Monday, 14 March 2016
Are You Who You Want To Be?
I constantly ask myself this question. Am I who I want to be? It's the kind of question that is so much easier to ignore, to shove its complexities far away from your mind and pretend it never came up. But I can promise you, that question is always there.
I want to be a child. I want to bask in the glory of having my parents to complain to, to have them do all the worrying for me so I can enjoy the feeling of dancing to Disney songs in the middle of the living room with my sister. I want to take perfect Instagram pictures and go out with my friends and laugh till I cry. I want to wear dresses and pink lipstick and denim shirts with rolled up sleeves. I want be young, and I find that so hard to reconcile with the other things I want.
I want to move people with the words I write and have my own library to rival a bookstore. I want do my absolute best in school, to get into the university of my dreams, to study law and move abroad. I want to see the world and use my life to help those who have their rights taken away from them everyday. I want to speak out, to make a difference and to be a role model to other girls to show them they can when the world tells them they can't. I want to have my thoughts published in articles and my parents and my sister to be as proud as they could be of me. I want to be able to repay them for all the love and support they have shown me every second of my life.
My biggest fear, I think, is that I'm not doing that. That I'm leaning more towards the childish side that can only every last for maybe five more years, when I know that my dreams will last me a lifetime. I try my best to do both, but when you're a teenager you have to fight to not be like everyone else. And that's especially hard when every bit of your being tells you to fit in, to pretend you didn't revise for a week for a history test and to be careful with what you say. It's a constant pressure on your life, on you and I never could have put it into words until I read a speech by Rowan Blanchard who said one of the main problems we lack gender equality in STEM subjects is because "girls in my age group would rather be liked than be leaders."
That sentence hit me hard. We all want to be liked, we all want to have fun and to 'fit in'. Everyone feels that at some point in their life, but that sentence reminded me exactly of who I don't want to be.
I don't want to be the girl who trades in her dreams for five seconds of popularity, or who gets so caught up in the disillusionment that is fed to teenagers and children today that she forgets who she really wants to be. I want to be young, but I shouldn't have to not have interests and aspirations so as to be.
Being young should be portrayed as having goals you'll fight to achieve and as working to make all your wrongs right. It should mean realising you have an entire lifetime where you will experience a multitude of opportunities, and not living like the best years of your life will end as soon a life 'gets serious.' I should be able to wear pink lipstick during my final exams and laugh till I cry because all the hard work payed off. My perfect Instagram pictures should be of the university of my dreams and I should dance in the living room to Disney songs because I got accepted to work at the European Court of Human Rights.
I know who I want to be, no matter how much everyone else may say otherwise. I want to be me.