In about 24 hours we'll get the leaving cert results, which will mean our Friday will be filled with either a lot of celebratory or consolatory chocolate, but either way I thought the last few hours of nerve-wracking anticipation is the perfect time to talk about expectations (also Ron is away visiting friends in Galway so he can't stop me!).
I am going to share here something which I rarely admit to in public, but when I was young, I wanted to be Governor of the Central Bank.
Not what anyone would have ever guessed, but I always wanted to make a difference, and nothing makes the world move more then money.
So I have a bachelors degree in economics.
But I added a specialisation in accounting because my parents expected me to have "a pragmatic profession".
Somewhere along those extremely long 3 years in university, where I hated each and every moment, I discovered a few things - you can't live your life for someone else, even if that someone is your family, I am very bad with rules, organisations, and bosses, and that no matter how many probability courses I take, for me, it's always 50% chance of rain (or anything else).
While I finished my degree, completed a masters degree (in art history, but that's a story for a different post), got married, raised 2 amazing kids, moved 5 countries, had multiple businesses, volunteered, and helped as many people as I could along the way, I never became a certified accountant, and never went back to working for someone else.
My parents never forgave me for it.
The fact that in all the things I did, I never once held (or wanted) "a proper job" led them to see me as someone who failed at life.
I know I am extremely lucky because I have Hidai by my side (moral of the post - get yourself a Hidai), and privileged enough to never have the burden of being "the bread earner" of the family (again, get yourself a Hidai). But at the same time I've seen so many people struggle, so many people get stuck in jobs, organisations, professions they don't like, so many people who feel they are a failure just because someone told them they had to find "a proper job".
And mostly they could all do something else, somewhere else, but the weight of the expectations, the fear of falling and of letting others down, is just too high.
Which is why I told Ron before, during and after his exams, that there is no failing at life. It is always ok to not know who you are, or what you want to do, or how what you study will make you money, it is always ok to try, to change, to move.
Especially when you are 18.
All you have to do is what you love, and your best (and also to get himself a Hidai).