…but they were neither right nor wrong.
It doesn’t matter where I am, under my blanket, in the shower, aboard the metro train, walking to my office, eating nutella sandwich with milk at our lone table at home, or out somewhere a space only I knew of. My kindergarten teacher’s question would always ring like a recess bell, “When you grow up, what would you want to be?” And I’d see an imaginary canvass, white, clean, and empty.
I had the answers when I was a kid, a pocketful of confident answers, but only back then. Now, in snaps of introspection I would find myself, and how those bits of thoughts stitch themselves together consequently tosses me into an overload of realization. Mind-boggling, somehow irritating, but a fairly good way to waste time.
At this point in my life, where [perhaps] I’m supposed to have already figured what I would want to do for the next half a century, I’m only finding myself stuck with a fair display of options, not with a headstrong decision. Admittedly, I would want to be all the options – a fashion designer, a wedding planner, an entrepreneur, a novelist, a marketing director, a professor, a performer, an actress (kidding) and many more coming to mind. But fine – there’s no way I can be everybody, that’s absolutely and regretfully understood. :)
I recall the main point of Dr. Meg Jay’s book, The Defining Decade. It suggests that the twentysomething stage is so crucial in the sense that the decisions one makes at this twentysomething period are what would stir up all the succeeding decades of one’s life. Reading that book put on a lot of pressure to my self-evaluation and honestly, it was scary like I wanted to shred the pages down to strips and bury them deep.
Scary because if my kindergarten teacher would ask me again, “When you grow up, what would you want to be?”, I would only see myself laying down the cards – my options for my future (which has now grown into my present); one item to represent each of my dream figure – and it stops there. “I don’t know.” Bad news is I’m most likely just a few days away to my future.
Such an anxiety-borne circumstance ain’t new but is rather ironic coming from someone adored for being smart, gifted, multi-talented. Indeed, that’s the picture (with no intentions to brag, just a little bit) and perhaps the problem of indecision rooted from the burden of having multiple choices. I recall an artist mom mentioned that to me and I also recall agreeing to it right then and there.
My family, friends, workmates and my boss recognize my skills and it does flatter me to know so. How could I not feel good about being appreciated, sometimes even overly? My heart would swell, but true as well that the praises would oftentimes make me palpitate. Maybe it’s just me, but they often come in as overwhelming. Then that would set me off questioning myself again, “So which one do I do best?”…”I don’t know.” But I honestly want to do all. But knowing that I can’t, there is then that fear that I would miss out on all the other in favor of one. Or two.
Then there was Aristotle, Benjamin Franklin, Einstein, name the all-time geniuses, they were all over the early society, each of them an expert of almost all disciplines, the renowned of almost all professions. They were everybody that they wanted to be. Nah, that is acceptable though. Apparently, I’m no genius, end of story (and that’s frustrating!). :D
Now it seems that I’m only seeing the options and the challenges attached to them, but not every possibility that could unfold like a red carpet that would lead me to my chances. I feel my doubts on my own gifts, my fears, which I don’t need at all, and which hopefully I’d come to conquer no later.
Tomorrow I still won’t have it all figured out. But the thing I’m quite sure of is that I won’t have to go back to kindergarten to collect the answers I once had. No, that little kid didn’t know much, not even enough. Perhaps a few more twists and turning points, then I’ll get myself an answer as to who I would want to be for the most part of my life.
It’s a whole new world I’m in now, totally different from my kindergarten. And it looks like I’m going to need a whole new set of answers.
Wish me well, folks! :)