My greatest fear in life is disappointing my parents. Every single one of my accomplishments up to this point in my life has been possible because of my parents. I am so grateful to have parents that offer me unconditional love and support in all of my academic, professional, and personal endeavors. Not only have my parents supported me emotionally and mentally, they have also been able to provide for me financially.
I have never felt as though I lacked anything in life. Growing up, even if we were struggling - whether it be financially or otherwise - I always felt like I had enough, and more. We always had a roof over our heads, food on the table, a ride to school, someone to help with homework, a ride to sports practices, a hug before school, an "I love you" when going to bed.
My parents are hard working people. And I know this because I see where they are now compared to where they were before. Both my parents come from less-than-functional families, something that they limited mine and my brother's exposure to.
When my brother was born, my mom and dad were still teenagers, barely high school graduates - just two years after that, I was born. As young parents, they had to sacrifice a lot of typical teenage activities in order to raise a family. While their friends had the freedom to go partying or have fun and experience college, my parents were staying up late, changing diapers, working, and paying for daycare.
Now, most of my parents' friends have young children, and my parents are empty nesters. They have steady jobs, a nice house in a nice neighborhood, good friends and family, and the freedom to do what they missed out on when they were younger.
Seeing the success of my parents is intimidating because they have overcome challenges that I could never even imagine going through.
They provide me all of the resources I could possibly need to succeed. They give so much of themselves to me and my brother, sometimes I feel like getting good grades isn't sufficient enough to equal out what they've given me. And I know that they are always proud of me, but I'm always thinking of ways to do more.
I know I've said before that comparing myself to others is unhealthy, but I do compare my success to my parents because I look up to them so much.
I'm going to a good four-year university, but what if I don't get a good job when I graduate? They didn't go to college, but they were able to put two kids through private high schools and private universities.
Will I find "the one"? My mom and dad are high school sweethearts, were teenage parents, and have been married for twenty-one years.
What if I'm not a good parent. My parents are the best parents.
But it doesn't stop there. I question things like: Did I choose the right school? Did I choose the right major? What if I'm not successful in the career path I'm currently taking? I didn't do well, academically, this semester. I don't get paid that much for this internship, but it's for the experience, right? But how will I pay for food and rent while I'm not living at home? I question decisions like these, because my parents are the ones helping fund my entire life, and I don't want for them to look back in ten years and wonder where their investments went.
It's so silly the way I feel when my parents don't get upset over me receiving grades less than Bs, or how encouraging they still are when I don't get the fifth internship in a row that I interviewed for, or how worried they get if I'm taking the train alone past 8 p.m. Because these things all show how much they care about me, and for that I am forever grateful.
My mom and dad are true inspirations, the epitome of success in my eyes. I want to be successful, for myself, because of them. I cannot wait for the day that I'm eating dinner with my parents and can reach for the check before my dad does.