You Can Be Anything You Want
Start writing a post
Arts Entertainment

'You Can Be Anything You Want' And Other Lies We've Been Told In Our Lives

A reevaulation of our basic childhood catchphrase

407
'You Can Be Anything You Want' And Other Lies We've Been Told In Our Lives

I perceive myself as a primarily positive person. Sure, there are bumps in the road, but most of my days are spent being extremely thankful and filled with joy and positivity.

From a young age, I was inspired by women leading the world, teachers pioneering the classroom, and peers soaring on the wings of success. I pictured myself, on their coattails, spending each day in and day out focused on a bigger goal.

"You can be anything you want"

I heard that line at every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, family dinner, and sibling pep talk. However, this line wasn't full proof. I can be anything I want - as long as I'm the best at it.

As a naive middle schooler, I embodied this phrase; to be honest, this phrase probably is responsible for some of my largest success, but also some of my darkest failures. This phrase didn't prepare me for my now biggest fear- failure.

My mom told me she would be proud of whatever career I chose to pursue, as long I was the best at that career. Which in my head internalized the belief, that I can't be good, I can't be wonderful, and I most certainly can't be great - I must be the best.

In one light, this can be extremely motivating and internalized as a motivating mantra towards success. Or it can take the opposite toll and leave you with the sinking feeling that nothing you choose to do will be worth anything if you don't reach the top platform.

It's a double-edged sword that can lead a spiraling pit of emotions and beliefs.

Second, when I was a kid, I was lead to believe that by my early twenties I would have my way of the world and path figured out. That whatever I settled on, I would be confident in, excel at, and pursue relentlessly.

As it turns out, the mere idea of having your entire life hinges on your decisions between eighteen and twenty-four is, to say the least, moronic. However, that's a rant for a later date.

My main point being, the views and ideas crammed into our heads from essentially the moments we are able to remain conscious, builds a foundation bound to lead to quite frankly, a spiraling depression.

Since starting my college career, I have changed my major three times and given enough time, I will probably change it a fourth time. Each time I'm confronted with a sinking feeling that I will never reach the top and that I can't be just anything.

The first time I was told I could be anything I knew, deep down in my soul, I wanted to be a famous dancer. However, such a task requires - you know - dance training. Something my blue-collar family most certainly couldn't afford, and later in life, I knew I wanted to be nothing - except a human that exists and saunters around the world exploring the hidden views of the earth itself. However, bills don't pay themselves and money doesn't fall from the sky - so two of my biggest dreams - squashed at the seams.

The difficult question we must find an answer to in life comes down to a few simple words, what will fulfill us? I don't prescribe to the idea of destiny, I truly believe whatever life you chose to lead is a culmination of dedication and hard work and knowing how to work your cards, and most certainly, shaking the childhood lies that you can be anything. I don't say this to be morbid or to present a dark cloud, the truth is, some things aren't a reality.

That doesn't mean your life will result or mean nothing, it just simply means the path you chose to walk, will be different, and meaningful, because the things you can do, are most likely the things you're meant to do.

Just because our foundation is built upon questionable lies and confusion, doesn't mean that our existence must be defined by the societal judgment of success and talent, but merely seen as the framework for building our own empires and legacies.

You can't be anything, but you most definitely will be something, which is essentially worth everything.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

931406
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

106705
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

47354
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments