“You are my love, my life, and my everything.” My parents told me this every night before bed for as long as I can remember. In Tagalog, my mom would say, “Isusuko na naming ang lahat, kahit na kailangan naming gumapang para ibigay sa iyo.” We will give up everything, even if we have to crawl to give it to you.
I always appreciated my parents sacrificing for me. As their only child, I felt like being obedient and never disappointing them was the least I could do. Until age 22, I was a people pleaser, a “yes” person. I worried about other people’s feelings before my own. And so, I did many things to help my parents. I made their burdens mine.
I followed the path they expected of me.
After college, the facade cracked. My Bachelor’s degree in Biology had started me on the path of becoming a doctor – just as my parents wanted. While peers talked about taking out loans and getting jobs to pay their tuition, I didn’t worry: I knew my parents had it covered like they always did, no questions asked.
One night, hiding in the dark behind my bedroom door, I overheard my parents quietly talking. They were going to take money out of their retirement accounts and get an equity line of credit so they could cover my tuition.
My heart sank. How could I let my parents sacrifice their comfort to help me fulfill a dream I had said yes to but that wasn’t even my own?
I had always pictured myself standing up to my parents with confidence. But walking towards them that night, my shoulders slumped and my head was down. My stomach felt like it would fall out from under me.
Standing face to face, the powerful speech I had practiced over and over in my head spilled out like gibberish. I blurted out “Doctors give me anxiety!” My jumbled words after that surely must have proved it. I had finally stood up, but it felt like I had fallen down.
And yet, even after that torrent of confusion, my parents were still there. As the conversation progressed and my nerves calmed, my parents came to understand my pain. And all they wanted was for me to be happy and fulfilled in whatever I chose to do.
I was the one who’d been standing in my own way. I had always blamed my parents and used them as an excuse, yet it had always been up to me. Avoiding my true self – living an obligated life for others, even if my best interests were at heart – had been hurting all of us.
It was as if my mom and dad were now saying: We will give up everything, even our dreams for you, to know that you are whole.
How I’m expanding what’s possible with money
By making it exciting and reasonable at the same time. I constantly re-evaluate and prioritize my goals. I don’t hold myself back too much with enjoyment, but I also don’t make impulsive decisions. With goals, I ask myself, ‘Is this something I really need or something I just want?’ I save monthly for my practical goal (buying a house) and my thrilling goal (one day traveling to the Maldives!). I also love helping my family with their financial goals.
Outside of work, my passions include
Balancing an active and relaxing lifestyle. You can always find me running in the gym or on the beach, but I also like to stay home and binge watch TV. I enjoy baking delicious treats for friends and family, as well as traveling and trying out new restaurants together. If spending some good old family time is involved, you can always count me in!