You should never limit yourself to what people think or say of you. As cliché as it sounds, when you give in to them, you set unrealistic expectations for yourself because you feel like you have to live up to them. A year ago, I made traveling the world a part of my job before I actually decided what I wanted to do. When I got accepted in, so many people were against it. I was told why travel when you can study and pursue a higher education, why waste your time traveling and why would you put yourself through this? Back then, I felt defeated. Most of the times, I wanted to just say “hey you guys are right, what am I thinking?” my mom however, was always there to push me. She said this will help you grow as an individual.
So I did fly to countries I can hardly pronounce, tasted food of different kinds, had coffee at 9PM (SGT Time) but in the country it would be 3pm. I was given so much to see, taste and feel. I even thought to myself, who would give up so much to limit themselves to what they are comfortable with? I say this because I met people who say they want to see the world but never dared leave the comfort zones of their home. I admit I have changed as a person from being to different countries. Now, you would say how? Different countries made me realise how lucky I was to have a cool job that I get to wake up in different cities almost every day, meet all sorts of people, make incredible friends that I know I would treasure always and how lucky I am to have a place I can call home and sufficient food to eat.
One of my trips to India, my friends and I went to this charity home which was a heart-warming experience because even having someone visit them made them happy which made me realise that most of us want more of all sorts. For example, more time, more clothes, more phones and materialistic things that we forget to enjoy the present and that, it is a privilege to have those.
A year passed, I decided that it is indeed time to find something that I wanted to do. I agree that I haven’t seen most parts of the world but being able to see parts of it was a blessing. I left my job and applied for an art school. Most people thought I was crazy to do such a thing because it wasn’t a confirmation that I would get in. I told myself to stayed calm and pretty much told myself everyday that I knew what I was doing (haha) although it was a huge leap of faith because if I did not get in, I would have to think of something else.
Each day, I would think of new things to draw and paint, take new photos and make room for creative ideas. I was in my own creative bubble. The day did come and I managed to get myself a place in art school. In that moment, I felt infinite and a whole new feeling of euphoria. I remembered so many people telling me that I was crazy for taking that leap of faith because this school had really high expectations and that I was not smart for leaving such a cool job for my passion because turning my passion into a career would turn into something mundane.
Even before all of this, I took a leap of faith to write my first story on Thought Catalog. Yet again so many people doubted me. I remembered this one person that shamed me for my writing in front of others because he wanted to show how masculine he was in front of the girl he liked. I even remembered him highlighting most of my writing in red and saying that I should not express my words as a protagonist and that it looked dumb. He even mentioned that I was so silly to ever think people would want to read my writings.
After getting published online, he came to me saying that he liked it and that he was training me for this. Soon enough, I got used to the idea of people being condescending towards others, it is inevitable. Sort of something you will have to face growing up. I promise you that in time, you will learn how to manage them and their words. These people are usually insecure themselves and deserve the most kindness because they don’t get to feel much kindness which kind of makes them who they are as a person.
I hope these words help you grow and make you feel better and inspired to do more for yourself because you deserve every bit of happiness you can get. You will meet people that will condescend you and try to limit your ability to do much more but please remember that you are a soul destined for greatness and that you do not deserve anything lesser than that.