Trying to navigate life post-graduation is already a weird and wonderful process without the added complications that come with being the daughter of first-generation migrant, African mother. The expectations placed on me, as the first graduate of my family, are, as you can imagine, pretty big. And the expectations I have for myself aren’t exactly small but to be honest they aren’t exactly fully formed. I’m still trying to get to grips with the fact that my life no longer revolves around academia.
So whilst I’m trying to figure this out, I’m also battling with grand hopes my nearest and dearest has for me. The issue isn’t that she believes in my ability or that I don’t believe in it, the issue is that they are narrow and ultimately not what I’m interested in. I guess what I am interested in, regarding careers, doesn’t conform to the traditional roles of the past, doctor, lawyer etc. This is where we clash. We struggle to see each other’s ideas in the way we see them for ourselves. I can’t understand why she can’t understand why I want what I want or don’t want what she wants. And so it goes.
I don’t think this is new, in fact it’s definitely an age-old dilemma for so many young people with or without migrant parents. But it’s one I am currently experiencing. At this point, I guess the only way to overcome this is with the fruits of my labour – literally. Everyone understands the language of success, not least African parents, no translation glitch there. One thing I am certain of, is that the person that will be by my side to celebrate my wins, as and when they come, is my mam.