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When I grow up, I want to be…

… a dance choreographer (I was really young then)
… an explorer (life can get very imaginative indeed)
… a paediatrician (on deciding college application)
… a traveller (at quarter-life crisis)
… a superwoman (no, no, just kidding, maybe?)
… happy.

A prayer

It really shouldn’t be that complicated to figure this out.

Logically, I knew it and have known it for a long time. I am not tied to a career identity, nor should I let it define who I am. And yet, many of us, when asked to complete the sentence of “when I grow up, I want to be…”, we would inevitably try to put ourselves into a mould. One based on family’s expectation, peer’s pressure, society’s dictate, our own ambition and dream that we were encouraged to steep ourselves in.

And yet it was hard to break away. Invisible threads hold me to place, not to mention my Type A personality guilts me into thinking I’d be a failure if I don’t see through any one of the journeys that I have started. It doesn’t want to acknowledge the sunk cost fallacy that is staring back intently. As an emotional being, I remained steadfast to my – perhaps misguided – convictions.

I envy people who have got it all figured out.

Or perhaps they don’t. Not completely, but more self-aware to readjust their visions. Is this their secret towards having it all?

It doesn’t matter really. The alarming rate at which my hair is greying is telling me to stop stressing myself out over something that I have no control over nor have I any mean to change. (OK, it’s partly due to age – I am no spring chicken – and mostly due to genetics, so thanks mom?) Instead, I should be looking at things through an internal spotlight.

I am, afterall, carving my own path. Or should I say, re-carving. I’ve closed some chapters of my life recently, to which many thought it was foolish for me to do so. For once, I am not following through in the manner that everyone has come to expect of me. It is discomforting, not only for them, but for me too. It feels as if I’m walking a tightrope in the dark.

But it is not all dreads and horrors. It’s just a different kind of challenge, one which I’ve imposed on myself. By pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone, I am developing better self-awareness. I may not always know what my next move is, but when I do make a move, it is undoubtedly more deliberate than it used to be. I have not been tipped forward by some general flow. I am trying to build my own happiness and leave it less to chance.

On the occasion of my nth 28th birthday (it’s an insider’s joke among a few friends) let me just say how blessed I am at this junction, to have the support that I do, which at the same time acts as mirror to help me see how the changes come by. Thank you.

Category: Musing

Tagged: ,

6 scribbles & notes

  1. Mika says:

    Just keep on going that way :)

  2. med says:

    I dont think many have actually gotten it figured out…it may seem so….for now hehehe ;) i think ppl change as they progress in life so we will continue to learn until we leave this world eh :) not too sure what I want to be now…but i think i know what i dont want to be…hmmmm

    • Lil says:

      Hehehe, that’s a way to eliminate things, so it’s still a good step forward. It is important to also identify what we don’t want to be. I’ll need to give this a bit more thought ;)

  3. Chloé says:

    good luck! & plenty of hugs

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