People are always going to put you down for what you do. I don’t understand why. I suppose it’s different for everybody, but recently, I’ve been feeling that people (especially in my family) have been putting me down for what I do. From the degree I study , to what I do outside of study because studying is a BIG deal in Asian families, and so it is always a topic of conversation for my relatives.
I do a combined law degree at university, and I spend lots of time and effort doing it because I thoroughly enjoy it and have high hopes of doing something worthwhile with it. When one of my aunties, who recently flew into town for her annual visit, she questioned my mother about why I was doing law, instead of pharmacy (I wasn’t there when this conversation took place, but I know it took place owing to the fact that my mother asked me why I was doing law and not pharmacy, whilst I was studying). I was also questioned along these lines by my grandmother (the one who doesn’t live at the old people’s home). Pretty much, I was getting shit like “You’re never going to get hired because you’re Asian” and “You should be studying pharmacy because you can sell medicine when you’re finished” and “Pharmacy is better than law” blah blah blah. Now, I don’t know how long you’ve known me, dear reader, but I’ve wanted to do law (and international studies) for a long time- and coming out of the HSC and not being able to do it in my first year of uni was a bit disappointing, but I’m glad I’m doing it now. This is not to say I disliked my first year of tertiary education, because I thoroughly enjoyed it due to many, many reasons; I was lucky enough to settle in before seriously putting in the hard yards. I have voiced my aspirations for law ever since I’ve actually started contemplating this, so you can imagine how shocked I was when I got nothing of support from my family- I got shit for doing something I now know I love. I brushed it off my shoulder after voicing my views: I know that I love doing law and I wouldn’t spend my time doing anything else. We’ve agree to disagree and I’m now off the hook, leaving my younger cousins and brother to the torturous brainwashing that pharmacy is the way to go even though you love reading/maths/designing/cooking/dancing/singing.
Tonight was sort of the same thing, except it involved something that I recently got into: politics. I’m the secretary of my local Liberal branch, and it says a lot coming from my area because it’s classified as a ‘Labor Haven’. It’s all really new to me, so I know I need as much support I can get. I get loads of support from my close circle of friends, and I can’t thank them enough for holding my hand whilst I do something that’s really fascinating, and scary at the same time. I had told my mum and dad about this, and they were happy that I was doing what I believed in, even though it wasn’t their thing. Tonight, after the branch meeting, mum told me to head over to my grandmother’s house because I had left the family outing for the branch meeting. Not wanting to disappoint mum on two counts, I headed over. When I informed them I was late because of a meeting, they naturally asked what/where/how/why. I informed them about my status and allegiance to the Liberal Party, especially Dai Le. My uncle knew who I was speaking of and had once considered joining the branch (to my surprise). His wife, on the other hand, said very condescendingly “Why are you a part of that for?! All governments are the same- they all say they’re gonna build carparks, and there are none anyway” or words to that effect. I said right back at her “No, that’s not true. I think that’s incorrect…” I was interrupted by my uncle who said “Well, it’s good that you’re having a go”, somewhat patronisingly ( I don’t know if he meant it in that manner, but I felt he came across like that). I really didn’t understand why she made that call, but I would have really loved to have talk to her about it and explain the differences between the two governments. I suppose it may be her ignorance to the whole political scene, but still, I don’t think that should pardon her for putting me down. I would have much rather a neutral comment than one that puts down what I do – please forgive my disrespect for my elders, but I whole-heartedly believe in the concept of ‘treating people the way you want to be treated’, irregardless of age. I left it at my uncles interruption because she attended to her kid and I wanted to play with Lily (my toddler cousin) anyway. I would have really loved to give her my two cents worth, but I suppose that can be saved for another day.
I really dislike it when people put me down, even though it might be unintentional. It just leaves you questioning yourself unnecessarily. However, I think I want to leave being the person with the moral high ground, knowing that I’m doing what I love, what I believe in, and that people are who putting you down are merely another obstacle in your path that you can hurdle over, making your achievement all the more worthwhile.