“My parents hate me! They don’t give a crap about what I want! This is supposed to be my life! Why don’t I have the freedom to live my life the way I want to?!
Those thoughts inundated my mind as I sat on a broken bed board on the floor of my room counting a tear soaked stack of money totaling two grand and change.
My computer case is falling apart and my phone is snapped in two.
Books are everywhere, torn to pieces.
My mp3 player sits in two different corners of my room; completely lifeless and with no chance of ever being used again.
Tears roll down my cheeks as I watch my computer screen flicker and stare at my bed that now was lying on a slant. What did I do to deserve this kind of treatment?
I wasn’t robbed; my parents did this.
We had filled the house with screaming and yelling. You could hear things breaking around the house even from outside. The image of what was once a happy family had shattered like glass. The yelling went on for hours. Someone stormed off every few minutes followed by a slamming door. The Christmas tree that had been shining brightly was now dead. Ornaments were broken on the floor. The Mr. & Mrs. Claus ornaments no longer moved nor did they light up. Any lasting joy from Christmas was gone for good.
The commotion died down. Silence suffocated me. Then my dad broke the silence.
My parents tossed me a stack of money tied with a rubber band saying “get out.”
To be a family is to understand, and with that hope I confronted my parents one evening after Christmas and New Years. I showed them my classes for the past semester; a schedule full of non-pharmacy classes. I explained to them that pharmacy was not for me and that I needed a change; a change that I had already made.
I hoped that they would understand my decision and respect my decision. I showed them the class results with a smile hoping they’d see how well I did in what I wanted to do. I showed them in the hopes that they’d understand that I don’t need to be a pharmacist or a doctor in order to be okay. I wanted them to see outside of the Asian stereotype that we all need to be lawyers and doctors. As a college sophomore, I wanted to make my decisions on the direction I would take for the future.
Oh how wrong I was. I received no understanding. I received no commendations. I only ended up with a room destroyed and cash to move out with. They wanted nothing to do with the black sheep of the Asian community. What good was I when I couldn’t stand as a trophy of great Asian-ness?
A terrifying memory if I can choose to remember any. Revealing my wanting to go another direction to my Korean-cultured family almost meant committing some sort of blasphemy. Even worse, I made the decision without including their opinion in my decision although a flat ‘NO’ would’ve been their answer anyway. Do I regret it? Not a fat chance.
I never moved out that night. They came to terms with it after a few days or at least attempted to do so. Because of that eventful night, I am where I am today. The ability to challenge expectations and break stereotypes held so firmly to the Korean community, that is what I gained from that day.
I realized that my parents do appreciate me and do care. It was a rush of emotions that caused them to do what they did and their expectation for me to have the best of the best. But their recommendations are not always what’s right. I had to show them that even if it meant shattering the very foundation we stood on.