It was during dinner when I broke the news to them.
Mummy, Daddy, I want to be a writer.
What do you mean? Like a journalist? Copy writer?
No, not quite.
Is this some hum sup thing, where you wear skimpy clothes and take photos with soap bar and shampoo?
No! Of course not.
Oh, thank God. If you do, then no one will use that brand any more. Haha.
Daddy! I am serious.
What do you write about?
Who would want to read things like that?
Well, I have readers all around the world! And everyone is so encouraging. I have been working for the past few months on this website…
Writing isn’t a real career. It doesn’t pay you well. You know who and who’s son? He just bought his own place. And the neighbour’s daughter? Buying a new car next week! Now Mummy is not asking you to stop writing, but take it as a hobby lah.
I protested. That I could achieve all those things and so much more. That it is possible to make your dream your career and be rewarded for it.
And through it all, they said nothing. Mouth agape, their hands clutched at their chest, a permanent frown across their foreheads. I am pouring my heart out but the concepts of ‘dreams’, ‘passion’, ‘working from home’ are foreign and alien to their traditional upbringing.
This is all your fault.
How is this my fault?
If the seed is good, and the tree turns out bad, it’s the soil’s fault isn’t it?
Well, if the soil is good and the seed is bad, you get a bad tree as well!
You planted all these Western ideas into that head of hers. First it’s the Arts degree. Now this. What’s next? Is she going to marry a non-Chinese and do voluntary work?
As my parents bicker between themselves, trying to determine who’s right; I sat in between them, feeling all 50 shades of wrong.
It was late when I heard the knocking on my room door.
I was already bracing myself for the reprimand, the downright refusal and threats of marrying me off unless I find myself a real job.
Would you read to us some of your work?
I searched their faces, waiting for a snide remark, the punchline. None.
I looked at dad, who’s always had the dream of seeing his daughter as a successful corporate woman.
Don’t read the hum sup ones.
I took the road less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.