Wednesday, December 13, 2006

On setting your path

Ha sido la polémica entre mi pai y yo desde hace años. Creo que desde que puedo acordarme de algo, siempre ha tenido una fiebre con empezar su propio negocio. It's changed over the years, what he wants his small business to be, but it never fails for my dad to come up with some stupid new plan of starting a business. And of course, he tries to drag me and my brother along. But usually, just me. He's wanted to start a cleaning business, a car repair business, an air-conditioner repair business, a translation business, a medical record business...the list goes on and on. He even went to Instituto de Banca y Comercio for a degree in air-conditioner repair (and refrigerators too, I don't remember).

Now, I wouldn't really mind these escapades of his so much if he'd just find people that actually share his interest in this sort of thing...excluding myself, my brother and my mother, since none of us care. But ever since we moved here, he's basically been forcing both my brother and I to "help" him with these things. By "help", I mean make us do all the work that needs to get done, without so much as even asking us if we're even interested, much less if we even want to do this. His excuse is that our mother doesn't want to help him, even though he thinks she should so she can be her own employer. News flash, mi querido padre, my mother never has, and never will be, interested in business. I don't know why you even bother.

He's been bothering my brother less and less about it over the years, mainly because he realizes that my brother's an artist, and artists usually don't care for business. On a side note, my brother confided in me that he did want to start his own business someday...just so long as our dad never realizes it. So this leaves my dad with me, his youngest kid and the smart one of the family. Lo and behold though, I'm exactly like mom. I hate business, I hate the idea of running one, of owning one, of all of it. My dad has been trying to get me interested over the years by saying that if I work for myself, I don't have to respond to anyone for anything, that I should major in business, ect ect. I started out as a Theater major, and will now be a Radio major. He tried telling me I could start my own theater. Now he'll probably tell me that I can start my own radio station. He fails to realize that I don't care.

And now, I have a huge pile of mom's old books here. She wanted us to donate them to a library. Instead, the "lightbulb" in dad's head goes off, and he decides to sell them. Fine. I ignore him whenever he talks to me about it for over a week. Then he gives them all to me, and tells me to write up all of them as a list, so we can sell them more easily. Fine. And then, last night, my worst fears came true: he said that this was going to be "our" business, that this was going to be my "part-time", and that whatever he earned, I earned. There's a problem though. I don't care. The only reason I've been working on the list all day today is because a. if I don't it'll piss him off; and b. if I don't even start today, it'll piss him off.

I sincerely think he was a failed business man in a past life. Why else would he be like this, honestly? Being a believer of Chinese astrology, it might also have to do with the complete and total incompatibility of our signs. Rabbits and Roosters should apparently run from each other as though the other carries an incurable plague. This doesn't help anything at all. I don't fault my dad for being a hard-worker, or for providing for my family for forever. Thank God for him. But I really do think that he's voluntarily blind to what really interests me and what I'm passionate about. I want to be a best-selling writer and a radio guru and maybe an actress. Better yet, I secretly want to be a famous rock star. On the rare occasion I talked to him about acting, it's almost never about how I like it. It's usually about how he has this friend of a friend of a cousin who's making a movie of sorts. Or how I should start my own theater once I get my third Ph.D. (because he's also constantly telling me I should get my Master's and Ph.D., neither of which I care about, not until I get my Bachelor's). He probably doesn't intend it to be viewed that way, but it makes him come off as kind of selfish, from my view.

What inspires my passion? The thought of starring on a Broadway play in front of a sold-out theater. The thought of performing live with my famous band in a sold-out arena. The thought of having my first novel become a best-seller and doing book signings, and hearing people give me their individual praises on my writing. Being an awesome radio guru and being cool and mainstream like that. Those are the things I like, those are the things that, now that I sit to think about it, are the things I've always loved. I've always loved writing, I've always loved music, and I didn't realize it till high school, but I love acting as well (and am talented to boot). I don't care to start a business or to be my own employer. I just want to live out my life the way I see fit. Even if I become none of the things I mentioned, it doesn't bother me to just finish college, get a normal job, do normal things, then retire at sixty-something and be done with it. But, I'm afraid that dad might just be trying to live his own failed fantasies through my brother and me, most especially me (since, as it were, we are also kind of similar).

Still, all I can do is write these book lists, hope that he'll lose interest, or, if I lose my temper, tell him that I don't care to participate in this venture of his. If I have kids though, I don't ever want to live my dreams through them. I want them to do what inspires them and what makes them happy, even if I don't agree with it all that much. When you do something that makes you passionate, it makes you happy. That's how I felt whenever I did acting in high school, or when I took guitar classes, or when I started and finished my first novel earlier this year. Striving to do better and to be the best is what makes me passionate, and it's what makes most people happy.

For the record, I'm not done with these book lists. I'll do them after dinner. My back hurts from being hunched over. At the least, I'm two-thirds done, so it won't be so painful or take so long.

Also, I really would change the size font, but I like it this way. I already tried it slightly bigger, but it just takes away the flavor of the current layout. But not to worry, when I feel like making a new layout in a few months, the font will change.


C said...

Tienes derecho a vivir y luchar por tus pasiones. Posiblemente si le hablas a tu papá tan claro como lo que escribiste él entenderá. En cuanto a donar libros a las bibliotecas, comunicate antes y preguntasle si estan interesados, pues casi todas tienen políticas para donaciones de libros y aceptan muy pocas. Mantener y catalogar sus colecciones es un proceso de mucho trabajo(lo que la mayoría de la genet ni se entera). Es más fácil donarlos a una casa de mujeres o niños. Solo dales una llamada y te dejarán saber.

carol said...

O donalos a una carcel.

Anonymous said...

Los padres, siempre, la odiesa...

Donarlos es la mejor opción.