Throughout our lives, my siblings and I were often asked the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up”. My parents immigrated across the globe, because of what my brother and I wanted to be when we grow up. I often hear young people (especially children of immigrants) speaking about the pressure they feel from their parents to strive for a better life than they had. I’ve felt this pressure my entire life, as I’ve been an immigrant in two countries since the age of five.
I am reminded of that pressure, the responsibility to strive to do the best that I can (and sometimes can’t) for myself, and most importantly so that the many sacrifices that my parents have made and continue to make, are not in vain.
It never crossed my mind to question what my parents dreamed about being in the future when they were younger. They definitely did not dream about leaving their country to be considered “illegals”, “criminals”, “job stealers”, or “a problem to be dealt with to make a country great again”.
Nonetheless, they did dream about being lawyers, doctors, nurses, more importantly they dreamed about making a better life for themselves and their children, they did dream about traveling to places that present opportunities that they were never offered before, they dreamed of a better life for their children.
In a way, what we want to be in the future is part of our parents’ dream, seeing us attend universities, travel to places, getting the opportunity to accomplish our dreams, is their dream coming true.