Everyday of my teenage life, I have dreaded this one phrase, “what do you want to be”.
I never knew, I never realised and never thought that there are social and familial obligations to what I have to be – to what I should be, a good person. I had then decided, I would never ask anyone the same question, ever again. I had no clue I would be married or would have a family, let alone be sitting here and be writing about all this. I just was so frustrated and annoyed that the communal behaviour of Indian parents, relatives, strangers and whoever you met asked the same thing, what do you want to be.
Now, I just couldn’t blurt out my feelings or aspirations or dreams, mind you I had to tread very very carefully. I had to be very clear and concise and say I am going to be a Doctor. Ok, now that dealt with comes the next barrage of questions, Doctor of what??? Not just GP, but some specialisation and some post grad…
I am not a doctor. I wanted to be but I am not. What I am now, is a mother.
And, after all the turmoil I have been through and was put under for not being one- yep, I am clearly a failure and disappointment! This is something that’s going to go to my parent’s graves and mine, if allowed. I have resolved and thought about not putting the same kind of expectation of my kids as to what I have been through. The society hasn’t changed much, family connections haven’t progressed much and personal expectations also haven’t deviated much.
The only thing that has actively changed is, I have stopped asking. Just my guidance towards making them a better individuals, considerate and compassionate being a must, that I am going to trust them to make their own way. Children cannot decide, that’s why parents or teachers or guidance counselors are there. What has changed is, as how we ask them and what pressure we subject them to with all this. And, we shall guide them to be what they want to be. If they change their decision, well, so be it. At least they tried.
Thanks to the amount of today’s world in their face constantly (social media and such), they are already being practical in wanting to be what they want to be. And, there are going to be struggles and obstacles – we will get through them too.