I wish I had said; I have no idea.
Still a young girl, daring to go against the norms; that’s who I was. I was more comfortable around guys and doing what was considered, “only for the men”. This habit has trickled down to my adult years, as I have more male relations compared with females.
Also, no, I am not that kind of woman who despises her gender. Some have even termed me a Feminazi (this needs a whole section dedicated to it). Moreover, considering what many guys have to contend with, I’m happy to be female.
A few days ago, my niece was in the same spot as are many kids. She had just graduated from nursery school, and her mum asked her what she would like to be. Unlike what many would expect; an outright answer, she went quiet and seemed pensive.
Probably contemplating how best to respond, she started fiddling with her fingers. Then her mum says, “Hey, don’t you remember you once told me you wanted to be a doctor?” She just smiled as said, “Yes, I do.”
This incident took me back to my childhood years. My dad posed the same question to me “Whom do you want to be when you grow up?” I had never taken time to think about it, but excitedly I responded “An air hostess.”
Their beauty and strut that drew the attention of others were some of the reasons I thought a flight attendant was a good career choice. However, my dad discouraged me from pursuing that line and encouraged me to think “big.”
Looking back at that choice, and knowing that maintaining a good look 24/7 is hard work; I feel like I dodged a bullet. Later, in high school, I heard about this “prestigious” course that was tough and had few qualified experts in the market.
I thought to myself; I can do this; sail through it, I did. Though, several years after completing the program on campus, and deep down I feel, I shouldn’t have taken this path (may not be the wisest thing to say online, but that’s the brutal truth.)
Still, I’m not sure whom I want to be; and life is now trial and error. Sometimes I wonder, if I hadn’t set my mind to a particular path and allowed myself to explore what life has in store, things might have turned out different, or not.
As, it’s only after campus that I heard; everybody has their path to success but before that it was, this is the sure way to victory.
Every day, I have to remind myself that I want to live a life of purpose (which I have little clue about.) One way to uncover this is to try and fail, and try again, until I get there. However, we cannot ignore that coming from a 20-sth-year-old; this may sound absurd.
Besides, I am female, and the biological clock is ticking too. On the other hand, everybody else seems to have their affairs together. Yet, here I am on this journey of discovery that gives me pleasure most time, as I become more aware of who I am.
However, when I look back at everyone else, I sometimes falter in my steps.
I put myself in the shoes of my niece, and I wish someone had encouraged me to discover who I am, try new things. Take time to become self-aware, while I was still at a tender age and had no responsibilities.
You know, that age when you know that you only need to ask to get what you want. You don’t have to worry about money, or where, and how people get it. That time when you long to be independent (because you don’t know what it entails.)
Then, I decide to chip in, to the conversation. I remind my niece that she is capable of achieving everything she sets out to do. Encourage her to live a life of discovery; following her curiosity, and not limit herself to one single path.
For if Sir Isaac Newton hadn’t wondered why everything that goes up has to come down; maybe we would have never known about the laws of gravity. We would continue living knowing that what goes up must come down, just because it always does.
Someone has to ask why and try the path least treaded. So, for the 20-sth-year-old or over; who is yet to figure out what they want to do with their lives; you are not alone! All you have to do is try. Remember, it’s never too late to start over.