What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a question that every child is asked at least once. And many times the child answers the question by stating a job that his or her parents do. Other times they name a profession that the parents hope the child will grow up to be.
When I was young, I was asked that same question many times. At first, I would always answer with a simple “I don’t know?” and that caught people by surprise. Children often times speak their minds, and that is exactly what I did.
My mother always told me that I would grow up to be a doctor, which wasn’t a surprise since It’s such a well respected and honored profession. Surprisingly, I always shook my head “no”. As I grew older however, my father began to tell me about engineering. He would tell me how amazing the job was and what a reward it was to be in that field. And as child, those things stuck to me and I began to think that engineering was the best profession, almost as if that was the only profession.
And that was that.
Until about the age of 15 I absolutely hated English and literature. It was pure torture in my book and it was something that I thought I would never like. I was a horrible speller throughout my childhood. It was so bad that I would, many times, spell the world “the” as “tha” because that is how it sounded.
Strangely, when I reached my sophomore year in high school, everything changed. My literature teacher made my eyes open. Shakespeare is something that many people dread studying, but his work is what made me raise my eyebrows and opened up my eyes. That year, I fell in love with literature. My reading habits reached the point where my parents had to band me from reading.
Summer soon arrived and I did something that I thought I would never do, write. I wrote stories, that I never finished, and I absolutely loved it. Reading had made me want to bring stories that belonged in my head to life, and that is exactly what I did. I became obsessed. However, I never let anyone read any of my work, mostly because I thought they wouldn’t like it.
My senior year of high school I took a creative writing class, which to this day is still one of my favorite classes. The class, which a lot of people seemed to hate, helped me improve my style of writing and it also made me want to share my work. I created a website (with the help of my wonderful brother) and began to post my work. I was surprised with all the people that seemed to like my work, it gave me a sense of happiness that I never felt before. I felt happy that people liked something that I did, something I was proud of doing.
It made me want to write and never stop.
Sadly, my parents still had the idea of me becoming an engineer or doctor which killed me inside. At that point, I never had my parents read one of my works, I just thought it would not be something that would interest them. I went along with what my parents wanted me to do and signed up to go into engineering; It’s something I absolutely hated. Math and science latterly scared me, I dreaded every math and science class I had to go to and all I wanted to do was scream and cry. Of course I never let my parents know that, this always happened behind closed doors. At night I would stay awake and look up at the ceiling and silently cry. I know it seems a bit dramatic, but it’s how I let out my anger and hurt. I felt like the distance between my parents and I just got bigger, but I don’t know if they felt it.
And then one day, I stopped writing.
Writing always brought me happiness, but at that point all it brought me was the feeling of sadness. It was something that just felt would never be.
I was always scared to talk to my parents, I don’t know if they know that but I couldn’t do it. Since I was little, I was the shy quiet kid that never spoke her mind. I never argued with my parents and always followed what they wanted. This rally became a problem for me as I grew older. I was stuck doing something I absolutely hated and inside but always put up a mask so no one could tell how I was feeling.
Engineering didn’t last long, I couldn’t take the torture and mental pain, all I wanted to do was escape. The one thing that helped me escape was torn away from me, I felt helpless and lost.
Somehow, I convinced myself that pre-pharmacy was a good subject to take, I thought about it for a while and I felt obligated to take something that would make my parents proud. I shook my head when my father asked me if I wanted to do something else instead, which obviously was the wrong discussion and once again put myself through heartache.
I felt the need to let all my anger and frustration out, and that is exactly what I did, which brought me back to writing. I had let go of the one thing that had helped me calm down and I needed it back.
I told my parents that I didn’t want to do pre-pharmacy anymore. Need I say they were deeply disappointed?
I feel as if all I bring to my parents is disappointment. I never seem to be able to do what would bring them joy. As I write this, I have not gone to far with my life, I am only about to turn 19. And the last mentioned even occurred not too long ago. I’m still trying to figure out what to make out of myself, the inner child inside of me feels like is fading away and being burnt into nothing. The feeling of not knowing where I am or where I belong is eating me alive.
I feel hopeless, lost, confused, and a complete disappointment.