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Parental Guidance

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R.J.

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It always takes me a lot of time to make or implement plans/decisions, especially when it would make a mark on my life where people stop and ask "what's that?" I believe that there are only two kinds of plan: the one where I change my course, whether for the good or the bad, and the one where I just stay in the same track that my life had been running on since forever. Planning is just a simple thing of seeing which one would yield greater results. Nothing hard there. And yet, it still takes me months.

I spend half the time thinking not if plan A would make me rich but if my folks would approve it. I don't want to be like that. I mean no disrespect but I just have to live my life the way I want to. I really don't want to care what they say, but the fact that they're my parents makes their opinion matter. I don't know if this would make sense: I believe their opinion matters, but I dont care. I mean, I'm already an adult now -- well, of legal age, anyway -- but as a Filipino, that doesn't mean anything. I have to do whatever they think I should do. If I don't, I'm going to be seen as a disobedient son. I'm going to be an ungrateful son, someone who never saw what his mother went through giving birth to him. Regardless if I made a good decision, I'll still be an ingrate.

And that's just it. I really don't care anymore if my parents think I'm an ungrateful son. I can deal with two persons. BUT. They've got the whole world behind them. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating, but that's how it feels like. I could just hear my relatives talk behind my back about the kind of person I am. I could just see their friends shaking their heads at the black sheep. I don't want to care what they think about me, but I do. I want to turn it off. I want to be able to say "fuck you, this is my life!" But I also want to hear some approval there.

I guess that's where I'm at fault. Wanting approval, or maybe just a little acceptance. If they'll just concede a little that I can decide on my own without their approval, I'll be ok. I mean, if ever they oppose something I want to do, I could point out that fact. But my parents are just not like that.

And so I spend the other half of the time thinking if I could take their anger (or whatever it is they want to give me). Because while I don't care what they do, they really could still do things that could drive me over the edge. I've already made my decision. In fact, I've already implemented it without their knowledge. I'm gonna tell them next week.

Really, I don't care anymore what my parents think, but I just can't take on the whole world.

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This is actually a very deep problem. There is a fine line between a parent wanting what is best for their child, and living the child's life for them. I think many parents find that they have not been able to live life the way they want, and transfer their own desires and dreams onto the child. This is unfair to the child, but perfectly logical for the parent, because it is simply too late for them to 'get there' themselves. Essentially, you need to break this cycle. If you put off your dreams in order to satisfy those of your parents, then you will need to pass yours down onto your own children. Since you are unlikely to have any without quite a struggle, as biologically gays don't do motherhood too well, you might never get the chance to pass on your dreams. You would live a life that never quite 'gets there' either, and that would be sad.So, what I'm saying is, realize that your parents will suffer the shattering of their dreams, but it is NOT up to you to fulfill those. You need to be true to yourself. You can be upset about it, and feel very sad about doing this to them, but you are not actually hurting them, they will be taking on any disappointment themselves. It is their responsibility to let you strike out on your own, and to look to their own happiness. You will undoubtedly have a nasty hard time for a while, but it will not likely last forever. You have my sympathy, and support, in your self determination. :hug:

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You're experiencing what almost all of us go through. At some point we have to mature to the point where we can make out own decisions regardless of the effect they have on others. You keep saying you don't care what your parents feel, but you obviously do. Most of us care what our parents feel. It goes with the territory of being sons. However, that caring needs to be compartmentalized. It cannot be the factor that ultimately sways your decision making. Doing what you know is best for you doesn't mean you don't care that it may be disturbing people close to you. It means you understand the relative importance of your decisions. It means you've grown up.Breaking away from your parents' influence seems to be harder for young people of Asian descent than kids in the U.S., if I can make that generalization. I happen to know many kids with Asian parents. They are brought up to respect their parents and do what they're told, which is obviously a good thing to a point. It becomes burdensome, however, when the parents will not relinquish the control they have enjoyed while their child was growing up.Your culture demands you follow the path your parents have cleared for you, and that makes it tough. That you're planning to confront them is a momentous thing for you to do, and I applaud your courage to do this. Bravo.You might want to tell them that if they love you as much as you think they do, they must realize that you will not reach your ultimate potential if you are not allowed, at the age you have now attained, to made decisions for yourself, to follow your own dreams. The love they have had for you in the past has been focused on you reaching the point in your life you've now successfully reached. You should both be ready for a change in the relationship. If they really do love you, they must now allow you the freedom you need for future growth.This is very hard for Asian parents. But in the U.S., this is what families do.I wish you luck with this. Please know you have the support of everyone here.Cole

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"in the U.S., this is what families do."Except for voting, Cole. "Our family has voted democrat or republican for 8 generations, and we're always going to vote that way." I've heard this many times, seen it posted, and depicted on TV. I'll bet there's at least a bit of truth to that. 'Be free, my child, but vote with the family.'

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Cole, I think you're right about that generalization. It sure is hard on me because my parents have actually let me be quite independent growing up. They're like "Do this" then they'll leave me alone to do it. ALthough I enjoy the independence, I hate the "Do this" stuff. I've said in my entry that I would tell them "next week" which was days ago, but hehe... getting cold feet here. Haven't told them.About voting... I don't mean to put down a lot of Filipinos, but there was this email circulating around (it was a survey). One of the questions were: Republican or Democrat? I wrote, "Neither. I'm Filipino. I vote for stupid politicians." I hate the previous election.

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