Pleasing Everyone | Teen Ink

Pleasing Everyone

May 6, 2008
By Anonymous

My mom’s motto is “Please yourself”. It is twisted to apply to work, school, and the food at dinner. Unfortunately, she also applies it to the people around her, wanting them to act in a way that pleases her. She wanted my brother to be a pharmacist, she wants me to be a doctor, and she says that if we don’t get those jobs, we will never earn enough money to support a family.

And I say—I say okay.

I don’t follow my mother’s motto. I try to please everyone else. If my friends want to borrow money, I let them and never get repaid. If my sister wants to borrow my tape, I let her, and I never see it again. The same thing happens with my mother. I can’t say no. I admit, I think about it; how she would react if I applied for an English degree, instead of a medical one.

What does it takes to be a successful person? For a long time, I’ve had opposing forces coming at me from both sides. One of those forces is the people who say that you should follow your dreams and do what makes you happy. And the other force is my mom, who says that those people want to trick me, and money is the way to go.

My mom isn’t a typical adult. She lets me hang out with friends, go to concerts, and gives me a lot more freedom than a lot of other teenagers have. She gives me good advice and always stands up for me.

I find my mother to be hypocritical of her own words. My mom tried to impress the idea of becoming a pharmacist to my brother as soon as college letters started arriving to him. Once he defied her (by taking Biochemistry), my mom scolded him for making a stupid decision. “Because the need for pharmacists is rising,” she’d tell me. And, seeing the subliminal message of “I want you to be a pharmacist”, I told her that I was interested in it. A few weeks later, she struck up a conversation, “You should be a doctor. A children’s doctor.”
“I’m bad with kids,” I reply, thinking about dealing with the never-ending energy.
“You don’t need to be good with them.” I roll my eyes while she’s not looking. “I mean, what’s a pharmacist compared to a doctor? Nothing. A doctor’s the way to go.”

This conversation made me think. Did my mom really apply “Please yourself” to everything? No. She left out an important aspect—her job, something that she would do for years, day after day. I remembered the countless times she said she hated her work and the people around her. And I’ve listened to the frequent “I should quit!” followed by the even more frequent “But I’m the one who’s making the money to support our family.”

I want to follow my own heart, like my brother, who’s the most important and influential person in my life.

And yet…One time, when we received a survey in gym to fill out, it asked what job I wanted. I filled out “pharmacist”.

But maybe, some day, I can change. And hopefully my motto will stay true to myself.

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