Living your Life: Balancing Parents and your Dreams

As we grow older many of us face a hard decision, pursuing our dreams or living the ones our parents have for us.

This is a problem that I see in many families, especially as more and more adults (young-adults, but lets be honest if you are over the age of 18 you are an adult in my mind) realize the false dream of college is slowly fading away. So we try and create a life outside the norm and this is where the conflicts begin. 

So do you pursue your dreams or sacrifice them to make your parents happy? 

I believe there has to be a balance. You must understand that your parents have the right to be caring, concerned, doubtful, and emotional. They are your parents. They love you and fear for you. Their lack of understanding coupled with their parental instincts keeps them from being too liberal, instead they want to protect and shelter you. This is natural and should be seen as a sign of love. Instead of arguing back you must understand where their rationale is coming from. 

A lot of people get lost in trying to defend their ideas and start attacking the opinions of others. Your parents are people, they have opinions too, and you must respect them instead of attacking them, even if they seem to be attacking yours. You see, if you are going out to make your dreams come true you must not do so with a force of negativity, shouting, fighting, and violence. You must face the oppression, and return it with positivity. Conflict returned with more conflict is like throwing gasoline soaked logs into a fire, its only going to make it worse. Be calm, smile, and don’t take the hatred too seriously. Remember its only the opinion of someone else, only you can let it define you. 

This leads me to my second piece of advice. Be positive. 

What is the point of starting your dreams with a boatload of negativity, its just going to drown you. Understand that only you have the power to control your mood. Don’t let your parents negativity turn you into a negative person. Smile, knowing you are up against a challenge. Dreams don’t become reality by being easy. This is your chance to face a challenge and conquer it. So be happy, keep your head up, and take charge. Trust me, in the long run, this rocky phase of your life will seem like a painless pinch. 

My last piece of advice is to convince with action not words. 

The only way you can take all the insecurities your parents have about your dreams is to show them you succeeded. Talking about something in the hopes of convincing someone of what you are going to do will always be less effective than actually doing it. Once you start don’t stop. Keep going at it, remain positive, be patient and work hard to succeed. This is the ultimate way of showing your parents you are not being a hormone-raged-fool and are a hard working, responsible adult. 

Remember, you are stepping out from the shade of society by pursuing your dreams. You are on your way to an amazing life, one filled with happiness and success. Don’t get hung up on the small dips in life, they might seem monumental right now but looked back they will seem insignificant. The only thing standing in your way is what you make of your situation. So hug your parents, love them, and remember their dream in the end is the same as yours, to see you successful and happy, you just have a different way of getting there.

– Omar M

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