For you to understand the my complex about growing up and turning out alright, you have to understand where I came from.
I grew up with two doctors for parents. My childhood was a mixture of on call schedules, looking at x-rays at the dinner table, and learning every medical term known to man. To put this in a clear perspective, my “birds and the bees” talk was comprised of a powerpoint, complete with diagrams and quiz after. I lived with two incredibly brilliant people, and I realized this from an early age. I listened to their stories of struggling to pay for medical school, of working three jobs, and of joining the Navy. Even at a young age, I understood that sacrifice was a necessary part of fulfilling your dreams. For some kids, two doctors as parents would have pretty much sealed the deal for a third MD in the house. But not me. If anything, it made me go the other way. I had no clue what I wanted to be, but I sure knew it wasn’t being a Doctor.
In a way, I think they were even prouder of me for that. But of course, this begged the question:
What am I going to be?
To be quite honest, I still don’t know. I’m 24.
To be fair, I grew up with two people who knew they would be doctors from age 12. I know, freaks. Meanwhile, I can barely pick something to watch on Netflix. I grew up with this idea that one day, you’d wake up, and you’d just know.
Well, I didn’t. And that scared me. A lot.
I went to college, and tried to major in International Business. I still count on my toes, so trying to tackle economics was not really my chosen path. But I realized that I loved the foreign language aspect of the major, especially Spanish. The fact that the human brain is intelligent to learn and understand another language is still incredible to me. So I majored in Spanish, and had absolutely no clue what I was going to do with it. But I learned how to speak Spanish, and I traveled through Europe.I never realized this, but my parents never did that. I realized that I was headed down a path very different from my parents, and this scared the hell out of me.
I graduated college, and babysat for a summer while figuring out what the hell I was supposed to do. And then, I applied for a random job in technical support that got me an interview and later a job offer. All the time I kept thinking, “Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?”
A year later, I’m still at said job and now pursuing a Masters in Information Technology. Coming from someone who could barely use Facebook, I would say I have come a long way since college. But I still get scared, in fcat I get scared all the time. I still wonder if I’m on the right path, and if what I’m doing is worthwhile. The voices in my head often remind that at this point my parents were doctors.
Well I’ve got news for you, neuroses, and anyone reading this.
You are not your parents.
You are you. A gloriously arranged compilation of cells, skin and organs. Your thoughts and feelings are yours alone.
You are dramatic, and brave, and scared all at the same time.
The only path that is right for you is the one you decide to take.
You just have to learn to put one foot in front of the other.
It’s incredible that as children we are taught to walk one step at a time, and we apply this mantra as we grow older. Our steps may be bigger, and longer and farther, but they are still steps.
It’s okay to not know if you’re going down the right path, but it’s not okay to stop walking.