From the moment we are born, we are shaped by the expectations of others. It is a fact of life that our parents, bless their hearts, are the first to want nothing but the very best for us and it manifests in the form of expectations. This is only natural, but again, expectations are expectations and as such not always in keeping with our true interests and abilities, who and what we really are as an individual about to find a comfortable fit in the world.
The expectations, or assumptions, of others can weigh a young person down and sit like a backpack, heavy on their shoulders -- sometimes invisible to them.
As we progress in life, expectations of others threaten to influence us even more -- other family members, our teachers, our friends and last but not least, our sweethearts. Unfortunately, in cases similar to mine, we spend a large portion of our time half apologizing for the direction our lives have taken. Those ideas about us are not ours, but we tend to hold on to them as though they are.
To young people today, I say "be conscious of what others ask of you, but follow your instincts (your heart) and your dreams." Others' lack of approval can condition passion and impede ultimate accomplishment.
We must understand too, that those who celebrate only fractions of us do not really have our best interests at heart. Those who ask us to take on their needs are not our allies and in meeting their demands and repressing our own, we are misplacing our own values.
In the end, we are alone to answer to and for ourselves. Be proud of having done it your way!