I'm a goal-getter. I set goals. I look at the measures and the mean. I go out and get it. I don't believe in quitting what I've started nor am I am ever forgiving when I lose focus or get off track. And of course, half-assing is out of the ballpark. Interestingly enough, through this journey, alone, the only thing that keeps me going day by day is my positive outlook and my close friends. While I am most definitely a realist, positivism is so crucial when it comes to the early stages of building an empire from ground up (all that helpful bioenergy) as well as keeping the right people around you and ridding the negative ones. The better I am at blocking out the external noises, the easier it is for me to wake up every day with a sense of purpose and direction. If I'm doing one thing a day that gets me closer to where I need to be, I feel like I've succeeded. However, this mentality does not necessarily work when it comes to my family. My parents expect not progress but results. They could care less about the journey so long as I perform accordingly. Yes, that's a lot of pressure to put on your kid, but I guess I've become accustomed to it by now. I always thrive whenever people tell me I can't do something, so if excellence is what they want, then I'm going to give it to them. This time, however, the clock is ticking. I received a phone call earlier today from my mother who told me that I now have a three month ultimatum. From now until April, I have to prove to her that my dreams are capable of becoming a reality, which pretty much means that I better be doing something productive with my life. If not, I have to change my career path. I think this is her way of indirectly telling me that she is slowly giving up on my pursuits. I could sense sadness and desperation in her voice and of course, it pains me. What I wanted to tell her was that good things take time, but in our household, there's no such thing as patience. We're programed to function under deadlines and the notion that failure is not an option.
I didn't question her logic nor did I confronted her for not understanding her very own daughter. I knew she had nothing but good intentions at heart, even if that means urging her daughter to take a completely different direction with her life. I get it. The entertainment industry is unlike medicine, law, or education. Very few Asian people have succeeded in breaking the glass ceiling and while it breaks my heart to know that my parents no longer have that trust in me to do so, I'm still more determined than ever. It's going to take a lot of hard work, a good amount of sacrifices, but it's not like I haven't done it before. I did it once when I delivered the high school graduation speech in front of the whole school district. I did it again when I helped raised over $20,000 for charity my Junior/Senior year. And once more, when I was admitted to University of Southern California. The first in my family to ever attend a top private university.
Not many people know this, but fifteen years ago, I threw away my paintbrushes and canvases after my parents told me that being an artist meant that I was willing to be poor for the rest of my life. It was one of those decisions that has haunted me throughout my adolescent age and I'm not about to relive that experience again. So from now until the end of that three month mark, I am ready to make some magic happen. A-Game is officially on. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but nothing easy is ever worth pursuing.
To everyone who has ever been told that what they're doing is not good enough. I would like to take this moment to tell you that you should never lose that vision of landing that dream (insert job here), reaching that (insert goal here), and etc. Just remember that despite of what people have to say (yes, your parents are included) you, right now, will always be enough.
Special shoutout to my good friend, David, for this beautiful reminder.