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

A reevaulation of our basic childhood catchphrase

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'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.

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