When we first start to think about who we will become, our ideas are limited to the people we see. Our doctor, teacher, nurse, what mum or dad do, or for the imaginative ones among us, Superman, Wonder Woman or Cinderella.
Gradually, we come to see that there are a variety of options out there for us to try: architect, painter, writer, software engineer, gamer, etc. and just like the choices in a chocolate store, this variety of occupations also delights us.
I remember those hours I spent during my teen years figuring out what I do best. There were many frustrations but it was a good time.
As we grow older, we confront the other dynamic of an occupation- it must pay. Now the choices have substantially decreased and we find out that we have to re-evaluate.
When I was a teenager, I rebelled against the idea of money. I thought it was a cruel joke because what I really wanted to do was considered not to have scope in real life.
Why do we Learn About Options if We really Don’t Have Any?
My education was designed for me to have an idea about the main subjects of the world. Science, History, Language, Values, Geography, Mathematics, etc. Later on, they introduced more subjects and made me choose one stream – Science, Commerce or Arts.
At the time, my naïve heart was sure that it liked Humanities. I felt like I had an aptitude for understanding people. I also felt like I require help in this area because I am thoroughly confused. I was right, in both respects. Hence, despite the warnings, I chose Arts. I knew at the time that there is no scope for this subject in our society but there surely is a need.
After two years of studying the general subjects of Sociology, Psychology, Language, History and Economics, I was further asked to choose only two subjects to study in detail. I felt awful letting Sociology go but I realised that the university does not have the time to teach me all three.
So I chose Language and Psychology:
Language because I require information collection skills and Psychology because I require guidance in processing that information.
I was, of course, afraid of my choice too, my classmates and I would often worry about our future but we all seemed to agree that studying these subjects was a lot more fun than the Mathematics we hated with a passion.
So we calmed our fearful hearts and pursued our education. Our teachers were generous with the information and suggested more works to understand our interest deeper. I had a great time learning all of it.
During this fun, I seldom met my ex-classmates who chose different fields – Engineering or Business Management students. They often spoke of how they are already sure about which company they will join and what position they will get. I was just a tad insecure around them but I reminded myself that I have done justice to my inner voice.
When it was time to find a job I was hit by reality. I had been working alongside my education in order to substitute my “weak Degree” – To no avail though. My inexperienced classmates from management degrees were more qualified than me for the same jobs. I felt disappointed and regretted my choice. I wished I had chosen what they did.
To be like Someone Else
My elders always told me to be me. They never even slightly hinted that the world doesn’t require me; it requires more of one kind. Can you imagine how angry I got? So angry that I couldn’t find a point in life; why go through this misery then, if you have to constantly kill your soul?
I didn’t want to sell cigarettes but that job pays. I wanted to help people realise that their conflicts are mere misunderstandings, but nobody finds this help valuable, so I was broke. Every job I did was selling something, that something even I didn’t buy; but my mind was employed with how to sell this garbage to an unsuspecting human being and in return, I got a few dollars.
I felt deep shame but I had to pay the bills. I actually felt like I was selling my soul; gentle Reader, I was in a dungeon and I was working to pay the rent of this misery. Life really seemed ironic, totally pointless. Naturally, I hated myself.
But thankfully I had friends and I could tell them the truth, they weren’t the kind who would tell me to go for a walk, neither were they the kind to pity me. They understood that I wasn’t alone at this junction and they themselves had been through it.
They reminded me of my fingerprint which is totally unique. There exists no one with the same print; likewise, I have a gift and no one else in the world has that same gift. So all I need to do is find out what that gift is and present it to the world. Everything of value is rewarded by the world.
So, I picked myself up and mindfully began to live. I had almost formed a robotic routine out of my life and it was now time to assess what I do with my time. Whether what I do is in line with my principles.
I attempted to fix what stuck out and I was moderately successful at it. Sure I had to do it tactfully so as to not raise any eyebrows but the point is that I did it.
I realised that I didn’t want to be rewarded for what someone else has already done. I want to bring what is mine to our world. I have to develop my skill as best as I can in order to one day present my gift to everyone. Those who find it useful will buy it.
And like any other product, I must know how to sell it.