Today is my brother’s birthday. He’s here home with us enjoying a homemade meal. The mood is great, it’s fun, it’s awesome. It’s been a while since most of the family has been together. Just after lunch, we broke out into a discussion on foreign policy. My brother disagreed with the sentiment I carried. My parents agreed with him. I put out the facts to prove my point. “No, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re wrong,” my brother said. I asked him to Google it as I stepped away from the table to wash my hands. As the water poured into my hands and the soap suds began to slip away, I heard her. “He’s not educated like you and us. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. After all, he makes his money telling bullshit,” my mom said. Snickers reverberated Nice My First Home Was Awesome Thanks Dad Happy Father’s Day Shirt amongst the table – my parents both, my brother, his partner.
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She assumed I hadn’t heard. But, I did. I stood steel-like, letting the cold water run against my hands. I looked at myself in the mirror. When I feel pain, I’ve always felt it just below my gut. A strong pang of sensation. I felt it there just then. I stood for several more moments, unbelieving that I heard what I did. I couldn’t believe that all these years later, my mom still hasn’t accepted me for what I am and what I do. To her, I will always be the one that didn’t become a doctor. To her, I will always be the one that didn’t follow her instructions. And, that question I would get, “And what will your salary be?” That wasn’t real. Today, I make more money than any of my siblings. But, in the eyes of my parents, I deviated too widely. I don’t hold the degrees they do. I don’t hold the Nice My First Home Was Awesome Thanks Dad Happy Father’s Day Shirt respect they do. I peddle “bullshit”.
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After I closed the water tap, I excused myself from the dining table and made my way upstairs to my childhood bedroom. I sat at the edge of my bed and began to recount my journey. I’m where I’m at today because I made a choice years ago. I made the choice to follow my passion and pursue a career that we’re not taught to realize is possible. But, how could we be taught to think that this is okay? Our parents are immigrants and had the hard life of creating the foundation for their lives and their children’s lives. They’ve been told to secure themselves so that Nice My First Home Was Awesome Thanks Dad Happy Father’s Day Shirt they can weather the storm of financial crises and natural disasters. They’ve been told that that is the only way.