That’s my joke answer to “What do you do?” at a recent East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) Heritage Month event.
The weight of parental and cultural expectations can be immense.
Imagine a backpack, one that someone else packed for you a long time ago. You’ve been carrying this backpack for how many years now? And boy, is it heavy. You’ve been doing a valiant job keeping at it. Other people may also have been praising you for it.
If only that were enough to lighten the load. Your back still hurts.
Hey, I see you. I see your struggle. I see the brave face you’ve put on.
And it’s not that you need my permission, but how about we put down that backpack for a while? Could we just look at what’s in it?
We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. If you’re open to it, though, may we do a little experiment? Maybe take one thing out of the backpack, leave it out for a day (or have someone else carry it), and see what happens?
This blog was prompted by organisational psychologist Adam Grant’s post: