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Hi everyone,
All my life(16 years up till now) I've been wondering what my purpose is. Today, I have found it: I want to teach.
There is a huge problem: I've vaguely discussed career options with my parents, and they insist that because of my academic inclination, I will make a wonderful medical doctor, if not that, then engineer, then architect, then accountant, list all career choices except the one she wants.
I agree(I'm not trying to boast at all), I can do whatever I want if I put my heart into it, but I choose to teach. I want to do this as much as I want to live.

Now, I must confess, I haven't slept all night-I've been up thinking about it, getting excited, being more worried, but I'm scared they will belittle my dream again. Sooner or later(only have a year and a half left of high school or what we call 'A levels'), I will have to face them, but how? God, I'm so scared, I want them to support me for whatever I do, and it's literally all I ask from them.

But, how???? :frustrating:

Calling experienced and wisened INFJs for some solid advice.
Thanks so much if you are reading this. Means more than you can ever imagine.
 

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Hi everyone,
All my life(16 years up till now) I've been wondering what my purpose is. Today, I have found it: I want to teach.
There is a huge problem: I've vaguely discussed career options with my parents, and they insist that because of my academic inclination, I will make a wonderful medical doctor, if not that, then engineer, then architect, then accountant, list all career choices except the one she wants.
I agree(I'm not trying to boast at all), I can do whatever I want if I put my heart into it, but I choose to teach. I want to do this as much as I want to live.
My parents do not understand...."We've spent a lot of money on your private school education, Your education was a waste of time then if you just wanted this, we could have sent you elsewhere", blah blah blah...couldn't care less, won't listen to this rubbish. I am not sure how to convince them though. :rolleyes:
Could be you can't convince them your choice is best. They are thinking in terms of a career in some high paying high prestige field which will assure ample income and an upscale living style, which would include hobnobbing with other uls types. Good points.

That your high quality education would be a waste if you went into teaching doesn't work, though. For one thing you are better educated. For another, there is nothing preventing your getting a degree in any number of valuable areas while doing the education course work for teaching certification.

What will make the difference in parent approval is your determination to become a teacher. I think it's a fine choice.
 

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When we put harmony before our own desires (damnit, Fe!), it can be so damn hard to accept disapproval from people you would normally expect at least a base level of support from. I understand what you are going through, and while my parents didn't disapprove of my career choice, you can bet they disapproved of other things. ;)

No education, in my humble opinion, is a waste. We are naturally growth-centered. Something learned is something gained. And of course, we define our own success, too, and I would go as far to say that for many INFJs, learning and growing is a huge component of personal success for us. If it's success for you, than you win. Period. Don't worry about what anyone else considers achievement.

It seems to me like the situation you're in is due to something larger. It's okay that you can't make everyone happy by doing the things you feel are right, even if they are people close to you. I say this, I know it, and it is still so. damn. hard for me, too, but I believe it to be true.
If you feel teaching is your calling, kick down the barn door, whip open the stall and get da' ass on it to charge ahead. It doesn't mean you should run people over with the horse, but know you can get on which ever one you choose, as long as you've given it logical thought and consideration for your future. Don't want to eat meat? Don't. If they don't accept it now, perhaps down the road when you are a vegan professor at a university you love and they see your happiness, your life, your success defined by the reality in which you live, they will truly understand you were right all along.

I personally was very close with my family when I lived with them, but it was extremely hard for me- extremely hard- for me to know where the line between myself and my family was in order to function. I had to find ways to deal with being around them until I could move away and that physical space allowed me to see, hey, my decisions are my own and while I respect their opinions, it's ultimately my choice to make. And that distance helped me feel comfortable in my choices. Ironically, I have a better relationship with my parents now than I did then and I am so much more self-confident, determined and healthy than I ever was.

And callings are powerful shit to INFJs! It's emotional and all consuming. Let that feeling drive you. If you're confident, tactful and persistent, you'll get to exactly where you want to go- even if it wasn't where you thought it was in the first place.

So, sorry if I ramble or weave off topic a bit, but my words of advice are, do what you feel in your heart is best, don't let anyone discredit your opinion, think both with your head and heart, and accept that not everyone will understand the choices we make in life- and that it's all okay.

:)

Much love and luck.
 

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I will also add that I personally give you permission.

I mean that in the most human-to-human way possible, from one INFJ to another.
You will be great. :)
 
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Hi.

You are likely to get (hopefully anyways) lots of support here in this forum to pursue your dream, which is a calling in my view.

If you are young, you are able to pursue education in a few areas. By that I mean that a person who is young may take a course in say professional cooking, or nutrition or music and end up teaching in that as part of their profession. Teaching opportunities are available in many professions. For example a person trained in massage therapy can end up teaching their skills to others after they worked in the area.

You want to teach; what age / area do you see yourself enjoying teaching? My first thought when I read your post is - you may discover that you want to teach adults which means you could end up becoming a doctor and teaching in medicine. Just one of your many options.

The world needs good teachers. Teachers can be or are big influences on our lives in addition or sometimes in the absence of parents and family. The more good teachers out there in the world, the better. Yes, many people are "teachers" 9-5 with children in the school system but teaching itself is broader than that in society.

I think that it is wonderful that you have identified a desire within yourself to teach others. I can appreciate the situation you are in with your parents and I would offer up to you that you should feel confident that you will find a way to plug into your desire to teach.

I would also say, as a way of bolstering your own excitement and confidence right now that if you are a future teacher, every experience that you have in other realms can come to inform your teaching when you do teach others. Teaching involves supporting the learning of other people and the more that you collect your own life experiences and reflect on them, the more those will come to bear on your teaching philosophy, teaching style and teaching skills. You can develop yourself as a future teacher regardless of whether your parents support it as a career choice right now.

What is it about teaching that is attractive to you? Hold onto that, write about it, stoke the fire within you and keep the faith, as they say. As for the support from your parents, give it time.
 

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You know how it's common for people to daydream about their future lover? With parents or future parents, they tend to daydream about their children and what they may grow up to be. It leads them down all sorts of weird paths, perhaps listening to Mozart while they're pregnant, thinking you'll look so cute in this outfit they saw at the store, enrolling you in Montessori early on, or like you lightly touched about, certain diets. Basically, they micro manage and plan out your life. Now, parents always struggle during this transitional phase where you go from their little boy/girl that was completely dependent on them to semi-independent (teens) and later your virtually fully independent adult phase. Eventually, most will say "as long as you're happy then we're happy," but a few others take a bit longer to come around to that. Try to give them a bit of time on this one while still holding your ground and respecting your boundaries -- don't let them push or nag at you for too long and subsequently don't try to change their opinion in one conversation.

Generally, you want to say something along the lines of "I appreciate where you're coming from and I know you're just looking out for me, it's just that I feel that __________ is the best for me right now. Your support would mean the world to me and you'll always be important. I want to be able to talk to you on the road ahead, but please let me have this for me."

Honestly, I think they'll come to closer to College/University time. At the worst though, be prepared to cover those expenditures on your own. Fortunately, I don't suspect they're going to leave you high and dry.

While I imagine this is all incredibly taxing for you, try to be patient with them & try not to expend too much energy trying to defend yourself or your stance, but don't let them pick you apart either. Like I said earlier, setup boundaries and if they keep pushing them then end the conversation.
 

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@thealternative

I command and envy you for finding a passion to teach and finding it at 16.

However, I caution you to keep your mind open. Try taking different courses and talking to people with different professions. You may fall in love with architecture, biology, criminal behavior. People may tell you what they love or hate what they do. Use your Ni to get the kernels that are useful to further your understanding.

Teaching a part of it is about getting a teaching credential. It is mostly a 2-year program in the US if I remember correctly (where you are you need to find out; some places don't require any exam or certification). You can always obtain it when you are ready.

Also, teaching is not limited to school districts or private schools. I have 2 friends who have been the owners of a successful after school academy to boost SAT and ACT scores by tutoring high schoolers. On the side, they often act as counselors whenever the kids have things they don't want to say to their parents.
 

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Medicine or health with a view to becoming an academic may be the answer or considering psychiatry perhaps...tbh teaching is more administration and 'standards' than actual teaching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Could be you can't convince them your choice is best. They are thinking in terms of a career in some high paying high prestige field which will assure ample income and an upscale living style, which would include hobnobbing with other uls types. Good points.

That your high quality education would be a waste if you went into teaching doesn't work, though. For one thing you are better educated. For another, there is nothing preventing your getting a degree in any number of valuable areas while doing the education course work for teaching certification.

What will make the difference in parent approval is your determination to become a teacher. I think it's a fine choice.
I'm really glad that you understand me....sighs with tremendous feeling of gratitude
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It seems to me like the situation you're in is due to something larger. It's okay that you can't make everyone happy by doing the things you feel are right, even if they are people close to you. I say this, I know it, and it is still so. damn. hard for me, too, but I believe it to be true.
If you feel teaching is your calling, kick down the barn door, whip open the stall and get da' ass on it to charge ahead. It doesn't mean you should run people over with the horse, but know you can get on which ever one you choose, as long as you've given it logical thought and consideration for your future. Don't want to eat meat? Don't. If they don't accept it now, perhaps down the road when you are a vegan professor at a university you love and they see your happiness, your life, your success defined by the reality in which you live, they will truly understand you were right all along.

And callings are powerful shit to INFJs! It's emotional and all consuming. Let that feeling drive you. If you're confident, tactful and persistent, you'll get to exactly where you want to go- even if it wasn't where you thought it was in the first place.

So, sorry if I ramble or weave off topic a bit, but my words of advice are, do what you feel in your heart is best, don't let anyone discredit your opinion, think both with your head and heart, and accept that not everyone will understand the choices we make in life- and that it's all okay.

:)

Much love and luck.
I will also add that I personally give you permission.

I mean that in the most human-to-human way possible, from one INFJ to another.
You will be great. :)
I want to give you a massive hug right now. Thank you so much for your view and you relating to my situation gives me a lot of courage for today-I'm going to approach them. I don't think my reply will be able to convey exactly what I'm feeling.
P.S. Really appreciate that you took the time to talk about yourself as well so that I would be able to relate. :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@thealternative

I command and envy you for finding a passion to teach and finding it at 16.

However, I caution you to keep your mind open. Try taking different courses and talking to people with different professions. You may fall in love with architecture, biology, criminal behavior. People may tell you what they love or hate what they do. Use your Ni to get the kernels that are useful to further your understanding.

Teaching a part of it is about getting a teaching credential. It is mostly a 2-year program in the US if I remember correctly (where you are you need to find out; some places don't require any exam or certification). You can always obtain it when you are ready.

Also, teaching is not limited to school districts or private schools. I have 2 friends who have been the owners of a successful after school academy to boost SAT and ACT scores by tutoring high schoolers. On the side, they often act as counselors whenever the kids have things they don't want to say to their parents.
Thank you so much for this huge amount of knowledge; it has definitely reminded me to keep my options open, but the reason why I say I want to do teaching is because this is IT...from here on I will keep my options open.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You know how it's common for people to daydream about their future lover? With parents or future parents, they tend to daydream about their children and what they may grow up to be. It leads them down all sorts of weird paths, perhaps listening to Mozart while they're pregnant, thinking you'll look so cute in this outfit they saw at the store, enrolling you in Montessori early on, or like you lightly touched about, certain diets. Basically, they micro manage and plan out your life. Now, parents always struggle during this transitional phase where you go from their little boy/girl that was completely dependent on them to semi-independent (teens) and later your virtually fully independent adult phase. Eventually, most will say "as long as you're happy then we're happy," but a few others take a bit longer to come around to that. Try to give them a bit of time on this one while still holding your ground and respecting your boundaries -- don't let them push or nag at you for too long and subsequently don't try to change their opinion in one conversation.

Generally, you want to say something along the lines of "I appreciate where you're coming from and I know you're just looking out for me, it's just that I feel that __________ is the best for me right now. Your support would mean the world to me and you'll always be important. I want to be able to talk to you on the road ahead, but please let me have this for me."

Honestly, I think they'll come to closer to College/University time. At the worst though, be prepared to cover those expenditures on your own. Fortunately, I don't suspect they're going to leave you high and dry.

While I imagine this is all incredibly taxing for you, try to be patient with them & try not to expend too much energy trying to defend yourself or your stance, but don't let them pick you apart either. Like I said earlier, setup boundaries and if they keep pushing them then end the conversation.
Words of true wisdom...I'm going to talk to them today and like you said, will not let this conversation be 'the end-all'. :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi.

You are likely to get (hopefully anyways) lots of support here in this forum to pursue your dream, which is a calling in my view.

If you are young, you are able to pursue education in a few areas. By that I mean that a person who is young may take a course in say professional cooking, or nutrition or music and end up teaching in that as part of their profession. Teaching opportunities are available in many professions. For example a person trained in massage therapy can end up teaching their skills to others after they worked in the area.

You want to teach; what age / area do you see yourself enjoying teaching? My first thought when I read your post is - you may discover that you want to teach adults which means you could end up becoming a doctor and teaching in medicine. Just one of your many options.

The world needs good teachers. Teachers can be or are big influences on our lives in addition or sometimes in the absence of parents and family. The more good teachers out there in the world, the better. Yes, many people are "teachers" 9-5 with children in the school system but teaching itself is broader than that in society.

I think that it is wonderful that you have identified a desire within yourself to teach others. I can appreciate the situation you are in with your parents and I would offer up to you that you should feel confident that you will find a way to plug into your desire to teach.

I would also say, as a way of bolstering your own excitement and confidence right now that if you are a future teacher, every experience that you have in other realms can come to inform your teaching when you do teach others. Teaching involves supporting the learning of other people and the more that you collect your own life experiences and reflect on them, the more those will come to bear on your teaching philosophy, teaching style and teaching skills. You can develop yourself as a future teacher regardless of whether your parents support it as a career choice right now.

What is it about teaching that is attractive to you? Hold onto that, write about it, stoke the fire within you and keep the faith, as they say. As for the support from your parents, give it time.
Wow, that was beautifully said.

I am not sure what I will teach, or to whom, or even where, I just know that this is what I want and I think that my parents should support me in whatever path I take, instead of painting a fake picture of their ideal career for me without including me in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Medicine or health with a view to becoming an academic may be the answer or considering psychiatry perhaps...tbh teaching is more administration and 'standards' than actual teaching.
Yeah, I want my career to be more than mere admin and rigid schedules. This is going to be my life, therefore a part of me.
 

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I went through a similar experience with my parents when I told them I was dead set on becoming an illustrator and going to an art college. They were concerned I wouldn't make enough money, that I'd be a starving artist, that my education in college would go to waste because I'd end up in an office pushing papers somewhere...etc, etc, etc.

But I held my ground, because it was clearly something I was meant to do (and still is). Against their better judgement, I went, and they ended up helping me pay for it. Within a year, they were rewarded for their belief in me. :)

So, to you I say, go teach. The world doesn't have enough good teachers. There is one thing I would recommend first, figure out what age level you want to teach and speak to teachers of that age level. There's a lot of administrative politics in the teaching world, especially at the college level. At lower levels, there's the unavoidable task of handling student and administrative paperwork after hours (teaching is not really a job where you can leave the school and forget about your day...the work tends to follow you). That said, there are rewards that exceed those pitfalls. I just want to make sure you're well aware of them.
 

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I went through a similar experience with my parents when I told them I was dead set on becoming an illustrator and going to an art college. They were concerned I wouldn't make enough money, that I'd be a starving artist, that my education in college would go to waste because I'd end up in an office pushing papers somewhere...etc, etc, etc.

But I held my ground, because it was clearly something I was meant to do (and still is). Against their better judgement, I went, and they ended up helping me pay for it. Within a year, they were rewarded for their belief in me. :)

So, to you I say, go teach. The world doesn't have enough good teachers. There is one thing I would recommend first, figure out what age level you want to teach and speak to teachers of that age level. There's a lot of administrative politics in the teaching world, especially at the college level. At lower levels, there's the unavoidable task of handling student and administrative paperwork after hours (teaching is not really a job where you can leave the school and forget about your day...the work tends to follow you). That said, there are rewards that exceed those pitfalls. I just want to make sure you're well aware of them.
Thanks. Reading this whilst reaching home where my mission awaits lol..
 

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I went through a similar experience with my parents when I told them I was dead set on becoming an illustrator and going to an art college. They were concerned I wouldn't make enough money, that I'd be a starving artist, that my education in college would go to waste because I'd end up in an office pushing papers somewhere...etc, etc, etc.

But I held my ground, because it was clearly something I was meant to do (and still is). Against their better judgement, I went, and they ended up helping me pay for it. Within a year, they were rewarded for their belief in me. :)

So, to you I say, go teach. The world doesn't have enough good teachers. There is one thing I would recommend first, figure out what age level you want to teach and speak to teachers of that age level. There's a lot of administrative politics in the teaching world, especially at the college level. At lower levels, there's the unavoidable task of handling student and administrative paperwork after hours (teaching is not really a job where you can leave the school and forget about your day...the work tends to follow you). That said, there are rewards that exceed those pitfalls. I just want to make sure you're well aware of them.
I think it would be hard for someone today to find a job that doesn't have politics and admin issues. I agree that its good to be aware of them, but I would just add to this that people do find ways to manage the politics and admin issues (i.e. budgetary demands, etc...) in their professions.
 

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It's easy: don't give as much of a fuck.

I had the same thing happen all through my life. When I was in first grade I had almost middle school knowledge on all materials and was told I could skip grades. I decided not to. I was told that I could go to college early and become a doctor or surgeon by 16, I chose not to. Instead, I wanted to be a chef and people tried to deter me. "You'll work 16 hour shifts all week!" "You won't get to have a personal life!" "Do you know how much hard work it is?" I would get that quite a bit because I was the anxious little shit that hardly talked to anyone, but I wanted to do it. I was told that I was a fool. I was told that I wouldn't be able to handle it.

Now I'm a junior in college going for a culinary management degree. I have studied culinary for 5 years (2 being in High School) and have cooked since I was 10. I may very well still be a fool, but at least I'm happy in what I'm doing.

My advice boiled down: Disappointing others can hurt, but if you disappoint yourself you will find it harder to forgive yourself.
 
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