Two words. Two words that carry so much meaning, or no meaning at all, depending on what kind of “someone” you are.
To me personally, these two words come with a heavy burden. Growing up in a culture where being scientifically oriented was exemplary and what was considered “respectable,” it took me practically my entire life to decide what kind of “someone” I wanted to be.
Ironically enough, I just came to find the answer to that life long question about two weeks ago.
In my earlier years, up until middle school, it appeared that I wasn’t particularly right-brained or left-brained as they call it. I worked hard, and thankfully excelled at everything–which was the problem.
The education system I was in really left no room for creativity, so studying every subject was the same. Because of that, I could never really figure out what exactly was my passion.
At some point, I considered going in the direction of something related to math. I had excellent teachers, and up until Algebra 2, math was a piece of cake to me (what happened after Algebra 2 is definitely a story for another time, but anyways). The same thing went for science.
So here I was, four years later, suddenly asked to choose a specific college major. This question was extremely puzzling, as you can imagine, because I had absolutely no idea.
At first, I chose computer science. Then I pondered upon it and realized that there was no way in hell that computer science was my destiny. Still utterly confused, I just randomly chose English as my major before I transferred into my four-year university.
Here’s where things get a bit messier. Now, when I decided to go for English, my family got a visit from some old friends who knew me ever since I was three. To my surprise, the friend told me that when I was in first grade, I won some writing competition and my peice was supposed to be published in the school magazine or something of the sort.
That was in first grade. First grade.
I thought about that for a while. Then I realized that throughout my whole life, when I was good at math, when I was good at science, when I was good at French, English, and Arabic, there was always one common denominator: writing.
I always felt compelled to write in one way or another. Whether it was diaries, silly stories, cheesy poetry and what not, I always felt the need to just write.
I contemplated this deeply, and coupled with the fact that I’m pretty good at catching on to foreign languages quickly, I realized that my destiny awaited me in the world of language.
I should be happy now, right? Nope. This is where it gets complicated.
Back to the culture thing: you are only to be respected if you pursue a career in medicine, engineering, or pharmacy.
I know that that idea is absolutely full of shit. I know it’s wrong.
But growing up with that idea, and being surrounded by other cultures that share that same idea…it’s hard to just accept that the “someone” I want to be is of a humanities interest, and not a scientific one.
Literally, up until two weeks ago, I was deadset on going to medical school. I wanted to do it, at least I think I did. And then all of a sudden after a deep heart to heart with my mother, and a realistic look at my family’s financial status…medical school was on the brink of impossible.
So I accepted my fate. I’m just going to become a writer. A professor. A teacher. A healer through words instead of a healer through medicine.
…and then (okay this is going to be ridiculously silly), Snapchat.
Two of my friends who are my age are already studying for the MCAT-which I found out about through Snapchat-and I have never felt so empty and envious, even though I have no reason to.
Except for the fact of course that I feel like they’ve already established their “someone” and I’m just chilling here writing words on my laptop.
See what I just did there? I just belittled the very thing I love: writing. And it’s all thanks to that stupid culture. It’s insane how far said culture goes in conditioning us, and just as insane how difficult it is to decondition ourselves from it, even if we already know better.
Since I still can’t do medical school like my “genius friends,” here I am, far beyond midnight, taking out the Pharmacy Technician Exam Prep I borrowed from my friend, trying to “be someone,” even if it’s not the someone I want to be.
I feel like until I get popular on Wattpad or become a published author/poet, I won’t be able to respect the someone I want to be. And that’s just pathetic, but it’s the truth.
Moral of the story: teach your children to “be someone” with absolutely no limitations. Let them find their passions, let them find their ways, but never let them believe cultural bullshit like being a doctor is more respectable than being a writer.
A doctor may be pretty damn good at his/her job, but might be completely rude and unlikable, and the patient will end up feeling unhappy, or it may take them longer to recover because of their psychological state. Meanwhile, a writer could simply write a beautiful poem or excerpt that the same patient reads, and they instantly start feeling better, and more inspired, because there are many types of healing.
I basically just justified the “someone” I want to be to myself, but as I mentioned, until there is some sort of tangible accomplishment that people can see, culture will still be winning in my own mind.
Honestly, I don’t think anyone is going to read this far down, but if you do, thank you.
[Photo credit belongs to me; “be someone”. Downtown Houston, Tx].