Being young and not knowing what you want to be when you grow up is probably the most frightening experience, ever.
Graduating high school was both the best and the worst thing for me. I was so afraid of indulging the world. I wasn’t sure what path I wanted to take. I wasn’t sure what I was good at. I also wasn’t sure if I had a passion for anything. I couldn’t differentiate between my weaknesses and strengthens. I pretty much had no self- discovery at the time. People would ask what I liked doing with my free time and I wouldn’t be able to answer it. Individuals would ask me what I love and I would feel so incredibly perplexed.
I literally had no idea. I vehemently despised getting asked questions about what I intended to study in college. The accumulative stress that I felt from this constantly had me on the verge of exploding.
I started off college as a Criminal Justice major. The reason behind that was because as a child, I always looked up to those with higher authority. I really liked the whole idea behind working in the justice field because those jobs usually require the person to be of benefit to society. Police officers are supposed to be of service to human kind and that’s actually why I figured it was an appropriate field for me. I wanted to be of service to others however, I couldn’t think of what else to major in other than criminal justice because the medical field definitely did not interest me.
But see, then I became a little older and my perspectives shifted. I got older, became more aware of the world, ended up dating some cops, took some courses, and by then, I had completely figured out that there was no way in hell I could pursue this career. It just wasn’t for me.
It wasn’t until one of my professors suggested the idea of me being a writer. In fact, I could never forget that day because it completely transformed my life. To this day, I remain grateful for Dr. Gary Belkin. It’s true when they say “everything happens for a reason.”
I always enjoyed writing and in reality, that’s an understatement. Nonetheless, you don’t get asked “what do you want to be when you grow up? And reply with “a writer”. It’s an unconventional career and way too broad. Yet, I look back to my middle school days and recall being in Ms. Polo’s class and fucking loving all those written assignments she would allocate. I loved the fact that she constantly showed us a variety of quotes and have us figure out the meaning of them.
It was a complete pleasure, for me, to write essays with the different techniques she proposed to the class. I would secretly sit there thrilled that we had to write, while most of the other kids were miserable. Because, let’s be honest, what child enjoys writing essays at that age? I know very few. See, I enjoyed writing but I wasn’t aware of it.
I also remember ALWAYS looking forward to my friend’s birthdays because writing them a letter was a must. I thought it was the perfect way to express my love and appreciation for them.
Again, it wasn’t until semesters passed and passed that I realized I could benefit the world through my writing. Writing is my gift that I get to give to people and the entire universe. How liberating and inspiring is that thought? You know when you meet someone so special and you just think to yourself “Where have you been all my life???” or you think “Wow, I can’t even remember what life was like before I met you.” You find it almost impossible to believe that you were actually living without that person… that’s exactly how I feel about writing.
I am not able to understand the world if writing isn’t incorporated.
Writing is one of the main factors that allow me to understand people and plants and the sun. I can write it a lot better than I can say it. It feels almost as if I wasn’t existing before I discovered my gift for writing and actually began using it. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s amazing what the human brain can do. It’s amazing what you can do with words. It really does blow my mind. To me, it’s the best thing in the world, I can’t think of anything better… it’s scary. If someone told me that I was never allowed to write again, I’d probably cry everyday as I would feel that my life no longer has a purpose.
The ability to put words together and display them so beautifully to give out a message is incredible. It makes me feel valuable and worthy. I’m literally in love with it. It makes me feel like the world is normal, it’s not a burden. When I’m writing it almost feels like I’m getting high, ultimate happiness. I can become so engrossed in the moment that I can forget to eat; I can forget I’m a human.
I applaud and admire my younger self for finding mechanisms to survive high school. With that being said, I’m here to tell you that if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, it’s okay.