Before I could walk everyone around me probably watched and as I delicately landed on the floor claimed I would be a dancer. Then when I began to crawl and climb dancer turned into ‘ she’ll be a climber in her lifetime.’. Then when I could walk and started to draw I was a future artist. Then I could talk and the answer to my future lied within me and I proclaimed I was going to be a princess. I grew older and wiser and I changed my mind and the answer to ‘what do you want to be when you’re older?’, became Teacher. I grew even more and I told my parents I actually wanted to be a Banker. By the time I reached my teenage years I had done the latter of two options and realised I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go, along with half of my peers. The other half of my peers had either realised what they loved and wanted to pursue or at least convinced themselves of an answer.
What we will become, what we want to become is a question asked or answered by others when we couldn’t articulate quite yet. I am not sure if people ask this to fill the silence, out of habit, because they feel obliged or because they care. But the truth is the question hasn’t got one single answer – who we are is not our occupation or profession nor is it our morals and values, and nor is it our reactions and actions. Who we are is an accumulation of everything we have been through, passed by and narrowly avoided. If I had to answer this question honestly my answer would only stand correctly for a moment of my life. As what I am, changes as I grow, learn and build. And alternatively if I was to produce an answer that stands for every moment of my life that the future holds, is and has gone – all I could say is human.
What I am and who I am is human and A human.
All our lives we are taught that the most complex, diverse and infinite question of what we are and who we want to be can be answered with one word, sentence and even at all. I know that aged 4 I didn’t answer the teacher who asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up with a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding. And when I was 16 and I was asked what I wanted to do and be after my A-levels I didn’t challenge the naivety of my questioner. However, that is because all my life I have been taught that an answer to that question exists and has to exist for me to be going in the right direction.
Even if I stop to review the question making it – what Job/career/occupation/profession do you wish to have? It is still the wrong question and a question that limits our mind to boundaries that do not exist. We do not have to wish for one thing in life. In fact, that defeats the object of the diverse and wonderful world we exist in. We must stop asking who are you and what do you want to be? and start asking what jobs would you love, enjoy and thrive in. What jobs would make you happy? Do you want one job your entire life or do you want many, do you want to paint, write and work in retail? because you can you know.
The world is wonderful. Our lives, your life is a gift. We must learn to open our minds and ears and close our mouths. We must teach children that wanting to be a princess is a silly thing to say, not because it is impossible, but because they already are. We must teach those that do not know an answer to this question, that it is okay and that the answer is actually plural. We must teach ourselves to stop asking who we are, what we have become and start asking if we are happy – and if we are not – how we can fix it.
The question who am I teaches our mind that we must be something when we have always been something. The answer to who we are is a question that’s answers are endless.
I am human.
And I refuse to ask myself what I want to be when I grow up, along with refusing to answer the question. Because what I want to be is happy. And who I am right now though I may have the instinct to proclaim blogger – is such an understatement of an answer as I am so much more than any answer can describe and or explain.
I intended to go to bed around 56 minutes ago but my mind had other ideas and had words waiting to be strung into sentences and paragraphs. So here you are, readers, the late night thoughts of a 17-year-old girl. Or should I say, human?
I shall leave you with the words of John Lennon…
Today Tomorrow Forever