I’ve spent a lot of the past two years reframing expectations for myself that I had previously associated with my identity. Things like what kind of job I needed to do, where I needed to work, and how much money I needed to make to be “successful.”
This challenging shift extended similarly to my parents, who were understandably worried about my future when I decided to start working as a photojournalist in Cambodia.
At the end of the day, I know my parents just want me to be safe, healthy and happy. They were familiar with how I might achieve those things working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, but not as a photojournalist in Cambodia.
The initial transition was difficult, but I think now that they see I enjoy what I do and have had some success with it, they have a better understanding of why I’m pursuing this path.
I have to give them credit for being so generous and forgiving of my “unusual” life choices, but I’ve inevitably also felt guilty for making them go on this unpredictable journey with me. I know where those feelings come from, and I have to remind myself that I can still be a good daughter while choosing a path that is honest to myself.