Love, Life Stories

I had to fight my parents to choose my future – it cost me almost everything

Apparently, I was expecting too much.

Ever wonder what it’s like to live with a constantly negative family?


Living with their doubts, hesitation, and worry was a constant drain.

That’s how my parents were raised. And they were raising us, their children, the same way. But unlike all my siblings, I resisted.

Since I was a kid, I had a desire to achieve a lot of things. The determination in me was already strong although I hadn’t found any particular passion yet. One day, my parents brought home a beautiful oil painting, and suddenly something sparked in me. I knew I’d finally found my passion – the arts.

I told my parents about my dreams of becoming a successful artist. But their answer was disappointing.

“Honey, drawing isn’t a good job. You cannot be successful by drawing.”

Those were my mother’s exact words. Being a little, naive girl, I believed her. My parents suggested more promising careers such as a doctor, businesswoman or lawyer. Even though none of these were appealing to me, I still tried to give up that dream of being an artist.

But the passion in me was difficult to resist.

As I grew up, I started to wonder if it was possible for me to make a career out of art. But being raised by parents who never believed in unlimited possibilities had planted uncertainties in my mind. My urge to follow my heart was strong, but my hesitation was just as powerful as my desire. There was a constant battle between passion and doubts in my head.

When I was 13, I won first prize in an art competition. I felt my talent had proved to be outstanding, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. Ecstatic with my achievement, I shared it with my family. The least I expected was for them to say “good job.”

Apparently, I was expecting too much.

They said nothing. My sister said it was only art, which was nothing to be proud of. Unless I proved my intellect by debates or science competitions they wouldn’t be pleased.

That’s when I realized that my family was so negative that they failed to see the good in anything. They loved to talk about how bad things were, but when something positive happened, they’d either put a negative spin on it or say nothing. Nothing good ever came from them.

My relationship with my family turned cold. They couldn’t agree with me about anything. Whenever I saw possibilities, all they could see were problems.

As the end of high school grew closer, I wanted to decide my future, but my parents wanted to do it for me. To them, an art major was a good-for-nothing. They wanted me to follow my sister’s steps by choosing ‘promising’ major in college.

They were pressuring me to the point where I couldn’t deal with them anymore.

I’d made my final decision even though I knew they wouldn’t like it.

I chose arts and decided to pick a university far away from home. As expected, none of them liked my decision but I couldn’t let their negativity dictate my life anymore.

We are different in almost every way but in the end, they are still my family. I can’t cut them off my life no matter how negative they are. I can’t change them and their negativity, but I can choose to live my life in a completely different way.

And maybe one day, my positivity and determination will show them that not everything is as bleak as they think.