Becoming Yourself

The white picket fence is there. The two point five children, the spouse, the lucrative career. The dream is complete…or so it seems. The problem? It is not yours, does not belong to you, and never did.

So whose is it anyway? This fabricated dream is probably your mother’s, father’s, brother’s, sister’s, friend’s. Everyone, at some point or another, has heard the infamous, “You would be good at…” or “You should be a…it would make me so proud.” Or how about your mother’s constant bidding of wanting grandkids and a daughter/son-in-law? What if you do not want kids, or to get married, or to keep the religion you grew up with, or the profitable career you have no passion for? Well, someone’s in trouble, and if the aforementioned demands of you are met, that person is clearly you. And so, trapped in someone else’s expectations, the only option is to follow what appears to be the undeniable future. That future tends to take the form of a one way ticket to a destination you do not particularly care for.

Much harder than following the unwanted path is deciding to veer off course to create a unique trail, a decision that is sure to disappoint, but one that is necessary. Because the lines between your personal goals and those of family members can often become blurry, a clear separation needs to be established between the person you were raised to be and the person you truly want to become. Ask yourself why certain aspects of your life (i.e. job, morals, education) are the way they are. If you cannot remember the reasoning behind some of your choices, like why you chose/are going to choose a particular college or university to attend, it is time to re-evaluate your decisions and actually put forth efforts to make these decisions your own, not those of someone else. The changes do not need to be drastic (though sometimes situations may call for such extreme measures) but rather gradual steps toward a desired goal. As cliché as it may sound, this is essentially the foundation of the dreaded “finding yourself.” But please, beware; the process is not a one time only quick fix, but rather a lifelong journey of continuously reassessing the various facets of your life. —— By: Bethany N.


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