By Kaylin Pak
There comes a time in a person’s life when he or she is torn between heeding the wishes of their family and pursuing the career path they want. For a long time, this conflict prevented me from taking pride in who I am and what I have artistically accomplished. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that as much anymore.
As a child, my dad often drilled the notion that “artists starve” and lectured me about pursuing a high-paying or high-demand job instead, which inevitably affected the way I envisioned a successful, fulfilling life. As such, even though I continued my passion in the arts, I was forced to take classes that I had little to no interest in, such as computer science.
While I do agree that mastery of those subjects is very important to the majority of today’s high-paying jobs, they just weren’t to me. I couldn’t see myself as a doctor or a software programmer in the future because I lack the passion for those jobs and the school subjects required to be successful in them.
I didn’t want to veer off from the career path I initially wanted, but the fear of disappointing my family and the fear of financial failure overshadowed my regard for what I wanted to do with my life.
Because of this, I found myself torn between seeking a job that would make me financially well-off at the cost of my happiness or finding a job that would guarantee happiness at the cost of my family’s criticism and disapproval.
It was during my sophomore year when my parents began to embrace the idea of art as a career. Ultimately--and I think this goes for most parents as well--what my parents really wanted was for me to do what made me happy and to enjoy living life.
I then realized that, even if I do “starve,” I’d still be doing something that makes me happy. Of course, it’s better to avoid that situation in the first place, but because I now personally view a successful life as one filled with happiness and the passion for the things you love, I’m willing to take that risk.
Just know that those around you might try to deter you from the path you want, but that’s only because they’re concerned about your future. What matters the most is that if you are really passionate about a certain subject or hobby, then you shouldn’t be afraid to embrace it.
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