When I was a kid, my aspirations were simple…. I used to tell people that when I grew up, I was going to be a pediatrician. Why? Because I loved being around little kids and I quickly learned that it was a pleasing answer for adults to hear… I was ambitious, though I didn’t know exactly what I was shooting for. Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child What do you want to become when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.BECOMING by Michelle Obama
This excerpt from Michelle Obama’s book pretty much sums up how I have felt for most of my life.
Ambitious but never too sure of where I was going. Constantly asking, what do I want to become? I still don’t have a simple answer to this question, but do I really need one?
What do you want to become when you grow up?
Growing up, like Michelle, I told people what they wanted to hear when answering this question. My answers mostly ranged from doctor, lawyer, Lecturer /Professor and eventually engineer. I studied engineering for my undergrad because my parents thought it was the most fitting for my excellent grades. I had made it clear that I never wanted to be a doctor and engineering seemed a bit palatable to me.
Long after completing my engineering course, I still struggle with what I want to become. It has never been crystal clear what I want to become. At least not in a title.
Interestingly, what I do not want to be is quite clear to me, and over time it has become much clearer.
I know the kind of person I want to be, I have always known that. But I have no title for it. It is not a career. It is a way of life. I know what I would like to accomplish in life and I also know how I would like to relate with others. Whichever title comes with it along the way, I don’t care much for it.
Related read: If you have ever doubted yourself, this one is for you
I Do Not Need A Label; I Am Becoming
I am realizing that people have expectations of what kind of path life is supposed to take. And I cannot fit into the expected paths. I do not want to walk in a pre-designed path for me. That is too restrictive.
I have to walk in my own path. Make it in my own style if I have to. To listen to my inner voice and to change whenever I need to.
My passion varies over time but my purpose and vision stay the same. I am learning that this is okay. You should know too that this is okay.
I am Becoming
You are Becoming
As a person, you are constantly changing. You are growing, and that impacts your belief system which in turn influences your desires.
Do not try to fit into some conventional box. You just have to be you. The various versions of yourself that you are becoming.
Whichever path your life takes, never mind if it is not too clear where this path is leading you. Hold close your ambition and allow your dreams to expand as you become exposed to new ideas and challenges.
Take action. Just one step at a time.
Who would have known that a black girl from the south side of Chicago, riding the bus for over one hour across town to get access to a good education would one day be the first lady of the United States of America? Not even Michelle Obama herself.
What I am asking of you is to trust the process. Embrace your unconventional self. Be comfortable with discomfort and embrace change when it brings growth.
Do not accept to be just a label. Do more than what you have been told you can do. Follow your heart when it desires more than has been accomplished before.
Be comfortable when you walk the path that no one has walked before.
Believe that you can be more and walk in that faith. You can be anything you want to be. Be a family (wo)man and still be corporate.
You don’t have to label what you want to become. Just become.
Because the truth is, you can become more.
If you haven’t read the book, Becoming by Michelle Obama yet, you really should get yourself a copy. Click on the link below and you will not regret it.