I remember the first time my mom held my hand and took me to school. We were walking past the highway, dusty roads, as I was bugging asking her to lift me in her arms, I ask my mom,
Me: Why should I go to school?
Mom: Because you have to become a doctor or an engineer!
I was barely 5 years old, and I had no clue what being a doctor or being an engineer meant. I just made some weird expression and quickly got distracted by looking at an ice cream candy shop nearby.
Mom: You’ll understand soon. For now just think about reaching tenth standard. You’re in first standard.
Quickly, I do the mental math. Counting my fingers, I started grumbling, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten! Who knew what my mom spoke about anyway? I just wanted that ice cream candy right away!
Mom brought me an ice cream, and she asked me to be a good girl and stay at school and study well. She also promised to buy me chocolates if I behaved well at school. Every evening I would wait for my mom to come pick me up in her arms, and take me home. This is what heaven meant to me! My mom’s arms! Gosh I love her. I would do anything for her.
All I had on my mind was to be a topper of my school, because I knew that made my mom happy.
Time waits for none.
2008 was here, I stepped into my tenth standard.
Neighbor aunty, relatives had only one sentence at the tip of their tongue-“What next?”
My mom had this ideology to turn her daughter into a doctor or an engineer, she was confused about both due to which I ended up taking a combination of physics, math, chemistry and biology in pre university so that my options remain open.
I noticed a common trait among my peers who were girls, most of them were married off, few quit school, and I don’t know what happened next. But I kept pondering over one thing which my mom told ages ago. Engineer or a doctor! My mom noticed something was bothering me, she calls me across, gives me a tight hug and says, “My dear you’re different, you’re not here to just get married off to someone else and lead a life which everyone else did. I want you to be independent.” Further she continues, I want you to become an engineer or a doctor because everyone earns decent money through that occupation. That way you’ll be independent and you’ll have respect for yourself in society. I stared at the wall, kissed my mom and told her that I’ll make her proud someday.
Fast forward, 2014 was here, I ended up completing my graduation with an average aggregate everyone was proud of, I also was placed in a decent company. Where again my peers were getting married, and haven’t achieved/ experienced much in their life, my mom proudly told everyone that “my daughter is an engineer! She got placed in Xyz Company!”
And I just sat there figuring out is this what life is? Is this what everyone are supposed to do to earn money and be independent?
Become an engineer? Become a doctor?
Soon afterwards, I packed my bag with books, laptop and my eyes gleamed with excitement as i stepped into my dream company. I started working, luckily I got placed in a very good happening domain. I was given the opportunity to give life to ideas, I was given a chance to design and develop apps. But if I turn back and look at things, nothing seemed to make sense. What I have learnt from my first standard till engineering, I wasn’t making use of it anywhere, it was outdated. Did I just waste my time? I could have very well acquired and trained myself in these skills on the go and could have used my time for a more productive reason than just study, top the class and earn a degree. 21 years gone.
And things just got worse, every night cuddling my pillow I would spend time asking myself this question – “is this what you want to do for the rest of your life?” This question haunted me. I didn’t want to look back in the future and think again if I just wasted my time in something which never really mattered. This is when I decided to do a self-retrospection towards my life. I am independent, my parents no longer bothered me with their opinion. I was living life, I wanted to make the most of it that my future self will thank me for. Things started changing soon afterwards, the more I realized what I loved doing, the more I set myself free and let myself do it. I wanted to live a life with no regret.
As a child I always loved playing around with colors, so I started painting once again. I loved moving myself to the beats of good music, I started doing it once again. I am in the pursuit of chasing something that actually matters to me than follow a path taken by everyone and wonder if it is the right thing for me. We’re are all unique, what if I was born to be a great artist? Why should I be an engineer? Just because everyone does that and I can earn money? Why shouldn’t I invest time on my painting skills with engineering and get so good at it that it’ll fetch revenue to me?
We are what we do. If we do boring, stupid, monotonous work, chances are we will end up boring, stupid, and monotonous, if you don’t love something, don’t do it. Where there’s love and inspiration I don’t think anything can go wrong.
Why not rethink our decisions and do something that makes us happy?