The Hand That Feeds

I don’t talk about my family often on social media with the exception of Twitter but the only thing anyone needs to know about them is that I love them to no end. I’m very close to them and find it quintessential to be home in between schedule gaps so I can ground myself again.
However, growing up in an Asian household, the only word you can think of is strict, and that’s a topic that came up during my interview last week.
Do your parents support you in your career?”

The answer is yes. Yes, they do.
In fact, my dad even bought me my first big girl camera.
However, they don’t understand what I do. Three years into blogging, my mom thought I’ve been a fashion designer. It’s absurd. I didn’t understand the logic behind that. I would surprise her with presents; products from companies and told her, with a proud grin, that I worked to earn that, only to be disappointed that she didn’t understand how I did.
Why would I be going out to shoot and market products? Wouldn’t you think I’d have fabrics laced all over my bedroom and be married to my sewing machine?

So I finally explained it to her.
Mom, I’m a fashion blogger.”
And as many times as I tried to explain to her, she still never fully grasped it.
As for my dad, he constantly questioned why I wasn’t getting paid to meet with companies and didn’t understand the value of a business relationship. He insisted I made contracts with companies that reached out to me and constantly questioned everything I did. As much as I did try to explain, he still continued to argue back out of confusion.

To me, it was just a lost cause to get them to understand. There is too big of a generation gap.
My parents didn’t have this career option growing up in the Philippines. They always wanted me to follow in their footsteps; to be a nurse or computer engineer. 
Math and science was never my strong point. I was born for the arts.
But I had to understand them and I had to accept that they will never know what I do and how much it means to me. As big of a generation gap there is, there is one thing that both sides know how to do all too well: support.
I am so incredibly grateful for all that they do for me.

The interviewer asked another follow up question, “What advice do you give others with parents who don’t understand or support their career?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten into arguments over blogging with my parents. There is never going to be a common ground but your parents want the best for you. They’re scared because they’re worried about you. They don’t want you to fail.
But at the same time, they should trust that they raised you well enough to make the right decisions. Anything in the arts, especially a job that’s basically online, is anything short of stable.
I get that. It’s scary for me too, but if there’s any advice I could give you, it’s this:
Do what you love. The money will always follow.

Dress via If Chic

Photography by Justin Quebral

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