Friday, September 20, 2013

MAY I HAVE YOUR PERMISSION PLEASE?

The other day, I was at an event and got talking to this boy who was a friend of a friend. He gave a pretty good first impression ; good looking, athletic, relatively intelligent and well spoken. Of course, it helped that he was reading a book by one of my favourite authors (I see you like Mitch Albom? * flutters *)

As we talked, it came out that he was a degree student about to graduate soon. 

" So, what are you going to do after? "
" My parents already have a career mapped out for me. "
" You don't say. Are you happy with what they have waiting for you? "
" No. I don't want to do it. In fact, I think it sucks. "
" Do you think you could enjoy it after the initial period? "
" Frankly, I don't think I could. "
" Then why are you going ahead with it? "
" Because they're my parents, and they say so. "

Pause.

" I see. But what do YOU want to do? "
" I don't know. "
" Well, it doesn't have to be career / study related! Haven't you ever thought of things like going scuba diving, doing volunteer work, or backpacking in another country? "
" Hmm... yes. You know, for all my 21 years I've never taken a pause from studying. I'd love to travel, work on my photography, and just take a break for maybe half a year. "
" Then why don't you? "
" Because my parents are expecting me to start right away. "

I eyed him incredulously.

" Tell them then! You can begin like this 'Mom, Dad. I love you both and I know you've done a lot for me. But what I truly want to right now is to explore and find out for myself who I really am and what I really want.' "
" I already have. They don't want to hear about it. "
" Then just go out by yourself and do it on your own! "
" I can't. "

" Because then I would need money to go out and do those things. "
" So.. you could get a job. "
" Nope."
" Why? "
" Because my parents won't let me. "

***

Now, look here. 

First of all, the part about career. In any job you start out with, ask :

1) Is this making you happy? 
     a. If yes, good! 
     b. If no, see 2) 

2) Alright, you're not happy with how things are now. If you suck it up and stick by it for long enough, will it get you somewhere you can be happy?
     a. If yes, great for you! Keep roughing it out and reminding yourself that this is a stepping stone to a better place.
     b. If no, what are you waiting for? Abandon ship, matey!

***

Second of all. This is YOUR life. You hear me? 

Of course, you could say you abided by all the rules. You kept your head down, took orders, did as you were told, toed the line.

However, at the end of the day YOU are responsible for how it turns out and no one else. If, at 70 years old you suddenly have an huge epiphany, bang your walking stick on the ground and shout "Damnit! This sucks! I didn't get to live the life I wanted! All because.. " 

My Parents wanted me to..
My Teacher instructed me to..
My Pastor advised me to..
My Wife said to..
My Boss told me to..



Blaming other people won't do any good. If you go around taking orders from other people or doing what others think you should do, you deserve every bit of what you receive.

You don't need anyone's permission to make your life worth living.


                        
                        
                        

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