Dear Mom and Dad,
I’ve come a long way since that fateful day my junior year, when I told you I didn’t want to be a doctor anymore.
Your anger, threats, disapproval and mockery of me and my decision and my dreams just about drove me into a downward spiral of despair. My mind became fractured, and my struggle with anxiety and depression intensified.
I would try to think about my future, but each thought would be crowded out my millions of thoughts passing at breakneck speed, most of them thoughts of failure, fear, self-doubt and self-hatred. Confusion drowned my consciousness like embalming fluid submerges a corpse.
I could not think straight.
I began to live for one day at a time, so that I did not have to think so hard and cry myself to sleep as I did for months and months at first.
I wanted to die. I felt like I had lost my sense of self and I didn’t know who I was anymore.
Flash forward a few years….. a few more years of struggle with anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation….and then….and then….
I got angry at how much of my life was stolen away by my fear of your disapproval.
So I fought back. I told you the truth about how I felt. At times I stopped talking to you while I rebuilt my sense of self.
And here we are!
I’m living to pursue my dreams and God’s call on my life.
You still have your doubts. You’re still trying to persuade me to go to medical school. You still are worried that I will end up poor and financially unstable.
I know my current situation doesn’t bring you much hope for the future.
I know my current situation makes me look like a hopeless failure.
I know this has been painful for you to see me struggle and stumble my way through the first half of my 20s.
You laugh at me when I share my wildest, craziest dreams with you.
You shake your head at me when I imagine how my life could be different. How I could end up doing something different. How idealistic of me. How foolish and naïve of me to think such grand thoughts.
Mom and Dad, I don’t blame you for laughing. I’m not even mad at you anymore.
I no longer get angry when you suggest I go to med school.
Your disapproval of my choices no longer drives me to anxiety and depression.
I am stronger now.
I believe in myself.
And mark my words. The both of you will have first class plane tickets and front row seats to my success.
Mark my words.