A funny thing happened the day after the STGCC. I went home to see my mom and dad.
I was brimming with pride. They saw with their own eyes how kids from last year came rushing to my booth for the latest book. They saw those who bought one book earlier came back to buy the other two books. They saw I was doing quite well.
But this is what they said to me after we met on Monday: "we can see that the kids really love your stuff, but the market is probably still too small to sustain your livelihood."
At that moment, I felt like a small kid coming home with my latest test marks, shoving the test marks in my parents' hands, "are you proud of me now?" I remembered how they'd ask, "what mistakes did you make this time?" "Where did the 5 marks go?" "Who did better than you?"
Thankfully, I'm not a little kid. And here's what I realise: if I seek my parents' approval like I did decades ago, I will find only disappointment. My parents' doubting of me is an extension of their self-doubt. "Is this kid of mine good enough? Did I do right as a mom/dad?"
For those of us who find this familiar, I can only say this to you as I've said to myself, "honor yourself as your parents' greatest achievement, stand by your convictions even when they doubt you."
Thank you for reading. Love yourself, love your parents even when they have nothing good to say about anything you do.