Growing up in a society that put immense pressure on choosing a ‘stable’ and ‘definite’ career wasn’t easy. Like everyone else my age, I was constantly riddled with the anxiety of not making the right decision at the right time. But having supportive parents who encouraged my creativity was a silver lining in an otherwise gray sky.
Choosing a career is a daunting task in itself, but having to choose from a limited number of careers, especially when you’re not particularly interested in any of them, can be especially terrifying. I was under the impression that if I didn’t choose a career that got me money and stability I’d be screwed.
Here’s where my parents came in. They were like knights in shining armor. They shielded me from the evils of a world that was telling me not to follow my dreams. My parents emboldened me. They gave me the confidence to follow my creativity.
My parents are brilliant people. They are understanding, open-minded, loving, and cute AF. It might sound unbelievable but despite being from a middle-class Indian family, I was never once pressured into doing something I didn’t want to do.
It started from the basics, like hobbies and classes as kids. If I said I didn’t want to swim or go horseback riding, I didn’t have to. If I said I only wanted to do dance class and not an art class, I only did the dance class.
I chose humanities in 11th grade despite having a ‘scientific’ mind, as my school put it. I was offered science but I chose humanities. And this baffled everyone except for my parents. They just wanted me to follow my heart.
I recognize this comes from a place of privilege. Not everybody has the freedom to do what they want and the kind of family that supports them. I’m grateful to have parents who provided me with a holistic atmosphere that allowed me to grow to my full potential, explore my creativity, and become the best possible version of myself.
Since my parents never coerced me into doing something I didn’t want to do, despite society’s insistence, I examined my options thoroughly and after changing my mind a million times, I finally knew what I wanted to do.
I decided to follow my passion. I wanted to become a writer, professionally. I’ve opted for creativity in a world hell-bent on choosing the ‘safe’ option. My parents have fully supported this decision. They have given me the freedom to venture into a field where job certainty and financial stability are as bad as it gets. My creativity might not make me rich, but they know it’ll make me happy and that’s all they care about.
At a time when my friends were plagued with doubts about making the smart career choice, my parents never once tried to squeeze my dreams or sell me short. My friends were preparing for law, medicine, and other ‘professional’ courses and I was sitting at home, blogging my way to glory because never once did I feel the strain of choosing a ‘conventional’ career.
I know very well that choosing to be a writer or a creative could mean that I’m risking not just money, but also, success. Because, let’s face it, being good at what you do creatively and working hard doesn’t guarantee you success. Creativity is a lot of things, and as a field, it is highly ambiguous because nothing can absolutely guarantee success.
As a lawyer, you work really hard as an associate and you’ll become a partner at the firm eventually. As an academic, you work really hard, you’ll earn that doctorate and become a professor. But as a writer, you just don’t know. Talent, nepotism, luck, and discipline, all play a crucial role in determining your success in this field. And even then, it isn’t certain.
Nevertheless, my parents pushed me towards my so-called ‘unrealistic’ dreams. For them, it was simple: “If it makes you happy, you won’t care if you’re successful in the eyes of the world. You just will be.”
I still get anxious thinking about my decision and consider if it’s too late for me to do an MBA or something that won’t be so scary. But then I realize just how miserable I’d be working a 9-5 desk job, hating life. Do I want that all because it’ll get me a fixed salary at the end of the month? Or do I want to live a fulfilling, creatively stimulated life that makes me grateful for waking up every single day? Definitely the latter.
And knowing that my parents support me, are there for me, and will help me whenever I need them to, is a huge bonus.
Having parents that help you grow and make mistakes is the biggest blessing anyone can have. Your family is where your socialization starts. If they aren’t holistic and nurturing then it risks a lifetime of insecurity, self-doubt, and trust issues. It also means that you’ll never be fully confident about what you want and who you are.
I’ve been so lucky to have had parents who validated me when I needed them to, knew when to punish me, and pushed me towards my dreams all along. They made sure I didn’t make silly errors along the way but they let me make mistakes and learn from them too. They let me pick myself up and taught me to stand on my own two feet.
My parents have aided my creativity, encouraged my passions, and motivated me to be the best version of myself that I could be. They’ve taught me to be courageous and kind – creatively and otherwise. I’m eternally grateful for my parents because they are the reason I am creative today and the reason why I love my life and live it with so much fervor and enthusiasm.