What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
That’s a pretty standard question isn’t it? We have been asked this question ever since we understood what the words “growing up” meant. Being the imaginative, young-minded kids we were then, we probably answered “a princess”, “an astronaut”, “a fireman”, “a soccer player” etc. As time wore on, our answers soon changed and we started giving answers like “a doctor”, “a lawyer”, “a banker”, “a veterinarian”.
Our answers continue to change as our lives evolved and start to take shape, either through the environment in which we live in, the grades in which we obtain or in some cases, the circumstance of our financial abilities. We no longer posses the mindset that we could achieve anything we set our mind to. Instead, we were restraint either by the belief that “where my interests lay and the career that I want to pursue will not allow me to make enough money to sustain a living” or “that such a career is only for the lucky and the few”. Whilst there are certain restraints that cannot be avoided like should your grades not enable you to pursue the degree that you want or that it is difficult to further discover that field of work due to finances. More often than not, it is often the lack of belief in ourselves that we can do what we love as a living.
During my earlier teen days I often responded to this question with three words “I don’t know”. It was either that or a typical profession that most adults would expect to hear from a kid at that age. Something common but yet has believed to be something that would enable you to earn enough to support yourself. An answer that became a stereotype that we must pursue a career along those lines because it was the norm. As I grew older and started my Diploma course, my answer changed again. Tailored to be one that was in-line with the Diploma I was pursuing. Thinking to myself “well, it’s an alright diploma and I guess a degree in this field would not be too bad. It will still get me to places, a decent job and if I am lucky, I may start to like it”.
Now, as I near graduation, my answer has changed once again. Over the past six months, I started to understand more about myself. Realize where my interests lay and thinking more out of the box. One day, I was having tea with a friend and we were talking about where I was deciding to go after graduating. Which Universities I was interested in applying for and the usual stuff. We conversed about mutual friends and their ambitions alongside their ability to achieve them. It dawned on me that well, we are actually all growing up. We are making decisions that will determine the rest of our lives (of course if you realize that there were other career paths you would like to pursue in the future, it is definitely still possible). The answers that we gave were no longer just for fun or just to provide an answer and move on to the next topic of conversation. But I realized that these answers were starting to become real paths that we were choosing, and I saw many people I knew settling for something they knew they did not love but were just making do with it. And that in itself scared me.
The society we lived in no longer promoted the idea of “do what you love” but rather, “do what you know will sustain you and settle for it because this is probably as good as it gets”.
I looked at some of the choices I made, the courses I have applied for and whilst I am certain that I will be able to do something with my life with that degree, I knew that it was not what I wanted. I wanted to do more, something I had an interest in. I do not want work to be a dread. I do not want to get by each day with the mindset of “I cannot wait for the day to end and go back home”. I would love to be able to think “I love what I am doing and it does not matter what time I am going to go home as long as it is done perfectly”.
It is definitely much easier said than done. Many people are not able to achieve their dreams for reasons that cannot be helped. But the main point of me expressing this is that it does not matter how outrages or impossible what you think your dream is to be when you grow up (unless it is to just to stay home and do nothing then I definitely encourage finding a hobby that would interest you), as long as you try to do whatever you can to achieve them. At the end of the day, you may or may not have achieved it but at least you cannot say you did not try. (With that said, definitely still have a back-up plan. It never hurts to be careful.)
So if you have read up to this point and hopefully my burst of personal opinion did not scare you away, then this is what I promise myself to do and encourage people to do the same. I am at a point in my life where I have limitless number of opportunities and chances to take. Not all doors may be opened for me and it may take a long, arduous and tiring route filled with set-backs to achieve what I aim to. I am not sure how, when, where, who or what I am going to do. But I know one thing, and that is why. Because ultimately, when I grow old, I want to be able to tell myself that I definitely tried my hardest and gave it my best.
What do I want to be when I grow up? I want to be happy and doing the things I love.