor or professor or [fill in the blank] to keep up the family honour or be prestigious or whatever. In such a case, I think it is wise for a child to find as diplomatic a way as possible to train for the career or work that best fits him or her, even if it is necessary to pay your own way. (Some parents refuse to pay for post-secondary education they disagree with.)

However, if your parents really do care as you say they do, I think they will listen when you present them with a plan to support yourself as I suggest at the opening of this post. They may help you improve it so that together you can come up with a workable plan. And keep in mind, if after a couple of decades you find yourself in a career that simply does not work, changes at midlife are possible. Many people, myself included, make major life changes in midlife. While it is preferable to get it right the first time around, that’s a pretty tall order, given we’re talking about thirty or forty or even fifty years of unknown FUTURE.

Wishing you the best. 🙂

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