What If?

“Mom, what if I want to become a psychologist?” I ask, expecting something  like, “Sure, of course,” but instead I get…

A scoff. A remark: “What? Rocky, there is no money in that!”

Even though that’s not what I wanted to be, it hurt me, broke me apart. That wish belongs to my cousin, who tells her mom that she’ll become a nurse.

My cousin just finished her second year in college, taking classes to become a psychologist. No one has found out but me, when she told me.

I was so happy when she said that. I was happy that she was aiming for something in life. I was happy that she found something to do in life–something I haven’t done yet.

But I wasn’t as happy when she said her mom doesn’t know. No, I was surprised.

So, thinking up a scene of where my cousin confesses to her mom about wanting to become a psychologist, I asked my mom (my cousin’s mom’s sister) what she would do if I was to become one.

This was only a make-up scenario. The real person–the real dreamer–would be crushed.

“Dad,” I ask, “what would you do if I became a psychologist?” Would both parents answer similarly?

“Fine,” my dad said, but he said it without emotion, without passion and without disappointment. “As long as you do good,” he adds.

“What?” my mom asks. “No, you will not become a psychologist. Just become a doctor–but not a psychologist. There’s no money there.”

Torn apart by my mother’s comments, I drop the subject.

My aunt originally wanted a dentist of her daughter, or a diabetic specialist, or even a nurse. What would she think now? There’s no way my aunt would accept her daughter’s decision.

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