By: Divya S
Do you want to get married? Do you want to marry someone of your choosing or do you want an arranged marriage? Do you know what your future will look like? Do you know what career you will have? Do you know how many kids you want? Do you know what school you want to go to? What type of car will you be driving? Why did you choose this major? These are questions are open-ended. These types of questions have been asked to everyone but ultimately despite careful and meticulous planning no one can know what the future will hold.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked these types of questions and all the different answers I have given. I have been asked these types of questions from my mother, my relatives, my teachers, my friends, my boss. These questions are invasive and can be intimidating to answer, especially if you don’t have an answer right away. But why should we have answer for all these questions. What makes these questions so intimidating? I’ll tell you, these questions are intimidating because its reality. We are supposed to know by a certain age what our future holds. We go through stages in life, baby, toddler, teen, adults, and then old age but through all these years we are still asked these questions.
When you were younger and people asked what you wanted to be you had these dreams of being a princess or prince, a doctor or lawyer, a police or firefighter. The point I am trying to get across is that these career paths were your dreams and you though this is what you would be in the future. At a certain age we all evaluate the steps we take to achieve these dreams. Most of these career paths are a lot of work such as a lot of years in school. Most do not want to go through 7-10 years of school and then start from the bottom to get to the top. Suddenly forced to justify how this will benefit you in life. These questions are being thrown at you from every direction where you don’t have the answer. I am 20 years old and I don’t have the answer for half of these questions. I know what career path I would like to go into but in reality things don’t always work out. I am always being pressured by all the elders in my family to make sure I take my education seriously and that the career path I go to makes a lot of money. Reality is you go through life thinking one thing and following this path but another path get thrown in and by following it you find success. Life can often feel like a series of surprise detours but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find exactly what you’re looking for.
The biggest question is, do you believe this is right path for you? Money, power and success should not be the answer to these questions. I have so many friends from south Asia and they are able to answer all these questions but I don’t think they have their hearts into it. Do you truly believe you will be a lawyer with a three story house, a Mercedes, four kids and a husband who is a Neurosurgeon? This is what they have been taught, your future must be successful to your parent’s standards. Not all South Asians thrive on these morals or follow but what they do want is for their children to be successful. Which goes towards any parent, your children are your world and you want to see them do great.
I grew up in a family that did not have the chance to have an education, they went straight into the work force. They did not have the luxury like us but that doesn’t mean you should take this luxury and tell us if we don’t take this we will not have a successful future. My parents want me to be successful but also to be happy with the future I create. In my opinion the definition of happiness is not monetary valuables, it’s how happy I make myself with my accomplishments and achieving my goals.