When I was a kid, one of my cousins said she wanted to be a journalist. It sounded so appealing. So fancy. I wanted to be a journalist too. Then I wanted to be a doctor, an actress, a singer, an F1 racer, an astronaut, a movie producer, an advertising creative head.. A full circle that ended in “I want to be a Journalist.” It was my first dream as a kid. It is my dream as an adult. I also want to write a book but that’s more a desire than an ambition.
Many of you would know, writers don’t get paid much. I knew that at some point I was going to have to give up my ideas of living like the Kardashians (You can call them my guilty pleasure) . No private jets, no Bora Bora vacations and definitely no million dollar wedding. My luck was that I always told myself, If you’re content, consider it enough because, sometimes, even billionaires don’t get there. So it was not THAT difficult for me to accept it and I always thought that was enough.
Turns out, I was wrong. You accepting your life choices is the easy part. Getting everyone else to where you are, now that’s a challenge. I remember reading somewhere : When I picked up my kid, I realized my father would have felt the same way I feel now and it makes me wish I had been a better child to him.
I didn’t have to pick up a kid to know that my father had big dreams for me. I was the smart one. I would go places. The world would look at me and say “Your parents must be so proud” and my father would stand beside me nodding his head yes. Instead, I defied him every chance I got. I chose an industry he didn’t particularly approve of. I chose a lifestyle he didn’t enjoy. I now chose a dream he knows would never get me to where he hoped I would be. I became someone he didn’t understand and in all things short, I will openly say : That dream that he had when he first picked me up at the hospital and looked at my face – I crashed it. Hard. And someday, I might regret this. But today, I choose to be that rebellious kid that says “But Dad, I’m happy !”
I came across this picture recently.. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m someone who believes one must always do what they love, not what they’re forced into. So it’s not a surprise that I automatically took to this picture.
I’m doing what I love and what I believe I’m good at. Yes, I’m terribly broke but when I get up every morning, the only thing I don’t want to do that day is take a time consuming shower. I’m always so excited to go to my internship because going there means writing and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I realize that the #WIN is something that I might not get to. It is a space that only a few people actually make it to and maybe I will, but the chances are slim and I can accept that. But how do you convince the people who have raised you and loved you and dreamt big things for you that you’re going to be a normal working class person and you don’t mind and neither should they ?!
With great expectation comes great disappointment. It really is true isn’t it? I wish it could be different. As a kid, I enjoyed studying. As a teenager I hated school with every cell in my body. As a university student, I loved it again. And now, I just want to move forward. I want to find a job that allows me to do what I love. All through my years as a student, I never succumbed to expectations. Until now..
I want to say something to you.. Something that I am now repeating to myself, every single day of my life. People will always have their expectations. There are the ones who expect you to be better at what you do and there are the ones who expect you to be doing something better than what you do. Mute those voices. Some call them motivating but I think if those voices didn’t exist, you’d be more happy doing things your way. They always pressurize you with their great expectations of who you should be. And I believe in taking a stand for who you are. Who you are might change the world, might cure cancer and might even make penguins fly. But you won’t get there if you let others manipulate the way you think, constantly. Sure, you might still get to your destination with those voices. But the journey without them might have been a more peaceful one and it’s always the journey that defines how you feel about the destination.
Every time I send a resume somewhere, I remember my father’s face. I realize how he deserves much more than this. He deserves to be by my side as the world looks to me the way he wanted it to. I think of what the future might hold. The expectations the people in my life will have. The example I set for my siblings. How I wish I could mute them and do what I love like I always did..
As I write this, I can still hear people telling me this isn’t enough. This isn’t success. But I’m going to try and not care about it. Because this.. this makes me content. And that’s more success than I could ever ask for..