We always try to please everybody and in the end, we tend to 
forget that we have our own wants and needs, too.

Being the eldest child, I grew up with a mindset that I was to help my family once I am able to in the future. I didn't think that I can have the freedom of thinking of doing things first for myself. As kids, we were taught that we have the obligation to help our parents when we grow up, much like returning the favor of, you know, raising us. And especially as the eldest child, I was given a lot of responsibilities. I was to look out for my younger brothers and sister and be an example for them; I was to finish school as soon as possible so that I can start helping out; I was to be reliable so that my parents won't be stressed at me knowing that they had enough going on for them; I was to mature quickly so that I can't be an emotional burden for them. There was no room for mistakes, no room for rebellion and irresponsibility. I was to be the "perfect child" and I did my best to do be just that.

Being someone my parents can rely on feels very fulfilling but there's also that pressure of attaining their standard of being good at the same time. I am not complaining here, in fact, I grew up to be someone whom I can be proud of because of them, and for that, I am very grateful. I love my family and I do my best all the time to make and keep them happy.

Now that I am living my life independently, I had the bittersweet taste of freedom. It's great to finally be able to do things I want without the permission of my parents, it's great to be able to buy things I want because I finally have my own money to spend, it's great to be able to go to places I longed to go because I no longer need to ask them for funds. The pros are really great, but with freedom, there is also a whole new level of responsibilities to take care of. And these responsibilities are way harder than what I had before. I am stuck in a container filling up with expectations and doubts, and it is quickly filling up to the brim.

I may have asked myself a hundred times already if where I am now is where I really want to be. I've talked about it to my parents, I've told them about my wants and aspirations and they listened. I just can't shake the feeling of them doubting me. I can't seem to shake the feeling that they think that what I plan to do will be bad for me. I get it, they just want what's best for me. But sometimes, what parents think what's best for their children may be the opposite of it.

Some people will think that I am selfish for not listening to the people who raised me. And I guess it may be a little bit like that. But I have been living my whole life pleasing my parents and doing the things they expected me to do, or at least I tried to. Isn't it time to do things for me now for a change?

There will always be people who will judge you for your choices. It isn't easy to deflect from what society is telling you to do but I think a little dose of self-love will be the start of the change we are all looking for.

Of course, I am not saying we completely cut ties with the people we love, especially with our parents. I don't and I won't. I still do my best to give them the life I think they deserve after all that they've done for me. But I won't forget myself in the process. I will help my parents in whatever way I can, but I will also do things my way.

It's time to chase my dreams. I won't be having other people's judgment change my plans because after all, this is my life and they will not have any say in it.

Do it for yourself