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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

FAMILY: Family trying to control me
Letter #: 388236
Category: Family

Original Letter

I don't know what to do. My family wants me to study business, however I don't like business enough to make that my profession. I was in school studying science, biology to be exact. I was planning to go to per med and medical school but because of financial issues I had to put school on hold to help my family. And since that has happened my family has taken that as an opportunity to try to make me switch my major and break up with my boyfriend who's in the military. They don't like him at all and are always telling me he's no good. They are also blaming me for most of the argument that are occurring. My boyfriend tells me to join the military so I can get away and study what I want and live my life the way I want. However at the moment I can't just pack everything and go because my family is going through a really hard financial moment and I have to help as much as I can at home. I'm working part-time going to be full-time soon and literally I have no idea what to do. I'm normally a really strong willed person that never gives up but I don't know how to handle this situation, and talking about it with each other doesn't help it only seems to make things worse. What should I do? What can I do?

Elder Response

I can actually feel the weight of your burdens and pain as I read your letter.  I'm hoping that it at least gave you some relief to "get it out" by writing.  It seems that members of your family--and the financial circumstances--are literally keeping you from pursuing your own dreams.  It also appears that some members of the family are transferring their frustrations onto you, judging you, and trying to influence you about your boyfriend and career choices.

You are a grown up and can't be told what to do or not do professionally--especially when you are interested in serious areas like science and pre-med.  Fantastic! Clearly, your interest is not in business. Your family, no matter how much they love you, or how dire their situation is, simply can't deny you your own life and ambitions because they have problems you did not cause.  This is now YOUR life and you must choose to be yourself.

I recognize that making your own choices at this time will be hard and painful.  Your family will put the guilt on you and accuse you of abandoning them.  But again, this is your time! 

You may already be aware of this, but your boyfriend may have a good point in suggesting the military as an option.  The military can fund your pre-med college studies in exchange for a commitment to remain in the military for a certain number of years.  But you emerge from your studies as an officer with good pay and benefits.  Get the details from a recruitment office but you can likely go on to become a military physician with their support.  It's a real possibility for you and will be a way out of the dilemma you now face at home with your family.

I wish you the best and the best is always being yourself!

Best Regards,

Grandpa-Benjamin


    

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