How I Followed My Dreams Despite Different Career Expectations From My Parents

Her parents expected her to become a doctor or a chartered accountant, but she marched to her own drum and followed her dream to become a writer!

Her parents expected her to become a doctor or a chartered accountant, but she marched to her own drum and followed her dream to become a writer!

“She is going to be a doctor!”

My dad would exclaim whenever I played with a ‘toy doctor set’ as a kid. I could see the pride in his eyes every time I pretended to examine him with my dummy stethoscope. Being a bright kid right since my childhood, my parents’ expectations only increased each passing day.

All hell broke loose when I realised I was not fascinated by science and not interested in becoming a doctor. My parents accepted my decision but they were insistent about choosing a “respectable” professional course.

Having been brought up in a safe, secured and conservative family, my exposure with the outside world was limited. I was more like a frog in a well. That was one of the major reasons why my career went through a lot of twists and turns. I was unsure of what to do. And I didn’t know my strengths and weaknesses. All I knew was one thing- that I had to listen to my parents.

Drowning in expectations

When I started college and CA preparations, I felt like I was drowning in despair from the weight of my parents expectations. I remember vividly when I found out that I did not clear the CA entrance exam. And I also remember that I was petrified about sharing the results with my parents.

The look of shame in my dad’s eyes and anger in my mom’s made me want to curl into ball and hide somewhere. I decided I would work harder and clear the exam the next time. And work hard, I did. I studied like a maniac and cleared the entrance exam the second time. However, in my happiness, I didn’t realise what a long and tiring journey it was going to be.

The trouble only began when I had to join CA classes to prepare for the IPCC exams. Days were a drag. I would finish college and go to classes that went on till late evenings. It was tiring- both mentally and physically.

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While my parents were optimistic that I would be a chartered accountant one day, I was not inclined towards the course. I just could not envision myself as a professional sitting in a cubicle working with numbers. Neither did I enjoy the whole process, I just put up the charade of enjoying the course for the sake of my parents’ expectations. 

My personal dark times

I could not clear my IPCC exams. Not once, I wrote the exams five times and did not clear it each time. It became difficult each passing day. After graduation, I joined an accounting firm as an audit assistant. But life only became more and more pathetic.

I felt like I was falling into a deep pit. My dad became hostile towards me. His darling daughter was not turning out to be the ideal one he had envisioned.

I felt like a total failure every time I met my dad’s taunting eyes or my mom’s disappointed ones. My relatives and parents’ friends’ sympathetic stares and words only made it worse. I tried hard but could not drag myself anymore. Neither could I keep up with the charade.

My #NoRegrets Journey

I have always been good with words.

When I was in school, I would write essays using vocabulary that was considered quite high by my other classmates. I used to read books, newspapers and kept myself updated with the affairs of the country.

Blame it on my ignorance, but I didn’t know what to do with the skills I had. It was during college that my HOD came across essays that I had written and realised the potential I had. She wanted me to work on my writing skills and do something significant in that field. But I had no idea what to do nor how to tell my parents. She inspired me to take the road less traveled.

Finally when I knew I was crumbling under the pressure, I took a bold step and told my parents about what I wanted to do. The disapproval was evident in their eyes. But I stuck to my decision and quit my course.

And trouble began right after I quit as I had no idea what to do. I went into depression, into a cocoon and began berating myself for ruining my career. Suicidal tendencies started creeping in. But I decided to fight it.

I felt liberated

It was during this time I read various books and articles. I read success stories of people who struggled and emerged successful. And I started a blog where I shared everything that came to my mind. I started reviewing books, joined a school and taught English.

The moment I stopped living the life others expected me to live, I felt liberated. I don’t earn in lakhs just like a chartered accountant. My parents, especially my dad is not very happy with my decision, but I am in a happy space doing what I love.

I am even working on my debut novel and starting my entrepreneurial journey soon.

Coming out strong to my parents and doing what I love is the best decision I have taken so far.

I have #NoRegrets.

Picture Credits: Pexels

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