"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
These words, although commonplace, have haunted me ever since I was a little kid when teachers would ask us to draw pictures of what our future occupation would be. As a 2nd grader, I drew a picture of me as a veterinarian but I didn't really want to be a veterinarian. They said,
"It's okay. You don't have to choose right away." That was a relief... for a while. But then came high school and all of a sudden, a bunch of people my age had goals. AP classes, internships and extracurricular activities made up their days while I ditched class to get donuts and play on the swings at the park.
It got even worse in college when everyone I knew completely disappeared. Now I know that most of them were getting pregnant or partying, but I couldn't help but feel that I was left behind. I don't want to 'be' anything and I really don't want to be a cog in a giant economic machine. I am flesh and blood! Not mechanics.
But the pressure got worse from family and society so I chose a major- Early Childhood Education. Basically I chose this because I wanted to play, draw and imagine with kids instead of getting a 'real' job. This showed in my work though because I would get so caught up playing Candyland with one kid that I wouldn't notice that the other kids were trying to murder each other with jump ropes.
Five years I spent playing with kids and every day knowing that this was not actually something I wanted to do. I just wanted to be free to think and learn about the world on my own. I wasn't smart enough to be a scientist but I wanted to do science. I knew nothing about dolphins but I wanted to research them. I wanted to write, act, direct, manage and rule nations under my thumb. I was the infinite person who was capable of everything but refused to commit to anything.
In short, I am society's worst nightmare. They hate nothing more than a person who won't commit to anything. However, I do commit to something. I want to see the world from as many different angles as possible before I die. I want to know what the world looks like from the top of Mount Everest and Mount Fuji! I want to be able to speak to people in as many different languages as exist. I want to save starving people in Africa and teach poor kids in Pacoima.
You see, what I have accepted in myself is something that most others push aside. As children we are told to choose a fate. Sorry, that's not in my nature and I'm sure that it's not yours either. We don't live to be predictable. God made me curious about him and about everything that he created. And that's what my destiny is.
There's a reason why you get pissed off at working at the same place everyday. It's because you are wasting your life. You grow comfortable or you are forced to mature after getting married or having kids. So you compromise, fitting in to the industry standard- finding small happiness in family dinners and tax returns.
But think of all the faces that you haven't seen in the world. Think of all the places that are yet undiscovered. It doesn't take money, good lucks or charm to get there. It only takes bravery. I might lose my bravery one day and fit in with everyone else but that's not because their way is right. It's simply because I lose my faith in myself and in God's divine purpose for me.
Enjoy life for it is very short. Meet as many people as possible. Build memories and travel abroad. You don't want to be the person who regrets his or her wasted talent. Be the person your soul cries out so desperately for you to be.