I’ve always had trouble answering, “What do you want to be, when you grow up?” Ironically, I’ve been asked that simple question for twenty years now, and never actually sincerely answered it.
Think of all the different people that have inquired about your desired future occupation. It’s crazy how it ranges from your closest relatives, to your teachers, and even complete strangers. Why are we, as a culture, so intrigued in the career that one chooses to commit to?
Is it a form of self-measurement? Or is it nothing more than a social ice breaker? Perhaps a combination of both?
Honestly, this is my first time answering REALLY answering this question. So much goes into selecting your choice of career, income, overall happiness, the amount of time you’ll be able to spend with your family, benefits, industry stability, and the list can go on forever. How can society and culture expect us to answer such an intricate question, so simply? When are we given time to actually figure out what rights for us, what we want to do, and who and where we want to be? Does school really open up the doors to reality? Does what we learn prepare us for the future and for skills needed in the work-force?
I’ve been told that the education system is more of a “weeding out process.” Such fuckery… but I’ll save this for a completely separate blog.
So “What do you want to be, when you grow up?” Shit, I can’t even name a career. I wanted to be a rapper for the longest time. I’ve been told by people in the music industry, that though I do possess the talent lyrically, my image as a 5-5 Asian would not be marketable and profitable. I quit pursuing that as a career, but still write songs, because it’s what I love doing.
Where does that leave me? I currently intern at XXL Magazine, a gig I picked up because I thought it would increase the possibility of my rap dreams becoming a reality. Instead, along with the help of my dope editors, I’ve taught myself the art of journalism. I’ve never taken a writing class for journalism, and three months later I have a writing portfolio and major experience, and as of last week I’ve been given paid writing assignments for other websites.
“What do you want to be, when you grow up?” I guess I’m gonna have to hustle and grind forever, something I don’t mind doing. I don’t like having a boss. I have a psychologist diagnosed problem with authority. I guess instead of choosing a career, I created one. Call me crazy, but I believe I have a gift. We’ve all had our share of hardships, and via the art of writing and music, I think I can affect lives. I really am smarter than what people take me to be, I see the world differently. Trust me there’s this side of me only a handful of people have been introduced to.
I wanted to inspire people to chase their dreams, then I realized to myself… fuck dreams man. Here’s a lyric I once said in a song: “20 years old, and my dreams became goals..Cause dreams deal with luck..and Goals you control.” With hard work and sacrifice, I swear to you, anything is possible. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, we all have a unique path ahead of us. It’s just up to us to choose the road less taken, and to make our own decisions. By making our own decisions, I mean doing what you feel is best, not whatever is the safest route, not something based off of the expectations and the judgment of others, it’s what you wanna do. It’s your life. It’s easier to sleep at night knowing you gave it your all, compared to speculations. A made mistake is often a blessing in disguise. I gave up my dream of “rapping” and look what it has lead me to…I’ve never been happier in my life. Rather than solely focusing on music, I realized that songs and lyrics are actually part of this whole bigger picture for me. I’m not using this to big up myself, I’m just trying to reiterate that shit isn’t always what it seems and nothing is set in stone. This world that we live in, like everything else in life as a whole, can be improved. We all experience that “me against the world” feeling, why don’t we creatively combine our attributes and make this planet a better place…Which leads me to asking you….
“What do you want to be, when you grow up?”
NOTERIZED BY: Christian Bonoan/ @chrisakachise