I was recently speaking to a lovely, smart, high raking executive, who’s also a latina, mom, and an immigrant. She was telling me that due to her particular circumstances her family’s expectations of her were for her to be an unwed, teenage mom.
For some reason that really struck home. It was something that I’ve never thought of, that I’ve never reflected back on and yet, WOW…
Let’s start off with the fact that my parents really have no idea what it is that I do professionally. My mom knows that I’m smart and wonderful and all of those fabulous adjectives created to be generally supportive. My dad is happy that I married a good man and that I have a good life and whether or not I actually “do” anything is neither here nor there. My best guess is that this blissful ignorance is cultural.
Growing up, I had my own views on things, and one of them was image. I often told my mom “who cares what I look like now?! I’m in school, I’m a teen, now is the time to take advantage of my freedom” and I did.
Then I found myself on a wonderful journey of life, and learning that had nothing to do with a traditional education, but again to my family my path has always been misunderstood. To the point that I wonder if I’m crazy, or if they’re not listening. What’s even more
hilarious, frustrating, ironic is that they gave me the foundation for my career. When I was born my father already owned his own business, so I was typing and taking messages at a VERY early age to the point of being able to run an office by 14. Yet at one point in my life my father suggested that I was a secretary, which left me a little stunned as I looked at him and said, “Papi, I HAVE a secretary”.
I gave up on trying to explain to my parents what it is that I do eons ago. They see that I’m happy (and in my dad’s case he sees that I’m married and happy) and this makes them happy, y ya. Until I told them about going to the White House with the LATISM Top Bloguera retreat.
Yes, they were excited, but what struck me was the phone call I received from my mom after sharing pictures with her, “mija, es que para mi ir a la Casa Blanca y a l a luna es lo mismo“, in other words, going to the White House is as attainable as a trip to the moon. Which I appreciate. It is a pretty big deal, depending on what circle you’re in. For me it was an honor, one for which I am very grateful for, and but it’s a little overshadowed by my wondering, is it that my parents had no expectations from me or that the world is so amazing that they did not want to achicar las posibilidades (limit my possibilities)?
Either way, I tell you what… it’s given me the desire to aim for the moon!! #SiSePuede #YesYouCan
Y padres (parents) let’s give our little ones something to aim for. Perhaps giving them concrete ideas (astronaut, doctor, inventor, teacher, mother, race car driver, all of the above) and positive role models (within the community, not just on TV). Let’s have our little ones shoot for the moon! Even if they miss they will land among the stars.