If I were to point out the biggest lie in our history, surprisingly it wouldn’t be the big man in red. It wouldn’t be the tooth fairy (though I must give our parents some credit for reaching under our pillows) and it definitely wouldn’t be the Easter bunny. The biggest lie that I have heard, told to every child growing up, is “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up.”
Well parents, you tricked us into many things to get us to be good and healthy children. I can’t say I blame you for these white lies, clearly, most of them worked. Parenting is hard, not that I yet understand such an experience, but I can see from all of you that it is no easy task. But I must ask you one thing, Did you really have to tell us a lie that goes straight to the heart?
Like any kid, I wanted to be a million things growing up. A vet, a singer, a farmer (this still applies), you name it. Being a kid, my future felt so far away, because it was far away, yet here I am. The future.
Here I am in college, trying to get a good enough degree to have a steady job and pay the bills. Struggling through chemistry classes and tons of extracurricular activities to amp up my resume. Doing hours of reading and homework and using my Friday nights as time to study
And I am tired.
College is supposed to be about finding yourself, and I don’t disagree. But finally finding your passion can either make you or break you. If it is reasonable and reachable without much effort, you are told by everyone: “Go for it. Do what you love and make money because of it. This is wonderful.”
But if it is the opposite of those things, if low-income housing could apply, if you could be jobless after attending college for so long, if you may not stand a chance against this world of money, money, money, if it doesn’t have a clear path, they stop believing in you. Instead of “You can do it” you get “Well, think about the job market.” Instead of “I believe in you” you are suddenly surrounded with “What will you ever do with that degree?”
Suddenly my passion is turned into more of a dream than a future. “You can write in your free time. You can read in your free time,” What a lousy thing to say.
It is a sad world that we live in if you can’t do what you love, simply because It isn’t “realistic.” With a world obsessed with money; I understand you need it to survive. But that is sad. I wasn’t put on this world to obtain a degree, get a steady job, get married, have a family and settle down. That has never been me.
And it never will be.
While I understand that parents will always want what is best for their children, I will never understand this. Because I got over all of the holiday creatures when I found that they weren’t real, but I haven’t yet found a way to get over this. Why would you lie like that to me? Why would you ever tell me I could be anything I wanted to be if there were boundaries?
I guess the sad and simple lesson to all of this is here: Don’t tell your children that when they grow up they can be anything they want to be.
Because I am grown up now, sorting all the bits and pieces and finally realizing who I am.
And Mama, Papa.
I just want to write.