Going into my freshman year of college, my mom convinced me to major in physical therapy. To her credit, majoring in physical therapy aka kinesiology made sense as it paralleled my interests in athletics and my passion to help people.
But, let me tell y'all something.
After two grueling semesters of chemistry and anatomy, I realized that I could care less about the bones and muscles and whatever else was included in Dr. Sander's KIN 101 curriculum. I wanted out. So, I set up a meeting with my academic advisor and without my mom's permission, I switched my major to Early Childhood Development. It aligned more with my interest at the time. Even as a 19 year old, I knew that I did not want to subject myself to someone else's expectations.
Though I seemingly went against my mother’s wishes, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It put me in the rhythm of owning my choices and learning how to navigate life without the complete approval of my parents. Without the support and advice from my "parentals" I would not be where I am today however, learning to live my life without carrying the expectations of others, in this case, my parents, taught me to be more of an independent thinker and it enhanced my confidence in my decision-making skills. With that, this week I’m sharing three reasons why you should stop living life for your parents' and allow yourself to step fully into the independence of adulthood.
1. Your parents don't always know what's best for YOUR life.
There! I said it. As adults, our parents don't always know what's best for us. But let me add a little cushion here (because I know my momma and her friends read my blogs). While we have benefited from the wisdom of our parent’s sage advice and their unique ways of parenting. As fully grown and debatably mature humans, we must take the values we've learned from our caregivers and build our own belief system that is rooted in:
- A strengthened intuition
- The ability to practice discernment
- The ability to think critically
- The ability to make decisions confidently
But the more we continue to live life through our parents' lens, the more we rely on their belief system to make decisions for our lives instead of gaining the critical life skills needed to navigate adulthood.
2. Define Your Own Expectations
I often hear my friends from the African diaspora (mainly Caribbeans and Africans) share stories about their guardians giving them two career options to pick from- A doctor or a lawyer. LOL. Rightfully so, I see this as our parents' way of ensuring that we secure a career that offers us more fulfillment and financial stability than they had.
However, as adults, it is our responsibility not to subject ourselves to our parents' definition of stability and fulfillment. We must learn to define our own expectations and explore our interests to find what works best for us and what doesn't. Who do YOU want to be?
3. Your parents are humans, too.
And they make mistakes, like every other human, too. Despite our caregivers' commitment to centering our well-being for presumably all of our lives, they are not always right. Sometimes in an effort to protect us, they can project their limits and insecurities onto us and not recognize them. And so, we must balance the parent-child dynamic by humanizing our caregivers and recognizing them as complex beings. Moreover, learning our parents' limits and strengths can work in your favor. It teaches how to use their criticism and feedback objectively.
I believe once we reach a certain point of adulthood our parent’s feedback and advice should be based on a consultation basis. Meaning, the adult child seeks the parent out for advice versus the parent enforcing their beliefs onto the adult child’s life. Parents must allow their adult children the autonomy to learn and evolve through their own experiences. In conjunction with their support, it is truly one of the best ways to learn.
Suit + boots are from Zara (I purchased both items a few years ago)