Parents and guardians are lovely people because they provide for us and take care of us while we grow up. I grew up with both my mom and dad, who had the highest expectations for both me and my brother. I always heard the words “doctor”, “lawyer”, “engineer”, etc. Even from a young age, I knew that it was not something that I wanted to do because all those careers are very closed-minded compared to my personality. I would not be able to be in a career where I am not free to have fun and be myself. I am not saying that the careers my dad wanted me to have are boring, but they are very serious jobs that limit my personality.
My friends growing up always joked with me and said that I am “so asian” and so are my parents. I always laughed along, but I was scared that people were putting me into a box labeled “stereotypical Asian”. In my GWST 345 class, we are currently reading a book called Trumpet that talks about a successful jazz player father with a rebellious son. His father wanted his son to find one thing to be passionate about to focus his attention on. Although his father wanted the best for him, he did not realize how much pressure would be put on his son.
My dad was a computer science major and incredibly intelligent. He projected his success onto me and my brother and always pressured us to be the best. I think that it is good for parents to challenge their kids to be the best in the class. The thing about my dad is that if we did not have straight A’s, we were not allowed to watch tv, use the computer, or talk on the phone. My brother got lucky and he is literally a genius. He excels at every single class he takes, no matter the subject. I was good at school, but I was not as good as my brother.
It was hard to live up to the high expectations of my father, but it was even more difficult because my brother was the “perfect student”. I understood that my father wanted the best for me, but I did not like being pushed to the point where I was terrified to get a B in my classes. It was not until high school that my parents started to loosen up on grades, but that was mostly because my dad traveled back and forth between Maryland and Taiwan so he was not around as much.
Now that I am a young adult, I finally have the courage to stand up for myself and make my own decisions. Although I am not sure what I want to do with my life yet, I know that I will choose my own path and do what makes me happy because personal happiness is most important.