personally proud

My weekend >>>

I didn’t get to see my mom for Mother’s Day (I was working) but thankfully I was able to go home and celebrate with her last weekend, so I didn’t feel like I missed out too much. It was another weekend filled with work, friends, warm hot weather, a little shopping, and smiles. Just the way I like it.

brandyAll of the changes that I’ve been dealing lately with in regards to my family have left me thinking a lot about parent-child relationships. No two families are exactly alike and we were all raised with different rules, expectations, and values. Every family dynamic is different and that’s a beautiful thing.

However, all of our differences aside, there seem to be two common denominators:

1. Parents want the ‘best’ for their children.

2. Children want to make their parents proud.

There’s definitely nothing wrong with either fact- they’re great, actually- as long as they don’t become obsessions. And unfortunately, that happens more frequently that we’d care to admit.

Growing up, I dealt with both of these things. Being a perfectionist, I wanted nothing more than to always be the best. Okay, that’s great. But eventually I fell into the trap of only feeling good about myself when I was validated by someone else. Not so great. I put the desires of a parent before my own and, ultimately, suppressed the things that made me happy to pursue what they wanted.

It has taken years and I still struggle with it on a daily basis. Recently, I’ve come to realize that it’s not okay for a parent to have such high and specific expectations that you feel limited. Figuring out what we want to do with our lives is difficult enough without the burden of wondering whether or not our parents will be proud of our choices. A child’s happiness should be enough to make them happy.

76e99a60b9c3f723009343b052d31978

As we grow up, we’re constantly changing- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. That’s part of life. Through it all we must remember that, no matter what the world around us is saying, we’re entitled to our own happiness. Find joy and validation within yourself, not from external sources- that’s the only way that you’ll ever feel completely fulfilled. Make your parents proud by listening to your heart and believing in yourself. Then live a life that you’re proud to call your own. 

Here’s to discovering strength from within…

-Emily

22 comments
  1. I wish I had known this way back when I was in elementary and middle school.

    • Emily said:

      Seriously. Me too. But we all live and learn. (:

  2. First, I have to say that I love your shirt! And going along with the post, I totally agree. I’m thankful that my parents usually support me in whatever I choose to do, but there’s always going to be differences and opinions. I guess it’s just finding balance and I always use the mantra, “if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen”.

    • Emily said:

      Yessss. Whatever happens, happens. (:

  3. Love this, girl! And it’s something I really wish I knew when I was coming out of high school. My parents have always been supportive, but they didn’t really make their preferences a secret… And although I know they would have supported me in anything I chose to do, I still didn’t want to disappoint them and ended up going in a direction that totally wasn’t in my heart just to make them happy. Needless to say, I kind of ended up miserable, and it wasn’t until many years later that I finally decided to change directions and pursue something that I loved instead. Definitely wish I would have done it from the beginning, though… would have saved me some time and heartache!

    • Emily said:

      Exactly. It sounds like a lot of us have been through that and it’s definitely not easy. At least we’ve been able to grow and learn from the experience though. (:

  4. So. True. I feel lucky in that my parents have always been so supportive of my goals, but in school especially, I felt like I had to be the best student in order to please them. When I got to college I realized it was a lot harder than high school and when I got some grades I wasn’t too pleased with, I thought they’d be so disappointed in me. Instead, they said they knew I had worked hard and that no one can be perfect all the time–as long as I had done my best, it was enough for them. Now that I’m about six months out from finding my first real girl job, I’m just as worried that they’ll be disappointed if I don’t get my dream job, but honestly, if I’m happy, then that’s all that matters!

    • Emily said:

      Exactly, girly! It’s all about our personal happiness and sharing that joy with the people around us. That’s all anybody can ask!

  5. Lisa said:

    So true girl! What a great post! I wish I knew all this earlier on, as I really struggled in college with doing what my parents wanted me to do, but in reality, I hated it so much. I know they sometimes disprove of me choosing fitness and health as a passion I want to follow, and I wish they were a bit more supportive but there’s nothing I can do about that.

    • Emily said:

      Aw… I’m sorry to hear that they’re not completely supportive of your decision. I can definitely relate on that one. But, as long as you’re doing what makes you happy, that’s all that matters. ❤

  6. Ellie said:

    I subconciously base my self-worth on my accomplishments and always want to make my parents proud. This led me to the wrong college, the wrong choices, bad family relationships and bad health. It wasn’t until I threw out what I thought they wanted and learned to embrace my own self that I learned they would always be proud of me and I could stop driving myself crazy striving toward an unattainable goal they did want from my in the first place. I realized I was resentful of what I thought they wanted from me, and this made me feel guilty. When I freed myself from my imagined expectations, I was really able to make strides in my emotional well-being 🙂

    • Emily said:

      I swear, you’re my twin. Seriously. ❤

  7. Taylor said:

    It’s like you are taking the words right out of my mouth! It’s hard because on the journey of discovering what you want, you want your parents to be 100% supportive of that. In my situation they sometimes make a comment about where they see me after college (in a supportive nice way of course) but it’s not exactly where I see myself, which in turn makes me for a second question what I know is the right path. On another note, I love your shirt! 🙂

    • Emily said:

      Yeah, I think quite a few of our parents are that way. They want us to be successful and they have a picture in their mind of what that “success” looks like. It’s just difficult when it doesn’t match up to our picture. But, as long as we stay true to ourselves, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to!

  8. P said:

    Very, very true! It seems from all these previous comments that we come to this realization post-high school, when we are expected to become more independent. I’m glad my parents never had any specific expectations for me to meet, and looking back I actually think I put unnecessary pressure on myself :P!

    • Emily said:

      It sounds like you have awesome parents. (:
      I think a LOT of us put unnecessary pressure on ourselves, especially when it comes to figuring out what we want to do with our lives. We just have to stay true to what makes us happy!

  9. Such a great post! I think the parent-child relationship is one of the most complicated and definitely the most impacting ones in our lives. It defines who we are, how we act, how we interact with ourselves and others, and how we live our lives. My parents used to be tough on me in middle school when they wanted me to exceed in school and go down the honors route. Russian parents are typically this way, but luckily mine completely eased up on me when they saw that I was motivated enough without their pushing. It was tough though and I struggled with extreme perfectionism (it was really bad and borderline OCD) but I’m grateful that my parents pushed me just enough to succeed. I really hope that all is well with you and your parents. Just remember that sometimes we all tend to put more pressure on ourselves than needed 🙂

    On another note – I absolutely LOVE your new haircut (I’m a bit behind I know 🙂 ) and you look bangin’ in that crop tee!

    • Emily said:

      That so amazing that your parents were able to see that they were pushing you too hard and ease up a little. You’re a lucky girl! And I can completely relate to your struggle with perfectionism- I was the same way and it definitely manifested into OCD. So tough. But it sounds like you learned a lot from it, as I have too. (:
      And thank youuu!

  10. your posts always make me so thankful .. I wish I have these kind of posts on my blog. haha I don’t think I can write like that.

    love your crop top! looks good on you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: