Sunday, September 20, 2009

Return to Childhood

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" is a question I’ve heard many, many times as a kid. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been always planning for the future… Always thinking about moving to the next stage of life…from school to work and so on…

The search for a profession was mainly driven by practicality and society, not by dreams or what I would like to be, but more about, what type of job would be practical, what would help me earn enough money, give me recognition? Of course it’s essential that we’re practical after all, where would our dreams be if we were hungry or lacking basic necessities for life? At the same time it’s sad when we sacrifice all our dreams for practicality or simply to confirm with society, as work is where we spend more than half of our lives, so why do many people work in areas which they despise just for that money or security or ‘because that is what is expected of me’? Tell any child that you don’t like your job, and the child would give the most logical answer, “then change it!”.

From the time I could understand everyone around me have been saying you should be a doctor, or engineer like your father, or lawyer… there are a few professions that are respected and all children are expected to be one of them, whether the child is talented in this area or something completely different such as writing or painting. Many fields are ignored, including the Not-for-profit sector. Until I did my project at the Global Fund as part of my MBA, social services were simply something I like to do in my free time, not my career. After spending years in fields which I did not enjoy and where I didn’t feel that I was making the most of my potential, I think I’ve finally found an area that I like working in… Will I be in this field forever? I don’t really know, but I do know that I enjoy working in Not-for-profits and working for something greater than myself…

It’s funny now that I have ‘grown up’, I’m trying to explore my creativity and set my imagination free (much more difficult now, after stifling it for almost 30 years). I came across an intersting talk at TED conference which talks about how all children are born with creativity which is killed in a school system geared towards maths, sciences, languages and not geared for kids whose talents lie in arts, and thought of adding it here though its slightly out of topic I do feel that any creativity I might have had as a child disappeared in my adult years, and now I'm trying to learn it all over again.

Lately I've also learnt to appreciate nature, the mountains, the stars, and all the beauty around with wonder (everything I’ve ignored for so long, too caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of life); to live in the present moment, having total trust in the higher power; to be more honest and genuine; to say what I mean, and mean what I say… just like a child... When I ‘grow up’ I want to return to my childhood…

I'll end this post with a lovely quote from CS Lewis "When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." 



Blogger Anna said...

this is beautiful! I feel so blessed, in that when I was younger I wanted to be a writer, and I think maybe I am. :)))

just last night we were driving home, and the horizon was that of my childhood; huge, yellow-orange but so vast, all you could see. I'd like that as my view when I grow up.

someone I knew in high school loved photography, but his father told him he'd have to choose a 'real' major, or pay for school himself. I know he didn't pursue photography as his job, but am not sure what he chose instead.

what might have been, who knows...

4:03 am, September 23, 2009  

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