"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
From as early as we can remember, this was always one of the most-asked questions we all received growing up. Adults and children alike wanted to understand our aspirations and far-out goals for when we finally stepped foot into the adult world.
While most children's responses range from astronaut to veterinarian, many ultimately stray from their job goals the older they get as they obtain new passions and understandings (read: limits) of the world. It's fun to have dreams, and it's also fun to drop some along the way and pick up new ones as we develop into our own persons.
Strangely enough, there comes a time when dreaming suddenly stops being cute and slowly becomes childlike. Those with large aspirations are left feeling inadequate as everyone around them starts judging them for having seemingly unattainable goals for what they want to do in life.
You want to be an actress, HA, good luck. A journalist? Don't be fake news now. A role in communications? What does that even mean?
We become belittled for having dreams that not everyone else may envision as ideal. Even though growing up we're taught to be our own people, there comes a time when that's no longer encouraged and people are expected to follow the norm.
Jobs in business, finance, and medicine quickly become what everyone should pursue.
Occupations in those fields are respectable, admirable, and more often than not, dish out a nice chunk of change. Because, at the end of the day, our final goals in life should be to achieve the American dream, living comfortably with a white, picket fence and a family gathered in the living room. Right?
Well, if that's not your picture-perfection vision of life, you're going to be ridiculed for whatever path you take. I'm living in it right now as I approach graduation with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a dream of moving to NYC to land a decent job. Everyone who asks me of my plan and expects me to settle down, find a respectable job and to build a family, is met with confusion when I tell them I want to work first. To build a career as a broadcast producer and think about kids much later. I crave a city life without immediate boundaries and constraints.
My dream is to be my own person.
I'm here to tell you that if you are the person who has big, unrealistic dreams that won't come easy, keep fighting anyway. You're the backbone of what determination and dedication truly mean in this country.
You're going to be the person who gives kids something to dream about. If everyone went into business, there would be no astronauts, no veterinarians, no teachers. Kids would all plan to hold suitcases from age 5, which ultimately kills any creativity and ambition. That's not what life is about.
Be the adult younger you wished of being.