About Making Choices

Thursday, July 24, 2014

One day, me and my boss were starting a random conversation. He suddenly asked me about why Asian kids seem like to follow whatever their parents wants. They always pick a "safe" major in college, so they can own a high position in a company, or they ended up to work for their parents company/business. So Asian kids sounds like don't have their own choice and live forever under their parents wings.

Note: my boss is Balinese.

Basically, our parents always want and give the best for their kids. They have a hope, someday we can contribute in our social circle in the future (istilah gaulnya jadi orang yang berguna buat masyarakat). That's why (sometimes) they have high expectations on us. So they try to "convince" us that their choices are the best, and that will make us ended up to study a major in college, based on their choices, such as medical, business, law, etc (if you are an Asian, you probably get it).

Sounds familiar already? Hey you, my dear Asian friends? :P

Let me share a true story. Me and my brother have been that kind of situation before. I always wanted to study major like communication or journalistic, and my brother wanted to study music. At the end, I got my major in Chinese Education, while my brother still having fun (not a sarcasm tho) on his medical major.

Before you judge anything on both of us, let me continue this story...

At the first place, I was mad and upset with myself and all the situations that made me "have" to choose the study-in-china-with-a-major-I-never-wanted-before option. But the only thing why I chose to study in China, just because I got full scholarship and that time, my family was going through a hard time. It was almost impossible for them to pay my college fee in private university, especially in Jakarta. Aku berusaha logis aja. Lagi nggak ada uang, terus dikasih beasiswa penuh di luar negeri. Serasa dijatuhin uang dari langit. Orang pinter nggak mungkin nolak, 'kan? 

I still remember when finally I was on my first year in college, I was grumbling almost everyday. Yah namanya bukan jurusan pilihan. Sometimes I forgot this was the choice that I've made, but yeah I made my choice clearly already, and the rest is a history.

The point is all about responsibility. Doesn't matter what choice that you've made, you have to be responsible for doing it. When my parents put their hope on me, I am also trying to "convince" them back that I am being resposible on my choice. Although I couldn't study the major I wanted, I still can learn about it on a world called internet. These days, you just google anything, and bam! You'll get what you need. Sometimes, I hate people who have a mindset like "kan kamu udah kuliah capek-capek dapet gelar, pulang malah jaga toko". I mean, helloooo, who are you? You don't have any permission to judge someone's life. And excuse me, have you ever started your own business, so you can say words like that? Well, as long as you are happy with your own choice, it is really okay. Make your parents proud, is another great bonus.

The funny part when my Mom always reminds me about someday I'll be thankful to her about anything that she has told me, and I guess she's right (gosh, mom is always right!). In early 2014, I was asked for being a Chinese tutor in a resort in Bali, because of my major. That's really something for me. And after that, I finally wrote and published my very first book. You see, I am doing my life here.

It is not about I am a Chinese or Asian and you aren't. It's all about our personal choice. Your life doesn't depend of what people say about you.

"In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibilty
-Eleanor Roosevelt 

If you are doing something right now that not even related to what you have studied in the past, I am telling you now, that's okay. Everything is fine as long as you enjoy it and being responsible. As in my case, I really want to always make my parents proud while doing things that I love. 

P.S. This is a video by CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pasific in Entertainment) for #IAmCampaign. This is a story by our favorite Michelle Phan. Apa yang diceritakan Michelle somehow related dengan apa yang aku tulis di atas. Semoga menginspirasi, ya!


  1. Ah, I can relate to you about Asian parents and families mostly want their children to have a safe and secure job but also more prosperous. My parents are a bit laid back though and they let me and my siblings decide on our own future. Anyway, wow, congrats on your first published book! It looks interesting although I can't understand the language-- I'm pretty sure it'll be a great read though since I'm always hooked on your blog posts already! :) I've heard of Michelle Phan's inspiring story before too- there are a lot out there that just inspire me and make me feel lucky and that I should appreciate my own life! Blessed! X

    Chic Nikkie

    1. I think Asian parents these days more open minded, just like what Michelle said. My mom and dad let their children choose their own path at the end, but still best advice always come from them, agree? (: thank you so much, Nicole for your warm supports! Although we're far away, but I believe through words and stories, we can inspire each others! Good luck!