Teen with a dream

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

My parents don’t know what I want in life and when i try to tell them i’m shut out or treated like a child. I don’t hate my family or friends, I love them soo much! But the problem is they don’t know the girl that is really inside of me. Part of it is my fault, I’ve always been a shy person, but I’ve gotten more vocal throughout my years, though I’m still not a loud person. The only person I’ve told what I really want in life and how I feel is my younger brother. He listens to me, but he is too young to really understand what I am going through. The girl that my friends see on the outside is: fun to be with, smart, athletic, sweet, good friend. The person my parents see: shy and quiet, yet still loud at times, smart and athletic, and responsible. But the girl that is only a part of me, a small part. The girl that lies inside me is more then just a “softball player” with “straight A’s” I’m soo much more. And my goal in life is not to be the next Jenny Finch or attend Harvard, I have dreams that go unnoticed by everyone, and I feel that my parents really don’t care. The only thing they care about is school and softball and “you need to get a scholarship” But in a few years I don’t plan to go to college (I do plan to go eventually) I plan to (if all goes as planned) be touring the world doing what I love, singing and making music for my fans and just being the real me. When I go to sleep at night I normally takes me hours to fall asleep, I just lie awake thinking about how my life could be, but I don’t have anyone to help me reach my goal. I’m not saying my friends and family don’t support me, because they do, but it’s just they don’t support me for the things I need them to. I’m not saying that one day I will become the next big star in music, but I would like to try. I want to know that I tried, that I gave my all, and if I wasn’t good enough then that’s fine, then I’ll go get my scholarship.

The only plan I have to make my dream come true is: I’m going to audition for American Idol next summer, my parents already know. (They know I can sing, but they just don’t know that’s what I love to do most of all in life) This past spring my best friend and I auditioned (separately) for a Talent Show, (we made it) I sang for the first time in front of a live audience, and everything felt right. For once everything made since when I was singing on that stage. And when It was over every cheered and it just felt unexplainable. I’ve only had that felling one other time, that’s when I picked up my very first electric guitar and just play a “G” and my heart stopped, the whole world stopped and it was just me and that guitar and everything again made since, like it was my destiny… this was actually a few days ago, but my parents don’t want me to spend my money on the guitar, I’ve finally convinced my mom to let me buy it though, yet still she doesn’t understand what it means to me. All week I’ve been playing some songs on my guitar and my brother listens and smiles. My sister will listen in the door way and then just leave when I turn to see if she is there… but my parents they hear me. But they don’t listen. They don’t understand. I write my own lyrics and I’ve been getting pretty good, but my parents just found out about this because I was very upset one day and I just started trying to tell them about all the things I want and I said “I bet you didn’t know I write me own songs.” and my mom just cut me off mid speech and said, “I don’t have time for this right now” and when ever I try to talk to her she says “I have a headache” or “your giving me a headache”. My dad.. well most of the time that we talk its about softball or somehow relates to softball or school. I hate it because he doesn’t’ even realize that I’m an almost 15 year old girl… and I’m not a little girl anymore, whenever I’m talking about boys or something he freaks out! I have a huge crush and my mom found out cuz she heard me telling my sister and I couldn’t deny it (I can’t lie, I just give it away cuz I can’t stop smiling) and when I was talking to her about it she was all happy and stuff. Then when my dad finds out and I come home from hanging out with my crush and some other friends my mom and dad are sitting on the coach and I’m getting interrogated!! I hate it so much! It’s like I thought they trusted me! He is just my friend and that’ll probably be it!! Well as you can see my parents and I have a good relationship, but some understanding would make it stronger. And I really wish I knew how to tell them the things that I want in life. And that it really hurts me when they shut me out and when they treat me like a child and freak out when I’m with boys… what do I do??

A: Your energy is infectious, but it may also scare people that are close to you. Imagine that every person you have written about, and every person reading this has a dream. Some of those dreams are smaller than yours, some identical, and some bigger. But most human beings have to balance their dreams with skill, determination, and other people. Dreams are what drive us to evolve as individuals and as a species. We need them. But it is the balance between what we want, what we are willing to do, and what the universe delivers.

Understand your parents are people with dreams too. One of their dreams is to have a daughter who is successful and happy. Try to allow them to have their dream, while not diminishing yours. Test life out on your terms, and let your parents in on the whole of who you are. They might be worried for you because part of their dream is to keep you from being hurt. But they might be able to understand that you have a lot of drive to succeed and you might have to sample many things before putting your talents into focus.

You may also have to endure the hardship of rejection. Consider J.K. Rowling, one of the world’s most successful authors. She was rejected by a dozen publishers before her first Harry Potter book was accepted.

The real work with your dream is defining who you are going to be from now until next summer, and after the audition, whatever way it goes.

I would recommend you share your thoughts and dreams with the guidance counselor at your school. They are used to helping people manage the balance of working on their dreams while meeting the challenges.

Go after your dream, and let your parents have theirs.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Aug 2010

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2010). Teen with a dream. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/08/20/teen-with-a-dream/